The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Open Carry Part I

The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Open Carry Part I

This is a discussion on The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Open Carry Part I within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Open Carry Part I A serious look at making the open carry operator as squared away as they can possible ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Open Carry Part I

    The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Open Carry Part I

    A serious look at making the open carry operator as squared away as they can possible be.


    I know there are people out there that believe that I am “anti-open carry.” This is not really the truth of the matter. What I am is “anti-ignorance” and I admit that I am very hard core in this belief. For those that know and train with me, they know why I am like that. They know that I really care about their ability to be the very best they can be when it comes down to the ability to defend their lives and the lives of their loved ones. To me, this is the paramount reason that we carry and any other reason pales in comparison.

    I do not carry for a political agenda, or because it is my right, or because I want to be a hero, or because I want the mere presence of the gun to stop a crime, or because of the coolness factor, or to educate people, or the stir up awareness. I carry for one reason and one reason only.

    I carry to be the very best that I can be inside of a life threatening encounter involving myself or my loved ones!

    Everyone can feel free to call that “one way” or “self centered” but the reality of the matter is that “me and mine” are more important than everyone else. That does not mean that I will not risk my life to help innocent people, heck I’ve done it before on a few occasions. What it does mean is that I want to have the choice whether I get involved or not. Open carry cuts down on my options.

    Any attack on me is an attack on my loved ones. I am the one that keeps them in good neighborhoods. I am the one that keeps them in good schools, I am the one that keeps them from hanging out with the wrong people, I am the one that keeps them away from drugs, alcohol, crime, teenage pregnancies, and especially the violence that comes out of those issues. I am the one that instills “the three stupid rule” into them. You will be amazed how living with “the three stupid rule” as a guide will cut down on your violent encounters.

    Do not go stupid places, with stupid people, and do stupid things.

    The importance of a solid parental figure inside of the home can be the difference between life and death for the children inside of that home. That has been my reality! I lost my older sister at 28 years old due to the life style that we had led as children and young adults. Living outside of “the three stupid rule” as we did, for over thirteen years, cost her her life. She made decisions at thirteen years old that were not survivable. I spent thirteen years of my life protecting her and my family from the extremely violent world that she brought into our lives. Never underestimate the value of a strong parental figure inside of the home. As the parent, no matter how important that you think that you are, you are much more important than that. You can be the difference between your children living or dying…….and that is a fact!

    IMHO, as a parent or future parent, you should have one mission that overrides all other missions. That mission is to go home and take care of your family. I do not need to be a hero, I do not need to push a political agenda, I do not need to educate anyone about their rights. All I need to do is go home and make sure that my family has everything that I can give them, to give them the ability to acquire the very best life that they can have. I did not fight my way out of the gutter to have my children need to do the very same thing.

    This is why I am so vocal on the issue of being the very best that you can be inside of a life threatening encounter. This is why I risk being seen as an “anti-open carry” guy, even though I am not. All I want is for people to get the best information so that they can make the best choices for themselves and their love ones. All I care about is you fulfilling your paramount mission.

    Now that people have some insight on “why I do what I do” how about we look at the things that will allow you to be the very best that you can be while open carrying.

    The Gun is not a Talisman that wards off Evil

    I think it is time for us all to agree, without having to call for links to prove it, the mere presence of a gun may stop a crime from ever being committed. On the flip side we need to agree that the presence of the gun may also be the catalyst of the crime that is committed. Yes, there are plenty of cases that show that people were targeted for their guns……..in their homes and on their person. This is all well documented and backed by common sense. Once we understand this, it becomes very clear that carrying a gun (open or concealed) comes with certain responsibilities. If the gun is a deterrent, not having the teeth to use it efficiently and effectively is like bluffing while playing poker. If you carry (open or concealed) you need to know how to use it efficiently and effectively. You do not want to bluff while holding one ace! If I am concealed, I never have anyone “call” my bluff because I am not bluffing. But if I am open carrying I am always in the position to be “called.” This means that if you decide to open carry you may need a higher skill level than those that carry concealed. Since the gun is visible, you may be in the position where you are more likely forced to use it.

