Question of the Day: Are Open Carriers Really Doing Us All a Favor?

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Yesterday’s quote of the day came from our friend and sometime contributor Chris Hernandez. He’s someone who’s not a fan of open carry in general and, more specifically, calls carrying a long gun around “unnecessary, provocative, self-defeating, confrontational, and just stupid.” To say that most of the readership here disagreed with him is like saying Penelope Cruz is attractive — it drastically understates the magnitude of the situation. At our Facebook page, Michael S. Bennett sees things a little differently . . .

While averring that he’s no fan of open carry either, he sees those willing to let it all hang out — ballistically speaking — as desensitizing the muggles. Working toward the normalization of guns in society in general. Much the same way that flamboyant Gay Pride Parade marchers of years past took the first baby steps toward the eventual legalization of gay marriage.

Are open carriers the new avant-garde? Shock troops for firearm acceptance? Will we all thank them some day?

comments

  1. avatar LC Judas says:

    We will, provided they don’t get legislated into prison because of protesting gun muggles.

  2. avatar On the can all day everyday says:

    Honestly, I think our side makes a way bigger deal out of this shit than anyone else. Carry how you want to carry, and carry on.

    1. avatar jandrews says:

      Exactly this. I carry both open and concealed in a variety of ways depending on weather, comfort, company, etc.

      Some enclaves of POTG have paranoias about extremely unlikely events (gun grab! They’ll target you first!) that directly contradict the logic they often use in defense of their rights (some bad people will get guns no matter what, accept the risk).

      One cannot argue for acceptance of risk below a certain threshold on one hand and then use it as justification for avoidance of something else. That’s called hypocrisy and small thinking.

      1. avatar alex says:

        This to the exponential power of your choice.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          What Alex said!

  3. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Open carry of rifles and open carry of handguns are two separate things and should be debated as such. Hernandez tried to keep it completely on rifles but he let it slip that he thinks all open carry is stupid. It’s one thing to have a problem with ARs carried low ready but when you go after simple handguns in holsters you’re getting deep into fudd territory.

    1. avatar Jaffas says:

      Really???!!!?? All open carry is stupid? Come on…Do what you prefer but don’t relegate the rest of us to small hand guns good for only up close and personal use. I know I know…some of you can hit a bullseye consistently at 50′ with a snub nose or equivalent but the average shooter can’t and some of us like the feel and accessibility of a larger framed gun.
      ALL OPEN AND CONCEALED CARRY HAS TO BE DONE WITH DISCRETION PERIOD.
      I agree that carrying a long gun open carry is questionable as all long guns are made for distances much greater than anyone is going to be able to justify shooting in public.
      Most of those that open carry long guns are trying to make a statement but also most including myself will respond differently to a long gun than a pistol.
      What statement is being made is open for debate but to me it is not good putting it mildly.
      Carry open, concealed but please be smart and leave the macho…male or female way out of it.

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        I am not sure if you have a reading comprehension problem or if I do but I wasn’t saying all open carry is stupid, that is what the writer of yesterday’s article claimed. I personally always open carry a pistol wherever I can and have for about a year now.

    2. avatar dsreno says:

      I’ve seen a lot of posts by people that have forgotten, or never knew, why many of these people were carrying rifles in the first place. A lot of the people carrying rifles are protesting their local carry laws. It is usually unlawful to open carry a pistol in their state, but not a rifle. It may not be a super-effective method of protest, but I’m really glad that they’re trying to get some freedom restored to the people in their state.

      I haven’t seen anyone open carry a rifle in Reno. Probably because it is already legal to open carry pistols. There’s no need to protest…

    3. avatar ThomasR. says:

      The point you made Vhyrus is significant: “It’s one thing to have a problem with ARs carried low ready but when you go after simple handguns in holsters you’re getting deep into fudd territory.”

      When I began OC of a pistol eight years ago, the kind of current attacks made on the OC of rifles was the norm for my OC of a pistol. There was very little support from the gun community in the OC of a pistol. Now, eight years later, I hear very little of those same type of personal attacks, in comparison, for the OC of a pistol. And when some one does,they are called a fudd. The dial of what is acceptable, at least in the minds of the gun community has risen. Because people were willing to face the scorn and derision of their peers, to do the right thing.

      The OC of firearms, the traditional right and practice of our American heritage, is being reborn. The casual carrying of a rifle used to be more the norm. I remember USSC Scalia telling a story of carrying a .22lr rilfle on the New York Subway “I used to travel on the subway from Queens to Manhattan with a rifle,” he said. “Could you imagine doing that today in New York City?”

      So we have a long way to go. So yes, the next step of reclaiming our rights is to now re-normalize the carrying of a long arm in public. “The journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first step”

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        I have no problem with rifle carry per se, but if you are carrying a rifle around a populated commercial area on a single point sling with both hands on the weapon, a mag in and the bolt closed, expect me to be watching you very closely with my hand on my pistol ready to draw, because that is exactly the same thing you are doing.

        1. avatar ThomasR says:

          I agree. It would be the same as carrying a pistol in your hand versus in the holster. That would be more of an active threat.

