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The Open Carry Argument

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mainsail, Jun 16, 2008.

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  1. #shooter

    #shooter Member

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    Not explicitly, but your argument does make assumptions.In the deterrent section there are several assumptions that are made, though you do address some of them later on.

    This assumes that OC is a direct thus greater deterrent than CC. What if the criminal wants to steal a gun? I know you address this later on, but you admit OC could be an attractant. You state there is no evidence to believe this happens, but there is no evidence that CC is any less a deterrent than OC other than it is your feeling that it is. It also wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for a criminal to think someone OC has a BUG which ironically is CC and could also be an additional deterrent.

    Again, the assumption made is that CC is a slower draw than OC and that the OC deterrent was effective. That is very subjective and dependent upon the skill of the victim, clothes worn, gun type, and holster type. OC holsters usually have snaps then there can be clothes like jackets and shirts etc that can be a problem to deal with just as much as CC. Then again pocket carry does not have any of those issues usually (just dont put your wallet with your gun). CC guns tend to be smaller shorter and OC guns tend to be larger and heavier. You really can’t say one is faster than the other as you implied. CC or OC doesnt matter as criminals usually have already drawn once they decide to attack. With OC the jig is up. If the deterrent didnt work are you better or worse off if the criminal has the draw on you?


    You said you dont assume that violent criminals are cowards, avoid fights, or are completly rational then why do you assume OC changes the risk so that it outweighs the gain in the criminal's mind? You offer self preservation as a reason but many violent criminals dont care about that either as we see on the news all the time.

    The point or crux of your arguement was the benifits of OC (deterrence) vs the alleged benifits of CC (surprise). If your environment is a safe suburban/rural Home Depot then what benifit does OC vs CC have if there is nothing to deter? What are the merits of OC if it can not be used in a criminally dangerous environment? It's not that OC go places different than CC, its that CC can go anywhere and OC can't becuse it would be a target which is what you orginally said doesn't happen. The reason why OC dont have thier guns stolen from them is that they avoid high crime areas to begin with.
    Essentially, as the criminal environment threat level (areas of high criminal activity) goes up the practicality of OC goes down. Therefore OC does not deter in all environments where, concealed is concealed no matter where you go.

    Not anymore, but I did live in several for a while and if you OC you are asking for trouble. The night I moved out of the house, burgars broke in. you are always being watched. I agree the surprise element is overexagerated for CC, but the merts of CC lie in the fact that you blend in and the criminal does not know from where or who will defend. IMO I dont thinl it is the lifelong criminal that is most dangerous, but the hopped up druggie or drunk. No pain and no reasoning is a bad and no matter how you carry they dont care.

    Like you said do what is comfortable for you and use your best judgement. In the end it will be situational awareness and practice that will matter more than how you carry.
     
  2. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    Not really. It isn’t about this vs. that, it’s about my reasons for open carry. I address several of the common criticisms offered by those who do not believe in open carry and wouldn’t even if they could. One of the most popular is surprise as a defensive tactic, which I don’t believe is, or ever in history has been, a defensive maneuver.

    If we knew where a crime was about to occur, we could avoid the whole thing. If I knew someone was going to be mugging in the Home Depot parking lot, I would go to Lowes. I don’t carry to protect myself and my loved ones from known threats, only the unknown ones. Given that I cannot carry enough equipment to counter every possible threat, I must give thought to what I consider to be the more likely threat in the place I will be going. If I thought there was going to be an attack by someone with a nerve agent, I would opt for a smaller gun and a gas mask; but to carry one every day would be tiresome to say the least.

    Here’s a recent example that’s being discussed right now in these forums. A man walks into a bank, tells the clerk he has a bomb, and demands money. Someone with a concealed carry pistol draws, interrupts the robbery, and holds the man for police. I lost track of how many different ‘sides’ there were in the discussion. Some say he was wrong to draw, some say he was wrong not to head-shot him immediately, some think he did it perfectly. If that citizen were openly carrying that pistol (with a huge assumption that the robber would notice it) do you think the attempted bank robbery would have occurred at all? Of course not. Would the citizen who was carrying openly been the ‘first one’ blown up? No again. So we see that open carry may have prevented the entire encounter; so all those criticisms, worthy or nonsense, would be moot. That’s really the problem with both methods of carry, but more so for open carry; we cannot cite examples of things that might have-but-didn’t happen. The best we can do is look at examples, study crimes that have occurred, and give rational thought to our strategies.

