One open carry guy goes postal, killing himself and a cop’s daughter, and the whole movement becomes The Enemy Within. To the point where salon.com declares Gun activists have a new craze — and it’s more dangerous than you think. They must have misplaced their spears (exclamation marks). I wonder if we could condemn the entire anti-gun movement by the example of Karl Pierson, the Arapahoe High School shooter who supported gun control. Or Chris Dorner, the cop killer who also supported gun control. Anyway, to be fair . . .

Matt Valentine doesn’t lead his dietribe [sic] with open carry practitioner Robert Pratt’s murder-suicide. It’s buried in an article boasting more psychobabble than a Dr. Phil-a-thon, all of which is designed to prove that open carry is bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf and bad for the blind. Yes, it makes some men crazy . . .

Habituating people to guns so that they no longer perceive any threat, however, might not be prudent. After all, fear can be a useful survival instinct. “I don’t know to what extent it is beneficial or even possible to reduce fears that are actually very adaptive or normal or useful fears,” [University of Quebec psychology professor Isabelle] Blanchette says. Without a fear of snakes, for example, we might behave more carelessly around them — and get bitten. So it’s better to be completely oblivious to a hidden threat than it is to be aware of a potential threat. Gotcha. Somehow I don’t think Blanchette or Valentine understand the concept of “gun normalization” or “desensitization.”

“The ‘threat superiority effect’ is the tendency for people to be able to pick out very quickly in their environment things that might pose a threat to their security — anything that might be dangerous,” explains Isabelle Blanchette, a professor of psychology at the University of Quebec. “People have a tendency to be able to see these things before they see other things.”

Psychologists have theorized that the threat superiority effect is a product of evolution — we have adapted the ability to immediately identify threats like snakes and spiders so we can avoid them. Blanchette’s research shows that people have a similarly quick reaction to seeing a weapon: We’ll immediately spot a gun among several other distracting objects.

When you see the threat, your body will respond before you even think about it. “The most instantaneous thing that happens is that your pupils will dilate,” Blanchette says. “You can have other physiological reactions that are associated with fear. There are changes in your body, such as in your heart rate and respiration rate.”

Yes, hoplophobia is a terrible thing. I heartily recommend exposure therapy. Something along the lines of . . . open carry. For both the afflicted and those around them.

116 Responses to OMG! Open Carry! OMG!

  1. I’ll just go on record again saying that an open carrying fetish is silly, in my opinion.

    Here’s why.

    Why give any bad guy advance warning and give him an advantage? He will surprise you no matter what, but if you give away to him that you are armed, you have given away a key tactical advantage.

    Concealed carry is a good idea.

      • It can be an everybody else deterrent too.

        “You better learn to communicate real well, because when you’re out there on the street, you’ll have to talk to a lot more people than you’ll have to shoot, or at least that’s the way I think it’s supposed to work.”
        -Clint Smith

      • I’m slightly pro open-carry but I think using “the bad guy will do X” logic for any reason is flawed. These people (from the petty criminal to the raging lunatic) are not logical.

        My favorite example is the old “Just the sound of a 12 gauge pump gun being racked will cause the home invader to flee.” If a man has chosen to enter my home in the middle of the night he is obviously not thinking clearly and I would not expect him to behave in a logical manner.

        • Of course, there are exceptions in any population. However, criminals tend to do risk assessments out of habit just like the rest of us. Remember, locks aren’t to keep honest men honest. Open carry as a deterrent to crime works in much the same way.

    • agreed, but . . . . most people are sheep and never notice a sidearm, even if open carried. When 9/11 happened, I was living near a very liberal college town. I left work early (obviously), called me girlfriend (now wife, sorry Shannon), and went home to get JED (my Jesus Educational Device, aka the .357 S&W) – it was at the time, the only gun I had. I didn’t have an IWB holster, just an OWB. I strapped it on, and went to check on some relatives and even stopped by the Red Cross HQ (the line was out the door). A police officer for said liberal town even gave me directions to where to go, while noticing my sidearm. I stopped to get water, went to the bank to get extra money (since I figured there may be a run on cash out of panic), went to the grocery store to get food (since I figured we may have to bunker in place for a few days if the SHTF was really happening with planes being grounded), and more ammo for JED (he is a hungry bastard).

      NO ONE SAID JACK S**T TO ME OR ABOUT MY SIDEARM! It is stainless steel so it wasn’t like it was hidden. No – it was out there for all to see. The sheep didn’t notice. Perhaps it was because it was 9/11 and people were in a panic you say? I carried that gun often open for months afterwards. No one, not even the po-po in said liberal college town on foot patrol, said jack squat. Just saying – most people won’t notice a handgun, but may freak out at a rifle, if you are just going about your day normally and not making a big deal of it.

      With that said. . . . I agree – why telegraph to the bad guy you are a threat to their plans.

      • “Jesus Educational Device” may be the best description for a .357 I’ve heard. We have a couple of our own (a S&W and a Ruger), and if we ever get open carry in our state, that is what I will have on my hip.

