Question of the Day: Does Open Carry Make Us Safer?

“An armed society is a polite society,” Robert Heinlein opined. “Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” Bet you didn’t know about that second part. It applies here. The driver who aimed the gun at the camera thought he could get away with brandishing a firearm because he assumed the brandishee was unarmed. (I assume.) Which highlights the importance of open carry. If the other person doesn’t know you’re armed they don’t have to be polite. If they do, they do. Don’t they?

comments

  1. avatar Roscoe says:

    Brandishing driver = bad actor.

    Rules go out the window for people like him, no pun intended.

    For those who cherish their rights and follow the rules, everything should stay the same – at least in this country. Concealed or not doesn’t matter, circumstances dictate.

  2. avatar Ross says:

    No, in my experience open carry creates conflict.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Whaddaya know. I thought that gungrabbers created conflict. Live and learn.

      1. avatar Ross says:

        Them to Ralph

        1. avatar Samuel Leoon Suggs says:

          Oh come on Ross just make past with more than five words and enlighten us about your exspearence a with open carry. In short please stop creating conflict with you argumentative contextless blurbs

        2. avatar Ross says:

          Samuel,

          See below

    2. avatar Alpo says:

      “open carry creates conflict”
      Please, oh please, cite your evidence.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        California.

        1. avatar Samuel Leoon Suggs says:

          Yes, because we should base out policy purely on the reaction of California the state that bans things based on their ability to scare Diannne Fienstein , glocks scare Bay Area calf adds nobody post any media using the term glock or depicting glocks on their social media we could lose valuable supporters in our fight to save the errr’ reasonable stufff like Cali legal AR’s and hunting rifles.

        2. avatar jkp says:

          @Samuel:

          Actually, in this case, California started going downhill because of open carry’s ability to scare Ronald Reagan and the California GOP. But otherwise, your point is right.

      2. avatar Cliff H says:

        Hey! This is easy! Hoplophobes wet their pants and call the police in a panic about “A MAN WITH A GUN!”

        Police respond MUCH faster than they would if you called from home and said someone was in your house raping your wife.

        Police confront the Open Carrier and immediately treat him like a criminal and begin violating his civil rights.

        THERE”S your conflict.

        Certainly this does not happen in EVERY case, but enough cases to make it problematic. Until it stops happening at all Open Carry laws, like the one here in Washington, might as well not exist.

      3. avatar Ross says:

        Just had to deal with a number of issues at my employer over an “open carry” issue, the person that was “open carrying” has no idea the conflict they created, but we certainly do.

        1. avatar Ty King says:

          Why do you keep putting open carry in quotes? Who are you quoting? As for issues at your workplace… the open carrier did not cause the conflict by doing (what I presume in your area) is a legal activity, the person who tried to infringe upon his natural right to self defense caused the conflict.

      4. avatar Ross says:

        Sure Alpo,

        Exhibit A. Your statement ^

        1. avatar Nimda0815 says:

          Cop-out…

    3. avatar gloomhound says:

      Logic is not your friend.

    4. avatar BDub says:

      Open carry is not causing that conflict – ignorance is (on both sides). Blame the right thing.

      1. avatar Ross says:

        I was not assigning blame, I came to the defence of the person openly displaying the firearm, both on a legal and constitutional base. The hostilities and threats of boycott by another customer against my employer came as a direct response of them seeing another openly displaying a firearm.

  3. avatar great unknown says:

    An alternative is a society so thoroughly armed that the assumption is that everyone is carrying. Which I think would be a wonderful thing.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      One of the supposed goals of concealed carry is to make the bad guys have to guess at just how many people around them MIGHT be armed. As a tactic this seems to work up to a point. Higher numbers of CCW holders generally equals lower number of crimes. There does seem to be a point, however, at which some criminals decide that it is worth the risk; play the odds, so to speak.

      It would probably be ideal if there was a random mix of Open Carry and Concealed Carry in the general population so that criminals could SEE that people with weapons are around. They would still come to understand that even if they timed their actions to minimize obviously armed opposition they still could not predict how many people were CCW. At that point the percentage of people who DO NOT carry becomes irrelevant. Any criminal act undertaken becomes fraught with risk and the act of a desperate person.

      1. avatar Fionn MacCumhail says:

        +1. And by extension, not being able to tell who is armed means you have to be polite to everyone. Granted, this effect might reduced by the fact that your average CCW holder knows how to keep an even temper, but reliance on that is still taking a heck of a gamble.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    If the other person doesn’t know you’re armed they don’t have to be polite.

    I think that’s true, alhough there is a minor downside. If the other person is a cop, he doesn’t ever have to be polite and may want to shoot you eight times, because he’s been trained that nothing else is as important as getting home at the end of the day — even if he has to cap an innocent teenager to do it.

    OC giveth and OC taketh away. On balance, I’m in favor, but the risks to OCers should be taken into consideration.

    Be safe out there.

    1. avatar gloomhound says:

      I bet that female cop from the other day was a lot nicer than to that group of armed men carrying loaded rifles than she would have been to a similar group of unarmed men that were refusing to show their IDs.

      1. avatar RLC2 says:

        Yes Open Carry Makes Us Safer.
        No Open Carry Doesn’t Make Us Safer.

        There- happy?

        This Open Carry discussion is worthwhile, but frankly I think we have beat it to death, and I am getting bored with the logical failures of some proponents who reply with insults to others who try to explain subtleties that should be common sense.

        I get that 2A is our constitutional right.
        I get that some states have Open Carry laws on the books, and technically you should be able to open carry anywhere.

        However, it should go without saying if you act like a d1ck you may still be technically within your rights, but put those rights at risk for everyone, by making it look like all gun owners are d1cks. That is human nature, and its exploited by clever anti-gunners- just like the Austin open carriers got pwn’d on camera by MDA.

        Push it too far in a region or area that is majority “progressive” and you lose your rights.
        Thus, the reference to California.