    You are probably somewhat correct in that I do make an assumption about speed of the draw from concealment. As I mentioned previously, you should think about it generally. Does the average person practice drawing from concealment enough to do it without fumbling in a tense situation? I have heard stories about people trying to draw and tossing their gun on the ground when it got snagged on a shirt or pocket. It’s getting warm here and wearing a light coat to conceal is becoming problematic. Some people might even opt for ankle carry, possibly the slowest and most awkward method of carry. I gave it a lot of thought and ranked OC as better than any of the concealment options. Bear in mind that I wear jeans primarily, so pocket carry would be next to impossible. Your mileage may vary.

    One subject I didn’t mention was the type of firearm we carry. I am not enamored with the tiny guns I see people in my local gun store buying, their reliability is iffy and they are difficult to shoot well or practice with. I can shoot my 1911 pretty well, and I even enjoy practicing with it. I’ve shot the little Kahrs and similar, and found it difficult and even painful to practice with them. Since the essay is about the reasons I carry openly, it’s naturally going to be biased by my preferences and skills. I know how fast I can draw from my serpa (one hand) and line up the sights on a target, and it’s substantially faster than I can from my Milt Sparks VersaMax (two hands) under a shirt. You or another reader may not agree and be fast and sure on your concealed draw, but in general terms, I think OC would be faster.

    I will say that I’ve enjoyed discussing it. I appreciate that you read the posts and put a lot of thought into your responses and didn’t just angrily spout the same old tired arguments. If I could line up university studies, create a PowerPoint slide show, and factually prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that surprise is not a defensive tactic, about three posts later some knot-head would say he doesn’t believe in open carry because he thinks it’s better to have surprise on his side. Concealed carry has become the new paradigm, so much so that many people do not ever consider the other option. All I’ve asked is that we all think a little about what we expect from carrying a firearm. We can all learn from each other and all be better off for it. The bottom line is this; you have to do what you think is best for you in your situation.

    Exactly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  3. #shooter

    #shooter Member

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    Yea, that was poorly worded on my part. Obviously, if there were ”no crime guarantee” areas we wouldn’t carry at all. Unfortunatly, no such place exists.
    Your bank example is a good one. OC may have deterred the robbery or delayed it until the armed customer left. In Indianapolis we just had a bank robber walk in and shoot a pregnant teller right off the bat, with that type of criminal in mind I think OC deterrence would not have worked and could have been a liability (not that having CC and appearing “normal” would necessarily spare you).

    I agree completely. Your original post did present a good argument for OC. I thought that you did well on the pros of OC but dismissed the self defense cons of OC (my reading of it anyway). How do you prove or provide statistics for deterrence? If we knew how to measure this we could be rich. This is not a problem of OC, but of gun ownership in general.

    I see criminals and situations being so diverse that it is hard for me to say with any conviction which method is better or most effective. OC and possibly deter a crime vs the remote chance to attract a criminal or be the first one attacked in a group. CC possibly avoids a crime by looking normal and blending in vs being singled out for a crime by looking normal and blending in. Both have merits both have issues.

    I am thankful that you did not take my critique of your post personally. It is not my intention to disparage anyone but to participate in the Socratic Method to further clarify, strengthen, or change positions.
    I had just recently purchased an OWB holster because I wish to try out OC. I am nervous and apprehensive about it as it just “hangs out there.” My wife and I are nervous about how people and business react, but I am more nervous about the deterrent vs. target aspects we discussed. Let’s just say I hope you are right. :)
     
  4. siglite

    siglite Member

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    Do you have any statistics to back this up? Could you please cite some numbers that support your position. Carjackings of occupied police cruisers would be a good start. Or muggings of uniformed officers. Then when you have those, we'll compare the per-capita rates to muggings of non-open-carrying folks and see what turns up.

    I always see this "they'll take your gun" stuff, and maybe one or two anecdotal instances in the history of law enforcement in the US. But I've never once seen an objective comparison citing anything to back up this FUD mongering.
     
