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Thread: Spotting concealed carry.

  1. #1
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    I often read on here how open carry provides a deterrent to criminals but concealed carry does not because they don`t see your firearm.........so........does anyone really think that seeing a firearm is the only thing to look for when sizing someone up?

    Do you know how to pick out a predator?

    Do you know the things to look for ?

    What do people such as the secret service look for when scanning the crowds around the package ?







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    Well, you've got multiple parts for your question.

    I'll touch on the first, criminals looking to take advantage of someone:

    Most crime is a crime of opportunity. The perpetrator seizes on moments where bystanders are most vulnerable. If you park your car and leave the keys in it AND leave it running, then you will may lose the car to someone that would have otherwise not have taken your car if you turned it off, taken the keys, and locked the door. Even in cases of random actsof violence, when someone is looking for a victim to kill, injure,maim, or rape; the victims are often in some combination of the wrong/right-place/time and are typically the best targets.... i.e. people perceived to be scared easily, weak, meek, disabled, elderly, very young (children), and unarmed...

    When it comes to me and potential predators, I consider all people I am not familiar with to be a predator or at least a potential source of pain and suffering. If I am in a group situation where there is some kind of common purpose, goal, or reason for being in that group, then I assess the threat level from inside-out and make a determination there.

    A poorly concealed gun of anytype may possibly be spotted such as casusual concealment or a obvious bulging, a lot of readjusting of the place where the firearm is other tail-tail indicators such as coast or long shirts in warm weather, cautious movements when people get too close toeither side of the person (such as if the gun is concealed on the right, the person will shift left as in a preemptive move for possible action but if someone came close to their left there is not shift to the right).

    I can't quote what the Secret Service's training is. I am sure some of what they look for are the same or similar to are LE agencies. Looking for unsavvory characters, strangely dressed people. People acting like they have something to hide; the perverbial suspicious look. People casing the Secret Service agents and other members of the protective detail. Looking for groups of people that seemed associated but move separate into obvious positions that make them look unassociated (tactical positions?), natural weak areas that someone may use to a tactical advantage, etc. And obviously, anyone visibly seen with a gun is at least a potential threat to them (don't confuse potential threat with perceived threat).

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    tekshogun wrote:
    strangely dressed people.*
    so if i was still wearing my blue doc martin boots with my red plaid bondage pants and chains hanging down my side, and not to mention piercings and tattoos, that would make me "one of those" to look out for??? i'll keep that in mind and try to put on a big smile so people know i'm harmless. LOL

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    Regular Member Bikenut's Avatar
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    Something to think about... or an amusing game of "can I spot the concealed carrier"?

    Just like a poker player, people who carry a concealed firearm also exhibit "tells." Many are behaviors done without realizing they are happening. However, it must be noted that a "tell" is not proof positive but only an indicator that a gun is probably present. Although several "tells" occurring at the same time or within a short period of time are a very strong indication a gun is being carried. The FBI even has a formal training course for law enforcement concerning this very thing. A short overview of the FBI course can be accessed at the following website:

    http://www.fbi.gov/publications/leb/...6leb.htm#page1

    Common sense dictates that if law enforcement entities are aware of these "tells" and use them in identifying people who are likely to be carrying a gun, then criminals are also aware of them, and use them when choosing, or avoiding, likely victims.
    Below is a list of some "tells." It is not all inclusive, simply because I don't know all of them.

    -Pulling down a shirt or jacket.

    -Odd or inappropriate clothing for conditions. Vests/jackets in hot weather for example.

    -Fanny packs when pants have plenty of pockets.

    -Fanny packs that obviously have something heavy in them.

    -One arm kept close to where a holster probably would be. This arm doesn't swing freely with walking motions. Shoulder holsters generally have this "tell" more often than waist holsters because shoulder holsters tend to flop around a bit.

    -Hitching up trousers often. There is a reason those pants keep falling down. Could be suspenders are needed or it could be something heavy on the belt or in the pocket keeps dragging them down.

    -Exceptionally long pant legs with one leg where the material doesn't "flow" as well as the other when walking. Indication of a possible ankle holster restricting the pant leg's motion.

