Why would the North Vallejo Little League suspend the T-ball season because someone’s parent shot-up someone else’s car? Insurance issues? Political correctness? Or is it yet another reflection—after the ridiculous Boston lockdown—that we’ve become a nation of wimps? I reckon hopolophobia is both a symptom and a cause of this collective failure of nerve. I also believe open carry would go a long way towards changing the overall cultural  gestalt. Public packing would help transform a cowering citizenry, happy to delegate its safety to government law enforcement officials, to a public proud to provide a vital, visible and viable deterrent to terrorists, criminals and madmen. Am I wrong?

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66 Responses to Question of the Day: Is It Time for Open Carry?

  1. Why yes yes it is. I wholeheartedly support open carry for all. I know folks talk about concealed carry is better blah blah blah, but I don’t buy it. 30 people on a restaurant openly tooled up, on an idiot would try and rob the place. Yeah ok maybe it makes you a target so you need to many “targets” that gosh you can’t get em all…

    Oh oh bad parents lol This is Kalifornia! For gods sake, it is illegal to open carry, or much anything else in Kalifornia. But honestly the league is over reacting, but then again they don’t want to be sued into non existence from helicopter parents either..

    • I’d prefer to have the choice, and if I could legitimately trust the ‘good faith’ of the opposition I’d be willing to compromise on a ‘public carry’ license that required a modicum of legal education and range qualification. But since there’s no good faith there can be no compromise.

    • I used to live in San Bernardino, if you call that living – which I don’t.

      There’s this café, the Yum Yum as I reall, which is a real lions’ den, seeing as it’s a just over a furlong from the cop shop. ‘Round lunch time or shift change there’re likely to be upwards of a score uniforms in there taking seven.

      So one day in the mid-eighties, a real dinglefritz comes in and announces a stick-up. At once, he has the undivided attention of a couple tons of weapon-bearing constabulary – much to his surprise.

      You’d think that the parking lot full of actually back-and-white Dodge Diplomats outside and the deep blue within would’ve clued him in, but nope.

      Some people – and I use that word with deep reservations – are truly not all there.

  2. I’d say it still depends on where in the country you are. Here in the Ozarks you could still open carry and most people wouldn’t bat an eyelash, but then again you just never know when some New Age Pain-In-The-Ass soccer mom might see you and spaz out. Up North or on the Left Coast…ehhh good luck.

  3. The only thing you can open carry in Cali is your bong.

    The problem is that in the free world, open carry isn’t necessary, and in slave states it isn’t permitted.

    • Not unless you want to be charged with “drug paraphernalia.” An actual crime in California!

      On the other hand, under state law it’s perfectly legal to open carry a sword. California laws are very strange and doesn’t necessarily fit into stereotypes that people from outside California have about it.

      • under state law it’s perfectly legal to open carry a sword.

        I understand that you can open-carry a sword if you have a parrot and an eye patch. Peg-legs are optional.

        • Well ya. Bongs are meant for tobacco(haha). If they swab your bong and it doesn’t change color you’re good. If they swab your bong and their little stick turns purple you’re on your back like a turtle.

  4. I certainly hope it’s time for open carry (I live in PA, where only Philadelphia is restricted in that way).

    It’s springtime, and soon the baggy shirts will be uncomfortable. 🙂

  5. Hell, yes!

    Read an article today that described the Boston Butchery as “the new normal”. God, I hope not! But let’s make an armed citizenry the new normal. Maybe if all those pussified police, as well as our next door neighbors, become used to seeing people packing they will cease peeing down their legs over the threatening display of nerf guns and tee shirts.

    Sure would have saved their pot party and their parade if openly armed citizens had been salted throughout the crowd. Oh, but I forgot. Those were the mythical “gun free zones, weren’t they.

    Ok, open carry where there are still some reasonable people in charge.

  6. No. This would be a giant waste of time and spook people for no reason. We saw what happened in CA when people srarting walking around with ARs at outdoor rallies = LONG GUN OPEN CARRY BAN after HANDGUN OPEN CARRY UNLOADED BAN thanks to OFWGs insisting on sitting around Starbucks scaring the Soccer Moms. If you wanted to divert good energy you distract gun owners by creating a faux issue and let them chew on one another. Better to fix the broken laws like what was in M-T one by one nationally and let the states set local rules. I’d rather work toward universal CCW with best practice standards for training and background check on that.

    • You just keep thinking that way while I open carry wherever/whenever I want in the LEFT leaning state of Mn. Have been for years and have had no issues. By the way I am an OSWG. Either way so what!

