Open Carry – this was bound to happen

Chuck Rives shared this story about a man open carrying a handgun, and getting robbed.

Investigators said the 21-year-old victim bought a handgun earlier in the day and was openly carrying it while talking to his cousin.

They said a man approached them and asked for a cigarette. Talk eventually turned to the victim’s new purchase, before the robber pulled his own gun from his waistband and said, “I like your gun, give it to me,” according to police.

The victim handed over his gun and the suspect ran away.

There’s numerous things we can learn from this.

First, with the growth of open carry, this sort of thing is bound to happen.

Second, if you are going to open carry, it involves a lot more than just sticking a gun on your hip and thinking you are good to go. You need to greatly improve your awareness and mindset.

Third, someone approaching asking for a cigarette? A classic way for a mugger to make contact and breach your space, to get close, and then mug you. If I can use SouthNarc parlance, the victim here failed to Manage the Unknown Contact. It’s critical to understand such things and how to deal with it so you don’t wind up in trouble.

Fourth, why was the victim engaging in conversation with this random stranger in the first place? Fine the cigarette, but after saying “no”, that should be the end of it. Even if you HAVE a cigarette, and I totally understand the social implications to a fellow smoker (I was one, I know how it goes), don’t let someone encroach on your space. I know it seems wrong to be selfish, but look at what the consequences were for not doing so.

Fifth, I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the victim was selected precisely because he was open carrying. And I would say it wasn’t purely because of O.C. but likely the victim also displayed other mannerisms and behavior that demonstrated to the mugger that he’d make good prey. There’s lots of study out there on victim selection, and chances are good the victim was selected because he demonstrated all the traits of being a good victim.

Which… isn’t something you can afford, if you’re advertising that you have things on your person that others might want and would be willing to take, be it a gun or an iPhone or whatever.

To me, this isn’t reason to say “open carry is bad” and “we should ban open carry”. No, I still think from a purely legal and legislative standpoint there’s no reason to deny/ban open carry. But it does provide illustration that you cannot blindly go about this process. That to open carry brings great responsibility, some risk, and you had better have your head on right and some education into the realities you could face, then prepare, practice, and carry yourself accordingly.

2 thoughts on “Open Carry – this was bound to happen

  1. open carry is unhelpful in many way, one of which this incident points out–the bad guys know you have a weapon. not to mention it inflames the gun-control crowd. it is a completely unnecessary provocation and macho posturing in nearly all modern situations.

    now yes, if the shtf and the situation warrants it, yes. otherwise no one in the military or a leo or out on their own land needs to use this method.

    the element of doubt is what gives chl its big advantage. but there’s a way to increase that doubt–do as i do and carry in a belt bag or fanny pack or carry a murse of some sort. so many bikers wear fanny packs and are all assumed to be carrying that just wearing such a pack is an indicator an observant bad guy just can’t ignore. i personally think it’s the best of both worlds with the downside being it’s not a quick draw system. but you can always carry a bug iwb.


    • I have a book by Chris Bird — don’t have it handy to note the title, but basically in there he tells numerous stories of places where open carry precisely stopped things and was a very good thing — by non-LEO/MIL. Of course, there’s the semi-recent story about the dudes open carrying in a Waffle House and precisely because they were OC’ing it stopped a robbery (the guys were arrested and said so).

      So to me, it’s hard to make blanket statements that OC is just a bad thing, because it hasn’t panned out that way. it’s just something different, that has different needs and things to stress and be concerned with.

      Concealed has its trade-offs as well. Nothing is perfect.

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