          I think the way to carry a rifle in public is slung over your shoulder or across your back. The “holstered” version of a rifle.

        2. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

          Not to mention they look like a dumbass. I am sorry but the Chipotle duo set back people’s perceptions of guns owners to no end.

        3. avatar SteveInCO says:

          @Joseph,

          Which is ironic and tragic, because they were invited into that restaurant and asked to pose for that picture.

          In other words the (people now commonly called the) Chipotle Ninjas weren’t actually Chipotle Ninjas (as the term is used, to denote dumbfuck scary looking yahoos).

    4. avatar Cliff H says:

      I also open carry my EDC when/where I feel it is appropriate. Other times I conceal. I believe that unless you are making an overt, blatant political statement and looking for confrontations carrying long guns in urban areas is not appropriate, even if it is legal. I cut some slack to the guys in Texas who (most of the time) were carrying long guns only to make the point that they could not carry pistols.

      As for myself, a dedicated POTG and unconstitutionally licensed carrier, I have never seen anyone in Las Vegas/Henderson open carrying a long gun, but I’m pretty sure my situational awareness level would jump to orange at a minimum until I was certain what exactly their intent was.

  4. avatar Big Boy says:

    Unless the temperature is above 90* and the humidity the same, OC is dangerous and stupid.

    1. avatar On the can all day everyday says:

      So it’s smart and safe so long as it’s hot?

      1. avatar BDub says:

        Yes, that’s right – Once his physical discomfort exceeds his emotional discomfort, it all good to go on open carry. LOL.

    2. avatar Vhyrus says:

      I’m sure you’ve taken it upon yourself to inform every law enforcement officer you meet that he is being dangerous and stupid with his sidearm.

      Oh, you don’t? Well aren’t you just a big hypocrite.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Well, to be fair, he only needs to tell them that on days when the weather is cool or cold. Above 90 degrees, apparently, the supposed “dangers” of open carry simply vanish.

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          Well it’s just obvious that with temps and humidity both above 90 no bad guy is going to grab your gun and try to run away with it. Wouldn’t get two blocks before heat stroke got him.

        2. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Sometimes during the summer I swear it’s hot enough in my car to melt lead. I guess my openly carried firearm isn’t an issue then since the lead just kind of flows down the barrel and I end up with nothing but a chambered primed-but-empty case. The mag is a bit of a mess though.

  5. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Yes. Yes they are. No open carry in Illinois. Open carry a mile away from me in Indiana. NO problems(except some wet panties). Sorry but COPS are the main problem.

    1. avatar On the can all day everyday says:

      In illinios maybe…

      1. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

        You need to get off the toilet slick…they like a monopoly of force over us peasants…

        1. avatar On the can all day everyday says:

          You might be a peasant. But I’m not. I’m a free man, and will continue to be so. Partly because I am armed, and carry, always.

        2. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

          Carrying a gun doesn’t make you free. You pay taxes? Tolls? Do you own your own private island? And I’m not particularly anti-cop-just anti-bad cop…

        3. avatar On the can all day everyday says:

          How am I not free?

        4. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “How am I not free?”

          Well, you seem to be stuck on the can all day.

          Everyday.

          Like I said yesterday, see a doctor, dude.

          There’s whole ‘nother world out there, than on the sh!tter all day… 🙂

        5. avatar MIO says:

          Cops and other Law Enforcement are anti bad cop and bad law enforcement. They are doing something about it. Your not a peasant and you are free to leave.

        6. avatar Indiana Tom says:

          Cops and other Law Enforcement are anti bad cop and bad law enforcement. Maybe and maybe not. Depends.

        7. avatar alex says:

          To where would he be free to leave without petitioning a visa for specific purpose brother? In fact he is in no way free to leave without sanction from said destination. Are you free in the United States to distill tasty liquors for personal consumption, or is there in fact legislation making it a felony to simply own a still that is not registered with the government. In several states It is illegal to catch rain water in fact. Just two examples of your freedom. And perhaps you should take pooout the deed to your home and take note that you are listed as a tenant of the land and continue to rent it from the government under the guise of property tax. That doesn’t sound very free to me personally. America it could be worse isn’t a motto I would choose to hold. If you compare yourself to third world nations then of course you’re living fat. But be honest enough intellectually to acknowledge that the ideals professed are not those that prevail.

        8. avatar MIO says:

          You all got it figured out everything but the actually doing something about it except complaining. Get busy fixing it

        9. avatar alex says:

          The naivety is awe inspiring. There is no fixing it. Just enjoy the show. The decline is nearing the valley bottom

        10. avatar Accur81 says:

          Let’s not start a circular firing squad. I live in CA and know I’m not free, but I’m certainly a long ways from being a compliant little drone. I also know the ruling class in DC is sipping cocktails at parties and golfing while spending billions in taxpayer dollars.

  6. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Open Carry Texas, among other factors, helped achieve open carry in Texas last year. How so? Numerous peaceful demonstrations and youtube videos.

    By contrast, what did it take to achieve concealed carry in Texas in the 1990s? Public recoil in horror over a truck crashed into a Killeen, Tx Luby’s restaurant, 23 innocents murdered, 27 innocents wounded, and every disarmed diner cowering under a table waiting to die in a “gun free zone.”

