Open Carry "meets" do they really work?

Open Carry "meets" do they really work?

This is a discussion on Open Carry "meets" do they really work? within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I want to say I do not open carry. I can, it is legal in my state, but I choose not to. I also want ...

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Thread: Open Carry "meets" do they really work?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Open Carry "meets" do they really work?

    I want to say I do not open carry. I can, it is legal in my state, but I choose not to. I also want to say I have no problem with those that do, it is your right.

    I am going to try and ask this question correctly so as not to stir up a debate on OC vs CC because I already have my own mind made up on that issue. So here goes:

    A number of Pro OC groups have weekly or monthly "meets" where they get coffee or breakfast and I guess talk about guns or something. I often hear pro OC people say how these groups are such a great way to help defend our 2nd amendment and so forth. But do they really?

    My local OC group (whom I have never met or been to any of their meetings) is made up of maybe 10 or 12 guys. That is only 10 or 12 votes on election day. So they can vote for pro gun laws, but what other things do they do to help? I ask this because I would really like to know. If they are doing some good maybe I should offer my time and skills. But to me, from the outside looking in, it seems OC meets are little more than a way to draw attention to oneself and do more harm than good.

    So the question is, do these groups really have a positive impact, has it ever been quantified, and what are the impacts?

    Example, did any OC group in WI work to get the CC laws changed or was that someone else?


  2. #2
    Member Array trip20's Avatar
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    Ohio got where it is due in large part to the attention that open carry marches brought to the public eye. Wisconsin is in the same boat.

    But how do you "quantify" this?

    The opinion that it only brings unwanted attention to the subject makes no sense to me at all. If I was doing something despicable, deceitful, wrong or shameful.... yes that would make sense. But openly carrying a firearm is none of the above.

    Exposing people to the thought of law abiding individuals carrying firearms in public is a good thing. The repeated exposure shows these individuals that nothing bad happens when non law enforcement and non military personnel are allowed to carry loaded firearms in public.

    It brings forth opportunity for discussion, rather than the public getting 100% of it's information from the media. Many a conversation is had when curious people see these groups in coffee shops and restaurants. I've seen this first hand.

    It is also an opportunity to put a particular face on a "person with a gun". The general public has a preconceived idea of what a person with a gun may look like or act like largely due to media hype, television, movies...etc. But when ordinary people see polite ordinary OC'ing folks holding doors, offering to carry groceries, and otherwise being congenial, it puts a new image in their mind to combat the hooded thug they're afraid of.

    I don't know how you quantify any of this. But it is what I've experienced and those experiences have moved my opinion from that of OC'ing being taboo, to OC'ing being a great way to exercise my Right.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    I don't have any facts or figures to back this up and I also do not OC, but one benefit I can see is people seeing other people carrying firearms and congregating in one place and no one gets shot. A lot of people (you and I, for example) support OC but do not for whatever reasons.
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  4. #4
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    JD and I have been to at least one OC lunch.

    I liked getting together with other gun people and, Yes, it does draw attention but whether that attention is positive or negative has a lot to do with the surrounding circumstances and venue. If the OC meet was prearranged and the establishment is for it then other non-OCing customers who ask what is going on are usually told (in a positive tone) that it is an Open Carry lunch that was prearranged and welcomed by the owner.

    This paints the group in a positive and courteous light.

    At the OC lunch we went to there was a little talk about what was currently going on in the state and area for gun laws and what we might want to do to get more active or what bills we might want to support or oppose, etc.

    The media was contacted in case they would like to come out but they didn't.

    Yes, it is an attention grabbing thing and that's kind of the point and as long as it is done well it can be a VERY positive influence, I believe.

    We had kids there running around, safe and happy. Myself and another woman were pregnant at the time and still packing. We were laughing. No one was drinking and anyone who looked in on us could clearly see that there was nothing ominous about our group at all. Many people stopped to ask us questions because it's far less intimidating to approach a group of people who are clearly having a good time than one single individual who is not openly displaying his or her current temperament.

