Strange question about OC and appearance

This is a discussion on Strange question about OC and appearance within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've read all of the comments. As one who has mostly OCed since 1995, I find myself in agreement. Appearance does matter when you OC. ...

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Thread: Strange question about OC and appearance

  1. #31
    Member Array owsi's Avatar
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    I've read all of the comments. As one who has mostly OCed since 1995, I find myself in agreement. Appearance does matter when you OC. I think the way one dresses is more important, but piercings and tatoos play a role too.

    Before I started OCing, when I saw someone carrying, without a badge, I assumed they were LEO's. But, their appearance and demeanor led me to that conclusion. I don't mean dressing in a suit as many were in jeans and a dress shirt and that is typically how I dress.

    Now I would assume they are OCing. But, I believe how I originally thought is how the public views OCers. I've discovered something even more important than dress.

    When I began OCing, I was getting comments rather often and security checking me out. I dress now like I did then. I originally carried a 1911 in a tan holster. I developed a theory and I tested it.

    I began carrying a black polymer pistol in a black holster with a black belt. It all stopped! Many don't even notice that I'm carrying. My pistol and holster appear, to the public, as being "'copish," so they assume I'm one - like I did to begin with.

    Of course, you have the legal right to carry a pink gun in a purple holster and wear flip-flops, but you will definately make many nervous! I'm not suggesting that you impersonate LEO's, just that your choice of firearm and holster does play a role in how you are perceived. Heck, people might assume your a narcotics officer as you appear now!

    The vast majority of the public don't know that one can OC unless you are LE. By OCing, I hope we end up educating them. In the meantime, you will be perceived as either a bad guy or a LEO.

    Let me know how OC works for you.

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  3. #32
    New Member Array builtjeep's Avatar
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    I'm on my phone,so I skipped a few replies. I just wanted to add a couple of things.

    I oc often, and have never had any hassles. I'm 6'3", 250, with a shaved head stretched ears, and a long goatee. Noone has drawn on me, no police interactions, except for one cop who chatted me up about guns and tactical training schools around the area. So I don't think you've got much to worry about. I usually wear tshirts and jeans as well, I find that confidence and politeness go a LONG way towards peoples perceptions.

    also, I think it's the same as oc in general, the more people who are out there looking like average joe and not a businesman or cop, the more people will come to accept it. I'd even say that folks like you and I probably do more to encourage the younger generations.

  4. #33
    Member Array secondhandlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneBad135i View Post
    So, its kind of late here in Vegas right now (about 5am) and I just got to thinking. I've been CC'ing for a couple months now and have been thinking about an occasional open carry. Here's my issue. Me being a fairly young Filipino male at 23 years old and having some exposed tattoos and a lip piercing, not to mention I actually look even younger than I really am how would YOUR reaction be if you were to see me OC? I do, however, dress very casually (nothing flashy or "gangster") Usually I wear just a T-shirt, either plain or very minimal design, a pair of jeans and either boots or skater shoes. I have a shaved head if that means anything. Would you look at me as some "punk kid" who is just trying to be cool? Or could I be taken seriously and not a liability? just curious as i would rather not OC if I will deal with the hassle of people thinking I am more of a public nuisance and being asked to leave everywhere I go. Thank you for your input

    -Mervin
    I'd pay you about the same amount of attention I'd pay anyone else I saw armed. I'd be more worried if I saw you concealing poorly. Someone that has a gun out on their hip is less likely to be causing trouble.

    My looks and style vary a lot, but I notice more unease when I'm dressed grubbier or have a freshly shaved head, but not substantially. Most people are just in their own world. I think the attitude you walk with would matter more than how you look.

  5. #34
    Member Array ScubaDuba's Avatar
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    I am a 32 year old white guy with full sleeve tattoos. When I open carry I wear a tucked in button up shirt if that tells you anything. People will freak out. Guaranteed.
    Healthy children will not fear life, if their parents have integrity enough not to fear death.
    -TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM--

  6. #35
    Member Array DarylW's Avatar
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    Honestly, it wouldn't bother me a bit.

    Here's why...

    If you're open carrying, then you obviously (to me) have little to fear of being seen and perhaps checked out by the area LEO's.

    BG's who have a felony record don't open carry, and those without a record don't really want to stand out in public.

    My sisters are all nurses, but one has a theory on workinig around AIDS patients; she doesn't worry too much about the ones that she knows are infected. It's the ones you DON'T know about that'll get you.

    Same idea applies, but few seem to have that ability to reason it out. INstead, they go by how someone looks, and it's truly a shame.

    Daryl

  7. #36
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about you, but then I don't really worry that much if someone has a gun on them..... the only point where I become concerned is if someone's gun begins to leave their holster.

  8. #37
    Member Array bomber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owsi View Post
    I began carrying a black polymer pistol in a black holster with a black belt. It all stopped! Many don't even notice that I'm carrying. My pistol and holster appear, to the public, as being "'copish," so they assume I'm one - like I did to begin with.
    i carry a black polymer pistol in a black holster, but i guarantee you that no one out there is mistaking me for a cop. i don't get comments or questions or mwag calls....ever. a large part of the perception you are talking about is only about how you perceive yourself, IMHO.

