Argument for Open carry

Argument for Open carry

This is a discussion on Argument for Open carry within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Below I am posting an article I found on Maineopencarry.org. I find it to have a lot of good information and answers to a lot ...

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    Member Array Jenkums86's Avatar
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    Argument for Open carry

    Below I am posting an article I found on Maineopencarry.org. I find it to have a lot of good information and answers to a lot of questions I myself have asked about the whole Open Carry Concealed Carry war. As a result I will most likely begin open Carrying......once I get over the fear of upsetting my whole anti gun family lol.


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    Member Array Jenkums86's Avatar
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    Why Open Carry?

    The following was originally written by Mainsail and is available in its most current form on the USACarry forums. This essay is used with permission of the original author.
    The Open Carry Argument

    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.

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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 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.

    Quote:

    1) Intent
    2) Interview
    3) Positioning
    4) Attack
    5) Reaction

    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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’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.
    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.

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    Member Array Jenkums86's Avatar
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    I hope no one thinks I was posting this to start problems or anything I would really like some feed back on this. I just think it adresses some of the biggest points in the open/concealed carry debate in a different light.

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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Open carry is for police officers. I don't understand why anyone would want to open carry, I just don't. Comfort? Really, I can wear my OWB pancake holster with any number of shirts and cover my weapon. Heck, even just a t-shirt. If it prints a little, so what, nobody will even notice. I just don't see why we need the attention it brings, the encounters with LEO's who could be fighting real crime instead of responding to "man with a gun" calls and the chance of being asked to leave some place (some place that as a result of an OC person might put up a No guns sign and now I can't go in there either).

    All that attention and so forth creates ammunition for the anti gun nuts. Why not just hide the darn thing, you are just as safe and much less hassled. If you want to make a political statement about the 2nd amendment write a letter to your congressman, attend a rally or peaceful march, work with the NRA for better gun legislation, but a single person OC'ing in some town isn't doing anything to further 2nd amendment rights, in fact, I submit to you that he is in fact doing more harm than good.

    That is my opinion on the matter. All that said, if you want to OC and it is legal, be my guest.
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    Senior Member Array Adkjoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smolck View Post
    Open carry is for police officers. I don't understand why anyone would want to open carry, I just don't. Comfort? Really, I can wear my OWB pancake holster with any number of shirts and cover my weapon. Heck, even just a t-shirt. If it prints a little, so what, nobody will even notice. I just don't see why we need the attention it brings, the encounters with LEO's who could be fighting real crime instead of responding to "man with a gun" calls and the chance of being asked to leave some place (some place that as a result of an OC person might put up a No guns sign and now I can't go in there either).

    All that attention and so forth creates ammunition for the anti gun nuts. Why not just hide the darn thing, you are just as safe and much less hassled. If you want to make a political statement about the 2nd amendment write a letter to your congressman, attend a rally or peaceful march, work with the NRA for better gun legislation, but a single person OC'ing in some town isn't doing anything to further 2nd amendment rights, in fact, I submit to you that he is in fact doing more harm than good.

    That is my opinion on the matter. All that said, if you want to OC and it is legal, be my guest.
    Agreed

    I OC when hunting and in the woods for easier and quicker access but not in public. However if that's your thing or your only option by all means have at it.
    Vermont does not issue Permit/Licenses to Carry a Concealed firearm. Vermont allows anyone
    who can legally own a firearm to carry it concealed without a permit of any kind.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I was debating on whether to read this or just weigh it. I read it and wish I had chosen the other alternative.
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    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    I was debating on whether to read this or just weigh it. I read it and wish I had chosen the other alternative.
    I read it because Guantes read it and then he said he wished he had not read it so I needed to read it so I would know why he wished he had not read it and now I wish I had not read it too.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

