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Thread: Open Carry as a deterrent to crime

  1. #1
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    I read this article from NBC29's website:

    http://www.nbc29.com/global/story.asp?s=6629510

    A string of gang beatings near the downtown mall have left people battered, bruised and scared. Thursday night, we have new information on the threat zones, what police are doing to stop the attacks and what you can do to protect yourself.

    We begin with the big picture. Police say there have been five violent acts of crimes in the downtown area since February. As we head into another weekend, some wonder: are the streets safe?

    When the sun goes down, violent crimes in downtown Charlottesville have gone up. "That's kind of scary to know that that's happening," said resident Sonia Kesser about the recent attacks.

    David Phemister of Belmont also shared his reaction: "When I heard about this I was actually really surprised and saddened."

    The recent crime wave started when a man was brutally beaten with a club on Garrett Street two weeks ago. A couple was beaten with a rock in the same place last weekend. Their beating was the same weekend there was a shooting on South street.

    "If it is gang-related, the fact that it is premeditated and the fact that it's a true initiation shows a type of organized type gang activity," explained gang expert Tim Sinatra.

    A possibility police aren't waiting to confirm. More officers are patroling the streets but say they can't be everywhere. "Unfortunately, we cannot prevent things like this," said Lieutenant Gary Pleasants with the Charlottesville Police Department.

    But police say you may be able to prevent attacks by thinking about where you park.

    "We have such good police coverage on the mall itself that that affords safety for people parking in the garages and the lot," stated Pleasants.

    It might be easy to find a spot on Garrett Street, but one look at the signs and it clearly states you shouldn't park there at night. It's a sign that you could be asking for trouble if you do.

    Phemister said, "I might think about it a little bit more now."

    As for Kesser, she says, "It'll make me be more vigilant. It'll make me be careful to see who's around and what time it is and maybe not be out as much at dark."

    Police say they are doing a lot to keep you safe this weekend, but they couldn't tell because they want to catch whoever is behind these brutal attacks.





    What makes the story significant to me is that last night, I was walking the downtown mall with my wife and I was open-carrying at the time. I found some humor in the fact that it was billed as "Three days of peace, love, and photography" and that I was armed. I also reflected that part of the peace that I felt is was due to the fact that I was legally armed. What really raised my concern level this morning is that when I parked, I was only one block over from the street where the violence occurred and I was not aware of the history of the area. While I didn't see anything that made me nervous, I am still grateful that I was carrying. In a discussion with my co-workers, it occurred to me that the simple act of openly carrying a pistol would make a would-be criminal think twice before accosting me. It won't prevent me from becoming a crime victim, so I still need to be vigilant and avoid known trouble spots, but just having it is a strong message that I will not be an easy target.



    Andrew



  2. #2
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    Man, I had no idea that stuff like this was becoming more rampant in Charlottesville. I don't have much reason to go into town much except for work, and am rarely down here in the evenings anymore... at least in the downtown mall area. Still scary thought though.

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    This is nothing new. The Downtown Mall has always been a little sketchy at night. That is why they installed the cutout silohettes on the malldecades ago. They were an effort to combat some types of crime making the criminals believe that someelse was there besides their victim and their self. Some of the largest public/lowincome housing units in c-ville are right across the railroad tracks behind the big parking garage.

  4. #4
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    While I whole heartedly believe that OC'ing is a major deterrent there is also attitude and situational awareness. I am always scanning the area im in checking out everyone as a possible threat. Add that with a confident take no crap attitude and the bad guys will go after someone else. But then again there is always that 1 BG who just doesnt care and might attack anyway..just my 2c

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    Usually they are only that stupid ONCE

    Just my .45
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    Usually they are only that stupid ONCE

    Just my .45
    Yeah, man! :celebrate

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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    Usually they are only that stupid ONCE

    Just my .45
    Roger, that.

    Just my 600 ftlbs and 357/1000ths".
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    The one thing that is your best friend when out and about, regardless of where that might be, is to always be aware of your surroundings. An attack by a BG or multiple BG's can and generally does take place very quickly. Try to see the signs of this kind of thing coming whenever possible and avoid it if at all possible or it not, be prepared for it as best you can.

    It is surprising how quickly you can be assailed. If you are OC'ing and a BG/BG's start to move towards you, chances are if and when they see your weapon, they will cease their attack. If, on the other hand, you are in some gas station mini mart late at night when some BG's burst in and commence a robbery, you might become a primary target if they see your weapon simply because their actions have already begun. They might try to take you out first. If, however they enter and see you and your weapon immediately, more often then not, they will leave and try to hit another place.

    Point is, you just don't know how these vermin will act or respond, so in order to survive a bad situation, you should always assume the worse case scenario and work backwards from there. Never assume the least case and escalate as the scenario escalates because you will be in a following position. Here is a good example of assume the worse case scenario at the outset.

