Blending In With The Crowd – Using People As Camouflage

Blending In With The Crowd - Using People As Camouflage

Blending In With The Crowd - Using People As Camouflage

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of awesome tactical clothing and stuff great for showing off at the range. In everyday life, however, it’s better to blend in as a concealed carrier than to stand out. A concealed carrier is a hard target. He or she is armed, pays attention to his surroundings, and keeps a defensive mindset everywhere he goes. Let’s take it to the next step — learning to blend into the crowd.

When you see incidents where an armed robber comes into a convenience store or gas station and is neutralized by a concealed carrier, it’s usually because the armed robber didn’t immediately identify that person as a concealed carrier. After all, why would a man intending to live another day discount someone he can obviously tell has a handgun?

Dressing like the crowd is pretty easy. You don’t have to upgrade your wardrobe. It’s as simple as not wearing clothing that identifies you as a likely concealed carrier.

Pretend you’re the bad guy for a moment. For whatever reason, you’re heading into the local convenience store to rob the clerk. You know he may be armed but other than that, you don’t think much about the customers. If you look mean enough, everyone will do what you say.

You head into the gas station store and you see the clerk, a sheepish-looking 18-year-old with pimples on his face and then there’s a guy with an NRA hat and a jacket with a Glock logo. Who do you think you’re instantly more concerned with in that scenario?

And now there’s real life to consider. In a mall in Texas, recently, two armed robbers attempted to hold up a jewelry store. A Good Samaritan attempted to intervene and he was shot. A concealed carrier, who up until that moment evaded their attention, was able to draw his gun and shoot one of the robbers. The first Good Samaritan was killed. The concealed carrier was very seriously injured, as was one of the robbers. The second robber raced through the store, indiscriminately firing upon individuals as he fled.

Blending in can buy critical moments for you to act. It could be something as harrowing as attempting to neutralize two armed robbers or, more pragmatically, seeking cover for you and your family.

Remember: a concealed carrier’s main job is his own protection and that of his family.

In these hard situations, it pays to not stick out in the crowd. Wearing tactical clothing, sporting gun logos, these are all quick ways to come to the superficial judgement that you’re a potential threat to bad guys. Maintaining situational awareness of your surroundings is important but it cannot account for everything. It’s in those unfortunate circumstances that it pays to be concealed in the crowd.

Not every concealed carrier will ascribe to this philosophy. That’s perfectly fine. However, for those who aren’t interested in being the hero and are simply interested in protecting themselves, this may be a helpful consideration.

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Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
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Jim Lagnese

There have been times I’ve blended in so well that customer service staff didn’t seem to realize I was there and I am not a small person. I have no idea why, but it’s happened more than a couple times. I wonder how color and “energy” relate to being recognized. I bet some study has been done on this and it would be interesting to read.


Check out grey man articles. You are spot on with your assumption re color and energy.
Grey men/women live to go home to their families.


Subtle is key here. And if you want to advertise, find clothing/logos that aren’t commonly identified. Think 5.11 Tactical. Or Springfield. Logos and insignia like Smith & Wesson, Glock, Ruger, etc. are going to be easily identified by nearly everyone. YMMV.

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Clark Kent

Sorry, but unless you are a mind reader you can’t determine what logos bad guys are familiar with. So do yourself a favor and skip ALL firearm related logos and you will live longer.


Hi Clark, no I’m not a mind reader. My recommendation was just based on anecdotal evidence and casual observations.

Fred Miller

I do everything I can do to blend in, but many notice my appearance, mannerisms and constant observation of my surroundings, which is something I guess I’m unable to conceal. I don’t own or wear anything which identifies me, in any way, as a CCW or anything to do with law enforcement (even though I’ve had that question asked MANY times by civilian and law enforcement alike). In that aspect, most people are suspicious of me, and I have no idea why. I know I look neat, stand straight and have an air of confidence, even when I don’t feel so much like it. My friends tell me I have a “commanding presence” (which I have no idea what in hell that is). I don’t gawk at people, avoid confrontation at all costs and largely stick to myself, but I apparently don’t quite blend in with crowd. *shrug*


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Fred Miller

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Anthony Louis DeWitt

I tell people this all the time. I recently wrote a blog post on this subject and believe that the more you look like a plumber or an accountant the less likely you are to draw attention to yourself. I never wear gun gear.