Usage: Open Carry Saves Her Life

Frank Taylor_mugshotMeet Frank Taylor. Don’t get too attached to him, because he’s a crumb, a violent criminal, and he’s already dead, dead, dead — where he can’t hurt anybody any more. Maybe he was a lovely guy 99% of the time, or maybe he was always prone to the kind of dyscivic activity that characterized the last hours of his life. We don’t know, although the fact that he already had a scowling mugshot on file is what intelligence officers call “an indicator.”

Moms Demand Action records his demise as a “gun death.” And it was, but not quite the way they mean.

As it happens, he took his chances on robbing a woman a fraction of his size (4’11″/85 lbs, aka 1.5m/39 Kg), and the gamble came up snake eyes for him, as he coughed out his last blood on an operating table soon thereafter. (We can just feel the groundswell of sympathy for the guy, all the way from Arizona).

Now, we’re not big fans of open carry, here. Why advertise? In summer months, when our service pistol would be hard to conceal in shorts and t-shirt, we downsize. (First Rule of Gunfights: Bring a Gun). But some people, like Carolann Miracle of Glendale, AZ, are built so lean that even a Baby Browning is going to print. You might as well carry the horse pistol, exposed, then.

A news channel tells part of the story:

The suspect, Frank Taylor , tried to bum a cigarette. She told him that she didn’t have one, and then seconds later, Miracle said, she could feel the barrel of the gun against her skin.

“He put the gun up to my neck and said, ‘It’s loaded, don’t move,’” Miracle said. ”I think he thought, ‘She’s a little girl. Maybe she doesn’t know how to use her weapon.’”

Miracle said, “I dropped my soda, released my gun from my holster and cocked it. I shot him and ran in the opposite direction.

She called the cops from home; meanwhile, others responded to the scene, where they called paramedics who transported Taylor to the ER, where attempts to save him — why? Not because he was worth saving, but out of sheer force of habit; it’s what they do — were unavailing.

“Every time you hear a peaceable carrier’s gunshot, a devil gets his bat wings.” Now Frank Taylor hangs, upside down, alongside his brethren in the Surprised Scumbag Hall of Infamy.

Carolann Miracle. From Dean's screen cap of a TV interview.

Carolann Miracle. (Note her Glock). From Dean’s screen cap of a TV interview.

Dean Weingarten has done some work on this story, and reached some conclusions we generally agree with:

Carolann’s father was a Marine.  He taught her well. …

Carolann did many things right.  The first was to instantly recognize the threat.  Many become mired in the thought that “this cannot be happening”; “this is not real”.  People who carry are much less likely to do that because they have considered the possibility of attack and prepared for it.

She did the right thing when she dropped her drink.  Dropping things to access your weapon or to fight better is not an instinctive reaction.  Many people instinctively hang on to useless things that impede their ability to fight.  I taught my students to practice dropping things at the beginning of a fight so that they could draw their firearm, and fight more effectively.

She did the right thing when she fled the area in the opposite direction from the way the attacker was going.  Many attacks, perhaps 50%, involve an accomplice.  She purposefully made the decision, moved to safety, then called the police.

Carolann’s response is common.  She did not want to kill her attacker. It was a consequence of what he forced her to do.  She would have preferred that it never happened.

Indeed, if Frank Taylor decided to get a job framing houses or working in a car wash, he’d be ahead, not dead, and poor Ms. Miracle wouldn’t have his soul, blackened and crabbed though it may have been, on her conscience.

But he didn’t. He decided he wanted to be an urban predator — the U-Boat of the modern urban environment. If Carolann hadn’t gone home to her three-year-old, if it’d been her vapor-locking on that operating table, that probably wouldn’t have troubled Taylor’s atrophied conscience at all. But she wasn’t the complacent victim he expected. The only problem with the lesson he learned from running into a Q-Ship is that his ability to pass the message on is somewhat curtailed.

Dean has a lot more; go Read The Whole Thing™. (His whole site is excellent).


35 thoughts on “Usage: Open Carry Saves Her Life

      1. John M.

        Under the circumstances, I wouldn’t recommend that. I suspect she’s rather jumpy and she still has that Glock.

