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Thread: So why open carry?

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    Regular Member mspgunner's Avatar
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    So why open carry?

    If you pull it, you use it. If you pull it and you don't use it, you've done some thing wrong and you might not get another chance. Think about it before you pack it!
    I worked 24/7 for 2A OC rights! Don't like what I did? Try it yourself, it was my full time job!
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    Regular Member mspgunner's Avatar
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    1. The Open Carry Argument

    My primary goal when Iím out and about, besides whatever I went out and about to do, is to go about peaceably and not be the victim of a violent crime. To that end I carry a firearm whenever I go out as well as follow all the other standard safety practices like maintaining situational awareness, staying out of high crime areas, and avoiding confrontation. I also have a larger overall goal of making it through my life without shooting anyone. Simply put, I donít want to be responsible, legally or morally, for anotherís death. Those two goals might appear at first blush to be mutually exclusive, and with concealed carry it would be a difficult set of goals to realize.

    Carry of any firearm or other weapon for defensive purposes is a solemn responsibility. Those of us that do (openly or concealed) are mortified by the idea, constantly promoted by the pacifists, that our behavior is more reckless because we are armed. In other words, because we carry a handgun we take more risks than we would if we were unarmed. While it would be dishonest to claim we are all responsible gun owners, it is my belief that the vast majority of us are. Regardless of what or how you carry, you need to come to the realization that you are setting yourself up to lose. Whenever you are placed in a defensive situation, you will always lose; itís only the degree of loss thatís negotiable. Ayoob hits on this in his book, In the Gravest Extreme. He suggests tossing the robber a small wad of cash and moving off, even if you could prevail with a weapon. Thereís a very good reason for this. Regardless of how skilled you are at drawing your weapon, you are going to lose. It may be only a minor loss, like being very shaken up and not sleeping well for a few days, or it may be a major loss, like becoming fertilizer, or (most likely) it may be somewhere in-between, but you always lose. Your life will not be the same even if you prevail.

    Carrying a concealed firearm presents to a criminal that I am unarmed. Every study Iíve ever read, not most but every study, says that criminals will avoid an armed person or home when selecting a victim. That only makes sense, right? Robbers, rapists, or carjackers might be dumb and opportunistic, but they have the same instinctual sense of self preservation we all have. Hyenas donít attack lions to steal the gazelle the lions have just killed. Itís all about risk management; are the potential gains (a tasty gazelle dinner) worth the risks (pain and damage the lionís teeth will cause), and does the hyena really need to test the lion to figure out the answer? No, the hyena can see the lionís teeth and knows to stay well clear.

    Deterrent Value:
    When Iím carrying concealed I feel like my Ďteethí are hidden, and thus of no real deterrent value. If I appear unarmed then I am unarmed in the eyes of the robber, I appear as easy a target as almost anyone else out on the street. My probability of being a victim of a crime, violent or otherwise, is completely unchanged by the fact that I have hidden beneath my shirt the means to defend myself. My goal, however, is not to be a victim in the first place, remember? I donít want to be a victim that fought back successfully and triumphed; I prefer to not be victimized at all. I recognize that there are some people who (think they) want to be victimized so they can whip out their concealed firearm and Ďsurpriseí the mugger; that is, in my opinion, foolish immaturity. Concealed carry is good; it throws a wrench in the works for criminals who might see the teeming masses as a smorgasbord of financial gain. This deterrent effect is, nonetheless, indirect and often nil. At some point the thug will weigh the risks vs. the gains; is his current desperation for money/drugs/booze/gold grille greater than the gamble that one of those people might be carrying a gun? If he decides to play the odds, which helped along with surprise tip the scale in his favor, he will attack. Will his attack allow enough time for me to draw my concealed firearm to affect a defense? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.

    Remember, I donít want to be a victim and I donít want to shoot anyone. So how do I realize both goals; or how do I make them inclusive? I can do that through open carry. By making it clear and obvious that I am armed, that I have teeth, I tip the risk scale to the point that the criminalís gains are far outweighed by the risk. There is no ambiguity when the thug is doing his risk assessment, thereís something right there in plain sight that can quickly and painfully change or terminate his life. You may not think his life has much value, but as I mentioned before, he has the same sense of self preservation as any other living creature and to him itís every bit as valuable as yours is to you. It would be foolish to ignore this indisputable fact when you develop your overall tactical strategy.

