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Seeking a criminal mind's perspective... from the good guys

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Chick Holsters, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Chick Holsters

    Chick Holsters WA Member

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    Strange question that I don't want to waste people's time with... but if you have time, I'd love to hear an honest opinion. So if you do, thank you in advance!

    I'm going to try to give a detailed account for you're benefit of being able to answer.

    Scenario: I have been open carrying almost every day lately--in public. So far I haven't recieved really any negative comments. I do try to remain open and decently friendly with people while open carrying. Yet I do not allow my eyes to linger on any one person unless spoken to, in effort that they don't feel threatened or targeted. That all said--I try not to be a "tough, don't mess with me" stare you down kind of gal (but I'm not going to assume that anyone wouldn't think that when they see me). And side note--I often am wandering around town with two small children under the age of 5. So hopefully that gives you a better visual of who I am and what you'd see.

    My purpose for open carry: My real main purpose was to put some holsters to the open carry test and in the process hoped it would educate people on the open carry/concealed carry laws. So far, the education factor has been my favorite part. At least half the people that have commented or asked about it, didn't know it was legal or such a law existed. And I have yet to have anyone comment, that didn't give me a thumbs up by the end. So that part has been cool--but the honest truth--I'm way more of cc kind of gal at heart.

    The question:

    Repeatedly, different people I am close to have brought up, out of concern, the idea that I might be more of a target to that one crazy guy out there... just by open carrying. As my brother worded it:
    "Honestly if I was of criminal mind, and I saw you open carrying like that... I think I'd be more apt to take you on as a challenge, cuz I'm pretty confident I could take your gun." He said possibly the idea of seeing a girl who thinks she so tough might spur him on to prove her wrong.

    This is hard to pose as a question due to too many variables. So I'm going to put two questions that might help. What do you think...

    1) If you were a criminal that decided I was your target (stalker type) would you be more deterred by my gun, or see me as a greater challenge to conquer?

    And/Or..

    2) If you were of criminal mind, and you had a crowd of women to pick from, would seeing me with a gun make me more enticing than the rest, or would you choose an easier target?
     
  2. SavageGerbil

    SavageGerbil Salem, OR Active Member

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    Theres two variations of my thinking on this, if we're talking criminal, the firearm would turn the person away, a criminal lifestyle is still a profession in a sense, and risk vs reward is a big part of that. Why take more risk for the same reward as finding another target?

    Now, if we're talking crazy (lets face it, stalking isn't exactly normal) the way off thinking is near impossible to nail down, the person may have enough reason to back off due to the increased risk, but a lot won't.

    Rough question, I do know that some interviewers have stated (take this with a grain of salt, I don't have sources on hand to point to) that convicted criminals feared armed citizens considerably more than the police, but again, we're talking a person who makes (well, takes) their living, not the mentally ill. Heck, the children alone would probably deter me if I was looking for a target from a criminal standpoint, the presence of children would cause more outrage from the situation and run the risk of making someone REALLY want to bust me.

    This whole reply is probably disjointed, but hopefully it makes at least a little sense :)
     
  3. jmh119

    jmh119 Hillsboro, Oregon Member

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    Although I am definitely NOT "of a criminal mind", to me, it would seem that your open carry advertises the fact that you have guns. (See other posts of a similar nature regarding bumper stickers) IF I were so inclined, I would simply follow you and wait until you leave the house again with the kids, then, break-in and attempt to get every gun I could.
    My .02!
    Take care,
    James
     
  4. zeppelin

    zeppelin Benton County WA Active Member

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    With open carry I think a criminal would be more likely to take you on pre-emptively and take your gun from you (perhaps even with help) or attack first. With open carry you give up your element of surprise in favor of the attacker(s) and allow them to plan for the contingency of you being armed and act accordingly. With you obviously armed they would be more likely to come in hard (armed and ready) at the outset and maybe shoot or attack first (depending on the crime they aim to commit) to avoid any risk to themselves. Otherwise they might just try to push you around or intimidate you into compliance. My opinion is I would rather keep them guessing about whether I am armed and once they tip their hand give them a big surprise by producing an unseen weapon-- since if you draw it out of the holster it is necessarily time to use it anyway. But that's just my opinion and that's only in a public situation/scenario. On my own property I would likely be obviously armed with a long gun and be in a position of cover to the extent possible.
     
  5. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    If I was a criminal? Lets see...

    First of all, most criminals (especially career criminals) target people by how they carry themselves. If you are observant, keep your hands out of your pockets, avoid confrontation, stay sober, and stay fit- you are a threat to me.

    Criminals do crimes out of desperation, pressure (i.e. gang initiations), or just because the opportunity presents itself (you run into the store with your car running). Void drug use, criminals pick easy targets that have little risk per reward.

    Any grown man poses a risk to a criminal...they can be witnesses an be there to protect the establishment. If you want to get into this line of process, you have to get inside the mind of what a criminal would do.


