F-19-Keystone-Cop

Reader Mark B writes:

OC seems to be a hot-spot in the anti/pro debate now. The Moms don’t have a problem with uniformed cops, and perhaps others in uniform, open-carrying. OCing-while-Uniformed doesn’t scare the hoplophobes. But we haven’t been asking the obvious question: What does a uniform prove?  . . .

The St. Valentines massacre was perpetrated by gangsters dressed as cops.

For a long time we have heard reports of our servicemen being shot at by al Qaida wearing Afghani police or army uniforms.

Jihadis have begun attacks in the UK and Europe, sans uniforms; when will they refine their tactics by dressing in uniforms?

What’s to stop jihadis, criminals or crazies from murdering one or many while disguised in a uniform?

Coming to a theater of operations near you!

The obvious answer is: anyone impersonating a police officer would not long wander around any precinct in America before running the risk of being observed by a legitimate member of the local constabulary; who would immediately call him out.  Does this answer hold water?

Anyone intent on murder need not “long wander around” in a uniform.  All he needs to do is doff his cover (rain coat, van) and move swiftly to his target before encountering as a local cop. He will be able to walk by any security (in a mall, store or school) without question. A uniform will buy several minutes of opportunity to position himself before the first shot calls attention to the ruse.

There are three kinds of venues with respect to police patrols: sparsely populated, average populated, and densely populated.  In a sparsely populated venue (rural areas) there are almost zero police per square mile. No local constable is likely to see and question the impostor. In the most densely populated, such as NYC, no police officer can presume to know all the other cops who might be assigned to his beat. An impostor is apt to be ignored.

In any case, why should an attacker risk impersonating a police officer?  He might be much better off impersonating an armored-car company currier. Their uniforms aren’t particularly elaborate; fewer details to screw up. Local police are unlikely to presume to know all the curriers who work on their beat.

During the 25 years I lived in NJ I saw two non-uniformed OCers: one, a middle-aged police detective (a woman), and the other a young courier (also a woman).  Neither attracted any attention from anyone in the vicinity.

I don’t see how the hoplophobes can take any comfort whatsoever from a uniform when observing an OCer in their presence.  A uniform, whether that of a cop, private security guard or armored car courier, provides great cover for anyone intending to murder – especially mass-murder.

The question facing us is, how can we make this point effectively?  

By way of illustration, how about an OC demonstration that illustrates the point? Clearly, no one should dare to dress in public in any reasonable facsimile of a police uniform nor that of a Brinks or Pinkerton employee. Nor should anyone OC where it’s against the law. That said, I don’t see why it would be illegal to dress in a costume of a 19th Century police officer.

So long as the uniform is clearly an out-of-date costume and doesn’t resemble the local officers’  uniforms I doubt that it would violate the law. Nor do I see why it would be illegal to dress in a uniform emblazoned with the name of a fictitious armored-car service, e.g., the Miqui-Mustafa Payroll Services Co”.  If a half-dozen paraders are dressed in a variety of antiquated police uniforms and armored-car service uniforms observers should get the point.

We wouldn’t have any impact on the antis, of course; our audience is the uncommitted observer.  Once so exposed, the seed of doubt is planted in the uncommitted mind. “I saw these silly clowns parading around with their six-shooters; obviously, they were imposters.  Yet, how can I be sure that Officer Friendly or the Brinks employee is legit?”

The next time such an uncommitted observer hears the antis ranting about OCers they will have to reconcile the message with the experience we have offered them. If the Antis’ reasoning is fallacious about OC, should the uncommitted mind be skeptical of the rest of the Antis’ messages?

Recommended For You

59 Responses to When It Comes to Open Carry, What Difference Does a Uniform Make?

  1. I wonder, if someone open carried in khakis and a polo shirt, shirt hair or shaved head and a mustache…you know, that “cop” look, would shannon freak out right away?

    • Quick, everyone wear your favorite 5.11 ® tactical footwear, pants and shirts and get a military regulation haircut. That will be “our uniform”. Don’t forget your favorite Oakley® standard issue eye protection.

      • It works 100% of the time. When I OC I wear khakis, a black polo (with black undershirt), Keen hiking boots and sport a short haircut. Have a confident attitude (tho’ not a swagger) and in the public’s mind you are LE. How easily the sheep are duped.

    • A whole uniform is unnecessary as a disguise – it is very easy on the webernet to find mail-order badges that closely resemble those of your local police. For about $69.95 you can get such a badge and clip it to your belt next to your open carry pistol. I suspect even a cop would simply give you a nod of the head and walk on by unless he got close enough to read the inscription on the badge.

    • I have often been mistaken for an off duty police officer when I open carry.

      Once, I heard a man say to his companion, be careful, you don’t want to get in trouble with that cop (me) over there.

