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Thread: Open Carry Making One a "Target" for Getting Mugged

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    Open Carry Making One a "Target" for Getting Mugged

    Hi, I used to be a regular poster but kind of dropped out.

    I live in Northern Virginia and carry most every place I go and open carry often. My wife, although quite a Pro-Second Amendment person, does not think Open Carry is a good idea because she thinks it will make one a "target" for someone bent on malfeasence. She thinks the gun, somehow, will cause a dirtbag to come after me first. I believe quite the opposite; that it will cause someone to avoid me because I am obviously armed.

    I Open Carry for several reasons: 1st - I like larger handguns and it is hard to conceal when the weather is warm; 2nd - I think that carrying open will make it LESS likely that I will get mugged; and 3rd - of course, it is kind of a "political statement" that I value the 2nd Amendment and will not give up that right. Both of us are proud Catholic Americans and both of us are unashamed to stand up for Religious Liberty and Catholic Doctrine; I am also unashamed to stand up for the 2nd Amendment.

    Once she gets something in her mind it is hard to convince her otherwise, but does anyone have any statistics that will support my side?

    Thanks...Don

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    Target? Not sure... but not a criminal!

    I haven't yet found statistics on the relationship between Open Carry and crime prevention or propulsion, but I have found definitive study on public and professional perception regarding those who carry a handgun openly. Most notably, the 2006 FBI study "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers" by Anthony Pinizzotto revealed that criminals carefully conceal their firearms, and they eschew the use of holsters. In other words, those who openly subject themselves to the public scrutiny and misconception are likely, and statistically proven to not be criminals or have criminal intentions in mind when carrying a weapon.
    Unfortunately, I now live in Tennessee where I have to apply for a permit to exercise my natural born right of self preservation, and I have yet to follow the herd into that realm. However, I used to live Kentucky where I could open carry as I please and I did apply for and receive a concealed carry permit. I often Open Carried and on one particular occasion I was exiting my vehicle to fill my tank at the pumps of a local gas station when I noticed a man putting on a second-chance vest in his car (light military armor that gives wearer a "second chance" if they happen to encounter shrapnel; not bulletproof). This struck me as odd and although I hadn't originally thought to go inside (paying at the pump) I started filling my tank and cautiously walked towards the store entrance. As I was walking up, my Ruger P90 .45 was on my right hip, clearly visible to the gentleman with the vest who was also walking to the front door from my right. I made eye contact with him, watched him glance down at my pistol and immediately saw his stride and facial expressions change. He continued in the store and went directly to the bathroom; I stayed out in the aisles waiting for him to exit the bathroom. After 2 minutes passed, I saw him Turkey peak out of the bathroom and this time my Military bearing was in full swing. I was fully confident about what I had to do next if the situation were to escalate, and I was prepared. He then walked out in full view, and immediately saw me next to the chip racks: deer in the headlights look! His color changed to a pale-white and I made an ever-so-slight head gesture to the left, signifying that he could leave unharmed, if he'd just leave. He didn't pick up anything for purchase. He didn't look around. He hurriedly walked out of the store, jumped in his car and left the store.

    Did I divert a potential threat? Did I stop a robbery? I don't know and there will never be a statistic on that because we never let it play out. But I am confident that the mere presence of not only my weapon, but also of my confidence to use it stopped that man from doing something stupid. I'll never know if he had a gun, but I know what a second chance vest is from my time as a Marine Corps Tank Crewman, and that was unmistakable. Since that day, I have carried my Pistol with me everywhere I go and I pray that I get a chance to use it in exactly that same manner; as a preventative device designed to thwart evil doings. Statistically, I would say that there are a larger number of incidents like mine unreported v. reported. So if your wife is looking for evidence, tell her to read my story.

    Thanks,

    David

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Wearing a nice watch makes you a target
    Driving a nice car makes you a target
    Living in a nice house makes you a target
    Wearing nice/sexy clothes makes you a target
    Walking in the wrong neighborhood makes you a target
    Burying your head in a smartphone makes you a target
    Carrying a defensive firearm openly makes you a target.
    ...
    Now, of all the above things that makes you a target, which one has the greatest chance of also preventing becoming one?

    It's hard to get "didn't happen" statistics. How do you determine how many burglaries were prevented by having "This property protected by Acme Alarm Co." signs, or how many bank robberies were prevented by stationing an armed guard prominently on the premises?
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 01-29-2013 at 06:29 PM.

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    Semper Fi

    David...I was a Combat Engineer!