    I’ll take progress by way of somewhat annoying “Chipotle ninjas” any day over massacres like that.

    1. avatar T-Bob says:

      I live on the Northern outskirts of San Antonio. To my surprise, I have yet to see a single person open carry(ing).

      While I’m not super gung-ho on personally carrying openly, I was very much in support of the law passing because I saw it as a victory for POTG.

      Also, I hate the hassle and bulk of ITW holsters. It really only works well for people with a lean build. While I’m not a giant lard-ass, I could certainly stand to shed a few pounds, and anyone who is thick around the middle has a much harder time discreetly carrying ITW if you tuck your shirt in. I like the idea of being able to wear a high riding belt holster with a jacket over it to conceal the goods.

      I guess the point of my post is that while I don’t want to advertise the fact that I am armed, I don’t want to have to worry about accidentally revealing that I am armed. Having options is always a good thing.

      1. avatar Dale from Kansas says:

        You may want to try a different IWB holster. Your self description sounds similar to myself. I’m 25 pounds overweight, thick around the middle, but I carry a full size Glock IWB all day, every day, (shirt tucked in) and I find it very comfortable using a leather/kydex hybrid. In fact, I think my extra weight helps to hide it, not that I’m not trying to lose it.

        1. avatar Joe. Tast says:

          Hey dale. Im in kansas too, southeast corner.around pittsburg

  7. avatar Noishkel says:

    Well I can see that comparison and I could agree with it. LGBT rights and gun rights. But I also can’t help but comment about how much that will make some people uncomfortable. :p

    But as a purely analytical concept I can definitely see that connection. And in many ways that little bit of ‘extremism’ is probably a good thing as it gives us all a bit of ‘scale’ when we’re talking about an issue like this. Which is as much cultural as it is constitutional.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      In the 90s I had a third floor office overlooking Market Street in San Francisco. One fine afternoon I was subjected to the spectacle of the (then) “Gay Pride Parade”. It started with 40 Dykes on Bikes in the vanguard, topless. It continued forever with every possible display of sexual perversion, including naked men in leather harness leashed to their handlers who were whipping them. Floats came by with drag queens tossing condoms to the bystanders.

      Twenty years later and anywhere in America there is legal gay marriage and you will be sued to oblivion if you discriminate against homosexuals in your business.

      That same year in San Francisco I watched the Veterans Day parade on Market street. The city did not even bother to stop traffic and the parade was obliged to stop and wait every time a traffic light turned red. High school ROTC drill teams (where they came from I do not know) were required to perform their drills with broomsticks rather than their usual rifles. Protesters with anti-military signs lined the route.

      Open carry when and where appropriate. Hiding in a closet will NEVER get the people or the government to stop infringing on our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

      1. avatar Joe. Tast says:

        Yeh, weird aint it. Kinda shows us where we are headed. I love my country, but jeez, sometimes its hard

    2. avatar Rokurota says:

      There is a plain and significant difference between gay rights and gun rights: the media and entertainment industries. Was it gay pride parades that brought on Obergefell? Or was it gay pride plus dozens of positive gay portrayals on TV, in books, in movies, and so on? That was what moved the public. Since the opinion makers are squarely opposed to us lawful gun owners, I think the analogy is only half-valid.

  8. avatar Kyle says:

    It depends on the open carrier IMO and where they are doing it. If you’re acting rude, mean, and like an idiot in a state like California while doing it, the reaction is going to be far more negative than say someone acting professionally and polite in Texas or Kentucky. Hence it got outlawed in California.

  9. avatar VF 77 says:

    Honestly, in my travels… I think it all depends on WHERE you are. Try doing that in the shi-shi suburbs where I live and people might freak out a little and generate a backlash (ie – ewww guns R scarY, ban em all wahhh), but drive 30 minutes west of here and you might as well be in TX, and it’s totally cool, no one even bats an eye. I’m not sure how freaking out the Hoplos (and possibly even people on the fence) by carrying your AR down the street is really going to help the cause. Maybe we need to start with hunting rifles around here first and break people in slowly 🙂 People are generally panicky/reactive creatures. Boil the frog slowly. Don’t just throw it in the pot. But who knows, I’m not exactly a sociologist nor claim to always be right.

  10. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I think they are, in the long run. To a point, anyway. Some of it goes too far. The difference is that the flamboyant gay pride folks made the straights feel threatened in their way of life, but the really extremist, in-your-face, low-ready open carriers make people feel threatened in an “I’m gonna die” way. That’s a much more visceral reaction, and while the gay pride stuff caused some backlash, an existential threat is ultimately an ambiguous one. People thinking that their very health and safety is at risk is a specific threat, is a much larger hurdle to overcome, and it’s not helped by those who are belligerent in their activism.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Are open carriers the new avant-garde? Shock troops for firearm acceptance? Will we all thank them some day?

    Yes, yes and yes. They are doing all the heavy lifting. We are reaping the benefits of what they’ve done while the quislings among us are rending their garments and gnashing their teeth.

