Sarge's little study of "carry alertness".....
This is a discussion on Sarge's little study of "carry alertness"..... within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've often wondered just how many people notice things that are odd about other people, let alone details (like a small bulge under your shirt ...
June 5th, 2009 06:02 PM
Sarge's little study of "carry alertness".....
I've often wondered just how many people notice things that are odd about other people, let alone details (like a small bulge under your shirt where your carry weapon is), so I tried this little very unscientific experiment:
Background: I run one of the two main divisions of a company and have 23 people that report directly to me. I also go out and meet with customers etc throughout the day. I have carried for years both openly and concealed. I have never been "busted" by anyone while carrying and got to wondering if people are really apt to notice a bulge on my left side that I have taken time and practice to minimize. This was for my own edification, but I hope it helps some of the guys just starting out in carry to feel a little more at ease.
I took a week and did something a little "odd" every day while at the office. I wore two different colors of shoe laces in my shoes along with two watches (I usually don't wear a watch at all), and actually wore my dark colored polo shirt inside out. There were similar things throughout the week that people who are observant should notice. These were done around people who not only know me and my tendencies (no watch etc), but would be at ease enough to bring these things to my attention. Especially something as blatant as the inside out shirt (it was a dark blue Reebok Polo that looks basically the same inside or out except for the seams stick up and the buttons are on the wrong side when inside out). After a week of doing these things, no one had said anything to me at all, so I went after a few people and asked them if they'd noticed anything at all through the week that was odd about me or how I was dressed. Of the 6 I asked, NOBODY had noticed anything. Phase 1 done and over.
Phase 2 involved people who wouldn't know me personally, or at least didn't see me every day. For this, I used a collective business group that I belong to. I'm 6'3" and a solid, lean 267 right now, so I tend to get looks from people most places I go. I'm used to it. I left my weapon at the office (something I wasn't a fan of, but I felt I needed to) and put on a tight shirt, jeans and GREEN shoes and went to the meeting. At the meeting there were the looks that are always generated which is why I wore the tight shirt. I would wait for someone to look a little longer and harder than normal and then go over to them and say "Hi I'm Ryan with ____________ and I'm doing a study. I'll give you $5 right now if you can tell me without looking, what color my shoes are." I asked 10 people this question over the course of less than 10 minutes and only 1 of them named the color of the shoes. I asked her how she could be sure and she said that the green was just totally out of place with the jeans and the black shirt. Points for her. Now remember, these were green shoes - not something that is subtle, especially with what I was wearing with it. It wasn't St. Patricks Day, there was no alcohol served at the lunch, so people just weren't looking with a detailed eye. Phase 2 complete.
What I gathered from all of this is that people in general, aren't looking at DETAILS when they see you or meet you. They look in a very general way just to get a first impression of you. Something has to be pretty blatant to get them to focus on it at all. As concealed weapons carriers, we all strive to make the telltale signs of carry as unnoticeable as possible. We buy holsters that tuck tight, wear looser shirts, work on our body language so that we're not favoring a side or swinging our arms wide on our weapon side. All of these things are good and go a long way - probably farther than we need to - in keeping our weapon a secret from everyone else. That little bulge on our side or in our pocket etc that seems SO big to us, is in fact unnoticeable to 99% of the population. Even the people that do notice it will more than likely write it off as a cell phone, or something similar and forget about it.
I don't mean for this to come off as an excuse to get sloppy in any way shape or form as it's very important that our secret remains our secret. I hope this settles some of the nervousness and constant checks of the weapon/placement that often gives away a "carry noob" to the rest of us. Employ everything you can to disguise and minimize the footprint of your carry. Have your wife/husband/significant other give ou a once over before walking out the door if you have doubts, and if you pass - enjoy your time on the town. Even though it's doubtful anyone will notice, the chances go down even farther if you're relaxed and not nervous with your carry. It will come naturally with time, but the quicker the better.
Take what you want from this. It's obviously nothing scientific or even all that well thought out. It's just something I wanted to try to see what would happen.
June 5th, 2009 06:10 PM
Noone noticed an inside out shirt? You work with some real sheeple! haha
I enjoyed the read and will take it to heart when feeling a little nervous about carrying.
