Is Pretending to Open Carry a Viable Self Defense Option?

Talking the Talk, Not Walking The Walk

Fobus SG-21An interesting new product idea was recently brought to our attention.  The goal of Perceived Carry Decoys (PCD) is to give the perception that the person wearing it is openly carrying a firearm “without the stigma or concerns associated with owning a gun.

The device itself is essentially a fake pistol molded into a paddle holster.  Although the product photos appear to be stock photos of the SG21 and WP22 holsters directly from the Fobus website, it does sound like there are prototypes out there and the website claims that the product will be unveiled at the 2015 Miami Small Business Expo starting tomorrow and the idea taken before the Shark Tank folks.

But let’s back up a minute.  Is this product even a good idea?  First off, what kind of adult (and the website does say that you must be 18 to order) wants to pretend to open carry a gun?  If you want to protect yourself or your family but a firearm isn’t for you, you are probably better off with a baton, a can of Fox Labs spray, or the more politically-correct cell phone and rape whistle.

I am not adverse to open carry and I have done so in several states both before and after getting a concealed carry license – although, for the most part, I find the benefits of carrying concealed to far outweigh those of open carry.  OC serves a purpose, but that purpose isn’t to make a scene and draw attention to yourself.  There are valid arguments for and against open carry which do not need to be hashed out again here.  However, I think that there is a fundamental flaw in some of the reasoning presented on the PCD website:

The whole purpose of open carry is to give off the “don’t mess with me” persona. The whole purpose of Perceived Carry Decoys is to give off the appearance that you too are ready for anyone, anywhere.

No.  That isn’t the whole purpose of open carry.  Maybe that is a small side effect of open carry but the generally agreed upon benefits include faster access to the weapon, less likelihood of snagging on a garment, more comfortable carry, not having to buy bigger pants, ability to carry without the time and money investment of a getting a license (in some states), etc.

There are a number of downsides to open carry as well, as any OC opponent will be quick to point out.  It has the potential to put a bullseye on you for the bad guys (like the so-called shoot me first vests) and, in many places, it will get you lots of unwanted attention from law enforcement, security guards, store clerks, zealous anti-gunners, and other busy bodies.  How does it go when something goes south and the cops tell you to slowly put your gun on the ground?

And what about when Joe Street-Thug decides that you are next in line for his mischief making?  News flash:  bad guys, especially the particularly dangerous ones – are often not afraid of some schmo with a gun.  If they don’t just shoot you immediately to remove you as a threat, how does it play out when they try to take the gun or force you to give it to them?  How do you use a piece of gun-and-holster shaped rubber to protect your family from real world evil?A03-PECWPB

Maybe the PCD is something that you have to get your hands on to see how good it is.  Maybe there is some big upside to it that I am just missing.  Or maybe I just don’t understand the mindset of someone so worried about “the stigma or concerns associated with owning a gun.”  It just seems like very little good but a lot of bad could come from pretending to have a gun when you don’t.

Although the site claims that they are only taking pre-orders at this time and no price is listed, perhaps a better make-believe “I have a gun” routine would be to flash a concealed carry badge on your belt or a chain around your neck.  Imagine the epic crime-deterrent power of a CCW badge and a fake gun!

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