  5. Grizzly Adams

    Grizzly Adams Member

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    Mainsail, great post! I've often heard these arguments kicked around but haven't seen them addressed as concisely as this. With your permission and giving you credit, I would like to use this to post on our state site here in Alabama (alabamagunrights.org). I will await your reply. Thanks.
     
  6. mekender

    mekender Member

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    since the courts have ruled that states have rights over making CCW laws, the only part of "and bear arms" that is left is open carry... if it isnt practiced enough, one day it will be quite easy to legislate it out of existence...
     
  7. Grizzly Adams

    Grizzly Adams Member

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    Thanks for the PM Mainsail!
     
  8. conw

    conw Member

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    I am going to post this then read the second half of the thread, but I'll bite...

    I like the concept of OC, and generally like people OCing, but it became exhausting for me.

    People asked or gave me weird looks frequently (yeah, I used it as an opportunity to explain, but I don't want to go around giving everyone who looks weird at me a comforting smile and explanation), and I had a few very tense moments at gas stations with criminal-looking types.

    OCing, if I'm approached by some kind of weird indigent or ruffian type, my hand is on the table. It didn't seem to deter anyone from approaching and "interviewing" me. Yes, I walked away, but I did feel sometimes like someone else might draw first or jump me because of the gun.

    As for "the proof" of people being shot for OCing, cops seem to be a decent example; obviously some people just hate cops, but to other criminals a cop is just an obstacle in the crime spree they're committing. I feel the same type of mentality could pertain to criminals encountering those who OC.

    (EDIT, yes, often those cops are pursuing criminals, but sometimes they are not)

    my 2c...
     
  9. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Incorrect.

    First of all it's a strawman. The point is not truly surprise in the classic military sense, but rather that if you reveal all your capabilities then your attacker can form a plan that circumvents your ability to use those capabilities or take actions that prevent you from responding effectively. If an attacker is NOT deterred by an openly carried gun (and since cops get shot, gun stores get robbed and there's even a documented case of an open carrier being mugged for his gun, we know that being openly armed is not a perfect deterrent) then you are forced to respond immediately or face the prospect of being disarmed. If you have a concealed weapon you have the option to wait for a favorable moment to respond.

    There was a classic example of this posted on THR some years back by QuarterBoreGunner.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=60164&page=2

    A man went into a gun store/gun range and took all the employees hostage using a gun he rented at the range. None were carrying openly, but one employee was carrying concealed and the criminal didn't discover it. The criminal was taking them out back and made it clear that he was going to shoot them. The armed employee bided his time and when he got an opportunity he was able to pull his firearm and disable the criminal with no injury to any of the employees. Had he been carrying openly he would have been forced to respond immediately or he would have been disarmed.

    "After several minutes on the range, however, Stevens returned to the club's gun store and shot at the ceiling. He then herded three store employees out the door into an alley, saying he intended to kill them, Morec said.

    Unknown to Stevens, one store employee was carrying a .45 caliber handgun concealed beneath his shirt. When Stevens looked away, the employee fired, hitting Stevens several times in the chest and bringing him to the ground."​

    It's not terribly difficult to find other situations where a hidden handgun proved to be an asset in a drawn out confrontation where it would have been difficult or foolhardy to deploy it immediately as one would be forced to do if one were openly carrying.

    Here are a couple.

    Go here and search on Peebles), a doctor and his wife were kidnapped and forced to drive a criminal to Mexico. Unbeknownst to the criminal, they had a concealed pistol. The doctor was able to retrieve the pistol and take the criminal by surprise ending the scenario, but not until they had crossed at least one state line. Again, had they been openly armed instead of armed with a concealed gun they would have had to respond immediately or they would have simply been disarmed.

    Here are some more. Go here and read about Jacob Evans who waited for the right moment to pull his hidden handgun. Search that site for "John Brimmer" to read of another concealed carrier who waited for the right moment to respond but who would certainly have been forced to respond immediately or be disarmed otherwise had he carried openly.
    Also incorrect.