    -Elbow checking gun.

    -Belt at an angle. Possible weight pulling it down.

    -Sagging pants or jacket pockets.

    -Reluctance to remove a jacket when inside a building.

    -One arm furtively holding a shirt from riding up when reaching for something.

    -Shoulder going up before exiting a car as the gun is either reholstered, checked for positioning, or clothing adjusted.

    -Keeping one side of the body at a slight angle away from the person in front of them.

    -Sudden "ramping up" of awareness level when a stranger gets too close to the gun side.

    -Changing positions to keep one side away when approached by a stranger.
    -Swinging wider than necessary to get through a door.

    -Taking an advantageous position in a room when there are plenty of other places available.

    -Constantly scanning the area showing a high level of awareness and alertness but without any signs of fear.

    -Keeping attention on a shady character but without any signs of fear or apprehension.

    -A hand goes into a pocket, and stays there, when a shady character is spotted.

    -Even how a person walks can be an indicator. Heavy weights on one side cause a slight lean that goes unnoticed by the person carrying.

    -Hugging with arms under the other person's arms forcing their arms away from bumping a gun.

    -A dull "thud" if something is bumped into.

    -General demeanor............... Ever notice the mannerisms and vibes projected by an off duty cop? Concealed carriers have a somewhat similar but lesser degree of confidence and situational awareness that shows.

    Let me emphasize that these "tells" are not proof positive that someone is carrying a gun. But they are hints that many of us project to anyone interested enough to look for them. And because we project these "tells" without realizing it our "secret" isn't such a secret after all. What is sobering is the understanding that the most dangerous determined criminal, the very person we carry to protect ourselves from, has a very good chance of figuring out that we are carrying a gun. That means we lost any tactical advantage of surprise a hidden gun provides and also opens the possibility of a criminal "snatching" a concealed gun. After all, if we can get to our gun under a shirt or jacket so can a criminal who knows it is there.
    -----------

    Now it would be nice if criminals took the time to play that game of "spot the concealed carrier" but most don't. Serious criminals do play that game though. But all criminals, both serious and casual, do notice openly carried guns.

    Oh... and I wrote that a long, long, time ago.
    Gun control isn't about the gun at all.... for those who want gun control it is all about their own fragile egos, their own lack of self esteem, their own inner fears, and most importantly... their own desire to dominate others. And an openly carried gun is a slap in the face to all of those things.

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    scorpio_vette wrote:
    tekshogun wrote:
    strangely dressed people.
    so if i was still wearing my blue doc martin boots with my red plaid bondage pants and chains hanging down my side, and not to mention piercings and tattoos, that would make me "one of those" to look out for??? i'll keep that in mind and try to put on a big smile so people know i'm harmless. LOL
    HA! That's a good one.

    If I saw you wearing that, I'd hand you a flyer to a party rather than detain you.

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    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    I am not sure why you are asking this question. Are you asking because you are looking to identify a BGWAG? This is what was included in my Executive Protection training and assumes you are trying to identify a BG.

    Telegraphing - unconscious behaviors that make you notice.

    Look for a blade movement - turning the gun side slightly away from LEO/authority figure

    Twitchy behavior - constantly eyeballing LEO/authority as in checking to see if they have moved/are watching BG, may or may not have head-turning involved. Will also seem as if they are "looking over their shoulder" or ready to ... will make you want to look behind them to see what is the problem.

    Hand cock - gun hand will be slightly bent at elbow, hand will be in a slightly curled shape or with fingers spread, but it will look unnatural for situation.

    Turtle neck - head pulled into shoulders, shoulders raised ... again, that "looking over the shoulders"

    Printing - waistband, pockets ... most BG's do not use holsters, so they may also be constantly adjusting their clothing/gun.

    Inappropriate clothing: i.e.: winter coat in warm weather, heavy shirt in warm weather, sunglasses indoors, etc.

    If your "radar" goes off, you are probably unconsciously picking up on something telegraphed by the BG. Say, you are in a quickstop and something sets of your alarm bells, get out and be ready to call 911.