    And because there were twenty of us or so it was clear this wasn't just a chance thing but an organized meeting meaning it was probably sanctioned and cleared by authorities deeming it a little more "safe" and "acceptable."

    I think OC meetings are good things... again, as long as they are done well, prearranged and orchestrated to ruffle as FEW feathers as possible.

    I have a REAL problem with OC groups who just show up at establishments with a chip on their shoulder and when the establishment expresses their discomfort with allowing the group to come in there is picketing and letters written and bad press... just BAD BAD BAD all around.

    Calling ahead, speaking to owners, maybe sending some information ahead of time so that uneasy owners or managers can have some time to process the request and make an informed and non-emotional decision... OR if the meet is going to be in a public place like a park, contacting the local authorities and telling them that there is going to be a large group of armed citizens having a good, clean time so that WHEN they are called they know they aren't going into an armed riot, etc.

    Should you HAVE to do that? No. But, as a group, going out of your way to make sure you are as non-confrontational and thoughtful as possible can REALLY go a long way to further your cause and make you look like the good guy rather than an inconsiderate jerk.

    I would HAPPILY go to another well planned OC meet.. I would refuse to go to one that was poorly planned or thrown together without care or concern for public opinion.

  5. #5
    Member Array Flippinstk's Avatar
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    So, we have a LARGE OC contingient here in Eastern Va. And they have quite a few of these types of gatherings.... I would attend one of these gatherings if there werent any "rules" stippulated with the attendance... ie a "dress code" or "no alcohol with your dinner" (<--- not that I would) but these types of events are supposed to portray the real people that open carry, right? Not what you want the people to see or a scripted commercial.
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    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    Michigan Open Carry does good for both OC and CC in the state. CCers don't realize it but Michigan Open Carry gets public events to follow state laws and stop "making up rules" that clearly violates the firearms laws of the state. Where as CCers would not have took a stand to allow for self defense at these said events.

    OC at least in our state does way more as getting pro-laws in and ordinances to allow carry then CCers even have in the past 5 years. Stop in a meeting and see what you can do for your group, you'd be surprised...
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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spec View Post
    Stop in a meeting and see what you can do for your group, you'd be surprised...
    I think I just might. I would love to feel comfortable OC'ing, but I just don't, and it is 100% legal in my state. Don't even need a permit or anything.

  8. #8
    Member Array Flippinstk's Avatar
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    smolck... not everyone feels comfortable OCing, but just the same, not everyone wants to advertise that they are carrying either. Its definately a personal preference.
    If you want to try it then go to one of their outings... and talk with them about places that accept/allow the practice.
    Personally for me... I open carry while in the woods and at home, everywhere else I conceal.

    Good Luck....
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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    OC is legal here, I rarely do it, but I have been to a few OC meets. I have seen no positive or negative impact; I just find it fun to meet people with whom I had discussions in online fora. The best one was like Limatunes' example, a picnic at a reserved space in a local state park with adults and kids. At none of these have I ever seen a passerby stop to ask questions, criticize OC, or otherwise chat.

    Smolk, you might consider attending one---OC or orations are not required, so you could just listen to see what it's about.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    It's not the meets in and of themselves that work or don't it's the people and their attitude.

    OC, be friendly nobody gets shot nobody gets worked up nobody forces anything on you, and it becomes just a common place event that's no big deal, then I think that helps remove the layers of fear that have been built up over the years. They're pretty uneventful for most of the sheep, and it's more about the people OCing enjoying the company of other people with similar philosophies and or interests, much like the typical demeanor on DC.com

    I've also seen OC groups that are big on pushing their message, making people uncomfortable and chastising others for not OCing, and taking steps to provoke confrontation. These are cases that have turned me away from being associated with them, and embarrassed me as a gun owner and frequent open carrier, and it makes my life harder because when those incidents get picked up by the media or local LE circles, it's now assumed anyone OCing is part of the group causing trouble, when really I'm just out to grab a quart of milk. I think those people are hurting the cause, and turning away some of the most pro2a people away from them support wise, even if the end goal is the same.

