When I started this thread, I knew that the subject could become inflammatory, but it remained civil. Thank you to the Admins for allowing this thread to continue. This has to be one of the best discussions regarding defensive carry... open and/or concealed. We are all on the same page when we carry... and that is to protect family and self.... no matter the preferred method.
AzQkr - You make some excellent points and the main one is we really have no idea how many attacks OC or CC has detered or inspired. I would like it if SC had OC so that I didn't have to worry so much about accidently exposing it but I doubt that I would ever become full time OC. It is legal in SC to OC on your property so that isn't a problem in my yard.
There are times for both methods and neither is perfect. Use which ever one you want to.
The yearly estimated number of potentially violent crimes and attacks that have been prevented by the presence of a firearm - a firearm that ends up NOT being used is quite high.
TRUE - crimes that have been prevented almost never make the news and countless others go completely unreported.
Pinning an exact number of crimes/attacks that have been prevented by an open carry visual would be near 'bout impossible to even guess.
There are always two sides to every coin.
im not worried about getting jumped by a gaggle of thugs. theres usually 4-6 of us all OC'ing and each of us practice almost every weekend.
It doe's not matter to me. I am licensed to carry concealed, but as an American, it is my RIGHT to carry a gun. I open carry with pride. The same pride an officer has of his badge, the same pride a fireman has of his hat, the same pride as a doctor who signs his name Dr so and so, the same pride that our soldiers have of their uniform while fighting for our rights and freedom, I am just as proud to carry a gun as a judge is proud of his chambers, the president of his office. I AM AN AMERICAN AND PROUD OF IT!!
Thats why I open carry more than conceal carry. Its my right, my freedom, and my pride!
I OC'd for the first time a couple of days ago here in WA State. It was unsettling at best mainly cause I was not used to having the privelage of doing so. My first stop was at a Pizza joint and it got better the more stops I made that afternoon. I like being able to OC cause it gives one added options as weather warms. Certainly in the colder months I will revert back to 100% CC.
I think that it OC'ing could scare the living bajeebers out of people who hate guns and think all guns are evil and are made to kill people even if it were totally legal where done.
That said, I've done it and have only to endure stares, glares and looks of shock. No cops yet :)
The way I see it, like many things, OC and CC have their pros and cons. I don't need to go into detail about them, because I am sure most of us are aware of them. I'll admit I have open carried on occasion, just because it was either hot and sunny outside, or because I took my jacket off which covered my sidearm. I like the option of Open Carry, and support it 100%. For those of you who choose to CC, I support you 100% as well. For younger people who are not 21 yet, Open Carry is their only option.
I would like to have the option. There are times during the summer where I use my fanny pack when I would much rather just slip one of my paddles on and go.
Once again Brownie, bravo. Well-said. Two parts of that especially: Talking in reference to how many crimes have been prevented by an OC'er being present. Up here in northern AZ where its somewhat common (in comparison to the rest of the US), Ill bet the rate is higher. The other part I wanted to +1 on is the speed. I finally got some good practice with my Crossbreed. I'm a good .5 to .75 seconds faster with my normal Bianchi OWB.
Good points that are tough to argue, bud.
I believe open carry should be an option for all licensed gun owners regardless of what state they reside in!
My primary goal when Iím 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 donít want to be responsible, legally or morally, for anotherís 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.
Carrying a concealed firearm presents to a criminal that I am unarmed. Every study Iíve 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 donít attack lions to steal the gazelle the lions have just killed. Itís all about risk management; are the potential gains (a tasty gazelle dinner) worth the potential pain and damage the lionís teeth will cause, and does the hyena really need to test the lion to figure out the answer? No, the hyena can see the lionís teeth and knows to stay well clear.
When Iím carrying concealed I feel like my Ďteethí 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 donít want to be a victim that fought back successfully and triumphed; I prefer to not be victimized at all. Concealed carry is good; it throws a wrench in the works for criminals who might see the teaming masses as a smorgasbord of financial gain. This deterrent effect is, nonetheless, indirect. 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 donít want to be a victim and I donít 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 criminalís gains are far outweighed by the risk. There is no ambiguity when the thug is doing his risk assessment, thereís 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 itís 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.