    As for whether you can use these to identify licensed concealed carry persons, probably not, and why should you?
    cheers - okboomer
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    okboomer wrote:
    Printing - waistband, pockets ... most BG's do not use holsters, so they may also be constantly adjusting their clothing/gun.
    ok so i was going to make a joke about how that's not a good "sign", as most black people are constantly adjusting their clothing, otherwise their pants would be hanging around their ankles. and no i'm not racist, it's just another one of many stereotypes. around here you see it all the time. guys will be running for the bus and either have to "pick up" their pants every few feet, or you see them "gathering" their clothes around their waste like a dress because everything is so big that it's falling.

    but that did make me wonder...........how do these little wanna be thugs with clothes so big that they can't even keep them up hide guns??? wouldn't the gun just fall right down into their leg and onto the street as soon as they let go??? i mean if their own clothes can't stay up, then there surely can't be enough pressure to hold a heavy piece of metal in place. LOL

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Actually one baggy-pants killer in NYC had his pantss fall down, tripped on them, and fell multiple storiess to his death with his pants around his ankles. Such an undignified end.

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    OK, now what? This thread/contents only proves--as mentioned previously--a person may or may not have a gun. Can you accurately judge the book by its cover? No, you can not. Do you judge by hair length, color of skin, piercings, tattoos, torn/loose/dirty clothing, etc?

    Your standing in line at your favorite Wally World tocheckout and the long-haired Hispanic, with dirty jeans and a tattoo of Nancy Pelosion his forearm is buying ammo--now what?

    Most, if not all, of the "signs" to look for are probably executed by many here on OCDO who CC at times. There's nothing wrong with exercising/increasing your situational awareness, but all of the telltale signs only determine that a personmay be carrying a firearm.

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    Regular Member Bikenut's Avatar
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    SpringerXDacp wrote:
    OK, now what? This thread/contents only proves--as mentioned previously--a person may or may not have a gun. Can you accurately judge the book by its cover? No, you can not. Do you judge by hair length, color of skin, piercings, tattoos, torn/loose/dirty clothing, etc?

    Your standing in line at your favorite Wally World tocheckout and the long-haired Hispanic, with dirty jeans and a tattoo of Nancy Pelosion his forearm is buying ammo--now what?

    Most, if not all, of the "signs" to look for are probably executed by many here on OCDO who CC at times. There's nothing wrong with exercising/increasing your situational awareness, but all of the telltale signs only determine that a personmay be carrying a firearm.
    You asked "now what?".... well... if someone has set off your radar as being a somewhat questionable person perhaps a possible threat knowing the concealed carry indicators might tip you off that not only could the person be up to no good they might also be up to no good with a gun.

    Forewarned kind of thing.

    Or it could just be an amusing game of "could that dude be carrying?" played sitting in the parking lot while waiting for your lady to come out of the store.


    Gun control isn't about the gun at all.... for those who want gun control it is all about their own fragile egos, their own lack of self esteem, their own inner fears, and most importantly... their own desire to dominate others. And an openly carried gun is a slap in the face to all of those things.

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    Bikenut wrote:
    You asked "now what?".... well... if someone has set off your radar as being a somewhat questionable person perhaps a possible threat knowing the concealed carry indicators might tip you off that not only could the person be up to no good they might also be up to no good with a gun.

    Forewarned kind of thing.

    Or it could just be an amusing game of "could that dude be carrying?" played sitting in the parking lot while waiting for your lady to come out of the store.

    I read my comment again and it does kinda lean towards the argumentative/defensive side a bit--that was not my intentions.

    I do, on occasion, look for folks carrying, but more so on the OC side of things--unicorns you know.

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Why in heck is this thread so wide I need to seesaw back and forth with the drawbar to read it??

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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Why in heck is this thread so wide I need to seesaw back and forth with the drawbar to read it??
    Annoying ain't it.

