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22 Responses to ColionNoire: Panhandlers Are A Major Problem for Concealed Carriers

  1. I don’t have a problem saying, “No” without drawing my weapon. On the other hand, I’ve always seen them coming. I’ve not yet been confronted with some of the situations he has, like someone approaching me from behind at 1 a.m.

    Still, it’s something to think about, something I hadn’t specifically considered before.

    On a lighter note, watch the linked video titled “GUN CONTROL & Bathrooms – Using bathroom as a form of GUN CONTROL.” It’s pretty funny.

  2. I’ve not had an encounter like MrColionNoir has. I don’t go downtown at night, though. But I’ve gathered from his YouTube and Twitter posts that he lives/works in Houston and is often out at night, so bums and panhandlers factor more into his personal threat assessments. I can imagine getting approached from behind at 1am would provoke a much stronger reaction than from in front during mid afternoon. I know he’s been receiving some trolling for his comments, but I see what he’s saying.

    • There was a study done that found about 80% of the people out on the street between midnight and 4 A.M. had criminal records. This is from the book “Arrest-Proof Yourself” by Dale Carson, attorney, former police officer.

      A great way to avoid problems is to be home by midnight or earlier.

  3. It’s been a while since I’ve walked through downtown (and the last time I did was before I reached an age where the powers that be would allow me to conceal carry), so I haven’t experienced a homeless person approaching me from any angle in a minute. But I was still at a heightened alert level. I would love to think that the guy begging for change or a smoke is really just down on his luck, but I never want to risk it. It’s incredibly easy for a partner of his to come up behind me while I’m digging through my wallet or trying to find my lighter (it has a terrible habit of switching pockets on its own).

    This did raise a lot of good points and it’s something I’ll keep in mind next time I go out for a stroll in the city. Personally, I value myself and my safety more than I do ‘good karma’.

  4. Saw this the other day. MrColionNoir is one of my favorite youtubers for gun related content. He is well spoken and makes solid points. And being funny doesnt hurt either.

  5. one question. how did a homeless guy get that close to you and you not know it? all the homeless people i encounter you can smell while they’re still out of pistol range. i swear the walking dead couldn’t smell that bad.

    • The town I live in has quite a collection of folks whose current address is “somewhere on Penn Street between 2nd and 9th”. All joking aside, you can smell those guys from a sizable distance away. You know when one’s in the area. It’s a very unique oder too.

  6. In San Francisco’s downtown, its not so much of a problem; the homeless there have staked out territories (which they guard jealously) on the sidewalk, and they just sit there with a cup out. Most of them are mentally ill. But then there are people like this drug addict in my hometown who was ultimately arrested and convicted of aggressive panhandling. He bragged to the police that on a good day he could knowck down $500; and he had a habit that cost him $3oo a day. He would get right up in peoples’ faces and not just ask but demand money.

    • Yeah, we had a panhandler in my town like that. He made no money like that as far as we know. We called him Bumpy Charlie. He was bumpy because of all the welts and bruises from the constant crap kickings he got. He was completely gone.

  7. I guess a fella could consider aggressive panhandlers as good practice for situational awareness.

    There’s one that sticks out in my mind. I’d just pulled up to the intercom thingy at a fast food drive through and was in the middle of ordering when this putz gets straight in between me and the intercom asking for money. All I had at the time was a 14″ piece of 750 kcmil cable tucked beside me. Thankfully it boiled down to me cussin him, him cussing me for cussin him, then he left and I had to deal with a very confused girl on the other end of the intercom that didn’t know what the hell had just gone on.

  8. Funny panhandler story: I have a buddy that refuses to eat at Denny’s, because every time he does, he gets hit up for cash.

    The story starts 15+ years ago, just out of high school, when there were lots of late nights at Denny’s. There were 3-4 different Denny’s my friends and I frequented in a couple different cities in close proximity. In the space of 6-8 months, he got hit up for cash at every single one of them. It was noticeable that in our group of 3-8 people, the panhandlers always seemed to be talking to him specifically.

