Criminal Mind / Deterrence

This is a discussion on Criminal Mind / Deterrence within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Okay, I decided to post this, I hope it doesn't become extremely controversial. I support the idea of open carry, and I guess it goes ...

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Criminal Mind / Deterrence

    Okay, I decided to post this, I hope it doesn't become extremely controversial. I support the idea of open carry, and I guess it goes all the way back to my youth as to why I think it is good. I'm going to detail a few experiences of mine, probably going to be a long read.

    From the time I was in 5th grade until about the 10th grade, I was the shortest boy in my school. The only person we had who was shorter was a girl. As such, I was the low-hanging-fruit for the school bullies. And we had a lot of them. The bullies picked on a lot of kids, but I was their favorite. Now, I know many people will suggest that I brought it on myself because I mouthed off, or started trouble. Before that even comes up, I will tell you right now that this is not the case. I was very shy, I tried my best not to talk to anyone at school. I tried my very best to avoid the bullies whenever possible. They bullying really started in 6th grade and went into highschool. Usually 2 or more of them would confront me, call me names, push me around, and even hit me in order to evoke some kind of response. At that age, my response was usually to start crying. I couldn't help it. But they loved it, that was what they wanted to see. I would never fight back. I was afraid that if I hit one of them that I would make things worse for myself. Some of these kids even threatened to kill me. Now, this was back in the 1980's and sort of out the country. This was long before the days of having police officers and security guards in schools. Even if we had those, it wouldn't have helped because often they'd track me down as I was trying to get home. It was not unusual for me to come home with bruises, bloody lip, and crying. My parents called the school many times, but nothing ever came of it.

    Then, one day my life changed forever. About 7 of the bullies had dragged me into a secluded area behind the school during lunch period. They were pushing me around inside of a circle. One would hit me, then shove me to the opposite side like they were playing volley ball and I was the ball. They were hitting me pretty hard and laughing and having a good ole' time. I was just about at the point where I thought they would kill me, and there was pretty much no way I was going to make things worse for myself. So I punched the ringleader right in the nose. He fell on the ground, holding his nose, bleeding all over the place. At that moment I saw the look in his face and couldn't believe it. He was afraid of me. I began to run after him but he retreated. When I turned around, expecting the other 6 boys to all attack me, they backed off. They wanted nothing to do with me. It was that point I realized that they were all cowards. And here I thought I was the coward and they were the brave ones. So I continued to chase after the ringleader and scuffled and fought with him some more. He hit me a few times but with the adrenaline going I barely felt it. We continued to fight until a bunch of teachers came and separated us.

    I was suspended from school. How was that for irony? The bullies hit me hundreds of times, and nothing happened to them. But when I fought back, I was punished. Truth be, I didn't care about the suspension. I had made a breakthrough. Those bullies NEVER bothered me again. And I realized that my problem all along had been that I allowed myself to be a target. By not fighting back, I presented myself as target that they could hit anytime they wanted without consequence. They were not brave, they weren't even that strong, it turns out. I learned that bullies don't want a fight. They act like they want a fight, but they really don't. They just like to act tough. That is why I can't stand all of these darned psychologists that say you should ignore the bullies, and not to fight them. Bull! If anyone ever asks me, I tell them punch the bully right in the face the first time he messes with you and you'll never hear from him again.

    Once I got about 20, I started taking self defense classes. Too bad I hadn't had any of those classes back in my school days. Anyway, besides learning to fight hands on, I also learned a lot about criminal situations. A lot more than what we learn in our CHL classes. We learned about situational awareness, how to spot potential criminals before they pounce, etc. We also learned how to posture ourselves to make us look less attractive. For example, don't be talking on your cell phone when walking through a parking lot. Stand up straight, look confident, like you are on a mission. Robbers look for people who are not paying attention. They want easy targets, or low-hanging-fruit, so to speak. I don't try to act like a macho-man or anything. But when I'm alone, especially in public, I put on a different persona than I do when I'm around people I know. The idea is that if somebody is looking to mug me, they'll see me, but decide I might put up a fight. So instead 90% of your typical street criminals will avoid me. They'd rather wait for a woman talking on her phone, carrying a baby, or arguing with her 4-year old, or better yet - listening to her iPod. Those are much easier targets.

