Hiding In Plain Sight – Self-defense is something that we focus a lot on here, and that is because I am a firm believer that each person should be responsible enough to protect themselves, their families, and others from as many potential issues as you can. However, part of protecting your family is making sure you minimize being a target or being targeted first in a potential altercation. While I have spoken about being the “gray man” before, for those who don’t know it is being indistinguishable from the guy next to you, I think it is time to relook at some of the biggest things I notice when going out to my local big box stores that tells me way more than you would think.
I am a total gear snob, and I have no issues stating it. I like more tactical fit clothing, my bags are usually some forms of molle webbing, and I seem to have a lot of shirts of either previous military units, camouflage or some cool guy company that has a recognizable logo. If I am going to a gun show, no big deal, I blend right in. Going to Wal-Mart, I stick out. This could also be in the shape of hats, sunglasses or other items that are specifically for a military look. I would suggest toning it down some, maybe don’t flaunt that Glock t-shirt you have. All for you being you, but I notice it right away.
Cars with stickers:
I did a cursory drive through Wal-Mart and counted 7 cars that had either NRA, Firearms, Hunting or related material. I also counted over a dozen that had the stick figure families, names of kids on two, dogs, and others on the car. If I needed a gun, I know that I will most likely find one on the person or in the vehicle of the firearms cars. If I wanted to target someone that would be more compliant with threats likely a family. If I am trying to kidnap, I would now have the names of the family and dogs to target that child. Maybe my mind thinks different, but why would you give that information away.
Open Carry or Bad Concealed Carry:
I occasionally open carry, but that is usually in the woods when I know there are bears around, and I might need to draw quickly, but that is it. I think advertising to everyone in the Wendy’s line you are carrying is a poor idea, and advertises what you have. Also, especially with cheap holsters, it is easy to draw the weapon from the holster from behind. Our Original Holsters have 17lbs of retention but still offer a great draw which negates that threat. The other things I notice a lot are the thumbing, patting or hands on the firearm checking that it is still there. Most of that is unconscious, but there is a significant portion of the time this is because the holster is uncomfortable. The final tell I look for is someone who has gained a few pounds and their shirt has now gotten tighter showing me what they are carrying and where. I even told one man not too long ago to adjust his shirt as it had ridden up over the holster and was stuck showing everyone he was carrying. Bottom line, get good gear like one of our awesome holsters and be aware enough to address your clothing malfunctions.
On a final note, there are some locations where being in hunting gear or tactical attire might be the norm, and therefore is totally ok to do. If You are in the town I go hunting in during the season and you are not in camo you stick out more than if you did.
Be mindful, be safe, and don’t tell everyone what you have because the element of surprise will likely win the day.
Author: Ian Bolser