Jeff the Griz writes:
I’ve been a Michigan resident since about two years of age. My parents transplanted me from Texas. I’ve hunted and shot firearms since I was about six years old. As an adult I purchased a few handguns. They sat in night stands and only saw range use – until I met some guys at a private range that shot IDPA . . .
I learned a lot about defensive shooting. They opened my eyes to the positive of carrying a firearm, the most efficient tool for defending my wife and child. In the beginning of this year, I received my CPL in the mail. I’ve carried daily since the arrival of that blue piece of plastic with that horrible portrait. I mostly carry a Smith & Wesson M&P in a Blackhawk retention holster (haven’t shot myself yet).
Responding to the on-going debate in Texas and various areas around the USA I decided to open carry. Michigan is an open carry state. There are few laws prohibiting places where I can carry openly. Even so, it’s a lot easier and safer to open carry in Michigan with a CPL. Mainly, I can travel in a car without locking my pistol in the trunk.
I’ve found it interesting that open carry has been so boring. Mostly people do not notice, I’ve only been asked about my gun by one guy on the street, two gas station clerks and my aunt’s neighbor.
Since I have been carrying I’ve only seen one other person open carry. When I spoke with him he reported the same experience, or lack thereof. No one seems to notice. The ones that do notice either don’t ask for details or they probably assume open carriers of a certain age are police officers.
Michiganders can’t carry a concealed firearm onto school property. I have to leave my firearm in my car.
My daughter is a crossing guard. Usually, I don’t need to go onto school property. On my days off, I meet her a few blocks from school and walk her home. Yesterday was the last day of school; the day she turned in her “safety patrol” jacket and belt. My wife had to go into the office. I was going to meet my daughter on school grounds with the gift she had for a crossing guard who was retiring.
Again no one noticed my gun – except the officer on patrol to control the high flow of traffic during the last day of school. I haven’t interacted with any officers in my five-plus months of open carry. I didn’t know if this encounter was going to become . . . interesting.
I smiled and waved as he motored past for a second look. He returned the gesture, just before I was able to locate my daughter in the sea of children running out of the building.
If people ask why I open carry I tell them I am exercising my rights. I also open carry so I can let people see it is a good thing, and encourage others to inform themselves on the law and their rights. Don’t let YouTube open carriers put you off. Open carry is no big deal, except that it is.