    If you were going to rob a bank...what would you do? Would you scout it first? Would you look for security? When would you rob it? How? Where would you park?

    Picking danger zones and danger signs is what everyone should do when they carry.

    If I was robbing a place and saw you carrying, I would shoot you. Either you are a cop or a hero wannabe, so you are a threat to me and I would shoot you as soon as saw the gun.

    If I was robbing people, your mannerisms would tell me to stay away. You scan for people so it would be hard to get the drop on you. If I noticed the firearm I would defiantly stay away from you. However, there is the possibility of me trying to get your gun because I wanted to prove something to someone else- like if I was a gang initiate and had to prove my worth. Nevertheless, you should see me coming a mile away. I would be following you around and eying your firearm as if it had a strobe light on it.


    So there you have it...I would either see you as a threat and shoot you, see you as a threat and avoid you or see you as an opportunity to prove my worth to others to say "yeah, I got this gun off some dude at the grocery store".

    So, unless you carry that firearm in at least a thumb-strap and at least practice some weapon retention I think open carry is just plain stupid.

    My 2 cents in this...
     
  6. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    criminals prey upon the weak and are essentially cowards, I think it's a great thing you are doing, showing everyone that you are not a willing to become a victim.
     
  7. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    im a little concerned about your brother that he thinks like that... the idea of the "challenge" would never enter my mind. it does in some dark bedroom fantasies, but never in relation to non-consenting strangers.
     
  8. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    I'm not talking about the random mugger, a loner who would be deterred by a visible gun. But most street criminals work with one or more partners, and young gangster wannabees surely do travel in a pack. For them an openly displayed gun is not JUST a challenge to gain glory from, it is a desirable and valuable prize to be desired. That gun is worth MONEY! It is a mistake to believe that gangsters in particular are cowards. On the contrary, they are bold rational and always ready to establish their courage to the gang to improve their status. Only a few are actually stupid. Most make a rational decision to become criminals and work hard to be good at it! I am not just talking hot air---I drove for Portland's Tri-met transit system for a decade, and I have faced down more gangsters and felons than most parole officers!

    These feral groups will have one distract you, while another grabs your arms, and maybe a third will grab your gun or other valuables. The distraction is well practiced and often effective---if a stranger approaches you with an urgent concern in public, then quick check your behind! In Mexican cities groups of youth practice "swarm" attacks---each arm and leg is simply seized by a kid while two or more others empty your pockets.

    In truth, I have never read of an open-carrier being attacked. But I DO think that it is inevitable.............................elsullo :confused:
     
  9. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Criminals take the path of least resistance and pick the weakest victims, those who say open carry makes one more a target of a criminal just don't understand the criminal mind.

    Since when did bullies pick on people bigger, stronger and tougher than themselves? Never that's when.

    As for crazies, you can't predict what they will do and since they live in there own world/reality what you are doing does not play a part in the actions they will take, their actions are truly random and I want a gun handy when they do snap.
     
  10. Chick Holsters

    Chick Holsters WA Member

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    Wow good job guys... you guys are quick!

    So I feel like a hypocrite because I agree with each of you, though you all have different point of views.

    A couple things mentioned did make me realize something that I'll make a point of saying now.... I think almost every encounter I've had so far where I've felt compromised, the guy(s) seemed to be after me directly and not something I had, or a building I was in etc. So I haven't had any threatening guys come into the bank or robbers into my house.

    And honestly I've never been full on hand to hand combat attacked either, so I can't say for sure... but they seem to try to engage me in conversation or come after me in some way. Consistantly they've always chosen me or found me when I'm alone.

    Also as Riot mentioned "Drugs"--I can't say for sure, but a couple times I've felt there to be a good chance the guy was on drugs. The mannerisms, bloodshot eyes, boldness, won't back down (even after seeing a gun in my hand) etc..

    So I don't know if this makes any difference in your answers or future answers, but up to now I seem to only have had issues with "me." Even the time the kids were there, I seemed to be his target. So the concerns from family people were probably more along the lines of "guy attacks a gal for being a gal." I don't know if you automatically point to rapist type or if there are other reasons why guys attack gals.

    Hope that makes sense. And truly--thanks guys, I love the answers.
     
  11. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    BS! I live in what eveyone considers Portlands street gang area and I have encountered this mentality and yes they will act out if they think they have the upper hand, if you were carrying openly and they saw that you were they will not start crap with you.


    I disagree, they are cowards, I would point out that the are dangerous because they have something to prove to their fellow gang members and that is where the trouble starts. That same gang member with something to prove to the gang in attacking someone would not attack that same person on his own without his gang.
    Good at it? what yardstick do you use to measure "good at being a criminal", I haven't meet one criminal outside of a politician that has ever gained anything in life as a criminal. The graveyard and prisons are full of "good criminals"

    That is a good example of how it happens, it's definitely not like the moves where a guy come up in front of you and pulls a gun and "asks" for your money. You have to develop a sense of awareness. In my neighborhood I always steer clear of large groups of young boys/men as that is the largest risk factor on the street.