    Semper Fi...Don...USMC (Retired)

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    Regular Member okiebryan's Avatar
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    Have her read this. It's the most effective and well laid out argument for OC that I've ever seen.

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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    It's been my experience that the sight of an openly-carried firearm acts very well as a cockroach repellent; the two-legged variety, anyway.

    Do keep in mind that a reasonable level of situational awareness is part and parcel of that deterrent factor. If you are walking along with your head up and on a swivel, your shoulders back (I know you Jarheads know what I'm talking about!!), and walking like you know where you're going and what is going on around you, the cockroaches are going to notice that and notice the weapon.

    On the other hand, if you are shuffling along with your head down or with a cell phone to your ear, you may very well be making yourself a target.

    Sorry, Marines, but this is one retired doggie who will tease you unmercifully. But, like I used to tell my Marine students, "I don't tease or make jokes about those I do not highly respect."
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    Explain to her that EVERYTHING in life comes with a risk. You can be super dramatic and say that simply getting out of bed could get you killed in a multitude of ways, or you could go simple and point out how driving vs riding a bike increases your chances of being in a vehicular crash. Then point to the fact that by concealing you look like any other potential victim and could be targeted because of that, vs how OCing shows that you have the ability to fight back and potentially kill them. From there explain how criminals are opportunistic and that 60% admitted to looking somewhere else if they knew their target was armed (for a cite it's from gunfacts.info and they have cites for everything they list). From there state how if 60% are willing to admit that, how many more aren't willing to admit that due to being cocky/arrogant/bravado towards the interviewer? Finally I would end with admitting yes you "could" be targeted because of the gun, but it simply doesn't happen (the news has field days when there's even an attempt at it) and that you feel the deterrence you gain from OCing outweighs the risk of being targeted for a crime as the other option still makes you a potential target for crime; moreso given that you look like any other unarmed person.

    At least this was how I explained it to my parents. While they are still nervous about it (they CC), they respect my choice and are glad that I actually did research on it and fully understand why I do it. It just isn't for them as they don't want the potential attention it can bring.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    The myth of the OCer being targeted because of their visible handgun - either as the first one to be shot in a robbery, or to have the handgun taken away from them - is just that. There have been no verifiable reports of such things happening. The closest we came was a) the couple in NoVa that were attacked while out walking and b) the guy in Richmond who wound up getting shot with his own gun. IIRC the NoVa incident was debunked because they were not targeted because of the gun, and the Richmond incident was debunked based on the fact that the victim drew and then lost control of (dropped) his gun and the BG picked it up and shot him with it.

    There is still a reward being offered for the first verifiable incident. Should your wife be able to claim it she would be able to do some serious shopping. Suggest she try for it.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    OC is a deterent to a mugger or someone else that would do you harm. I know it has worked that way for me for the last 42+ years anyway. When I leave the house I am packing, and unless it is so cold I must wear a heavy coat, my carry is visible.

    In 42 years I have had one case where this person was screaming at the top of his lungs how he was going to pound me to a pulp (I have no idea why, but that is what he was yelling)...until he saw that I was armed. I just turned a bit so he could see it, carry never left it's holster, but he shut up, turned around and left as quickly as he had appeared. There were other instances where I am sure my carry stopped a problem before it became a problem...but nothing so starkly obvious as the above instance.

    I have no desire to need to use my carry, I just want to be left alone...and at least for me...OC has worked.

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    Re: Open Carry Making One a "Target" for Getting Mugged

    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    There is still a reward being offered for the first verifiable incident. Should your wife be able to claim it she would be able to do some serious shopping. Suggest she try for it.
    www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/95999354.html

    Where do I collect my winnings?

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    This is an old one and has been brought up numerous times. Get ready for some bad news.

    Your feeling of joy at your "discovery" is about to be followed by the crushing feeling of having your hopes dashed on the rocks of reality, kinda like the guy who thought he struck gold finding out that it is iron pyrite.

    Note that I avoided using the word "fool" as in "fool's gold." Oops, I just used the word twice.

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    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/

    The OP can start here ... I have only searched for unintentional firearms injuries and fatalities .


    So it is going to depend on what the OP is trying to prove.


