“The victim was near Henry Clay and Coliseum around 9 p.m. when he was approached by two attackers who hit him with a gun,” uptownmessenger.com reports. “They then put him face down on the ground, frisked him, and stole the victim’s concealed weapon.” It’s a rare but not unknown event: bad guys robbing a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit holder of his or her defensive firearm. In this case, the vic’s inability to bring his gun to bear on the bad guys had a little something to do with the fact that he was pistol whipped in the head before he could draw. But what if the victim had been openly carrying his firearm . . .

would the robbers have chosen less dangerous prey?

Some would say that openly carrying would have been more dangerous; the criminals would shot him sooner rather than take their chances with “simple” physical violence. Over at free republic commentator Jack Hammer holds that view:

Any sane person would not want to open-carry just asa black-belt would not walk around with his belt on and his hands in the air. The surprise element makes a big difference. Why would anyone want the bad guy to shoot him first?

Yes, concealed carriers have surprise on their side. But that doesn’t give them much of an advantage if their attacker(s) carry out their own surprise attack first. In fact, my reading tells me that crooks target concealed carriers (albeit unknowingly) more often than open carriers.

That said, what concealed carriers lose in tactical deterrence, society gains strategic deterrence. Robbers have more uncertainty about who may be armed. On the opposite of that coin, what the open carrier loses in surprise, he gains in tactical deterrence. Most criminals do not want to attack an armed victim.

In short, both methods of carry have advantages and disadvantages. Law abiding people should be able to chose which works for them in whatever circumstances they find themselves.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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65 Responses to Gun Stolen in Armed Robbery. Concealed Carry Fail?

  1. The point is, carry period and be alert to your surroundings. Open carrying doesn’t necessarily make you a target anymore that the ‘surprise’ of concealed carry will necessarily give you an advantage.

  2. Facing two armed assailants you’re not in a good situation no matter what.

    Seeing as how these two were immediately violent I doubt they would have minded taking on an ‘open carrier.’

  3. Concealed carry fail? Maybe. Situational awareness fail? Absolutely.

    BGs like to sneak up on people and bash their heads in, then rob them. So keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel and be ready to defend yourself. Get separation. If the BGs see you see them, they may seek opportunities elsewhere. If they decide to hit you anyway, you will have time to defend yourself.

    The gun is just a tool. You are the weapon.

    • I don’t know the nicest way to say this, but I think there are plenty of old, completely out of shape, overweight guys that I could easily sucker punch. Armed or not. Multiply me by two, subtract 10 years, and remove common decency. That’s not a great tactical situation to be in.

      There are also open carriers who have nothing other than friction retention. A piece could be pulled out of one of those holsters in a fraction of a second. Nobody here is so good that they go about their entire day without a fraction of a second of inattention. Perhaps the victim could have done better. Maybe open carry would have helped. Maybe not.

      So in typical right wing fashion, I blame the criminals for this crime. They are the ones who planned an executed the robbery. May justice be swift and deadly.

        • Exactly. Walking to my car from the store, I am in high vigilance mode. I have scanned the parking lot as I leave the store and I am aware of anyone who could pose a threat. I am watching for someone hiding behind a car or any other surprise attack point along my route. Nothing is carried in my gun hand as that arm is free for a strong strike (natural weapon) or draw of my firearm. I also don’t have to unlock my car with my keys as when I get near my car door, it unlocks by it self via a device called a Compustar EZ go. If possible, I use a shopping cart that can act as a barrier between me and an attacker.
          If someone walks up with questionable intent, you place the cart between yourself and the bad guy. That provides a barrier and precious seconds and that is all I need is a split second.

          Nobody stays in high vigilance focus all the time. Sitting in the barber chair, I let myself go, although I’m aware of who’s coming in the store. At the bank, I’m on high alert. Some of this tactical readiness is carried over from a decade of martial arts. (Kenpo) It’s damn difficult to protect yourself 100% of the time. It’s impossible. Not even the president with extraordinary security is immune. They NYPD officers are sadly, a clear example. They could not protect themselves from a lone gunman walking up and opening fire. But a person can remain hyper-vigilant during the times of highest possible threat and defend themselves effectively during those times, but vigilance is the key.