  7. I’m open carrying right now while I’m out doing laundry. Sometimes new people call the local cops, who show up and greet me by name. The officers usually only scold me for not having a sandwich like mine ready for them! Sure, years ago I have been accosted, cuffed and disarmed (not by my local pd). Lately though I can’t help but feel like my efforts have had an effect to normalize open carry, including the occasional PLR-16 or Tantal session!

  8. the problem with this is the jury. Citizens won’t necessarily back up a law abiding citizen’s defensive gun use. You can get 12 people to vote yes to pretty much anything these days…

  9. “Or is it yet another reflection—after the ridiculous Boston lockdown—that we’ve become a nation of wimps.”

    Nail on head.

    I personally wouldn’t open carry simply because I have a hard enough time getting through the day surrounded by idiots as is, I don’t need them wetting their pants and calling their government nannies on me.

  10. My vision of a great free America is most everyone open carrying. Criminals will need to get a job(don’t tell o) I’m sure this is a civil rights violation. Nothing says freedom like your Roscoe hangin out, Randy

  11. Is it time? When did it stop being time to open-carry? Did the Second Amendment somehow change and I missed it?

    Even my fascist state of CT has open-carry. But you can’t have an eeevil .223 AR15. Go figure. I reckon they believe more people are killed with rifles than with handguns. Derp.

    Robert Heinlein says:
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.

  12. I agree that open carry is a good idea. There are some caveats and cultural adjustments that we’d have to work through.

    The bar-fighters, idiot drunks, and other sundry degenerates who might not be outright criminals (just losers) until they shoot themselves and probably some innocent bystanders would probably cause some trouble. We’d need a culture of personal responsibility to set in. People would have to start planning to take care of themselves and their kin.

    Which would mean a soccer mom would tool up because she’d be damned if some bottom feeder was going to put her family in danger.

  13. Normalization will protect us all in the long run.

    Time to put on the half shirt, short shorts, OWB holster and come out of the closet.

    The longer we hide in the shadows the easier it is to demonize us.

    • Half shirt? Short shorts? I would scare the children and panic the ladies more doing that than I would open carrying. Charter member og the OFWG+Ugly club.

      I’ve gone on the record in the past as being against open carry. Now, I can see the value everyday citizens going about their routines openly armed.

      • Personally I see the mix of OC and CC (like here in Phoenix) as a wonderful thing, best of both worlds. It keeps the bad guys aware yet also guessing.

    • I’m sure there’s some sort of obscenity law in AZ that would get me arrested for wearing a half shirt and short shorts. In fact I think it’d qualify as a crime against humanity.

  14. Let’s get concealed carry to be the norm, then progress to open carry. I teach CC classes and the attendees come from a lot of different backgrounds: doctors, lawyers, IT people, nurses, retired people, CEOs, my garbage man, my 2 year-old child’s daycare teacher, priests, preachers, business owners. Not just guns, but CARRYING guns is beginning to become normal for everyone in my neck of the woods. Now give these new armed citizens the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these concepts and.eventually they’ll begin to ask themselves, “why do I have to hide it?” Just give it a little time.

    • I agree completely with Kris.

      There is another advantage to proliferating concealed carry before open carry. At this point in my state, about 1 out of every 12 men have concealed carry licenses and there is no end in sight. When we get to the point that 1 out of every 8 men — or even better 1 out of every 8 adults — has a concealed carry license, we will be able to point to REALITY. That’s right. When the gun grabbers make all of their usual ridiculous claims, we can tell them and our politicians that 1 out of every 8 citizens is armed in public and the sky has not fallen. None of their doomsday predictions have played out.

      For example, I ask gun grabbers about their favorite grocery store. (We have very large grocery stores in my state and there are easily 200 people shopping at any given moment.) Imagine the shock and horror when I tell those gun grabbers that there were about 10 armed citizens in the store with them. Imagine their further horror when I tell them that probably 200 armed citizens walk through the doors of their grocery store every day … all year long. That means about 72,000 armed citizens walked into and out of their local grocery store that year without a single incident.

      Then we start prolific open carry. Anyone who would complain at that point has to explain why the 72,000 people who carried concealed in their local grocery store that year will suddenly turn into criminals when they carry openly.

  15. Yeah, you’re wrong.

    Sorry – had to say it. 😉

    Seriously, though, an armed society is, by and large, a polite society. So long as folks don’t get too damned ritualized and let the “Liberty Valence” types get away with sh!t, we’ll do alright.

