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Opinion on Open Carry

I think I’m slowly starting to change my opinion on open carry. Previously I tended to view it as damaging to our cause, because it tended to just scare people, without really educating them. But I am impressed with what’s been done in Virginia. Open Carry has always been lawful in Virginia, but there were always places you risks getting hassled by the police. Now it’s not uncommon, it’s accepted, and the police know the law and won’t generally bother you.

I’m also very impressed by how much the issue has motivated activism, particularly from the kind of person who otherwise might choose just to sit around and be angry. I’m also reminded of Countertop’s example of open carry in Virginia, where he opined that part of it’s utility was showing the folks traveling through Virginia that “the rest of the country isn’t like New Jersey and New York.”

I will still choose to carry concealed, but I’m being converted on the utility of open carry in regards to pro-gun activism.  What do you folks think?

17 Responses to “Opinion on Open Carry”

  1. Robb Allen says:

    I believe that open carry is a right that should not be licensed, registered, etc. etc. I live in the Sunshine State and if I bend over to tie my shoes and my piece shows (a common occurrence. Just yesterday my wife lifted up my shirt in the middle of Lowes to see what had just stung me), now I’m a felon.

    Bearing arms means just that, bearing them. Once we allowed the government to define “the manner of which”, we screwed ourselves. It’s time we started pushing for Open Carry everywhere but in a way that “doesn’t scare whitey”.

    How to do that, I’m not sure. I’m a brash kind of asshole, so usually I end up hurting causes with my indignation. I need to figure out how, though, because this shoe-tying felon is tired of having to worry about it.

  2. Matt says:

    Since I used to live in Virginia, I carried openly a lot. When I visit Virginia from Maryland, I carry openly as well (since lacking my non-resident concealed carry permit, I have to do so if I want to carry at all).

    I am of the opinion the sight of a firearm on the hip of a law-abiding citizen does a great deal to get the average citizen used to the idea that regular citizens are not a threat. Lead by example.

    I prefer open carry personally.

  3. Alcibiades says:

    Open carry Israel-style: with full-auto weapons.

  4. vinnie says:

    Lately I have been splitting the difference. Holster problems made it difficult to conceal so I switched to my CZ 82 and just use its issue holster. It is ambidextrous and not gun shaped. So far not even any comments or questions. Sort of a non issue. But then I am in Idaho.

  5. Michael says:

    Here in Georgia one can open carry with a GFL and many do. However, I agree with you on the possible damages it could have to the cause. I do not carry in the open, except when at the out door range or while hunting. Mostly, because here in the city it is looked down upon by both the cops and the general public who are for the most part unaware of the carry laws. Therfore to avoid undue harrassment I carry concealed.

    I have no problem and will cheer all those who do, for they are the true frontiermen of gun rights in my opinion.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Carrying the CZ-82 duty holster? Man, I wouldn’t want to carry that. Too difficult to draw quickly.

  7. vinnie says:

    “Carrying the CZ-82 duty holster? Man, I wouldn’t want to carry that. Too difficult to draw quickly.”

    Faster than you’d think. With practice. The flap come open when you bring your thumb up.

  8. Sailorcurt says:

    You probably already know my opinion because I believe we’ve had this discussion before.

    I think the best thing about open carrying (other than the basic fact that it is more comfortable in the summer) is that opens the doors for discussion.

    The people who would be seriously frightened by the specter of an armed “average joe” are most likely dedicated anti-gunners to begin with.

    The ones who are a little cowed or curious by the sight of a gun but aren’t dead-set against self defense are much more likely to engage you in conversation about it. It gives me an opportunity to rationally discuss the issue, explain the merits, acknowledge the responsibilities and raise awareness of the issue in general.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever won any instant converts in this way, but I have sensed that I provoked some thought on the issue and had an opportunity to counter at least a little of the propaganda that they are bombarded with on a daily basis in the media.

    On the (extremely rare) occasion that I’ve had an anti engage me in conversation, I was very careful not to get angry or defensive, simply state my opinion and disengage as quickly and diplomatically as possible. That, in my mind, is the best tack to take when someone tries to be confrontational about the issue.