        Lets use a little common sense here, is what I think most people are saying- open carrying works in more rural areas or places where the local culture is friendly or familiar to it. Duh.

        It doesn’t work in places that are “progressive urban” if you can grok what I am saying. In those places you are just going to freak people out. Duh.

        Yeah, for those too OCD to accept reality- let me say I undersand – it sucks that its that way, but there it is, and the only way to change it is with reason and a certain amount of group support, not by yelling louder online in these gun forums* where we already get it, or worse,

        acting like a d1ck in public and then posting on youtube. That’s just about as dumb as brandishing a firearm to get ahead of the car behind you.

        *If I were a sneaky progressive anti-gunner troll, coming here to b1tch and moan about how other gun owners don’t understand, and then flaming them,
        is EXACTLY what I would do to stimulate a circular firing squad, and distract gun-rights proponents from bigger issues that require a consistent message by all gun owners.

        Its about the mentally disturbed person, rather than the gun.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          You are “bored with the logical failures of some proponents who reply with insults to others,” and then call an open carrier a d1ck.

          Very interesting.

        2. avatar Conway Redding says:

          I found your post on the open carry issue to be one of the more reasonable ones, and disagree with the fellow, below, who claimed you had called open carriers “dicks.” No, you simply pointed out that they were likely to be seen as “dicks,” and thereby likely to generate more heat for pro-gun folks, as happened here in CA not too long ago, where open carry was outlawed. Speaking for myself, I would be hesitant to open carry even wereit legal, since, if it came to a situation in which I felt I needed to present my weapon, I would prefer my assailant not to be forewarned that I was in fact packing.

        3. avatar RLC2 says:

          Admins? Is there more than one Ralph posting here?

          Witty Ralph the lawyer knows common sense.
          I’m not going to debate that with someone else pretending to be him.

        4. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Nope, that’s him. The Gravatar is usually a pretty solid indicator, as that’s automatic, so someone else would have to have his email address to spoof it.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      “If the other person doesn’t know you’re armed they don’t have to be polite.”

      Okay. “If the other person thinks you probably aren’t armed he doesn’t NEED to be polite.”
      “If the other person KNOWS you are armed he will either be very polite OR very careful.”
      “If the other person doesn’t know who else in the room might be armed and willing to come to your defense, he WILL be polite.”

      Think of all the Force on Force scenarios they like to run. Good guy sees what he believes to be Bad Guy and moves to take action. GG Focuses on BG and forgets that scenario requires BG to have one or more friends around the room who “have his back”. This game works both ways if enough Good Guys are armed and the legal system allows them to act without fear of legal and/or financial ruin.

  5. avatar Quentin says:

    No it doesn’t. I think a lot of Open Carry people are buffoons. They are deliberately trying to create controversy, and stir up trouble.

    I agree with the cop in the column the other day. If we ever get severe restrictions on the ownership of guns, it will be because of some incident started by some Open Carry Buffoon.

    You want to OC out in the sticks, or the wilderness, fine. You want to OC down main street, not just no, but hell no.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Uncle Tom.

      1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        Oh hell, Ralph… Beer through the nose

        1. avatar jirdesteva says:

          It’s too early for beer here but coffee burns in nostrils just as bad.

      2. avatar Matt in TX says:

        I have to agree.

    2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      And yet, all of the major restrictions of the last thirty years have had nothing to do with any legal open carry incident. Speculation is fine and fun, but is it too much to ask that it at least have some relation to reality?

    3. avatar Roscoe says:

      @ Quentin
      Circumstances dictate; if it is an open carry jurisdiction and it is customary for people to do so, there is no reason for a gun owner to refrain from carrying openly should he choose to do so.

      That said, doing it JUST to prove a point and provoke controversy is poor judgment and calls into question the open carriers motivation.

      Do we need some chip on the shoulder yahoo using firearm displays to foist his rights onto everyone in the vicinity at the risk of confrontation just to prove he can? I don’t think that kind of activity is prudent and would question the judgment of anyone doing so – to the point of wondering if they have the mental wherewithal to safely carry in the first place.

    4. avatar Jared says:

      What about places like Michigan or Nevada where you can open carry in places that it is illegal to conceal carry?

      I don’t know if that makes them “buffoons” but then again I have LEOSA as another option to carry, so I can carry concealed where the average person can not.

      I remember when CCW was super controversial, now it’s not a big deal since OC is now controversial…. Sounds like those “buffoons” did you a favor.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        Yep. “Why aren’t you carrying the normal way?” Has a nice ring to it.

        Thanks, OC’ers.

    5. avatar Cliff H says:

      “No it doesn’t. I think a lot of Open Carry people are buffoons. They are deliberately trying to create controversy, and stir up trouble.”

      The question is this; does the Second Amendment, or in lieu of that, local law, allow the right to open carry? If either of those two applies then each citizen has the right to carry a weapon in public, rural or urban, and so long as no other law is being violated should be left in peace.

      Are some of the people who are intentionally testing the law at this time buffoons? Absolutely, but I am NOT a buffoon. I would like to be able to decide for myself on a day to day basis whether I wanted to conceal or open carry, but even though Washington state law says unequivocally that I have that right I CANNOT do so without risking continual encounters with law enforcement of extremely unpredictable outcomes. Since I have better things to do with my time this means that for all reasonable people this law does not in fact exist and if it has any value at all it is only that if I CCW I do not have to live in fear of accidentally revealing my piece.

      So yes, there are “buffoons” out there who are willing to risk the trouble they might get in by getting in the face of the authorities who are trying to enact a de-facto ban on Open Carry. Some of them are over the top and quite possibly just looking for their 15 minutes of YouTube fame. I suspect the majority are only taking the point to make a point: A right unexercised is a right denied.

