By Tank Hoover
As a young cop, it didn’t take long for my rose-colored glasses to fade. With each call I answered, I got a personal, close-up view of the real world. Being exposed to the violence, conflict and miscreants of our society, I learned you could never trust anyone you came into contact with.
Even though you greeted everyone with a smile and treated them with respect — you eyed everyone suspiciously until you cleared your call. You had to, to survive. You just never knew what could cause someone to snap. Nor did you know what type of weapon they might have concealed.
I was cleaning out my den closet recently when I was reminded just how true this last statement is. In a far corner I have a box containing an excellent array of weapons I’ve taken off of suspects, victims and complainants over the years. Some are obviously deadly weapons, while others, just as deadly, look rather benign, at least to the uneducated eye.
Some of these weapons are so big, you figured it would take a magician with the skill of Houdini himself to conceal, or worse yet, make appear “out of thin air.” I’m reminded of a young man I arrested who was armed with a 24″ bayonet, in scabbard, concealed down his pant leg. The ultimate pig sticker, I’ll never forget pulling that seemingly endless piece of steel from his waist. It just kept coming and coming.
Here is just a small sampling of weapons Tank took from “your average citizen” while coming
into contact with them. You better believe people carry this kind of stuff everyday — everywhere.
Edged weapons of all sorts are well represented in my collection. Antique butcher knives, cheap, plastic-handled serrated steak knives, screwdrivers, knuckle knives, they’re all there, and they’re all deadly. Progressing from knives, we get into hatchets and tomahawks. These choppers aren’t always carried by merit badge-seeking Boy Scouts, either. Hatchets are a favorite weapon often found in vehicles driven by your average Joe.
Next on the hit list are impact weapons. The common Louisville slugger baseball bat is a biggie. Innocuous looking, they can crush a cranial wall easily. Axe handles, clubs, brass knuckles and nunchakus are other impact weapons used to whack the daylights out of you.
The point is, the bad guys will use whatever means they have to inflict injury on any unsuspecting victim. Most carry some type of weapon at all times. This was just a list to get you thinking about the possibility of what can be used against you. It also shows why you should be just as careful about carrying a concealed gun consistently.
Open Or Concealed?
I like carrying concealed, as opposed to open carry, for a couple of reasons. Surprise is still one of the best tactics out there. Just ask any military leader. It gives you time to assess the situation. Would I be better off to just go along with the robbery? Or is this something more serious? How many bad guys are there? These are just a few of the things to take into consideration.
Sometimes doing nothing is your best option to allow the situation to de-escalate on its own. Sometimes, reacting swiftly is the best course of action, and only you will know at the time. Bottom line, ask yourself if doing something will make the situation better, or worse? If lives are at stake, it’s pretty obvious.
Carrying concealed also makes you less of a target. If a bad guy sees you armed, you’re the immediate threat to his success of doing whatever dastardly deed he’s intent on doing — and he will react accordingly. Carrying concealed at least puts the time-line more on your terms.
This is just something to get your gears turning about the types of people out there. Carrying concealed is an option providing you the option to save yourself, or someone else. Sometimes the best option is nothing at all. Just grin and let things pass by — and be a good witness.
Being forewarned is to be forearmed! Give yourself as many options as possible. Run scenarios through your head. What would I do if this happened? What would I do if that happened? Train! Shoot your gun, practice reloading it while still looking at an adversary.
Learn the difference between cover and concealment. The main thing is to just do something, without freezing up. Keep thinking. Trust no one, but still smile and try not to be paranoid. Just expect the worst and hope for the best. It will become second nature with time.
Save the rose colored glasses for Halloween!
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