    Again it is about the path of least resistance, criminals prey on the weak and easy, Open carry is a bad risk for them when they next guy to come down the alley is unarmed.
     
  12. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    That is a point of view I as a male hadn't considered, rape, yes that sounds like an angle that you need to be considered and come up with an effective plan ahead of time on how to deal with it.
     
  13. raftman

    raftman Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It's hard to say for sure. The deterrence aspect of open carry is nice, in that it can potentially dissuade a would-be attacker from even attempting an attack. That is, knowing for certain that you're armed would likely convince him to pick a softer target. It could prevent a crime without anyone even knowing it. Statistically speaking, if a person isn't visibly armed, they're most likely unarmed. The vast majority of people do not have CHL's, nor does the vast majority of people carry a firearm concealed without a CHL, for that matter. Some people do, the vast majority of the general population doesn't. So the criminal could look at this way. When they see someone open carrying, they know 100% that the would-be target has a gun. If they look at someone who doesn't appear to have a pistol, they know the odds are, they don't have a pistol. That is, if they want something and want to take the least amount of risk and effort, would they target someone they're certain has a gun? Or someone they think almost certainly does not have a gun?

    The argument about losing the element of surprise kind of makes sense, and also being targeted first could potentially make sense, or someone attempting to disarm you makes sense. The problem is, I can't think of any documented incident of that ever having happened before. It seems so plausible, and yet hasn't been known to actually happen.

    It could be that people that aren't rational, or the people that view an armed target as a challenge are just by far less common than the variety of criminal that wants to take the path of least resistance. That is, criminals that would be deterred by an open carrier are likely far more common than criminals that would be enticed and challenged by someone carrying openly.

    So it could be that if you open carry, you decrease your odds of being attacked by the more common type of criminal, when compared to the people around you. But by standing out in a such a way, maybe you increase your odds of being attacked the rarer type.

    It could also be that I have no clue what I'm talking about and just speculating.
     
  14. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    I'd be more worried about the rogue police officer who decides to arrest you and stick your kids with child services.

    This if far more likely than someone walking down the street and having the overwhelming urge to rape the mom because she has a pistol on her belt. No offense, but that sounds like paranoid narcissistic delusions. I have yet to hear of a single occasion where someone was mugged or raped BECAUSE they have a gun.
     
  15. Benny503

    Benny503 Grants Pass Well-Known Member

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    All I can say is when I was a little boy (teenage) I hang out with a lot of gang bangers wanna be. I can tell you all this that they were afraid of anyone with a gun. We tried to advoid any conflicts that the person will protect them self
     
  16. itgoesboom

    itgoesboom Hillsboro Member

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    I think I am going to offer a slightly different view, and say "maybe".

    I remember a few years ago, a poster on THR, who worked corrections, that said that there is a certain segment of the criminal population that actually, ummm, "get off" at the idea of an armed confrontation. So if you ran into a person who was of that particular perversion, you could be at an increased risk.

    Also, like others mentioned there is also the possibility that a person who intends on committing a criminal act targets you, simply because you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you are easy to spot as a danger to them. There was a poster at glocktalk who was killed during robbery a few years ago while open carrying. IIRC, they targeted him immediately, before he had a chance to react.
     
  17. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    well then you haven't studied the topic. happened to a guy less than a month ago, and happens often enough. gang-banger sees a gun, gang-banger pulls gun and says "gimme yo gun, nigga!"
     
  18. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    I am confident that I could assert that "the sky is blue" and Trlsmn would immediately jump in to vigorously argue the contrary. It actually does not matter to him what I say for he must find the opposite view, because we come from different universes and have had very different life experiences, even in the same town! I am pleased that he has never met some of the "successful criminal" people that I have had to deal with!

    Since when did bullies do "brave" things? Since they began running in packs called "gangs" and needed to impress each other with how courageous and bold they were. They had a lot of free time in jail and so practiced group attacks on "hardened targets". They go to great lengths to impress each other, especially when they get coked-up or flying on meth. Seizing an open-carry gun would be a real feather in their cap! Gangsters daring to shoot cops is a deadly sport in several American cities now.

    I too do not go out without a steely friend or two. But I prefer to keep it out of sight and not seen as a potential trophy by groups of bad boys with something to prove to each other.........................elsullo :paranoid:
     
  19. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    You "studied the topic" and one ""happened to a guy" story is all you have?
    The truth is, it rarely if at all happens. You're more likely to be hit by a meteor that's attracted to the magnetic properties of an uncovered gun.

    Whereas people are arrested for open carrying regularly. You can find many examples with a quick google search.



    Taking advice on "gang-bangers" from people who use the term "gang-banger" is rarely a good choice.
     
  20. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Man Legally Carrying Gun Robbed at Gunpoint | Today's TMJ4 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin News, Weather, Sports, WTMJ | Local News

    my bad, it was over a month ago.