Sunday, September 28, 2014

Concealed Carry or Open Carry: A Combat Vet Comments

Concealed Carry or Open Carry:
A Combat Vet Comments

By Craig M. Szwed

I know that it is the constitutional Right of all law-abiding citizens of these United States of America to carry any personal firearm we wish and in any way that we choose, so long as we do not infringe upon the Rights of other citizens of this Nation. According to our Constitution, that is true, despite the passage and issuance of more than 80 years worth of laws and edicts by which local, state, or federal governments have infringed against our constitutional Rights. All that said, given my experience in armed military combat, in civilian life, I much prefer to
carry concealed because of the following priceless lessons that I learned from my combat days, and from history. Well-informed researchers and readers can find and name multiple current and historical examples of the points I make. 

1) Having a massive armed presence does NOT deter those who earnestly desire to harm or kill you. I’m thinking of the U.S. loss of the Viet Nam War, and of the robbery of boxer Leon Spinks (a prize fighter who was knocked out by a robber). In both cases, the greater power fell to the craftier, more persistent power.

 Despite all of the firepower and strength that someone might display openly, as the former USSR used to do in its May Day parades, the opposition can still disable, maim, or kill you just by being persistent and sneaky. Numerous other wars come to mind, including Afghanistan, which were lost by "superior" forces due to the persistence of smaller armies or militia units. The same is true of our own War of Independence. Consider, also, the great damage done to the vastly superior force of the Persian hordes, when King Leonidas’ troops used every tactical advantage. When smaller, weaker forces carefully employ tactical advantages, they save more lives among their own forces, for longer periods, even if they may eventually fall in combat. Given these considerations, is it any small wonder that increasing numbers of women are flocking to get qualified and licensed to carry firearms?

2) Camouflage works for both sides in any conflict, so why should law-abiding responsibly armed citizens not use the best camouflage that we can for our weapon of choice? Concealed carry hides our assets, and keeps perps off-balance about who we are and whether we can be successfully assaulted or not. If we believe that intel, camo, plus knowing and deceiving one's enemy are critical, IF we want to gain or maintain the upper hand in tactical situations, then our strategy must be to maximize our best use of our tactical assets.

It is one thing if we are a John Wayne character, or a super fast super spy who can draw and fight like the wind or like Bruce Lee, but that isn't anyone whom I know, especially not me. As much as I hate the idea of having to fight my way out of a deadly threat situation in civilian life, someday, that day may still arrive. I would not want to have perps get the jump on me because I wanted to carry a gun out in the open. They could easily gain a time and space advantage over me just because they saw the gun.

With concealed carry, the opposition doesn’t see what we have until we are forced to draw it. They may be attacking, but we have the element of the armed resistance surprise waiting for them. In military combat, modern commanders usually try to conceal their unit or army until it’s time to strike, unless they are playing a feinting, baiting cat-and-mouse game with the enemy. In civilian life, playing armed "bait the enemy or criminal" games, as the military or the police do, is illegal and can land you in jail or get you heavily fined, so, the responsibly armed citizen must just go about one’s daily business, and just be prepared in case a perp attacks. Given the criminal and civil risks and penalties that honest citizens often face when we are forced to use justified armed defense, why would any of us want to give away our only true advantage? Why openly display what should be our 'tactical secret’? Why carry openly and thereby make ourselves the first obvious target of any perp who insists on sowing mayhem?

3) Despite all the violence in our communities and in the world, in the long haul, ideas are more persistent and effective than bullets. Bullets can each go “Bang!”, once. But, one idea can go “BAAAAaaaaaaanng!!”, the latter echoing on and on in the hearts and minds of many throughout a community. In concealed carry communities, only those who are actually carrying concealed know who has ready access to a firearm at any given moment. With responsibly armed concealed carry citizens being of virtually no risk to one another, and if the idea and information of encouraging responsibly armed citizens to exercise their Right has been made well known around that community, that it specifically encourages concealed carry, then all its citizens benefit from the potential increased risk to evil doers, particularly with respect to violent criminals. Studies have shown that potential perps often weigh the risks to themselves before they choose to commit crimes against persons or property, especially in known carry communities. Furthermore, in known carry communities where criminals are not sure who is going to be armed, criminals more frequently choose to commit crimes against property instead of risking confrontation with armed citizens. (“More Guns, Less Crime” by John R. Lott)

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