      If NO ONE, buffoon or otherwise, challenges illegal harassment by authorities to perfectly legal and unthreatening open carry, there is no such thing as open carry. Authorities will have won the argument as to whether or not the Second Amendment can be infringed by OUR default, by being thugs and bullies and using the power of intimidation to get results they cannot get through legislation.

      If law enforcement in your area decided that red cars were responsible for the majority of traffic violations and accidents, or that the majority of DUI stops were people driving red cars, and began a policy of stopping at every opportunity and aggressively interrogating or investigating anyone in a red car don’t you think that while this may APPEAR at least nominally legal it would severely inhibit the sale of red cars? THAT is exactly the tactic they are using in regards to Open Carry. If they can see your gun then in their minds you ARE a criminal and they will treat you as such at every opportunity. The purpose is intentional – to get people to stop doing something that is otherwise entirely legal just because they do not like people doing it.

      California’s over-reaction to Open Carry had everything to do with California’s willingness to enact unconstitutional gun laws. This situation gave them the opportunity to enact yet another and failure of anybody to challenge that law is the failure of the citizens of California, not the rest of the country. We CANNOT allow all of our Second Amendment rights to go the way of California just because we are afraid something we do will result in a California style reaction. If we do then we might as well sign the petitions to repeal the Second Amendment when they appear at the doorways to our favorite Supermarket.

  6. avatar Hkfan says:

    When open carry leads to eventual legislation on other facets of gun carry and ownership, no, we will not be safer. But keep demonstrating, video blogging, and encouraging conflict, because what could possibly go wrong.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Uncle Tom.

      1. avatar Jim Jones says:

        Ralph, I think you’ve successfully used a very pejorative term and turned it into a modern day equivalent. I think I’m going to borrow your concept and keep denouncing Uncle Tom Toofers for what they are from now on.

    2. When you worry about politics and regulation you get more politics and regulation. Start concentrating on freedom, liberty, and doing what is right and you will get more of the same.

      1. avatar Hkfan says:

        I intend to follow up with you after legislation is enacted as a result of OC.

        Open carry is an example of a minority of a minority dictating the agenda and disregarding all the unintended consequences. But “carry” on. It’s your right afterall, but don’t bitch when it doesn’t go as planned.

        1. avatar Roscoe says:

          Exactly what happened with OC being legislated away in CA.

        2. avatar Hkfan says:

          In addition to other gun restrictions packaged in with OC ban.

        3. avatar Cliff H says:

          “I intend to follow up with you after legislation is enacted as a result of OC.”

          I hope you will follow up when even more unconstitutional legislation is enacted to try to suppress our Second Amendment rights.

          Persons who Open Carry today are NOT violating any laws. They are being unconstitutionally harassed in an attempt to gain compliance with law enforcement’s desires, not legal requirements. The OC people are trying to make that point for everyone’s benefit, even you, who are willing to “Trade away an essential liberty for a little bit of safety…”

          Well, you are NOT ALLOWED to trade away my essential liberty. If Open Carry results in even more unconstitutional law them we must fight that law, not the Open Carriers. It is the law that is illegal, not what the OC’s do.

        4. avatar Hkfan says:

          You do realize SCOTUS has never found open carry to be a constitutional right, right?

          Your rights are not being violated by a type, place, purpose restriction.

        5. avatar Ralph says:

          Exactly what happened with OC being legislated away in CA.

          Yes, because CA NEVER EVER NEVER would have outlawed OC otherwise.

    3. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Swap out what you wrote for something more like keep marching, keep singing, keep sitting at the lunch counter and in the front of the bus, as was done with persistence in another era’s civil rights struggle. Then ask yourself, what could possibly go right?

      Today’s firearms owners take their freedom for granted because they haven’t done any of the heavy lifting. Tomorrow’s firearms owners will likewise take for granted to yet-to-come freedoms brought about by today’s civil rights malcontent open carriers. I’m not demanding that everyone be a civil rights firebrand, but is it too much to ask that you just enjoy the freedom brought about by the bravery and testicular fortitude of others, without ridiculing them as cover for your own complacence?

      1. avatar Hkfan says:

        Lol at equating a small minority of gun owners video blogging their “interactions” with cops over their right to carry anywhere and anyhow to the civil rights movement. Lol. Stay classy TTAG.

        1. avatar Chip says:

          What part of the comparison do you feel is wrong?

        2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

          Amused and moved to snark, but……..no refutation? Stay relevant. Thanks for stopping by.

        3. avatar Adub says:

          Hk. Because you suck and we hate you.

        4. avatar Cliff H says:

          I am old enough to recall that Rosa Parks was “a small minority of a small minority”, as was each and every brave soul who gathered their courage and sat down at a “Whites Only” lunch counter. What they were doing was not illegal either. What the authorities were doing in attempting to intimidate (more violently than OC encounters) them into “being good n*****s” was an illegal violation of their civil rights, as is the action of many law enforcement agencies in regards to perfectly legal Open Carry.

          If we are the minority and are the ones standing up to fight for our rights, and you oppose us because you fear the loss of some personal privilege, then I stand with the minority and you can just go on being a good “house n****r”. I want nothing to do with you. I believe the initial response of “Uncle Tom” was spot on in your case.

        5. avatar Hkfan says:

          Have fun explaining this equivalency to the broader public, as they look at you with disbelief and subsequently push to support greater restrictions on my ability to CCW, buy ammo and guns over the internet, and otherwise use my guns responsibly.

          Afterall, fighting those that wish to deny your existence as a human being is pretty much the same thing as your right to carry an AR on the NYC subway. It’s certainly a compelling argument. I wish you luck.

        6. avatar Anonymous says:

          Because you suck and we hate you, fan (hkfan), /just giving you a hard time.

          Uncle Tom: The phrase “Uncle Tom” has also become an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people; or any person perceived to be a participant in the oppression of their own group.

          Basically you are “whining” that gun people open carrying (and participating in their natural rights endowed upon them by their creator and as listed in the bill of rights) are spoiling it for everyone else (like you) and we should listen to the “man” and the “ruling class” and do what they say. That is where this phrase comes into play: …or any person perceived to be a participant in the oppression of their own group.