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    scorpio_vette wrote:
    ok so i was going to make a joke about how that's not a good "sign", as most black people are constantly adjusting their clothing, otherwise their pants would be hanging around their ankles.
    ROFLOL

    We laugh our butts off when we see some little wanna be gang banger hand cuffed and being hauled off on the nightly news/cops/Women of Broward County/SegalLawman/etc. with their 'drawers around their knees' and think the cops have just gotta love this fashion statement when the BG's can't get away :celebrate
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    Your standing in line at your favorite Wally World tocheckout and the long-haired Hispanic, with dirty jeans and a tattoo of Nancy Pelosion his forearm is buying ammo--now what?
    What caliber, and is he OCing? LOL

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    okboomer wrote:
    I am not sure why you are asking this question. Are you asking because you are looking to identify a BGWAG? This is what was included in my Executive Protection training and assumes you are trying to identify a BG.

    Telegraphing - unconscious behaviors that make you notice.

    Look for a blade movement - turning the gun side slightly away from LEO/authority figure

    Twitchy behavior - constantly eyeballing LEO/authority as in checking to see if they have moved/are watching BG, may or may not have head-turning involved. Will also seem as if they are "looking over their shoulder" or ready to ... will make you want to look behind them to see what is the problem.

    Hand cock - gun hand will be slightly bent at elbow, hand will be in a slightly curled shape or with fingers spread, but it will look unnatural for situation.

    Turtle neck - head pulled into shoulders, shoulders raised ... again, that "looking over the shoulders"

    Printing - waistband, pockets ... most BG's do not use holsters, so they may also be constantly adjusting their clothing/gun.

    Inappropriate clothing: i.e.: winter coat in warm weather, heavy shirt in warm weather, sunglasses indoors, etc.

    If your "radar" goes off, you are probably unconsciously picking up on something telegraphed by the BG. Say, you are in a quickstop and something sets of your alarm bells, get out and be ready to call 911.

    As for whether you can use these to identify licensed concealed carry persons, probably not, and why should you?
    Can't you reverse this too? I've ID'd a few CCers before, but their behavioral clues served to allay any concerns about them.
    illegal ≠ immoral legal ≠ moral
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    SpringerXDacp wrote:
    OK, now what? This thread/contents only proves--as mentioned previously--a person may or may not have a gun. Can you accurately judge the book by its cover? No, you can not. Do you judge by hair length, color of skin, piercings, tattoos, torn/loose/dirty clothing, etc?

    Your standing in line at your favorite Wally World tocheckout and the long-haired Hispanic, with dirty jeans and a tattoo of Nancy Pelosion his forearm is buying ammo--now what?

    Most, if not all, of the "signs" to look for are probably executed by many here on OCDO who CC at times. There's nothing wrong with exercising/increasing your situational awareness, but all of the telltale signs only determine that a personmay be carrying a firearm.
    I feel IDing a CCer in of itself means little. It is body language that keys you into a criminal or non-criminal mindset of the carrier.
    illegal ≠ immoral legal ≠ moral
    [SIZE=1]"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. "Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent." - Thomas Jefferson
    G19 Gen 4; Bersa Thunder 380; Sig Sauer P238; Kel-Tec su-16c

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    I don't look for weapons, I look for bad guys. There ar plenty of robbers who are nothing but strong-arm goons and lots of them carry easily-concealable knives; and arguably it would be better to be shot than knifed. Gunshot wounds cause ragged edges on severed blood vessels which promote and aid in natural stanching of hemmorhage, while a knife leaves a clean cut that just bleeds like all hell. A 3-inch blade can sever the aorta neatly, and it is then just sseconds to curtain time.

    Therefore I have adopted a "system" of gauging the intent of those I meet and especially on the job. Spottting bad intent is light years more important than spotting armed status.

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    Ah, no wonder the NYPD has such an impossible time enfarcing their firearm carry prohibition.

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    Yeah, I wonder how often old Lubavichers, like the guy in the last cartoon, are rousted for guns.

    But, back on topic, in CCW only SC, fannypacks on guys are a dead give away. I don't remember the frequencies cited but vastly most guys, especially blacks, wearing a belly-bulger are carrying.

    I CCW'd Mexican Chihuahua style and against my hide and did not have to re-position or feel my gun...because it was jammed against my hide. Mexican is fine.