    It is late in the fall and you are exiting a shopping center movie theater and heading towards your car late at night. As you approach the area where your car is parked, you see a couple of questionable individuals in that vacinity. You should have already moved your carry arm to a jacket pocket with your hand on it. As you get close to your car, these individuals turn their attention to you ina menacing fashion and the "front" man pulls a gun while at the same time demanding your keys and wallet. At this point, you should have already decided how and what you would do were this to happen because now there is no time for it. This is what I mean about assuming the worse case scenario and working backwards. At the moment you see his weapon you are completely justified in responding with extreme prejudice because all of the requirements for such action would have been met. The only other option available at this point is your compliance and hope nothing else bad comes from it.

    In actuality, your best action would have been to return to the shopping center (assuming it was still open) or to another area until the threat was gone (this is what I would do in the above scenario). Still you should assume the worse case whenever you sense or see something pending and act upon it accordingly.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  9. #9
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    I should add that gang beatings can subject a victim to serious injury in a VERY short period of time and are extemely difficult to defend against without a weapon. Only in the movies do you see otherwise.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  10. #10
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    and people still ask me whyI carry a firearm in Charlottesville :shock:

    Iwas in a buddies car at night in the downtown area when we were approached by a group of young men, they broke the mirror off the car and we decided a two on six fight wasn't a great idea.This was before I carried, and one of the reasons that I started to.

    NinjaRider - I've never seen anyone, other than myself, OC on the mall, I'll be on the look out next time

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    Not trying to disagree that open carry is not a visual deterrent to crime, but...

    I could see where obviously police presence is a deterrent to crime, as they carry weapons. I can also see where a civilian may be openly carrying and if someone notices that was planning on committing a crime, they may not.

    But as far as I can tell, not a whole lot of people notice my firearm. Police - their weapons draw more attention because they are very identifiable while in uniform. Many people are so unused to seeing someone with a weapon, that they do not look for it.

    Hence the benefit of open carry as a deterrent, such as where I live, probably has less of a benefit than expected, for someone who is planning a crime against yourself, it may be very helpful.

    But I just do not see it as big of an advantage as I once thought.

    Anyone else?

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    openryan wrote:
    I could see where obviously police presence is a deterrent to crime, as they carry weapons. I can also see where a civilian may be openly carrying and if someone notices that was planning on committing a crime, they may not.
    Exactly. Small-time criminals usually don't want to risk a murder charge, so if they see somebody else with a gun, they'll probably just pass the opportunity up.

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    I tend to OC more at night than during the day, especially when out walking around mall parking lots. In the dark, it's not likely to be noticed, but if I need it I get get to it quicker, and I'm more likely to need it at night in the first place.

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    72Malibu wrote:
    Man, I had no idea that stuff like this was becoming more rampant in Charlottesville. I don't have much reason to go into town much except for work, and am rarely down here in the evenings anymore... at least in the downtown mall area. Still scary thought though.
    I find it a big disappointment. I knew crime was on the rise or relatively high there. But, this gang beating sh$t just is not right. I go through my day with the intent to avoid all street violence and hope I never see it in my lifetime. I do stand ready but, prefer the alternative. That said, these street beatings in my mind are so wrong. to me it is worse than getting robbed by one person at gun point. Ideally I believe in an eye for and eye. Those involved should get some of the same right back, ten fold.

    The police are out numbered. Maybe C'ville needs to start a Guardian Angel program like NY did years back. I believe they arestill around. The difference here would be, Armed Guardian Angels. Guns, Pepper Spray, and Cuff's should do it. You would probably have to conceal, just to keep the element of surprise in your side. Angels travel together. That right there would bea big deterrent.

    Something to think about.

    DC

    DC

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    DeadCenter wrote:
    The police are out numbered. Maybe C'ville needs to start a Guardian Angel program like NY did years back. I believe they arestill around. The difference here would be, Armed Guardian Angels. Guns, Pepper Spray, and Cuff's should do it. You would probably have to conceal, just to keep the element of surprise in your side. Angels travel together. That right there would bea big deterrent.

    Something to think about.

    DC

    DC
    The area where these attacks have been taking place is home to one of Charlottesville's worst "projects," Friendship Circle. It used to be called Garrett Square... but the reputation it recieved was well known. I guess they thought changing the name to friendship would make it a happier place? It's also one of the few places in town they pizza is not delivered to after dark. It's stuck kinda between downtown, a neighborhood called Belmont and 5th street, there's never any cars there at night, and being a single person walking to your car would be a very very obvious target.

    The whole gang situation started to grow in Charlottesville like a year or two ago... its really taken off in the last few months. I'm sorry to see my city, which I always felt to be pretty safe, going in this direction. I'll still be out at night, but I'll definitely be packing.

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    mercutio545 wrote:
    openryan wrote:
    I could see where obviously police presence is a deterrent to crime, as they carry weapons. I can also see where a civilian may be openly carrying and if someone notices that was planning on committing a crime, they may not.
    Exactly. Small-time criminals usually don't want to risk a murder charge, so if they see somebody else with a gun, they'll probably just pass the opportunity up.
    Small-time criminals may be chicken, but career criminals haven't gotten this far being stupid(other than being a criminal).