    From:
    A population based study of unintentional firearm
    fatalities by D Cherry, C Runyan, J Butts
    Injury Prevention 2001;7:62–65

    Table 1 Circumstances* of unintentional firearm
    fatalities: North Carolina, 1990–94 (n=187)
    Circumstance category (mutually exclusive) No (%)
    “Playing”, “fooling around” 65 (35.0)
    Cleaning, repairing, loading, unloading 23 (12.0)
    “Went off” 23 (12.0)
    Hunting (in the field) 18 (10.0)
    Returning to, removing from storage 13 (7.0)
    Dropped 9 (5.0)
    Demonstrating, transferring 9 (5.0)
    Other 7 (3.5)
    Defective gun, ammunition 5 (3.0)
    Target shooting, firing range 4 (2.0)
    Tripping, falling 3 (1.5)
    Carrying on person 3 (1.5)
    Child picking up gun (<4 years old) 2 (1.0)
    Stated unknown/unspecified 2 (1.0)
    Argument, fight 1 (0.5)
    Total 187 (100)
    *Abstracted from case files of all 187 fatalities that occurred

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    Regular Member NoTolerance's Avatar
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    Re: Open Carry Making One a "Target" for Getting Mugged

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    This is an old one and has been brought up numerous times. Get ready for some bad news.

    Your feeling of joy at your "discovery" is about to be followed by the crushing feeling of having your hopes dashed on the rocks of reality, kinda like the guy who thought he struck gold finding out that it is iron pyrite.

    Note that I avoided using the word "fool" as in "fool's gold." Oops, I just used the word twice.
    Well can I at least get a candy bar or something? Man, what a bust!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTolerance View Post
    Well can I at least get a candy bar or something? Man, what a bust!
    Talk to your fellow Wisconsonites. They know the details of this one far better than I. Maybe one will buy you a beer and tell you the tale.

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    Regular Member NoTolerance's Avatar
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    Re: Open Carry Making One a "Target" for Getting Mugged

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Talk to your fellow Wisconsonites. They know the details of this one far better than I. Maybe one will buy you a beer and tell you the tale.
    Not much to tell, is there? One guy in a bad neighborhood, who had been harassed repeatedly in the past, didn't have enough situational awareness and/or sense to realize that the act of carrying a gun doesn't automatically ward off all evil? One guy out of how many thousands? One time?

    Doesn't really merit discussion, unless one chooses to use this as an object lesson in keeping one's eyes open at all times.

    By the way, I thought it would have been more clear in my original response that I was replying more tongue in cheek to skid's challenge than actually trying to be serious or dissuade anyone from open carrying.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    With a visible firearm, I'm an overweight, middle-age white guy with the visible means to resist.
    Without a visible firearm, I'm an overweight, middle-age white guy with rugged good looks.

    I'd rather not depend on my good looks to avoid trouble.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 02-01-2013 at 09:54 AM.

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    OCer were not the targets and wasn't even the first ones shot.

    Don't confuse me with the facts, I have my emotions!

    I guess that's the difference between no crime and "stopping" a crime in progress. I prefer no crime.

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    As said before:

    It's hard to show what you have prevented if you don't know you have prevented it.

    OC isn't a magic forcefield that will protect one from all harm but it helps.

    I do know through my wife's experiences that OC is a very big deterrent. Now, in Arkansas where we live she can not OC but whenever she leaves the state she straps up and most of the time is OCing. Men reat her with great respect when they notice her visible firearm. She has had a drunk man harass her and the mere sight and mentioning of the firearm deterred him. My wife gets more stares and glares then I do and people give her a wider berth will OCing.

    If she doesn't feel comfortable at first have her OC at home.
    Don't confuse me with the facts, I have my emotions!

    I guess that's the difference between no crime and "stopping" a crime in progress. I prefer no crime.

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    Open Carry Making One a "Target" for Getting Mugged

    This story is one we should all be aware of and cite often. How many times has OC stopped a crime that we will never know about? It took a strange set of circumstances involving talkative perps and vigilant LEOs to even bring this incident to light!

    Thanks for bringing this back into the collective OCDO consciousness!


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    Last edited by eye95; 02-02-2013 at 11:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTolerance View Post
    Not much to tell, is there? One guy in a bad neighborhood, who had been harassed repeatedly in the past, didn't have enough situational awareness and/or sense to realize that the act of carrying a gun doesn't automatically ward off all evil? One guy out of how many thousands? One time?

    Doesn't really merit discussion, unless one chooses to use this as an object lesson in keeping one's eyes open at all times.

    By the way, I thought it would have been more clear in my original response that I was replying more tongue in cheek to skid's challenge than actually trying to be serious or dissuade anyone from open carrying.
    If this is the same case I think it is then the vun wasn't stolen. The guy filed a false police report and the police were pressing charges. Someone from this board (I think it was Dreamer) had actually contacted the PD and asked for follow-up info and that was how we found out the whole thing was false.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I have been OCing since 2007. In November of last year, I had someone stalk me who clearly was interested in stealing my gun based on his body language which was easily interpreted as pre attack indicators. In a very short nutshell, I quickly got off the sidewalk, turned around, got into a defensive posture, stared him down, and he then went the other way.