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." Benjamin Franklin
Steps in the stripping of State's Rights/Sovereignty
1. War of Northern Agression 2. Coersion to ratify the 14th Amendment 3. Ratified 17th Amendment
June 5th, 2009 06:16 PM
I tried to explain it a little in the post, but didn't do a very good job. It's a shirt that looks the same inside out as outside in (?) with the exception that the seams at the shoulders and waist are out and the buttons at the neck are not showing. I've actually accidentally worn it inside out for a couple of hours before I was in front of a mirror and noticed it. Still enough that someone looking at me should be able to notice though.
I just thought the whole thing was interesting. I must have too much spare time at work.
June 5th, 2009 07:21 PM
Sarge, Thanks for the interesting story.
June 5th, 2009 07:32 PM
I could not agree more with you !
I have been carrying daily for well over 20 years; nobody, repeat nobody notices. Even if it is blatant.
The few times I open carried in VA, same thing, not even a glance; a Glock in a black Kydex holster on black jeans does not really stand-out, but still ...
It also bothers me that members on this forum are so afraid to be "made", as if they were doing something sinful ...
I always fear that the anti-gun propaganda has gotten to them unconsciously.
The first rule of a gunfight: "Don't be there !"
The second rule: "Bring enough gun"
jfl (NRA Life Member/Instructor - GOA - IDPA - GSSF - ex-IHMSA)
June 5th, 2009 07:38 PM
Sheep are stupid, selfish and scared. And I'm just talking about the animal!
Good little study Sarge!
ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!
"A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
June 5th, 2009 08:09 PM
Thanks Sarge, that was quite interesting. I swear everytime I'm walking out of a store I feel like the shop owner is looking at my shirt and wondering if I'm trying to shoplift something.
JFL makes a good point: "It also bothers me that members on this forum are so afraid to be "made", as if they were doing something sinful ... I always fear that the anti-gun propaganda has gotten to them unconsciously."
It's the general feeling that if anyone sees that you're carrying, the cops will be called, you'll be spread-eagle on the floor of the supermarket with the entire store watching, you'll get a knee in your back until some bones pop before it's determined that you're licensed.
So this post is a bit reassuring that it's probably not as noticed as we might suspect.
Thanks for the info.
June 5th, 2009 08:19 PM
I first got my permit back in 96 here in Texas and have never been made,I swear people are in their own little wolrd.Most of them walk around in condition white 99% of the time.I finally got used to the fact that people just don't notice.sj
June 5th, 2009 08:49 PM
Good read and food for thought. Thanks!
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
NRA Life Member
June 5th, 2009 08:55 PM
Good story. I never realized that most people are that unobservant! I guess it's because I was originally raised in Gary, Indiana, and as a kid I was taught to be observant of my surroundings and to lock everything up or it is going to be stolen. And that was in a good neighborhood back in the 50s! I ride a motorcycle, so my head is always "on a swival", whether on the bike, in a car or truck, or walking, and I have had some martial arts training, which just reinforced my SA which I learned as a kid. I know my wife and a few friends are not as aware as I am, but did not realize it was as wide spread as your little experiment seems to point out. I'll be a lot less concerned about being "made" after reading it.
Live to ride, ride to live. Harley Road King
And keep a .45 handy
Kimber Custom TLE II
June 5th, 2009 08:57 PM
Thanks for the post, Sarge! I haven't CC yet, but so far I'm learning that most sheep don't even notice when I OC. So when the big day comes, this helps me feel like it's going to be a cakewalk! :)
Don't frisk me, I am the weapon.
Sig Sauer P239 DAK (9mm)
NRA Member & Pistol Instructor
June 5th, 2009 09:00 PM
That's funny, Sarge.
Sounds like they are ready for the next level, the underwear-on-the-head test, to see if they are REALLY unobservant.
June 5th, 2009 09:07 PM
What a cool experiment!
For noobs like me (who are waiting on a permit), you can try what I did and get a holster for your carry piece and just wear it out and about without the gun. Nobody buy my wife noticed.
In addition to feeling comfortable that no one really noticed the thing, it has also gotten me used to it being there.
June 5th, 2009 09:54 PM
Underwear on the head.......hmm...... That might not work as people would surely noticed that I suddenly got better looking.
Glad people are gleaning some use from my little experiment.
June 5th, 2009 10:23 PM
boxers or briefs?
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