  9. #38
    Member Array Bkrazy's Avatar
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    I didnt read all the responses, but picked a few. This topic has been discussed before and I always find it ridiculous as to how some people feel. I chalk it up to the age and area differences. You sound like a respectable dude. Go out and do you, make sure you are polite and hold doors for old ladys, but dont feel you have a responsibility to ease peoples feelings. You are a law abiding citizen, practicing one of your rights. Period.

    I went back and read the thread. It is nice to see different answers than before. I dont think too hard about the way I dress when I OC seeing as I do it usually as a matter of convienence. I usually wear shorts and a t shirt that fall into the punk/skater/hip hop genre. I do carry myself very professionally though, being in the Military gives me that "air" I suppose. As I said before, go out and excercise your rights, thats what Im fighting for

  10. #39
    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarylW View Post
    Honestly, it wouldn't bother me a bit.

    Here's why...

    If you're open carrying, then you obviously (to me) have little to fear of being seen and perhaps checked out by the area LEO's.

    BG's who have a felony record don't open carry, and those without a record don't really want to stand out in public.

    My sisters are all nurses, but one has a theory on workinig around AIDS patients; she doesn't worry too much about the ones that she knows are infected. It's the ones you DON'T know about that'll get you.

    Same idea applies, but few seem to have that ability to reason it out. INstead, they go by how someone looks, and it's truly a shame.

    Daryl
    Ha!

    There is that of course!
    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Donít mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

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  11. #40
    Senior Member Array Rotorblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarylW View Post
    Honestly, it wouldn't bother me a bit.

    Same idea applies, but few seem to have that ability to reason it out. INstead, they go by how someone looks, and it's truly a shame.

    Daryl
    It's called profiling and we all do it even if we don't realize it or admit it.
    I don't consider it shameful, it's a survival instinct. When you're out in public you don't have an opportunity to get to know all of the characters that you come across, you have a few seconds to size someone up based on their looks and demeanor.
    If I'm in line at the bank and there is an OC guy that looks like an off duty cop and another OC guy that looks like one of the evil dudes in a Mad Max movie, guess which one I'm gonna be eye balling.

    It's kind of funny that some people dress a certain way to stand out from the crowd but then they get mad when they catch people looking at them or whispering.

  12. #41
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneBad135i View Post
    Okay. Now another question. Would open carry with another person (my girlfriend and I) settle down the general threat in peoples heads?....
    I'm not from the area, so can't be sure, but I would say your appearence is more of an issue than her's, as in no one is really going to improve what they consider about you, if they are going to take you the wrong way.
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  13. #42
    Member Array can2boy's Avatar
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    LOL, I put this into google translator (filipino to english) and it returned: "Joke, you just keep your gun! much more without knowing the law. You only pole."

    Somehow, I think something was lost in translation, especially toward the end :)
    __________________
    hey cz2075,
    my bad that was very rude of me not to translate. i told my friend here to: "for now just hide his gun because there are still alot of people, (especially on the strip (tourist) that don't know the laws in vegas. he'll just have a hard time.''
    got to texas as fast as i could...Fuhgeddaboudit!

  14. #43
    Member Array Jcabin's Avatar
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    Don't listen to any of these people. You do not have to be an ambassador if you do not want to be. Dress how you want, act how you want. If you dress and act like an idiot, then people are going to be suspicious of you, whether you have a gun or not.

    You don't need to wear a suit and a tie every time you leave the house OC'ing. It's a free country, act accordingly. If someone comes up and is rude to you, don't hovel at their feet in an attempt to show how OC'ers aren't crazed extremists. You can either ignore, entertain, or dish the rude right back.

  15. #44
    Member Array porsche4786's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter what you wear, because when you open carry you automatically look like this according to the Daily Vanguard.
    Daily Vanguard - Frappuccinos and firearms

  16. #45
    Member Array coltrane59's Avatar
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    I'm aware that I subconsciously make judgments about others based on appearance, dress, sterotypes, etc. Everyone does, and I know others stigmatize me too.

    That said, if I saw you with a gun holstered (OC) on your person, I would probably like you more. It would strike me as, "Hey, here's a guy that's exercising a right that I value as well; good for him. Wouldn't have guessed we had some common ground" I would personally be more inclined to say hello and start up a friendly conversation about firearms."


    A PERFECT example of this happened at Best Buy a few months ago: my wife and I were at Best Buy, and I noticed a gang-banger looking (based on my subconscious biases) guy and his home-girl, who also had some tattood cleavage. Stereotypical gangster clothes, etc.

    Well, the girl saw my wife, and noticed my wife was very pregnant. Turns out the gang-looking girl was pregnant too and started up a conversation. They were really nice and we kept talking for about 10 minutes. The couple was really pleasant and respectful, communicated in a kind manner, and were in no way different from my friends (other than appearance). We al sort of bonded a bit and I found it surprising that I was talking about baby books with the guy. Never would have thought. We were all smiling and we shook hands as we left. I still remember the guys name: Malachi.

    I love finding common ground with people different from myself. Times like those remind me to not be so quick to judge.

    I say, be who you are and don't give heed to thoe that will judge you harshly no matter what you do. Just be a happy person and treat others with respect. You'll be able to be an ambassador for a good cause (2nd Amendment) to people that will trust you, but wouldn't trust the stereotypical OC/CC'r. This right isn't exclusive to a certain TYPE of person, and we shouldn't act that way.

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