        • If it’s an experienced armed robber they are masters in predation and will assume you are armed and he/she won’t even make a move if you have a chance to evade them or in any way get access to any weapon you have.

          In short if they are a pro they will get the drop on you. Pros use distractions, social engineering, the element of surprise, and the environment to their advantage. That lady asking you for directions “do you know where the nearest CVS is?” may be part of the scheme, you may have someone on your 5 with their weapon already drawn.

        • You give too much credit to common street thugs. Most of the folks pulling low reward street stickups are looking for easy marks.

        • @ C. Z.
          Best of luck to the “pro” who rolls the dice with me. They aren’t that good. As Walter White said, “I’m not in danger, I AM the danger”

        • OMG! Survival theory channeled from your favorite episode of Breaking Bad. Absolutely unbelievable. Hope that along with a shaved head, mustache & goatee, black fedora & dark shades works for ya Mark in the event of a real world $#it storm.

        • I have no idea what you are talking about. and neither do you, when it comes to your projections about me.

      • A81, nobody can be on high alert all the time, but anybody can be on high alert when it matters. Some of us manage to be on high alert when we drive our cars at 70 on crowded highways, so why can’t we do so when we walk to the grocery store?

        As far as getting sucker punched is concerned, you can KO a prizefighter maybe as easily as an OFWG if you catch him right, but it can be avoided by maintaining distance. Nobody can punch anyone that they can’t reach.

        On Fifth Avenue in Manhattan at Christmastime, it’s not possible to maintain distance. The sidewalks are packed. But in many places, distance can be maintained, and should.

        • “On Fifth Avenue in Manhattan at Christmastime, it’s not possible to maintain distance.”

          Very true, but it is extremely unlikely that anyone is going to attack you in such an environment. Lonely areas are preferred to commit crimes unobserved.

      • Accur81 makes a monumentally important point. Any time a fit male is close enough to sucker punch you, you are potentially in danger. And make no mistake, one sucker punch to a victim who has no idea it is coming is devastating and going to knock him/her unconscious almost every time (assuming the attacker knows how to throw a good punch).

        Obviously, it is next to impossible to go through life and always be at least six feet away from strangers. The only potential countermeasure is to travel in groups. If traveling in a group isn’t possible, you take your chances. And even being part of a group is no guarantee if a similar sized group attacks.

        By the way this is why gangs are so commonplace in urban areas. We have all heard the cliche “strength in numbers” … gangs apply that in the real world.

        • Word.

          Listen, if everyone was as good, aware, and prepared as they think they are, predatory crimes like this wouldn’t happen. I’d wager this guy, as a concealed carrier, already had more situational awareness than most folks.

          Look at it this way – NFL players review a lot of tape. They’ll review their game performance for missed opportunities. An open reciever, a missed block, a gap in coverage, etc. These guys are some of the fastest, strongest, most athletic guys in the world. They play the game like their lives depend on it.

          Yet those fancy hi-def super optic cameras see gaps and blunders in NFL player situational awareness all the time. Even relatively dumb announcers can see mistakes. So can fans. Things are different in slo-mo from the comfort of your couch. Maybe a cold beer in your hand.

          So as someone who has actually been in fights, and even robbed once in Guatemala, I can say with a whole lot of confidence that even “perfect” situational awareness is not a guaranteed defense. Particularly when bad guys work as a team.

          I’m not saying to give up. I’m not saying to skip training, martial arts, punching heavy bags, or pumping iron. I am saying to be realistic about your limitations, and the limits of others who carry.

  4. According to the map, the crime happened a few blocks north of Magazine St. Coincidence? I think not.

    I wonder if people want to ban that road when it is congested and has a high capacity of people, or people mistake it for Clip St.

  5. “In fact, my reading tells me that crooks target concealed carriers (albeit unknowingly) more often than open carriers.”