    If you're going to rob someone at the ATM.. Do you attack the guy with the gun, or wait for the guy playing with his cellphone & body-jewelry?

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    leprechaun117 wrote:
    ...SNIP
    home to one of Charlottesville's worst "projects," Friendship Circle.* It used to be called Garrett Square...
    SNIP...
    Did they change the shape too?
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    leprechaun117 wrote:
    The area where these attacks have been taking place is home to one of Charlottesville's worst "projects,"
    [/quote]

    Wait, Charlottesville... Isn't that where VCU is? :what:

    Yeah, I a friend of mine asked me to go with her (for whatever reason) on the campus tour.

    Saw a mugging, two stripped down bicycles chained to street signs, two drug deals, a Buick break down in the middle of the road, and when I asked two of the tour givers why they were carrying bike seats... "Because I don't want it to be stolen."

    This was the OFFICIAL campus tour mind you.

    Edit: I can't spell Charlottesville...
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    NinjaRider wrote:
    I read this article from NBC29's website:

    http://www.nbc29.com/global/story.asp?s=6629510

    (snipped)
    A possibility police aren't waiting to confirm. More officers are patroling the streets but say they can't be everywhere. "Unfortunately, we cannot prevent things like this," said Lieutenant Gary Pleasants with the Charlottesville Police Department.

    But police say you may be able to prevent attacks by thinking about where you park.

    "We have such good police coverage on the mall itself that that affords safety for people parking in the garages and the lot," stated Pleasants.

    It might be easy to find a spot on Garrett Street, but one look at the signs and it clearly states you shouldn't park there at night. It's a sign that you could be asking for trouble if you do.

    Phemister said, "I might think about it a little bit more now."

    As for Kesser, she says, "It'll make me be more vigilant. It'll make me be careful to see who's around and what time it is and maybe not be out as much at dark."

    Police say they are doing a lot to keep you safe this weekend, but they couldn't tell because they want to catch whoever is behind these brutal attacks.





    Maybe.. just maybe... the police should flood the area the crimes are happening in! And thus be there to deter or intervene in crimes.And maybe take a few folks off mall duty temporarily, to post them elsewhere. It sounds like they might be doing this, but it's not real clear.

  20. #20
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    Sounds like video cameras around town would not be a bad investment.

    In some bad areas around here they have mounted police cameras with some type of flashing light so people notice them, they have only been in place for a few years, but the crime rate has gone down noticably in the immediate areas surrounding the cameras.

    By no means should this be the only step, but I do think it may help people to decide not to commit a crime if they know they are being videotaped.

  21. #21
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    Sorry, but put my vote for no "police video cameras" on our streets and in our neighborhoods.

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    les_aker wrote:
    Sorry, but put my vote for no "police video cameras" on our streets and in our neighborhoods.
    Yeah... I'll go along with increased surveillance in public placesabout the time I let them implant a GPS locater under my skin...



    Either way, this guy will be dancin' :celebrate

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    AbNo wrote:
    Wait, Charlottesville... Isn't that where VCU is? :what:

    Yeah, I a friend of mine asked me to go with her (for whatever reason) on the campus tour.

    Saw a mugging, two stripped down bicycles chained to street signs, two drug deals, a Buick break down in the middle of the road, and when I asked two of the tour givers why they were carrying bike seats... "Because I don't want it to be stolen."

    This was the OFFICIAL campus tour mind you.

    Edit: I can't spell Charlottesville...
    [/quote]

    VCU is in Richmond, I believe the schoolyou'retalking about isUVA.

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    openryan wrote:
    Sounds like video cameras around town would not be a bad investment.

    In some bad areas around here they have mounted police cameras with some type of flashing light so people notice them, they have only been in place for a few years, but the crime rate has gone down noticably in the immediate areas surrounding the cameras.

    By no means should this be the only step, but I do think it may help people to decide not to commit a crime if they know they are being videotaped.
    Lovely.

    Britain's had this for a while, too.

    Along with a total gun ban.

    I vote not gonna feckin' happen...
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  25. #25
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    leprechaun117 wrote:
    ...SNIP
    home to one of Charlottesville's worst "projects," Friendship Circle. It used to be called Garrett Square...
    SNIP...
    Did they change the shape too?
    sadly no.... It'sa large complex (I believe a whole block?) comprised of many apartment buildings all connected by tall steel fences. Only one or two ways in and out, and no way to run if someone is looking for you. There's nothing else on that road, it just connects two semi major downtown streets (Market and Avon.) I'll drive through later this evening and check it out, it's been years since I actually went inside.



    And OCed is correct, Charlottesville is home to UVA. We only have rapings and kids brandishing BB guns to worry about on campus :? UVA is like 8 or 10 blocks from Garrett, through Cherry Avenue, another area of town where the stores all have barred windows and there's cops parked on the corners waiting for something to happen.

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