    With concealed carry I have more of an option to get involved or to not get involved. Since no one knows that I am carrying, I will be less likely to have my hand force. I can make the rational decisions, on what to do based on “my mission.” I can watch the confrontation unfold and make the decision “when” or even “if” I go on the offensive. This is what people are talking about when they talk about “the tactical advantage.” This is all about the manipulation of the OODA loop, understanding “initiative” and the huge problems inside of “initiative deficit.” Once again this leads us to the point that open carry individuals may need a higher skill level and tactical understanding than those that carry concealed.

    Simply put, action beats reaction! So many gun people do not understand this fact. Until you experience this firsthand you will not understand just how far behind you are most likely going to be. Open carry requires that you have your situational awareness tuned to a higher level, your “line in the sand” drawn clearer, your ability to work through the OODA loop quicker, and that your skill sets inside of the reactive gunfight at a higher level. You may be quicker getting your gun into play (depending on your mode of carry) due to not having a concealment garment, but that may not be even close to being good enough.

    If the open carry gun deters the crime from ever taking place……great! But this is something that you cannot rely on. Crimes can also be deterred just by the way you carry yourself and how you handle yourself. There is one stat that will never be sure of, how many times is a crime deterred because of an open carry gun, compared to how many crimes are deterred due to being deselected due to the way you handle yourself and how you carry yourself.

    You may also want to consider getting some information about the streets. There are certain neighborhoods in Las Vegas where open carry may be seen as a sign of disrespect to the criminal organization that controls those neighborhoods. I know we all want to “go where ever I want to go.” But, is it really smart to fly the one finger salute in the most dangerous neighborhoods in Vegas, to the most dangerous people in Vegas. Going to those areas cover the “going stupid places” which makes you “the stupid person, doing the stupid thing.” Open carry requires a little more discretion than concealed carry. Education about the streets can be had, if you know where to look.
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array William Hill's Avatar
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    An excellent post, truly. The only section I take issue with is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweatnbullets View Post
    On the flip side we need to agree that the presence of the gun may also be the catalyst of the crime that is committed. Yes, there are plenty of cases that show that people were targeted for their guns……..in their homes and on their person. This is all well documented and backed by common sense..
    That's a pretty bold statement, and you're really going to need to back that up with some source material. I will conceded that LEOs are often targeted, and that people's homes are broken into on a regular basis, if it's known that guns are stored there. But, in all my years of legal carry, I've only ever heard of one instance where Average Joe the Open Carrier was targeted for an attack.

    But, the rest of your post was right on the money. Everyone on this forum should give it a good read.
    sigmanluke and herohog like this.

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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Hill View Post
    An excellent post, truly. The only section I take issue with is this:



    That's a pretty bold statement, and you're really going to need to back that up with some source material. I will conceded that LEOs are often targeted, and that people's homes are broken into on a regular basis, if it's known that guns are stored there. But, in all my years of legal carry, I've only ever heard of one instance where Average Joe the Open Carrier was targeted for an attack.

    But, the rest of your post was right on the money. Everyone on this forum should give it a good read.
    It is not really bold at all! It is common knowledge for those that have studied self defense indepth.

    All you have to do is look at one of the most well documented and famous gunfights ever and find out where the bad guys got their weapons. April 11, 1986 Miami FBI shoot out. Platt and Matix got their weapons by targeting people with guns at gun ranges.
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    This is from a student of mine......

    .....he has had to fight for his life before and when he tells the story in person you know that his life was in jeopardy.