  12. avatar Don Nelson says:

    I’m in South Dakota, a state where open carry has always been legal and in some parts, pretty common. Intentional provocation isn’t necessary, as there’s no one to provoke. We have our share of mall cowboys (as well as ninjas), but they, by their nature, just get laughed at.

    On the other hand, here we also have the highest proportion of concealed carriers in the nation and a big population of military veterans, hunters and ranchers who do know their way around guns and are always packing. Sorting the silly from the serious is easy.

    Anyone hauling around a AR or AK while grocery shoping is more likely to draw scorn, giggles and derision than to cause societal change. I suspect that’s how it is everywhere.

  13. avatar CLarson says:

    Open carry deters crime. That is why we conspicuously arm police. It is a visible deterrent. I have yet to hear an argument against open carry that doesn’t boil down to guns are scary if we can’t see them they arn’t there. It is like SJWs with thier stupid “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings”

  14. avatar AZ concealer says:

    The primary purpose of OC is not to actually OC…it is to prevent being charged with OC if someone sees your gun (FL, I understand). Here in AZ, OC is and has been legal for some time. I never see it, nor should I…the (lack of) ‘tactical’ value of OC is obvious and has been well discussed. The point is that if the wind blows my cover garment and someone does see my gun…I’m ok legally. I noticed that a frequent complaint of Tx cops was that they’ll lose the ability to go stop/charge someone if OC became legal…yes! Exactly! That’s the law’s true value. Not so the Chipotle Ninjas can scare the ‘muggles’.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Accidental exposure while carrying concealed hasn’t been an issue in Florida for a few years now, since the following language was added to the open carry section of the statute:

      It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense.

      The case which may cause changes in the status of open carry in Florida has to do with someone who was arrested for carrying openly, and part of his defense is this section of the law.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “the (lack of) ‘tactical’ value of OC is obvious and has been well discussed. “

      Wrong. The presence of the debate itself is proof that such is not “obvious” and the “well discussed” simply means that a bunch of opinionated a-holes have stated their opinions as ‘settled fact.’ Geezer science is not science.

      There is no definitive tactical disadvantage to OC that is not offset by clear advantages. There are pros and cons for both. There is no transcendental “better.”

      OC vs CC is a personal choice and nothing more than that.

      It continues to amaze me how pompous and self-righteous anti-OC-ers.

    3. avatar JB Karns says:

      What Arizona do you live in, because I have been a resident here for well over 30 years?

      The purpose of open carry is not at all what you claim it is. It is exactly what it says it is. I have lived in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler and in two rural Counties, in addition to travelling extensively throughout Arizona. I currently reside in the high country outside a small city.

      In each of those places, I have seen open carriers with great frequency, calmly and peacefully going about their business while primarily carrying openly-visable holstered handguns. It is not a problem and it does not engender panic or a rash of ‘bad-guys’ swooping onto an open carrier and stealing his firearm, as is often trolled out there as a reason open carry is a bad idea.

      Pfft…

      As with anyplace, Arizona police are increasingly predatory, controlling, demanding and largely unaccountable for misfeasance and/or malfeasance, so one always has the unacceptable potential of being confronted by an aggressive indoctrinated ignoramus of an ‘LEO’ who believes himself to be ‘Law Enforcement Officer’ and a ‘warrior’ rather than being a Peace Officer and who either fails to grasp what lawful authority has been granted him, or who deliberately ignores that known lawful authority and does pretty much what he wants, usually without sanction of any kind…from his ‘brother police’ or, if a complaint is actually made, by the administrative process in the ‘police system’.

  15. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Where I live, openly hauling a rifle around, though legal, will get you arrested for “menacing”, or “creating a public disturbance”. SWATTING is still not a thing here, but it is surely coming.
    BTW, open carry of pistols can get you the same results but few open carry so we don’t have that many incidents.

  16. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Every display of open carry in CA hand gun or rifle has been met with legislative violence. Within 180-360 days whatever a citizen did was outlawed. Concealed carry in CA through one provision in the state constitution is only allowed under discretion of local police chiefs and elected Sheriffs. Three counties promote CCW the rest is a struggle.

    Instead of fighting the LT Governor and his anti gun legislation. We need pro gun legislation if for no other purpose is to get Dems on record.

  17. avatar Henry Lightcap says:

    I think it’s probably a good idea to have a very few people doing this for the reasons cited in OP. Helps push the Overton window and normalize the idea of an armed populace. I will say, however, that if you’re gonna open carry in a context where it’s a political statement and not just what every normal person does, you are representing all gun owners and had better conduct yourself accordingly. Dress like you’re going to court, talk like a boy scout meeting his girlfriend’s parents, etc.

  18. avatar Wolf says:

    I’ve never seen so much bitching over more freedom. If you don’t like it, don’t do it, but it seems many would prefer this law to not have passed at all so people could be safer rather than deciding for themselves. Sound familiar?

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Well said.

      OC articles bring out the Fudd-esque “my way or the highway” freedom-for-me-but-not-for-thee types. Every single time.