    • I was at a Rahway gun shop 2 years ago, mid afternoon weekday and watched a young male wearing a black polo shirt with DHS on the back and khaki pants, but with a thigh strapped holstered sig 40. (don’t know exact model) he asked a couple of questions and walked out. I found it to be interesting and a bit disturbing at the same time. nothing covert about him.

  2. The Aurora theater shooter almost got away because his uniform was extremely close to the responding swat team’s garb. A senior officer happened to see something that was out of place and stopped to question him.

  3. Again: LEOs commit crime at a rate an order of magnitude greater than non-LEO who carry constitutionally or via permit. A non-LEO open carrier is about the safest, most law-abiding person you are likely to encounter in public, statistically speaking.

      • Link to FBI Crime report of Peer Reviewed and Published study to support this, or it’s nonsense.

        Happy reading, boss:

        http://crimepreventionresearchcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Concealed-Carry-Permit-Holders-Across-the-United-States.pdf

        Money ‘graph:

        The numbers are similarly low in Texas. In 2012, the latest year that crime data are available, there were 584,850 active license holders. Out of these, 120 were convicted of either a misdemeanor or a felony, a rate of 0.021 percent, with only
        a few of these crimes involving a gun.

        The Florida numbers can easily be compared to data on firearms violations by police officers during the three years from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2007.

        During that time period, the annual rate of such violations by police was at least 0.007 percent. That is higher than the rate for permit holders in Florida. The police data on total annual offenses also provide a direct comparison for Florida and Texas. The rate of all crimes committed by police is 0.124 percent – a number about 6 times higher than the rate for in Texas and about 10 times higher than for Florida.

        “10 times higher” = order of magnitude.

        • How did I know this is the study you would link to? I like John Lott, but…really?

          If you cite a study with a randomized confidence interval, a ridiculous effect size, and using a poor criteria for the normal deviate of selected (and poor significance criterion at that), don’t be surprised when other people smirk. This is all aside from the fact that the study doesn’t correct for the behavior qualifiers for two disparate groups.

          This has all been discussed to death on the interwebs. Lott has done some great stuff and I was pretty surprised he hitched his wagon to this one. Seriously, we have enough problems without adopting obviously flawed studies as “proof.”

        • Chip Bennett missed a zero behind his decimal point referring to citizen law violators with CCW as being .021 percent. dividing120 violations by 584,850 CCW permit holders gives a violator ratio of .00020518, which the state of Florida states in their information, rounded off the the next higher number gives a percent of ZERO.
          nothing to see here folks, just keep moving.

        • Proof wrote …

          If you cite a study with a randomized confidence interval, a ridiculous effect size, and using a poor criteria for the normal deviate of selected (and poor significance criterion at that), don’t be surprised when other people smirk.

          Say whatever you want about the data. At the end of the day, roughly 1 out of 300,000 concealed carry licensees will attempt to murder someone every year — with our without their concealed carry handgun. Law enforcement officers will attempt to murder someone at the same or even higher rate every year. Given that there are roughly 12 million concealed carry licensees and roughly 1 million law enforcement officers in the U.S., those numbers reliably illustrate the character and behavior of both groups.

          Bottom line: people should have even more trust in concealed carry licensees than law enforcement officers — especially given the fact that concealed carry licensees don’t have “qualified immunity” or a police union behind which to hide.

      • Proof, I see you are unable to provide any documentation or logical counter arguments yourself. Please understand that adults have to laugh at your immaturity.

  4. great article, but one small thing in the part about the armored car company employees:
    Currier should be Courier. Other than than that it’s very well written, and makes a some good points.

    • Well, maybe the people in the armored car are delivering greeting cards. In that case, “Currier” is quite appropriate.

  5. Incorporate yourself into a private security firm and hire yourself. That way you can wear a uniform and no one will give you a second look when you open carry. You won’t be wearing a police uniform so you can’t be charged with impersonating an officer.

  6. Stamp approval of the state, it means everything. Even most here require only the official state stamp of approval on their news and information; information from elsewhere that does not have the state stamp has little credibility.

  7. I don’t believe most non-gun people who watch modern movies/TV shows associate open carry of a holstered handgun as a red alert of bad intent. It’s my understanding thugs & gang bangers don’t usually even carry in a holster. Could be wrong……….

  8. It’s about the preeminence and holiness of the state. In skool they were taught “the earth is the state’s and the fullness thereof.” Not wearing a uniform indicates freedom and freedom is something “too hot for their hands.”.

  9. I understand the point you are making, but wearing anything that resembles a LE badge in public is a bad idea at best and certainly illegal in some states regardless of the rest of your “costume”.

  10. I wonder if Shannon Watts would be more comfortable with me wearing a SS Allegemiene uniform? Maybe the SS uniform would turn on all of those Moms Demanding some Action?

  11. Or how about open carry that does not look like open carry?

    A holster that looks like its for a tape measure.

    A club that is a kill stick.

    A sword that is part of a costume but could cut you in half.

    A functioning rifle w/ super-soakeresque furniture.