        • Shortages usually are the result of government enforced price restrictions. In the event of a natural disaster or panic if prices are allowed to go up as the demand rises the shortages would cease or be diminished greatly so that in the worst case, those who needed it would most likely have the opportunity to buy but at an extreme cost, which IMHO is better than having no option at all because it is sold out.

      • Which, I htink, is a good point about Acclimation and Open CArry. How much acclimation is happening if they don’t even notice? Most people are clueless idiots, and they vote.

      • Another possibility is that everyone was not an unobservant clueless sheep, but having noticed your gun, and that it was holstered and that you weren’t waving it around or otherwise using it as a weapon, it was irrelevant to them.

        Of course only one of those two options feeds into people’s world views that everyone else but them is stupid.

    • Paul,

      Open carry makes a lot of sense in some situations and not so much sense in others.

      If a two-bit thug is looking for an easy mark, then open carry is great because the thug will go elsewhere. On the other hand, if you happen upon a sociopath or hardened murderer, open carry could be a serious liability.

      Either way, you don’t hear about criminals initiating attacks against police officers very often. Does it happen? Sure. How often does it happen? Maybe a few times a year???

      In the end the choice is up to the individual.

      • And THAT is the real point – the choice (per the Second Amendment) should be up to the individual and it should also be up to the individual to make good choices as to when, where, and which weapon.

        Our job, as good citizens and POTG is to educate others on how to make these choices and to correct them through peer pressure when we think they have made incorrect choices, not pass laws and FORCE them to do things the way we think is correct.

      • And, I suspect that those attacks are primarily because they are officers or are in the process of discharging their duties and not because they are obviously armed. The attacks are probably less likely because they OC.

    • If I ever open carry, it won’t be because of some fetish, but to help with the normalization of guns in daily lives, i.e., as a political statement.

      Two conditions would have to be met: (a) the area would have to be safe enough not to make concealed carry a wiser choice, and (b) one would want to carry in a place and a manner where, on balance, it helps promote gun rights rather than the opposite.

      • When you do please be like those from column A: Well dressed, clean shaven, soft spoken, polite person going about his usual daily business with a sidearm secured to his person . The kind of person that would make Joe Average say: “Hey, that guy has a gun and he looks just like me; or maybe even more so.”

        Please do not be like those from column B: Dressed in tacticool gear, emblazoned with, and maybe yelling, a jumble of pro gun slogans, walking about with no clear purpose other than being seen with a gun.

        • Gallant is polite, calm and dressed like a regular person.

          Goofus is a hyperactive tactical geardo.

        • IMO, the key to normalizing guns, preferably pistols, but YMMV, in public places is, dare I say it, be NORMAL.

          Normal people with scary weapons are a concern, perhaps, to hoplophobes, but not necessarily a dire threat. Over the top aggressive people with inappropriate weapons in public appear threatening to everyone, including me, and especially the cops. Only bullies try to make points by being threatening and eventually bullies get knocked down, hard.

      • I open carry as I go about my business everyday. The only time I conceal is, generally, when I perceive that there is more potential grief from carrying in the open than I’m willing to tolerate at that moment in time. IMHO, the most public good I’ve done by OCing is doing so in higher crime areas. You might be surprised at how oblivious many law abiding ubranites in higher crime areas are to their individual RKBA. I’ve witnessed many of these individuals educated and turned on to their rights merely by the act of one person going about his day carrying in the open. If the open carrier is one who does so all of the time, as opposed to those who do so only for political statements; I’ve found that it can make for a more natural interaction with those individuals who are curious about the practice. The benefits of open carry are many and the drawbacks are few. Open carry and open carry often… everyday and everywhere if you can.

      • I really think that POTG do themselves (us) a disservice to be so polarized on this issue.

        For some the idea of open carry, even where reasonable and entirely legal, seems ridiculous and unrealistic and for all the logical reasons they come up with something they would never do. I should point out that gunfights in the old West were not nearly so frequent as Hollywood would have us believe.

        For others the idea of concealed carry only seems like a denial of our Constitutional rights. This also makes sense, for them, and they are willing to accept whatever additional risks come with displaying their weapon in order to make their point. I have not, however, seen a lot of posts anywhere in which Open Carry advocates attempt to stop CCW and force open carry only.

        Instead of CCW only people lamenting the supposed loss of their tenuous government permission slips to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms if, when and in the manner approved by the state due to the rabble rousing of the Open Carriers, they should instead be joining the fight to make free exercise of that natural right a reality and to protect and preserve our Second Amendment as it was intended and written.

    • Enough with the “my way of exercising my RKBA is good, your way is bad” schtuff. The anti’s already work very hard to divide and conquer us, we don’t need to divide ourselves for them…

      • True enough, but I think if you look around, you can empirically say some methods of expanding rights are better than others. I think open carry (particularly of a long gun) for the sake of open carry (acting like a protest march) is far less effective than calmly going about your every day life, openly carrying your every day carry weapon. The people who know you and respect you will not see a gun, they will see an ordinary and familiar person with a gun.

