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Thread: Does OC make you a target?

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    Does OC make you a target?

    This is my first post on this forum. I am finding it quite informative.

    I am curious about what people think of the idea that Open carry might make you a target? For example, a bad guy comes into a store with the intent to rob it, sees your gun, and therefore shoots you first. Or, even better, a James Holmes wannabe sees you are armed and therefore takes you out first before moving on to unarmed people...

    Thanks,

    Steve

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    Regular Member Bellum_Intus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH2210 View Post
    This is my first post on this forum. I am finding it quite informative.

    I am curious about what people think of the idea that Open carry might make you a target? For example, a bad guy comes into a store with the intent to rob it, sees your gun, and therefore shoots you first. Or, even better, a James Holmes wannabe sees you are armed and therefore takes you out first before moving on to unarmed people...

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Bad guy comes into store to rob it, he sees the barrel of my firearm before he even gets the chance to react...
    (of course, as most here know, I train almost daily)

    --Rob
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    Regular Member PikesPeakMtnMan's Avatar
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    Most people (criminals included) are so focused on going about their business that they don't even notice that people have a gun on their hip. A liquor store on Colorado Springs' west side was robbed a couple days ago and both robbers ended up in the hospital with gunshot wounds administered by the clerks. Had the robbers taken even a COUPLE SECONDS to look around when they walked in they would have seen that the employees there OC...but the robbers likely walked in and rushed to the counter flashing their guns and demanding money, which obviously didn't turn out well for them.

    If OC made people such a target then we would never see cops OC...and they deal with lowlifes and scum on a daily basis, people who absolutely do NOT want to deal with police.

    I personally don't OC much because I'm not much of a people person and I don't want to be interrupted with questions about whether or not I'm LEO or what I'm carrying...I just want to get my business done and get back home. But when I do OC, I have had ZERO issues.

    Edit to add: If you read some of the threads here (or for most of the other states) about OC outings you'll see this phrase occur frequently "nobody reacted, if they even noticed in the first place"
    Last edited by PikesPeakMtnMan; 08-11-2012 at 02:07 AM.
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    Regular Member LoneEchoWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PikesPeakMtnMan View Post
    Most people (criminals included) are so focused on going about their business that they don't even notice that people have a gun on their hip. A liquor store on Colorado Springs' west side was robbed a couple days ago and both robbers ended up in the hospital with gunshot wounds administered by the clerks. Had the robbers taken even a COUPLE SECONDS to look around when they walked in they would have seen that the employees there OC...but the robbers likely walked in and rushed to the counter flashing their guns and demanding money, which obviously didn't turn out well for them.

    If OC made people such a target then we would never see cops OC...and they deal with lowlifes and scum on a daily basis, people who absolutely do NOT want to deal with police.
    Id haveto agree, Most people i pass day to day dont even notice, now amplify that "tunnel vision" by adrenaline from them about to rob somebody and i really dont think they have enough state of mind to run in and look around first, or even think, remember criminals are mostly not the thinking type, at least not most that will just run in and rob somebody. But then theres things like the recent event where a OC'er was shot with his own weapon, which hasto be looked at as a single case, which i dont have all the information on so i wont comment on what i think may have happened untill i know more.

    But it almost seems like he was "Stalked" by the attacker for a weapon because he didnt have one himself and saw that was a "open target." which is more likely than a robber running in and targeting you first, both are real threats that we must always be aware of. Im more worried that some of us may be "stalked" for our weapons by unarmed criminals wanting to take our weapon, and must always be aware of our surroundings for that reason. Might feel weird, or almost like your makeing yourself look suspicious looking about every few seconds or watching your own back, but remember it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks as long as you and your family are safe at all times. just my thoughts.
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    Most robbers, if they see someone in the store has a gun - will elect to go somewhere else or wait till later. They are after money, not a gunfight. Same with rapists & other personal/property crime perps.

    Random crazy like Holmes, sure they might just continue on with their conduct and maybe shoot you first, if they noticed you had a gun. There are a small minority of robbers that are also in the crazy department who will get into a gunfight because their real business is mayhem and robbery is just a means of financing it.