    Vehicle mounted weapons.

    Mossberg used to sell a tube that could hold a shotgun (Just In Case). Painted another color w/ no decals or wording few would no:
    http://ammoland.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Mossberg-500-JIC-Patriot-Shotgun.jpg?737371

    Or how about when legit cops (and military) are the shooters? Like here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crandon,_Wisconsin_shooting

    Anwar Sadat ring any bells?

    • “A sword that is part of a costume but could cut you in half…”

      This might work at a renaissance fair but otherwise is not going to go unnoticed.

  12. And the Naziis wore neat art deco uniforms. Oh and I disagree with a main point. A lot of demanding moms are upset with cops carrying openly-like the cops in a Denny’s(?) asked to leave even though they had highly visible badges on display. +1 Chip…

  13. I’m pretty sure that there are some places in America where a blue uniform is considered the scariest thing on Earth, and camo uniforms are laughed at.

  14. A pair of 5.11 tactical pants, Bates duty boots, a black shirt and a black ball cap.
    Glock in a black kydex holster on a carry belt with spare magazine, knife, multi-tool and flashlight pouches.
    Carriage and demeanor to match and you can go just about anywhere without raising eyebrows.

  15. It never ceases to amaze me that some trust the police but not everyday people. What happens when a police officer in the wrong shoots someone that was innocent? They get put on administrative leave until people forget about it. What happens when a non leo in the right shoots someone legitimately? Their life is still ruined with legal fees, ostracism, and continued paranoia. When they say only police should have guns do they say that because only police get paid vacation when they shoot people?

  16. don’t see how the hoplophobes can take any comfort whatsoever from a uniform when observing an OCer in their presence.

    Its the old sheep/sheepdog syndrome.

  17. …or we could forget this silly idea and realize criminals are generally not stupid enough to make things more complicated for themselves- in other words, they conceal carry like anyone else who isn’t seeking attention. To do otherwise is a huge risk for no reward, except in bizarre cases. No normal person who doesn’t have an axe to grind is going to go from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre to not trusting uniforms using any sort of reason.

    And yes, this means it’s also stupid to call 911 because you see someone open carrying and you think that makes them a criminal- the same logic applies. Just give them the hug they so desperately need and go about your day…

  18. Couple points about my experiences. There are so many separate organizations across the country that wear uniforms of different styles and colors, carry credentials of different varieties, and carry firearms, it is all but impossible for those in law enforcement to immediate know who is legit or not. For example, how many police officers know what an FBI badge looks like. How about a US Marshal? Or the credentials from an agency on the other side of the state? I had been an USAF SP a previous decade or so, and we interacted with civilian LEOs on a regular basis. Frankly, they always trusted our uniform as legit, as we did their uniforms. Of course, when it came to Priority Resources, we did not trust anyone. Lets just say that a civilian police officer tried to pull over a convoy carrying a Priority A Resource once, and he nearly got the wrong end of an M-60 machine gun. Anyhow, when multiple agencies respond to something, there really isn’t much you can do to figure out who is legit or not. But, just to be clear, most criminals who dress up as police are not exactly that smart, so they often do something that reveals them.

  19. Mr. Zimmerman failed to list the most deadly spree killer in the last 50 years — who just happened to wear a police uniform during his rampage: Anders Breivik who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

  20. This is actually a great point.. I am actually a former Pinkerton employee. But I digress.. I have never once been questioned by the police for opening carrying while in uniform, or asked for licenses to verify I’m legit.. By any law enforcement officer I ever encountered. Most of the time people assumed we were cops simply because we were carrying weapons.. Of course we’d correct
    Them but regardless there is a psychological aspect to all this. People automatically trust uniforms..
    Particularly in the United States,
    Well in most
    Areas.

  21. All it takes for a generic (but not specifically police) uniform is a black shirt, black pants, a name badge and some gold frill on the shoulders or neck. Providing you didn’t have a shield/star and any words/acronym (even typeface to some judges) that are significantly similar to a police agency, I doubt you could be charged as “impersonating an officer”. Even if charged, it’s unlikely to stick when put to a jury vote.

  22. Re: dressing up in a costume, strapping a gun to the hip, and going out in public …

    I see several possible results:

    (a) cops will question you, wondering WTF you’re doing wearing a fake cop / armored car guy costume in public while armed;
    (b) cops will arrest you for disturbing the peace;
    (c) bystanders will think that you’re a mental patient who is off of his meds;
    (d) bystanders will think you’re a lunatic who is actually going to start killing someone;
    (e) media will have a new story about the latest “gun nut” to do something silly;
    (f) multiple (or all) of the above.

    I don’t see this as a good idea.

  23. Personally, I like the idea of an open carry event where a group of men wear dress pants, solid color (no pattern) button-shirts, and ties … and the women wear dress pants and solid color blouses. Ideally, the men in the group would have short haircuts and the women in the group would have flattering hairstyles and makeup for a business oriented look (whatever that means).

