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Dom Raso’s latest video doesn’t mince words, pull its punches or otherwise shy away from the truth about terrorism. The ex-SEAL and NRA Commentator tells viewers there’s a terrorist out there, somewhere, right now, plotting to “kill you and your family.” Raso reckons radical Islamic terrorists are going to hit a U.S. shopping mall, like they did in Nairobi, Kenya, Africa.

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallRaso’s video illustrates the possibility with cinematic gusto. In other words, it’s scary as f*ck. A bit of backstory, some adorable kids, an outsider whose greedy boss downplays the threat and it would be the Jaws of shopping malls.

Some of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia don’t need to be convinced: they avoid malls and other “gun free zones” like the plague. Others take the risk and carry illegally in these potential terrorist targets. Is that you? Do you practice GFZ avoidance generally, and are you changing your habits for Independence Day?

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  1. Yes, but only because I avoid crowds whenever possible. If I could get fresh meat delivered from Amazon, I’d only leave the house to go to work.

    • Sometimes the crowd is the point. You haven’t truly lived until you’ve been part of something like this:

      That said, I do see where you’re coming from. Crowded beaches and busy retail establishments aren’t my cup of tea. I avoid places like that on general principle.

      • In my youth, I tried to make it to at least 4-5 metal concerts per summer (work permitting of course). There is nothing like screaming “SLAYER, SLAYER” WITH 15,000 other metal heads, except for getting in the pit. I think a lot of people would be surprised to learn how many of those metalheads are and we’re employed conservatives.

  2. I avoid malls and other crowded places regardless of terrorism or gun status. I can’t see giving money to a venue that’s just uncomfortable for me to be in.

    I don’t like crowds. Period.

  3. I generally avoid gun free zones all days, not just for Independence. On the rare occasions I can’t avoid, I’m not gun free.

  4. Why would I waste a holiday at a stupid place like the mall?

    I will be having BBQ and good times with family, at my house. If I go out and about, I’ll have my EDC on me as usual. Frankly, I’m really not all that worried about terrorists.

    How many Americans are really killed by terrorists? Compare that number with those killed by cancer, heart disease, diabetes, medical malpractice, obesity, car accidents, etc.

  5. People still go to physical stores to buy things? Once I got Amazon prime my days of going to stores ended. I think I go out to get groceries now and that’s about it. Everything else gets delivered straight to my door.

    • Yes. Amazon Prime has almost eliminated WalMart and Home Depot trips completely. Bed Bath and Beyond and Best Buy trips have been completely eliminated.

  6. Yeah, I’m sure the NRA will celebrate the 4th of july.

    They always celebrate the innocent slaughter of civilians in the name of money and big business.

    Fear sells and the NRA shills who continue to keep their heads in the sand are willing to comply.

    Celebrate as hundreds of innocents die everyday for your selfish hobby.

    • “Celebrate as hundreds of innocents die everyday for your selfish hobby.”

      What, driving? Heck, that’s tens of thousands, not hundreds. But you can have my car when you pry the keys from my cold, dead hands. (I sure do like a road trip.)

    • Celebrate as hundreds of innocents die everyday for your selfish hobby.
      I will celebrate, but really a lot of the “innocents” who die of gun violence during the holiday weekend will due to life style choice.
      Of course, a lot of “innocents” will die during the holiday weekend, but that will have more to do with motorized vehicle violence.

  7. I always avoid malls, they don’t have any that I have seen with a LGS, so what would be the point? Plus, I’m not 14 years old.

  8. Malls in the Central Valley of California have been cesspools for years. Have not been in a mall in at least 15 years. Avoid grocery shopping during peak times. Buy enough for month at a time. Always watch surroundings.

  9. Dissenting voice here. We usually hit the park and listen to the symphony play Sousa and watch fireworks. It’s not a GFZ and I always carry, but we are usually miles from our car. I love fireworks over the Mall (in DC, not Minneapolis), even though it’s gun-free. I am normally not a crowd person, but I enjoy celebrating Independence Day and want to share that enthusiasm with my kids. It’s the one day of the year die-hard progressives wave the flag, so bring it on.