    The Five Stages of Violent Crime
    I am a firm believer in this defense theology and urge anyone who carries a firearm for protection (and even those who do not) to follow the link and read it carefully. Please, for your and your familyís sake, read that. Drill down into the hyperlinks for better explanations; absorb as much information as you can. A violent crime does not begin at the point where one person with ill intent draws a weapon or attacks another.
    The Five Stages of Violent Crime:
    Crime and violence are processes that take time to develop. The attack is not the first step, the preliminary triangle must be built. There are five distinct stages that are easily identified:
    1) Intent
    2) Interview
    3) Positioning
    4) Attack
    5) Reaction
    I do not believe the act begins after the BG has made his intentions known by drawing on you (attack); it began when he formed the intent. Well, thereís not a lot I can do personally to stop anotherís intent, so I need to look a little farther along in the sequence and try to derail that train before it gets to the attack. For the sake of argument, letís remove weapons from the equation for just a moment. A 5í2Ē unarmed attacker isnít going to choose a 6í6Ē victim over a 5í1Ē victim, right? Heís going to attack the easier target. Now letís come back to the reality of violent crime and add back the weapons. Concealed carry presumes it is better to wait until the opponent has drawn his knife or gun and then try to Ďfixí the situation. Itís seems a bit foolish to promote the idea that itís better to attempt to stop a violent crime in the fourth stage when you could instead prevent it in the second. A concealed weapon cannot deter an attack at the Ďinterviewí stage; itís completely ineffectual in that role. Open carry is the only method that provides a direct deterrent. Letís say the bad-guy missed the openly carried pistol and holster during the interview stage, and has proceeded to the Ďpositioningí stage. Chances are pretty good heíll see it at some point then, right? Then, letís say the planets have all aligned just so and he, for whatever reason, has begun his attack despite your openly carried sidearm. At this point, the OCer is on level footing with the CCer, the attack has begun. Who has the advantage? Well, Iím going to say that with all things being equal (skill level and equipment) the OCer has a speed of draw advantage over the CCer.

    First One To Be Shot:
    There are some who criticize open carry and claim it will make you more of a target or Ďthe first one shotí when a robber walks into the 7-11, despite the absolute lack of credible evidence that this has ever happened. If the robber walks in and sees that youíre armed, his whole plan has encountered an unexpected variable. In bank robberies where he might expect to see an armed guard he will have already factored that possibility into his plan, but only for the armed guard, not for open or concealed carry citizens. No robber robs a bank without at least a rudimentary plan. Nevertheless, being present for a bank robbery is an extremely remote possibility for most of us regardless of our preferred method of handgun carry, so letís go back in the 7-11. If the robber sees someone is armed he is forced to either significantly alter the plan or abort it outright. Robbing is an inherently apprehensive occupation, and one that doesnít respond well to instant modifications. He is not prepared to commit murder when he only planned for larceny. He knows that a petty robbery will not garner the intense police manhunt a murder would. He doesnít know if youíre an armed citizen or a police officer and isnít going to take the time to figure it out. Either way, if someone in the 7-11 is unexpectedly armed, how many others might be similarly adorned and where might they be? Does this unexpectedly armed individual have a partner who is likewise armed nearby, someone who is watching right now? Self preservation compels him to abort the plan for one that is less risky. So we see that the logic matches the history; open carriers are not the first ones shot because it doesnít make sense in any common street crime scenario that they would be. If your personal self protection plan emphasizes ďHollywoodĒ style crimes over the more realistic street mugging, it might be best to stay home.

    Surprise:
    Probably the most common condemnation of open carry comes from the armchair tacticians who believe itís better to have the element of surprise in a criminal encounter. Although this was touched on in the previous paragraph about deterrence, Iíll expand on it specifically here because there are some important truths you need to consider before you lean too heavily on this false support. Surprise as a defensive tactic is often based on unrealistic or ill-thought out scenarios, and seems to exist only in the minds of concealed carry firearms proponents. The circumstance where several street toughs surround and taunt you for a while before robbing you, like in some Charles Bronson movie, is not realistic; the mugger wants to get in and out as fast as possible. In most cases you will have only seconds to realize whatís happening, make a decision, and react. Imagine youíre walking along the sidewalk when two gangsta looking teenagers suddenly appear at the corner coming in the opposite direction. You have only seconds to react if their intent was to victimize you. Do you draw your concealed firearm now or wait until thereís an actual visible threat? If they are just on their way to church and you pull a gun on them, you are the criminal and you will likely forever lose your firearms rights for such a foolish action. If you donít draw and they pull a knife or pistol when theyíre just a couple steps away, your only options are draw (if you think you can) or comply. Imagine staring at the shiny blade of a knife being held by a very nervous and violent mugger, three inches from your or your wifeís throat and having to decide whether or not you have time to draw from concealment. The element of surprise may not do you any good; in fact the only surprising thing that might happen is that your concealed carry pistol gets taken along with your wallet. The thug will later get a good chuckle with his buddies about how you brought a gun to a knife fight. The simple truth is that while surprise is a monumentally superior tactical maneuver, it is exclusively an offensive action, not a defensive one. What many internet commandos call Ďdefensive surpriseí is nothing more than damage control, a last ditch effort to fight your way back out of a dangerous situation. I am not aware of any army that teaches using surprise as a defense against attack. No squad of soldiers goes on patrol with their weapons hidden so that they can Ďsurpriseí the enemy should they walk into an ambush.