          Uncle Tom… This is you.

          You are not a supporter of the second amendment, not a supporter of civil rights, and not one seeking liberty/freedom. You are not like most of us, but I believe that someday you will see and understand the truth and when you do, I would be proud to call you one of us.

        7. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Cliff H says:
          “… sat down at a “Whites Only” lunch counter. What they were doing was not illegal either.”

          No, you’ve got it exactly wrong. The lunch counter proprietors didn’t care, as long as their customers’ money was green. The segregation was enforced by what came to be known as “Jim Crow Laws.”

    4. avatar SAS 2008 says:

      Demonstrating and open carry are not synonymous. It all about what people are used to. Where I live open carry in wal-mart or the grocery store is fine. Accepting that open carry is not acceptable leads us one step closer to accepting complete disarmament. I can’t accept that. Can you?

    5. avatar William Burke says:

      Your theory: the best way to maintain freedoms is to never take advantage of them. Because the government would NEVER look at the matter and say, “you don’t need these freedoms; you never use them anyway.”

  7. I say who cares? We are supposed to be free people. Leave everyone alone. They can carry what they want when they want how they want. Go home and find an actual problem to fix. Nothing gets me heated more than ‘gun guys’ that haven’t learned what liberty is and still want to pass rules for the masses. Live And let live, leave me and my gun alone, OC or not.

  8. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

    Sounds like a few people are falling into the “it makes me uncomfortable so it shouldn’t be allowed” camp.

    I support OC anywhere and everywhere. Just like any other right, some people will act like assholes regardless of the 2nd Amendment. The same can be said of the 1st Amendment, but we don’t reserve certain words to be uttered only in the “sticks”.

    It’s our job to call them out on it… not “for the cause” or “to protect the 2nd Amendment”, but simply because they are ignorant tools acting stupid in public.

  9. avatar Michael nieto says:

    Its called the right to keep and bear arms what arms I keep and how I bear them should me my choice alone if I want to cc a shield or open carry an uzi no govt should make that decision for me

    1. avatar Hkfan says:

      Because our jurisprudence has always interpreted the constitution in a literal manner.

      1. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

        It should be..

        Don’t like it? Change it… there’s even a nifty little section in it describing exactly how to do so.

        1. avatar Hkfan says:

          “We find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” However, Scalia continued, “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

          That’s your king of originalism right there.

        2. avatar ropingdown says:

          Hkfan: Do you think the Heller language is inappropriate from an Originalist standpoint? It is a great step forward to have the ‘individual right’ clarified, and, in a later case, to find it applicable to the states via the XIVth, no? What is being waged now is a scrum over what self-defense requires, constitutionally. State-by-state the issue will arise, “open carry? Concealed carry? Both?” ‘Both’ will be non-existent in most coastal states. My preference is for concealed as of right. OC’ers are, at worst, providing the anti’s with something to take away, like honey to make the medicine of Heller easier to swallow. Since OC’ers OC only where it is legal, they do not harm the legislative debate.

          Perhaps the value of OC in the debate is equal to the number of open carriers divided by the number of criminal OC’er incidents, per year: OC+ = OC’ers / OC Crim events, provided OC+ > 100,000

        3. avatar Cliff H says:

          The fact that 5 out of 9 MEN penned a mealy-mouthed opinion that “…shall not be infringed.” actually means “…shall not be infringed very much.” does not change a natural law. Men, even Supreme Court justices, can be biased and will try to find an answer that suits their bias rather than the actual intent of the amendment. If you don’t believe that, read the dissenting opinion and the legal contortions they went through to justify their position.

          More to the point, read Dred Scott. A blatantly unconstitutional decision reached 7-2 in favor of denying Negroes their constitutional rights. Not only widely regarded as THE most egregious error the Supreme Court has ever made, but a perfect example of why something cannot be accepted as final just because SCOTUS has made a ruling.

    2. avatar KCK says:

      I guess you can use or carry any thing you want for a canoe paddle. Sure, use a tennis racket to get down the river. And a canoe paddle to play tennis. What seems to be lacking in commentors writing is, the declaration of what activity in which the’re engaged. To me, if you are carrying for protection, an AR is a tennis racket on the river.
      On the other hand, if you are making a public political statement, the AR is just big placard that reads “I am PROBABLY carrying this AR so that you know I have the right to do so”

  10. avatar dwb says:

    Open carry of what? Open carry rifles, shotguns, or handguns? Too many people associate open carry with a few attention seeking douchebags. No, those douchebags do not make us safer. But OC of a weapon for actual protection, not attention, certainly does make one safer. Of course: You must be 21 or older, void where prohibited.

    1. avatar Rob.G says:

      Agreed. I’ve OC’d daily for years and have yet to have a single negative experience. But I only carry a handgun for self-defense just like the police do, not my AK, AR or shotgun. And because I dress and act friendly like most everyone else, few even notice it.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        You dress friendly?

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          A grey chiffon evening gown and champagne-colored pumps are friendly.

          Camo? Not so much.

    2. avatar Chip says:

      “…You must be 21 or older,”

      About that……

      Voting. Military service. Age of Consent. And a whole bunch of other stuff….. why is it OK for these things at 18 but not these things?

      1. avatar dwb says:

        its not. that part was sarcasm.

    3. avatar Cliff H says:

      I agree that OC of a pistol makes much more sense, IF that is what you are trying to accomplish. But if your entire point is to bring about public awareness of the issue and OC of a pistol does not get much of a response then OC of a rifle is what you must do. Except for the narcissist grandstanders these people are trying to make a point and that is that law enforcement will (tend to) over-react and violate your civil rights while you are engaged in a perfectly legal activity. The rifle is necessary to this demonstration and the law does not say “open carry of pistols”, it says Open Carry.

