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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From today's VCDL Alert:

The event that VCDL Board member Dennis O'Connor describes below happened in a SunTrust branch a couple of days ago.

SunTrust does not ban their law-abiding customers from legally carrying a firearm for self defense.

Had this been a Wachovia or a BB&T, both of which ban guns, the outcome would probably have been very different.

This event also underlines something that both Dennis and I believe - open carry, in and of itself, can be a strong deterrent to crime.
Yes, I know - the criminal COULD do a preemptive strike against someone he sees carrying openly. But in practice such an event is extremely rare. The outcome described below is the usual case.

In analyzing the encounter, the only thing I can flaw Dennis with is not being aware of the significance of what has happening around him.
But I have a law enforcement background and was trained to be on the lookout for certain behaviors and do so automatically.

The tellers at the bank, who are probably trained in how to handle a robbery, certainly knew what had just happened!

The other lesson is that crime almost always happens when you least expect it. In this case Dennis was busy getting some deposits taken care of and was focused on that task, something he has done for years routinely without a hitch. So when something unusual happened, his mind was a little slow switching gears.

Looking at it from a criminal's point of view, it was the perfect time for a holdup - the bank had just opened and there were few customers. (You can imagine that it would be much more difficult to rob a bank with, say, thirty people inside.)

In the end, this worked out as it usually does when a criminal finds himself face-to-face with an armed citizen - the criminal flees without a shot being fired.

In this more unusual case, Dennis's gun wasn't even touched or brandished!

Dennis's report:

On Tuesday the 26th of December I went down to the Sun Trust bank in Hopewell to complete some financial transactions. I got there just as they were opening and entered with a woman who had been waiting outside. There were three tellers in position to the left, one customer service associate at a desk to the right, and the manager was seated in his office to the rear right, so there were seven of us in the bank.

I have been banking there for years and know the tellers fairly well, who are quite used to me walking in with my holstered 1911 government model
.45 and two reserve magazines. As I was transacting business with my teller, a man came in through the front door on this warm December morning wearing a full ski mask, with only his eyes showing. He was wringing his hands and glanced furtively toward the office and then swept his eyes across the room, finally towards me and the tellers. At that, he turned and BOLTED back out the door!

The teller next to my position was the first to recognize the implications of what had just happened, and yelled for the manager who came rushing out from his office. He glanced toward me before sticking his head out the front door, looking both ways down the sidewalk, and pronouncing that the suspicious character had apparently left the area. The same teller then expressed her relief that I had been there, and mentioned that the next Sun Trust down on Route 10 (Iron Bridge Road) had just been robbed the week before.

I regret to say that I was pretty oblivious to anything but the business I was immediately conducting, and walked out thinking no more about it as a non-incident at the time. In fact, even later that evening I only mentioned it as a casual after-thought in a conversation with Philip. He urged me to write up this account of what had transpired, and I will leave it to him to dissect and analyze the facts, psychologies, probabilities and possible alternative outcomes.

FOLLOW UP

I went by the bank again today to make a deposit - same three tellers on duty. I asked them if the police were called over the ski-masked intruder.
They said no, but they had all discussed the incident yesterday afternoon and agreed that it was me standing there with a gun at Sharon's window (first one from the door) that spooked him into changing his plans, and they all thanked me again (although I didn't DO anything).
 

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I love it. Anyone who doesn't like OC - I'd like to hear you pick this one apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From VCDL Alert:

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1. EM Dennis O'Connor is CCRKBA's Gun Rights Defender of the Month
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A well-deserved honor has been bestowed on VCDL Board member Dennis O'Connor. Dennis received a plaque and a letter from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

The plaque reads:

Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award has been presented to Dennis O'Connor by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for the Month of February 2007. In recognition of his dedication to preserving and protecting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. An article on page 6 of the CCRKBA publication, Point Blank, tells the story of Dennis's Sun Trust bank adventure in Hopewell last December where because he "openly and legally carried a holstered handgun into the bank the day after Christmas" his "mere presence apparently motivated a would-be bank robber to flee the premises before he even had a chance to perpetrate the crime."