        That will make them realize something about gun owners: “They’re the people that you meet, when you’re walkin’ down the street; they’re the peo-ple that you meeeeet eeeeeach daaay!”

        • The Duke makes an excellent point. Open carry, if you wish, but consider the proper tool for the job. If you show up at a barn raising with a sledge hammer instead of a framing hammer people will rightly question your judgment and your motives.

          As we say here over and over, the weapon is just a tool. Carry the right tool.

      • There’s no right or wrong way to exercise one’s second amendment rights.

        That being said, in my humble opinion, concealed carry is generally more tactically sound and less likely to cause a run-in with police (who I personally like to avoid at all costs).

    • I don’t concede that an armed attacker will always surprise you. He’s probably not coming in gun drawn himself, if we’re talking a store robbery or active shooter scenario. So he has to draw, too, and if you’re situationally aware, then you’re not far behind him. Most importantly, is that he either doesn’t want go kill anyone, just rob them, or he doesn’t want an early gun fight cutting short his spree. So open carrying could preempt events before they even start.

      That’s tricky to prove, events that don’t take place, so let’s look at the behavior where attackers do face open carriers. Do they go right up and shoot the school resource officer, the campus cops, the bank security guard? Not really. They tend toavoid those hard targets altogether.

      There’s also the circumstance of not being able to carry concealed practically. Suppose you’re in sales and visit customers throughout the day. Arming and disarming with an IWB holster can be a pain in a suit or other tucked in shirt attire. Presentation of the firearm is difficult dressed like that, too; offsetting some of the concealment advantage. There’s the high probability of simply going out unarmed that day rather than deal with the hassle. Yet, open carrying allows an external, easily removed and re-attached holster. Strap up when you can, disarm easily when you must.

      I’m not necessarily advocating open or concealed. I’m just highlighting that circumstances vary and one approach may not be universally superior to another. Moreover, our assumptions about the suitability of one for a given scenario should undergo further review before passing final judgment.

      • And additional anecdotal evidence is the many security videos seen on reality TV shows where petty crooks, no matter how intimidating they appear on entry, inevitably turn and run for their lives the INSTANT they are confronted with an armed victim.

        As I have noted before, the chances are high that these punks are hoping that the presence of their weapon will be all they need to get what they want. They do not intend, and if they think about it at all do not want to shoot anyone since that will REALLY piss off the cops. As soon as an opposing weapon appears they beat feet, usually tripping over each other and anything else between themselves and the exits. These are NOT the kind of people who will intentionally walk into a room with a known armed victim and just start shooting people. They may be crazy, but the are NOT stupid (mostly).

    • Here we go again, another concealed carry proponent who mocks open carry.

      What is wrong with you?

      Open carry folks generally do not mock concealed carry, and many of us in some cases prefer concealed carry (e.g. in a large crowd). But as a general practice, many of us open carry, for multiple reasons.

      Open carry provides an immediate and visible deterrent, while concealed carry does not. Ideally, open carry avoids the confrontation in the first place by putting the bad guy on notice that his would-be victim is armed. Concealed carry tells the criminal nothing – only that you look exactly like every other potential victim. We’ll never know how many attacks were deterred by open carry, because the crimes never happened.

      I can get to my gun faster open carrying than I can concealed carrying.

      Normal open carry behavior — that is, going about your normal business visibly armed, and behaving like a sensible, rational human being — does far more to advance the normalization of firearms in public than concealed carry does. It shows the public (at least those who haven’t closed their minds shut) that there are good, normal folks who carry guns. In the best cases, the police learn the lesson too.

      Open carry is NOT A FETISH, you %@$#. It’s self-defense, the same as concealed carry. I am sick of concealed carriers getting on a %@$# high horse and saying that “my carry is better than your carry.” Both methods are useful methods of carry.

      When I open carry, I am NOT showing off. I am NOT attempting to draw attention to myself. I am NOT being confrontational. I am simply exercising my right of self-defense, SAME AS YOU. Occasionally, I get a chance to educate folks about firearms, and it’s a positive experience for both of us. Most open carriers are like this. You don’t hear much about them because … there’s no reason to. We’re normal people going about their normal daily activities, and simply doing so while visibly armed.

      OPEN CARRIERS ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY. The gun-grabbers are. Remember that.

    • It’s not a fetish.

      Concealed carry is a good idea.

      Where one can exercise the right to keep and bear arms (i.e. without license or any government permission), I would agree that concealed carry is probably a good idea for many people in a lot of situations. However, open carry has positive attributes as well. A mixture of carry methods in everyday society is actually ideal. The open carriers remind government, the public, and criminals that individuals posses that unalienable right and practically any individual may be armed at any given time and place. The concealed carriers remind government, the public, and criminals that nobody can be sure who is armed and who is not at any given time and place. A mixture of both is a win in areas of deterring tyranny, deterring crime, and self defense in general.