  11. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    You know, the guy that honked at me and made gesticulating hand gestures because I wasn’t tailgating the car in front of me the way he was tailgating me probably didn’t know I was armed. I wonder if his behaviour would have been different if he had known I was armed. Hmmmm….

    1. avatar WayneMHK says:

      I wondered how I was going to react to these kind of situations once I got my license to carry. Turns out, it just makes me smile.

  12. avatar Alex Peters says:

    Ironically, people in Russia don’t have many rights. Plus, their judicial system is a joke, which is why people ride around in $200 cars with $300 dashboard cameras.

  13. Cue Leonard Embody in 3…2…1…

    I think simply being armed makes us safer as a whole. On a rights level, OC vs. CC is a debate because the public at large has been conditioned to freak out over OC individuals who are not LE (and, to a lesser extant, CC in bastions of anti-2A sentiment).

    I won’t even try to comment on the “tactical” advantage vs. disadvantage debate.

    1. avatar A-Rod says:

      Yup, I am awaiting for him to voice his opinion too.

  14. avatar DanRRZ says:

    My problem with OC is the tactical disadvantage. Just like that cop who sees you as a threat and wants to get home at night, the bank robber who spots you before you spot him also wants to get home at night with his spoils and may choose to eliminate the person with the power to prevent that. The element of surprise is completely spoiled.

    There are times where I would like to display a pretty “bbq” gun in a nicely crafted leather holster, mainly when amongst like minded friends and family however OC is illegal here.

    1. avatar Rob.G says:

      I understand what you’re saying, but I’ve yet to meet a tactical criminal. In all my years, I’ve found criminals to be opportunists in search of soft, easy targets.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        I agree. Hollywood would give the impression that all crooks are trigger happy amoral bastards who want to go in with full-auto guns blazing to intimidate. I suspect that stealth is the more likely real-world fact. They want to intimidate with the gun and get in and out without otherwise being noticed. The presence of a cop at the intended target doesn’t result in shooting the cop and robbing the place anyway, it results in them backing quickly out the door and going somewhere else. They are not looking for a fight. They do not want a fight. They want a few bucks to go buy their next fix, not the entire local 5-0 tracking them for murder. The chances of your average petty crook walking in and capping anybody with an OC gun rather than high-tailing out of Dodge are pretty slim.

      2. avatar Anon in CT says:

        You mean like sticking a knife into your back and relieving you of your nice, shiny OC pistol? That’s opportunistic.

        Without going into the legality issue, I think that in many situaltions OC is unwise (NOT the same as saying it should be illegal). If you’re in a crowded urban setting, do your really want your primary focus to be on weapon retention, all the time? How about being swarmed by young thugs who will dogpile you to get your gun? What’s the liability (criminal and/or civil) of the OCer who loses his weapon?

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          Situational awareness.

          If you are open carry you should NEVER be in condition white.

          If you are expecting to be in a hazardous environment any reasonable person would take precautions. For me I would either 1) not go alone-take a wingman, or 2) conceal my weapon. Or maybe 3) DON’T GO THERE.

          The point is that Open Carry is a right and it should be the individual’s choice as to how he carries the weapon and under what conditions. There is no fool-proof solution to weapon retention and anyone who is willing to walk up and stab you in the back to get your gun is just as willing to do the same thing for your wallet.

        2. avatar Anon in CT says:

          The thing is, most folks don’t carry much cash these days. A wallet’s really not worth that much, but a guaranteed chance at a firearm . . .

          Look, I am not saying that the law should make your choice for you, but working and operating in a crowded urban setting, I could not imagine being comfortable OCing. I would LOVE it if the laws were changed so that I could get a CC permit in NYC, though.

    2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Why wouldn’t said robber’s reaction be to go rob a place where nobody is armed? Failing finding that, not robbing at all?

      Fact is most bank robbery injuries are the robbers themselves, and usually elsewhere during the get-away/police chase. Moreover, the majority of bank robbers aren’t even armed with a firearm.

      So they’re already not automatically shooting the armed bank guards. Why automatically start shooting armed customers? Sorry, your point failed.

    3. avatar btvanna says:

      What are you supposed to do when a self defense situation arises and your cc’ing, pull out your piece and yell “Surprise MotherF%#@*!

      1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

        Well, that’s up to you to devise your own rules of engagement. In a bank, on the rare occasions I’m in one, my plan is to casually take cover, observe closely, wait it out and give descriptions to the cops. Especially if there are multiple armed robbers. Obviously a 1 on 2+ shootout is ill-advised, but especially so because those parameters suggest professional bank robbers. They’ll be in and out and control through shock and fear, but rarely injure anyone. Bottom line, leave bank robbers to the FBI, as you’re very likely in no real danger.

  15. avatar Vhyrus says:

    I believe that is referred to as a ‘New York turn signal’.

  16. avatar disthunder says:

    A pistol in a hip holster? Absolutely. It worked for decades on the frontier.
    A rifle on a three point sling? I’m not so sure.

    1. avatar Alpo says:

      The rifle thing…
      It’s probably not the best EDC under normal circumstances. But not because it makes people get all shivery.
      It’s just that (for me) the transition from ‘walking down the street’ to ‘armed and ready’ would be longer and more complicated than with a pistol (well, revolver in my case).

      But at the end of the day, carrying, what one carries and how it’s carried should depend on needs, not how others feel about it.

      I mean, I wouldn’t stop wearing a seat belt or motorcycle helmet just because it made some stupid segment of society unconfortable.

      YMMV.

  17. avatar Model 31 says:

    I clicked the wrong video…nobody was OC’n. If the driver playing the crappy music had stepped out with an AK, I suspect we would not have seen brandish man doing that again.

