Take this photo from the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) for example. Walk into a busy, crowded coffee shop or similar public setting, and there are a million little choices that impact are safety. But maybe no choice is quite as interesting as where one sits.
Concealed Carry Practice
Any student of the gun and certainly the old West knows the famous tales of Bill Hickok. Preoccupied with his poker hand, Hickok, for the reported first and only time, sat with his back to the door in Nuttal & Mann’s #10 Saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota. That’s when his assailant, forever known as “The Coward” Jack McCall, took advantage and quietly slipped in the door and executed Wild Bill in the back of the head. For our USCCA map, that would make most of the “3” seats pretty undesirable.
Since trouble is most likely to come through the front door, seating choice should reflect the location of the emergency exit along the opposite wall. The two bathrooms are close by, which could potentially offer refuge as well, and possibly a window as well. Table “A” gives quick access to both bathrooms, while tables “B” and “C” provide even quicker exits.
Table “I,” seats “1” and “4” offer the most tactical advantage. With the wall at one’s back, patrons have the most open field of view of the entire coffee shop. You can see both exits, and even the bathrooms. From table “I,” you can also see every other single customer, worker, etc. You’ve got it wired.
There’s a lot of choices to be made in everyday life. Giving them some thought, and thinking of your own capabilities and needs, provides the beginning of a plan. And it’s planning and being prepared that often help provide our best defense.