      • A mixture of both is a win in areas of deterring tyranny, deterring crime, and self defense in general.

        +1. Well said.

    • Ah yes PTM; “Open carry fetish”,? PTM,PTM,PTM; there are two types of people that carry a weapon for self-defense, those that see OC and CC as two viable ways of expressing our second amendment rights, both with pro’s and con’s, depending on circumstances; and then people like you; what I call Open carry phobic; your phobia/fear is shown by the fact that you demean those you disagree with; in this case those that OC. Your attack shows your fear; it’s why the gun grabbers uses the same tactic in demeaning ALL people of the gun; they attack what they fear.

      What is the fear? I don’t believe it’s just about being attacked by a bad guy; that idea is shown to be minimal to none by how rare a cop is attacked just walking down the street. I believe the greatest fear is the idea of standing out from the crowd; one of the greatest human fears is to be a black sheep, to stand out from the flock; especially if the flock see’s the black sheep as not just a sheep; but as a sheep dog with fangs and the willingness to use them.

      What I’ve come to realize by OC’ing for the last four years is that the natural human state is that of a sheep dog; that we as human beings are at the top of the food chain for a reason; we didn’t get there by being sheep.

      What do I see when I look at the people around me; voluntarily declawed, defanged, neutered, powerless, helpless and defenseless; convinced by the other people around them that to BE a sheep is not only preferable, but honorable, just and good.

      Sorry people; they are living a lie. They are in denial of and running from the truth; that if they do not claim their legacy; their god given rights, to be the top sheep dog in alliance with other sheep dogs to protect against the predators, the human wolves; then the wolves will prey freely upon the sheep.

      Whether the predators are the common criminal in the street or the greatest predators of all; those wolves in government.

  2. “After all, fear can be a useful survival instinct.”

    Change that to reasonable fear and I would agree. We should use the same standard as for the justifiable use of deadly force. Ability (having a gun, knife, crowbar etc) and being in fear based only on that is not reasonable. Without opportunity and jeopardy (manifest intent) fear of a gun is not reasonable.

    • Yup. Fear is absolutely a useful survival instinct. Paranoia is not.

      Seeing someone carrying a gun should signify that “this person is carrying a deadly weapon.” But without context, it doesn’t mean much of anything. What else do you see? Are they getting coffee? Nervously pacing back and forth? Buying office supplies? Visibly agitated/angry? Eating dinner with friends? Playing recklessly with the firearm?

      Some of these are a cause for concern. Others are not. Common sense should prevail.

    • Once again, this is the definitive difference between bigotry and prejudice.

      A bigot will automatically and irrationally hate and/or attack based solely on an identified external characteristic, even when no actual threat is present.

      A person who is (rationally) prejudiced will see that same external characteristic, understand that it MIGHT be a threat, and act accordingly, which is to go to the correct level of situational awareness until the ACTUAL level of threat can be determined.

      A firearm IS a deadly weapon, and in the hands of an unknown person is of course worthy of further judgment, but a total lack of “pre-judgment” would be foolish, as would be an immediate attack.

  3. “We’ll immediately spot a gun among several other distracting objects.”

    Really? Seems to me that most people are oblivious to anything going on around them, including what other people are carrying on their belts.

    • In a controlled experiment with flashcards, perhaps it’s true. But in the real world, nine times out of ten, the only people who immediately spot a gun are gun guys, and then it’s out of curiosity, not fear.

      • I keep imagining a scenario in which an observant but not very wise gun guy walks up to a bad guy about to do bad things and asks what the bad guy is carrying, what caliber, and what holster he uses.

        • Lol. THAT might actually break the circuit and prevent the bad thing from occurring at that time. I’ve had criminals tell me that their plans had been thwarted by someone engaging in idle chit chat with them before the criminal made his move. It has been related to me that when someone breaks the flow of the event it can halt it before it even starts. YMMV and I am not a criminal. 😉

    • Most people do tend to be in Condition White. They usually don’t even notice a sidearm. I OC most of the time but when I do conceal, it’s usually just my jacket or sweater over a big single action revolver in a Tom Threepersons holster or my 1911. Half to three fourths of the decorative Threepersons sticks out below a jacket or is a big lump under a sweater. Heck, even police officers rarely notice. Kids notice most often but a smile and a nod usually gets them smiling and on to other, more interesting things to look at.

    • Only one person ever noticed me OCing my 1911. I’m not a fat guy. It’s got a matte chrome slide… It’s not hard to see and cannot be mistaken for anything else… It kinda stands out on me.

