Other than maybe the perpetual caliber wars, one of the most dependable points of argument amongst The People of the Gun: the concealed carry vs. open carry…well, “debate” doesn’t really cover it. It’s more that there are people who buy into one over the other. And then proceed to tell the other side how they’re wrong.
Then the rationalizations are introduced, and soon after, the whole thing descends into name-calling. As in so many internet discussions, it ultimately it gets down to both sides making the carefully-considered, nuanced point that “You’re wrong because you don’t like the thing I like.” And this happens all the time.
As we know, concealed carry is good because a pistol held in a concealed carry holster and kept out of view won’t offend people who are afraid of guns or otherwise uncomfortable around them.
Arguably they shouldn’t be, and no one should really have a problem with someone open carrying, but as with anything else in life there’s what should be and there’s what actually is.
Open carry is good because the gun is right there if we need it. Also — and not insignificantly — carrying a handgun in a quality OWB or a drop-leg holster is darn comfortable.
Not that there aren’t plenty of good, well-designed concealed carry holsters that are comfortable, too (he said, vainly trying to head off the inevitable “But what about MY particular ultra-comfy hybrid IWB rig?” comments below).
Concealed carry affords you the element of surprise. No one knows you’re packing unless and until you reveal your sidearm. That can be a tactical advantage, depending on the situation you find yourself in.
Many argue that open carry is a deterrent to bad actors, but it’s not like there’s really a good way to quantitatively prove it.
Occasionally you’ll find an instance or two where an open carrier was targeted and deprived of their guns, but such instances are exceedingly rare. Oh, and there’s also the argument that open carry normalizes firearms for those who don’t or won’t carry.
So face it: both concealed and open carry have their places. Each has its own merits and drawbacks. Neither is “better” than the other; it all comes down to the individual’s circumstances and preference. So . . . which one do you practice and prefer?