    And have an additional (although somewhat segregated) open carry group with a mix of casual and “grunge” for contrast.

    Such an event should both highlight and dispel the hysterical fears of open carry.

  24. I don’t support it, but I think it’s interesting that in Ireland, cops in regular police uniforms are never allowed to be armed. However, police in plain clothes or tactical uniforms are always armed. Their idea is that the uniform makes an officer a target and if criminals know they are not armed, they will not feel the need to use deadly force against them.

    To the comment about khakis and polos, I was in the DC Metro once and there like five guys on the platform in khakis, black polos and black ball caps, with pistols in tactical (leg strap) holsters. The only outward ID they had was “DHS” embroidered on their polos and ball caps. I later saw those same polos and ball caps on sale at a Dulles airport gift shop!

  25. I’ve been mistaken for a cop on many occasions in a tee shirt and blue jeans without being armed. Must be my haircut and military bearing.

  26. Let me get this right. We’re going to wake people up, by deliberately deceiving them?
    Well, that’s about the stupidest fucking idea I’ve ever heard. You want to act out some political pro-gun activist, performance art, so you can, wise-up, through staged theatrics, the ignorant, hoplophobic sheep? And for what? So you can OC? Ah…………no. Here’s why….and this article is a perfect example of why not.

    I no longer believe that the Armed Intelligentsia is as intelligentsia as they think they are. Knowing about guns, and having an opinion about guns, only shows you have an aptitude for the object, but not the concept. I’ll get to that in a moment. Where the OC train goes off the tracks, is just what this article is promoting. Who is to be trusted to Open Carry? Not only is the thought limited in scope, it is selfishly narrow in vision. Trust is earned, it isn’t granted, or bestowed on you because you think you know something about a particular subject. It isn’t enough that you can carry a firearm, it’s that you want others to see you doing it. You crave the same trust that we as a society, have placed in our law enforcement system, a system that has earned that trust ever since we decided that we needed skilled people to professionally perform those crime fighting duties. That is where we, as a society, put our trust, in people specifically trained to do a job. Who….what sort of person needs, or more to the point, expects to be trusted, just because they can carry a firearm? What reasoning makes you think you should be trusted? Who the Hell do you think you are? A cop without a badge? The police carry hip holsters to be quick on the draw, AND to clearly differentiate themselves from the civilian population. Why? Because they were people you could trust. They were ultimately accountable to a higher, supposedly unbiased authority. That is what our society determined, over 200 years ago, would be the best way reign-in, and civilize the wild wild West way of settling scores, or robbing stage coaches, or rustling cattle. For over 200 years, law enforcement earned that trust. The earned it riding trail as U.S. Marshall’s or Texas Rangers, over territory and terrain most people wouldn’t dare to go. They’ve earned that trust through hard work and lives lost creating a society where we all didn’t need to carry open firearms as a daily practice. Americans were free to prosper, and profit from the freedom that was promised to all. That was a good thing, the best thing about America. People still carried firearms, but they didn’t feel a need to carry them just for their immediate, daily survival. In most of America, that legacy still lives today, which is just one of the many reasons America is exceptional in all of human history. 300+ million people, and the trust and respect you OCer’s believe you are entitled to hasn’t been proven, and it hasn’t been earned. The concept that seems to escape so many here, is that as a society, we rather like the idea that in America, we don’t need to walk around so openly armed, ready to draw at an instant as though we had a duty to act as civilian sheepdogs. As a society, we like not having to see guns, other than on those whose “profession” requires it. The childish notion that the way to wake up the doddering masses to your superior view that, after 200 years of peace and prosperity, shoving your guns into their faces and collective consciousness’s, by staging a crafted charade over your desire to be trusted by people you don’t know, is not just outrageous, it is patently offensive. You aren’t nobly acting in the name of what’s best for American society any more than Shannon Watts and the anti’s are. This is all about you. And frankly, I don’t know if you can be trusted to pretend that you can be trusted to open carry if your job doesn’t absolutely require it. Leave the ostentatious display of firepower for those who need it and are paid to do it. In a way, aren’t you cheapening, even diminishing the reason such paid individuals are so armed? They all have been vetted, to some varying degree,….but you haven’t, other than by your own personal assessment. Oh, swell. Self-accrediting, self-sanctifying, non-com cops. So sorry, but what you OCer’s are doing, is the opposite of help….and the deceptive theater of the absurd described in this article is definitely not the way home.

    I’ve carried for 25 years, concealed, and have only needed to pull out my shooter twice. I can pull from concealed faster than you can say WTF. So I know that the “unencumbered access” reason that I’ve seen the OC promoters use, is at best, a laughable ruse, and at worst, a self-serving lie. The visual deterrent reason is just as bogus too.