      I once had to draw my Ruger P89 in a crowded mall and point it at a guy trying to snatch my kid. Gun in my hand, advancing on the snatcher, people almost walked right into it! Didn’t see me, yelling, advancing with gun in my hand. I had two thoughts at that moment in time. 1) I’ll never be able to take the shot because these idiots keep walking inches in front of the muzzle. 2) All the idiotic arguments I’ve heard on the Internet are immedately proven bunk! Guns scare people in a holster on your hip? I’ve got a full-size shiny stainless and aluminum gun, in my hand, finger on the trigger, I’m yelling and advancing aggressively, and STILL NOBODY EVEN NOTICED! Fortunately, the bad guy wasn’t thinking about it as much as I was and he chickened out, let go, and all was well. Nobody batted an eye or even realized it happened except for me and my kid. I actually pushed a few people out of the way, and they didn’t even look! Imagine that scene a few times and realize how ridiculous it was, and still, the sheeple were totally oblivious.

      It’s part of why I OC a rifle now. Not to show off or make youtube videos, but becasue nobody notices handguns, so it isn’t doing any good, promotionally, to carry it. I have no damn fetish. In fact, nobody wants to be more invisible than I do! But being a coward doesn’t do any good. So I step up even though I hate any sort of social encounter. I put asside my personal interests to do what is right. I’d prefer to just CC, or even better, never go out amongh the damn dirty apes! But that isn’t making the world a better place, is it?

      Fetish? How fucking dare you. I fight AGAINST my own personal desires and OC because it does the most good. It makes the most sense. It exposes the lies. It promotes the truth. I’m the opposite of an attention whore. But what I want takes a back seat to doing the right thing.

      People notice the big, bad “assault weapon” and I get to dispell two lies at once! I’m not so afraid for my life that it would stop me from promoting the greater good. Even if OC were, on the microcosmic scale, a bad choice; I’d still do it. Because being seen with the gun, going about my normal business, does far more good than not. If we always play defense and hide in the closer, we’ll never take back the ground that the perverted anti-gun liars are taking away. Be seen with your gun, not doing any of the bad things they say, and the lies are met with tangible proof. If nobody notices, you aren’t doing any good. Realize that the YouTube glory hounds are a small sliver of reality. Just like all the bad cops they catch… The good guys aren’t being seen, because they’re not glory hounds or bad cops. It’s the absence of evidence that matters as well as the evidence collected. Most people OC for the right reasons. Just becasue you saw a few assholes on YouTube doesn’t mean we’re all like that. Just like bag Cops being caught int he act doesn’t mean they’re all bad. Good cops are unseen, becasue they aren’t doing anything wrong worth video taping, duh. Good OCers are largely unseen because there’s no reason to make the video. I roll video when I OC because I might meet one of those bad cops and need to protect myself. I’ve nmever published any of my OC videos on YouTube. Mostly becasue NOTHING HAPPENED. Why? Because I didn’t act like an asshole! I’ve had the cops called a few times, but I’m willing to put up with that for my Constitution. If a little social discomfort is too much to give for your Bill of Rights, no wonder we’re losing them… If you can’t even put up that much of a fight, you really think I beleive you when you say it’s time to shoot back?

      If not for OC, I’d probably never speak to another human being face to face ever again. And I’d be damn happy about it. Fetish? Fuck you, it’s a sacrifice. Rubbing your gun against your skin secretly knowing you can whip it out in the worst possible circumstances, instead of avoiding it, is the fetish. Hate speech to protect the ego trip. I OC even thought I’d rather not. Because it’s the right thing to do, and principle is more important than my comfort zone.

      • A little harsh with CCers towards the end perhaps but overall spot on nonetheless. Great post and thank you for open carrying, sir! 🙂

  4. It’s true that I do immediately spot a gun. Then quickly asses if the owner might be about to use it on me, and then get on with my day. Same as you’d do if you saw a club or a raised fist or a person or vehicle approaching you at an unusual speed.

    • The same happens to me. There is a difference between awareness/threat assessment and the fear that results from that process. The good professor is blurring the two. The unreasonable fear of guns comes from the inability to make a reasonable threat assessment.

      • Exactly. We make fun of people for having a fear of heights or boats or whatever else, because even though those things can be dangerous there’s a slim chance of them hurting you at any given time. I’m sure if you crunched the numbers guns are safer than all other common phobias, yet no one seems to be telling the fearful to get over it.

    • Great point Layne. And the key word in your assessment was “unusual”.

      If I see a car driving through my neighborhood at 25 mph, I don’t give it a second thought, unless that car is driving through people’s yards. Alternatively, if a car is driving through my neighborhood at 5 mph and stops occasionally, I watch it like a hawk. What did those two scenarios have in common? The driver was doing something very unusual.

      Granted, to many people, seeing another person with a handgun in a holster on their hip is definitely unusual. Nevertheless, we see police all the time with visible handguns and we do not freak out. So if we see an person with a holstered sidearm, we have to take an extra moment to evaluate them to see if anything else is unusual. It’s not hard at all.

      • Granted, to many people, seeing another person with a handgun in a holster on their hip is definitely unusual.