    I suspect that has less to do with any decision-making on the criminals’ part, and more to do with the fact that far more people carry concealed than open. It’s just statistics. OC might be legal in most places, but there aren’t very many where it’s commonly practiced, and even less so in urban places where this kind of crime is likely to occur.

  6. Criminals find other targets when they lose element of surprise. I was coming back on the train one night after a ballgame t w the spousal unit. We were riding back to where we parked when a couple of yutes came up on my wife’s right side. They were eyeballin her shoulder purse. I stopped her, pulled her behind me and did a sweep/clear move with my gun hand. Although I was unarmed (thanks MLB), they didn’t know. That was enough to make them take off running. Wife had no idea what happened until I explained it later when we got to the car and I got my sidearm out of the lockbox. Always on a swivel

    • Of course you reported the incident to the police, and they in turn filed that data where it would be included in statistical studies of lawful, defensive uses of guns. 😉
      (I’ve had two similar — unreported — experiences myself.)

    • They may, but that depends on time motive and opportunity though. There was a statistic reported at one point that said that prevented crimes of opportunities resulted in fewer such crimes committed. On the one hand it seems that the yoots you almost encountered could simply regroup and victimize the next vulnerable person or couple that they see, and such opportunities likely occur multiple times a day for the thugs. It’s not as obvious a corolation as “more burglars shot fewer burglaries happen” or “crime drops despite more criminals in jail” but it seems to be true. Chances are your act of defense not only spared your self and your wife but it may have deterred those brats from committing a similar crime in the near future. It’s yet another reason to carry and promote carrying.

  7. Not certain that open carry is the solution to inadequate situational awareness. Back in October, one William Colemen III of Gresham, Oregon was ‘relieved’ of his brand new Walther P22 – which he was carrying openly.

      • I believe in the community where the OC-er had his firearm stolen it is illegal to open carry a loaded firearm. Maybe that’s how the whole state is; I’m not certain. In any event, the law that prevents one from open carrying a loaded firearm effectively negates the law that allows them to OC. Which, I suppose, is the point. Can’t have armed people wandering the streets. Bound to lead to trouble…

        oh, wait. There are armed people wandering the streets there! They’re called criminals! Let me amend the earlier statement – make it “Can’t have armed, law abiding citizens wandering the streets. Bound to lead to trouble…”

        no, no, no. Wait. They already have trouble. What if they let the good guys arm themselves with loaded handguns & let the good guys stop the bad guys?

        Oh-oh. I think I just heard one of them say “Can’t have armed people wandering the streets. Bound to lead to trouble…” Sigh……

    • http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/12/dean-weingarten/gun-stolen-armed-robbery-concealed-carry-fail/

      “The victim was near Henry Clay and Coliseum around 9 p.m. when he was approached by two attackers who hit him with a gun,” uptownmessenger.com reports. “They then put him face down on the ground, frisked him, and stole the victim’s concealed weapon.” It’s a rare but not unknown event: bad guys robbing a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit holder of his or her defensive firearm. In this case, the vic’s inability to bring his gun to bear on the bad guys had a little something to do with the fact that he was pistol whipped in the head before he could draw. But what if the victim had been openly carrying his firearm . . .

      would the robbers have chosen less dangerous prey?

      Some would say that openly carrying would have been more dangerous; the criminals would shot him sooner rather than take their chances with “simple” physical violence. Over at free republic commentator Jack Hammer holds that view:

      Any sane person would not want to open-carry just asa black-belt would not walk around with his belt on and his hands in the air. The surprise element makes a big difference. Why would anyone want the bad guy to shoot him first?

      Yes, concealed carriers have surprise on their side. But that doesn’t give them much of an advantage if their attacker(s) carry out their own surprise attack first. In fact, my reading tells me that crooks target concealed carriers (albeit unknowingly) more often than open carriers.

      That said, what concealed carriers lose in tactical deterrence, society gains strategic deterrence. Robbers have more uncertainty about who may be armed. On the opposite of that coin, what the open carrier loses in surprise, he gains in tactical deterrence. Most criminals do not want to attack an armed victim.