    It Will Get Stolen:
    Another common criticism of open carry is that the firearm itself will be the target of theft, prompting a criminal to attack simply to get the gun from you. Like the previous example of being the first one shot in a robbery, above, this is despite the fact that there is no credible evidence it happens. It also blindly ignores the more obvious fact that anything you possess can make you the target of a crime, be it a car, a watch, or even a female companion (girlfriend, wife, or daughter). Crooks commonly steal for only one of two reasons; to get something you have that they want, or to get something that you have so they can sell it and buy something they want. I donít claim it could never happen; just that itís so remote a possibility that it doesnít warrant drastic alterations to our self defense strategies. If you believe otherwise, leave your wife, children, watch, sunglasses, jewelry, and cell phone at home, hop into your Pinto wagon, and head out to do your thing. Very often, someone critical of open carry will cite some example of a uniformed police officer whose gun was taken by a violent criminal, and yes, this does indeed happen. The argument, however, breaks down when they assume the officer was targeted solely to steal his firearm. What is more likely is that the officer was targeted merely for being a police officer and the gun was stolen as a byproduct of the attack. More often, the officerís gun is taken during the struggle to get the suspect into custody due to an entirely unrelated matter. However, letís suppose, for argument, that a police officer really was attacked just to get his firearm. What actions did the police department take to prevent it from reoccurring? Did they demand that their officers carry concealed? No, of course not. You should, like the police, prioritize your defense strategy for the most likely threat first, and the least likely last.

    It Scares People:
    One other statement against open carry I hear is that it damages public perception of firearms owners, or that by carrying openly we are not being good ambassadors to the public. While there are some people who have a genuine fear of firearms, due either to some horrible past experience or anti-gun indoctrination, the majority of people are either indifferent to them or quite fascinated by them. Iíve never kept track of the dozens of fellow citizens Iíve encountered who have marveled at the idea of open carry, but I do know exactly how many have expressed displeasure at it; one. People are scared of many things for many reasons; however, pretending those things do not exist only perpetuates the fear. Someone who is disturbed by open carry is going to be every bit as disturbed by concealed carry. The only effective way to overcome a fear is to come to the intellectual realization that the phobia is based on emotion and not on fact. By being a firsthand witness that a firearm was carried responsibly and peaceably, and wasnít being carried in the commission of a crime, one who was apprehensive about firearms discovers their fear is not fact based, but emotional. Thus, open carry can be a very effectual way of helping to overcome the emotionally based fear of the firearm. After all, youíd be much more likely to believe in ghosts if you saw one rather than if you listened to a ghost story around a campfire. In other words, we give significantly more credibility to the things we experience than we do to the things we hear. The bottom line is that this argument is made by people who donít, cant, or havenít carried openly; those of us who do so on a regular basis have an entirely different experience.

    Iím Not Comfortable Carrying Openly:
    This is really the only reasonable argument against open carry for an individual. We all have a comfort zone for any aspect of our lives and we prefer to stay within that comfort zone. We all agree that itís better to be armed and never need the firearm than it is to need it and not have it. There is a point where concealing your firearm becomes so problematic, due to conditions like temperature or comfort, that some choose to either leave it behind or carry in such a way that it would be difficult or impossible to draw it quickly. If it takes me five or six seconds to draw my firearm from deep concealment and I had sufficient time before hand to actually do so, I would prefer to use that five or six seconds to avoid the entire encounter. Iím glad we have concealed carry laws in most of the states; it empowers and protects not only us but the general public through the offset deterrent effect. Some of us, however, choose the more direct deterrent effect of open carry.