    More Americans than you know, are supportive of your right to carry a firearm. They begin to question your intentions when they sense deception in your motives about your desire to open carry as though you are entitled to that trust, just as I have. So stop demanding/ranting that we should de facto, grant you that trust.
    That’s not how it works.

    • Who is to be trusted to Open Carry? Not only is the thought limited in scope, it is selfishly narrow in vision. Trust is earned, it isn’t granted, or bestowed on you because you think you know something about a particular subject.

      Since when did the lawful exercise of a right require anyone’s trust?

      It isn’t enough that you can carry a firearm, it’s that you want others to see you doing it. You crave the same trust that we as a society, have placed in our law enforcement system…

      Actually, most people I know who choose to open carry don’t want trust, respect, reverence, or anything other than to be left alone.

      ho the Hell do you think you are? A cop without a badge?

      Filed under: projection.

      The police carry hip holsters to be quick on the draw, AND to clearly differentiate themselves from the civilian population.

      Police are civilians. They are under the civil law, rather than under the military code.

      Why? Because they were people you could trust. They were ultimately accountable to a higher, supposedly unbiased authority.

      One: police are held accountable to the very same, civil law to which everyone else is held accountable. Two: a firearm is not a symbol of status, trust, or authority. It is a self-defense tool.

      hat is what our society determined, over 200 years ago, would be the best way reign-in, and civilize the wild wild West way of settling scores, or robbing stage coaches, or rustling cattle.

      Your understanding of history seems to need a bit of fine-tuning. The constitution authorized one law enforcement officer: the county sheriff. The sheriff organized the local communities (through raising the hue and cry, or forming a posse comitatus) to deal with lawbreakers. The first urban police force was not organized until 1838, in Boston (other sources say 1845, in New York City, was the first).

      For over 200 years, law enforcement earned that trust. The earned it riding trail as U.S. Marshall’s or Texas Rangers, over territory and terrain most people wouldn’t dare to go.

      And those first police forces were formed primarily for control of disorder, rather than crime. Their purpose was control of the unruly, unwashed masses primarily, and crime prevention through surveillance and observation, secondarily.

      The urban police forces were also notoriously corrupt and brutal – hardly the foundation for building the public trust that you allege. In fact, arming police officers was a controversial matter. After a long history of immigrant-bashing, strike-busting, acting as enforcers for corrupt administrators, and turning a blind eye to organized crime, it has only really been since extensive reform efforts in the 20th century that urban police forces have changed their reputation and gained some of the trust you mention.

      Even so, urban police forces remain bureaucratic monsters completely unaccountable to the electorate while acting with qualified legal immunity for their actions. While the vast majority of police officers are good people merely trying to serve their communities, the very existence and structure of urban police forces acts as a Petri dish to cultivate people who would abuse the authority that comes from the position.

      They bear no resemblance to the county sheriff, who existed primarily to bring lawbreakers to justice, who is directly responsible to the electorate, and who has generally carried out their duties with appropriate respect for citizens and constitution alike.

      They’ve earned that trust through hard work and lives lost creating a society where we all didn’t need to carry open firearms as a daily practice.

      The lawful exercise of a right is not a matter of perceived need. One need not demonstrate a particular need in order to exercise a right.

      People still carried firearms, but they didn’t feel a need to carry them just for their immediate, daily survival. In most of America, that legacy still lives today, which is just one of the many reasons America is exceptional in all of human history. 300+ million people, and the trust and respect you OCer’s believe you are entitled to hasn’t been proven, and it hasn’t been earned.

      Only you seem to bring up the matter of a desire for trust.

      But I dispute your claim. That 100,000,000 Americans have firearms, and don’t commit crimes with them, demonstrates that they are trustworthy. That 11,000,000 Americans carry those firearms daily, and don’t commit crimes with them, demonstrates that they are trustworthy.

      As a society, we like not having to see guns, other than on those whose “profession” requires it.

      The lawful exercise of a right does not require “society” to “like” it. I don’t particularly like to see such so-called artwork as “Piss Christ”, but I recognize the right of the “artist” to produce and display it.

      he childish notion that the way to wake up the doddering masses to your superior view that, after 200 years of peace and prosperity, shoving your guns into their faces and collective consciousness’s, by staging a crafted charade over your desire to be trusted by people you don’t know, is not just outrageous, it is patently offensive.

      And now we’re back to projecting?

      And frankly, I don’t know if you can be trusted to pretend that you can be trusted to open carry if your job doesn’t absolutely require it.

      Again: the lawful exercise of a right does not require your trust, or the trust of anyone else. I’ll support the right of those who choose to open carry, and you can find someplace warm and dark to shove your trust.

      Leave the ostentatious display of firepower for those who need it and are paid to do it.

      Police are paid to make an ostentatious display of firepower? We’ll come back to that in a minute, eh?

      In a way, aren’t you cheapening, even diminishing the reason such paid individuals are so armed?