  18. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    Anybody who has leadership experience will (or at least should) tell you that fear will only get you so far. I think the same goes here. Fear of retaliation will only get you as far as you are still thinking rationally. Obviously this guy wasn’t thinking rationally. Better solution, take a cue from the through-hikers on the appalachian trail. You are much more inclined to be polite and friendly when the people you meet are likely to be the ones who help you out if you get yourself in trouble. Of course, that won’t help when you’re stuck in traffic . . .

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Paul Harvey in his off time loved to go hiking and fishing and camping in the wilderness. He reported that one day he asked his guide on a Grand Canyon horse-back trip why he was carrying a Colt .45. The guide replied, “Because we are a long way from any police protection and you never know out here when you may find yourself at the mercy of a person with no mercy.”

  19. avatar Mark N. says:

    What’s the point? Under the GFSZ Act, is essentially impossible to open carry in any urban area. Take a map of you favorite big city, then overlay it with the GFSZ exclusionary zones. if your experience is anything at all like the cities I’ve looked at in California (San Francisco and Fresno for two), it is impossible to walk down the street or to cross town without committing a felony. I live in a small town, and it is no different here–schools are everywhere. With the recognition that the Act was designed to keep guns ad gangbangers out of the schools, permitting gangbangers to openly carry as of right will have them lining up across the street with their gats and their drugs. Somehow I can’t see that as going over too well.

    1. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

      It would give their potential targets the benefit of knowing who to avoid… See “Tactical Disadvantages” above…

      Banning OC doesn’t mean the gangbangers won’t be there with the gats tucked under their hoodies…

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Two very excellent points. A third, if I may, OC gang bangers tell police exactly who they should be watching.

  20. avatar 505markf says:

    I support open carry just because a right not exercised is likely a right to be restricted. I do have an issue, though, with Heinlein’s quote. An armed society is a polite society if and only if you can legally kill someone who is rude to you. I’m thinking we don’t want to go there. There really is a time and place to turn the other cheek.

    While it is true, from my experience, that CCW types are not likely to cause a problem (thus are more polite) than many people, it is because they are aware any conflict can escalate into very dangerous territory. But then, this is probably true of many other people as well. It is not the gun, but the choice to avoid confrontation that is the driver there. Frankly, I’ve known just as many gun owners who were complete jerks as I have non gun owners who were jerks.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      A polite society is one in which politeness has social rewards and rudeness has social penalties.

      When persistently rude/offensive people cannot be excluded from or punished by public institutions and voluntary associations, rudeness grows. Newark. Chicago. Q.E.D.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Newark. Chicago. MSNBC. QED.

  21. avatar Stinkeye says:

    Wouldn’t the same “polite society” result from a large enough number of citizens carrying concealed? I don’t know what the threshold is, but it seems that once a certain percentage are carrying, you start to assume that anyone might be, and conduct yourself accordingly (if you’re a criminal or other douchebag – I assume that well-mannered people will conduct themselves the same regardless of any threat of death or lack thereof). If only open carry created such a “politeness” effect, then crime wouldn’t be going down in places where concealed carry is on the rise, would it?

    I like open carry. I wish my state didn’t criminalize it. But it’s not the only way to achieve Heinlein’s polite society.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      In at least one of Heinlein’s polite societies, “Beyond this Horizon” Open Carry was the requirement and dueling in the name of honor was respected, even expected. This was the impetus for public politeness. Being rude WOULD get you challenged and being challenged could get you killed.

      The other rule was that if you were NOT armed you had to wear a brassard indicating your unarmed status and you were thereby expected to be respected and not challenged. It was the duty of any armed citizen to come to your aid if you were attacked or any armed person was rude to you.

      A quote from this story: “The police of a state should never be stronger or better armed than the citizenry, An armed citizenry, willing to fight, is the foundation of civil freedom…”

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        By the way, in this story if you wore the “Brassard of Peace” showing that you were not armed you were expected to be extra special polite to everyone. Being unarmed did not give you carte blanche to be rude and expect no repercussions.

  22. avatar Alpo says:

    If I wasn’t a subject of the CDRofNJ*, I would always OC.

    Not just because it’s my right and not just because it helps normalize carry (though both those things too), but because, in my estimation, it’s the best way to go.

    -OCing, in and of itself, is a strong deterent.

    -If the need to draw/fire arises, drawing off my hip is much faster than clearing a cover garment and drawing from whatever less than ideal position I’m CCing in (apendix, 4 o’clock, small of back, etc).

    -Drawing from an OC holster is also safer than ^.

    -If i’m the first one out of a fight, my wife (or others in harms way) can more easily get to my gun and fight on.

    -OCing makes carrying a full size gun easier and more practical. (All things being equal, who wolud choose to carry an LCP or Airweight, when he/she could have a standard capacity 45/40/9 or full size wheel gun?).

    -Less chance (although already small) of forgetting/losing your gun and not even noticing. http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/Police-Man-Mistakes-Gun-for-Lighter-Accidentally-Shoots-Hand-231815021.html?akmobile=o&nms=y

    -Long guns.

    *The Civil Disarmament Republic of New Jersey

  23. avatar KCK says:

    Just to be clear when we discuss OC, can the writer say which they are talking about,
    Long gun or pistol.
    To me, there is a huge difference in the carriers motivation.
    Long guns OC’ers seem to want to throw a big rock into the pond, while so few people even notice a side arm, there is barely a ripple.

    1. avatar Alpo says:

      Allow myself to quote…. myself:

      “At the end of the day, carrying, what one carries and how it’s carried should depend on needs, not how others feel about it.

      I mean, I wouldn’t stop wearing a seat belt or motorcycle helmet just because it made some stupid segment of society unconfortable.”

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      At this point in the confrontation with agencies that want to illegally restrict our right to Open Carry the whole point of the long gun is not because it is in anyway a practical EDC weapon, but because it is more likely to make a splash. If you want to be discreet and un-noticed, CCW. If you open carry it is because you either do not care or you want people to know that you are armed. If they do not notice it is not effective. The point is to have them notice and if you are not doing anything wrong to not care. The point, IMO, of OC long guns is to FORCE them to notice and to see that while you are not a threat and doing nothing wrong the authorities feel free to violate you civil rights and treat you like a criminal.