      In short, both methods of carry have advantages and disadvantages. Law abiding people should be able to chose which works for them in whatever circumstances they find themselves.

      ©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

  8. The argument that you will be shot by a bad guy for open carrying is just bullshit. Ok, maybe in an unusually hot bank robbery (the rare kind where they actually blow open the vault and then shoot their way through legions of cops with automatic weapons, such as the North Hollywood Shootout). But- and this is especially true in a small scale event, such as a mugging or robbery of a single person- criminals want an easy score with no complications.

    Even without taking into account that most people- criminals included- are not willing to commit a murder in cold blood, the simple logistics say that killing an open carrier for whatever goods he/she has will NOT be worth it. Murders are heavily investigated by law enforcement, and the average person doesn’t have enough valuables on them for that to be worth the much larger risk associated with this crime. Criminals know this; it’s why they deliberately target vulnerable people. Small people, folks with their heads buried in their phones, women, etc. They want simplicity, not complications. An open carrier is a complication that isn’t worth whatever they have.

  9. Situational awareness is your friend. don’t leave your home without your friend. your friend is more important than your gun.

  10. Situational awareness and showing a weapon immediately to hand will change the mind of most predators. I speak from when I was delivering pizza in the “War Zone” as we called it.

    I was the only driver to not be mugged at one store I worked. Some of the other drivers were mugged two or three times in a year.

    Of course, I carried a concealed Glock 30. But while walking to the door and back to my car I would have a 4 D- Cell Mag lite in hand. I called it my Magic Wand. I called it that because when a human predator would start moving toward me with that intent “hunting stare” (the look of a cat as it stalks a bird across the yard) I would face them while making sure that they saw the Mag lite, then BAM, magically, they suddenly decided they needed to be some where else. For some reason, most of the other drivers wouldn’t get a mag lite like mine, let alone a gun. (Maybe that’s why only 5% – 7% of a population will carry a gun for protection; most people just can’t seem to wrap their head around using force by what ever means to defend themselves.).

    It also happened a couple of times while OC’ing.

    So the key is situational awareness and then the willingness to use what ever weapon one has to defend oneself.

    • That first robbery or assault can snap a lot of people into action, but for those that don’t I imagine that after that 2nd 3rd or 4th incident they might get a little comfortable with it. It’s not so bad, over in a minute you know! It’s probably related to the mechanics of Stockholm syndrome or abusive relationships. I imagine it plays a part in people being passive or complicit in the established criminal acts in their neighborhoods. How hard is it to get witnesses in some neighborhoods to step up? Even after witnessing multiple crimes and likely suffering them selves.

  11. “In short, both methods of carry have advantages and disadvantages. Law abiding people should be able to chose which works for them in whatever circumstances they find themselves.”

    Ding ding ding ding ding!!!!!!!!!! We have a winner!

    For reference multiple people carrying openly all but eliminates any chance of an armed criminal trying to shoot the armed good first since multiple armed good people would be (potentially) returning fire at the bad guy.

  12. Open carry will only make it easier for predators to target dumbasses who believe that the mere open display of a firearm is somehow kryptonite that magically deters and repels determined cagey criminals who see and then commit to taking your gun. There is a reason that law enforcement uses level 3 security holsters. The open carry obsessed had better invest in security holsters, weapon retention training, then work long and hard at keeping their head on a swivel if outnumbered in a predator rich environment. The attitude that open carry is an expression of political speech that compliments your color coordinated holster and pith helmet won’t mean a damn thing when some hood rat gets the drop on you.

        • Nah Ted, It’s the same “common sense” spouted off by your every day gun grabber.

          What you believe isn’t backed by fact, experience or criminal nature. The criminal nature looks for the helpless, the weak and the unaware. An OC person with good situational awareness is none of those things.

          No. Your vehemence is based on fear, not “common sense”. I believe It is your conditioned response that says the “Only Ones” that can carry a gun openly are the police, the “professionals”.

          I’ve OC’d for over seven years. I had to get over my own conditioning about this issue and I have come to see why our early American Culture expected law abiding citizens to OC. That only criminals would carry a gun concealed.

