Someone remind me again why you’d want to carry a firearm in plain view. To publicly (and constantly) declare your Second Amendment rights? As a deterrent to bad guys—who would kill the open carry idiot first, should killing be on their dance card. Can I get a witness? “Certainly I’m a strong supporter of the second amendment and carrying guns in general,” Okie Mike Seeklander told newson6.com. Yes, yes. Help me out here Mike. “‘From a training perspective though, we’re wary of open carry.” Thank you. “Seeklander believes without proper training, open carry gun owners could become targets during dangerous situations.” Wait. What? No. Think this through guys. Unless you’re training Oklahomans to redefine open carry as concealed carry, or teaching them to skulk around in public, well-trained open carry gunslingers will be just as easy to identify as untrained open carry gun toters. First move advantage? Anyway, if Governor Henry signs Oklahoma’s new Open Carry legislation into law, 97 thousand concealed carry permit holders will be able to wear T-shirts with a picture of a gun and a caption saying “If You Got It, Flaunt it!” Or not.
Remind me again why I should be arrested if the wind blows open my coat, or my shirt rides up over my holster when I sit down?
That being said open carry allows the criminal element to be reminded that lawful citizens are allowed to go armed. Conceal carry keeps said criminals constantly guessing at WHO is armed and who isn't.
I think we need both.
I've never really 'gotten' the appeal of open carry ("OC" for short.) OC advocacy seems to have come from the days before "shall issue" concealed carry permits became common. With concealed carry outlawed, OC was the only way to legally carry in a lot of places (particularly the Western states that never got around to outlawing the practice of open carry, even in the cities.)
But now that "shall issue" is the rule in most of the country (and the places without "shall issue" also generally ban the practice of 'open carry' anyway) OC comes from the fringes of the 2nd amendment absolutists who think that any restriction on the carrying or owning of arms is unconstitutional. They also seem to be trying to invoke a romantic vision of the Old West where it was normal for ordinary citizens to openly carry guns on their hips.
The problem with that, of course, is that it is a pulp-fiction/Hollywood myth. Even in the pre-gun control days of the 19th century, when it was not uncommon for a gentleman to carry some sort of weapon for protection against criminals (think London or New York here, not Dodge City or Tombstone, where street crime was much less common), the weapons carried by the gentleman were either small enough to be carried in a pocket, or disguised (like the very common sword-canes.) IOW, even back in those days, concealed carry, not open carry, was the norm.
And as for the rootin', tootin' cowboy towns of the American frontier, while the ownership of arms was high, the vast majority of those arms were long guns – rifles and shotguns useful for shooting game and defending against thieves or marauding Indians (or, in the case of Indians, defending against marauding anglos.) Back then, handguns were the preferred arms of lawmen and outlaws, not ordinary citizens, and certainly ordinary citizens did not make a practice of carrying them openly on their hips.
I don't carry conceiled or open, but I think that OC is not isolated to the fringes anymore, because it has become a political statement. It is similar to those little colored ribbons, but it is much, much more effective, since no one has to remember which color is which organization. The increase in gun sales since Obama took office shows that there is widespread concern that he will re-enact the restrictions that had sunset in 2004. Although Obama might really be ambivalent concerning gun laws, I think all the noise that the 2nd amendment advocates have made has definitely discouraged Obama and probably even congress from pleasing gun-control advocates. Unfortunately, the discussion of gun laws is dominated by the extremists on both sides, so the rhetoric rarely discusses any sort of compromise. You mentioned that it is not "socially acceptable" to OC, and I think that the fear of losing rights has been the motivating factor to
Personally, I have mixed feelings about OC. I think it is a benefit for the populous to understand that carrying a gun does not equal an intent to rob or murder. It is annoying when people are shocked that anyone would be carrying concealed, but I understand why. I live in Texas, and I have never seen someone open carry. I have only seen a gun twice in someone's home, and one of those was an antique rifle. Unless you go to the shooting range or go hunting, it appears that guns don't exist except in the hands of criminals on the evening news.
As a matter of practicality, open carry does present a greater risk of having your gun taken away. Because of that, I think it would be better to require training for people that open carry than those that carry conceiled.
It is definitely very difficult to gather statistics on whether OC is an effective deterrent, since police don't often get called to interview suspects that decided not to commit a crime when they see someone armed. However, there is at least anecdotal evidence that it can work as a deterrent.
Open Carry Deters Armed Robbery in Kennesaw
Very well written, and I believe it addressed none of the issues I presented above. Was that intentional?
My comment wasn't intended as a response to your comment, but rather to the overly-romanticized notions of open carry that I read at other gun sites.
But hey, if you're game, so am I.
If the law says you have to keep the weapon concealed, then that's the law. If it's too difficult for you to obey the law, maybe you shouldn't carry concealed. Although in most states, that wouldn't really be an issue because the law differentiates between an accidental exposure and the crime of "brandishing" (i.e. deliberately displaying a weapon) which is requires an element of intent.
Is there any reason to believe that "the criminal element" needs such a reminder?
And I don't. Consider that "open carry" is legal in many Western states (including my home state of Colorado) and yet very few people openly carry, because while open carry may be "legal" it's not socially acceptable in most settings. Nor, for that matter, should it be. You certainly wouldn't get invited into my house or place of business if you had a sixgun strapped to your thigh, if for no other reason than the fact that it is such socially aberrant behavior (despite the fact that it is legally permitted.)
So what other guns do you not find socially acceptable, Mr. Helmke?
BTW I'm being dead serious. You understand that this is EXACTLY what the Brady Campaign did to get people to support the "Assault Weapons Ban". They first picked a segment of the population that was small (those who open carry) They drummed up ridiculous stories that have never actually happened. Tossed in some misinformation and character assassination to sweeten the deal.
And back in the early 90s I was nodding my liberal little head.
And then later when I actually figured out the truth, I was PISSED, and I switched sides.
But I'm glad to know you're not above the likes of Helmke and Sugermann and other people who are willing to destroy your rights so long as the paycheck is big enough.