We all have our ideals and organizations we are proud to support. Most of us also enjoy finding creative ways to express our support. No where has it become more common to place bumper stickers and window stickers on cars to profess our beliefs than the United States. This is not inherently a bad thing, but it can have some risks. The responsibly armed citizen needs to think a little harder about what they advertise when they are out in public.
Advertising Politics With Bumper Stickers
The United States has been a hot bed of political discourse we have seen in the United States over the past 10 years. We have seen tensions inflamed by a 24 hour news cycle that likes to tell people the world is ending in order to gain in ratings. We have seen people who get very upset (and in some cases violent) simply because people believe differently than they do.
When advertising your politics on your vehicle, realize that you open yourself to possible danger to self an property. Cars may experience vandalism in parking lots. You as the driver may be on the receiving end of a road rage incident, simply because of the media and Facebook fueled rhetoric of today’s politics.
As responsibly armed citizens, we should be cognizant of the risks where we travel with our vehicles, the messages we portray and the reactions of the people in our locales. This is not to say we should have freedom of speech or profess our political beliefs… this is simply to state that when ever possible, avoiding a fight is the responsible thing the armed citizen should do.
Advertising Gun Ownership With Bumper Stickers
You like Glocks? I like glocks! It’s always fun to express the things you enjoy in life, and sometimes bumper stickers are a great way of doing so. But is the big Glock, Smith & Wesson or NRA sticker the best way to go?
As an outside observer, I look at those cars and trucks as one of two things. The sticker indicate either, a “find a gun in this car” sign, or a “this person carries a gun” sign. This places risk on your vehicle being broken into and having your gun stolen; or it poses a risk to your person that you might be worth mugging in a surprise action to steal your gun.
As the responsible gun owner, following proper steps to prevent your gun falling in to the wrong hands is of paramount importance. Even without bumper stickers on your car, if you are going to leave the gun in the car, you should have a way to secure it. Small car size lockboxes with steel cables to tie to a seat frame are available from many manufacturers.
Practice good situational awareness and make sure no-one is paying extra attention to you when you are getting in and out of your car.
Personally, I have decided not to advertise my gun ownership on my personal vehicle.
Advertising Personal Family Information With Bumper Stickers
Sometimes we do not think about the amount of information we display publicly. While most things seem cute and innocuous, little bits of information about your family can pose a risk to your family members safety.
Stick figure family stickers with individuals names are a great way for a predator to pretend they know you. They are also a great way to lure children into dangerous situations.
Have you seen the “My Child is an Honor Student at ___________” bumper stickers? You are advertising where your child goes to school.
Proud wife or husband of a U.S. Marine… you just told the world your spouse is away for long periods of time.
Keep in my what information you want easily available for public display.
I am not advocating for the complete sanitation of any stickers on your cars and trucks. We live in the most freedom loving country on the planet and 90% of the time we live in safe environments. As responsible gun owners and concealed carriers though, we need to think about the risks we impose on ourselves.