    So, the way I see it, if I had a gun on my hip that is going to make a big difference to your typical street criminal. Now, I realize that there are times where that won't deter somebody. It just depends on what their motivation is. If it is a personal vendetta, and they think they can catch you by surprise, that may be different. Even wearing a shirt that suggests maybe I am into guns as a hobby, such as my Glock shirt, would most likely make me an undesirable target for somebody scoping out a parking lot for a mugging. I could also walk around dressed in my martial arts outfit, and achieve the same effect. (too bad the law won't allow me to wear a sword)

    I have to wonder, even that situation I talked about that happened 10 years ago with the car full of thugs. If they had known I had a gun, it is likely they would have just kept driving.

    Now I may be totally off track on this line of thinking. But I suggest that 90% of criminals are cowards just acting tough because it is part of their persona, much like the bullies I dealt with as a child. The other 10% are probably psychopaths and have no sense of fear at all. Those are probably the only ones I need to worry about.

    Maybe some of the LEOs on this forum could verify or debunk what I just said. Obviously I don't have a book of statistics, but I think those numbers are good guesses.
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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Law Enforcement officers have weapons on their hips, partners, backup.... and they are still shot at, attacked, dragged to the ground and attempts made to disarm them. I think it is a deterrent to a point, but just by being aware you can avoid confrontations instead of using it as a badge of courage. Discretion and surprise are more of an advantage than you boldly walking down the street with your six gun on and a false sense of security.
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    Member Array tomtsr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    We learned about situational awareness, how to spot potential criminals before they pounce, etc. We also learned how to posture ourselves to make us look less attractive. For example, don't be talking on your cell phone when walking through a parking lot. Stand up straight, look confident, like you are on a mission. Robbers look for people who are not paying attention. They want easy targets, or low-hanging-fruit, so to speak. I don't try to act like a macho-man or anything. But when I'm alone, especially in public, I put on a different persona than I do when I'm around people I know. The idea is that if somebody is looking to mug me, they'll see me, but decide I might put up a fight. So instead 90% of your typical street criminals will avoid me. They'd rather wait for a woman talking on her phone, carrying a baby, or arguing with her 4-year old, or better yet - listening to her iPod. Those are much easier targets.
    This

    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    So, the way I see it, if I had a gun on my hip that is going to make a big difference to your typical street criminal. Now, I realize that there are times where that won't deter somebody. It just depends on what their motivation is. If it is a personal vendetta, and they think they can catch you by surprise, that may be different. Even wearing a shirt that suggests maybe I am into guns as a hobby, such as my Glock shirt, would most likely make me an undesirable target for somebody scoping out a parking lot for a mugging. I could also walk around dressed in my martial arts outfit, and achieve the same effect. (too bad the law won't allow me to wear a sword)

    I have to wonder, even that situation I talked about that happened 10 years ago with the car full of thugs. If they had known I had a gun, it is likely they would have just kept driving.
    Much more than this.

    I understand where you are coming from, and I would guess that some would be deterred but sometimes, thugs look for the challenge and the badge of glory for taking a gun from someone and using it on them, even from an LEO. The bigger the city, the worse the problem in most cases.

    We recently had a county deputy killed with his own gun. I have met a few who would look you in the eye and see if they could beat you to your gun. Action beats reaction and sometimes people get too confident that others will not challenge them. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't attempt to be the aggressor against a gun toting foe, but I still belive a lock is sufficient for me to stay out too.

    The thugs you met 10 years ago were criminals in training. I had much the same experience. But with the hardening of gangs and such, they execute people rather than just beat to a pulp. No real thought to witnesses. Are they cowards? some are, some aren't. Jail or prison is expected at some point in their lives. 3 hots and a cot. Unless you end up in Maricopa County jail in AZ.
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    Member Array Cruel Hand Luke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    Okay, I decided to post this, I hope it doesn't become extremely controversial. I support the idea of open carry, and I guess it goes all the way back to my youth as to why I think it is good. I'm going to detail a few experiences of mine, probably going to be a long read.