    There is credible evidence that it has happened at least once. And, of course, any gun store robbery (not burglary) is also evidence that thieves are, on occasion, willing to braved armed citizens to acquire firearms.
    So, you're telling me that there's NEVER been an incident where robbers entered the scene of a crime and disabled any openly armed persons. Say, for example, an openly armed security guard at a bank? Sorry, that one's so obviously incorrect that there's no need to even look for a counter example. Anyone who's interested should be able to easily find a myriad.

    As far as deterrent value goes, I think there's no doubt that open carry offers some level of deterrent, but it's incorrect to imply that CC offers none. Studies have repeatedly shown that CC is a deterrent that works on behalf of ALL citizens since crooks have no way to know if any given person is armed. That results in a detectable and significant drop in violent crime (which makes everyone less likely to be victimized) as criminals find safer ways to steal.

    As always, I will point out that I believe open carry should be legal. What I've posted should not be construed as arguments AGAINST the legality of OC, but rather counters to incorrect assertions by the original poster.
     
  10. Mossberg535

    Mossberg535 Member

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    Arguments aside, Ive always wanted to have a guy with a knife tell me to give him my wallet so I could reach to give it to him and draw a 357 and then demand that the silly ******* give me his wallet :D
     
  11. junyo

    junyo Member

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    However, when you carry concealed, the robber has to factor in that a certain number of his "soft targets" are actually hard, and he has no way of knowing which ones. That uncertainty has a deterrent effect of it's own, that extends to other people, as opposed to the overt, but individual, deterrent that OC offers.
    Your probability of someone attempting to make you the a victim is unchanged. The odds of that attempt being successful are altered radically.

    Hmmm...
    Seems to me that most modern militaries spend an awful lot of time concealing their men and weapons. It's why we pay a gajillion dollars for stealth planes and ships. And it's why tanks, planes and uniforms aren't bright pink.
     
  12. Eleven Mike

    Eleven Mike Member

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    Naturally. However, the fact that one person is carrying openly doesn't mean that others are not carrying concealed. Where open and concealed carry are both legal, criminals will still not know which "soft targets" are actually hard.


    brackets mine

    And no one is arguing against that. I believe the point being made was that, while CC can provide an option for self defense in the event of an attack, open carry can sometimes prevent them from ever taking place. Which relates to my point above. Whereas a concealed gun may thwart a crime in progress, a gun worn openly might prevent that crime altogether.
     
  13. AlaskaErik

    AlaskaErik Member

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    I personally have no qualms about open carry. Situational awareness should be an important component of everone's personal protection plan. That alone should deter the vast majority of hostiles. Studies have shown that criminals target those who are small and weak and are clueless about their surroundings. If I'm out in public, no one is going to select me as their target. I'm tall and broad-shouldered, walk like the Marine I once was and I'm always looking around me. To a criminal, I look dangerous and having an openly carried weapon will reinforce that notion, and they will want no part of me. If I'm in a store, I'll probably see a criminal before he sees me. Again, I'm always on the alert. Having worked in the criminal justice system, I can spot them and take appropriate measures. Again, openly carrying is not going to work against me. For those who are in Condition White, open carry may not be such a great idea, but for those who are ever vigilant, it shouldn't be an issue at all.
     
  14. Elza

    Elza Member

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    If you get the chance to pull it.

    I was talking to our son about the “21 foot rule” the other night. He's 19 and about my size. (Disclaimer: My gun was unloaded and never pointed at him at any time. My point-of-aim was well away from him.) I told him to come at me as fast as he could from about 12 or 15 feet. My gun didn’t clear leather before he had me. The same scenario with the gun in my hand was too close to call. I don’t know if I could have gotten a shot off or not. And this was with me anticipating his move.

    If a perp jumps out at you he had best be 20 feet away and you had best not hesitate in pulling your gun. OC would tell the perp that you are armed and give you better access to you gun. Drawing from CC is considerably slower that from OC. Remember that in this situation fractions of a second count.
     
  15. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    I think a lot of people forget that it's a dynamic situation, just like in a fight you don't stand there and block you also move out of the way. I always like those well a guy with a knife covers ground really fast. they do but only an idiot stands there and tries to beat them on the draw
     
  16. Elza

    Elza Member

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    Agreed. But it does depend upon the situation and the reflexes of the individual. Grace in motion I ain’t. :( If I’m not careful I’ll end up on my butt. Plus most people have a certain amount of “deer in the headlights” time before they can begin to react. Clearing leather at close range can be rather ‘iffy’.
     