    Being in condition yellow will help you avoid being the victim as these type of people travel with a literal aura of crazy about them, they'll make your hair stand on end and when it does you'd best be paying attention. Its the 1% of the 1%ers though. In Holmes case I doubt he had the stones to actually be in a gunfight, he just wanted victims.

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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Howdy Amigo!
    First things first: Anything offered to a generality must, perforce, be generalized in response. There will always be exceptions to any given generality.
    That being said, let's consider the following:

    Bad guys ain't looking to be dead hero types. They'd much rather be live cowards.

    Bad guys tend to be cowardly. They don't hold up well when confronted.

    Bad guys don't want to be shot, they want to do a little miscreancy, and will tend to go after an easy mark.

    Your open carrying presence in a potential crime scene means you might give them trouble they don't want or need.

    Your open carrying presence is confusing, because they might think you're a cop. It also may cause them to believe you have advanced training.

    Bad guys seldom have any training, let alone advanced training.

    Cop killers tend to get the harshest treatment in court, so they really don't much care to tangle with a cop.

    If they see you walking around with an openly carried handgun, it will cause them to wonder how many concealed carry guns might also be present.

    Bad guys who see your open carried handgun may decide it lends an element of peril to their nefarious plans they do not wish to chance. The odds, if they are capable of figuring odds, strongly suggest they may be hurt badly or killed in a gunfight. They ain't looking for a gunfight, they're looking for easy pickin's.

    The same logic applies to gun free zones. They are crime scenes precisely because bad guys know they aren't likely to encounter resistance.
    Your open carried handgun suggests a very powerful element of resistence.
    One where odds are far too great they will lose.

    The result of such reflection is, they'll go away and seek a softer target.
    Or perhaps, reconsider their intention to perform miscreancy altogether.

    The Aurora theater shooter did not wish to be shot. Hence, he wore tac gear. Once outside, confronted with guns pointed at him, he surrendered.
    Had somebody put a round or several back in his direction, he'd likely have given up the attack. He clearly did not wish to be shot, hence the tac gear.

    Claims that open carry makes one a target assumes a variable that is likely not in play: A level of awareness by the carrier that he makes himself a target whether he is armed or not. Situational awareness should always be operational with 360 focus. Victims often say "I never saw him coming" because they do not use much situational awareness. A citizen is much more likely to become a victim when focused on texting than openly carrying a sidearm.

    Make eye contact with everyone in your vicinity. Let them know you see them. This is especially true when in an area that has potential as a target.
    somebody walks into a convenience store where you are shopping, and you are aware of their arrival because your situational awareness is 'switched on'.
    You make eye contact with the new arrival, and they know you've seen them (potential witness in their prosecution).
    They spot your handgun. They know you've seen them come in.
    You have the ability to defend against miscreancy.
    You may be an LEO, for all they know.
    You have an aura of confidence, while they may be nervous.
    They may have a gun, but lack confidence born of practice and training.
    They also do not know how many other guns may be at the location.
    Guns that will be turned on them should they engage.
    The more of these elements are in evidence, the less the odds seem to be in their favor.

    With any luck, the simple act of seeing an armed carrier may dissuade them from doing this particular crime,
    and may even result in their making a different career decision.

    The open carrier sends a message.... Do not try it here!

    As a generality, they won't!

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneEchoWolf View Post
    But it almost seems like he was "Stalked" by the attacker for a weapon because he didnt have one himself and saw that was a "open target." which is more likely than a robber running in and targeting you first, both are real threats that we must always be aware of. Im more worried that some of us may be "stalked" for our weapons by unarmed criminals wanting to take our weapon, and must always be aware of our surroundings for that reason. Might feel weird, or almost like your makeing yourself look suspicious looking about every few seconds or watching your own back, but remember it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks as long as you and your family are safe at all times. just my thoughts.
    I always know whats going on around me. I have great situational awareness and I would know if I'm being stalked. It's happened before, and I made eye contact with them to let them know I'm watching them. There were 2 guys at Walmart following me, looking and pointing at my sidearm and chatting with each other about it. I could just tell they were harmless and just curious and it was probably their first time seeing an OCer, just like I did when I saw my very first OCer up in Georgetown a few years back and stared at his sidearm (which gave me the idea to start OCing). Those guys followed me from aisle to aisle pointing and talking, but they stopped once they saw I was getting a bit concerned and I kept my distance. Looking back at it, I should have at least stopped and said hello to them to start a conversation. Now if I'm being stalked in a bad way, like they want my gun, I will let them know I'm watching them and I'll probably come up with a tactic to bust them. I can discreetly get the police called and until they get there, I will keep a wary eye on them and pretend I'm just going on with my own business. One of my tactics could be to go to customer service and request a store credit card. On the application, I will write down what is going on, that I'm being stalked and to quitely call the cops. The thugs will just think I'm doing normal business and wait for me. When the police show up, and it turns out they were indeed pure thugs and get arrested, then I did my job and got them off the streets. Now, most shady people will think that someone OCing a sidearm is not someone to be messed with and they will move on. The Richmond case is a rare one, and the guy let his guard down. Keens