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    Regular Member simmonsjoe's Avatar
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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    I don't look for weapons, I look for bad guys. There ar plenty of robbers who are nothing but strong-arm goons and lots of them carry easily-concealable knives; and arguably it would be better to be shot than knifed. Gunshot wounds cause ragged edges on severed blood vessels which promote and aid in natural stanching of hemmorhage, while a knife leaves a clean cut that just bleeds like all hell. A 3-inch blade can sever the aorta neatly, and it is then just sseconds to curtain time.

    Therefore I have adopted a "system" of gauging the intent of those I meet and especially on the job. Spottting bad intent is light years more important than spotting armed status.
    10-4!!!
    illegal ≠ immoral legal ≠ moral
    [SIZE=1]"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. "Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent." - Thomas Jefferson
    G19 Gen 4; Bersa Thunder 380; Sig Sauer P238; Kel-Tec su-16c

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    simmonsjoe wrote:
    Can't you reverse this too? I've ID'd a few CCers before, but their behavioral clues served to allay any concerns about them.
    Absolutely! That is why I was wondering why he asked the question in the first place.

    I don't really see the needfor anyone to try to identify good guys who carry. The bad guys who carry are already twanging your radar because you are picking up on their bad intentions which they are telegraphing. Undue sweating and (if close enough)wide-eyed frantic look from them amping up to commit the crime. Then there are those who are dead-eyed and show no undue emotional investment in the crime they are about to commit.

    This is where OC can be a two-edgedsword ... OC can deter a crime against you personally, but it can also make you the first target in a crime against someone else. This is where multiple OCerscould be a deterrant ... BG might get one of the OCers, but the other OC/CCW could get him between shooting the first OCer and the true target (clerk at quick stop, ex-GF out with different guy, etc.)

    Six of one, half a dozen of another. I CC in my state, but OC inside my business. Rural Oklahoma, it is not an issue with anyone ... gun culture out here ;-)

    Would like to see more businesses in OKC that support OC inside their offices and such. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I go in H&H and will OC in there, too ;-)

    edited to add joe's quote for clarification ...

    cheers - okboomer
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    okboomer wrote:
    simmonsjoe wrote:
    Can't you reverse this too? I've ID'd a few CCers before, but their behavioral clues served to allay any concerns about them.
    Absolutely! That is why I was wondering why he asked the question in the first place.

    I don't really see the needfor anyone to try to identify good guys who carry. The bad guys who carry are already twanging your radar because you are picking up on their bad intentions which they are telegraphing. Undue sweating and (if close enough)wide-eyed frantic look from them amping up to commit the crime. Then there are those who are dead-eyed and show no undue emotional investment in the crime they are about to commit.

    This is where OC can be a two-edgedsword ... OC can deter a crime against you personally, but it can also make you the first target in a crime against someone else. This is where multiple OCerscould be a deterrant ... BG might get one of the OCers, but the other OC/CCW could get him between shooting the first OCer and the true target (clerk at quick stop, ex-GF out with different guy, etc.)

    Six of one, half a dozen of another. I CC in my state, but OC inside my business. Rural Oklahoma, it is not an issue with anyone ... gun culture out here ;-)

    Would like to see more businesses in OKC that support OC inside their offices and such. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I go in H&H and will OC in there, too ;-)

    edited to add joe's quote for clarification ...
    I concur 100% that reading people's body language for bg/gg signs is considerably more important than determining first, who is armed and who is not in most circumstances.

    But please stop with the OC urban myth stuff.

    Repeated again for those not familiar with the OCer's axiom: OC is educational, convenient, fast and safe.

    Show me one (1) documented, verifiable cite where an OCer (non-LEO or military) has ever been preemptively attacked/killed anywhere in these United States in modern times. Will it happen someday? Probably will eventually, but even that unfortunate event will help to support this axiom as the resultant percentage ratio will look something like .00001%

    This challenge has stood unanswered for many years. One reported incident was proved to be false. Nothing else - nada.

    For illustrative purposes, I include the following link to a real event wherein the bg never saw the good OC citizen in front of him - likely tunnel vision.
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...=Golden+Market

    How you may chose to carry is your personal choice, but please do not repeat the feelings and conjectures of those that would limit our options.

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