    Conclusion
    No, open carry is not the be-all-end-all of self defense any more than concealed carry is. The purpose of this essay is not to convince you to carry a firearm openly, but to merely point out the reasoning I used to determine that it is often the best option for me. If you think otherwise, please feel free to write an essay of your own outlining the reasoning you used. I would suggest that you avoid the intellectual mistake of emphasizing rare or unlikely defense scenarios that many of us will never experience. I believe one should prioritize for the most likely threat, not the least likely threat. I donít put Hollywood style bank robberies high on my threat list because I rarely go into a bank and those types of robberies are very rare themselves. I live in the most crime riddled city in the northwest; the most likely threat here is some young male with a knife or gun trying to carjack me or mug me on the street, in the park, or in a parking lot. With this knowledge I build my personal self protection plan based on that manner of attack. This may not suit you, especially if you live in Hollywood.
    If you pull it, you use it. If you pull it and you don't use it, you've done some thing wrong and you might not get another chance. Think about it before you pack it!
    I worked 24/7 for 2A OC rights! Don't like what I did? Try it yourself, it was my full time job!
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    Regular Member freak4cycles's Avatar
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    Wow

    Marc, as you may know I am a huge fan of yours. Not only because you are friendly and constantly fight for gun rights, but because you are a all around good guy. I want to personally thank you for this write up. You have covered some great facts and concerns in depth. This article should make it to the paper or some other blog spot as it is worthy. I only hope people take the time out of their busy lives to read it. It is well worth the read if you are wondering.

    thanks agian for all you do sir,

    Marc

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    Regular Member mspgunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freak4cycles View Post
    Marc, as you may know I am a huge fan of yours. Not only because you are friendly and constantly fight for gun rights, but because you are a all around good guy. I want to personally thank you for this write up. You have covered some great facts and concerns in depth. This article should make it to the paper or some other blog spot as it is worthy. I only hope people take the time out of their busy lives to read it. It is well worth the read if you are wondering.

    thanks agian for all you do sir,

    Marc
    The feela who got me started in the adventure did a lot of public awareness... StarBucks tour, City Hall tours and a very OC friendly article in the ST. Louis Post. Those adventures yeilded a lot of folks becoming more aware of not only OCing but their rights in relation to 2A issues and how to react or NOT react to law enforcement encounters. Since a particular incident in Maplewood a couple of years ago we have not sought a lot of press coverage, especially in the St. Louis region. The folks on the K.C. side seem to not have as much anti-2A activity as we do here in the STl metor area. We are seeking corrective action to the concerns here through a different approach, I'll leave it at that.
    The "Rally Day" in Jefferson City is one way everyone can show support for our 2A rights. For years there were hundreds, now not even a hundred since everyone feels all cozy with the CCW law. Many supporters of 2A right took vacation, called in sick or skipped school to get to the rally. It is very important to have a turn out in the State Capitol April 18th at 10:00 AM in the first floor rotunda.
    Stay tuned.
    If you pull it, you use it. If you pull it and you don't use it, you've done some thing wrong and you might not get another chance. Think about it before you pack it!
    I worked 24/7 for 2A OC rights! Don't like what I did? Try it yourself, it was my full time job!
    Certified NRA Range Safety Officer - RSO

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    Thumbs up

    First of all, +1000 to mspgunner for post #2 of this thread.

    I have read volumes on the CC/OC debate, and truly believe OC is the way to go.... 90+% of the time. There are times when CC seems to be the best option, though I wont get into them, other than to say some are of a personal, or "feeling" reason, and not of a "tactical" reason. I tend to listen to these "feelings" in many aspects of my life, including the carrying of a weapon. Just me.

    Next, you (mspgunner) eluded to a link on the 5 stages of violence, but I didnt see the link in the post. Could this link have been to the NO Nonsense Self Defense site ? If not, this is a very informative site on all aspects of not only defending yourself, but more importantly avoiding situations where you might have to defend yourself.

    Here is the link to this site. http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/five_stages.html If anyone has not visited this site, it is well worth the hours you will spend exploring it.

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    Regular Member mspgunner's Avatar
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    I have no idea why the "link" doesn't work, might just be extinct.

