How to identify if an armed person is a threat

Oh boy, this is going to be fun. Apparently there are people in this country who aren’t very clear on what an actual threat to their safety is in regards to guns. Need Proof? The comments below were in reference to articles about Open Carry rallies somewhere in this country that featured images like this one.

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Looks threatening? So you are going to shoot him? Who’s the threat again?

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What right to feel safe? (There isn’t one.)

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Hasn’t happened yet, even at our racist, alcoholic, high school drop out, incest orgies.
(Yes, that was sarcasm.)

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But no one has ever asked…

Well that last comment highlighted something. “How do you know if someone is just an enthusiast or a genuine threat?”  That tells me that this is a matter of education on the part of the person asking. They have simply never been taught what is and what isn’t a threat when it comes to guns and gun owners.  Fortunately for you reading this, I can remedy that situation. But first we need to establish some guidelines.

There are three kinds of pistol carriers in this country, depending on what state you live in.

  • Lawful Concealed Carry – Legally carrying a firearm (usually a pistol) in such a manner as to be difficult or impossible to ascertain whether an individual is actually armed.
  • Lawful Open Carry – Legally carrying a firearm in such a manner as there is no question as to whether an individual is armed.
  • Unlawful Carry – Carrying or possession of a firearm in a manner that is against the law, whether open or concealed.

There are also two kinds of rifle carriers, again depending on what state you live in.

  • Lawful Open Carry – Legally carrying a rifle, either in a demonstration to promote gun rights, or as a means of exercising those rights.
  • Unlawful Open Carry – Illegally carrying a rifle, either in a demonstration to promote gun rights, or in such a manner as to cause alarm, and to intimidate or coerce.

Please note, there isn’t a way to carry a rifle concealed realistically, regardless of what some movies or political figures would have you believe.

In the images below, I am going to show you examples of what would and would not constitute a threat from an individual who is armed, so that you can rest easier knowing that a “gun nut” actually isn’t trying to mow you down as you eat with your family in the play area of a Mickey D’s.

First up, the unarmed individual – This person does not have a firearm on their person at this time. This person is not a threat.

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Hi. What’s for lunch?

The legal concealed carrier – This individual has gone through all of the requirements, and paid the extortion fines taxes fees, required to get a permit to carry a concealed firearm. There are varying requirements for attaining such a license depending on the state where this person lives that likely include a shooting qualification and/or a written exam. Chances are pretty good that they visit a shooting range at least once a month to hone their skills, and they have more than likely attended at least one, if not several training courses that are not specifically required for their license.  This person is not a threat.

averagejoe.jpg
Hi. What’s for lunch?

The illegal concealed carrier – This individual might be one who has decided that other people knowing that they may or may not have a gun is an effective means of hiding their true intent with the firearm. They are likely concealing the firearm to maintain the element of surprise on their potential victim, and they view the firearm as a means of leverage and intimidation in order to coerce another individual or group of individuals into surrendering property or physical safety. Or they simply have decided that they don’t want to hassle with all of the legal requirements for carrying concealed and have agreed that they will pay the consequences if they get caught. This person may or may not be a threat.

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Hi. My license is in my other pants. (Now give me your lunch.)

The legal pistol open carrier – This person is likely exercising a legal right. The pistol is holstered. Chances are pretty good that they visit a shooting range at least once a month to hone their skills, and they have more than likely attended at least one, if not several training courses.  This person is not a threat.

628x471.jpg I’ll be back at work after lunch.

The legal rifle open carrier – This person is likely exercising a legal right. The rifle is slung over the shoulder or behind the back. There is a chamber flag present showing that there is no round in the chamber of the rifle. This is basically the rifle equivalent of a holstered pistol. This person is not a threat.

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Hi. Can I talk to you about freedom?

The illegal rifle open carrier – This person may be exercising a right, however the rifle is in a position that would likely cause some measure of alarm, even among other gun owners. There is also a chance that this person is using the rifle as a means of leverage and intimidation in order to coerce another individual or group of individuals into surrendering property or physical safety. There is a magazine in the rifle, and this person’s hand is on the grip of the rifle. From this position it would only take seconds to move the rifle into a threatening posture.  This person may or may not be a threat.

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Whadd’ya mean Taco Bell doesn’t serve strawberry shakes?

Now the following pictures are examples of someone in possession of a firearm that actually is a known threat.  There is no ambiguity here. If you see an individual in this posture in public, they intend to do someone harm. Keep in mind, I didn’t say a threat to you, just a threat. They might be a threat to a criminal or to an innocent victim. It is time for you to leave, and this is enough cause to call the authorities and get them involved.

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The guy in the picture above has his pistol drawn. You don’t know whether he is “good guy” or “bad guy” but in either case, something is happening in the near vicinity that you don’t want to be around for. If you want to attack this guy so he doesn’t hurt anybody, keep in mind that he might be an undercover officer, and by intervening you might be endangering his life, and yours.  The best thing for you to do is to leave, get yourself (and your family) to safety, and then call the authorities.

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There is no ambiguity here. The guy in the picture above is absolutely a threat. Again, we don’t know “good guy” or “bad guy” but you don’t need to be hanging around to find out.  If you haven’t already left, it is definitely time to go. If you can’t get away safely, hope that this is a good guy, or that there is a good guy nearby.

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If there are any doubts as to whether this guy is a threat, let me clear them up now; you are in danger.  I’m still not going to clarify good guy or bad guy, because you might have done something to deserve being in that situation.  At this point, it is too late to call the authorities, and you’re not going anywhere safely.  Your hope at this point is that the person aiming at you does not decide to pull the trigger.  If this person is a bad guy, you’re hoping for a good guy to intervene, whether it is an officer or a concealed/open carrier. If this person is a good guy, cop or otherwise, you are in the wrong somehow.

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Just like with a pistol, the woman in the picture above is absolutely a threat. Again, we don’t know “good guy” or “bad guy” but you don’t need to be hanging around to find out. If you haven’t already left, it is definitely time to go and to call the authorities. If you can’t get away safely, hope that this is a “good guy,” or that there is a good guy nearby.

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If through some unlucky circumstance you are met with this view then this person is absolutely a threat to you. Again, it’s too late to call anyone, and too late to get away safely. Your hope at this point is that the person aiming at you does not decide to pull the trigger. If this person is a bad guy, you’re hoping for a good guy to intervene, whether it is an officer or a concealed/open carrier. If this person is a good guy, cop or otherwise, you are in the wrong somehow.

So let’s recap for those who are not gun owners what does and does not constitute a threat in regards to someone with a gun.

Guy with a gun? – Not a threat, go walk up and say hi.

Guy with a gun unholstered, aimed at something? – Threat, get to safety and call someone.

See how easy that is?

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This entry was posted in Concealed Carry, Guns, Pistol, Rifle, Self Defense, Semi-Automatic. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How to identify if an armed person is a threat

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