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH2210 View Post
    This is my first post on this forum. I am finding it quite informative.

    I am curious about what people think of the idea that Open carry might make you a target? For example, a bad guy comes into a store with the intent to rob it, sees your gun, and therefore shoots you first. Or, even better, a James Holmes wannabe sees you are armed and therefore takes you out first before moving on to unarmed people...

    Thanks,

    Steve

    Try reading this:

    http://www.usacarry.com/forums/open-...-argument.html

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    Regular Member Freiheit417's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneEchoWolf View Post
    Id haveto agree, Most people i pass day to day dont even notice, now amplify that "tunnel vision" by adrenaline from them about to rob somebody and i really dont think they have enough state of mind to run in and look around first, or even think...
    Tunnel vision indeed. I've posted this video before, but it illustrates LoneEchoWolf's point well. The criminal robbed the store while standing right next to a police officer!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa-wf...eature=related
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    Thanks Guys.

    I wanted to thank you all for your great responses. You bring up some very good points.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Wearing a firearm openly might make you a target.
    Looking weak and vulnerable can make you a target.
    Looking wealthy and wearing nice clothes can make you a target.
    Driving a nice car can make you a target.
    Being the biggest guy in the bar can make you a target (or so I've heard from tall strong friends)
    So can being the second-biggest guy in the bar.
    Carrying items in both hands might make you a target.


    ... which ones of the above might also discourage you from being a target?

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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    Wearing a firearm openly might make you a target.
    Looking weak and vulnerable can make you a target.
    Looking wealthy and wearing nice clothes can make you a target.
    Driving a nice car can make you a target.
    Being the biggest guy in the bar can make you a target (or so I've heard from tall strong friends)
    So can being the second-biggest guy in the bar.
    Carrying items in both hands might make you a target.


    ... which ones of the above might also discourage you from being a target?
    Howdy Amigo!
    You neglected to mention wearing a real expensive hat. That'll surely make one a target!

    Or worse, running around wearing a uniform from your job at the Target store when off the clock.
    That'll definately do it!

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin
    Last edited by M-Taliesin; 08-12-2012 at 09:16 AM.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I didn't mention how wearing "police socks" might make you a target of law enforcement....
    but that's a whole 'nother thread.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 08-12-2012 at 09:29 AM.

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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    I didn't mention how wearing "police socks" might make you a target of law enforcement....
    but that's a whole 'nother thread.
    Howdy Amigo!
    That's funny right there. I don't care who ya are, that's funny!!! LOL!

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    M-Taliesin

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH2210 View Post
    This is my first post on this forum. I am finding it quite informative.

    I am curious about what people think of the idea that Open carry might make you a target? For example, a bad guy comes into a store with the intent to rob it, sees your gun, and therefore shoots you first. Or, even better, a James Holmes wannabe sees you are armed and therefore takes you out first before moving on to unarmed people...

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Both of those have been well covered, been beaten to death on this forum.

    Neither has ever happened to LAC in modern times anywhere in the United States - there have been many attempts to cite, all have failed.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    Wearing a firearm openly might make you a target.
    Looking weak and vulnerable can make you a target.
    Looking wealthy and wearing nice clothes can make you a target.
    Driving a nice car can make you a target.
    Being the biggest guy in the bar can make you a target (or so I've heard from tall strong friends)
    So can being the second-biggest guy in the bar.
    Carrying items in both hands might make you a target.