        That is something which only many people OCing each and everyday can change. Of course, nobody should want discernment to disappear. But, the general notion that another person with a firearm is ‘unusual’ is what needs to be desensitized in society. IMHO, that can only happen through repeated exposure.

  5. I’m curious why the cop has a disparaging attitude towards open carry. As far as I know, no one has ever suggested that cops would be more effective if they were all undercover. The crime deterrent effect of their highly visible presence is well known. To say that an open carrier could never deter a crime is absurd, especially in a general sense more so than an individual. For example if criminals see open carries every time they go into X location, they aren’t likely to want to rob it even without attempting to verify the presence of absence of open carriers at a given moment.

    Of course I know there are valid arguments against it, and I would probably not choose to open carry very often, but I do want the option.

  6. I dont get why it matters. Sure, if you can see it then you know it’s there. But just because you don’t see it doesnt mean it’s not there. For the fear to be consistently applied everyone would have to be stopped and checked for a gun everywhere all the time.

    I think cops just like stopping people and will take any and all excuses to do so. Stop me for wearing a ski mask I might be looking to rob somebody. Stop me for carrying a bat. I might be looking to beat somebody. They wont typically. So why stop be for having a holstered gun on my hip?

  7. At my wife’s call center, she get’s 911 calls all the time about people open carrying. She politely tells them open carry is legal in Georgia and they should go about their business. If they insist on talking to a police officer, she puts it into the system, and no sooner does it go in than the sergaent keys up and says “Close that sh*t out.”

    • Please tell your wife and the Sargent(s), “Thank You!” 🙂 God bless them; that’s what we’re trying to achieve all over Ohio right now.

    • Might want to spread that to Lownde’s County. They love to waste time and look cool. They always show up when I OC there… One time was a 3-man full-on felony stop with false charges that never made it to the Judge. After that, they still showed up, but they knew intimidation wasn’t going to work and just make them look dumb in the end. But they still show up trying to make me feel like a subject instead of a citizen. I haven’t been MWAGed in Lownde’s with the rifle yet. I bet that’ll be educational. No permit needed for Long Gun OC. Sterile OC of the big, bad so-called “assault weapon!” It is kinda funny to see a crowd of democrats heckling about how I am sooo going to jail forever in the background, then the cops walk away and there I am with my gun still. It’s only that much more sobering when just moments earlier they were pointing guns at me, and now they don’t care anymore.

      As with anything social, learn how to play it to your advantage in the eyes of the onlookers… If you end up with an unwanted crowd of dumbasses, walk up to them afterwards, one at a time, and say hi! It’s HI-larious!

      After that happens a few times, they stop trying to harass and intimidate you… If you’re more concerned with your personal comfort zone than fighting for the Constitution; no wonder it’s slipping away…

  8. Wonder if people feel this “fear” when they see a car, since cars kill many more than guns? People sure don’t seem to be avoiding cars, so maybe his ideas are …… stupid?

    • And highlight their phobia since, while some snakes can very definitely kill you with their venom, MOST snakes are harmless. The important thing is not to fear all snakes, but to learn to tell a barn snake from a diamondback.

      Some people with guns can very definitely kill you, but MOST people with guns will not harm you. The important thing is not to fear all guns, but to learn how to tell a good guy with a gun from a criminal.

      And just how often do you actually hear of a bad guy wandering around town with an openly displayed rifle or pistol? BGs prefer CCW.

  9. Open carry as a means of protest and raising public awareness is what most of the oc guys are about as opposed to a means of self defense.

    • “Open carry as a means of protest and raising public awareness is what most of the oc guys are about as opposed to a means of self defense.”

      You state that just as though you had statistics somewhere to back up your allegation. And you phrase it as though protesting violations of the Second Amendment and raising public awareness of our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is a bad thing.

      • +1

        We don’t hear much about “normal” open carriers because there’s nothing to report. What’s the write-up … “guy goes to Wal-Mart to buy HP printer cartridges with a gun on his hip” (that was me yesterday). Whoopee.

    • I don’t have any statistics for you, CoolBreeze72, but I and many that I know open carry as a normal, everyday habit. It’s not much different to us than putting on boots or shoes each day. Heck, I’m not dressed without my gun… I even have a pajama holster that I use. 😉

    • They’re special dontcha know with their little outfits and ten year old out of date cheat sheets telling them coloreds cant use whites only bubblers. Highly trained, roid-injecting self-medicators who hit the range once a year for twenty minutes to hone their sharp skills.

      I think I’ll start playing dress up, drinking heavily and taking steroids. Maybe beat my wife for good measure and stop just about all firearms training. Then the public will trust me to open carry.

    • Really want to tweak an anti? Mention that if guns are only good for killing, and police are meant to SAVE lives…..

  10. I’ve always held the opinion that wearing a holstered pistol was acceptable in public and something a gentleman and free citizen of a republic ought do. On the other hand carrying a long gun around in public was rude and a sure sign someone was perhaps looking for trouble or fixing to fight. But that’s just me.