        -John M.

  1. g.grass

    modern eugenics.
    shame the EULoi cant quite grasp this concept and its miriad of possible modern application.

  2. jfre

    It was a good practice run for the boys in the Surgical ER. Got to use the tools and play the hero. Another way to donate your body to science.


    Good for her.

    Unlike owner of website. I have no serious distaste for Open Carry. Only activist open carry. I very very rarely OC and understand the tactical disadvantage. But I think some things about OC makes it a wash.

    I keep hearing it makes you “the first target” Maybe it does. But i have yet to see any real data proving that crims have purposefully killed or harmed an OC person in a robbery or some such, in any amount that makes it more likely some OCer will get special attention over some one of a race that the criminal has a personal hate on for, a loud colored shirt, fancy watch, rival sports team shirt, scared look or any other nut ball pet bias of theirs.

    1. John M.

      I think the tactical advantage of OC is like a poisonous bug’s bright pattern: it says “keep off me–go find someone else to mess with!”

      I have a very strong hunch that the perp in this case never saw her Glock until he was looking down the loud end of it. I can’t imagine that a career crook who had lived to his age has made a living out of attacking open carriers.

      -John M.

      1. Chris W.

        I’m imagining her drink in her right hand with her elbow partially covering the glock that is up against her black shirt. Hard to see the holster if it is black with the black glock against the black shirt when that is being done. I agree in that I don’t think this perp ever even saw the weapon until it was too late. Good for her!

        1. Sommerbiwak

          for improved concealment in the open wrap the kydex holster in denim and wear a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt. ;-)

    2. Boat Guy

      I’ll weigh in since I’ve done both “forms” of OC. I was an “activist” OC’er with VCDL in Virginia and have been pleased to see the laws in the Old Dominion improved slightly. VCDL (not I) deserves huge credit for that.
      Here in the west I OC for comfort. If it’s hot I don’t want to “downsize”; I just ditch the “gun burka”.
      If you OC for any time at all you will likely be surprised at how few people notice you’re carrying. I have seen reports of people targeted for OC’ing ; I think it’s VITAL to be schooled in weapons-retention techniques, regardless of whether one carries open or concealed. Enhanced situational awareness is also a key to avoiding (preferably) or responding to an attack.


    It’s the sheer chickenshit cowardice of these scum that infuriates me. They prey on tiny women, the elderly, the infirm and other weak members of the herd.

    This time I’m grinning and raising my lunchtime soda in salute to very small, but very courageous and determined woman. Bless her, and to hell with the already forgotten scumbag.

    1. Larry

      It’s the sheer chickenshit cowardice of these scum that infuriates me. They prey on tiny women, the elderly, the infirm and other weak members of the herd.

      But that’s exactly what smart predators do, whether it’s a house cat or a wolf pack. Only a fool with a deathwish seeks out the strong prey to do battle with. (Fighting for leadership of the pack is a different matter altogether, but also not something most predators will do)

      No sense getting infuriated, any more than getting wet in a rainstorm. It is what it is.

  5. Chris W.

    For those that don’t know, Phoenix is basically split in half at Central Ave. On the West Side, we have the Avenues and on the East Side we have the Streets. I’m 27.7 miles from this location where I am on the East Side – I always tell people that nothing nice ever happens in the Avenues…..not that we don’t have our fair share of crime in the East Valley, but the West Side seems to have a lot more, and more violent types. Once again Phoenix makes this site…sigh.

    I think this may be the same Carolann:

    (Hognose, feel free to remove the link if you think it might be invading a bit on her privacy.)

    Cute kid. Glad that she still has a breathing Mother! Interesting that her last name is “Miracle”. Her Papa should be damn proud.

    In a totally unrelated note, Hognose should be proud that in a recent analysis of freedoms in the United States, New Hampshire ranked No. 1 for freest (sp? free’est?) state in the union. Congrats! Though I don’t envy you your neighbors in the surrounding states (massholes! Although Heil Healey may end up being a prison term soon)! Happy to see that you chose a great place to call home. Wife and I will have to check out NH sometime soon!