      Without the long gun in evidence I think most OC confrontations with law enforcement would be thoroughly ignored by the majority of people and no political advantage would be gained. Open Carry of any weapon in heavily policed urban conclaves will never be the norm until it is so common that law enforcement cannot possibly respond to every non-criminal “man with a gun” call. At this point they will either give up (we can hope) or they will target one or two individuals and bring the full weight of their repression down on them in the hopes that this will intimidate all the others to stop.

  24. avatar Giao Nguyen says:

    What do we make of cops open carrying?

    1. avatar Alpo says:

      Unlike citizen open carry it’s not at all scary, threatening or dangerous. Because the outfits.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Then the answer is obvious. We should design and market a “Regular Guy” uniform, with epaulets and ribbons and shiny buttons. Then people will see the uniform and ignore the gun. We could have a whole line of them, modeled after, but not copies of, “official” costumes. “Regular Motorcycle Guy” with super-tight spandex pants and dominatrix boots. “Regular Outdoors Guy” in green with a Smokey The Bear hat. “Regular Tactical Guy” in that ridiculous grey-and-blue camo pattern with straps and pockets everywhere. “Regular Important Guy” comes with a chest full of medals, ribbons, and fourteen stars on the collar.

        What could go wrong?

        1. avatar Giao Nguyen says:

          Like concealed carry badges? But different? Mall security without the mall nor the security?

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          “Regular Guy Uniform — what could go wrong?”

          I’m not regular.

      2. avatar Cliff H says:

        I think you miss the point of the “outfits”, Alpo. The point of the pistol, the uniform and the badge is exactly to look dangerous and intimidating. Why do you think detectives wear plain clothes and conceal their weapon and badge unless they are needed? They are looking for information and they do NOT want to appear dangerous unless or until it suits their purpose.

        Cops with guns scare me? You’re damn tootin’ they do.

  25. avatar TStanton says:

    I see the tactical disadvantage part – but I think some OC is necessary.

    The reason – and I’ve preached this to RF in the past – is that any successful civil rights movement in the past has two levels of protest: the polite and the impolite.

    In general – the impolite leaders shake up society – they say brash and outlandish things. Most people look at their example and say – “wow”. Even folks within the movement might say, “That’s beyond what I’m willing to say.” However – their dramatic message pushes the boundary and allows for the polite leader to say, “look – we’re not really like that. See, we’re normal just like you.”

    If OC has any usage in the short term – it does so by creating the “other.” People can look at OC and shake their head and show non-gunners how nice and normal “we” CCW guys are. If we don’t have OC – then ALL gun owners are the “other.” What does that mean? Well – it might mean that what appears to be the “other” today – could be just accepted tomorrow.

  26. avatar E. JAFFE says:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/18/the-scare-campaign-of-open-carry-activists.html

    The anti-gun gang is running a much more politically astute, sophisticated and culturally aware campaign.

    Unless you live someplace where OC has always been no-big-deal — you are playing into the hands of anti-gun propagandists who wish to portray OC activists as “loony”, “white trash” etc.

    The argument that OC HELPS the gun civil rights movement is *nonsense*.

    Just look at the response — also: people who are “undecided” about gun legislation are absorbing this negative imagery.

    1. avatar Hkfan says:

      When we have less gun rights as a result, we will know who to thank. A fraction of a percentage of gun owners may very well be responsible for turning the broader public against guns.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        This is getting tiresome. If they intimidate us into not exercising our rights by threats of passing unconstitutional laws to inhibit those rights then they have already won by default. The Second Amendment says clearly and concisely, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Any law or public policy saying or intending to infringe the RKBA is pima facie unconstitutional and a violation of the Second and Fourteenth amendments.

        I’m sorry if that bothers you, HK, but that is what we are fighting for here, not acceptance by people who do not want us to have the right at all. Under your vision it is NOT a right, it is a license granted by the state to do only that which they are willing to allow, so long as they are willing to allow it. The Second Amendment is not about government permission or even social approval.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          +1000

  27. avatar Colby says:

    I maintain that the merits of open carry are highly dependent on the circumstances of every distinctively individual situation, and that I (similarly to the vast majority of other Americans) am better situated to judge when and where to appropriately implement it than is any governmental entity.

  28. avatar Paladin says:

    This situation seems fairly easy to resolve.

    “This is 911, what is the nature of your emergency”

    “I was just threatened by a man with a gun, he’s a young Caucasian male driving a black SUV license plate number XXX-YYY. He pulled a gun on me after he cut me off merging onto the highway.”

    I’m guessing Mr. Intimidation was not blessed with an over-abundance of good sense. Open carry really isn’t at issue in this incident.

    As for open vs. concealed carry, I would say that it’s up to the individual. If carry permits up here in Canuckistan were not illusory/favours for the politically connected, I would prefer to carry concealed to keep my options open regarding how I handle a situation, and reserve open carry for wildlife defense/SHTF, but that’s just me.

  29. avatar Albaniaaa says:

    OC just proves you live in a gun friendly society if it is accepted.

    As for if it makes one safer? Depends on the “potential” criminal.

    A would be mugger sees a guys 1911 on his side, he could either ignore him for fear of being shot (muggers often choose easy targets) or he could use stealth to try and steal the firearm. Gun owners aren’t owls, we can’t see all around us.

    OC is probably more dangerous in Urban areas, where thugs can organize an attack to steal a firearm. However in a more open atmosphere OC is probably fine.

    Depends is my answer.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      This assumes tat you are the ONLY Open Carrier in the neighborhood and that you are in a neighborhood where the criminal element is willing to risk a physical confrontation to steal your gun. Stupid places/stupid people/stupid things. The point is to normalize open carry while not preventing CCW. The point is to protect oneself and each other from criminal depredation. Also, it is much easier to find and use a retention holster if you Open Carry. Snatch and grab of your weapon should be problematical for the bad guy and give you the time to respond to the threat.