Snyder goes on to write:

"When Phil Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) brought the incident to the attention of John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, Snyder decided to nominate O'Connor for the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award. "O'Connor's consistent public defense of the right to keep and bear arms," said Snyder, "combined with this fortuitous de facto demonstration of the veracity of one of the chief arguments for respecting that right, that is, that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens serve as an effective crime deterrent, warrants his reception of this award..." O'Connor said modestly he "didn't DO anything." "But that," said Snyder, "is just the point. The mere evident carrying of the gun itself was enough to prevent anything
additional from having to be done."
 

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wsweeks2 said:
I love it. Anyone who doesn't like OC - I'd like to hear you pick this one apart.
+1
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
From today's VCDL Alert:

The event that VCDL Board member Dennis O'Connor describes below happened in a SunTrust branch a couple of days ago.

SunTrust does not ban their law-abiding customers from legally carrying a firearm for self defense.
Yet, as an employee of SunTrust, I am not allowed to even have a weapon (firearm or knife) in my vehicle if it is on company property!! :twisted: :roll:
 

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:D I'm glad he got the award, but isn't November a bit late to be discussing an award given in February for an incident that OCcurred almost a year ago? No? Carry on. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
budder said:
:D I'm glad he got the award, but isn't November a bit late to be discussing an award given in February for an incident that OCcurred almost a year ago? No? Carry on. :D
Not when I did not see it until today. :wink:

But, let us examine this situation. Wouldn't it have been better if he were carrying concealed, and the robber went ahead with the robbery? Or do we have one documented case outside of walking the dog where even Firearmz will agree that open carry wins the day?
 

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Oh, I think that situation went down as smoothly as possible. The robber didn't threaten anyone or be threatened by anyone and everyone stayed safe. Even the gun was kept in its holster, where it would have to work really hard to shoot through schoolyards of children.
 

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budder said:
:D I'm glad he got the award, but isn't November a bit late to be discussing an award given in February for an incident that OCcurred almost a year ago? No? Carry on. :D
Especially, being that it was for the
Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award has been presented to Dennis O'Connor by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for the Month of February 2007.
:shock: I hate to be the November winner, I wouldn't get it til next July 08!
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
But, let us examine this situation. Wouldn't it have been better if he were carrying concealed, and the robber went ahead with the robbery? Or do we have one documented case outside of walking the dog where even Firearmz will agree that open carry wins the day?
Well if he had been concealed, had to draw & shoot to BG and subsequently this resulted in the BG's removal from the gene pool, saved the cost of jail time & trial. Well that would be one reason that could be argued for CC being better. :twisted:
 

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i don't like open carry...for myself. couldn't care less if others choose to do it or not.
 

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You would have though that the bank robber would have shot the OCer first, on sight. :roll:
 

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GAGunOwner said:
You would have though that the bank robber would have shot the OCer first, on sight. :roll:
He didn't? I just skimmed the article. I thought the OCer got shot and then the bank robber took all the money, raped all the defenseless women (and/or men), and then put ketchup on a steak. I guess the story turned out a lot better than I thought!
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
Had this been a Wachovia or a BB&T, both of which ban guns, the outcome would probably have been very different.
Good story... Although I had no idea about the quote above...
Never noticed any signs on the door at my local Wachovia...
 

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Nope :lol: won't find me agreeing with open carry, in the above story all we had was a masked man decide not to rob a bank (possibly) other than ski mask there was no attempt at a robbery, last time I checked it was still legal to wear a ski mask, all we had was three tellers decide it was because of Dennis' gun, which is speculations not fact.
 

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Firearmz said:
Nope :lol: won't find me agreeing with open carry, in the above story all we had was a masked man decide not to rob a bank (possibly) other than ski mask there was no attempt at a robbery, last time I checked it was still legal to wear a ski mask, all we had was three tellers decide it was because of Dennis' gun, which is speculations not fact.
Generally, it is illegal to wear a mask in public in GA.
 
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