    If you OC long enough, even if only in good neighborhoods as was the case with the guy who stalked me, it can happen. It's astronomically unlikely going by what we've seen so far, but it is delusional to think it doesn't happen. I have spoken to two plain clothes security guards who have been attacked and had to struggle over their guns. Granted that was in bad areas, but again, it can and does happen.

    All that said, it is important to bear in mind that the majority of OCers to date have been white males who even if carrying concealed or unarmed wouldn't look like good targets to begin with. As the practice becomes ever more popular, and more and more people who look unimposing and have no formal training with guns do it, I would think it a near certainty that it will become more common. It is because of this that I cannot in good conscience try and pretend that OCing is safe and easy and universally effective at preempting trouble, even after the cops stop messing with people in this or that city/county/state. I think OCing should be regarded as an experts form of carry, or at least not something for the novice to do regularly. I would strongly suggest that anyone who OC's as they go about their lives understand combat tactics as well as conflict communication, because if the situation gets bad, it could keep you out of prison or a grave.

    Roger Phillips from Suarez International did what I consider to be a good write up on OCing safely. He has something of a grudge against the political aspect of OCing, I believe largely because of people on this site slamming him, but if you set that aside, I think he has some good advice. Here is the write up- http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...ry-part-i.html
    Last edited by Michigander; 02-02-2013 at 04:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    SNIP

    ...Roger Phillips from Suarez International did what I consider to be a good write up on OCing safely. He has something of a grudge against the political aspect of OCing, I believe largely because of people on this site slamming him, but if you set that aside, I think he has some good advice. Here is the write up- http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...ry-part-i.html
    This guy hates OCing. I remember when this was first put up and I had actually commented on their boards (the proper boards for Suarez and Roger Phillips is warrior talk and not defensive carry). What did trying to have a conversation and stating why I disagreed with certain things get me? Repeated yells that I was a "political activist only" (he has a scale of like 1-5 with a 2 being the political activist and a 5 being a highly trained "expert") and was wrong. What did using facts and numbers and showing how I ranked higher on his scale than "political activist only" get me? They ignored the facts, ignored the numbers, ignored the training and experience that I have, and claimed I was a "political activist only." I then asked for their cites to back up their claims and what did that get me? Banned from their forums for "troll/political activist only."

    So no, he doesn't have a grudge against the "political aspect" of OCing, he has a grudge against OCing. And should you disagree with anything him or his company says then they're going to sneer at you while looking down their noses. And if you continue to disprove that which they claim they will ignore any valid arguement you mention while repeating their mantra. And should you continue then they will do what they can to make you simply go away so that you can't taint their way of thinking and thus can maintain the control they have over those that follow them for not knowing otherwise.

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    Regular Member mtbinva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    This is an old one and has been brought up numerous times. Get ready for some bad news.

    Your feeling of joy at your "discovery" is about to be followed by the crushing feeling of having your hopes dashed on the rocks of reality, kinda like the guy who thought he struck gold finding out that it is iron pyrite.

    Note that I avoided using the word "fool" as in "fool's gold." Oops, I just used the word twice.
    And now THAT is my signiture line!!! Thanks eye95!!!
    Chance favors only the prepared mind.

    Louis Pasteur


  24. #24
    Regular Member mtbinva's Avatar
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    These stories, when and if available are awesome. The public, on the fence folks need to be educated, correctly about the proper use and their particular jurisdictional laws in re arms.
    Chance favors only the prepared mind.

    Louis Pasteur


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    I should slightly rephrase my last post. It isn't that he "hates" OC. He just thinks one shouldn't do it the majority of the time and that CC is far superior than OC the majority of the time. And I knew I shouldn't have clicked on the link, but I did it anyways. I like how he brings up a situation where people were befriended at a shooting range as an example for why you shouldn't OC, he doesn't provide other incidents, but when you point to the Kennesaw incident he dismisses it as a rarity and that a single instance doesn't really prove much. Gah that thread got me riled up as it got me remembering why I got banned from his forums. At least the defensive carry site had more people questioning what he was saying and not just drinking the koolaid.

    Note that I'm not saying that he doesn't bring up some good points or his training is bad or anything. Only that I have a serious problem with his "holier than thou" attitude.

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