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Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Gunday: This is a dumb, useless thing

I am a Second Amendment Activist. This means that I am enthusiastic about the right to carry a weapon and the right to defend myself (and your right to defend yourself). However, this does not mean that I believe everyone must carry; that is a personal decision and one I will not force upon you. I simply believe that you should be able to make that decision in the first place.

Or, as I like to put it, "I'm not trying to put a gun into your hand. Please do me the same courtesy of not trying to pry my pistol out of mine."

And then I see something like this, and it makes me fear for the future of our species:

From the offending company's website:

WHO ARE PCD DEVICES FOR?
  • These devices are for those who wish to feel protected but do not want the hassle of owning an actual firearm
  • PCD's require no background check or permit since they are not actual firearms
  • Store doesn't have your favorite ammunition in stock?
  • Want to wear in a parking lot and stow away in purse once you've reached your destination and not fear a discharge? 
  • Don't want the fear of young children finding a loaded weapon by mistake?
  • Give your unarmed security staff a more authoritative presence
  • Shop owners concerned about robbery
  • Know someone who could benefit from carrying a handgun, but aren't safety conscious?
  • Don't want to be approached by a criminal element? As you can see, the uses and possibilities are endless.
Don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on something that may not be used? The all in one piece construction of these devices addresses all of these hurdles while still allowing for the benefits of open carry.
Personal Carry Decoys, or Personal Crime Deterrents are designed to provide a "strong" defensive posture to those who wear one and has the look of a live weapon. Remember, Perceived Carry is all about the perception that you are ready for business and let's face it, perception is reality.
Be intimidating. Be protected.

WHAT PCD'S ARE NOT FOR
  • HOME PROTECTION
  • LAW ENFORCEMENT SITUATIONS
  • SELF DEFENSE

FEATURES
  • Safe one piece construction, device does not come out of holster
  • Life-like appearance of actual firearm
  • Comes with holster that includes a belt loop
  • Increased level of protection associated with open carry

I... you... what?


Look, I'm going to make this really easy for you: If you don't want to carry a gun, then don't carry one. It's that simple. 

If you think owning a gun is a hassle, I'm not going to judge you: there are lots of things I don't own because they're a pain in the rear to maintain or are otherwise more work than fun. But for the love of all that's holy, do NOT strap a toy gun to belt to make you feel more protected.

Don't. Just... don't. Would you like some reasons why?
  1. Guns are not totems. They do not magically keep you safe by their mere presence; you have to know how to use them, and more importantly, you have to have the will to use them. Everyone who carries a pistol for self-defense knows, at some level, that they may need to take a life in defense of themselves or another. This is an intensely personal decision that they make every time they strap that holster to their body. Carrying a piece of inert plastic requires no such decision and no such will; it has all of the protective juju of a lucky rabbit's foot. 
  2. What are you going to do when a criminal sees the fake pistol and decides that either you get shot first, or that he will take your weapon from you? (And believe me, if you aren't mentally prepared to shoot someone for realsies, carrying a plastic totem is not going to give you confidence and an anti-crime aura. The most you will look like is an easy victim with a high-value item.)
  3. Carrying openly?  See #2, above, only magnified. You might as well be a 100 pound nerd in an 80s movie with taped glasses and a sweater vest. 
  4. Carrying concealed? I imagine you don't have a permit, since carrying a real gun is too much of a hassle. Tell me, how do you think the police will react if they see a gun-shaped bulge and you don't have a license for it? Do you think they'll laugh at the all-in-one plastic design and say "G'wan, ya joker, get outta here"? Or do you think they will confiscate it, likely write you a citation, and possibly arrest you for carrying something that a reasonable person would think is a concealed firearm? 
  5. As a gun owner, I am held to a higher standard of behavior. I must keep my cool, because if I have a freak-out and threaten (or attack) someone, and the police are called, simply having a firearm in my possession makes things worse. Someone who owns a toy like this won't have that mindset. That someone might lose their cool and say something like "I'll kill you!" to another, who might rightfully feel threatened by someone wearing a gun delivering death threats. See #4, above, for how the police will likely respond to that. 

Please, don't do this. Carrying something like this is only the illusion of safety. It's like saying "I am afraid of kitchen fires, but I think owning a fire extinguisher is a hassle, so I'm going to get a plastic fire extinguisher instead. It will give me confidence when dealing with situations where a fire might occur."

If you're going to carry a gun, carry it for real and accept all of the "hassle" that comes with it.

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