      Constitutional Carry resolves these problems by normalizing OC, CCW, and long guns and criminalizing anyone who would attempt to violate that right. I strongly believe there is a shortage of criminals in most average neighborhoods who have the balls to ply their trade amongst an unknown number of armed citizens.

  30. avatar Clem says:

    I used to think ‘and armed society is a polite society.’ Then I watched Tales of the Gun — Dueling Pistols, on utube (the whole series is fantastic). Turns out, guys used to kill each other over the dumbest stuff; like a ‘perceived insult’. Sure, they were kind enough to challenge the duel instead of breaking into a house and shooting someone in bed, but still. The code of conduct followed for duels does little to distract you from the bloodlust.

    1. avatar Colby says:

      Respectfully, I don’t believe that taking a televised semi-factual (at best) account of an exceedingly rare and isolated (statistically speaking) event is the most credible evidence upon which to base your conclusion, whatever your conclusion may be.

      As happens all too often, I recently had to watch a surveillance video of two gang-bangers beating a non-gang-banger nearly to death simply because he accidentally stepped on the toe of one of their shoes while he walked out of a convenience store. From my experience, more bad guys are killing more innocents over dumber stuff, in more brutal ways, than at any time in our history.

      In my short career as a prosecutor, I have been involved in more cases involving someone killing, or nearly killing, someone else over some stupid or pretended offense than in the aggregate of all the “old west” tales I have ever heard. In no way has our society been made safer by the absence of arms I guarantee you. Instead, such brutal and senseless violence has simply become so common that we just ignore it rather than preserving each occurrence in our cultural memory like folks used to do.

      The reason we hear of all the “old west” duals or shootouts is precisely because they were so rare and morally reprehensible that they shocked the public conscious at the time to the degree that they took great historical note of them. So we can’t just jump to a conclusion that those things happened more often just because a record of their occurrence appears more often in our folklore than do occurrences of similar offenses today.

      We have to keep in mind, time, place, context, and culture when trying to interpret why and how those past events found their way into our folklore.

      1. avatar Clem says:

        There were more than once a day in New Orleans in the early 19th century.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Like “blood in the streets!” in the old west I strongly suspect the actual number of duels fought with either swords or pistols is greatly exaggerated in fiction for its dramatic affect. It is true that certain psychopaths who were excellent swordsman or pistol shots might initiate a confrontation just because they liked to kill people and were confident of their ability to win, but this was the exception, not the rule.

      More importantly we are not really discussing bringing back the social construct of dueling, only the open carrying of a weapon for self defense against criminals. Dueling is another subject entirely.

      And in response to the comment just above, do you think those gang-bangers would have acted the way they did if the man had been open carrying and had apologized for his accidental step? Seems more likely they were standing at that door hoping for an incident that would allow them to pummel some poor schmuck just for the fun of it.

      1. avatar Colby says:

        In response to you question, those bangers actions make it clear that the acted in the manner they did because they thought the victim was an easy mark and they had no fear of overwhelming response from him.

      2. avatar Clem says:

        Andrew Jackson was in more than one duel. He took one in the ribcage and killed the guy. Seriously, watch it.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          Watch it? Is it on YouTube? 🙂

      3. avatar Clem says:

        You’re right, to an extent. 1 in 7 drew blood and 1 in 14 was fatal

  31. avatar Hannibal says:

    Guns are magical, or they aren’t. I consider them a tool, and a tool isn’t going to make society more polite. Safer? Eh. Makes ME feel safer when I’m carrying one, but I wouldn’t extend that to society. No more than me carrying a knife does…

  32. avatar Don1974 says:

    If someone wants to open carry then good for them. It’s their right. Are they detrimental to “our cause”? Definitely not any more than the douche baggery on the comment section of articles appearing on this web site.

  33. avatar CdAshley says:

    Plain and simple, Yes. Especially those with long guns. They do not help the cause and they won’t get my support

  34. avatar Justin R says:

    I open carry an FNH FNX-45 (big gun…) every day that I do not have to work (CC only on those days). Having done so for only 10 months or so this far, I have yet to have 1 negative/conflict-creating comment or confrontation. The “worst” comment was from a small woman cracking a joke about me “so cool” because I had a gun.

    A place of business was robbed at gun-point about 300 yards from mine on a night I was working. At that exact moment, 3 gentlemen were in my establishment with firearms, 2 open carrying. I guarantee, had my location been that armed thug’s first choice, he quickly would have chosen another target, and no one at my place of work would have had a weapon pointed at them as happened across the street that night.

    For the record… handgun in a holster is how I carry. People notice with regularity, but it is discreet enough that it doesn’t unsettle like a long gun might.

  35. avatar Karina says:

    Ross is an idiot.
    Open carry does not cause conflict. It is people who do not understand open carry, are frightened of the sight of firearms (hoplophobes), and generally people that are rude/lacking respect (the guy on the video) who cause conflict.

    An armed society is a polite society… if everyone in said society has equal opportunities to be armed. Equal opportunities imply equal rights and equal understanding. Thinking that OC equates to “create conflict” is only an acknowledgment of the anti-gun sentiment that open carry isn’t normal. Not only it is, it’s a Constitutionally-protected right, as we are all aware already.

    As for my personal stance on OC? I don’t do OC. Still not a reason not to support the practice. All it takes is avoiding being a dick. We gun owners ought to be responsible, not a bunch of dick-waggling idiots going “But muh rights” and waiting for confrontation with the law enforcement. First rule of responsible people: Don’t be a dick. Be intelligent about it.

  36. avatar Carry.45 says:

    I’ve never carried openly with the intent to influence other people’s actions. Maybe as a way to show that this friendly young man appreciates his second amendment rights. But I feel there’s a difference between the two.

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