    • Hmmm…. me too. Did you perchance grow up in or west of the Rocky Mountains? I’d always thought open carry was what good people did. Sneaks and people up to no good concealed their weapons. But then I didn’t know anyone who open carried when I was a kid, but that is sort of the message I grew up with: open carry was respectable; concealed carry was not.

    • Well hopefully, Texas and other non-OC states will end their prohibition of open carry, so that folks can carry handguns. In Texas, long gun OC is ok but handgun OC is not … that needs to be fixed.

      • Especially since in almost every instance the carry of a long gun is a little silly when a pistol would be unremarkable.

  11. Why would the human species have any instinct regarding a man-made object which did not exist until 500 years ago and did not exist in anything resembling its modern form until 100 years ago?

    My caveman ancestors feared spiders and snakes; they did not fear L-shaped pieces of metal.

  12. I love the comments. I never knew so many people other than me were concerned with the health, status, and well being of my dick. I warms my heart and member.

  13. One of my favorite parts of the article:

    “Grisham is quick to point out that most gun owners are not murderers. ‘99.83% never commit a crime,’ he says. (That number can’t be substantiated, since there is no complete record of which Americans, or how many, own guns.)”

    The only claim in the entire piece that actually has hard numbers to back it up…but it can’t be substantiated.

    It’s Reefer Madness part 2: Gun Crazy! (Tell Your Children!).

  14. If I had my full frame .45 tucked inside my waistband sans holster I could see how others might be nervous. That is where I conceal my crimson trace 38 S&W ultralight. If I were inclined to open carry it would be semi professional with a legit holster. Know what I mean? Perception is often reality.

  15. OC is like turds. Fine in the toilet, but anathema at a table at Starbucks. OC led directly to a ban of the open carrying of handguns in California after a flood of MWG! calls from concerned soccer moms. (Shannon clones). And by the way, these openly carried handguns weren’t even loaded–Ronnie Raygun passed a law banning the open carry of loaded firearms in all urban zones in the late 60’s. Where I live it would be no big deal–but basically everything along the coast from Mendocino to Mexico is a “sensitive” place–or a place for “sensitive moms”, whatever.

    • “OC led directly to a ban of the open carrying of handguns in California after a flood of MWG! calls from concerned soccer moms.”

      Mark, I lived in California for a long time. The ban on open carry of firearms in California did NOT come from the hoplophobe calls from soccer moms, it came from the liberal nanny state constituency of that state. The Open Carry movement was a political protest against that mentality and they were outnumbered and overwhelmed at the polls. This battle was lost from the beginning due to demographics and whether they had exercised their legal right to open carry or not it was only a matter of time before the anti-2A factions in the state disarmed them.

      The real question is not did they by their actions CAUSE the law to be enacted, but 1) if they have the right to open carry but cannot EXERCISE that right without fear of the right being legislated away, did they have the right in the first place? and 2) Ronald Reagan or not, that law was a blatant violation of the Second Amendment and honest, law-abiding citizens had every right to protest it.

      Do you think that somehow your life in California would be better if they had not protested? Neither you nor they would be open carrying anyway, so what difference does just another unconstitutional law make?

      • Neither you nor they would be open carrying anyway, so what difference does just another unconstitutional law make?

        That is the very heart of the matter. How much of a right would it be were one not able to freely exercise it?

  16. Sometimes I wonder if there’s hope for this country …

    People are not supposed to automatically assume that a person who is carrying a gun is either good or bad. They’re supposed to use critical thinking and analyze the situation.

    If they see someone with a gun who’s simply doing normal activities, and happens to be armed, then it’s probable that the person is not a bad guy. On the other hand, if they see someone with a gun who is behaving erratically, and/or appears agitated, nervous and/or angry, or wearing a ski mask on a warm day, then there should be much more of a cause for concern.

    Too many folks have been brainwashed to think that “guy with a gun” = “bad guy.” That by itself is a major problem. People who are oblivious to the world around them is another. Anything that is a potential threat should be evaluated … it should never be a knee-jerk OMGAGUNCALLTHECOPS response.

  17. I’m the 2nd Amendment Absolutist type, front to back, dawn to dust- concealed, open, rifle, shotgun, pistol, 2×4, whatever. 2nd Amendment, period, its your right.

    Now, that being said, it’s also your right to spend your entire paycheck on lottery tickets, but that doesn’t mean its always the best option, or the smartest one for the matter.

    Hunting is only time I openly carry, not because the 2nd A has anything to do with hunting, but because I’m actively trying to kill something. When I’m heading to the store or going about my daily business, not so much.

    As far as the deterrent factor of open carry, who are you deterring? The seedy criminal element at your local grocery store or Starbucks? No, you’re deterring the old lady next to you in the bread isle and probably giving her a heart attack while your at it.

    Are you carrying because it’s your right, your life style, and you want to protect yourself, or simply because you want to get a rise out of people and show off?