    • I searched the page specifically for the text “park” to see if anyone else was going this route. A family picnic/cookout at the park on the fourth seems perfect and emblematic for that day. I wonder if that would make such a place a target?

      We’ll avoid crowds for its own sake, but otherwise we aren’t letting these punks intimidate us.

  10. I usually buy online or shop in the evening/night to avoid crowded lines and the usual gaggle of idiots you find in most department stores. Shopping malls in general bum me out so I try to avoid them. I always buy guns in person but, hey, what better place to hold out in the event of a terrorist attack than my lgs.

  11. Absolutely. This independence day will be open carry, all day. Might even carry the FNX .45 Tactical with the Trijicon RMR over the Glock 19.

  12. I believe his name is Dom, as in ‘Dominick’ Raso, not Don Raso…

    And yeah, I’m laying low on July 4…

  13. Nope. I will go where I feel the need or desire and have the capability to protect my wife regardless of any signs.
    Should something happen in my community, I would rather it happen while I was nearby than have it happen with only victims around.
    All that being said; a mall on Independence Day? What a waste of a day.

    • Me too. And it is not because they are “gun free zones” (actually I don’t know if our one mall is or isn’t), it is just because….they are malls. Yeesh.

  14. I’ll be working, womp womp. Most free states DGAF about GFZs likes malls. So when I’m home in the 702, I carry as I damn well please and maintain the advantage as such.

  15. I’ll be watching fireworks from the seat in my boat. The view on the Columbia is way better than the crowded shore. And I use a ramp miles away from the crowds.

  16. My daughters will be in the parade…I will be carrying. You cannot hole up and divorce yourself from the world and society. That is how the gun grabbers win, and the terrorists.

  17. Malls in my neck of the woods have no prohibitions on concealed carry, so on the rare occasions when I go there, I’m properly equipped.

    But… here’s a conundrum I faced recently. Had to buy a suit (yeah, I wear suits, every workday, as is customary in my profession). This involves trying on the pants, then coming out of the changing room so the salesman can mark the cuffs for alterations. So if I carry into the store, well, that’s a problem. And… I don’t buy suits from online retailers because, again, you need to make sure they fit. So… I went in, unarmed, and thankfully escaped with only a wallet bruise.

    • I’m not suggesting you do anything illegal, but I’ve been to several tailors while armed.

      One alters my suits specifically to hide the gun. Others are for things like tux rentals for weddings, and they either don’t notice or don’t comment.

  18. Will be at Fireworks display at my hometown. My sister in law and I will both CC, to protect our husbands, if needed..
    Neither have a carry license.

  19. My local mall must be different than everywhere else. It’s still a gun free zone, but it’s about as crowded as the airspace over the mid Atlantic.

  20. I didn’t know that malls were GFZs… I don’t think they are around me, not that I’d really know because I don’t go very often.

  21. I am used to crowds ( Hospitality Industry ) . If I see a bad guy , I know where I am and I know where he is …… Bad guy only knows where he is. A GOOD GUY just put down an attacker at Attaturk airport . The GOOD Guy choose his moment well.

    Off Topic : Lyin’ Paulie Ryan to hold vote on Anti-Gun No-Fly U.S. House bills , after July 4th .

    To the Batphone : Dispatch the Riders across the web !!

    • I think Eddie Munster was tainted for running as Twitt Romney’s mate. Looks like we need to change it to “Keep your enemies closes and your enemies enemies closer”.

  22. I don’t live my life worrying about terrorism. I try to stay aware and alert as best I can, and I generally avoid crowds as a matter of course, just because I find most people very irritating. I figure if I get blown up by a jihadi or a nutcase, that’s a one-in-a-hundred-million shot, and my time was up. There’s *far* better odds of me dying in a car crash or of heart disease, but that doesn’t stop me from hopping in my truck to go get a burger and fries whenever I feel like it.

    As for shopping malls – I’m not now, nor have I ever been, a teenage girl, so there’s never been much of a reason for me to go to one.