    I hope you are going to JJ's Sunday the 9th. We are expecting a good crowd, there will be many people who can answer questions and enjoy some great people with like interests.
    I'll have a stack of OC cards, I bought 1,000 of them and the "banner" for those who want to see it. It is intended to be for the table at Rally Day in Jefferson City April 18th. The banner will make for a great back drop to a group picture!
    If you pull it, you use it. If you pull it and you don't use it, you've done some thing wrong and you might not get another chance. Think about it before you pack it!
    I worked 24/7 for 2A OC rights! Don't like what I did? Try it yourself, it was my full time job!
    Certified NRA Range Safety Officer - RSO

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    And besides all the info mspgunner posted it gives all the girlie men something to whine about and it just never comes true just as it didn't do in OK when the OC law went into effect.

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    Regular Member mspgunner's Avatar
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    I read a lot on the Ok/OC forum. Those folks are doing well, no LEO problems. The preemption law is vey clear and the right is being exercised all over OK. So much so that the "Where did you carry" is actaully veryboring. That's a good thing, that's the way it should be. The preemption law had a lot of press and most people in the State knew it was going to be legal Nov.1st. I wish I could have been there when the clock stuck 12:00 Midnight and a bunch of folks in a Pancake house took off their cover shirts and coats.

    Kind of like ringing the Libert Bell and letting freedom ring!
    If you pull it, you use it. If you pull it and you don't use it, you've done some thing wrong and you might not get another chance. Think about it before you pack it!
    I worked 24/7 for 2A OC rights! Don't like what I did? Try it yourself, it was my full time job!
    Certified NRA Range Safety Officer - RSO

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspgunner View Post
    I wish I could have been there when the clock stuck 12:00 Midnight and a bunch of folks in a Pancake house took off their cover shirts and coats.

    Kind of like ringing the Libert Bell and letting freedom ring!
    When we get it done here in MO, this needs to happen!!

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mspgunner View Post
    I wish I could have been there when the clock stuck 12:00 Midnight and a bunch of folks in a Pancake house took off their cover shirts and coats.

    Kind of like ringing the Libert Bell and letting freedom ring!
    Please tell me there's video of this?
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    Regular Member mspgunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyingA380 View Post
    Please tell me there's video of this?
    There is no video that i know of. The story is on OK open carry.
    If you pull it, you use it. If you pull it and you don't use it, you've done some thing wrong and you might not get another chance. Think about it before you pack it!
    I worked 24/7 for 2A OC rights! Don't like what I did? Try it yourself, it was my full time job!
    Certified NRA Range Safety Officer - RSO

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyingA380 View Post
    Please tell me there's video of this?
    Here is one.

    http://kfor.com/2012/11/01/open-carr...l-in-oklahoma/

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    Regular Member mspgunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9026543 View Post
    There are a number of "news" reports, but not the 12:00 Mid night grand openning as it were.

    But this is where many gathered, as it says in the report "At midnight open carry advocates gathered at Beverly’s Pancake House.

    Among all the scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy were handguns, visible on the hips of numerous customers."

    While looking at this site, I through in a comment as well!
    Last edited by mspgunner; 12-07-2012 at 08:12 PM.
    If you pull it, you use it. If you pull it and you don't use it, you've done some thing wrong and you might not get another chance. Think about it before you pack it!
    I worked 24/7 for 2A OC rights! Don't like what I did? Try it yourself, it was my full time job!
    Certified NRA Range Safety Officer - RSO

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mspgunner View Post

    One thing I noticed......... He NEEDS a quality gun belt.

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    Thumbs up

    Thanks mspgunner! Awesome essay!

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    New to open carry

    Quote Originally Posted by mspgunner View Post
    1. The Open Carry Argument

    My primary goal when Iím out and about, besides whatever I went out and about to do, is to go about peaceably and not be the victim of a violent crime. To that end I carry a firearm whenever I go out as well as follow all the other standard safety practices like maintaining situational awareness, staying out of high crime areas, and avoiding confrontation. I also have a larger overall goal of making it through my life without shooting anyone. Simply put, I donít want to be responsible, legally or morally, for anotherís death. Those two goals might appear at first blush to be mutually exclusive, and with concealed carry it would be a difficult set of goals to realize.

    Carry of any firearm or other weapon for defensive purposes is a solemn responsibility. Those of us that do (openly or concealed) are mortified by the idea, constantly promoted by the pacifists, that our behavior is more reckless because we are armed. In other words, because we carry a handgun we take more risks than we would if we were unarmed. While it would be dishonest to claim we are all responsible gun owners, it is my belief that the vast majority of us are. Regardless of what or how you carry, you need to come to the realization that you are setting yourself up to lose. Whenever you are placed in a defensive situation, you will always lose; itís only the degree of loss thatís negotiable. Ayoob hits on this in his book, In the Gravest Extreme. He suggests tossing the robber a small wad of cash and moving off, even if you could prevail with a weapon. Thereís a very good reason for this. Regardless of how skilled you are at drawing your weapon, you are going to lose. It may be only a minor loss, like being very shaken up and not sleeping well for a few days, or it may be a major loss, like becoming fertilizer, or (most likely) it may be somewhere in-between, but you always lose. Your life will not be the same even if you prevail.