    From the time I was in 5th grade until about the 10th grade, I was the shortest boy in my school. The only person we had who was shorter was a girl. As such, I was the low-hanging-fruit for the school bullies. And we had a lot of them. The bullies picked on a lot of kids, but I was their favorite. Now, I know many people will suggest that I brought it on myself because I mouthed off, or started trouble. Before that even comes up, I will tell you right now that this is not the case. I was very shy, I tried my best not to talk to anyone at school. I tried my very best to avoid the bullies whenever possible. They bullying really started in 6th grade and went into highschool. Usually 2 or more of them would confront me, call me names, push me around, and even hit me in order to evoke some kind of response. At that age, my response was usually to start crying. I couldn't help it. But they loved it, that was what they wanted to see. I would never fight back. I was afraid that if I hit one of them that I would make things worse for myself. Some of these kids even threatened to kill me. Now, this was back in the 1980's and sort of out the country. This was long before the days of having police officers and security guards in schools. Even if we had those, it wouldn't have helped because often they'd track me down as I was trying to get home. It was not unusual for me to come home with bruises, bloody lip, and crying. My parents called the school many times, but nothing ever came of it.

    Then, one day my life changed forever. About 7 of the bullies had dragged me into a secluded area behind the school during lunch period. They were pushing me around inside of a circle. One would hit me, then shove me to the opposite side like they were playing volley ball and I was the ball. They were hitting me pretty hard and laughing and having a good ole' time. I was just about at the point where I thought they would kill me, and there was pretty much no way I was going to make things worse for myself. So I punched the ringleader right in the nose. He fell on the ground, holding his nose, bleeding all over the place. At that moment I saw the look in his face and couldn't believe it. He was afraid of me. I began to run after him but he retreated. When I turned around, expecting the other 6 boys to all attack me, they backed off. They wanted nothing to do with me. It was that point I realized that they were all cowards. And here I thought I was the coward and they were the brave ones. So I continued to chase after the ringleader and scuffled and fought with him some more. He hit me a few times but with the adrenaline going I barely felt it. We continued to fight until a bunch of teachers came and separated us.

    I was suspended from school. How was that for irony? The bullies hit me hundreds of times, and nothing happened to them. But when I fought back, I was punished. Truth be, I didn't care about the suspension. I had made a breakthrough. Those bullies NEVER bothered me again. And I realized that my problem all along had been that I allowed myself to be a target. By not fighting back, I presented myself as target that they could hit anytime they wanted without consequence. They were not brave, they weren't even that strong, it turns out. I learned that bullies don't want a fight. They act like they want a fight, but they really don't. They just like to act tough. That is why I can't stand all of these darned psychologists that say you should ignore the bullies, and not to fight them. Bull! If anyone ever asks me, I tell them punch the bully right in the face the first time he messes with you and you'll never hear from him again.

    Once I got about 20, I started taking self defense classes. Too bad I hadn't had any of those classes back in my school days. Anyway, besides learning to fight hands on, I also learned a lot about criminal situations. A lot more than what we learn in our CHL classes. We learned about situational awareness, how to spot potential criminals before they pounce, etc. We also learned how to posture ourselves to make us look less attractive. For example, don't be talking on your cell phone when walking through a parking lot. Stand up straight, look confident, like you are on a mission. Robbers look for people who are not paying attention. They want easy targets, or low-hanging-fruit, so to speak. I don't try to act like a macho-man or anything. But when I'm alone, especially in public, I put on a different persona than I do when I'm around people I know. The idea is that if somebody is looking to mug me, they'll see me, but decide I might put up a fight. So instead 90% of your typical street criminals will avoid me. They'd rather wait for a woman talking on her phone, carrying a baby, or arguing with her 4-year old, or better yet - listening to her iPod. Those are much easier targets.

