self defense

You Carry a Gun? What Are You Afraid Of?

JeffCooperHave you ever heard that question?  If you have heard it once, you have probably heard it numerous times.  You take a firearm with you when you go out to the movies, mall, or church or when you take the dog for an evening walk.  You must be afraid of something.  Right?

This is the mentality of many people and it’s an odd one.  How does someone come to be in such a condition where the first explanation they jump to is fear?  One possibility is that they are so afraid of everyday life that they project that same fear onto others.  Wearing a seat belt clearly indicates terror at the prospect of being in a motor vehicle.  Safety glasses when using power tools?  What are ya, a sissy?  And just think of all those millions of young ladies living in perpetual fear as they lug around a can of pepper spray on their keychain.  Own a flashlight?  Ha!  Most people stopped being afraid of the dark at a pretty young age.  This type must buy Depends by the truckload.

How does having the tools to protect oneself, one’s family, or those around them equate to cowardice?  When a hatchet wielding schizophrenic starts trying to dice up the crowd in your theater, bravery must be to hide in the corner and hope his arm gets tired before he chops his way to your child.  When an armed madman starts murdering mall shoppers or movie goers, what is bravery? In their mind it must be to run away from the sounds of violence and hope that someone else who thought to bring a gun shows up to stop the attacker before the body count gets too high.  These people are a bad joke.    Continue reading

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!

Illinois Second Amendment Victory is a Good Start

IL General Assembly has 180 days to craft new concealed carry legislation

Given the anti-gun image that Illinois has, thanks in large part to Chicago/Cook County, people may not have had very high hopes when the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed suit in May 2011, suing the state over the prohibition of carrying firearms for self defense.  Gun rights proponents and US Constitution/Bill of Rights fans got good news this week when the decision in Moore et al v. Madigan et al was handed down.

The lawsuit alleged that the statutes which ban carrying handguns for self defense are “inconsistent with the Second Amendment.”  SAF executive VP Alan Gottleib pointed out that “Illinois is currently the only state in the country that imposes a complete prohibition on the carrying of firearms for personal protection by its citizens.”  SAF attorney David Jensen said that it was “incredible that this situation has persisted even in light of the Supreme Court’s rulings in Heller and McDonald”

The 7th US Court of Appeals this week issued a ruling which stated Continue reading

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