    At the range
    At the range Monday , firing my new Glock Model 36 , the creek had flooded the range up to the 50 yard berm. I had the range to mayself and was firing the new pistol. Then I noticed a truck drive up and 2 guys get out and start walking towards me, they were Mexicans--with MANY tattoos. So I reloaded my pistol and said "Hi, " the one on the left had his hand behind his back and under his shirt, the guy on the right who was smaller, had his hand in his pocket.The range is isolated from the Rangemasters house.I had my pistol in hand , they walked towards me and asked about joining the range . I told them they would need to go and talk to the Rangemaster who live in the house. The little guy started to walk to my right and the big guy stood there. I moved to my right and didnt let them enclose me. They asked what kind of pistol are you shooting and a said "a Glock " I had them basically stacked. They asked more questions about the range and said they were going to talk to the rangemaster. Never once did they take thier hands out from behind the back or front pants pocket. When they left , I watched because I was going to go to the RangeMasters house if they did, had my ak-47 in the truck ( lesson learned), they left and didnt go there. I told them to be sure and honk their horn because of the wiehmeriers there.
    They werent wearing matching outfits, but they looked like gangbangers.
    I dont know if they were tring to intimadate me, they really wanted to join the club, or thought they could score a easy weapon.
    My plan was to move off the X at 1 o'clock firing at the smaller guy with his hand in his pocket, the big guy with his hand behind his back hopefully couldnt shot at me because of his buddy, and my second shot would have been to the big guy, running all the time. Thank GOD they never made a move, but they never moved their hands from the shirt or pocket on thier way back to thier truck.
    I think I got lucky,
    Gary

    At the range
    Last edited by Sweatnbullets; May 1st, 2011 at 11:32 PM.
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.

  5. #5
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    I'd be surprised if having a gun increases your chances of being targeted any more than having cash in your pocket, or expensive jewerly, or a nice car, or maybe even being at a bank. If you were a thief would you rather target the guy with a gun - or the lady with jewerly, or a person with a large sum of cash etc...?
    Great privilege comes with great responsibility.

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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Let's try to keep the thread on track and accept what is being said. This does work both ways. The low dedication BG may be convinced to not launch an attack on a person with a gun. But the high dedication BG (such as Platt and Matix) may go hunting for people that have guns.

    I think it is time for us all to agree, without having to call for links to prove it, the mere presence of a gun may stop a crime from ever being committed. On the flip side we need to agree that the presence of the gun may also be the catalyst of the crime that is committed. Yes, there are plenty of cases that show that people were targeted for their guns……..in their homes and on their person. This is all well documented and backed by common sense.
    Nobody is saying that the low dedication BG is going to target people for their gun. Since we have real documentation of it happening with high dedication BG's we can not turn a blind eye and say that it does not happen.

    It does work both ways!
    Daveditchdigger likes this.
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.

  7. #7
    Ex Member Array William Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweatnbullets View Post
    Let's try to keep the thread on track and accept what is being said. This does work both ways. The low dedication BG may be convinced to not launch an attack on a person with a gun. But the high dedication BG (such as Platt and Matix) may go hunting for people that have guns.



    Nobody is saying that the low dedication BG is going to target people for their gun. Since we have real documentation of it happening with high dedication BG's we can not turn a blind eye and say that it does not happen.

    It does work both ways!
    See, that's just it. I don't accept what's said, just because someone says so. You're providing a singular instance. I never said it didn't happen, I said I've only ever heard of one instance, which makes it highly unlikely it's a normal occurrence, as opposed to homes being broken into, because there are guns to be found there. You're talking about a pair of guys. Tell me, no, prove to me that this happens on a regular basis, and I would take your statements more seriously. You can't expect people to "accept" what you say otherwise.

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    Keep the thread on track. Last warning.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Open Carry Part II

    The Mental Aspect of the Fight


    Some people may want to call this “mindset” but that term is very vague and does not do justice to the things that you should really know when it comes to open carry. If we can all agree that there are risks to carrying handguns (open or concealed) and that there is a certain responsibility attached to that decision, then it is clear that we need to “get our head right” about what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how to do it best. If you are open carrying for the reasons mention in the first part of this article, then you need to understand that the mind is the ultimate weapon and the handgun is just the tool that the mind uses to be as efficient and effective as you can possibly be inside of the limitations of “just walking through life.” In other words, it is the mind that turns the talisman into a devastating weapon. Without the mind it is just a chunk of metal, wood, and plastic.

    I think that we can all agree that the very best life threatening confrontation is the one that you can avoid. If you don’t feel this way, let me warn you “be very careful what you wish for.” Being a hero is not all that it is cracked up to be. It can be alright (that is the extent of it, that is why almost all hero’s say “I just did what anyone else would do”) or it could be absolutely devastating.

    “If you spend your life hunting monsters, be very careful to not become one yourself. Because, when you stare into the abyss, the abyss will eventually stare back into you.”

    When it comes down to avoidance, awareness is our number one tool. When you are open carrying, you need to learn the difference between people looking at you and thinking “hey that guy has a gun” and looking at you and thinking “hey that guy has a gun, I bet he thinks he is a bad *****. I could so take that gun if I wanted to.” Do not make the mistake that people do not ever ponder this. I am a certified good guy and I have pondered it. There are times that I have wanted to teach a lesson or two. But of course being a certified good guy, I did not do it……….but oh was it tempting! To think that people will not take your gun “just because they can” is a huge mistake. That is why everyone that you do not know personally needs to be looked at with a critical eye. I am not saying to be paranoid, but use some common sense and good judgment. If you do not know the person……do not trust the person. We all need to be aware of the bad guys ploy of sending in a “friendly” to set the person up for what they want. If it seems too good to be true……guess what……it is too good to be true.

    When you are open carrying, keep your head up and your radar on. Let people know that you see them, when they see you. A little eye contact is good…….too much is bad. A nod of acknowledgement is acceptable, but do not come across as being too friendly or too much of a hard *****. You should not be striving to engage people, you should not be looking to “educate.” That leaves you open. You should be striving to do what you need to do, inside of your life, and then fulfill your mission and go home. One of the main stay ploys for a bad guy is to get you to stop and have a conversation, so they can close distance. Once the distance has been closed, you are theirs! If you doubt this then you do not know about the OODA loop or “initiative deficit.” Allowing people to engage you in order “to educate” is playing into one of the most successful bad guy ploys that there is.

    “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan that will allow you to dominate everyone that you meet.”

    Situational awareness is all about profiling. This has nothing to do with race. We all know that bad guys come in all races, sizes, ages, and sex. You are profiling anything that is simply out of place or unusual. It can be as simple as a glance that is adverted quickly when eye contact is made. It can as simple as a certain type of car. Yes, we do profile cars……right? One of my favorite profiling games that I play is the “who is the most dangerous person in the general vicinity?” As long as the answer is a resounding “ME!” then I am safe. As soon as I begin to question that answer, then I know that I really need to be on my toes. Ego can never be part of this game, the truth is the truth and everything else is a lie. This question cannot be answered through target shooting. Fighting and target shooting have next to nothing to do with each other.

    As Gabe pointed out in his book "The Combative Perspective" the term "mindset" is very vague and does not do justice to the necessary mental aspect of the fight. People think that mindset is just awareness and willingness. In my opinion that is less that 10% of the true combative perspective. Gabe sets out the combative perspective into four categories. Inside of each of these four categories are subcategories. The mental aspect of the fight that people refer to as mindset is much more than just awareness and willingness. Gabe’s book is 97 pages. Over half of my “Point Shooting Progressions” book is about the mental aspect of the fight.

    Gabe's book is set up as;

    Desire for Victory

    Elimination of Uncertainty

    Situational Awareness

    Willingness to act

    While most of this is covered in Gabe's book we can also consider;

    Know yourself

    Know the adversary

    Know the dynamics of a fight

    Know the correct context of a fight

    Know avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation

    Know that the situation is the dictating factor

    Know the best strategies for your very personal mission

    Know when to apply your wide range of tactics

    Know which skill sets facilitate the best use of your tactics

    Your tactics are worthless without having your head straight.

