I listened to your podcast with interest when you discussed the "shoot me first vest" and the "fanny packs." I have been one of those who preached against both in general terms to both LE and civilian students.
I would like to make the following observations: Rule number one of concealed carry is to not do anything that would draw attention. That includes being noticed by the bad guys and, for the armed citizen, by L.E. (Even if you are legally carrying) In the great majority of urban environments, a photo/journalists vest and/or fanny pack do draw attention. (The exception is if you have several thousand dollars with of Nikon hanging around your neck).
Other sport and hunting vests do not stand out like a Banana Republic vest. I wear a Drake vest often but it blends in with my environment. This follows along with what we teach to our officers about wearing police related clothing when they are off-duty...it draws attention and makes them a potential target. The next time any of us goes to a movie, out to dinner, or to a shopping mall, survey the public we come in contact with and see how many multi-pocket vest and fanny bags we see. If the answer is none or very few, I would suggest not using either.
We study bad guys M.O. and bad guys study cops. They study how to ID the narcs, how to do a gun grab on a security holster, and to shoot us in the neck to defeat our body armor. They know what undercover cars we use and often listen to our radios via the internet.
I agree with you that I want to maintain any advantage I can if a situation goes south. It is not a question of how many people have been "shot" because of a vest or fanny pack. It is a matter of tactics for your environment. I am glad that open carry is legal in most states. However, I do not advocate open carry in public for the same reasons as above.
We still lock our doors even when there has never been any violent crime in our neighborhood. We all carry a reload even though we have never been in a gunfight and the statistics show reloads are few and far between. I especially liked the comments about training outside of your comfort zone...great thoughts that need to be shared more...And a follow-up:
I neglected to mention in my email where the term "shoot me first vest" originally came from. It did not come from the IDPA community or any shooting affiliation. It was originally coined by those working protective details and wearing a photo journalist vest. While the vest was intended to concealed firearm, it resulted in those working the detail standing out and it became obvious who the protectors were. They, the agents wearing the vest, coined the term shoot me first vest. The manner in which they stood out while wearing the vest insured they were immediately identified as armed security for the protecting.
Just a little more history. I actually first heard the term from (a) United States Secret Service agent many, many years ago. It is has since be coined by the general shooting community without understanding for context of its origination...Of course, Rob is right. Rule One is not to stand out. I've been very lucky to live in the Rocky Mountain West, where half the people are in costume all the times, a quarter are hippies pining for Jerry Garcia's long delayed return and the other quarter are more or less cowboys, slightly worn. It slants my view of the world. I own one suit...I haven't worn it in 3 years.
Thanks, Rob, for the course correction...