While I support concealed carry for defense (a topic I discuss at length in The Prepper Next Door), I’m not a fan of daily open carry, wearing your pistol so that other people see it. No doubt this deters most criminals. The average mugger will avoid a citizen he knows to be armed. There are two major downsides. One is that openly carrying a gun alerts the most violent criminals to the fact that you’re armed. If they really want something from you, they probably won’t take any chances. They’ll just shoot you.
The other problem is that openly carrying can take away your options. If a robber sees a police car in front of a store, he’s unlikely to continue his quest to hold up the joint. But if two armed robbers enter a shop with shotguns and one sees your pistol just as you see them raise shotguns, you’ve lost the option of trying to wait out the situation while having a concealed weapon that you could use.
Do you really want to be forced to draw and face two guys armed with shotguns at point blank range? Do you want to surrender your firearm to them? Having the firearm visible took away your best option of just playing it cool and waiting. Most armed robbers don’t pat down bystanders looking for weapons. Most robberies don’t turn into shootouts.
I understand that some people like open pistol carry to make a political statement, but I personally feel the urban prepper concerned with personal defense who chooses to carry a pistol should favor concealed carry.
A point I made in the book is that youtube allows citizens to see how real-world assaults occur, because we have access to cell phone video and surveillance video of these events. I stumbled upon this video the other day.
I don’t know what the conflict was all about, but it appeared to be some typical road rage incident. Fender bender, everybody upset. Contrary to what the commentators were saying, if you watch carefully, you’ll see a guy who stayed immensely cool while somebody else kept trying to hit him. His hands were perfectly positioned to defend himself. He moved side to side. When he could, he moved away with his hands up, only lowering them when he was out of range. It appears not one of the punches thrown had any impact whatsoever. Most impressively, he responded with no counter aggression.
Here’s a very good video by Bear Grylls about defending yourself against road rage. I really liked the comment somebody posted about VISIBLY using your cell phone to dial 911 if conditions have escalated. You’d be surprised how many tough guys chill when they know the police are about to show up. Their main goal becomes getting away quickly, before they’re arrested.
Vacant Detroit becomes dumping ground for the dead. (A bit of a sensationalist headline. They’re only finding about a dozen bodies a year. I guess the shocking aspect is that the bodies aren’t found right away, in what once was a thriving city.)
purgatoryironworks (on youtube.com) has a nice two-part video about building your own brake drum forge. Blacksmithing probably isn’t something those of us in the city can do without upsetting our neighbors, but it looks fun.)
I came across a nice list of things to consider stockpiling on preppingonabudget.com. When I started promoting my new book, I discovered many great survival-prepping blogs that are off the beaten path.