    Now, as far as open carrying while passing out information to raise awareness, like the dudes in the video, carry on.

    • I should have stopped reading before “Now, that being said,”. Good grief, deterrence isn’t the only reason to open carry everyday. Among others, desensitization is a very valid reason.

  18. “Yes, hoplophobia is a terrible thing. I heartily recommend exposure therapy. Something along the lines of . . . open carry.”

    RF, you should take your own advice. You are one of the biggest hypocrites in the gun community.

  19. I prefer being just another guy walking down the street. No one knows I’ve got a knife, one or two guns.
    Kind of like driving a gray honda or jeep Cherokee around these parts. They don’t get noticed.

  20. I remain a fan of concealed carry as it gives you a tactical edge if you have to be in a DGU, the tradeoff of course is less speed in presenting the weapon.

    As to attacks on Uniformed Officers. The average of officers killed in LOD runs somewhere about 75 to 100 /year.

    A portion of those are killed with their own weapons, probably 25 to 40 percent depending on year.
    These officers did receive training in weapons retention and close combat with that eventuality in mind.

    If you choose to open carry, be sure that you are trained and equipped to retain your weapon. Folks attacking will go for your handle to try to control you, its a natural response. Be prepared.

  21. In states where Open Carry of a handgun is legal, you should encouage women so inclined to open carry, would go a long way to quelling the alleged .”fear” I know if Texas ever legalizes it, I will on occasion open carry

  22. “There are changes in your body, such as in your heart rate and respiration rate.”

    Yep. Happens to me every time I’m in my LGS.

  23. I live in a carry state – meaning I can open or conceal carry. I tend to conceal carry after the police did a felony stop on me ( guns raised & ready to fire ). Turns out that when I stopped to fill up the tank with gas, someone called 911 reporting a man ” brandishing” a gun. Once the officers figured out was going on, they apologized & seemed sincerely sorry. Still that doesn’t erase the fact that I had at least 5 guns pointed at me, I was taken to the ground, & was handcuffed. I’m not mad at the LEO’s as they were doing their job but was/am pissed at whoever called in with the brandishing claim. I never touched my handgun at the gas station, so the caller lied & put my life at risk. Now it’s rare I open carry as I don’t want to relive the events of that night

    • You should be pissed off at those officers. They were doing their jobs improperly and put your life at risk by doing so. They need to be reprimanded and re-trained. You dropped the ball as a citizen by not following through on their mistake. Officers tend to continue doing this to citizens until appropriate correction is undertaken.

  24. I believe in the right to open carry, but prefer to CC. It’s just my preference. Just don’t like the attention.

  25. If someone can show me an article, news clip, video, etc of a crook taking someone’s OC gun (not a cop, just your every day John) and then using it against them or others, I’ll gladly concede that CC is the way to go… I’d rather have the possibility of deterrence rather than the tactical advantage of having to pull or use my firearm. I don’t always OC and I don’t always CC… What I do is normally based on the clothing I’m wearing and where I happen to be traveling.

    What I have seen though are plenty of videos that when a crook had the tables turned on them during the commission of their crime, that they ran… I’m more inclined to believe an OC gun is going to be a deterrent, not a magnet.

    I’d also like to note, that while I do live in AZ and OC is quite common, I’ve never had any negative attention nor have I seen people walking away leaving a trail of excrement as they leave.

  26. The article said this about a study:

    … when people are holding a gun, they’re less capable of evaluating a threat than they would be if they didn’t have a weapon in their own hands. Jessica Witt, a psychologist at Colorado State University, asked volunteers to hold either a plastic gun or a neutral object (such as a ball) as they reacted to pictures flashed on a screen. The photos depicted people holding various objects — sometimes a gun, sometimes a shoe, a soda can or a cellphone. While holding a gun, volunteers were more likely to misidentify the object in the photo as a gun.

    What I’d really like to know about this study is whether or not the participants were “gun people” or not.

    As far as I can tell, people who regularly practice and/or carry firearms are much more comfortable holding firearms and being around firearms. In addition, I think that those who are not well-practiced with firearms can sometimes be a bit intimidated, apprehensive, etc. when they encounter a firearm. I also suspect that at least a decent chunk of the folks who carry firearms tend to have a better sense of situational awareness.

    So what I’d like to know is whether or not the study took into consideration whether the people were already familiar with guns or not, and how much experience they had with them. It could make a significant difference in the outcome of the study.

  27. I have posted this several times on TTAG, but here goes again. There is a time and a place for everything including open carry (OC). Militant OC does not help advance the 2A cause and in fact with turn a apathetic person into a busy anti in a NY minute. The confrontational approach with the public and LEOs does not win hearts and minds.

    For a normal every day citizen, from a tactical standpoint, CC is the way to go every time. Why draw attention and give a free warning? I will take the gray man approach every single time. If I am forced into violent action, if I am doing things right, it will surprise my attacker and it will be over before the person knows what happens.

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