    http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old School View Post
    I read it because Guantes read it and then he said he wished he had not read it so I needed to read it so I would know why he wished he had not read it and now I wish I had not read it too.
    I read it because Guantes and you read it, but then I saw that you both wished you hadnt read it, so I weighed it out and decided to not finishing reading it.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    IMO, if it's legal, who cares? CC'ers don't like people questioning their right to CC, so why do some of them feel they can question my right to OC? That should be the only argument needed.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidey2011 View Post
    IMO, if it's legal, who cares? CC'ers don't like people questioning their right to CC, so why do some of them feel they can question my right to OC? That should be the only argument needed.
    Its not just about you. It effects everyone. OCers are quick to point out that they dont care what people think. Well, people pay taxes and vote. No one questions your right to do so, but some times I think people get stuck on "their rights" to the point of beinging dogmatic in its appearance. Public perception is important. And, what is really gained? I support your right to open carry, however, I question the motive if CC is an option.
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    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I personally don't care if people OC or CC. What I do object to is people using what I consider incomplete or inaccurate information to justify their position.
    Example:
    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.
    This is in many cases not true. Had the writer watched sufficient wildlife documentaries, he would have, as I have seen a number of contradictions to what he wrote. I have watched a number of cases where hyenas, by force of numbers and their own very powerful jaws which are know to lions run several female lions off a fresh kill. Even to the point of chasing individual lions up onto low tree perches. The only lions that hyenas truly fear is the large males, who are the only lions powerful enough to crush the hyenas spine with a single bite.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Its not just about you. It effects everyone. OCers are quick to point out that they dont care what people think. Well, people pay taxes and vote. No one questions your right to do so, but some times I think people get stuck on "their rights" to the point of beinging dogmatic in its appearance. Public perception is important. And, what is really gained? I support your right to open carry, however, I question the motive if CC is an option.
    I DO care what people think. If I have to go outside of my small town for any reason, I CC. Mainly because when I do, I have time constraints and don't need the possible inconveniences that OC can bring. Much of my work is labor intensive, and requires me to move in positions that may expose my gun. It's much easier for me to just strap on an OWB holster and not sweat whether it's covered or not. I have a CWP, so I'm good either way. Granted I probably COULD keep it covered, but I don't feel I need to. I'm well within my rights either way, so who cares?

    For some people, OC is just easier. Whenever I carry, whether OC or CC, I am always dressed in a presentable manner and am always very polite and courteous to the people around me. I have gotten my fair share of weird looks, but only once have I been questioned, and that was by the LGS owner. His problem was just that he didn't think I was old enough to carry at all, not that I was OC.

    Maybe it's different in Kentucky, but up here in Montana, you're expected to have guns and most of the locals don't give it a second thought. It just comes down to preference. Maybe it's because when I started carrying, I didn't have a choice, but I prefer OC and no one is going to convince me that I'd be better off concealed. A gun is a gun, whether concealed or not, and I don't believe either method is more advantageous.

    You prefer to CC, I prefer to OC. We both have our reasons for carrying to begin with, and as long as we both accept the responsibility that goes along with having a firearm, there is no problem either way, IMHO.

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    Member Array Jenkums86's Avatar
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    Other than "the guy needs to watch more animal planet to get his analogy straight." Which I really dont feel has anything to do with the point at all, how about stating your reasons based on facts or pointing out where this guy is wrong in his reasoning. Im not trying to start anything here people as a matter of fact I think its rather juvenile that this subject cant be discussed without getting so heated. I more or less just wanted opinions on where this guy could be wrong on the OC point. It's legal, it deters crime, as long as your not getting power hungry or acting like a jerk there is nothing I can see that is a problem. I just dont see the point in HAVING to hide your defensive weapon because some certain people might be "offended".

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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenkums86 View Post
    Other than "the guy needs to watch more animal planet to get his analogy straight." Which I really dont feel has anything to do with the point at all, how about stating your reasons based on facts or pointing out where this guy is wrong in his reasoning. Im not trying to start anything here people as a matter of fact I think its rather juvenile that this subject cant be discussed without getting so heated. I more or less just wanted opinions on where this guy could be wrong on the OC point. It's legal, it deters crime, as long as your not getting power hungry or acting like a jerk there is nothing I can see that is a problem. I just dont see the point in HAVING to hide your defensive weapon because some certain people might be "offended".
    Bingo. If you can do it responsibly, there's no reason to worry about offending a couple people. Lots of things are offensive to certain people, yet they're done on a daily basis. Should we debate about some of those?

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Open carry is natural for any citizen of the United States. No reason anyone should feel out of place open carrying. The laws of the land become twisted and up to interpretation. We live through all of the BS. When you legally open carry, it's an education for those who have problems with every day life. Open carry gets the message out no matter how many spineless folks disagree. Let the spineless die as victims, and never feel remorse. Most everyone has been warned by now, and you can't save the world by yourself. Such is the way of things.
    RemMod597 likes this.

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