First One To Be Shot:
There are some who criticize open carry and claim it will make you more of a target or Ďthe first one shotí 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 youíre 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. Back in the 7-11, if he 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 doesnít 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 doesnít know if youíre an armed citizen or a police officer and isnít 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 armed individual have a partner who is likewise armed behind him in the parking lot, 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 doesnít make any sense that they would be.
Probably the most common condemnation of open carry comes from the armchair tacticians who believe itís better to have the element of surprise in a criminal encounter. Although this was touched on in the previous paragraph about deterrence, Iíll 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 based on unrealistic or ill-thought out scenarios. The circumstance where several street toughs surround and taunt you for a while 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 whatís happening, make a decision, and react. Imagine youíre 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 thereís 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 may forever lose your firearms rights for such a foolish action. If you donít draw and they pull a knife or pistol when theyíre 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 wifeís 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. 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 Ďsurpriseí 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 as 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 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. There are no Robins in the hood trying to help the poor by stealing from the rich. I donít claim it could never happen; just that itís so remote a possibility that it doesnít warrant drastic alterations to your self defense strategies. If you believe otherwise, leave your watch, sunglasses, jewelry, and cell phone at home, hop into your Pinto wagon, and head out to do your thing.
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. Iíve never kept track of the dozens of fellow citizens Iíve 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 wasnít being carried in the commission of a crime, one 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, youíd be much more likely to believe in ghosts if you saw one rather than if you listened to a ghost story around a campfire. We give much 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 donít or havenít carried openly; those of us who do so on a regular basis have an entirely different experience.
Iím 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 itís 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 do so, I would prefer to use that five or six seconds to avoid the entire encounter. Iím 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. The combination of the two makes the criminalís job that much more risky, that much more dangerous, and that much more uncertain.
I just began OC'ing a few weeks ago as it is legal in Washington State. It simply gives me an option on how I carry in the warmer months. When the cooler/colder months arrive I will begin to carry CC as before. First time I OC'ed I was terrified, made 5 stops in town and one being a Pizza Joint. Had no confrontations nor stares whatsoever. I OC using a K&D Holster Eagle Defender OWB which holds my SP101 high and tight a long side of my waist at the 3:30 position. I never OC with a "In your face attitude".
I think a long these lines. Back in the day, we are talking back in the mid 1800's when Cattleman carried openly coming into town for a beer or picking up supplies do you think they worried about becoming a target? I don't but that is my own opinion just something to think about. I carry with this analogy in mind. I just don't think a perp is going to be scouring the aisles of Walmart looking for someone who is OC'ing just my opinion.
The bottom line is this "I" feel quite comfortable OC'ing...
Open carry is legal in Colorado , well everywhere but denver and it's ilk . With that being said I typically dont open carry . Now out on the ranch you may find me with a larger " hunting handgun " open carried but you wont in any town . I chew tobacco but dont spit of folk , or the sidewalk , I smoke but not in less than well ventilated spaces /houses ect.. when non smokers are present and wouldn't dream of blowing smoke in anyones face . To me OC in public is such boorish behaver. If you want to get on a rights high horse feel free , i have a right to call a cop anything if its " my opinion " , that does not make it "right "rather than a Right . In closing ill say tho i dont OC i strongly feel anyone has the Right to where legal . However I will mention that this forum lost a few members when it was pointed out to them that this is a CONCEALED WEAPONS FORUM , and privately owned . As such it was not obligated to give them a platform to rant about OC on any side of the issue . I just mention this because i note a couple of threads on the issue and believe the OP of each thread will read the other lol . I do note that there is a great Open Carry forum to be found at http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/ for folk who wish to advocate open carry .
I disagree. Should any fire arm be carried to strike fear or intimidate the public ABSOLUTELY NOT but we should not bow down to other peoples irrational fears either. To quote a post I made on another thread
Regarding the tactical disadvantage concerns that many express about open carry I started a thread Open Carry Concerns asking if anyone had an experience or a link to a story where any one of those concerns have actual happened. So far only one story of a gentleman that had his gun taken away. It is beginning to look like another antis myth or urban legend. As no one has been able to post any news reports of anyone being shot first or attacked because they OC'ed or killed with their own weapon because the OC'ed
Originally Posted by LongRider