I didn't valet my car last night. I parked on the street. I didn't want the valet to have access to firearms that may or may not have been in my BMW. I attended a quinceanera (fifteenth birthday party) for a young lady, who I don't personally know. I simply responded to an invitation from a tio (uncle).
note: A quinceanera is sort of like a wedding for a fifteen year old girl with no groom. It's usually a very elaborate birthday party with the 'court' of the birthday girl performing many organized dances, there are MANY speeches and the ubiquitous mariachis.
The joke runs that usually they have the big party when they're 15 because by the time they're 16, they're married and the 'father' ran off so there won't be a wedding...
A person accused me of being too aggressive. They didn't accuse me of being criminally aggressive, simply of being "aggressive" as if that was a bad thing. They responded to my assertion that had the Japanese got as far as India in the Second World War, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass.
The fears of man are many. He fears the shadow of death and the closed doors of the future. He is afraid for his friends and for his sons and of the specter of tomorrow. All his life's journey he walks in the lonely corridors of his controlled fears, if he is a man. For only fools will strut, and only cowards dare cringe. -- James Warner Bellah, "Spanish Man's Grave" in Reveille, Curtis Publishing, 1947.
In modern thought, the old "assertiveness" has been replaced by the new "aggressiveness", which implies that being anything but a 'hive insect' is somehow wrong. The new progressive thought process runs on the order that there is something wrong with people who are attracted to the idea of a nation of individuals who deal with their own problems without relying on an (inefficient, unproductive) central government to tell them how and what to do.
One of the party-goers asked me not to "take out" another person who attended the party, and who I don't particularly like. I replied, "Why would I do that here at this party?" They shrugged and said, "Sometimes you can be on the aggressive side." WRONG. In the past, I've stood up for my rights and for those of people who I care for and am willing to act decisively in self defense. That is not aggression. That is assertive self-defense. Defending one's self has been construed in our post modern, namby-pamby world as "aggressive". Another person standing nearby said, "Ok, but I'll bet you're armed." I replied that, "Of course I'm armed." (legally) That seemed to confirm the opinion of the person who felt that I was aggressive.
"See, you're armed. You admit it."
"What's wrong with being armed?" (legally)
"It's a sign of aggression."
"It's a sign of preparedness. Aggression is not wrong when properly applied, but being it's better to have than not have, certainly at a frigging quinceanera where people's hispanic gang member relatives and Sinaloan drug dealers are present (which they were, but they kept to themselves and were on their best behavior)."
"Are you saying that you'd shoot one of the relatives here at the party?"
"I would defend myself - and others - if needed, but there is a vast gulf between wanton aggression and being prepared to protect myself. You haven't seen me 'going Columbine' here."
"The night is young."
A mixed bag of military people (in dress uniforms) also attended the large, very formal, banquet-style party and the same person drew a distinction between them (apparently unarmed) and me (armed) as the difference between the "aggressive" and "non-aggressive". However, the difference between most military people and me is that most of them have never fired a shot in anger. Maybe 1/5,000 military people ever fire a shot off the range - and a lot of them don't shoot on the range. At this point, I walked away from the argument.