    Carrying a concealed firearm presents to a criminal that I am unarmed. Every study Iíve ever read, not most but every study, says that criminals will avoid an armed person or home when selecting a victim. That only makes sense, right? Robbers, rapists, or carjackers might be dumb and opportunistic, but they have the same instinctual sense of self preservation we all have. Hyenas donít attack lions to steal the gazelle the lions have just killed. Itís all about risk management; are the potential gains (a tasty gazelle dinner) worth the risks (pain and damage the lionís teeth will cause), and does the hyena really need to test the lion to figure out the answer? No, the hyena can see the lionís teeth and knows to stay well clear.

    Deterrent Value:
    When Iím carrying concealed I feel like my Ďteethí are hidden, and thus of no real deterrent value. If I appear unarmed then I am unarmed in the eyes of the robber, I appear as easy a target as almost anyone else out on the street. My probability of being a victim of a crime, violent or otherwise, is completely unchanged by the fact that I have hidden beneath my shirt the means to defend myself. My goal, however, is not to be a victim in the first place, remember? I donít want to be a victim that fought back successfully and triumphed; I prefer to not be victimized at all. I recognize that there are some people who (think they) want to be victimized so they can whip out their concealed firearm and Ďsurpriseí the mugger; that is, in my opinion, foolish immaturity. Concealed carry is good; it throws a wrench in the works for criminals who might see the teeming masses as a smorgasbord of financial gain. This deterrent effect is, nonetheless, indirect and often nil. At some point the thug will weigh the risks vs. the gains; is his current desperation for money/drugs/booze/gold grille greater than the gamble that one of those people might be carrying a gun? If he decides to play the odds, which helped along with surprise tip the scale in his favor, he will attack. Will his attack allow enough time for me to draw my concealed firearm to affect a defense? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.

    Remember, I donít want to be a victim and I donít want to shoot anyone. So how do I realize both goals; or how do I make them inclusive? I can do that through open carry. By making it clear and obvious that I am armed, that I have teeth, I tip the risk scale to the point that the criminalís gains are far outweighed by the risk. There is no ambiguity when the thug is doing his risk assessment, thereís something right there in plain sight that can quickly and painfully change or terminate his life. You may not think his life has much value, but as I mentioned before, he has the same sense of self preservation as any other living creature and to him itís every bit as valuable as yours is to you. It would be foolish to ignore this indisputable fact when you develop your overall tactical strategy.

    The Five Stages of Violent Crime
    I am a firm believer in this defense theology and urge anyone who carries a firearm for protection (and even those who do not) to follow the link and read it carefully. Please, for your and your familyís sake, read that. Drill down into the hyperlinks for better explanations; absorb as much information as you can. A violent crime does not begin at the point where one person with ill intent draws a weapon or attacks another.
    The Five Stages of Violent Crime:
    Crime and violence are processes that take time to develop. The attack is not the first step, the preliminary triangle must be built. There are five distinct stages that are easily identified:
    1) Intent
    2) Interview
    3) Positioning
    4) Attack
    5) Reaction
    I do not believe the act begins after the BG has made his intentions known by drawing on you (attack); it began when he formed the intent. Well, thereís not a lot I can do personally to stop anotherís intent, so I need to look a little farther along in the sequence and try to derail that train before it gets to the attack. For the sake of argument, letís remove weapons from the equation for just a moment. A 5í2Ē unarmed attacker isnít going to choose a 6í6Ē victim over a 5í1Ē victim, right? Heís going to attack the easier target. Now letís come back to the reality of violent crime and add back the weapons. Concealed carry presumes it is better to wait until the opponent has drawn his knife or gun and then try to Ďfixí the situation. Itís seems a bit foolish to promote the idea that itís better to attempt to stop a violent crime in the fourth stage when you could instead prevent it in the second. A concealed weapon cannot deter an attack at the Ďinterviewí stage; itís completely ineffectual in that role. Open carry is the only method that provides a direct deterrent. Letís say the bad-guy missed the openly carried pistol and holster during the interview stage, and has proceeded to the Ďpositioningí stage. Chances are pretty good heíll see it at some point then, right? Then, letís say the planets have all aligned just so and he, for whatever reason, has begun his attack despite your openly carried sidearm. At this point, the OCer is on level footing with the CCer, the attack has begun. Who has the advantage? Well, Iím going to say that with all things being equal (skill level and equipment) the OCer has a speed of draw advantage over the CCer.