  23. Why? Even though terrorist acts do happen, statistically you have a 0.001% chance of being involved in one.

  24. Haven’t been to a mall in years. And nothing I need there either. I do go to a crowded place- the large Baptist church inHammond,IN. It is overwhelmingly NOT a GFZ. No fireworks-no one cares any more…it helps to be old.

  25. “Are You Avoiding Malls and Other ‘Gun Free Zones’ for Independence Day?”

    No, I avoid gun free zones for me. Every day. All the time.

    I always carry at the mall. Two guns. And extra ammo. I don’t always carry two guns, but when I do, it’s at the mall. Stay thirsty, my friends.

  26. Given that all of the bookstores are gone from the malls, I no longer have any reason to go to them, and therefor wouldn’t, even if every single “extremist” group disappeared from the face of the earth tonight.

  27. I always avoid gun-free zones when I have a choice. The best chance to avoid needing a gun is to avoid gun-free zones.

    BTW, I saw this video yesterday along with a campaign ad by the NRA. I was impressed. I think the NRA may be taking the gloves off. I would love to see them blast these two videos everywhere..

  28. My family will go wherever we, as a family, decide to go on the Fourth of July … and I will be armed for self-defense and family protection. Neither specific characteristics nor hypothetical scenarios play into our calculus. We go where we want, conduct ourselves responsibly and respectfully, and hope for the best.

    Will we carry openly or concealed? Sometimes, open carry makes a lot of sense. Other times, discretion is the better part of valor and concealed carry is the flavor of the day.

    As for venues that command us to be defenseless: I support that imperative with the same gusto that I would support a demand to let pedophiles assault children at the venue.

  29. Not to get all high-n-mighty, but who exactly cares to honor our country, it’s founders, soldiers and everything great about this country by going to the mothertruckin’ mall?

    • Lots of people go to the mall when they have a day off. Honor is not part of the decision-making process.

  30. The malls in my area are not legally gun free zones so I ignore the nonbinding signs. Besides, I don’t live in an area that is likely to be a target.

    While I do a fair amount of online shopping I prefer brick and mortar for a lot of things especially cloths that I have never purchased before. Most denizens of Amazon probably haven’t noticed that a lot of their products are shipped through affilates and not directly from their facilities. I generally go direct to the retailer. In case you missed it, Amazon is moving to brick and mortar sales. Amazon has figured out they no longer are the only game in town.

  31. I’ll go wherever my family and I decide, probably a BBQ at a friend’s house (can’t let a pig sit in a smoker for 8 hours for nothing) and then consoling the dogs that don’t deal well with fireworks.

    I’ll be armed the whole time whatever we do. In my (relatively) free state, in most GFZs, all they can do is ask you to leave. And, well, if they’re that bad at finding my guns, they’re bad at finding bad guys’ guns as well.

    The number of times a pat down or metal detector wand has failed to find my edc is staggering.

  32. I am avoiding everywhere for Independence Day just like I do every holiday and every weekend. All you people, please go back to work as soon as possible! My retirement depends on it.

  33. I agree with Dom, but not so much on haji’s next attempted big score. While they certainly succeeded at the Kenyan Westgate mall, even at a GFZ mall here in the States chances are good there will be multiple armed responders (plainclothes cops, POTG who disregard GFZ signs, etc), and the really big malls here even have their own cop substations with multiple uniforms.
    But elementary schools are a different story; another Beslan is what jihadis will strive for next…. even though most schools nowadays have a SRO. A lone resource officer is something jihadis can plan for.

    Still….. I never go to malls or other places with large crowds. My neck can only take so much swivelling, I rapidly get tired of trying to keep people away from my six, and lots of loud noises seriously disturbs my calm.
    It’s not just the potential for some haji to open a snackbar in my AO, either. I simply don’t want to be stuck in a crowd of dirty, sweating mouthbreathers and their filthy little larvae grubbing all over.

  34. Concealed means concealed. As a good guy, I treat a GFZ sign the same way a bad guy treats it: a worthless sign.

    Though going to a mall on the 4th? No thanks, waste of time. Crowds are awful.

  35. I generally go wherever I want whenever I want and don’t much care what anyone else thinks. But honestly, I’ve no reason or desire to visit a mall, any mall, regardless of the time, day or season. Probably the one time I do worry about a terrorist attack is at church. Just far too inviting a target. Concealed is concealed, though and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.


