Thursday, February 1, 2018

Grey Man: how to be the wolf in sheep's clothing?

Much is often made in the Prepper and Gun Guy communities of falling into two camps: to be either The Grey Man, or to be a Minuteman.  Both methodologies have legitimate uses, and in my mind are complimentary.  Each of us should strive to be The Grey Man when the time is appropriate, and transition to the Minuteman when the time has come.

The Grey Man is the person you never see, or the one you see and never remember.  He's not dressed in any particular attention grabbing way, is cordial but not overly friendly, the ones that blends into a crowd.  He's not the one constantly reaching for his belt to make sure his concealed handgun has magically escaped from his holster.  He isn't the standoffish one that's "mean mugging" everyone that makes eye contact with him.  He isn't the one that puffs his chest out and walks around like he's out looking for a fight.  The Grey Man may be able to swing like Mike Tyson, or shoot like Jerry Miculek, but he blends in like an average Joe.  That's the point.

Being the Grey Man allows you to slip between the throngs of humanity you encounter on a daily basis and not attract attention to yourself.  Note that the basic rules of situational awareness apply, your head should be up and eyes moving, but try to appear casual about it.  Check hands and eyes, but keep your eyes moving and glance at street signs or billboards so that it just looks like you're looking for something or taking in the scenery.  Yes, a pro will still spot you (the fact you aren't staring numbly into a cell phone will ring most alarm bells) but the uninitiated will walk right by you.

Your clothing, with some allowance for personal taste and style, should be likewise chosen to blend in.  Leave the TAPOUT shirts and GLOCK hats at home.  What you want is a tee shirt/button down/hoody/etc. that is either devoid of prominent branding OR at the least has no branding that has anything to do with firearms.  If you're going to an event in which EVERYONE ELSE is wearing a certain type of dress, that would be a great choice.  Despite that, take care that your dress is appropriate to conceal your EDC, and wear good close toed shoes in case running becomes necessary.

Your EDC may have to be compromised to keep this ruse going.  When I'm at my workplace, I'm legally barred from bringing a firearm onto the premises.  I also can't bring a knife with a blade longer than 2" into the building.  I have a Gerber Paraframe clip point that just barely meets that length limit, and that's what I keep on my person.  I also have my IFAK in my vehicle, and keep my Streamlight Protac 1L on my person.  You may have to leave the Glock 19 at home and trade out for a 43 or other sub compact depending on how deep you need to conceal.  Strapping a Bowie knife onto your side wearing dress clothes isn't the right direction if you're following what I'm saying.

At the end of the day, your goal is to be forgettable.  You want to blend in, you don't want to look threatening.  You are the wolf in sheep's clothing, fortunately you're on the sheep's side (or at least not looking to harm the sheep). Next week, we'll look at the Minuteman philosophy. - Phil Rabalais


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