I’m not normally one to stifle innovation or put out bad press against new companies that work to at least appear to support the 2nd amendment. This time I’m going to make an exception. I saw a Facebook ad by a company calling itself Perceived Carry Decoy; a name just interesting enough that I felt obliged to click on through and check it out for myself.
A quick read through their site reveals the company is owned by a retired USMC Veteran and based out of Virginia Beach. Their purpose; to sell you a fake firearm that straps on your belt but actually does nothing. The idea of their campaign is summed up on the last sentences of their info page: “Be intimidating. Be Protected.”
The marketing idea here is that you, the potential consumer, will be safer in certain situations by strapping a one-piece plastic firearm to your hip and walking around town. I’d like to think a retired US Marine has better sense to perpetrate this kind of marketing as a good idea to anyone, but apparently they don’t see it that way.
The business is obviously new. The website is barely functional at this time and the devices are in pre-order stages only. It appears the owner has put all this together in the last month or so. Even the photos of the PCD devices are taken from his or her home living room; not that there’s anything wrong with that in itself. We all have to start somewhere.
So why is this a bad idea?
The owner isn’t a marketing genius, so I’m going to go easy on them a little bit but here are a few reasons why they think you should have one of these devices.
- “These devices are for those who wish to feel protected but do not want the hassle of owning an actual firearm”
- “Give your unarmed security staff a more authoritative presence
- “Know someone who could benefit from carrying a handgun, but aren’t safety conscious?
- “Don’t want to be approached by a criminal element?”
- “The all in one piece construction of these devices addresses all of these hurdles while still allowing for the benefits of open carry. “
I’ll just start at the top and work my way down the list of offenses this entire premise makes towards gun owners and supporters of the US Constitution’s 2nd Amendment.
Benefits of Open Carry?
First, this device provides none none of the benefits of open carry; absolutely none, with the possible mental perception that the owner of the plastic non-working item that’s less functional than a $12 airsoft pistol is actually “being intimidating,” as described later in their website.
As a huge proponent for open-carry, as well as concealed, this offends me and should offend you on a variety of levels. The mere idea that strapping on a firearm makes you a badass means you don’t actually have the capacity to give that firearm the respect it deserves. I don’t strap on a firearm to look macho in Walmart, or sitting down in Bojangles. I wear a firearm to defend my life or that of another in the event that it were to become necessary with the hope that it never does but the responsibility to take training and practice seriously if it were to ever happen. Admittedly I also wear a firearm with a personal lean towards supporting the second amendment of the Constitution of this great nation. As long as there are individuals out there supporting the rights of US citizens, it is harder to take them away. Wearing a piece of plastic on my hip does none of those things.
And now the elephant in the room
It isn’t talked about in the classroom and not mentioned amongst instructors, but there is an unmentioned rule and an acknowledged acceptance of that rule by serious firearm owners. Its seen in the slight nod of acknowledgement between strangers that carry when congregated in the same place. However, since companies like this exist to fill the heads of consumers with fake warm and fuzzy thoughts about owning a firearm, I’m going to mention the elephant in the room.
Concealed carry of a firearm is the most optimal way to defend yourself. Of that there should be no doubt. Having a gun when the criminal element doesn’t know you have a gun is the optimal way, from a threat analysis standpoint, to level the playing field and even flip the odds in favor of the armed citizen. However, there will always be those, like myself, that open carry and we know the risks. We just don’t talk about them in front of people.
Here it is in simple terms – if you are carrying in the open, you are the absolute first target in any scenario when a firearm is pulled in a room of people; any room, anywhere, during any crime. The very first person to get shot will be the man or woman that has the ability to defend themselves and return fire. The guys at Perceived Carry Decoys would like you to believe that having a firearm prominently displayed on your person will deter just about any criminal from messing with you. Truth is, I think that’s absolute bull***t. Any semblance of an ability to defend yourself certainly deters the average common thug from messing with you; whether it’s the way you walk, your obvious situational awareness, the hand in your purse that might be reaching for keys or might be reaching for a .357 revolver.
Someone that has decided, for whatever reason, to pull a gun on another human being to commit a crime of robbery, rape, assault, murder, or any other, obviously has a screw or three loose in their noggin. No “sane” person walks into Walmart and starts shooting people with the BB rifle he brought in? (Wait, was that too soon?) So assuming that common sense is going to apply to an individual that has already decided to risk their own life for something they want is giving them entirely too much credit.
The plastic symbol of your badassery on your hip does nothing to deter that individual. In fact it has made you their number one target. They can accomplish nothing they intend to accomplish while you’re still drawing breath. They WILL shoot to engage you first, every time. What will you do except scream back “It’s not real! I don’t have a real gun! Please, don’t shoot me” as urine runs down your legs while you cower behind the Kit-Kat display in the convenience store?
To oversimplify: if you can’t be responsible enough to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitude to carry a firearm safely, then simply don’t carry one at all, even a fake one. Doing so puts your life and everyone standing close to you at severe risk if you were ever to encounter a need to actually defend yourself! Strap on a belt-holster of bear spray, mace, pepper spray. Carry an asp-baton in your purse. Do NOT strap a fake firearm to your hip! It will do nothing to save your life.
If you wish to share your thoughts with the proprietors of PCD Decoys, they can be contacted a variety of ways:
- On the web at: http://www.pcdcarry.com
- On Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pcdcarry
- Via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note from the author: It is not my intention to berate, or in any way disparage the owner of PCD. They are obviously a fledgling company in the first stages of releasing their product. It IS my intention to hopefully convince them this is a bad idea before they actually start making product and investing time and money into an enterprise that does nothing to support the second amendment and could result in harm or death to someone carrying their product with no idea of the dangers associated with firearms. As the owner is apparently a retired US Marine, he or she has my eternal respect and gratitude for their service to our country and for defending the lives and freedoms I cherish. I just think this is a REALLY bad idea and there are other ways to make money without putting unaware citizens in danger.