      Police aren’t paid to protect me. Police aren’t legally responsible for my protection. Police have zero obligation to do anything at all if I find myself in need of protection. So, no: the average person carrying a firearm in no way diminishes the reason for police officers to carry firearms.

      hey all have been vetted, to some varying degree,….but you haven’t, other than by your own personal assessment.

      Again: the lawful exercise of a right does not require one to be “vetted” as a prerequisite to exercise that right.

      So I know that the “unencumbered access” reason that I’ve seen the OC promoters use, is at best, a laughable ruse, and at worst, a self-serving lie.

      And regardless: their choice to carry openly doesn’t require any justification that meets your approval. They’re exercising a right.

      The visual deterrent reason is just as bogus too.

      [citation needed]

      I can cite a story of open carry deterring a crime. I can cite the general psyche of a criminal in wanting to avoid resistance and to carry out their crime as quickly and inconspicuously as possible, to support the claim that open carry deters crime. I can generally cite More Guns, Less Crime, that demonstrates statistically that, when criminals know that people are carrying in one place, they flee to other, nearby/surrounding places to commit their crimes.

      Oh, and I can cite actual survey data of criminals (and note: this survey was in 1985, when far fewer people than today were carrying):

      https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Photocopy/97099NCJRS.pdf

      Key points:

      81% of interviewees agreed that a “smart criminal” will try to determine if a potential victim is armed.
      74% indicated that burglars avoided occupied dwellings, because of fear of being shot.
      57% said that most criminals feared armed citizens more than the police.
      40% said that they had been deterred from committing a particular crime, because they believed that the potential victim was armed.
      37% said that they had encountered an armed victim
      34% said that they had been scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim

      So, yes: criminals knowing that their potential victims are armed does deter crime. (That is, the criminal is deterred from making the armed person a would-be victim.)

      I can also ask: why do police officers carry openly? You seemingly imply above that part of the reason is to make an “ostentatious display” of their firearm. What purpose could such a display serve, other than to deter crime?

      They begin to question your intentions when they sense deception in your motives about your desire to open carry as though you are entitled to that trust, just as I have.

      You clearly have a heightened sense of the importance of your personal trust in the lawful exercise of rights by others.

      So stop demanding/ranting that we should de facto, grant you that trust.
      That’s not how it works.

      Stop demanding that law-abiding people who exercise their rights in a lawful manner have any need, obligation, or desire to obtain your personal trust in their exercise of those rights.

      That’s not how the free exercise of rights works.

      • Boy, I must have hit a nerve. Look at the length you had to go to defend your “supposed” right to open carry. When I conceal carry, I have to make no such lengthy defensive evisceration of an opposing opinion. You do.
        I will apply for a correction.
        “The police carry hip holsters to be quick on the draw, AND to clearly differentiate themselves from “non-law enforcement” civilians.
        But my point still stands. You OCer’s WANT to be SEEN carrying guns. Sure, you can cite a few examples of open carry as a deterrent. I can cite an entire state where CC did the same job. Florida. And any other state that implemented CC. If this isn’t getting through, do me a favor. Show me where, in the U.S, Constitution, it spells out your right to open carry. I’ll save you the time…it isn’t in there. I know you think it’s in the 2nd A, but the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t adress what manner of carry. Poor you, society has a say in who can open carry. In other words, it’s not all about YOU! Which was my only point. Maybe I should have asked you why concealed carry isn’t good enough…..for YOU! As I said, I think you OCer’s have, for whatever reason, an aching need to be SEEN carrying. Having a strident belief in something doesn’t it make it right, or even wise.
        Like it or not, in this country, we the people decided it would be more civilized if only law enforcement carried openly. That happened over a long period of time before you or I were born. Since we are, or recently used to be, the only 1st world country with a protected right to keep and bear arms, show me another country that has people carrying guns openly everywhere, and I’ll show you a socialist 3rd world country in the Middle-East or sub-Saharan Africa. Free people, living in a 1st world nation, shouldn’t FEEL the NEED to, or worse, WANT to brandish firearms openly. A majority of Americans support your right to keep and bear arms, but when they see you OC or nothing types, engaging in video stunts carrying long guns into city centers and shopping malls, they wonder why you believe this should be considered normal behavior, and they’re right to do so. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but people haven’t carried long guns in public since the late 1800’s. Why? Because we no longer need to. And society at large, no longer wanted to. Only the police did, and eventually, they weren’t carrying long guns either. See the progression? The more that law and order prevail and the wild becomes civilized, the less need for carrying heavy fire power. Do you see any police walking a public beat carrying a tactical rifle? Then why do you think you should? Because, YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SEE YOU DOING IT!
        That bothers me. The whole psychology of the OC crowd bothers me. The baseless claims of superiority are part of your inner dialogue. Superiority of thinking, superiority of interpreting the 2nd A, the superiority of your selfless act of visual deterrence, of unencumbered access, etc. Do you ever listen to yourselves? And when you find you’re not allowed to do as you want, carry as you want, it’s everybody else that has the problem….for not seeing it YOUR way. Don’t look now, but that’s the perverted logic of Shannon Watts and her gun-grabbing friends. The only deterrence that really works, is a state that recognizes and vociferously supports and defends, the immutable right of its citizens to defend themselves with a firearm. As long as it’s a carried in a civilized manner, concealed. I don’t mind you carrying, I mind that you want to advertise to everyone that you’re carrying. It’s like you’re all screaming, “Look over here, pay attention to me, respect me, I have a firearm.”
        I wonder how many of you OCer’s are really out there. And how many CCer’s wished you OCer’s would STFU?
        From personal experience, calm assertive people prefer to carry concealed. Tense submissive people prefer to carry open. Hmmm?

