On Friday, without any warning or reason, Instagram disabled and unpublished @WorldOfTroy. A contributor of social media content to shooting and hunting friends and followers, professional and nonsworn, TROY Industries used the account to connect with people who enjoy Second Amendment freedoms. No explanation has thus far been given.
My dad was in the Special Forces – a "Green Beret" with the 20th Group – and I remember in the late sixties and seventies him using regular car tags for our vehicles instead of the military tags he could get at a discount. At this time the U.S. was still involved in Vietnam, and a lot of malice was being directed at military personnel here at home. He explained he didn't want mom and us to get into any trouble by having a military tag. "You always want to be careful," he explained, "so you don't attract the wrong kind of attention."
Back in "caveman" times we had animal skins for clothing and spears and such for weapons. All of these things came from the environment, so they blended and provided camouflage. Add a bunch of dirt and mud to that and you were good to go. Today it's a lot different, but nothing has really changed. There are still things out there that will attack if they see the "wrong" thing.
Urban environments are full of colors and shapes. One would think that it's easy to blend into all the confusion. And it is, as long as you give it some thought. Clothing is one thing to consider. For example I'm not a big fan of publicly wearing clothing that has a firearms logo on it. I don't want anyone knowing I'm a shooter, or that I even own firearms. The same thing goes for your vehicles. Stickers and decals attract attention. It may be someone giving you a thumb's up in agreement with your life choices. Or, someone sees the same stickers and covertly follows you home to see where all your goodies are stashed. The most common way criminals acquire firearms is through theft.
The same thing applies to cute stickers with your children's names on them. This is a great way for a threat to gain your confidence. "Hey," they say, "you're Timmy's mom." You reply, "Yes." They move closer. "He goes to school with my son." You relax, and don't even have time to scream when his partner clamps a hand over your mouth from behind.
You should also think about the "blue line" stickers or tags on the front of your car. Law enforcement officers have become targets. Having your personal vehicle marked, letting everyone know the people inside that car are either officers or related to officers is not a good idea, and yet when I go into town I see dozens of them.
I feel the same way about open carry. I don't want anyone knowing I'm armed. While it may be your right to carry openly, you need to think about the pro's and con's of this action. Search the 'net for "open carry gun stolen." This alone should cause you to reconsider.
What happens if you have to leave your car during bad times? There's civil unrest, the roads are hopelessly clogged and you have to abandon your vehicle. It might be a good idea to have some type of camo to put on. A gray coat, an old pair of jeans and hiking boots, along with a well-used backpack, make it easy for you to hide or blend into both urban and rural areas.
Often we get so focused on the newest firearm, the latest gear and all the training and practicing that we forget to think about simple things. You don't want to attract attention. Don't feed the threats intel on you or your family. Have the means to blend, hide or look like something else in order to be safe. That means thinking about camouflage.
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns" - http://shootrite.org/book/book.html writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk's DVD, "Fighting With The 1911 - http://shootrite.org/dvd/dvd.html Website: www.shootrite.org