    1. Hognose Post author

      As loony as they can sometimes be — one just pled guilty in the Bundy Ranch standoff — the hardcore, wookie-suit libertarians who thrive here have been vital in preserving our freedoms. We are all in their debt. This includes the dozens (hundreds?) who have moved here through the Free State Project.

      Against this, there is an urban liberalism that looks to Boston for inspiration.

  6. Martin

    Good job, lady, overall.

    But erm, cock a Glock? Maybe she has a SA/DA pistol with the external hammer, and not the Glock.

  7. BillC

    Well, she did make one mistake that fortunately didn’t turn out disastrous. It sounds like she didn’t have one in the chamber, with the “cocking” and all.

    1. Chris W.

      We should all thank her father, more than likely, for training her until she got it right on condition 3 implementation. I’m willing to bet that was some seriously second-nature action for her as we all tend to “fall back on training” when in a stressful situation like that right? Train, train, train, then train some more. Drops the soda, draws weapon, cycles action, acquires target while (hopefully) identifying downrange collateral damage possibility (I really hope) and engages target accurately with lethal force and exits the targets’ zone of influence post-haste. That’s a DAMN GOOD JOB in my book. Not to be condescending in any way, “GOOD GIRL”!

      I would really like to know if she continues to carry condition 3 or if she has switched. I’d be inclined personally to stick with what method I was trained in, especially after this episode. And keep training regularly, we all know these are perishable skills.

      1. Hognose Post author

        Remember also, she’s a mom with a small child. There’s no question in my mind that empty chamber is safer in a striker fired gun like a Glock. When I carried one, though, I didn’t carry it like that. But I didn’t have a three year old getting into everything, either.

      2. BillC

        I know it’s easy to play the “what-if” game. It’s all a pro’s & con’s like Hognose said. “Safer” w/o one in the pipe with a child potentially and arguably. Now, “what if” something was in her hand/arm that she couldn’t drop or let go? Say, like a child?

        Easy, once could counter, just rack off the belt with the sights. What? No belt today because she is wearing yoga pants today? Also the extra time and skills needed to do an awkward, one-handed, draw and charge WHILE A GUN IS POINTED AT YOU is huge negative.

        Luckily, she could use her free hand to chamber the pistol and the bad guy was 50 levels of incompetent. Also, America is still America is most places, so she can carry in the method and manner that works for her, and it clearly resulted in a net positive for her.

  8. Docduracoat

    Another win for the good guy and gals!
    And finally a proven success for empty chamber carry !
    The bad guy ambushed the aptly named Ms. miracle and she was able to distract him by dropping her soda and drawing, racking the slide and shooting him dead
    I am going to continue to recommend “Israeli carry” to all the people I introduce to carrying a gun daily
    Especially if they have a Glock

    1. Martin

      Good for her she had the time and arms to rack the slide.

      Since I only carry the mousegun FN 1906, which is unsafe to carry with the chambered round, I wonder if I get the time and arms too, but I hope so.

      So far it’s quite safe around here.

    2. Kirk

      If you’re going to do that, might I recommend ensuring that the victims of your recommendations also take up the practice of conducting daily daily presentation and draw drills from the empty chamber, as was Israeli practice for their agents likely to go into harm’s way?

      Because, that is what they did, in order to attain and maintain proficiency at that task. With the commensurate rise in ND events that accompanied that training.

      A Glock with a good holster or one of those Raven Concealment trigger covers will serve to protect against the chance of an unintentional trigger pull, and has the benefit of maintaining the gun as God and Gaston Glock envisioned it–Ready to go at all times.

      Israeli carry is something best left to the Israelis, who had specific, specialized reasons for adopting it that are not present here in the US for legal carriers.

      1. Chris W.

        Bingo on the continuous training. -0.5 on the argument against doing this type of carry in the US. If trained properly, as Ms. Miracle has shown us, this method is deadly even when in a decidedly lop-sided encounter. Caught off-guard and with her strong hand disabled by a beverage, she bested this loser in epic fashion.

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