If you read Brandon’s earlier post detailing five reasons he’ll never open carry a gun you’ll know it provoked more than the usual number of comments. And if you follow frequently discussed gun topics regularly, you probably know that the advisability of open carry is #3 on the controversy hit parade right behind .45 ACP vs. 9mm and 1911 vs. GLOCK. Reader Aerindal disagreed with some of Brandon’s points and has written his own five-point defense of open carry . . .
The first rule of not being a victim is not looking like a victim. This is one of basic laws of nature and one that most of us learn in grade school. The best way to avoid a fight is to look like you can win one.
Except for the very rare mass murder
the goal of virtually every criminal is to make a profit, not to get in a gunfight. They want to take the least risk for the highest amount of gain. Plan A is never to get into a gun fight. They don’t mug cops and they don’t hold up the local gun store during business hours. They look for places where they feel that they have the upper hand.
Obviously there are always the odd exceptions, but clearly, the vast majority of the time a criminal will avoid a deadly confrontation if they can. We all know that predators target gun-free zones. When everyone conceals, every zone is gun-free until proven otherwise. With open carry everywhere you go becomes a known “We have guns!” area.
It may have escaped some people’s notice, but gun owners are in a fight for survival these days with increasing pressure and hatred mounting against us in the media and the political world. Now some people think that the best way to cope with this is to lay low and try and fly under the radar, hoping that when the authoritarians and fascists start looking for someone to kick, that they’ll pass us by. I Just don’t see that happening.
If you look at other civil rights movements, it becomes pretty obvious that those groups only had their rights restored to them after they went public. It isn’t until people stop hiding who they are and come out of the closet that any progress can be made.
You would be amazed how many people in a gun-friendly open carry state like Montana are not aware that open carry is legal, and not just in the technical sense, but as something that you can actually do on a day-to-day basis without being arrested. Every time I go into town OCing it’s a chance to help educate someone who may be pro-carry, but not educated about it the way most of us are.
There is nothing you can do to change the minds of the dedicated gun haters, but there are a lot of gun-curious people out there who don’t carry, but in general support gun ownership if only in a vague kind of way.
3. It’s a great way to meet new friends
Yeah, I know, it sounds weird, but ever since I started open carrying people are a lot nicer to me in public. Not that I was getting kicked around or anything before, but generally I wasn’t the kind of person that anyone would try and strike up a conversation with in the checkout line. But since I started OCing people seem a lot more willing to talk to me, and it’s about the gun only about half the time. I admit I can’t really explain this one, but I feel more a part of my community than I ever did before.
It’s possible to conceal just about every firearm if you really want to – yes even an AR – but most people don’t want to go through the effort to conceal a large gun and so the concealed carriers of the nation generally are packing small, lightweight guns. The only problem is that, as we all know, bigger, heavier guns are easier to shoot and they hold more rounds.
It’s that simple. Larger guns are better weapons than smaller guns. Sure, you can compensate for some of this with training, but that same training would make you that much better with a full-sized pistol. All guns make compromises but compact and sub-compact guns make the most.
5. It’s the foundation of what the 2A means
There is a reason that in the large majority of states, concealed carriers require government permission to carry and open carriers do not. Traditionally, a concealed weapon meant assassins, criminals and cowards. When gun control started (outside of the southern states where it was primarily based on racism) it was theoretically meant to control criminal activity, and as we all should know, criminals conceal their weapons. They hide who and what they are and then they use the element of surprise to attack.
Now I’m not saying that people with conceal carry permits are criminals. We all know thats not true. But I am saying that traditionally ethical people operate in the open which is why free and open carry was much harder to ban than conceal carry. Prohibiting open carry was considered a step too far, even in states that had no qualms about eliminating conceal carry.
As the Heller decision determined, a ban on carry outside the home is a de facto ban on guns and thus unconstitutional. Without open carry, a licensed conceal carry-only situation is tantamount to gun registration. It means that you have no constitutional right to carry, but may only do so with the government’s permission.
In short open carry is the last vestige we have left of “Shall not be infringed.” Use it or lose it.