    First One To Be Shot:
    There are some who criticize open carry and claim it will make you more of a target or Ďthe first one shotí when a robber walks into the 7-11, despite the absolute lack of credible evidence that this has ever happened. If the robber walks in and sees that youíre armed, his whole plan has encountered an unexpected variable. In bank robberies where he might expect to see an armed guard he will have already factored that possibility into his plan, but only for the armed guard, not for open or concealed carry citizens. No robber robs a bank without at least a rudimentary plan. Nevertheless, being present for a bank robbery is an extremely remote possibility for most of us regardless of our preferred method of handgun carry, so letís go back in the 7-11. If the robber sees someone is armed he is forced to either significantly alter the plan or abort it outright. Robbing is an inherently apprehensive occupation, and one that doesnít respond well to instant modifications. He is not prepared to commit murder when he only planned for larceny. He knows that a petty robbery will not garner the intense police manhunt a murder would. He doesnít know if youíre an armed citizen or a police officer and isnít going to take the time to figure it out. Either way, if someone in the 7-11 is unexpectedly armed, how many others might be similarly adorned and where might they be? Does this unexpectedly armed individual have a partner who is likewise armed nearby, someone who is watching right now? Self preservation compels him to abort the plan for one that is less risky. So we see that the logic matches the history; open carriers are not the first ones shot because it doesnít make sense in any common street crime scenario that they would be. If your personal self protection plan emphasizes ďHollywoodĒ style crimes over the more realistic street mugging, it might be best to stay home.

    Surprise:
    Probably the most common condemnation of open carry comes from the armchair tacticians who believe itís better to have the element of surprise in a criminal encounter. Although this was touched on in the previous paragraph about deterrence, Iíll expand on it specifically here because there are some important truths you need to consider before you lean too heavily on this false support. Surprise as a defensive tactic is often based on unrealistic or ill-thought out scenarios, and seems to exist only in the minds of concealed carry firearms proponents. The circumstance where several street toughs surround and taunt you for a while before robbing you, like in some Charles Bronson movie, is not realistic; the mugger wants to get in and out as fast as possible. In most cases you will have only seconds to realize whatís happening, make a decision, and react. Imagine youíre walking along the sidewalk when two gangsta looking teenagers suddenly appear at the corner coming in the opposite direction. You have only seconds to react if their intent was to victimize you. Do you draw your concealed firearm now or wait until thereís an actual visible threat? If they are just on their way to church and you pull a gun on them, you are the criminal and you will likely forever lose your firearms rights for such a foolish action. If you donít draw and they pull a knife or pistol when theyíre just a couple steps away, your only options are draw (if you think you can) or comply. Imagine staring at the shiny blade of a knife being held by a very nervous and violent mugger, three inches from your or your wifeís throat and having to decide whether or not you have time to draw from concealment. The element of surprise may not do you any good; in fact the only surprising thing that might happen is that your concealed carry pistol gets taken along with your wallet. The thug will later get a good chuckle with his buddies about how you brought a gun to a knife fight. The simple truth is that while surprise is a monumentally superior tactical maneuver, it is exclusively an offensive action, not a defensive one. What many internet commandos call Ďdefensive surpriseí is nothing more than damage control, a last ditch effort to fight your way back out of a dangerous situation. I am not aware of any army that teaches using surprise as a defense against attack. No squad of soldiers goes on patrol with their weapons hidden so that they can Ďsurpriseí the enemy should they walk into an ambush.