    In any case, open carry is not for everyone. I won’t fault anyone for their opinions or mode of carry (or decision not to carry for that matter).

  9. Sebastian says:

    Interesting. Just out of curiosity, do you carry the CZ-82 cocked and locked? I’m not convinced of the safety of carrying that pistol hammer down, if you notice when you pull the slide back, it impacts the firing pin a little bit if the hammer is down. I’m coming to the conclusion that carrying cocked and locked with that pistol is the way to go.

  10. vinnie says:

    I carry hammer down. When I got my first one I pulled the bullet on a round and chambered the primed case. I was unable to get a primer strike through dropping smacking the hammer and other varied abuses. I am confident that it is safe. YMMV.

  11. straightarrow says:

    Sailorcurt made a good point that I don’t think he realizes he made. Obviously confrontational anti’s don’t believe their own propaganda if they try to antagonize a man carrying a gun. If they believed their crap they would sure as Hell not try to piss off an armed man. Ergo, they feel perfectly safe, and are actually working another agenda. Might do to point that out, not so much for their benefit, because they aren’t really working their stated agenda, but for the benefit of those overhearing the discussion so they can realize the dishonesty in the anti’s talking points. Those are the people we need to have thinking.

  12. Melody Byrne says:

    I live in an open carry state (AZ) that has a proud history of carrying firearms openly and without fear. My experience has been that people don’t particularly notice, but the few that do have no problem approaching me on the subject (quite often to compliment me on my choice). It helps that we have a few real cowboys left walking the area; a man dressed nicely in a button up shirt and bolo tie carrying a gun doesn’t raise any eyebrows around here. Of course it helps that I’m average sized and female; my husband has his own set of problems when it comes to open carry. But I’d definitely say that whether or not open carry is an issue depends entirely upon the culture of the state you live in, and the area you live in.

  13. Chris Byrne says:

    What my wife said ;-)

    I carry openly, because it is comfortable, convenient, and my right to do so.

    I also carry openly to REMIND people that it is my right, and their right, to do so.

    I think it’s important to make people understand that half of all Americans own guns; and that not only is there nothing wrong with that, it’s something we should be proud of.

  14. Robb Allen says:

    Chris, that’s another thorn in my side. My Glock 29 is a fantastic firearm. Just yesterday I took it to the range with some hot loads. Without even using the sights, at 10 yards I stay within the 8 ring. The 10mm is, IMHO, one of the best defensive rounds out there for me.

    But it’s a damned large weapon, even for a compact. It limits what I can wear in the summer. I shouldn’t have to hide it. I’m not a criminal and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Forcing concealment means smaller, less powerful weaponry tends to be available (the small, light, powerful arms are expensive). I’d love to tote around my Dan Wesson .357 magnum because it’s such a scary looking firearm that just its appearance is enough to discourage an attacker (and, unfortunately, it has been used just for that). But there’s no way to conceal a 6″ barrel comfortably.

    I need to work on getting Open Carry in the minds of our legislators here in Florida, I’m just not sure how to do so.

  15. Sebastian says:

    Yeah, regardless of what one might think of open carry, to outlaw it is wrong. One should always have the option. When I carry my S&W 629 on the trail, I have to open carry. That gun is just too big to conceal.

  16. straightarrow says:

    I live next door to the state of macho sissies, Texas. Open carry is against the law there. And where I live, Arkansas, it is technically legal, but has so many restrictions it is less than useless.

    The law in Arkansas about open carry looks as though it was written by extremely timid law enforcement would-be bullies if they could guarantee an unbeatable advantage. We’re just sissies, not even macho sissies.

  17. Sailorcurt says:

    Sailorcurt made a good point that I don’t think he realizes he made. Obviously confrontational anti’s don’t believe their own propaganda if they try to antagonize a man carrying a gun.d

    I actually had thought of that but didn’t mention it for brevity’s sake.

    There is always the possibility as well that they are hoping that I’ll get angry and pull my gun so that their compatriots can use their glorious martyrdom to forward their cause…”see…those gun toters will just start blasting away at the drop of a hat”.

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