    I do miss the U.S…

  16. You mean it hasn’t been time for OC this whole time? Whoops! I thought we were doing that now? Too soon? PFttt… OC has always been the way to go.

  17. I often read about people who were open-carrying being hassled by cops after someone called 911, even though open carry is perfectly legal in that area. Which brings up an interesting question: has there ever been any incident, anywhere, of the person making the 911 call being charged with making a false emergency call? It’s illegal to make a fake 911 call in most places, isn’t it?

    • Any jurisdiction is going to be incredibly reluctant to prosecute someone for a bogus emergency call. They don’t want people to be afraid to report something that really could be a problem.

      Think about abandoned backpacks or packages now. Everybody and their brother wants all citizens to be alert for abandoned packages and call them in because they could be the next Boston Marathon bomb.

      What jurisdictions need to do is a better job training their 911 dispatchers. When someone calls in “a man with a gun”, the dispatcher needs to ask some questions. What is the person doing? What is threatening about their behavior aside from the fact that they possess a firearm?

  18. This issue was debated ad nauseum out here in California when the open carry ban bill was proposed. A little history gives context. In 1968, the Black Panthers descended on the Legislature in Sacramento for a protest…and they brought their guns (which as it so happens was perfectly legal at the time). The immediate result was a proposal to ban the open carrying of loaded weapons (allowing unloaded chunks of steel to be carried openly), and Ronald Reagan, then governor, promptly signed the bill into law. And guns pretty much disappeared from the urban environment. Then, a few years ago, the “open carry” movement began, which was essentially a protest of the fact that in urban areas CCWs were next to impossible to obtain and this was a means of reinforcing the limited right that remand. The public response was immediate and negative. Soccer moms, not used to seeing guns, would make the inevitable “MWG!” call to 911, and a dramatic police response would ensue. Happened in San Diego, LA, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Police would show up in droves, demanding ID, performing what was then known as an “e” check (after a provision in the Penal Code) to make sure that the firearms were unloaded. Some people were arrested. As in 1968, the Legislature was swift to act, proposing a bill to ban open carry of handguns. Not surprisingly, because of the urban outcry and the dyed in the wool anti-gun mentality of the major urban areas, the bill passed and was signed into law. Not long after, when someone had the temerity to openly carry an unloaded rifle, and open carry ban of all firearms in all urban areas and unincorporated areas where hunting was not permitted, was soon signed into law.

    Now it is also true that, given a choice, most of us in the gun community would prefer to carry concealed. It not only provides the element of surprise, it prevents the type of hoplophobic hysteria often found in pretty much all large urban areas in this country. Guns have not been the norm among most citizens in the cities for almost a hundred years–and that sort of institutionalized bias and fear about guns is hard to overcome. It doesn’t pay to scare the sheeple. Out of sight, out of mind–a far cry from the way things were in the 1800s when the first concealed carry bans were enacted, when only the eeevile villains carried concealed.

    • Thanks for printing the backstory.

      As an escaped Californian, I do get a tidge miffed when folks bash the place who don’t understand it.

      Granted, there are many reasons to bash, but only San Franciscans get to say “Frisco.”

  19. I was born and raised in SoCal, and I think it is shameful that people go into conniptions at the mere presence of a firearm. I would rather have the CHOICE to OC or CC, much like what clothes I want to wear. Throughout human history the OC of arms has been accepted as normal, only in the last 50-60 years has OC diminished in presence. As the saying goes… An armed society is a polite society.
    Oh, and for the record I am 26 yr old asian male.

  20. I see the logic in concealed carry, and I absolutely agree that there are times when it’s really the only safe option, but I do what I can to open carry most of the time, just to passively educate people that we have that right, and that there’s nothing to be afraid of when a regular person is lawfully carrying a handgun. At times I’m tempted to carry my rifle too, just to further the point, but I’m not looking for attention, so I doubt that will ever happen.
    In any case, it’s a great way to show people that there’s nothing to be afraid of.

    I say open carry all day and remain vigilant. Watch the doors at gas stations (or avoid going into one) and stay courteous to officers of the law!

  21. TN, is a very friendly OC state from my experiance. Not un common to see people in very public places OC. Walmart, mall, resturants, even down town Nashville. TN is a handgun carry state. Your choice how you carry it.

  22. Hi Robert, as Mark N has alluded, the word is “hoplophobia”, from the Greek “hoplite”, or soldier. This is a strange story. It sounds like there was either a private beef or rival gang families attending the game. Either way, to fire a gun around kids???

