Open Carry Concerns

Back from a 3+ week hiatus from the forums.

Article discusses the potential negatives of open carry, both tactical and cultural. Just for the sake of “Who does this guy think he is?” author claims to have been a police officer since 1995 and spent 13 years as the full-time tactical training officer for his central Ohio agency. Not sure how to verify all that but he seems legit.

His central points:

  1. Open carry too often scares the population gun rights advocates are trying to win over.
  2. Open carry is not a guaranteed deterrent to criminals.

To the first point - walking into a place of business with a firearm, be it a handgun on your hip or a slung rifle or whatever, is not going to do much to convince a non-owner that it’s a good idea in an age when (right or wrong) the media portrays our society as one where gun violence is ubiquitous. You may say “Screw that. I don’t carry to persuade anyone, I do it to exercise my Constitutional right.” Well, perhaps - but the point remains that perception has power, esp. at the ballot box.

The second point seems more open to anecdotal conjecture, although the author does provide multiple links with incidents where an open carry individual was disarmed. There’s also links to various so-called “heavy hitters in firearms training” who discourage open carry based on tactical and ideological grounds. I say “so-called” not to disparage these people but simply because I sincerely don’t know how best to verify their credentials.

In the end I have to agree with the sentiment “I support the right, but not the practice.” If the gun owner is not properly trained (and in my uber-friendly to guns home state of Arizona, I suspect most owners aren’t) it invites more trouble than it’s worth.

We have heard every argument against open carry for decades along with the gloom and doom predictions of what would happen in state by state as OC passed.

What we’ve seen in reality is exactly what most of us predicted and that is the public becoming more and more accepting and comfortable seeing people lawfully carrying going about their daily business.

What are you basing this on?

Tv documentaries like Gunsmoke Bonanza and the Gunslinger.

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Observation and discussion with people on a regular basis on the subject.

Shortly after OC has passed in each state there’s always a brief rise in MWG calls, which then quickly drop off indicating people are becoming accustomed to and more comfortable with it.

Frequently we’ll take a hole class of 10-25 people for lunch at restaurants and rarely get as much as a glance anymore whereas right after it passed you’d see a lot of very nervous people.

Familiarization works. If you’re only interactions with "people with guns’ are negative, or you have been trained to believe that “guns are bad and people with them are worse” you develop a natural fear of same.

The more exposed you are without incident the more comfortable people become, it’s just human nature.

The author makes some really lame points. An AK 47 in a Starbucks? Give me a break! Nobody carries a rifle openly or concealed as a self protection weapon. And the killer who shot the security guard did not do it to take his gun, he did it because he was a security guard. That argument would suggest that cops should not carry openly because it might encourage bad guys to take their guns.

The sheeple public is squeamish about open carry and the anti-gun politicians are against concealed carry. So where does that leave law abiding folks who wish to carry a gun for protection? IMO, the best thing to do is carry inobtrusively. That is keep it generally out of sight, but don’t worry about carrying such that someone might catch a glimpse of it. Call it semi-concealed carry if you like.

It also depends where you live. The author mentions Starbucks … my coffee buddies go to a Starbucks in a bookstore every Friday. For several years we would often see a young woman there who would come in with her ~10 yr-old son. She would order her coffee, come to a table to sit, and take off her coat revealing a semi-auto on her hip. Nobody ever batted an eye. Of course nobody around us knew that 2 or 3 of us were carrying too, but then it’s likely that some of them were carrying too.

Basically it boils down to “don’t act like a douche bag while open carrying.”

Your first point could be used against many liberal gatherings, festivals, and parades. Should we ban those because they make others feel uncomfortable?

The author is not saying what might happen, he is saying what does happen and has documented it with twenty incidents from the last five years that he found quickly and easily, suggesting strongly that it happens much more often than the few things he found in just a few minutes.

They are not erroneous or far fetched concerns. Of course most people grow accustomed to open carry, but it is not most people he is concerned about.

The author hasn’t documented anything, he’s repeated a handful of stories.

What has actually happened has been borne out in the states where OC has been legalized.

Inevitably there is a pronounced increase in MWAG calls beginning with when the laws are first implemented.

Very quickly as people become accustomed to people lawfully OC’ng the incidence of those calls drops off rapidly.

There has been no association between legal carry open or concealed with an increase in crime, where they have been implemented we see the opposite.

Neither you, the author, nor anyone else can show differently.

The news stories that he cited are all documented. They are reported crimes with victims and perpetrators. He openly admits they are a handful and points out how easily he found them. He points out quite reasonably that if he found that many so easily, the likelihood that there are many many more out there is very high.

He makes no argument whatsoever that those incidents are enough to increase the overall crime rate, none. He points out vicissitudes that most open carry advocates I’ve happened across are not even willing to consider. There is no advantages to it whatsoever, only negatives.

He didn’t even pick stories that actually affirmed his position.

A man who is OCng in his car, OC had nothing to with it, the perps could not have seen his gun.

On duty security guard disarmed, has nothing to do with OC by citizens.

Cop disarmed and killed with his own gun, has nothing to do with OC.

Cops and civilians who are carrying concealed get disarmed too.

What he completely ignores is the deterrence effect when bad guys targeting an individual or location are deterred specifically because they discover their target or people in their target zone are armed.

Is there a risk to OC, sure there is but there’s also a a great benefit, several actually.

He doesnt’ want to OC? No problem, nobody is going to force him to anymore than we’d try to force you to do the same.

This claim by him is also an absolute lie so his credibility is zero.

The open carry advocates insist that crimes like these never happen.

He has an opinion. Good for him.

Did he conceal carry when he was a cop?

Good post.

Everything he said can also be said about cops.