    Fast forward a few years. He’d gone into the Navy, sub nuc, so didn’t get home much. He hadn’t been back in about 5 years, and he and I were going to meet for some food, and we chose Denny’s. It was not one we’d been to before, in the examples above. It had been built while he was gone, in yet another nearby city. You know where this story is going. I got there first, was waiting in the parking lot when he showed up. He gets out, we shake hands and bro-hug, and head for the front door. Halfway there… someone appears from around the corner, and hits him up for cash. Him, not me. Never even makes eye contact with me.

    We left Denny’s and went to Golden Corral.

  9. We should have the same mindset for anyone who approaches — whether they look to be homeless or not. The sad reality is that anyone who approaches could be a criminal with nefarious intentions.

    My “ace in the hole” in those situations is the fact that both my wife and I carry. A lone criminal or even a pair of criminals who approach us would probably focus on me. If not, I would give them a reason to focus on me. That would allow my wife to draw unnoticed and get the drop — and the element of surprise — on the criminals. And once she grabs their attention, I then have a chance to draw and really put the criminals in a losing situation.

    This highlights the fact that operating in groups is about the only way to be “safe” when amidst strangers in public.

  10. This also highlights a tactical and legal problem that has been weighing on me. What do you do with a “friendly” attacker? In our minds we figure criminals are always mean and aggressive when they attack. How about a stranger (actually a violent, hardened criminal) with a hand in their coat pocket who smiles, and then asks politely “Say, can you spare some money?” You tell them, “No, leave me alone.” Still smiling and with their hand still in their pocket, they ask again and get a little closer. You tell them no again, you back up, and tell them to stay away. Still smiling and with their hand still in their pocket, they continue to advance slowly and ask another question … and so on.

    While the citizen is truly in a life threatening situation, there is nothing happening that law enforcement or the courts would consider a valid reason to draw your handgun. It seems like you, the armed citizen, are screwed because the criminal never stated their intention to harm you and they never approached you “aggressively”. So how much does a citizen have to yield to a “friendly” attacker’s repeated “friendly” advances before the citizen is justified to draw and/or shoot?

  11. Memphis is the worst, for pan handlers. I usually just keep walking when they speak and ignore them. I’ve had a few that would try to encroach on your space. At which point, I always try to move and put something between me and them. Usually I move to a vehicle parked on the street, just off the sidewalk, or one of those big planters full of flowers. I love carrying a pocket pistol, because I can put my hand in my pocket, have a good firing grip on the gun and I let the pan handler know, in no uncertain terms, that I am not going to give them money. This has always worked for me. As I continue my way down the street, I can let go of the gun in my pocket and remove my hand from my pocket and NOBODY is the WISER. I have not drawn the gun, just had my hand in my pocket. NOTE TO VISITORS: The CLUBS on Beal Street, are located in a NO GUN ZONE. So, as much as I love to hear Barbra Blue sing at Silky O’ Sullivan’s, I don’t go to Beal Street unless friends are in from out of town. Too many other places I can go, eat good Memphis BBQ and still be armed.

  12. Travelling overseas, it’s obvious I don’t have a gun because either the country has very restrictive gun laws, or because I am one of the people who have come off from a cruise ship. Beggars are much more disrespectful of my personal space than they are stateside, even in areas where there is a lot of panhandling. I’m talking about reaching out and touching my arm, or grabbing my sleeve, and doing the same to my wife, who always walks a step in front of me in crowded areas. I have never encountered one who did not yield to a firm shove. I’m not rude when someone just asks for money, but everyone knows how to keep their hands to themselves, and to respect personal space. If someone sneaks up on you and gets really close, i think it is perfectly reasonable to respond with some anger. The odds are high in this situation that the person is testing the water to see if they can take advantage of you.

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