  17. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Good post Mainsail. I almost didn't read it. Glad now I did.
     
  18. Zip7

    Zip7 Member

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    This is symptomatic of a larger problem that I have noticed in larger cities re: theft.

    I grew up in a smaller town, but now live in the New Orleans area - and used to work closer to the city than I now do... The main difference in living in a larger city is that people expect to have things stolen from them, and they tend to blame themselves for it rather than the thief.

    When I first moved here, I worked with a fellow who was a part time LEO, and in an attempt to help me adjust to the ways of the big city, he suggested that I get the Club - to keep my truck from getting stolen. Everyone agreed on this - and the general attitude was that of you go into the city and park anywhere without the Club, then it's your own fault if your car is stolen.

    Apparently, getting robbed is just a hazard of daily life, and that is an attitude that needs changing, because it's what leads to anti-gun sentiments in the first place.
     
  19. Picard

    Picard Member

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    All you guys in open carry states are so lucky. In Illinois, I can't even carry concealed, unless the firearm is in a designated case and unloaded.

    Every firearm owner in an open carry state should embrace the freedom that they have and teach others just to appreciate their freedoms.

    If you don't open carry normally, make a day where you do, for me and for all the others that can't exercise that basic right.
     
  20. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    ELza, I agree that all people are different. in that case running might be a good option while drawing. unfortantly like in sports, bad physical skill are impossible to make up for completly
     
  21. Igloodude

    Igloodude Member

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    This is the part that I disagree with, and your squad of soldiers example is overly simplistic. Defensive positions and armament are camoflaged and varying amounts of effort are spent to keep such things secret. Minefields are not considered offensive weapons, and yet they are all about surprise.

    But that aside, I agree with those that prefer CC's greater tactical flexibility once the confrontation has begun, to OC's greater chance of complete deterrence of the confrontation in the first place (if I'm reading the crux of your argument correctly).
     
  22. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Member

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    Well, one thing is for sure: a nice, shiny gun OC'd on your hip will make you stand out prominently in most places. Standing out attracts attention. Sometimes unwanted, negative attention which will increase the likelihood of trouble. You become a stare magnet. I think it is much more prudent and a hell of a lot smarter to just blend in, and not choose to stick out like a sore thumb. Keeping a low profile is often a very good way to avoid unpleasant interaction with strangers.

    Why open carry if the are so many effective options for concealed carry? In today's society, I think that the cons of open carry far outweigh any benefits it may bring along. If they have no particular impediment for CC, it seems to me that people who choose to OC are out to make a loud statement, showoff or are just plain looking for trouble by getting into people's faces.
     
  23. Intune

    Intune Member

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    :banghead: I KNEW this would turn into cop bashing. :neener: Guns, holsters & uniforms, everywhere. Oh my. Lions, tigers & bears? Sheesh.

    Ahem, you ARE offended by those loud, showoff, in-your-face LEO's, right? You know, the ones just going about their daily biz. Eating lunch, helping tourists... Terrible.

    Simply amazing how much trouble an inanimate object can cause by its mere presence.

    A holstered weapon only attracts my attention to determine make & model.
    Gun-in-hand involves an entirely different dynamic that I'm sure we all can appreciate.
    There is a huge gulf between the two.
     
  24. conw

    conw Member

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    This has been my experience.

    Another thing that came to mind was that many people who carry (or own guns period) might have a few enemies, unwarranted or otherwise, who are looking to retaliate.

    For example, I have had a few people make threats on my life. Two I believe. Maybe three. I had kind of a rocky past at times, but I didn't directly do anything to warrant either of these psychos (both of whom own guns but don't or can't CCW AFAIK) making death threats.

    One guy threatened to burn down my house because his daughter moved in with me, and the other just plain hates me because I associated, at one time, with some other guy he hates. He actually has some kind of hit list.

    I haven't spoken face-to-face with either of them for a long time.