    It's not the act and it's not the gun it's the actions of the people with the gun that are making this difference and impressions, be it positive or negative.

    When you look at the WI example, the groups that promoted OC, came to the cause later in the game, but before the elections, they made a handful of local news stories, more focused on controversy or stretched attempts for police harassment, and one group did manage to file several laws suits and win those suits, however WI had passed Concealed Carry bills twice and had both vetoed by a democratic governor, once they got a Republican governor, it was pretty much a done deal that it would be done in some form. The groups assumed that since OC was not blocked, and the state constitution already provided for possession of a firearm, that constitutional carry would be almost a non fight, so when it was said and done, they did get carry and it was shall issue, but they had training requirements tacked on and have had issues with many people seeking to get in on the sub par meet the minimums training certificate money grab bandwagon, that's adding cost and hurdles to overcome for the citizens, without providing significant benefit for the people or the state. (Every gun range owner that had a classroom for NRA stuff that I talked to really wanted training requirements, not for safety but for business, and they were more than happy to tell me why) There wasn't the option of shall issue fixed permit costs, no training, and minimal restriction on where carry was prohibited (in IN I can count them all on one hand); because the political rhetoric was, if you allow them to have a permit system they can charge whatever they want constitutional carry is the only solution. So now there are many more pieces to be chipped away, than had the details been given more attention and compromise been had, in more reasonable areas. The groups failed to keep pressure on after the election and they failed to make the concealed carry laws close to what people actually sought, and I think the WI example proves just how inconsequential the smaller groups are to the overall effort. and you do have to understand I'm talking about no less than 2 groups if not 5 groups that were each attempting to be the lead on establishing CC in WI.

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  11. #11
    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    When in NC, I have OC'd a couple of times. But no where when I would cause major distress to the flock. I just don't see the advantage of it when my CC license allows me to pack numerous weapons and never raise anyone's attention beyond a normal level. I dunno. I just don't get it. My CC circle of friends extends far more influence politically and socially without resorting to "in your face" tactics. I compare it to the gay rights marchers. Who gives a crap what you do in your own private life, but why do you feel the need to shove your aberrant behavior in my face? Fringe groups never get any real traction other than their own back-slapping agendas. I just can't help but feel that typically OC events cause more damage than benefits.

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    As an OC meeting member you may never see a tangible effect. However by being visible to those who do not carry, or only CC and you display a positive image it may sway their conception of not only OC but carrying in particular. Just like 1 person acting like a jackass paints the whole group that way, a positive impression can have the same results.
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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejib View Post
    When in NC, I have OC'd a couple of times. But no where when I would cause major distress to the flock. I just don't see the advantage of it when my CC license allows me to pack numerous weapons and never raise anyone's attention beyond a normal level. I dunno. I just don't get it. My CC circle of friends extends far more influence politically and socially without resorting to "in your face" tactics. I compare it to the gay rights marchers. Who gives a crap what you do in your own private life, but why do you feel the need to shove your aberrant behavior in my face? Fringe groups never get any real traction other than their own back-slapping agendas. I just can't help but feel that typically OC events cause more damage than benefits.
    I'm glad that is your opinion and just that... totally not supported by any facts/data and goes against Everything I have witnessed.
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    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spec View Post
    I'm glad that is your opinion and just that... totally not supported by any facts/data and goes against Everything I have witnessed.
    Then explain. I didn't attack your position. I would probably support it, but I don't see it. How do "OC" events further any cause? I can only find the negatives. Enlighten me.

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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejib View Post
    Then explain. I didn't attack your position. I would probably support it, but I don't see it. How do "OC" events further any cause? I can only find the negatives. Enlighten me.
    I tend to lean this way, hence my asking.

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