  19. avatar MIO says:

    I only open carry when I hunt or work in certain fields.
    3 elements are Surprise, Speed and Action of Violence. Why remove one?

    1. avatar George Pace says:

      Your draw speed is faster from concealed than open? Not likely.

      1. avatar MIO says:

        Fast enough
        Carry open if you want. I didn’t knock it. The speed difference isn’t enough to override removing the other element for me.
        Your mileage may vary. I don’t know you.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      The argument goes, and I concur, that by open carrying you will in many if not most cases deter the criminal act before it occurs, removing the need for speed and violence of action and a whole lot of expensive legal proceedings to follow.

    3. avatar Aerindel says:

      How does surprise work in self defense? Last I heard shooting someone by surprise was murder.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        The surprise comes in when the apparently-easy prey turns out to be able to defend himself. Since he or she IS being preyed upon, it’s legit (except where prohibited by motherf*ckingly stupid law).

  20. avatar William says:

    The wearing of a holstered side arm befits a Gentleman (or Lady) if they so desire. It shows the world that they are not to be trifled with. It speaks to the fact that they are willing to defend their person and honor. The carry of a long arm in public without the gravest need while legal is rude and gives the appearance of someone that is hunting trouble.

  21. avatar William says:

    The wearing of a holstered sidearm befits a Gentleman (or Lady) if they so desire. It shows the world that they are not to be trifled with. It speaks to the fact that they are willing to defend their person and honor. The carry of a long arm in public without the gravest need while legal is rude and gives the appearance of someone that is hunting trouble.

    1. avatar ThomasR. says:

      “I used to travel on the subway from Queens to Manhattan with a rifle,” he said. “Could you imagine doing that today in New York City?”

      This was Former USSC Scalia speaking of when he was a boy. So was he being rude in doing so? No one else seemed to think so, the subway passengers or the police.

      We could again have this general acceptance of the OC of any firearm, rifle or pistol, if people would just OC firearms.

  22. avatar Anonymous says:

    Yes.

  23. avatar surlycmd says:

    Ain’t freewill awesome?

  24. avatar Kerry hutchinson says:

    I have entered into this many times on this page, I think open carry will cause more trouble than it’s worth

  25. avatar H says:

    My humble opinion is that it alarms people. I’d rather people slowly get with the facts and lies. I don’t want them voting out of fear.

    Gay rights wasn’t helped by the gay pride marches. Especially the guys in chaps making out. It was by people knowing someone personally. It was by people seeing gays as not different. Those that weren’t going to get with it weren’t.

    I know people who are afraid of guns. They never think about them until the news brings up some horror. They don’t see life as full of danger. They are unaware that others keep them safe. They are unaware that they live an illusion. Some are learning because I don’t fit a stereotype of a gun owner. I do seem to them as a person who points out the Dem’s lies about guns or women’s wages. I point out Repubs lies too.

    1. avatar Don Nelson says:

      Well put.

  26. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Well, this article was pertaining to long guns which usually are difficult to conceal. Long guns make up about 2% of the “gun violence”. People carrying long guns are not much of an issue as you will have a greater probability of dying of a bee sting than getting shot by the big bad “Assault Rifle”.. Indiana has open carry and the streets are not awash with blood. It is time for the high speed low drag operators at Screech, Lame, Fear, to get a grip.

  27. avatar BDub says:

    So Open Carry is the 2nd Amendment’s equivalent of a Gay Pride Parade? OK sure, why not.

    1. avatar CLarson says:

      I hope that comparison becomes true. Wouldn’t it be grand if there was an annual Open Carry parade in New York someday? Corporately sponsored by GLOCK. (insert preferred gun manufacturer)

  28. avatar DerryM says:

    If you live in a State where Open Carry is legal, then how is Open Carry “making a statement”? In that situation you can choose to carry or not legally. For anyone having a problem with it, ignorance of the Law is no excuse. I do personally agree that carrying a long arm around low and at the ready is sending a message that could be misunderstood, but wearing a holstered pistol should not be a problem at all. For my money we should be able to carry pistols Open or Concealed at our discretion, anywhere, any time and the idea of a “Concealed Carry Permit” is unacceptable and should be rejected. We should be discretionary about carrying long arms in public, but if that is all you’ve got, then carry as you see fit. In short, carry of firearms in any manner and any place is an infringement on RKBA and should be legal in every State. I would not support carrying pistols un-holstered or “in hand” as that could be dangerous.

  29. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I carry an openly visible handgun on my hip sometimes. In some instances I have had polite inquiries from people and I responded respectfully with information that was new to them. In other words I demonstrated that there are good people who go about their business while armed … and that such activity is both legal and responsible.

    One time I was at a park with my children — playing with them on a giant play structure. A couple families quietly debated among themselves whether I was a plain clothes police officer — not knowing that my parents were there as well and within earshot. I was polite, friendly, respectful, and made sure my children behaved well. The eventually went home with their children having had a positive if unsure experience.