  36. We always avoid malls and we are going to the range on the 4th.It will be interesting to se how busy it is since the only event on the calendar is setup for a large 3 gun match.

  37. Malls are gun free zones ?
    Where do you guys live ?
    S/E Louisiana – haven’t seen any signs yet, but I don’t visit malls much either.

  38. Yes, we do avoid legally mandated gun free zones because they will always be the prime target for terrorists and crazies (one in the same).

    But private property gun free zones like malls and theaters are not “illegal”, at least where I live. They can say no guns allowed, but all they can do if they somehow find you are carrying is ask you to leave. if you don’t then you are committing trespass, nothing more.

    Still, avoiding published gun free zones is a wise precaution. The wife and i are staying home and BBQing, drinking lots of rum and doing other fun things to celebrate the 4th!

  39. I no longer need to patronize malls. The big box stores (Wal-mart, Lowes, Manards, Rural King, Kohl”s, and Kroger do not post. They says they follow state laws on gun carry. Only go to movie theaters that do not post. Now if I can just go to the Post Office without locking the gun up in the car I’d be a happy camper.

    • So, you don’t respect private property rights which are just as important as firearm rights. If a property owner does not want me to carry, they can do without my money. Pretty simple. There is no right to go on someone else’s property.

      • Obviously you did not understand my post. If a business is posted No Guns I do not patronize that business. That is my right. The stores listed do NOT post so they get my money. If a mall is posted I shop somewhere else. Have I made myself clear now. I think that’s fairly simple.

      • Chris Mallory,

        I go to the Nth degree to respect private property rights.

        What I do NOT respect are “property rights” that prohibit me from acting to save life and limb. Just as I would NOT respect a private property owner’s command to allow a pedophile to rape a child, I would NOT respect a private property owner’s command to let a killer kill me or my family.

        It really is that simple.

        • It looks like you and I are on the some page. I just avoid any situation that could lead to a confrontation. I’m not a sheepdog that protects individuals that choose not to carry.

  40. Does anyone actually comply with gun free zones other than schools? (the laws against which have some serious teeth) I’m just asking. In most states its not a criminal offense unless you refuse to leave after being “made”.

    • Not sure about “most states,” but in Illinois it’s a Class B misdemeanor. Depending on your career path, that may or may not be a deterrent (it is for me).

      Then of course there’s post offices and other federal facilities where it’s a federal crime.


    There’s one missing where he and his swat friend says something about civilians need to simply trust law enforcement. I don’t doubt what he says in this particular video, but everything he has to say is certainly colored by these other videos.

  42. Our local mall removed it’s window sticker posting against weapons. I have seen citizens open carrying in the mall the last two times my daughter insisted I take her.

  43. Just like every 4th, I’ll likely be celebrating by dancing with single moms and helping ladies “get through college”. I’m an American, and a generous one at that.

  44. I don’t really tend to frequent GFZ’s. Not by design or choice, just by lifestyle. I despise malls, and most stores. I can buy anything I want online, usually for cheaper. I am currently in school. But I spend as little time as possible on campus. I guess the office is technically a gun free zone, but as long as I carried truly concealed I doubt anyone would notice. I’m a web developer. I can dress however I want and people won’t really notice. I doubt it’d be a problem.

    Beyond that I don’t really carry anyway. Wag your finger all you want, but the wife is pretty anti, and I got small kids. It’s just not the right time for me. Maybe when I got my next real job and no school commitments I can take some time and get the proper training and figure out a way to normalize guns for the misses and brood a little. We’ll see. Statistics are on my side. Better to have it and not need it, but if I’m honest, I know I won’t need it.

    I’ll still defend my rights to do so with gusto, though. Despite all the ignorant and moronic vitriol that is aimed at me for solely believing that the 2nd amendment should be taken at face value. Sigh…

  45. I avoid GFZs all the time, except for the government-mandated “helpless victim zones” of the county courthouse (which at least has armed security and a metal scanner at the door), and the US Post Office – where I must rely on the gummint to protect me. /sarc off/


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