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Thread: The "Open carry makes you a target" argument?

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    The "Open carry makes you a target" argument?

    What do you generally counter to that age old argument? I've encountered far too many anti's who claim that open carry makes you a target, and that an armed attacker will go for the armed citizen, because he's the biggest threat.

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    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    What do you generally counter to that age old argument? I've encountered far too many anti's who claim that open carry makes you a target, and that an armed attacker will go for the armed citizen, because he's the biggest threat.
    All of the research that I have seen, based on interviews with incarcerated felons, indicated that they avoid armed citizens when possible, with some minor exceptions. There are some who do not shy away from armed confrontations.

    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Pretty simple ask for a cite.

    Been discussed, chewed up and spit out here numerous times.

    "Show me one incident with a valid cite where a legal OCer was either the victim of a preemptive strike or had his/her gun snatched/stolen by a BG anywhere in the United States in modern times. LEO/security and military actions do not qualify.

    Understand that
    if one or two might be proven to exist, you will only further substantiate my contention that properly done OC is quite safe and most effective. The math would then yield a resultant fractional/per centage value of something like .00001% and I 'll take those odds any day."
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...emptive+strike
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    I think in most armed situations the O.C. is probably the better situation because it can prevent alot of attacks from the mere sight of the firearm where robbery is the motive but that is not going to be the situation for every single possible incident. However, in the much less common occurance of a suicidal mass murderer who is dead set on a location for his carnage and who is setting up the attack with a concealed weapon they can be expected to target an O.C.'er first and foremost. That's just common sense.

    Not everyone is afraid to die and is going to walk away from their objective just because they know someone is armed. If they have already decided this is their last stand, I surely wouldn't expect them to be intimidated by the sight of someone's firearm on their hip.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK View Post
    I think in most armed situations the O.C. is probably the better situation because it can prevent alot of attacks from the mere sight of the firearm where robbery is the motive but that is not going to be the situation for every single possible incident. However, in the much less common occurance of a suicidal mass murderer who is dead set on a location for his carnage and who is setting up the attack with a concealed weapon they can be expected to target an O.C.'er first and foremost. That's just common sense.

    Not everyone is afraid to die and is going to walk away from their objective just because they know someone is armed. If they have already decided this is their last stand, I surely wouldn't expect them to be intimidated by the sight of someone's firearm on their hip.
    It may be "common sense" to you, but until some one can post/verify/confirm/cite where this has happened, it remains totally unheard of.

    It is an old wives tale, urban myth, blind scare tactic and extremely uncommon as in zip point zero.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

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    Why take out security and police from the hypothetical scenario? Those are definitely O.C.'ers and people that a perpetrator might expect to put up a lethal resistance to their attack and/or robbery?

    The reason I feel they should be taken into account is because if someone is dead set on an objective and they aren't afraid to die, aren't afraid of committing a capitol offense, or are actually planning on dieing, O.C. or known armed resistance can't always be expected to be a deterrant. There are cases of police and armed security being targeted. Its definitely a valid point because it shows that the mere presence of armed resistance isn't going to deter all attackers.

    That said, I feel the large majority of crimes are committed by those who would wish to avoid an armed confrontation but the mere fact that some don't think in such a way and are prepared to shoot security or police in order to reach their objective can easily be extended to that same willingness to shoot anyone who can be expected to put up armed resistance.
    Last edited by MK; 01-21-2011 at 03:26 AM.

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    Regular Member SGB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK View Post
    Why take out security and police from the hypothetical scenario? Those are definitely O.C.'ers and people that a perpetrator might expect to put up a lethal resistance to their attack and/or robbery?
    Because LE have a duty to pursue, engage and incarcerate. Security has a duty to protect. Both professions put them into physical contact with the criminal element. You have no duty to do either. Your duty is to protect yourself and your family and avoid conflict if possible.