    So, the way I see it, if I had a gun on my hip that is going to make a big difference to your typical street criminal. Now, I realize that there are times where that won't deter somebody. It just depends on what their motivation is. If it is a personal vendetta, and they think they can catch you by surprise, that may be different. Even wearing a shirt that suggests maybe I am into guns as a hobby, such as my Glock shirt, would most likely make me an undesirable target for somebody scoping out a parking lot for a mugging. I could also walk around dressed in my martial arts outfit, and achieve the same effect. (too bad the law won't allow me to wear a sword)

    I have to wonder, even that situation I talked about that happened 10 years ago with the car full of thugs. If they had known I had a gun, it is likely they would have just kept driving.

    Now I may be totally off track on this line of thinking. But I suggest that 90% of criminals are cowards just acting tough because it is part of their persona, much like the bullies I dealt with as a child. The other 10% are probably psychopaths and have no sense of fear at all. Those are probably the only ones I need to worry about.

    Maybe some of the LEOs on this forum could verify or debunk what I just said. Obviously I don't have a book of statistics, but I think those numbers are good guesses.
    Not everyone will have the same motivation. Some criminals use weapons to convince you to comply (Instrumental Violence) and some enjoy hurting people (expressive violence). Unfortunatley they don't wear name tags letting you know who is who...

    Might a group scatter like roaches if you present a weapon? Yes. Sometimes.

    MIght they also take that as an affront to their "street status"? Yes they might.

    It just depends on WHO you are confronted with and what their motivation is.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Basically its a grab bag, you don't know what you are going to get until you got it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    Basically its a grab bag, you don't know what you are going to get until you got it.
    Sounds like what Forrest Gump's mama always said. "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    Basically its a grab bag, you don't know what you are going to get until you got it.
    This is very well put, and very true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    Okay, I decided to post this, I hope it doesn't become extremely controversial. I support the idea of open carry, and I guess it goes all the way back to my youth as to why I think it is good. I'm going to detail a few experiences of mine, probably going to be a long read.

    From the time I was in 5th grade until about the 10th grade, I was the shortest boy in my school. The only person we had who was shorter was a girl. As such, I was the low-hanging-fruit for the school bullies. And we had a lot of them. The bullies picked on a lot of kids, but I was their favorite. Now, I know many people will suggest that I brought it on myself because I mouthed off, or started trouble. Before that even comes up, I will tell you right now that this is not the case. I was very shy, I tried my best not to talk to anyone at school. I tried my very best to avoid the bullies whenever possible. They bullying really started in 6th grade and went into highschool. Usually 2 or more of them would confront me, call me names, push me around, and even hit me in order to evoke some kind of response. At that age, my response was usually to start crying. I couldn't help it. But they loved it, that was what they wanted to see. I would never fight back. I was afraid that if I hit one of them that I would make things worse for myself. Some of these kids even threatened to kill me. Now, this was back in the 1980's and sort of out the country. This was long before the days of having police officers and security guards in schools. Even if we had those, it wouldn't have helped because often they'd track me down as I was trying to get home. It was not unusual for me to come home with bruises, bloody lip, and crying. My parents called the school many times, but nothing ever came of it.

    Then, one day my life changed forever. About 7 of the bullies had dragged me into a secluded area behind the school during lunch period. They were pushing me around inside of a circle. One would hit me, then shove me to the opposite side like they were playing volley ball and I was the ball. They were hitting me pretty hard and laughing and having a good ole' time. I was just about at the point where I thought they would kill me, and there was pretty much no way I was going to make things worse for myself. So I punched the ringleader right in the nose. He fell on the ground, holding his nose, bleeding all over the place. At that moment I saw the look in his face and couldn't believe it. He was afraid of me. I began to run after him but he retreated. When I turned around, expecting the other 6 boys to all attack me, they backed off. They wanted nothing to do with me. It was that point I realized that they were all cowards. And here I thought I was the coward and they were the brave ones. So I continued to chase after the ringleader and scuffled and fought with him some more. He hit me a few times but with the adrenaline going I barely felt it. We continued to fight until a bunch of teachers came and separated us.