        • Boy, I must have hit a nerve. Look at the length you had to go to defend your “supposed” right to open carry. When I conceal carry, I have to make no such lengthy defensive evisceration of an opposing opinion. You do.
          I will apply for a correction.
          “The police carry hip holsters to be quick on the draw, AND to clearly differentiate themselves from “non-law enforcement” civilians.
          But my point still stands.

          Actually, IIRC, your point was that you didn’t need to open carry to be quick on the draw – while at the same time claiming that police open carry… to be quick on the draw.

          Which is it?

          You OCer’s WANT to be SEEN carrying guns.

          I’m not an open carrier. I carry concealed. I support the right of people to choose their own manner of lawful exercise of a natural, constitutionally protected right.

          Sure, you can cite a few examples of open carry as a deterrent. I can cite an entire state where CC did the same job. Florida. And any other state that implemented CC.

          You originally asserted that the claim that open carry deters criminals to be false. I refuted that claim. Your new claim is that open carry does act as a deterrent, but that concealed carry accomplishes the same deterrence.

          You have just moved the goalposts.

          I don’t deny that concealed carry acts also as a deterrent (John Lott proves it statistically); but I have no evidence to make a claim regarding the relative deterrent factor of open versus concealed carry. You seem to make such a claim out of whole cloth.

          If this isn’t getting through, do me a favor. Show me where, in the U.S, Constitution, it spells out your right to open carry. I’ll save you the time…it isn’t in there. I know you think it’s in the 2nd A, but the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t adress what manner of carry.

          “…shall not be infringed.” Regulating the manner of carry is an infringement. Let me remind you of the definition of infringe:

          in·fringe
          inˈfrinj
          verb
          1. actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.).
          2. act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on.

          Poor you, society has a say in who can open carry.

          Not according to the Constitution, they don’t.

          In other words, it’s not all about YOU! Which was my only point.

          With respect to the free exercise of natural, constitutionally protected rights, it is, in fact, all about the person exercising those rights. You don’t get a say. Sorry.

          Maybe I should have asked you why concealed carry isn’t good enough…..for YOU!

          Concealed carry is good enough… for me.

          (Oh, except that right now, it isn’t. I’m working in Ohio, which won’t recognize my Indiana LTCH until late next month. So my only carry option right now is open carry.)

          As I said, I think you OCer’s…

          Again – still – I’m not an open carrier.

          …have, for whatever reason, an aching need to be SEEN carrying.

          I couldn’t care less why people who open carry choose or want to do so. Quite frankly, it’s none of my business.

          Having a strident belief in something doesn’t it make it right, or even wise.

          Open carry is a right, doing so is right, and there’s absolutely nothing unwise about doing so.

          Like it or not, in this country, we the people decided it would be more civilized if only law enforcement carried openly. That happened over a long period of time before you or I were born.

          And at one time, “we the people” decided that black people could be enslaved – then decided that they couldn’t vote, nor could women. “We the people” are fallible humans, and get things wrong, all the time. That’s why we have a constitutional republic form of government, that establishes the Rule of Law above the capricious will of “we the people”. One aspect of that Rule of Law is that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

          Since we are, or recently used to be, the only 1st world country with a protected right to keep and bear arms, show me another country that has people carrying guns openly everywhere, and I’ll show you a socialist 3rd world country in the Middle-East or sub-Saharan Africa.

          Switzerland. Thanks for playing.

          Free people, living in a 1st world nation, shouldn’t FEEL the NEED to, or worse, WANT to brandish firearms openly.

          Brandish? Now you adopt MDA talking points. A holstered firearm is not “brandished”. A long gun slung over the shoulder is not “brandished”.

          And what people in a free society feel the need to do, or want to do, in the exercise of a natural, constitutionally protected right, is none of your or my business.

          A majority of Americans support your right to keep and bear arms, but when they see you OC or nothing types…

          I’m still not an open carrier, much less an open-carry-or-nothing type.

          …engaging in video stunts carrying long guns into city centers and shopping malls, they wonder why you believe this should be considered normal behavior, and they’re right to do so.

          Why are they right to do so? Why shouldn’t open carry of long guns be normalized? What part of “criminals don’t open carry long guns” has yet to sink in for you?