    The only time I've had to defend against gun grabs was on duty performing arrests.
    Last edited by SGB; 01-21-2011 at 04:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK View Post
    Why take out security and police from the hypothetical scenario? Those are definitely O.C.'ers and people that a perpetrator might expect to put up a lethal resistance to their attack and/or robbery?...
    Because the "makes you a target" or "your gun can be snatched" arguments are being used to convince citizens (not police and not security) not to OC. If OCers were being targeted at a greater rate than non-OCers, then there would be a point to the argument. However, the lack of a documented incident indicates that the OCer is actually being targeted LESS.

    As Grapeshot points out, even if one or two such incidents should ever surface, the rate of targeting of OCers would still be well below the rate at which members of the general public, regardless of carry, are being targeted.

    To date, not a single incident has been posted here and verified as a snatching or as a targeting.

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    The other reason not to include LE and Security in the "open carry of a firearm makes you a target" argument is because when they are shot preemptively by a BG, it is most likely the uniform that made them a target, not the firearm. IMHO
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Yep, I get this stupid argument from so called pro gun people. I tell them you really think that a crook is going to spend a huge amount of time searching me out at a crowded store before committing his crime?
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    The other reason not to include LE and Security in the "open carry of a firearm makes you a target" argument is because when they are shot preemptively by a BG, it is most likely the uniform that made them a target, not the firearm. IMHO
    I agree; the presence of uniformed security tells the aspiring criminal that he isn’t going anywhere during business hours. Thus the criminal who is looking to engage in criminal activity at an establishment doesn’t have the luxury of simply waiting for a permanently posted security officer or a LEO to depart the premises unlike a customer who is OCing.

    The criminal understands that they have to go in with a strong offense and that usually means shoot the posted sentry first.

    This is why uniformed Military/LEO/Security personnel shouldn’t be used as an example in the "You will be the first to get shot scenario."
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK View Post
    Why take out security and police from the hypothetical scenario? Those are definitely O.C.'ers and people that a perpetrator might expect to put up a lethal resistance to their attack and/or robbery?
    Why take LEOs, security and service personnel out of the group? Seriously?

    Maybe because they are NOT part of the definition. An OCer is generally described as a normal everyday citizen who happens to CHOOSE to carry a handgun in an open/visible manner, not someone whose very job description places them directly in the bad guys path and by recognition of their uniform, badge and other accouterments becomes an obstacle and thereby is targeted.

    Particularly LEOs become "targets of choice" for attacks, even when they are not in uniform and when not OCing because of who they are recognized to be. I would go so far as to surmise/conclude that off duty or plain clothed LEOs are more frequently so attacked than the referenced, normal OCer.

    Therefore these professional groups were not taken out of the "hypothetical scenario" in that they were never so included. It is not a hypothetical question as posed - it was a stated condition. See OP's original statement: "I've encountered far too many anti's who claim that open carry makes you a target ..." It is an up close and personal reference to what might happen to you if you engage in a practice associated with a group having distinctly different qualities and circumstances.

    If you are a LEO or otherwise part of that excluded group then you are NOT a valid consideration for inclusion in the rebuttal. You can't ask the question, then change the conditions with a "yes but" or "what about" twist to things.

    Bottom line: OC, as we recognize it, is remarkably safe and effective and not altered by the unsubstantiated/false claims of others. On this my stance is unwavering and firmly grounded.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 01-21-2011 at 12:48 PM. Reason: fixed
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    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    Rare incidences of the known presence of law enforcement incouraging rather than discouraging criminal conduct - not otherwise deliberately targeting LEO's - are not comparable to a "John Q." OC scenario. An aquaintance of mine was killed in the line of duty as a California HP officer when he happened to walk into a convenience store in the middle of an armed robbery. That was a reflex shooting by a "cornered rat" - not a deliberative attack on a LEO.

    Further, it has been my own OC experience , based upon the few comments received. that the initial reaction of most people in the public square is that I am probably a LEO. Whether or not so perceived - situational awareness should always be operating CC, OC, or NO-C. Being perceived by BG's as unarmed LAC's is no guarantee against being targeted and shot.