    Only one time did a person recoil in horror. I went to my local hardware store. On the way out, I was holding my young daughter in my arms and offered to hold the door open for someone coming behind me — who, upon seeing my handgun in its holster under my arm which was holding up my child — moved away and back into the store. I can only hope that they start to see the silliness in their reaction. (Dangerous thugs who are out to harm someone do not dress nicely, go the local hardware store and PAY for their merchandise, bring their children along, hold their children in their arms, and offer to hold doors open for strangers.)

    By far and away, people are simply curious and inquire … and I am friendly and respectful and provide information on our rights. This is winning.

  30. avatar Bob says:

    Pure and simple, open carriers are as whackadoodle as Westboro church members. You idiots are doing a huge disservice to gun owners everywhere. Concealed carry = yes. Open carry = full retard.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      You’re the expert on “full retard.” It must come from a lifetime of being one.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      This is as ignorant as the people open carrying rifles at ready with closed bolts and mags inserted, just in the opposite direction.

      1. avatar daveR says:

        “This is as ignorant as the people open carrying rifles at ready with closed bolts and mags inserted, just in the opposite direction”

        What does this mean exactly? Seems you are saying you are *NOT* supportive of OC if it crosses some line of gun type and condition.

        If that”s what you are saying, why would you expect the non-gun masses to know the difference? Do you think that an AR with a mag in and the bolt closed is looked upon by soccer moms as being any more “threatening” or “dangerous” than one with a range flag? I think to most people a black rifle is a black rifle…and to nealry just as many, a gun is a gun.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Let me clear up the “it seems” part. I’m am firmly and unequivocally not in favor of open carry of long guns when carried at the ready, low-, high- or in between. If you are open carrying a rifle and doing so in that manner it is no different in idea or in fact than carrying a handgun around in your hand. It’s really irrelevant if a magazine is inserted or not, or if the bolt is closed or not, to the average observer, because they don’t know the difference. I know the difference, and that difference takes you from merely an idiot if those are not true to something approaching an outright threat if they are true.

          If someone wants to walk around in an obviously inappropriate area with a slung rifle, I might think they’re silly, but that’s their choice and their right. They might scare some ignorant folks, but that’s just life, and life goes on. However, if they’re walking around carrying it like they’re ready to put the gun to immediate use, that’s creating a public nuisance no different than if they had a 1911 in their hand.

        2. avatar ThomasR. says:

          Actually Matt, I’m in full agreement. I would see a pistol in hand, or a rifle slung in low ready with the pistol grip in hand as an immediate threat, unless I saw that the person was responding to a human predator(s) attack. If I could not see a threat this person was responding too, I would consider that this person as the potential threat, and ready my own firearm for a possible immediate response.

        3. avatar Sean in MT says:

          Oh, sure, I said the exact same thing yesterday and got lambasted for it! Today is a new day, I guess, and Sunday to boot, so maybe the Lord turned some hearts today. 🙂

          To sum up: I’ve been OC rifles, handguns and shotguns for more than 25 years. I CC too. OC rifles is OK if you’ve got it slung on your back and doing something rifle related (in my opinion). OC rifles at low ready or in some other iteration of combat-go-go-go style is stupid. OC pistols is always OK in my book. Knock yourself out! I love it.

  31. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The only open carry that I am inclined to oppose is carrying a rifle or shotgun in hand at “low ready” or a handgun in hand in towns or cities. If you want to carry a rifle or shotgun slung over your back or handgun in a visible holster in towns or cities, go for it. If you want to carry a rifle or shotgun in hand at “low ready” or a handgun in hand while out in the field, woods, or private property, go for it.

    And yet I even have trouble opposing the carry of long guns at “low ready” in towns or cities. What if rioting erupts in town while you are there and you (fortunately) happen to have a long gun with you? What if a criminal gang or terrorists have been running rampant in town and you want to be maximally prepared when you go into town on important business? These would be “legitimate” reasons to be holding a long gun at “low ready” while going about your business in a town or a city.

    I suppose I have to fall back to the gold standard: as long as you have not harmed or tried to harm someone, you should be good to go. Every person with hands could throw a sucker punch and literally kill someone. What if someone was walking around with a scowl on their face, gritting their teeth, and hands clenched into tight fists? They could throw a sucker/haymaker punch at any instant and kill someone. And they certainly look prepared for instantaneous combat. Does that mean police should be empowered to arrest people with a scowl, gritting teeth, and clenched fists? Not unless that person actually tried to punch someone. Likewise, police should not be able to arrest a person carrying a long gun in the “low ready” position unless they actually and intentionally pointed their firearm at someone with an obvious threat to pull the trigger.

    1. avatar Low Ready says:

      Just in case there’s a misconception, “low ready” is a firing position with the stock shouldered and the barrel pointed downrange at a 45 degree down angle as a compromise between field of view, safety and reaction time. Low ready is not a rifle hanging on a sling pointed at the ground, hands on or not. I have not seen or heard of anyone open carrying a rifle “low ready”, mostly because you would be pointing it at everyone in front of you.

        1. avatar ThomasR. says:

          Umm, Yeah. If I saw this guy coming through the front door as he shows in the picture, I would definitely look for cover, and keep an eye on him to see what he planned to do.

        2. avatar Roymond says:

          As I said in the other thread, in a Stand Your Ground state, that guy is inviting being shot.

