So this topic is liable to anger numerous folks who read this, as does pretty much everything you read on the internet that you didn’t think of first, but it is something that we MUST discuss if for no other reason than you just may not have thought about how you present yourself and how that appears to those with nefarious ideas.
The topic: Target Indicators….
Before we get all crazy lets first lay down a couple prefaces: Ken and I believe in wide latitudes of individual liberty and believe that with VERY few exceptions, you as an American and as a Human, have the right to put pretty much whatever you want in your body, wear whatever clothes you so desire, drive the vehicle of your choice and live where and how you choose. Now having said that, there are some things in the Concealed Carry/Gun/2nd Amendment/Patriot community that people do to make themselves stand out in ways that are NOT beneficial to the end goal of protection and safety.
Ok, so what is a Target Indicator? A Target Indicator in the modern, Global War on Terror Era is any one or combination of things a person wears, says, does, carries, acts or associates themselves with that identifies themselves as a potential target for the person searching for such. Applied to the Concealed Carry and Gun-Owning community, it is anything or combination of things that indicates to someone looking for it that they may be carrying a weapon or may have weapons in their vehicle or in their home and that they may be an easy mark for a quick robbery.
The first and foremost Target Indicator is just openly carrying a firearm for all to see. Ken and I are not proponents of Open Carry for self-defense as it removes the greatest advantage a Concealed Carrier has: the fact that nobody knows they are carrying and the ability to go about daily life in a completely normal manner without drawing extra attention to oneself, this applies doubly for the Open Carry folks to walk around with rifles and shotguns slung on their back. It also needs to be noted as an observation that I have never personally met a hardcore Open Carrier who was what I would consider anything more than very minimally skilled with a handgun as there appears to be some sort of cultural association with Open Carry and assuming a level of skill that is very inflated. This is not a slam against the right to display weapons nor am I agreeing that people should be terrified every time they see a firearm somewhere; this is a statement that if you announce to the whole world you have weapons, you may deter potential criminals but you also announce to someone looking that if they follow you to your vehicle or home that they will find weapons there and that slinging an unloaded rifle on your back is the self-defense equivalent of a baseball bat.
<------- Look at the crappy nylon holster and the full-size Beretta
This does not scream 'Professional'
This just screams 'Take my gun from me!'
As stated before, this is America and you are free to drive what you want, decorate it how you want and do what you want, and rightly so. However, if your truck looks like a gun shop threw up all over your sweet ass ride, just remember that you are also showing folks everywhere you drive and park that there is a good chance that the owner has expensive goodies inside the vehicle and certainly that the owner has expensive goodies at home and it looks very inviting for a quick smash and grab.
While possibly funny but definitely cliche, --------->
this truck is a flashing 'follow me' sign for
someone looking to steal weapons
YOUR CONCEALED CARRY/EDC GEAR
While we certainly believe in being prepared and taking your safety and protection into your own hands, the CCW community has begun to collectively get a bit out of control lately and this stems from a sort of confusion about individuals' roles in society on a particular day. The foundation of good Concealed Carry Gear is a good handgun from the short list of reputable manufacturers, a HIGH QUALITY holster and a robust belt. Now, individuals like myself will probably also choose to have a good folding or fixed blade pocket/carry knife for myriad reasons and depending on their CCW firearm, maybe a spare mag as well. Somehow this Every Day Carry has morphed into folks wearing the latest Tactical Pants (there is no such thing, pants can’t be tactical) with a duty type belt and carrying multiple spare magazines, multiple knives, a flashlight or multiple flashlights, a tourniquet, a back-up gun or guns and even other additional things. One famous internet personality goes so far as to carry a handgun on his belt and an additional handgun on EACH ankle; really neat stuff if you work on a gun range or sit down all day but again, back to the whole ‘being able to do normal stuff like run 20yds to get across the street without exploding like a gear bomb.’ While I think it is a prudent and simple idea to keep some basic first aid/trauma gear and other simple survival items in a bag in your car and truck, hell maybe even a rifle and a reflective vest; you are not on patrol in a war-zone and you are not a Police Officer on duty. Hell even those dudes usually keep their medical gear in the car along with the other aforementioned survival/first responder items.
<----This is someone's actual EDC posted on a Concealed Carry Forum. 4 knives, 2 bracelets....
Honestly what do you need 4 knives for that 1 properly purchased knife can't do?
And seriously where do you put them all? I mean do you draw one knife to clear the space to draw the one you actually want?!
A really awesome thing about the current crop of veterans is the outpouring of creative and appealing hats, pants, shirts and other various gear and swag with catchy sayings and designs that are dominating the wardrobes of lots of folks. Granted some of it is cliché and fuckin stupid because despite what they might think by buying all the tacticool stuff, most folks aren’t as ready Ready For ISIS as they think, but I digress… As I said before, this is America and you can and should be able to wear whatever clothing you want supporting whatever football team, MMA gear that you’ve never trained with or firearm manufacturer that you desire; but remember that your T-Shirt announcing your support for all things gun related might look cool and completely fit in around your friends and your community and might even in and of itself be a deterrent to potential d-bag criminals BUT it might also tell people smart enough to pay attention that you likely have goodies on your person, in your vehicle or in your home that they want to take from you.
I mean seriously, this is the dumbest fucking shirt out there. ---->
This is the last one and this is probably one that most folks already pay some attention to but it should still be stated, who you hang out with and associate with matters. This is particularly relevant because we all probably have a friend/buddy/acquaintance that we either hang out with or maybe just kind of run into that runs with some of the wrong crowd or is himself a wrong crowd type of guy who you happen to get along with for whatever reason. While your friend may be perfectly nice to you or perfectly harmless, it’s probably unwise to get caught up in bragging about all the cool boom sticks you’ve got around to those that you are not familiar with or who give off the bad vibes. I’m from a small town myself in an area with only small towns, I am all too familiar with exactly how this happens, both good and bad, and have seen/heard/read about this stuff happening amongst people I knew growing up. Human intelligence is one of the primary sources of Intel for criminals and you would be wise to watch what you say and to whom.