By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
Part of responsible concealed carry is not looking for trouble, and the importance of doing so is two-fold. The first is that not looking for trouble means that trouble may not find you that easily. (Granted, it just might anyway; you never know what may happen.) The second is that a person who seeks out confrontation could be painted in a negative light in the wrong situation.
To elaborate on that point a little better, a person who goes around picking fights or trying to police others could be painted as wanting to get in a fight or armed confrontation. Many prosecutors and juries would see that as a sign that a person instigated or deliberately engaged in gunfire because they wanted to, not because they had to in order to live.
There are definitely people out there who have tried to use “self-defense” as a justification for what were clearly acts of summary vengeance. Such people usually are looking for a reason to shoot or kill someone and are usually found out and sentenced accordingly.
One aspect of not looking for trouble is – to some degree – adopting a persona sometimes referred to as “Mr. Gray” or a “gray person.” This means a person that blends in, doesn’t really stand out, doesn’t seem to demand the attention of others. It’s not really one aspect (such as dress) but rather a number of them.
For instance, not wearing clothing with an abundance of designs and logos. Such a person isn’t likely to be a target, because such a person is easily overlooked.
For instance, if a criminal is determined to carry out, say, an armed robbery, or a maniac is bent on a shooting spree in a public place, whom do you think would be targeted by a shooter: the guy in Costco jeans and an anonymous pullover? Or the guy wearing the Glock hat, 2nd Amendment T-shirt, tactical pants and desert tan boots indoors in August?
While on the one hand, there is such a thing as “tacticool,” the truth is that an otherwise normal adult going around in that kind of get-up does give certain things away. Not that enjoying or exercising your 2nd Amendment (and other) rights is a bad thing – in fact it’s a good thing – but it’s also the case that advertising it loudly, early and often may not be the best thing in the world.
Have a Glock, AR-15 or other gun-related sticker on your car? Also not a great idea. KGW, a Portland, Ore. NBC affiliate sent a questionnaire to convicted burglars and of the 86 that responded, do you know what one signifier that a home was a good robbery target? NRA bumper stickers. It tells a burglar that a home probably has guns in it, and given that most gun owners own multiple firearms, possibly a lot of them.
Another good idea is not being loud in public, excessively confrontational or engaging in otherwise obnoxious behavior. Essentially, the idea is to avoid conflict or any sort of attention-getting (some might say attention-seeking) behavior.
The less you loudly announce your presence through dress or behavior, the less likely you are to find conflict where you otherwise would have none. You’re also less likely to stand out to someone looking to find someone to victimize. As a result, you reduce the risk – insofar as a person can – that you’ll ever have to use a gun.
Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.