    I was suspended from school. How was that for irony? The bullies hit me hundreds of times, and nothing happened to them. But when I fought back, I was punished. Truth be, I didn't care about the suspension. I had made a breakthrough. Those bullies NEVER bothered me again. And I realized that my problem all along had been that I allowed myself to be a target. By not fighting back, I presented myself as target that they could hit anytime they wanted without consequence. They were not brave, they weren't even that strong, it turns out. I learned that bullies don't want a fight. They act like they want a fight, but they really don't. They just like to act tough. That is why I can't stand all of these darned psychologists that say you should ignore the bullies, and not to fight them. Bull! If anyone ever asks me, I tell them punch the bully right in the face the first time he messes with you and you'll never hear from him again.

    Once I got about 20, I started taking self defense classes. Too bad I hadn't had any of those classes back in my school days. Anyway, besides learning to fight hands on, I also learned a lot about criminal situations. A lot more than what we learn in our CHL classes. We learned about situational awareness, how to spot potential criminals before they pounce, etc. We also learned how to posture ourselves to make us look less attractive. For example, don't be talking on your cell phone when walking through a parking lot. Stand up straight, look confident, like you are on a mission. Robbers look for people who are not paying attention. They want easy targets, or low-hanging-fruit, so to speak. I don't try to act like a macho-man or anything. But when I'm alone, especially in public, I put on a different persona than I do when I'm around people I know. The idea is that if somebody is looking to mug me, they'll see me, but decide I might put up a fight. So instead 90% of your typical street criminals will avoid me. They'd rather wait for a woman talking on her phone, carrying a baby, or arguing with her 4-year old, or better yet - listening to her iPod. Those are much easier targets.

    So, the way I see it, if I had a gun on my hip that is going to make a big difference to your typical street criminal. Now, I realize that there are times where that won't deter somebody. It just depends on what their motivation is. If it is a personal vendetta, and they think they can catch you by surprise, that may be different. Even wearing a shirt that suggests maybe I am into guns as a hobby, such as my Glock shirt, would most likely make me an undesirable target for somebody scoping out a parking lot for a mugging. I could also walk around dressed in my martial arts outfit, and achieve the same effect. (too bad the law won't allow me to wear a sword)

    I have to wonder, even that situation I talked about that happened 10 years ago with the car full of thugs. If they had known I had a gun, it is likely they would have just kept driving.

    Now I may be totally off track on this line of thinking. But I suggest that 90% of criminals are cowards just acting tough because it is part of their persona, much like the bullies I dealt with as a child. The other 10% are probably psychopaths and have no sense of fear at all. Those are probably the only ones I need to worry about.

    Maybe some of the LEOs on this forum could verify or debunk what I just said. Obviously I don't have a book of statistics, but I think those numbers are good guesses.
    Excellent post on linking bully related behavior to sociopaths. I am glad you overcame your problems with bullies and taught them a lesson. I was also bullied in the 3rd grade and 4th grade. But once I reached 5th grade, inspired by watching pro wrestling, I started lifting weights and the bullying stopped. I was big and growing then and used my size to intimidate bullies when I caught them picking on someone. By the time I reached middle school, although I was not a bully, I became confrontational when provoked and picked up a lot of nasty tricks along the way to survive a lot of fights that took place outside of school, whether it be the bus stop or at the bus. All the fighting in high school was rare once guns in the hands of teens became a problem. I pretty much avoided fights because of that yet always stayed alert at the schools. Also made friends there and teamed up with other students in case there was a problem with another group. But now that I own guns, serve my country, and take martial arts/reality based self-defense, I pretty much have become a more tactful person yet can still turn on my primitive state if I have to defend myself if bcaked into a corner.

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    Basically its a grab bag, you don't know what you are going to get until you got it.
    Add me to the list of people who think this is very well put.
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    Law Enforcement officers have weapons on their hips, partners, backup.... and they are still shot at, attacked, dragged to the ground and attempts made to disarm them....
    Yeah, but the BG knows what he/she is getting into when engaging an officer. The average Joe/Jane on the street is a wild card CC or OC, and typically the weapon is not taken into the BGs plan of action (this is speculation on my part, and I'll wager it's accurate). BG attacks a LEO, they are not looking for money, it's strictly violence. Attacking a citizen, it's generally to deprive them of possessions.