          It is because in OCing a gun, that it is a public statement of ones commitment to be the first line of defense against predators on ones people.

          I know now the difference between what is to be a free man versus a peasant, peon, subject or slave.

          At least, this has been the end result of my experience in OC’ing. As well as having the effect that when a human predator had been on the hunt, that when they saw me watching them and the fact that i was armed, they always suddenly had someplace else they needed to be.

        • ThomasR I’m all for open carry, it makes it so easy for the rest of us who actually carry for defensive purposes to spot the armed dumbasses. Just out of curiosity, do you ever wear a smart looking On Safari outfit complete with color coordinated holster and pith helmet to the grocery store like Dean?

        • Might want to check your keyboard, there, Ted. Some of the things it is saying are making you sound like an opinionated jackass. Do you have any sources for your outlandish claims? I mean, there must be hundreds, maybe thousands of OC guns stolen each week to make you so certain of your premise. How many OC guns were stolen from police, notorious dumbasses according to you, in the past decade?

        • Larry only a dumbass believes that there is some type of defensive or tactical advantage to open carry. If an armed and determined criminal predator is able to first ascertain if their intended victim is armed while their prey is oblivious to the presence of the armed predator, the predator gains a tremendous advantage and the victim will be fortunate if theft of a firearm is the worst thing that happens. An open carry dumbass who depends on the deterrent effect of openly displaying a firearm as some sort of magic predator repellant automatically cedes advantage to the predator.

        • So, you oppose Americans exercising their God given, Constitutionally protected right of self defense. Got it.

  13. Ha, I can see my intersection on that map. When I heard about this, it sounded fishy, this area isn’t that dangerous crime wise.

    • Criminals have been mobile for some years now, venturing into better off neighborhoods for a better get is not an uncommon tactic. Have you learned nothing from the Home Alone series of self defense instructional videos?

      • that’s why I hate public transit in the USA. it only serves to get cons and thugs from the ghetto to nice places to rob.

        • Hell if not public transit (which I hate for other reasons), they can just buy a beater for cheap.

        • yeah, but a beater requires license, registration, in some states safety inspections…a lot of contact with authorities. riding the bus or rail takes none of those.

          crime almost always goes up in nice neighborhoods that get a public transit stop or stops.

  14. I think OC is a deterrent, but hard to quantify. But it also depends on the bad actors noticing it. OC in the well lit grocery store, some will notice. OC on a dark street at night, not so much, so I don’t know, deterrence only works if they see and recognize that which is supposed to deter.

    It also helps if you have the appearance or demeanor that you should be taken seriously. The firearm is a small part of that equation. Then again, “You don’t have the balls…” has been the famous last words for more than a few.

    Everything is a coin toss. Just be armed. However you want to do it. And uh, pay attention to who is around you and what they are doing.

    • Actually, I don’t consider OC a good thing because of any consideration of “deterrence”. I consider it protection from arrest if someone accidentally is exposed to sight of my firearm. I consider it a possibility for me to carry a more capable firearm if I believe I need it for some reason, like travel into a bad neighborhood or carrying large $$, etc. A concealed 9mm or .380 is just fine most places, but I can imagine wanting to pack one of my .45s, and if you like to conceal those, come on down to South TX in July and we’ll wander downtown and talk about your choices until you melt into a puddle.

    • You’ve hit on one of my pet peeves, an article written for a local audience put before a national audience without that sort of context.

      Sometimes you can’t even tell from the linked article what city or state it is. (TV channel websites are the worst about this, you can often see the call letters but no hint where the heck they are other than K=west of the Big Muddy, W=east, usually.)

      Sometimes all you get is a reference to a place obscure enough most people outside the state or maybe neighboring states won’t know what it is. (And BTW, folks, county names and suburb names are meaningless away from that area.) One article linked here a few months ago only said “St. George” but I happen to know where that is (SW Utah). Others were clueless.

