Community Confessions: Newbie Mistakes | USCCA

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill reportedly said, “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from mistakes.” We asked our USCCA Community Members to reveal their newbie self-defense mistakes (not to embarrass or poke fun at them, of course, but rather to help others learn from their experiences). These mistakes can be used as guidelines for what newbies should and shouldn’t do. Here’s what our community members had to say:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

About 2 years ago I was driving slow through the parking lot by the entrance door to a grocery store.
Here in Texas, unlike Ohio (this is one thing I miss about Ohio) pedestrians go first, making cars stop, not even looking both ways, staring at their phones while pushing their carts. Entitled king’s of the world.
Anyway, a dude came out of the front door look at the cellphone, no cart, walked right to the edge of my ROW path and stopped to look at the phone some more. So, I drove on.

The next thing I know is someone punches the back of my wife’s brand new 4Runner! I hit park, unbuckle and exit the vehicle in a flash, just as I had learned in training.

I confronted the young 20 year old, verbally only, we went back and forth with some testosterone chest pounding, when he abruptly walked away and I reentered my vehicle and drove off. Once back in the vehicle I realized that my shirt was pulled up exposing my sidearm. This is how I drive, allowing quick access.

The MISTAKE, I never ever, never ever should have gotten out of the vehicle or even stopped for this stupid act of aggression on his part. SUPER STUPID of me!!! This could have escalated in a very bad way.

I have thought about this many times since then and thank God nothing happened, I hope this sharing helps someone else to slow down, relax, and don’t over react to silliness.


Somewhat surprised that there is only one post. Learning from mistakes the pros have experienced is priceless. Lots to learn from and greatly appreciated.

Seems this post is many months old but thank you for sharing.



Giving out to much information.

Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let the other party throw it all out. They spill their beans, give you more information which is to your benefit.

This can be applied during stressful encounters. Would you rather have an ear full to gage and interject to “reason and wrap” things Up with or wait until they have nothing left to say?

Sharing to much information leaves us at risk for judgment, arguments, personal information. I mean other than “Stop, freeze”. Should we be trained as negotiators as well?