    BG's know that LEOs have limits to use of force, and are generally required to take the offender into custody alive and uninjured if possible because they have rights and are entitled to due process, 3 hots & a cot, and cable TV. Citizens are under no such obligations.

    In some states the citizen has a duty to retreat if possible, then may engage with a level of force required to stop the threat if JAM has been met. If it's a stand your ground state, well we just skip that step.
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    I'm just finishing up an interesting book titled, Burglars on the Job - Streetlife and Residential Break-Ins. It offers some insight on the OP's questions.

    A big takeaway is that criminals tend to avoid random victims. Whether strong-arm robbery or home invasions or simple burglaries, they will usually target a victim about whom they have some knowledge. The criminal always runs the risk of resistance and capture, so they are wont to know that there will be a stash of goods available should they succeed.

    A second learning point is the value of firearms on the street. On discussion boards like this we tend to assume there's some kind of Wal-Mart for criminals where they go and buy stolen firearms for five bucks, but that appears to be a myth. Handguns are very highly prized items on the street, and extremely valuable.

    With the advent of credit and debit cards, few people walk around with $600 in their pocket. But if you're strolling around with a visible Glock on your hip, you will be in essence waving that much cash in the face of any criminal you encounter. Actually, worse, because the gun is in itself such a strongly desired item. All he has to do is get it from you.

    The deterrent effect of an openly carried firearm is arguably neutralized by its value as a rich target for theft. That is, yes, it will dissuade some, but it will attract others. Break-even at best. Most citizens walk around unarmed. Then there's you, Mr Open Carry. Why are you different? Are you carrying a large amount of cash? Are you intensely fearful and frightened? These are open questions.
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    Being a scrawny red-hair kid, I had more than a few bullies want to impress someone by whipping my rear. A few did, but my goal was to make sure it wasn't worth the effort to do it a second time. I always achieved that goal.

    Maybe someone out there can do some definitive research and present some stats of, say in the last five years, the number of OCers who have had their firearms taken away (LEOs not included as they generally insert themselves into the situation) versus the number of CCers who've been robbed and lost their firearms. Maybe that would show if OCing was really the danger some suppose. I don't recall any reports of OCers being robbered, but do recallreports of CCers losing their guns.

    So....
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    I've observed people carrying OC and I respect their point of view. I also have seen the attention brought to themselves from all types of people and in some instances causing confrontations from anti-gun people and yes some current LEO's. I think, IMO, this causes undo attention and certainly takes the element of surprise away from the person carrying. I have always ascribed to situational awareness, avoidance, and concealment of any weapons. The element of surprise is an important point in carrying a weapon and in any confrontation you cannot avoid, the last line of your defense is to pull that weapon if attacked.
    If it is already being carried in the open - thats a game changer and now your attacker is after the weapon. He already knows you are carrying and his assessment/gamble is he can get the weapon from you. So I won't pass judgement on those who OC but I would rather keep the element of surprise on my side. To each his own.

  15. #14
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    I'm with mook012

  16. #15
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    Very tough statistics to find but, far easier stats to research are the number of Security Guards that have been relieved of their carry firearms, shot and injured or killed with their own weapons OR they were "taken out first" to eliminate them as a possible/likely armed deterrent.
    And there be no shortage of those reported incidents, encounters, and scenarios.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Being a scrawny red-hair kid, I had more than a few bullies want to impress someone by whipping my rear. A few did, but my goal was to make sure it wasn't worth the effort to do it a second time. I always achieved that goal.

    Maybe someone out there can do some definitive research and present some stats of, say in the last five years, the number of OCers who have had their firearms taken away (LEOs not included as they generally insert themselves into the situation) versus the number of CCers who've been robbed and lost their firearms. Maybe that would show if OCing was really the danger some suppose. I don't recall any reports of OCers being robbered, but do recallreports of CCers losing their guns.

    So....

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