    My point is this. If someone is determined to make a "hit" on you, or hurt you, there is no deterrence factor to OCing. They have the upper hand if they know anything about your daily routine. Both these guys have deer rifles and could just shoot me from 75 yds if I represented a threat.

    But they don't know I CCW, so in my estimation - judging from their personalities - they would both rather "start some ****" and try to fight me, probably pulling a knife or a gun once an altercation ensued.

    CCW would be a huge advantage in that situation.
     
  25. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    You make the dangerous assumption that a common street thug is willing to ‘throw himself on a grenade’ so to speak. I point out this flaw in logic twice in the essay. The common street criminal has the same self worth you do; he’s no more willing to risk death for a few bucks than you are.

    I’m not a gun store and I’m not at a fixed location, your example doesn’t fit.

    I wasn’t able to find anything using that search term. Regardless, there are thousands of examples of someone using a concealed carry weapon to save their lives, I never argue against concealed carry, I am all for it. We cannot know, however, how the situation would have been different if the victim had carried openly.

    No, there are far too many unknowns in that story to call it credible. 4:10 am? 21 year old? Robbed by two black men in dark clothing? Victim uninjured? Even if we believe that is all there is to the incident (and I do not), it’s still only one incident!

    Again, I’m not a security guard at a bank and I’m not at a fixed location.

    You’re reading that where exactly? I neither said nor implied such a thing.

    Actually, your assertions are proven incorrect. You rely on apples to oranges comparisons and make broad sweeping suppositions based on single examples. Nothing you’ve said changes my position: I do not want to be a victim of a violent crime. I do not want to shoot anyone. Concealed carry does absolutely nothing to enable those two goals.
    Look, no level of readiness can possibly prepare you for every situation. You have to determine your risk based on your environment and plan appropriately. I’m not going to wear a bullet proof vest on the remote chance that some psycho is going to suddenly start shooting while I’m having a coffee at Starbucks. I am going to prepare myself for the most likely threat I could expect to encounter. You can cite examples of Hollywood style bank robberies all day if you want, but I’ve only been inside a bank three times in the last four years so my chances of actually being in your scenario are infinitesimally tiny compared to my example of two wanna-be gang bangers suddenly appearing at the corner ahead of me. What am I preparing for?

    Machismo aside, trust me, you’re better off if you never have the experience. I sometimes think there’s too many people practicing their quick-draw in front of the bathroom mirror while rehearsing some tough-guy line like, “Do you feel lucky punk!?”

    I said that very thing.

    Would you attack a stranger on the street knowing he or she was armed? No. So what makes you think a robber has any less sense of self preservation than you?

    Camouflage has both an offensive and defensive purposes; however, its purpose is not to defensively ‘surprise’ the enemy, it’s to prevent detection. They don’t go out on patrol hoping their cammo fatigues will allow them to surprise their opponents. You’re also skewing the timeline. Once ambushed, their cammo uniforms are moot. Surprise is not a defensive tactic.

    Re-read the first paragraph and ask yourself what are the two goals I expressed. I am determined not to be a victim of a violent crime. An extension of that is that I don’t want anyone I’m with or responsible for to be a victim either. Yes, concealed carry can help me with that goal. But here’s the clincher, I don’t want to ever have to shoot anyone. There seems to be some in the firearms community that are either hoping to shoot someone or behaving as if they are. I’m not. Regardless of the justification, I do not want to shoot anyone. If I feel my life, or a life for which I’m responsible is threatened, I will shoot to stop the threat. I’m prepared to do so, but I forever hope that I don’t have to. Only open carry can help me realize both goals.

    You think wrong. If you’re more concerned with what others might be thinking than you are with your probability of being a victim of crime, then by all means blend in. Have you ever carried openly? I do. I do every day, in the city, where’s there’s real street crime. Like everyone else who carries openly has come to realize, I don’t stick out, I don’t draw negative attention, and I don’t increase my likelihood of trouble. My experience trumps your fantasy.

    Attempting to infer motive from my actions, especially without having read the first post, only shows you are using the same argument Sara Brady and her ilk use. “People only carry guns (CCW or OC) because they want to kill someone over a parking space.” Sound familiar? Thank her the next time you send your check.
     
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