    Citing the frequently recited cliche of the CC only country club - that "out of sight is out of mind", do we really want to keep the 2A "out of sight and out of mind" ? The reality of armed LAC's needs to be very much on the mind of BG's. If an armed LAC is not prepared to confront BG's , they probably should not OC. Even if we don't OC all of the time in public, a periodic "dose" of armed citizenry - like chicken soup - is good for the souls of would-be purse satchers, car-jackers, rapist, and armed robbers.

  14. #14
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushcreek2 View Post
    Even if we don't OC all of the time in public, a periodic "dose" of armed citizenry - like chicken soup - is good for the souls of would-be purse satchers, car-jackers, rapist, and armed robbers.
    Chicken soup and OC - Mmm mmm good, Mmmm mmm good!

    Don't care who you are, that is Mmmm mmm gooder.

    Now we just need to solidify the connection between Mom, Apple Pie and OC.
    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 Motofixxer's Avatar
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    Ok well since you all asked for a cite...Here is one. Not to support either side but to show that it can happen and may happen. The odds are very low for Open Carrying to make you into a target. Just a reminder to keep your guard up all the time. Be aware of your surroundings.

    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/95999354.html

    Man Legally Carrying Gun Robbed at Gunpoint
    By Melanie Stout Story Created: Jun 9, 2010 Story Updated: Jun 10, 2010

    MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee man found out the hard way that carrying a gun for protection doesn't always keep you safe. In fact, it may have made him a target.

    The 34-year-old man legally owned a handgun and carried it out in the open in his holster for protection.

    Neighbors say they knew he was always armed.

    "It was kind of scary to just see him walking around all the time with that gun kind of just out in the open," said Shambria Mayham Autman. She lives near Teutonia and Good Hope and said they called him "The guy with the gun."

    But it wasn't scary for at least one person who robbed "The guy with the gun" at gunpoint.

    "I think he was trying to scare people off like, 'Yeah, don't mess with me,' kind of attitude, but it didn't work," Mayham Autman explained.

    The president of Wisconsin Carry, Nik Clark, says 100's of thousands of people open carry and he's never heard of anything like this.

    "So it really is a very unusual situation, very unique," Clark said.

    The victim didn't want to go on camera but said he carried the gun because he had been jumped and held up at knife point in the past. He believes, in his case, open carry made him a target and he will no longer do it.

    He said his case proves gun owners should have the right to carry concealed weapons.

    Clark agrees. "By and large it is a significant deterrent, open carry is, but I think it really does make the point that Wisconsin should have concealed carry along with open carry so that people who live in a very high crime neighborhood where criminals aren't deterred by firearms would have the ability to conceal carry to protect themselves. The two really work hand in hand," Clark said.
    Last edited by Motofixxer; 01-21-2011 at 12:38 PM.
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    The true problem here, is that while that BG was taking this guys firearm, his assessment of the scenario here didn't show him several other citizens, also carrying.

    The idea is to normalize.

    Hell if every 3rd citizen carried, nobody would hold anybody up.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motofixxer View Post
    Ok well since you all asked for a cite...Here is one. Not to support either side but to show that it can happen and may happen. The odds are very low for Open Carrying to make you into a target. Just a reminder to keep your guard up all the time. Be aware of your surroundings.

    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/95999354.html
    Familiar with that but still doesn't meet the criteria - doesn't seem that he was targeted BECAUSE he was OCing, but rather in spite of it if the BG even knew he was armed before hand. Taking his gun rather seems part of the theft. How would this have been any different if he had not been OCing? Implies that he would not have been robbed if he had not been OCing or if he just looked like a normal everyday potential victim.

    Nevertheless, dropping the obvious objection to your cite, care to try for two (2)?
    I have lots of time - I will be patient while you search.

    I've said before that if and when such does occur, the sheer volume of empty space remaining is like the bottomless pit - you aren't going to fill it with one poor example.