    It Will Get Stolen:
    Another common criticism of open carry is that the firearm itself will be the target of theft, prompting a criminal to attack simply to get the gun from you. Like the previous example of being the first one shot in a robbery, above, this is despite the fact that there is no credible evidence it happens. It also blindly ignores the more obvious fact that anything you possess can make you the target of a crime, be it a car, a watch, or even a female companion (girlfriend, wife, or daughter). Crooks commonly steal for only one of two reasons; to get something you have that they want, or to get something that you have so they can sell it and buy something they want. I donít claim it could never happen; just that itís so remote a possibility that it doesnít warrant drastic alterations to our self defense strategies. If you believe otherwise, leave your wife, children, watch, sunglasses, jewelry, and cell phone at home, hop into your Pinto wagon, and head out to do your thing. Very often, someone critical of open carry will cite some example of a uniformed police officer whose gun was taken by a violent criminal, and yes, this does indeed happen. The argument, however, breaks down when they assume the officer was targeted solely to steal his firearm. What is more likely is that the officer was targeted merely for being a police officer and the gun was stolen as a byproduct of the attack. More often, the officerís gun is taken during the struggle to get the suspect into custody due to an entirely unrelated matter. However, letís suppose, for argument, that a police officer really was attacked just to get his firearm. What actions did the police department take to prevent it from reoccurring? Did they demand that their officers carry concealed? No, of course not. You should, like the police, prioritize your defense strategy for the most likely threat first, and the least likely last.

    It Scares People:
    One other statement against open carry I hear is that it damages public perception of firearms owners, or that by carrying openly we are not being good ambassadors to the public. While there are some people who have a genuine fear of firearms, due either to some horrible past experience or anti-gun indoctrination, the majority of people are either indifferent to them or quite fascinated by them. Iíve never kept track of the dozens of fellow citizens Iíve encountered who have marveled at the idea of open carry, but I do know exactly how many have expressed displeasure at it; one. People are scared of many things for many reasons; however, pretending those things do not exist only perpetuates the fear. Someone who is disturbed by open carry is going to be every bit as disturbed by concealed carry. The only effective way to overcome a fear is to come to the intellectual realization that the phobia is based on emotion and not on fact. By being a firsthand witness that a firearm was carried responsibly and peaceably, and wasnít being carried in the commission of a crime, one who was apprehensive about firearms discovers their fear is not fact based, but emotional. Thus, open carry can be a very effectual way of helping to overcome the emotionally based fear of the firearm. After all, youíd be much more likely to believe in ghosts if you saw one rather than if you listened to a ghost story around a campfire. In other words, we give significantly more credibility to the things we experience than we do to the things we hear. The bottom line is that this argument is made by people who donít, cant, or havenít carried openly; those of us who do so on a regular basis have an entirely different experience.

    Iím Not Comfortable Carrying Openly:
    This is really the only reasonable argument against open carry for an individual. We all have a comfort zone for any aspect of our lives and we prefer to stay within that comfort zone. We all agree that itís better to be armed and never need the firearm than it is to need it and not have it. There is a point where concealing your firearm becomes so problematic, due to conditions like temperature or comfort, that some choose to either leave it behind or carry in such a way that it would be difficult or impossible to draw it quickly. If it takes me five or six seconds to draw my firearm from deep concealment and I had sufficient time before hand to actually do so, I would prefer to use that five or six seconds to avoid the entire encounter. Iím glad we have concealed carry laws in most of the states; it empowers and protects not only us but the general public through the offset deterrent effect. Some of us, however, choose the more direct deterrent effect of open carry.

    Conclusion
    No, open carry is not the be-all-end-all of self defense any more than concealed carry is. The purpose of this essay is not to convince you to carry a firearm openly, but to merely point out the reasoning I used to determine that it is often the best option for me. If you think otherwise, please feel free to write an essay of your own outlining the reasoning you used. I would suggest that you avoid the intellectual mistake of emphasizing rare or unlikely defense scenarios that many of us will never experience. I believe one should prioritize for the most likely threat, not the least likely threat. I donít put Hollywood style bank robberies high on my threat list because I rarely go into a bank and those types of robberies are very rare themselves. I live in the most crime riddled city in the northwest; the most likely threat here is some young male with a knife or gun trying to carjack me or mug me on the street, in the park, or in a parking lot. With this knowledge I build my personal self protection plan based on that manner of attack. This may not suit you, especially if you live in Hollywood.

    Thank you for a lot of you work fore it has been very informative for me I've got a lot of question for open carry I'm new to it and plan you open carry everyday in my town my question here is if you know if the open carry is only firearms or if a knive say my 4 and 1/2 inch fixed blade would be under this law as well I've done a lot of research but never have I found anything about open carrying of knife I'm a huge knife guy turning gun I'm not a good shot but know how to knife fight this is why I want to open carry both gun to deter robbers and if need be self defense of my self or family event people around me would like to have a knife in case I'm suprised like you said by a close combat knife fight or whatever you never know now days any infor would help and I love reading your stuff please help

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