          And do you lump all open carriers (including those who merely open carry handguns) together, or is your ire primarily directed at those who open carry long guns?

          Maybe you haven’t noticed, but people haven’t carried long guns in public since the late 1800’s.

          Are you sure about that? Really, really sure?

          Why? Because we no longer need to. And society at large, no longer wanted to.

          I’ll direct your attention to just one incident: August 1, 1966. Charles Whitman climbed to the top of a tower on the campus of the University of Texas, in Austin, and started shooting people. He was stopped because several people in the park in which he was shooting were open carrying their own long guns, and returned fire. Their return fire suppressed Whitman long enough for law enforcement to climb the tower and take him out. If average citizens hadn’t been open carrying that day, many, many more people would have died. (And 1966 is well past the late 1800s, FYI.)

          Only the police did, and eventually, they weren’t carrying long guns either. See the progression? The more that law and order prevail and the wild becomes civilized, the less need for carrying heavy fire power. Do you see any police walking a public beat carrying a tactical rifle? Then why do you think you should? Because, YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SEE YOU DOING IT!

          I don’t do it. I don’t have any particular desire to do it. I couldn’t care less the reasons why law-abiding people choose to exercise their natural, constitutionally protected rights.

          That bothers me. The whole psychology of the OC crowd bothers me.

          Perhaps it is a personal issue for you to address? Why would the lawful manner of exercise of a natural, constitutionally protected right by someone else (much less the reasons for such) be anything that concerns you?

          The baseless claims of superiority are part of your inner dialogue.

          My inner dialogue – whatever that means – is irrelevant, given that again and still, I do not open carry.

          Superiority of thinking, superiority of interpreting the 2nd A, the superiority of your selfless act of visual deterrence, of unencumbered access, etc.

          Personally? This sounds like so much projection of your own inner dialogue upon other people. Fortunately for them, their freedom to exercise a natural, constitutionally protected right is not dependent upon your ability to stop yourself from projecting your own issues upon them.

          Do you ever listen to yourselves?

          Yep. I’m still not an open carrier.

          And when you find you’re not allowed to do as you want, carry as you want, it’s everybody else that has the problem….for not seeing it YOUR way.

          Yes, generally speaking, when person A attempts to infringe upon the freedom of person B to exercise a natural, constitutionally protected right, the issue is with person A, not person B.

          Don’t look now, but that’s the perverted logic of Shannon Watts and her gun-grabbing friends.

          Actually, Shannon Watts wants to dictate to others the manner in which others exercise their natural, constitutionally protected rights. From where I’m sitting, the one analogous to Shannon Watts here is not people who choose to open carry, but you.

          The only deterrence that really works, is a state that recognizes and vociferously supports and defends, the immutable right of its citizens to defend themselves with a firearm.

          Refer back to the survey I posted. Criminals fear armed citizens more than they fear the state. The deterrence is average people arming themselves, not the state.

          As long as it’s a carried in a civilized manner, concealed.

          I suppose here is a great place to point out that criminals prefer to carry concealed, as well.

          I don’t mind you carrying, I mind that you want to advertise to everyone that you’re carrying.

          I honestly couldn’t care less what you mind or don’t mind. How others choose to exercise their rights is none of your business.

          It’s like you’re all screaming…

          Yep. I’m still not screaming.

          “Look over here, pay attention to me, respect me, I have a firearm.”

          So what if those who choose to open carry are screaming that, literally or figuratively? They have rights protected by the first amendment as well as the second.

          I wonder how many of you OCer’s are really out there.

          Aaaaand I’m still not an open carrier.

          And how many CCer’s wished you OCer’s would STFU?

          This concealed carrier wishes that you would shut up, and stop trying to dictate to others the manner in which they exercise their rights. But you know what? I recognize that you have a first amendment-protected right to butt your nose into other people’s affairs.

          From personal experience, calm assertive people prefer to carry concealed. Tense submissive people prefer to carry open. Hmmm?

          Just a hunch, but I would not be surprised to learan that your “personal experience” is self-validating. I do know for certain, though, that your “personal experience” has no bearing on anyone else, and does not dictate to others the manner in which they choose to exercise their rights.

          P.S. please learn to use paragraphs.

  27. It makes absolutely no difference. Especially since the average American gun owner and concealed permit holder likely puts in more time at the range than your average LEO.

  28. Reading all of the comments reminded me of something amusing. Somehow I acquired a Fort Worth, Texas Police T-shirt many years ago. I don’t remember when, where, or how… I just had it. I accidentally wore it (at least I’m pretty sure it wasn’t intentional… the first time) when I went in to renew my driver’s license. There was just the tiniest bit of the crest showing in the picture but it did get me out of at least one speeding ticket. I always told the truth when asked about it and never tried to pass it off as anything but, “That was the shirt I grabbed from the closet that day…” Alas, It doesn’t fit anymore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *