There was a time when men openly carried and cowards/criminals concealed. Now men conceal, show-offs carry openly, cowards don't carry, and criminals carry any way they damn well please. Times have changed.
This is a discussion on Argument for Open carry within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I started reading this thing because I saw where several good men had read it or weighed it, can't remember which. Anyway I got through ...
I started reading this thing because I saw where several good men had read it or weighed it, can't remember which. Anyway I got through about half of it. As for me, I don't open carry in towns or cities. My open carry is restricted to the woods, mountains, and back country hiking or camping. I'm the gray man in population centers for several reasons, the foremost of which is tactical. Those who have a differing opinion do so with my blessing.
There was a time when men openly carried and cowards/criminals concealed. Now men conceal, show-offs carry openly, cowards don't carry, and criminals carry any way they damn well please. Times have changed.
07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006
Probably the only home based FFL that doesn't do transfers.
My only thought on the matter is this: If you are going to open carry you are putting yourself out there as a poster boy (or girl) for gun rights. Like it or not a gun on you hip OCed makes you a symbol. People are going to talk about you after you have left WallyMart/where ever. They are going to say things like "Hey did you just see that guy with a gun. He sure looked...." The next word out of their mouth will be a result of how you were acting. Friendly? Helpful? Nice? Or will they say "Scary" or "Like a Psycho". It's really all up to you.
If you act like a tool bag it will reflect poorly on the firearms community.
If you act like a friendly, responsible adult then you will be a credit to our cause.
I live for others and I answer to God and sometimes to my wife too.
I conceal carry every where I go. I have two issues with open carry. 1. open carriers come off sometimes as cocky to other people and LEOs. there were four guys that walked into a Wawa (a convenience store), that opened carried. it was a aura of something I could not explain around them lol. maybe pride or something. of course people stared and some ask questions. they responded with the usual of its their right etc etc. in a way that even I, an NRA member was turned off by. even when I watch videos in other towns of open carry, they come off cocky while open carrying an unloaded gun (which makes no sense to me) and I even seen a guy that open carried an AK 47.
2. this article discusses a lot of not being a target in the first place but when I first got my gun, I did so to protect my family in life or death situations, not so much of to avoid being a target. I leave my common sense and awareness to do that job. I may be alone in this but if I was in a situation and my life was not in danger I would cooperate. its not worth the future issues unless my family or my own life is in danger. I also think that while the open carry will deter some crime, it can invite even bigger actions from the BGs to get you. they may see open carry as $$$ and rob by shooting first. at the very least, they have a free gun to sell.
open carry is a right that we have in many states. unfortunately, when standing up for a law that you believe in, I do not see any other way to do that without coming off cocky or as a know it all of laws and policies.
“Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense.”
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
In general, I think CC is a better option than OC 90% of the time or more. And it is probably more than that. If much of your living comes from Craigslist, and I bought and sold a LOT on Craigslist, then you probably don't want to freak out your customers by OC and they complain to Craiglist (which I know amounts to next to nothing). I've had folks come in my house many times to peruse some furniture, and have done the same, and it is a weird feeling that could set a person up for a crime. So, CC.
The reason I avoid open carry is that contrary to what was posted, carrying a gun in public was actually considered impolite. I still feel this way.
Actually, in the old west, in many towns, the carrying of a firearm in town was prohibited.
" Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight"
In Montana you cant CC in a establishment that serves alcohol... Thats why I OC most times, Its stupid now that I'm filling out a CCW form because when I cross the .5% of city limits in Montana and Its cold out I cant put a jacket on...
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Albert Pike
Well, that was a whipping to read and didn't really say anything.
I'm for legal open carry but have no intention of ever carrying that way in public. Down deep I don't consider open carry to be the intelligent way to arm oneself with a handgun.
Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
Watch this video and you tell me, was this a smart move? The guy with the gun could have shot the child (and probably deafened them) and the perp shot back which could have killed ANY of them. Luckily that did not happen, but had he just given the money the instance would have been over.
Okay, I've spent a lot of time wondering about the benefits of open carry since currently Texas (my state) is considering this as a possibility.
I do believe that it might have some deterrence on crime in general if enough people did it. I've often wondered when walking around in Wal-Mart or the Mall, how many people around me are carrying guns (with or without permits) If you go and look at the number of permits issued, I would think the number of legal guns around would probably be in the range of 1 in every 200 people. If you include illegal carry, maybe double or triple that amount. Which means there are still very few guns around. I think the crooks know this and are still willing to take a chance because 99% of their victims are unarmed. But if criminals saw more open carry, then they would also have to be thinking that there are also plenty of people concealed carrying also.
I also believe that in 95% of cases, if a person was eyeballing you as a possible victim, or even somebody in your general vicinity, they would probably skip any plans to commit a crime. Not to say that the crime will be prevented because they will just pick somebody else or wait until you are gone. But I strongly believe that in most cases it would prevent you from becoming a victim. I realize there are a few very minor chances of being targeted directly because of it, but I think that is outweighed by the potential benefits.
It would also certainly make it easier for me to carry a larger, better handgun no matter what clothes I'm wearing. Typically I have to carry a little compact gun quite often, especially in summer time. I'd rather be carrying my Glock 19.
One of the things that happened around here in Texas when the concealed handgun licenses started being issued back in the 1990's is that many businesses starting putting up signs that forbids concealed carry. I suspect that if people started showing up open-carrying, then the number of signs would start to increase. I'd rather be able to legally carry a concealed firearm into my favorite stores than to have those stores ban all firearms because of open-carry.
Right now LEO have no idea if you are carrying a concealed firearm unless you tell them or they arrest you or something. But if you are open-carrying then a LEO might wonder if you have a permit and ask to see it. I see nothing wrong with this, after all, you wouldn't want crooks getting brave enough to start open-carrying too simply because they know it will go unchallenged and that the cops won't ask to see a license.
CC or OC doesn't matter, JUST CARRY! If your state doesn't require a permit, God bless you, if it does require a permit, then get one and exercise your right. The important thing is to carry, the more people that carry, the more often a crime or criminal will be thwarted. When enough of them are shot or caught there will be less of them out there making it safer for everyone. Florida law keeps me concealed, which I prefer, I think. (I try not to scare the "muppets" any more than is absolutely neccessary) but if you prefer open carry and it's legal where you are, then by all means do it, and I will fight to the death to maintain your right to do so. GUYS, IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER, WE'RE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE!
"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it".
It also does make it easier to carry larger guns. I carry a S&W Sigma most of the time, and I just don't worry if it's covered or not. I'm legal either way, so who cares? Most of the weird looks I get are from out-of-staters anyway, and those are far and few between in my little town.
I've never had an issue with places being posted, and even if they were, the signs don't hold the weight of law in MT. That's a moot point in my case.
Open carry doesn't require a permit in my state, so that again is a moot point. Good guy or not, anyone can open carry anywhere in MT, and CC anywhere outside of city limits without a permit.
I'm just gonna throw this out there. Some of you may not think OC is acceptable where you live, but a lot of places are different. Out here in the sticks a gun is part of every day life. Rarely does a day go by that I don't fire a gun. I've had to use my pistol for coyotes, skunks, badgers, even to scare off the neighbors bull once. It's a lot different than even what you would consider a small town. Our biggest cities are less populated than most other states rural areas. Something goes wrong out here and your lucky to get the Sheriff out the same day. If it happens at night you can forget about any chance of them getting to you till after 8:00 the next morning. It ain't even close to city life. We have two completely different ways of life and what's unacceptable to you might be perfectly fine to us. Let's call it a cultural difference shall we? Respect it like it's a religious thing and we can all get along.
I tend to avoid "wet shoe" threads so I will probably regret this.
My comments are my personal opinions, related to the items in this paper and therefore will not be supported by statistics, etc. Nor will such be provided.My primary goal when I’m out and about, besides whatever I went out and about to do, is to go about peaceably and not be the victim of a violent crime. To that end I carry a firearm whenever I go out as well as follow all the other standard safety practices like maintaining situational awareness, staying out of high crime areas, and avoiding confrontation. I also have a larger overall goal of making it through my life without shooting anyone. Simply put, I don’t want to be responsible, legally or morally, for another’s death. Those two goals might appear at first blush to be mutually exclusive, and with concealed carry it would be a difficult set of goals to realize.
It appears that the writer believes that the mere visible presence of a firearm will eliminate the possibility of ever having to use the firearm in defense of himself or others. While there may be incidents where the visible presence of a firearm would have the desired effect, I would suggest that the awareness and avoidance measures would be more effective in that vein. I believe that he places too much value in the talisman effect.While I agree with the early part of the paragraph, I disagree with the latter part. Obviously, avoidance at a small price, such as a throw down wallet is desirable over a lethal confrontation. A small deficit does not turn a win into a loss and to suggest that there will always be a deficit, small or large is untrue.Carry of any firearm or other weapon for defensive purposes is a solemn responsibility. Those of us that do (openly or concealed) are mortified by the idea, constantly promoted by the pacifists, that our behavior is more reckless because we are armed. In other words, because we carry a handgun we take more risks than we would if we were unarmed. While it would be dishonest to claim we are all responsible gun owners, it is my belief that the vast majority of us are. Regardless of what or how you carry, you need to come to the realization that you are setting yourself up to lose. Whenever you are placed in a defensive situation, you will always lose; it’s only the degree of loss that’s negotiable. Ayoob hits on this in his book, In the Gravest Extreme. He suggests tossing the robber a small wad of cash and moving off, even if you could prevail with a weapon. There’s a very good reason for this. Regardless of how skilled you are at drawing your weapon, you are going to lose. It may be only a minor loss, like being very shaken up and not sleeping well for a few days, or it may be a major loss, like becoming fertilizer, or (most likely) it may be somewhere in-between, but you always lose. Your life will not be the same even if you prevail.Addressed in a previous post.Carrying a concealed firearm presents to a criminal that I am unarmed. Every study I’ve ever read, not most but every study, says that criminals will avoid an armed person or home when selecting a victim. That only makes sense, right? Robbers, rapists, or carjackers might be dumb and opportunistic, but they have the same instinctual sense of self preservation we all have. Hyenas don’t attack lions to steal the gazelle the lions have just killed. It’s all about risk management; are the potential gains (a tasty gazelle dinner) worth the risks (pain and damage the lion’s teeth will cause), and does the hyena really need to test the lion to figure out the answer? No, the hyena can see the lion’s teeth and knows to stay well clear.I believe that it has been established, through criminal interviews, that the most effective strategy to prevent becoming a victim is awareness and avoidance, not the presence of a firearm, visible or concealed.Deterrent Value:
When I’m carrying concealed I feel like my ‘teeth’ are hidden, and thus of no real deterrent value. If I appear unarmed then I am unarmed in the eyes of the robber, I appear as easy a target as almost anyone else out on the street. My probability of being a victim of a crime, violent or otherwise, is completely unchanged by the fact that I have hidden beneath my shirt the means to defend myself. My goal, however, is not to be a victim in the first place, remember? I don’t want to be a victim that fought back successfully and triumphed; I prefer to not be victimized at all. I recognize that there are some people who (think they) want to be victimized so they can whip out their concealed firearm and ‘surprise’ the mugger; that is, in my opinion, foolish immaturity. Concealed carry is good; it throws a wrench in the works for criminals who might see the teeming masses as a smorgasbord of financial gain. This deterrent effect is, nonetheless, indirect and often nil. At some point the thug will weigh the risks vs. the gains; is his current desperation for money/drugs/booze/gold grille greater than the gamble that one of those people might be carrying a gun? If he decides to play the odds, which helped along with surprise tip the scale in his favor, he will attack. Will his attack allow enough time for me to draw my concealed firearm to affect a defense? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.With the average run of the mill criminal, I am inclined to agree with this. With the increasing involvement of street gang members of both the junior and senior levels and miscellaneous degenerate youth, in robberies and other violent crime to profit themselves, their gang and their ”cred”, I think that has changed. These individuals place little value on their own lives or anyone else’s and are not the least bit intimidated by the prospect of lethal encounters.Remember, I don’t want to be a victim and I don’t want to shoot anyone. So how do I realize both goals; or how do I make them inclusive? I can do that through open carry. By making it clear and obvious that I am armed, that I have teeth, I tip the risk scale to the point that the criminal’s gains are far outweighed by the risk. There is no ambiguity when the thug is doing his risk assessment, there’s something right there in plain sight that can quickly and painfully change or terminate his life. You may not think his life has much value, but as I mentioned before, he has the same sense of self preservation as any other living creature and to him it’s every bit as valuable as yours is to you. It would be foolish to ignore this indisputable fact when you develop your overall tactical strategy.The deterrent value I previously addressed, so I will address the purported OC advantage. My personal experience has shown me that the time deficit drawing from concealment vs open, for me, given similar rigs and weapons is in the neighborhood of 0.20 seconds. Coincidently, this is within the parameters of what is recognized as average reaction time. This would appear to counter the perceived advantage of the additional speed afforded by a draw from an open rig. This does not take into consideration any additional reaction time on the part of the aggressor afforded by a totally unexpected turn of events, aided by feigning compliance or other ruse. Based on these factors, I would say that any advantage due to an open rig, is at best, equal to a concealed rig.The Five Stages of Violent Crime
I am a firm believer in this defense theology and urge anyone who carries a firearm for protection (and even those who do not) to follow the link and read it carefully. Please, for your and your family’s sake, read that. Drill down into the hyperlinks for better explanations; absorb as much information as you can. A violent crime does not begin at the point where one person with ill intent draws a weapon or attacks another.
I do not believe the act begins after the BG has made his intentions known by drawing on you (attack); it began when he formed the intent. Well, there’s not a lot I can do personally to stop another’s intent, so I need to look a little farther along in the sequence and try to derail that train before it gets to the attack. For the sake of argument, let’s remove weapons from the equation for just a moment. A 5’2” unarmed attacker isn’t going to choose a 6’6” victim over a 5’1” victim, right? He’s going to attack the easier target. Now let’s come back to the reality of violent crime and add back the weapons. Concealed carry presumes it is better to wait until the opponent has drawn his knife or gun and then try to ‘fix’ the situation. It’s seems a bit foolish to promote the idea that it’s better to attempt to stop a violent crime in the fourth stage when you could instead prevent it in the second. A concealed weapon cannot deter an attack at the ‘interview’ stage; it’s completely ineffectual in that role. Open carry is the only method that provides a direct deterrent. Let’s say the bad-guy missed the openly carried pistol and holster during the interview stage, and has proceeded to the ‘positioning’ stage. Chances are pretty good he’ll see it at some point then, right? Then, let’s say the planets have all aligned just so and he, for whatever reason, has begun his attack despite your openly carried sidearm. At this point, the OCer is on level footing with the CCer, the attack has begun. Who has the advantage? Well, I’m going to say that with all things being equal (skill level and equipment) the OCer has a speed of draw advantage over the CCer.Here again, I would agree, relative to the common criminal, but disagree relative the recent breed of degenerate young criminals and those of the gang lifestyle.First One To Be Shot:
There are some who criticize open carry and claim it will make you more of a target or ‘the first one shot’ when a robber walks into the 7-11, despite the absolute lack of credible evidence that this has ever happened. If the robber walks in and sees that you’re armed, his whole plan has encountered an unexpected variable. In bank robberies where he might expect to see an armed guard he will have already factored that possibility into his plan, but only for the armed guard, not for open or concealed carry citizens. No robber robs a bank without at least a rudimentary plan. Nevertheless, being present for a bank robbery is an extremely remote possibility for most of us regardless of our preferred method of handgun carry, so let’s go back in the 7-11. If the robber sees someone is armed he is forced to either significantly alter the plan or abort it outright. Robbing is an inherently apprehensive occupation, and one that doesn’t respond well to instant modifications. He is not prepared to commit murder when he only planned for larceny. He knows that a petty robbery will not garner the intense police manhunt a murder would. He doesn’t know if you’re an armed citizen or a police officer and isn’t going to take the time to figure it out. Either way, if someone in the 7-11 is unexpectedly armed, how many others might be similarly adorned and where might they be? Does this unexpectedly armed individual have a partner who is likewise armed nearby, someone who is watching right now? Self preservation compels him to abort the plan for one that is less risky. So we see that the logic matches the history; open carriers are not the first ones shot because it doesn’t make sense in any common street crime scenario that they would be. If your personal self protection plan emphasizes “Hollywood” style crimes over the more realistic street mugging, it might be best to stay home.To discount surprise, as a defensive or offensive tactic, is naïve at best. The switch from defensive to counter offensive, which must usually be made to prevail is supported by surprise. If memory serves me correct this is what is taught in the military.Surprise:
Probably the most common condemnation of open carry comes from the armchair tacticians who believe it’s better to have the element of surprise in a criminal encounter. Although this was touched on in the previous paragraph about deterrence, I’ll expand on it specifically here because there are some important truths you need to consider before you lean too heavily on this false support. Surprise as a defensive tactic is often based on unrealistic or ill-thought out scenarios, and seems to exist only in the minds of concealed carry firearms proponents. The circumstance where several street toughs surround and taunt you for a while before robbing you, like in some Charles Bronson movie, is not realistic; the mugger wants to get in and out as fast as possible. In most cases you will have only seconds to realize what’s happening, make a decision, and react. Imagine you’re walking along the sidewalk when two gangsta looking teenagers suddenly appear at the corner coming in the opposite direction. You have only seconds to react if their intent was to victimize you. Do you draw your concealed firearm now or wait until there’s an actual visible threat? If they are just on their way to church and you pull a gun on them, you are the criminal and you will likely forever lose your firearms rights for such a foolish action. If you don’t draw and they pull a knife or pistol when they’re just a couple steps away, your only options are draw (if you think you can) or comply. Imagine staring at the shiny blade of a knife being held by a very nervous and violent mugger, three inches from your or your wife’s throat and having to decide whether or not you have time to draw from concealment. The element of surprise may not do you any good; in fact the only surprising thing that might happen is that your concealed carry pistol gets taken along with your wallet. The thug will later get a good chuckle with his buddies about how you brought a gun to a knife fight. The simple truth is that while surprise is a monumentally superior tactical maneuver, it is exclusively an offensive action, not a defensive one. What many internet commandos call ‘defensive surprise’ is nothing more than damage control, a last ditch effort to fight your way back out of a dangerous situation. I am not aware of any army that teaches using surprise as a defense against attack. No squad of soldiers goes on patrol with their weapons hidden so that they can ‘surprise’ the enemy should they walk into an ambush.I have little argument with this.It Will Get Stolen:
Another common criticism of open carry is that the firearm itself will be the target of theft, prompting a criminal to attack simply to get the gun from you. Like the previous example of being the first one shot in a robbery, above, this is despite the fact that there is no credible evidence it happens. It also blindly ignores the more obvious fact that anything you possess can make you the target of a crime, be it a car, a watch, or even a female companion (girlfriend, wife, or daughter). Crooks commonly steal for only one of two reasons; to get something you have that they want, or to get something that you have so they can sell it and buy something they want. I don’t claim it could never happen; just that it’s so remote a possibility that it doesn’t warrant drastic alterations to our self defense strategies. If you believe otherwise, leave your wife, children, watch, sunglasses, jewelry, and cell phone at home, hop into your Pinto wagon, and head out to do your thing. Very often, someone critical of open carry will cite some example of a uniformed police officer whose gun was taken by a violent criminal, and yes, this does indeed happen. The argument, however, breaks down when they assume the officer was targeted solely to steal his firearm. What is more likely is that the officer was targeted merely for being a police officer and the gun was stolen as a byproduct of the attack. More often, the officer’s gun is taken during the struggle to get the suspect into custody due to an entirely unrelated matter. However, let’s suppose, for argument, that a police officer really was attacked just to get his firearm. What actions did the police department take to prevent it from reoccurring? Did they demand that their officers carry concealed? No, of course not. You should, like the police, prioritize your defense strategy for the most likely threat first, and the least likely last.I think this is highly dependent on the person who open carries and how they conduct themselves.It Scares People:
One other statement against open carry I hear is that it damages public perception of firearms owners, or that by carrying openly we are not being good ambassadors to the public. While there are some people who have a genuine fear of firearms, due either to some horrible past experience or anti-gun indoctrination, the majority of people are either indifferent to them or quite fascinated by them. I’ve never kept track of the dozens of fellow citizens I’ve encountered who have marveled at the idea of open carry, but I do know exactly how many have expressed displeasure at it; one. People are scared of many things for many reasons; however, pretending those things do not exist only perpetuates the fear. Someone who is disturbed by open carry is going to be every bit as disturbed by concealed carry. The only effective way to overcome a fear is to come to the intellectual realization that the phobia is based on emotion and not on fact. By being a firsthand witness that a firearm was carried responsibly and peaceably, and wasn’t being carried in the commission of a crime, one who was apprehensive about firearms discovers their fear is not fact based, but emotional. Thus, open carry can be a very effectual way of helping to overcome the emotionally based fear of the firearm. After all, you’d be much more likely to believe in ghosts if you saw one rather than if you listened to a ghost story around a campfire. In other words, we give significantly more credibility to the things we experience than we do to the things we hear. The bottom line is that this argument is made by people who don’t, cant, or haven’t carried openly; those of us who do so on a regular basis have an entirely different experience.I have not found temperature or comfort to have any significant effect on my ability to carry concealed. I would not carry in a method that took me five or six seconds to draw from. Five or six seconds might present a sufficient window for avoidance in some cases and not in others.I’m Not Comfortable Carrying Openly:
This is really the only reasonable argument against open carry for an individual. We all have a comfort zone for any aspect of our lives and we prefer to stay within that comfort zone. We all agree that it’s better to be armed and never need the firearm than it is to need it and not have it. There is a point where concealing your firearm becomes so problematic, due to conditions like temperature or comfort, that some choose to either leave it behind or carry in such a way that it would be difficult or impossible to draw it quickly. If it takes me five or six seconds to draw my firearm from deep concealment and I had sufficient time before hand to actually do so, I would prefer to use that five or six seconds to avoid the entire encounter. I’m glad we have concealed carry laws in most of the states; it empowers and protects not only us but the general public through the offset deterrent effect. Some of us, however, choose the more direct deterrent effect of open carry.Choices are good. You have made yours and I have made mine and while they are different, they are aimed at the same goals.Conclusion
No, open carry is not the be-all-end-all of self defense any more than concealed carry is. The purpose of this essay is not to convince you to carry a firearm openly, but to merely point out the reasoning I used to determine that it is often the best option for me. If you think otherwise, please feel free to write an essay of your own outlining the reasoning you used. I would suggest that you avoid the intellectual mistake of emphasizing rare or unlikely defense scenarios that many of us will never experience. I believe one should prioritize for the most likely threat, not the least likely threat. I don’t put Hollywood style bank robberies high on my threat list because I rarely go into a bank and those types of robberies are very rare themselves. I live in the most crime riddled city in the northwest; the most likely threat here is some young male with a knife or gun trying to carjack me or mug me on the street, in the park, or in a parking lot. With this knowledge I build my personal self protection plan based on that manner of attack. This may not suit you, especially if you live in Hollywood.
I hold no contempt for those who open, with the exception of the few who do it for selfish/egotistical reasons. Good citizens, confronted by aggressive criminal behavior will most likely be at a disadvantage, regardless of their carry method. The outcome of such encounters will most often be decided by many factors in addition to their carry method. Take care and be safe.
"I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".
Don"t let stupid be your skill set....
And Shepards we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee,
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, So that our feet may swiftly carry out thy command,
And we shall flow a river forth to Thee, And teeming with souls shall it ever be,