    ... which ones of the above might also discourage you from being a target?
    Point taken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    You neglected to mention wearing a real expensive hat. That'll surely make one a target!
    Cite? AFAIK, those tend to get ignored rather than taken into account for the attention they warrant.

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    Regular Member cgutierrez0688's Avatar
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    So would it be better to OC with a round in the chamber and ready to fire, or not ready just in case some thug decides to try to take it from me?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgutierrez0688 View Post
    So would it be better to OC with a round in the chamber and ready to fire, or not ready just in case some thug decides to try to take it from me?
    A handgun not fully loaded and charged is just an expensive paper weight.

    You should factor in situational awareness and retention.

    What is this "just in case some thug decides to try to take it from me" thing about? Why further promote urban myths?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member cgutierrez0688's Avatar
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    I guess I'm just still not comfortable yet OCing, and I've never seen anyone OC anyplace I've been. I guess I just need to get more practice in till I'm fully confident in my actions.

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    Regular Member Phoenix David's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellum_Intus View Post
    Bad guy comes into store to rob it, he sees the barrel of my firearm before he even gets the chance to react...
    (of course, as most here know, I train almost daily)

    --Rob
    Rob are you sure about that? From what I read in the newspaper nobody ever trains with their firearms and if they had to ever use them they would miss the bad guy and the bullet would blow up a day care center killing all children within 3 miles.

    On topic - from what I have been able to discover, that number of times that an OC'er has been targeted because they were an OC'er is so miniscule that it is insignificant.

    SA is your friend
    Last edited by Phoenix David; 08-13-2012 at 11:01 AM. Reason: cleaning up the grammer - it was late and I was tired
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    Regular Member Bellum_Intus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix David View Post
    Rob are you sure about that? From what I read in the newspaper nobody ever trains with their firearms and if they had to ever use them they would miss the bad guy and the bullet would blow up a day care center killing all children within 3 miles.

    SA is your friend
    LMAO!!!

    --Rob
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    "Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
    --Margaret Thatcher

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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgutierrez0688 View Post
    I guess I'm just still not comfortable yet OCing, and I've never seen anyone OC anyplace I've been. I guess I just need to get more practice in till I'm fully confident in my actions.
    Howdy Amigo!
    If you need somebody to tag along with to get comfortable with OC'ing, I'd be happy to help you over that psychological hump that most new carriers cope with.
    I believe it is more cumbersome to cope with that alone, and often will spend a day with a newbie to help them learn that it isn't so quite so daunting.
    Once a new carrier spends a day running around town with me OC'ing, and discover it really isn't too big a deal, they soon find their apprehension evaporating.

    Wanna give it a whirl? PM me and I'll be happy to help. I have a couple of days off this week, and would be happy to escort you on an outing.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

  24. #24
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgutierrez0688 View Post
    So would it be better to OC with a round in the chamber and ready to fire, or not ready just in case some thug decides to try to take it from me?
    Howdy Pardner!
    If your life hangs in the balance, and you are carrying for your own lawful self defense, there is no time to rack the slide.
    The couple of seconds it takes to rack a round into the chamber can prove fatal.
    Obviously, you want safety engaged. Most firearms today are really very safe to carry with a round in the chamber.

    Of much greater concern is the ability of an OC'er to be aware of everything around him.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

  25. #25
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    This just occurred to me on my morning walk -

    If a criminal targets a citizen because the citizen is openly carrying a means of defense, then does it follow that the criminal wasn't intent on the idea of crime until the mere sight of a gun motivated him to commit a crime?
    That doesn't seem to square with what I've observed, the military sees guns on a daily basis and they don't seem to be mugging each other, same with law enforcement; no cop-on-cop muggings seem to ever make the news.

    I think then, we are left with someone with larceny in his heart, who decides "he has a gun, but that gun isn't going to stop me!" and goes ahead with his crime. For someone with a larcenous heart, I can't see how appearing to be helpless and unarmed would deter him and make him think, "he doesn't have a gun, I guess I'll look for another easy target."

    Having a gun may make you a target, but the lack of one isn't going to make you Less of a target.

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