    Here in New Zealand we have various gangs who declare a neutral zone to play rugby league, much like inner city basketball courts in the US. It is sad when this neutrality is violated. The gangs always result from family breakdowns and alcohol/drug abuse by the parents, and drug dealing criminals stepping in to take advantage of the kids left abandoned by their parents. Good families save societies.

  23. I think you’re right. Of course, gun retention would be my biggest concern, and the biggest reason for conceal-carry advocates and simultanous open-carry denigrators to condemn you.

    • I open carry rarely but do see it’s PR advantages. I also worry about gun retention. Many of the people I see open carry have level 0 retention and are in condition white. That is dangerous. Very few people take weapons retention training but they should especially if they are going to open carry. Taking a class or two will do two things for you. First it will get you tired and pretty sore. It is physically demanding. Second it will likely convince you that concealed carry has some big advantages.

  24. Your nuts and I mean that with lots of respect. Open carry would have not prevented a nut like this. Notice that no one knows who did it, meaning that he is a local “kingpin” or did the deed while he knew no one was watching. Even if you can carry you’re not going mano-a-mono with the local drug kingpin especially at a child’s t-ball game. Clearly the town has many other issues that need to be addressed. The league is correct in its actions IMO.

    • What about my nuts? Anyway, it’s about making a general statement to criminals and crazies: this is our community. We are prepared to defend it. Right here, right now.

      • He’s making a joint statement with them, and with a lot of respect. Which is nice, because it’s always good to hear your nuts respect you. Even as they take time to issue statements with strangers.

  25. Glad in PA…we can do both. Would rather CCW than open. My friend likes to open and already had a confrontation with a MDer in a PA walmart and the cashier put the MDer in her place. Walmart does have a smart cashier.

  26. “I also believe open carry would go a long way towards changing the overall cultural gestalt. Public packing would help transform a cowering citizenry, happy to delegate its safety to government law enforcement officials, to a public proud to provide a vital, visible and viable deterrent to terrorists, criminals and madmen. Am I wrong?”

    You’re right. Open-carrying would have all those effects.

    And you’re wrong. In many parts of the country , the people just aren’t ready for it yet. Too many people are still rabidly hoplophobic.

    Someday, but not today.

  27. I live in a “carry” state meaning I can carry open or concealed. After have the police called twice on me while open carrying , I’ve gone to concealed only. It’s no fun having three LEO’s pointing guns at you.

    • In a post above I mentioned that 911 dispatchers need better training about how to respond to a “man with a gun” call. Well your experience demonstrates that the same goes for the law enforcement officers responding to the “man with a gun” call.

      If you were in an argument with someone and there was a lot of aggressive action (rapid hand movements, pushing, grabbing, throwing punches, etc.), the officers responding to the call are probably justified when they point their guns at you. On the other hand, if you are happily strolling down the street with your daughter, throwing a frisbee back and forth with your spouse in a park, or walking behind a grocery cart in a grocery store, those officers had no business pulling their pistols.

      Nevertheless I think your experience illustrates another reasons why open carry is important — to recalibrate the thinking of police officers.

  28. I would open carry if I knew I was not going to be harassed by the cops and idiots calling 911 with MWG calls.

  29. I don’t know what bothers me more. The IGOTD kind of shooting or the fact that, at the time of my post, no arrests have been made.

  30. I truly believe a person who calls 911 on a normal person open-carrying should be charged with harassment.

  31. While I think it IS time for Open Carry, *I* wouldn’t openly carry in my town. I know too many cops who would see my gun, yell gun, and then proceed to turn me into a ballistic pinata. You know, because only bad guys have guns.

    • You just touched on the point of a comment I was going to type.

      Here is the main problem in our society. In many people’s minds, if you have a firearm you are either a police officer or a criminal. There is no third possibility. We have to make the public realize that there is a third possibility: a responsible citizen.

      This will not take care of itself.

      I propose a national open carry weekend three times a year (with at least two of them during summer when people are out in droves in shorts and t-shirts). We can even announce it ahead of time to public news sources and police departments to minimize any public hysteria. And if we were really on the ball, everyone would wear a florescent yellow t-shirt. (You almost never see florescent yellow t-shirts in public.) This sort of event would be as much an exercise of our 1st Amendment rights (wearing the yellow t-shirts and openly carried handguns) as it would be our 2nd Amendment rights. Furthermore, this should make the people who prefer concealed carry happy. Just three days a year, those people carry openly. The rest of the time, they carry concealed.

      Imagine the mainstream news coverage of National Open Carry Weekend.

      Shall I start a website to sell and ship florescent yellow t-shirts?

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