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.