  32. avatar Kyle says:

    The thing with open carry is that many otherwise very pro-gun people who aren’t used to it can be turned off by it and view it as too extreme. I know because I was one of them for awhile. And by pro-gun, I mean as in no Assault Weapons Bans, magazine capacity limitations, or universal background checks. So one can only imagine how it can come across to Suzy Soccermom if not done properly.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      “The thing with open carry is that many otherwise very pro-gun people who aren’t used to it can be turned off by it and view it as too extreme.”

      Kyle, to paraphrase what has been repeated many times on this site: my rights are not subject to the concerns of people who may be “turned off” by witnessing my exercise of those rights, nor is my exercise of those rights limited by what others may view as “too extreme.”

      1. avatar Kyle says:

        You mean they are not supposed to be, but in actuality, they are. Which means that in order to make sure they are protected, and laws not passed infringing upon them, and said laws upheld by courts that say they aren’t rights, it is important to ease the public into something like open carry in an intelligent manner.

  33. avatar mike says:

    Those who OC full length ARs are mostly arrogant showboaters just trying to find a spotlight. Not that i’m against OC. But if they can afford an AR, then they can obviously afford a pistol… which is the common sense thing to carry.

  34. avatar Steve from Downtown Canada says:

    Penelope Cruz is attractive? Have you ever actually *looked* at her? Horse.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Some people like Glocks.

  35. avatar Viktyr Gehrig says:

    I think normal reasonable people going about their business openly armed is a good thing, as it desensitized the public to the image of a man carrying a gun in public– and they learn to associate it with normal people who are minding their own business.

    I think there is a tremendous difference between that kind of open carry and an “open carry protest” where people seek attention by slinging their rifles and walking around. That behavior is not normal and will never be normal, outside of certain rural communities, and it causes people to associate owning guns and carrying guns with people who are confrontational and provocative.

    Unless you’re going hunting or stepping into a war zone, there’s simply no good reason for openly carrying a long arm. It’s too inconvenient to be something that people will do on their everyday routine.

  36. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    I somehow doubt that closeted gays hated the “we’re here, we’re queer…” movement to anywhere near the degree that some concealed carry only advocates hate the open carry movement. So there is that, as far as public opinion goes only time will tell. Exactly nothing has happened even here in liberal Austin except for a handful of businesses being forced to fly their anti gun flag a little higher, so I think as time goes one people will just stop caring and move on to something else to get their underwear all twisted up over.

  37. avatar Ironbear says:

    “Are open carriers the new avant-garde? Shock troops for firearm acceptance? Will we all thank them some day?”

    Yes.

  38. avatar 4Truthand Justice says:

    We will not resolve this question on the Internet. I have attended some NRA sponsored events and some sponsored by Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners. At both kinds of events, Open Carry People are present, visible and -most important – available to meet and talk with. Every one of them so far has been just as sane and responsible as anyone I have met over the years.

    It’s more location specific in this way: when I’ve met Open Carry folks in places where bearing arms is approved and accepted – even in public parks, other people in those same places have never shown any signs of being scared or “offended” by the sight of armed fellow civilians. It’s MOSTLY places where there’s a general “paranoia” shown to gun owners (and gun bearers) where there’s any negative reaction from “bystanders.” That’s significant because those places were “guns aren’t welcome” are shrinking in size and influence on this issue.

    So lets try to get along with the folks who are Open Carry. They are our allies and have the right to “express” in any legitimate way they choose. Try to think “Team Work” when it comes to working for gun rights for everyone.

    1. avatar JohnF says:

      “Getting along” cuts both ways. On this site and one other I’m on, people who have even the slightest reservations about OC will be engaged in less than civil discussion and are often subject to ad hominem attacks. How does that help your “Team Work when it comes to working for gun rights for everyone?”

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        Um, be honest.

        Read the comments above and categorize the insults. Who is using terms like dumbasses and what not?

        Hint: It’s not the ones arguing in favor of more firearm freedom.

        Every OC article this site publishes brings out the drive-by trolls that post that kind of nonsense in one post then are never heard from again.

        This OC ‘debate’ is a microcosm of the larger gun control debate. Grabbers say stuff like “guns icky” and proceed to call gun owners all kinds of names. POTG respond with “If you don’t want to have one, don’t. Just leave me alone.”

        Anti-OC-ers say “OC icky” and proceed to call OC-ers all kinds of names and make all kinds of assumptions about their underlying psychology. Non-anti-OC-ers say, “You don’t like it, don’t do it. But leave ’em alone.”

        Freedom is “easy” to agree with when the debate is about something you want. It gets a might harder when you considering freedom for the other guy. Anti-OC-ers are very much like Fudds….they are cool with ‘gun rights’ supporting what THEY want, but seem to have no compunction laying down a bunch of ‘rules’ other, ostensibly free, people “should” follow.

