Don’t Be Stupid and Other Observations By Captain Obvious

Opponents of open carry often claim that anybody who open carries a gun will have it taken from them by an attacker. After a lot of huffing and puffing they finally have an example to point to:

William Coleman III was robbed of his Walter- brand P22 just after 2:00 a.m. October 4 in Gresham by a young man who asked him for it — and flashed his own weapon as persuasion.

Coleman, 21, was talking to his cousin in the 17200 block of NE Glisan St., after purchasing the handgun earlier that day, when a young man asked him for a cigarette, police said.

The man then asked about the gun, pulled a gun from his own waistband and said “”I like your gun. Give it to me.”

Coleman handed over the gun and the man fled on foot.

Now opponents of open carry can feel justified for all of the time they spend bitching, moaning, and whining about how terrible openly carrying a firearm is. Caleb over at Gun Nuts Media covered most of the important points to take away from this story. I do, however, have one point to add.

I took to Google Maps to verify that the location mentioned in the story was a residential area. It is. Although that’s not super important to what I’m going to say it’s a worthwhile criteria point to mention. The big red flag, to me, is that the thief asked to bum a cigarette. Asking to bum a cigarette, begging for some change, or approaching somebody and asking for directions are common tricks thieves and other violent criminals use to close the gap between themselves and their intended prey without, they hope, raising any red flags. Because of this these things should all raise immediate red flags. If you’re standing at a house at 02:00 and somebody starts walking up to you asking for a cigarette you should immediately be on the defensive. It’s not common, in my experience at least, for random strangers to walk up to people in residential areas and ask them for a cigarette. That kind of behavior is more common at bars where people are grouped together and smoking.

When you’re suspicious of a person you should also be very watchful of their hands. According to the story the thief drew his gun from concealment. The moment a suspicious man’s hands being moving towards a potential weapon your hands should probably begin moving towards your weapon. Especially when you’re advertising that you are in possession of a valuable object such as a firearm. In most cases a person openly carrying a firearm should be able to draw their firearm quicker than a person carrying concealed. At least if they’re paying attention.

While there are times when I open carry I prefer to carry concealed for the same reason I prefer not to have my phone visible when walking around; I don’t like to advertise being in possession of highly sought after items. Guns, like iPhones, are highly sought after by thieves. If you’re open carrying you’re advertising not only an ability to defend yourself but also that you possess something worth stealing. Hence you need to also need to be aware of your surrounding. Not only must you be aware of your surroundings but you must project the fact that you are aware of your surroundings. Thieves usually rely on distraction. They tend to prey on individuals who are distracted and avoid individuals who are obviously aware of what’s going on around them. Although I can’t be sure I believe it’s fairly safe to assume that the victim in this story wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to what was going on around him.