      This time however, when I looked, I discovered it was New Orleans. (I think you can figure out the state from there. At least I hope so! 🙂 )

  15. My problem with so many of these debates, which invariably come down to one person’s subjective assessment of probabilities of various exogenous variables, versus another person’s assessments of the same variables, is exactly that: they’re typically anecdotal, subjective, and focused on factors you can’t do much, if anything, about, anyway.
    They ignore what you can control, which may be the deciding factors.

    For example, just this week in Houston suburb Galena Park, 29 year old off duty cop and his girlfriend are returning home from a Christmas Day gathering. The cop broadsides a sedan at an intersection. It’s not clear from the reporting who’s at fault, but the sedan did flee the scene and travel several blocks to a nearby apartment complex.

    Off duty cop followed them and upon arriving at the complex, a Humvee with reportedly four Hispanics pulls up. The Hummer’s occupants proceed to lay a beatdown on the cop and his girlfriend, stealing his cell phone, wallet, and a firearm that FELL OUT OF HIS WAISTBAND DURING THE STRUGGLE.

    Now, the whole story sounds like b.s. to me and the cop was probably involved in something else, but let’s assume it went down as reported. Play along at home and find the multiple fails in the cop’s decisions that led to this outcome.

    So, yes, open carry, concealed carry, each has pros/cons overall; but your life isn’t overall. It’s the net effect of the interaction of infinite decisions you make and forces which the Universe throws at you. How someone else might respond or act is secondary in impact to the demonstrably poor decisions you make yourself.

    • I’ve told people before, but they look at me like I’m crazy; if you have any idea of getting into a fistfight, leave your damn gun at home. Conversely, if offered violence of any kind while carrying, your response is your firearm. Of course, an ON-duty cop may have different responsibilities, but he also has backup, a partner, etc, before heading to tasers, tear gas, etc. Alone in a bad area, this cop’s gun should have been empty when they took it from him.

  16. This is not a “concealed/open carry” issue. This is a “not paying attention idiot” issue. Anyone who knows New Orleans knows that, especially in that part of town, you pay attention to what is around you. Just cause you can see Children’s Hospital does not mean there ain’t thugs toddling around.

  17. Just as with the MDA crowd’s belief that a firearm is a magic talisman of evil, many of the people of the gun seem to believe it is a talisman of good. A firearm is nothing more than a tool for a task in which no other tool is suitable. We know little of the robbery victim from the story. Cooper said it best, “simply possessing a gun doesn’t make someone a gunfighter any more than possessing a guitar makes someone a musician.” This is why training is important. Even then, the good guy isn’t going to win 100% of the time.

  18. I am a member of Michigan Open Carry, Inc.We have not been able to find a single incident of a handgun being snatched from a civilian’s holster in Michigan. There have been police firearms snatched. Why police and not civilians? Probably because civilians do not try to arrest felons. Police do arrest felons. A felon facing a life term if returned to the justice system might be willing to bet he can get the cop’s gun and avoid arrest. If a murderer is facing big time behind bars if arrested, then it might be a reason to try to snatch a policeman’s firearm. The risk of being shot in the attempt may outweigh the time behind bars. “Hmmm, let me see. Life without parole or snatch the cop’s gun?”

    Would anyone except a politician use the snatch possibility to deny police their firearms? NO! So why is the argument valid against civilians? IT ISN’t!

    Think about this. Concealed carry encourages crime whereas open carry does not. Why? Simple. Bad guys aren’t stupid about firearms like politicians are. A robber who sees a holstered handgun is going to keep on going to the next victim. He’s not so stupid as to bet that he is a better shot than the armed citizen.

    Suppose at the next opportunity there is a person carrying a concealed handgun. The bad guy walks in and says, “Hands up.” What does the concealed carry guy/gal do? Is it worth getting shot if the criminal is only looking for money or other valuables? Is it worth the legal crap involved in a shooting, like a wrongful death lawsuit?

    If the guy had been open carrying and the bad guy had seen the firearm, it probably wouldn’t have been necessary to weigh the risks involved because the bad guy would have ttken the problem down the street to another establishment.

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