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          It may be that the anti-OCers throw ad hominems around, but there are plenty of pro-OC folks who can be very vitriolic if one even claims it’s a stupid idea period. (I.e., even if that’s all one says, and stops there and doesn’t advocate banning OC.) They get accused of trying to “dictate” and all sorts of things, when they’re doing nothing but offering (admittedly very misguided) advice. (Hint, folks, if someone says “you shouldn’t do A”, that does not mean the same thing as “doing A should be forbidden.”) Disagree with them if you wish (and I do) but they aren’t being tyrants. Not on the basis of that statement on its own. (However, if it’s someone with a history, elsewhere, of advocating bans, that’s different.) Yet that accusation is invariably and instantly leveled at anyone who questions the wisdom of open carry.

          Look (for instance) at the article quoting that cop (Hernandez, I believe, was his name). Plenty of bile was aimed at the anti-OC forces there, and only some of it was because this individual let slip that despite his overt statements, he has a problem with pistol OC as well. Even questioning why one would WANT to open carry was tantamount to being a gun grabber.

          tl;dr: Too many people on the OC side of the argument assume even the slightest critical word is a sign of complete disagreement with their position.

        2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          I disagree, Steve.

          In the current era and especially on the Internet, calling something someone does “stupid” is essentially equating it with “I say you should not do it.” It is a statement that starts from a position of self-importance, passes judgment on the action(s) of others and proclaims those actions valid or not (based on a perception of ‘intelligence’).

          Then we get into the anti-OC-ers that call the OC-ers themselves stupid, dumbass, retard, attention whore, etc. They are specifically attacking the OC-er, not the action.

          Here’s an idea: if you (rhetorical you) don’t like something someone else is doing on the SOLE basis of you not ‘agreeing’ with it, keep your mouth shut. Think what you want; but the minute such a person opens up their trap spouting “it’s stupid,” that person IS, by implication if not in actual fact, trying to tell that person not to do it. Otherwise, why bother making the comment? What is gained by calling someone’s action “stupid” if it’s not an attempt to change the action?

          I’d say the drive-by nature of the such comments is also very telling. It’s not regulars, nor is it even anyone interested in ‘discussion.’ It’s a throw-away comment meant to shut down discussion/debate. It’s closed minded not only the wording but in the nature of the making of the comment.

        3. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Of course they’re trying to alter your behavior. That’s not a problem, people try to alter each others behavior all the time. The means of the alteration, that’s the issue. There’s compelling people to do what you want, versus persuasion, versus proposing an exchange 9of values. We can ignore that latter one here; no anti-OCer ever offered squat in consideration for not OCing.

          The anti-OC remarks seem to fall into three classes: People who say you and I ought to be compelled to stop open carrying (fairly rare), those who think it’s foolish and will namecall, and those who think it’s foolish but won’t say so…but they will offer an argument giving their reasoning. (Actually there’s a lot of overlap in the last two.)

          I know your original gripe was against the name calling (group 2) and I agree with it. I am not arguing that Ted Unli$, et. al., are worth any sort of respect.

          My statement had to do with it being wrong to behave towards the third group the same as to the first, and I do see a lot of people fly off the handle and go Nagasaki on the third group as if they were trying to issue orders instead of give (unsought and ill considered) advice.

        4. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “My statement had to do with it being wrong to behave towards the third group the same as to the first, and I do see a lot of people fly off the handle and go Nagasaki on the third group as if they were trying to issue orders instead of give (unsought and ill considered) advice.”

          Fair enough. I’m probably guilty of that.

  39. avatar SteveInCA says:

    I used to OC in California, before they made it illegal.

    By far, the most dangerous thing to the public were the rabid anti-gunners screaming expletives and saying they should “take my gun and kill me with it just to prove a point.” Well, the anti-gunners and the number of police who could’ve been doing actual police work rather than shadowing us and hiding behind buses and cars waiting to catch one of us doing evil.

    We were polite and stayed out of businesses if they asked us to. None of us dressed like a mall ninja, and I was asked a couple times if I was “plainclothes police.” Most of us carried pamphlets explaining California law and were very happy to answer questions or allay peoples’ fears.

    It was a very positive experience for me and made me feel like a free man- I derived no other power from it.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      If I recall, back then the gun had to be unloaded. Not just condition three, but completely unloaded.

      If so, I probably wouldn’t have bothered; it would in my mind truly have been just for show. But I am glad you got something out of it.

      1. avatar SteveInCA says:

        Unloaded with or without an empty mag in the well.

        Useless, yes, but still proof that some freedom existed. Now, I’m not so sure.

  40. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    Israel? Switzerland? That’s the comparative used to explain his point? That’s more than a half a bubble off plumb. Israel has a population of a little over 7 million and Switzerland is 7.6 million. That is absolutely the worst illogical defense out there. It should go without saying, but the situation in Israel is unlike anywhere else in the world. Israel is surrounded by enemies whose stated goal is to wipe Israel of the face of the map. Israel is up to their arms(no pun intended) in firearms everyday,….out of necessity, not out of choice. We are under no such mortal threat here in America. Even our police don’t strap on long arms as their daily patrol kit. I think that most people believe that is a good thing. So, if it’s not considered a good thing for the police to go around so armed, then how can anyone believe it’s such a crackin’ good idea for OCers to go around so armed? Anybody? Just because you have the right, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea.

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