    Let's see - estimated/guesstimated odds of probability equaling .00001% what will the addition of one exception do to the calculations? Are you ready? Try .000010001%

    Agree that situational awareness is paramount, but I do not make that the sole property of OCers. Anyway you have my POV and I have never been a lonely guardian/defender of OC as being effective and safe. Appreciate the discourse and trust that the OP has had his question answered.
    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.

  18. #18
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowfiveoh View Post
    The true problem here, is that while that BG was taking this guys firearm, his assessment of the scenario here didn't show him several other citizens, also carrying.

    The idea is to normalize.

    Hell if every 3rd citizen OCd, nobody would hold anybody up.
    Fixed it for you.
    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 Motofixxer View Post
    Ok well since you all asked for a cite...Here is one. Not to support either side but to show that it can happen and may happen. The odds are very low for Open Carrying to make you into a target. Just a reminder to keep your guard up all the time. Be aware of your surroundings.

    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/95999354.html

    Man Legally Carrying Gun Robbed at Gunpoint
    By Melanie Stout Story Created: Jun 9, 2010 Story Updated: Jun 10, 2010

    MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee man found out the hard way that carrying a gun for protection doesn't always keep you safe. In fact, it may have made him a target.

    The 34-year-old man legally owned a handgun and carried it out in the open in his holster for protection.

    Neighbors say they knew he was always armed.

    "It was kind of scary to just see him walking around all the time with that gun kind of just out in the open," said Shambria Mayham Autman. She lives near Teutonia and Good Hope and said they called him "The guy with the gun."

    But it wasn't scary for at least one person who robbed "The guy with the gun" at gunpoint.

    "I think he was trying to scare people off like, 'Yeah, don't mess with me,' kind of attitude, but it didn't work," Mayham Autman explained.

    The president of Wisconsin Carry, Nik Clark, says 100's of thousands of people open carry and he's never heard of anything like this.

    "So it really is a very unusual situation, very unique," Clark said.

    The victim didn't want to go on camera but said he carried the gun because he had been jumped and held up at knife point in the past. He believes, in his case, open carry made him a target and he will no longer do it.

    He said his case proves gun owners should have the right to carry concealed weapons.

    Clark agrees. "By and large it is a significant deterrent, open carry is, but I think it really does make the point that Wisconsin should have concealed carry along with open carry so that people who live in a very high crime neighborhood where criminals aren't deterred by firearms would have the ability to conceal carry to protect themselves. The two really work hand in hand," Clark said.
    This one has been posted on OCDO dozens of times. Nothing new here. This was not a "snatch," nor was he targeted because he was the armed guy in a room full of unarmed victims. After researching this story further, many of us have arrived at the conclusion that this was an ordinary robbery at gunpoint that produced the unexpected benefit to the robber of getting a gun.

    Even if you classify this as a case of a man being targeted because of OC, it is one single case out of the millions of times folks have left the house with a firearm strapped to their hips.

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    Targets

    Thay must be d*mn bad shots. Any of you been hit yet ?

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    Regular Member CenTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGB View Post
    Because LE have a duty to pursue, engage and incarcerate. Security has a duty to protect. Both professions put them into physical contact with the criminal element. You have no duty to do either. Your duty is to protect yourself and your family and avoid conflict if possible.

    The only time I've had to defend against gun grabs was on duty performing arrests.
    In the state where I was working as a security officer for two and a half years, it was not my duty to protect. It was my duty to "observe and report." That is the only "authority" that the state and my company gave me. The term "officer" is really a misnomer. I was not a law officer of any kind. I was an uniformed civilian with only civilian authority. I could "ask" people to leave private property. I could not force them. I would have to call the police to do that for me. Getting into a confrontation with perps, as in "protecting," would have gotten me reprimanded or fired. This was made thoroughly clear by my supervisor. As an armed security officer, I could only use my firearm for self-defense...or the defense of someone whose very life at that moment was being threatened. Any law-abiding citizen has that right.

    I will admit that there are security officers that have been given quite a bit of authority. That was not the case with my job.
    Last edited by CenTex; 01-21-2011 at 06:44 PM.
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