    Your skill sets are worthless without having your head straight.

    Your equipment is worthless without having your head straight.

    Mindset

    Tactics

    Skill sets

    Equipment

    In that order!

    The brain is the ultimate weapon....everything else is just a tool.
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.

  10. #10
    Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
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    Well written and well thought out article.

    A couple of personal experiences that to me show both the value of and liability of being openly armed. When in public, I carry concealed, but around home and on my property or when hunting I most often carry openly.

    I was confronted by a pair of poachers a few years ago. When they spotted my weapon, one began to raise his shotgun. The second stopped him, but there were a couple real tense moments before they decided it would be a good idea to leave.

    The fall of 1989 I was hunting on a section of public land along I-90 in Southern Minnesota when 4 young men in a Lincoln Continental (low rider, IL plates) pulled into the parking area where I was loading my truck to leave. My rifle was already unloaded and cased, but I was carrying a handgun in an open-top cross-draw holster. All except the driver got out and started talking about looking for some place to hunt (none were dressed for the weather or hunting) and wanting to see my rifle. When I turned sideways and moved to put my truck between them and me, they spotted the handgun and immediately began back-peddling and saying they didn't want any trouble.

    In the first instance, the presence of my weapon caused a hostile response from one of the poachers. In the second incident the presence of a readily accessible sidearm most likely saved me, at the very least, from being robbed and maybe from worse.

    Stay safe,
    Democracy:
    Two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
    Freedom:
    A well armed lamb contesting the vote.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Well written articles.

    IMO, I don't think that OC necessarily makes you a target (READ - I doubt that there are any BGs out there that are specifically looking for people OCing just so they can get their gun) but more of a crime of opportunity or desperation.

    A persons demeanor along with how they OC will dictate peoples response to it. The average Joe or Jane OCing a generic handgun in a cheap off the shelf, one size fits all nylon holster is most likely a low risk target, but still a risk. I'd even go as far as to include the one OCing in a Gecko 45 tackticool drop holster would fall into that category. The deciding factor would come from observing the individual for some time to check there awareness of their surroundings and how they carry themselves.

    I am not saying that people don't get robbed for their guns. That's obvious. How else does a career BG acquire a gun. It most likely was not through a FFL and proper channels.

    The state you live in and area also come into play regarding both the sheep and BGs. If OC is legal but not that common, bot the sheep and the BGs will have the same panic level, albeit for different reasons.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweatnbullets View Post
    It is not really bold at all! It is common knowledge for those that have studied self defense indepth.

    All you have to do is look at one of the most well documented and famous gunfights ever and find out where the bad guys got their weapons. April 11, 1986 Miami FBI shoot out. Platt and Matix got their weapons by targeting people with guns at gun ranges.
    So the fact is, they were targeting people with guns at a range, regardless of manner of carry, and not somebody OC'ing in public. This is a contortion of facts used to support your point of claiming OC'ers will always be targeted. It's no big secret that BGs generally are armed with stolen firearms, which can be contorted that all firearm owners are targeted, concealed or not.

    In comparison, how many people who did not carry--by any method--have been victims of crime? I think I'll take my chances at becoming a victim while armed over while not being armed.

    If one looks like an easy victim, acts like an easy victim, chances are one will eventually become an easy victim.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    Excellent piece Roger.
    Daveditchdigger likes this.

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array William Hill's Avatar
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    To be clear, I thought the post was excellent, and my minor criticisms shouldn't take anything away from what was otherwise an excellent article.

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    I agree with much of your article and think it's very valuable to anyone who carries a gun, OC or CC. I disagree with some and just like OldVet, I will take my chances with OC (which I prefer, and train for), they're highly in my favor.
    Last edited by sigmanluke; May 2nd, 2011 at 10:43 AM. Reason: finish thought
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