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Thread: Why is Open Carry so rare?

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    Why is Open Carry so rare?

    I am curious why open carry in VA (Hampton Roads) is so rare. I already know the standard answers about many people not knowing that they are allowed to, or most people being sheep etc. but still it seems like 1 person in 10,000 OCs here, if that. On my previous trips to this area during the last several years I used to see 1-2 people a week open carrying. Since moving here a few months ago I haven’t seen anyone doing it besides myself. Is there a reason for this sharp decline of open carrying in the Hampton Roads area? Is the VCDL still encouraging OC? I recently talked to at least 2 members who were anti-open carry which was surprising to me as I thought that promoting OC was the group’s primary purpose? Is the VCDL now divided on this issue?
    Last edited by Mongoose72; 01-28-2013 at 12:22 AM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose72 View Post
    I am curious why open carry in VA (Hampton Roads) is so rare. I already know the standard answers about many people not knowing that they are allowed to, or most people being sheep etc. but still it seems like 1 person in 10,000 OCs here, if that. On my previous trips to this area during the last several years I used to see 1-2 people a week open carrying. Since moving here a few months ago I havenít seen anyone doing it besides myself. Is there a reason for this sharp decline of open carrying in the Hampton Roads area? Is the VCDL still encouraging OC? I recently talked to at least 2 members who were anti-open carry which was surprising to me as I thought that promoting OC was the groupís primary purpose? Is the VCDL now divided on this issue?
    I don't speak for the VCDL, but in the 5 years or so that I have been hanging around the community, I've always understood that VCDL didn't make any preference for mode of carry, as long as it was legal for the particular person who was carrying.

    Now you are posting on a message forum titled, Open Carry dot ORG, so it would seem to go without saying that you are likely to find more Open Carry talk here than you might among others.

    There is certainly a lot of crossover between VCDL membership and OCDO membership, but I believe that has always been a matter of coincidence, due to convenience, not because of any official relationship.

    JMHO.

    TFred

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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Firearm ownership, and even interest in firearms are taboo. The government has done a brilliant job convincing the public of such. So even people who carry feel the effect of this campaign.
    I don't know about VCDL, but WVCDL will not allow OC when they organize protests.
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission - Ayn Rand

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Firearm ownership, and even interest in firearms are taboo. The government has done a brilliant job convincing the public of such. So even people who carry feel the effect of this campaign.
    I don't know about VCDL, but WVCDL will not allow OC when they organize protests.
    If VCDL had that policy they'd be down to a few NOVA Chippers and a cop or two.

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    Regular Member Walt_Kowalski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    If VCDL had that policy they'd be down to a few NOVA Chippers and a cop or two.

    +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt_Kowalski View Post
    +1
    I can't imagine I'd even bother showing up to align with a group that doesn't want me to carry the normal way I carry. Has this been a long time WVCDL policy or has this been something implemented since their young leader died in 2012?

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    Regular Member Esanders2008's Avatar
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    Why is Open Carry so rare?

    To answer OP's question: it is my opinion that a majority of people here in hampton roads are from other places, due to the strong military presence. Since carry is not allowed on bases, this precludes service members from carrying ditto for shipyard workers if I am not mistaken. For natives, like myself, I am not sure why we see less open carry. Apparently we are just missing it though. I missed out on an OC dinner that I had no idea about this past week.
    ...To make my bullets go faster!

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    In public, i almost always get these two questions: "are you a police officer" or "where did you take your class to get your permit?"

    This demonstrates one clear conclusion: it is shear ignorance of our rights. It is not always ignorance in the sense of stupidity (cannot rule that out 100%), but rather just a lack of knowledge of our rights.

    The plus side is that with almost everyone I have talked to, most leave the conversation feeling more educated about gun rights and feel very comfortable being around me. I try to always keep a friendly demeanor about myself, primarily because I am a genuine Christian man, but also to represent, in a positive light, all who open carry as well.

    I had one guy in Walmart point at me one time with a look of terror on his face asking, "Is that legal???!!!" After I shared with him #1 Our 2nd Amendment, #2 Virginia gun laws, #3 God given rights, and #4 my ultimate motivations for why I OC, he was shaking my hand vigorously and thanking me in parting. That is not always the case, but you simply tell people the truth and stand firm to your convictions.

    I have heard people that are going for their CHP say that they don't want to scare or startle people. My response is that I want my appearance to be that of a confident, law abiding citizen who is readily willing and able to defend himself and his family up to and including using deadly force, if necessary. Just last night I had to get gas at a gas station on Newport News around 11:00 PM. There were suspicious guys walking all over the place. I kept smiling, pumping gas, and made sure that they knew I would not put up with crap by keeping my right hip readily visible. All that to say that the conceal carry guy appears more vulnerable. I don't want a criminal that wants to potentially victimize me to give it a second thought.

    For the record, I have only seen 4 people in my lifetime OCing, 3 on the peninsula.

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose72 View Post
    I am curious why open carry in VA (Hampton Roads) is so rare. I already know the standard answers about many people not knowing that they are allowed to, or most people being sheep etc. but still it seems like 1 person in 10,000 OCs here, if that. On my previous trips to this area during the last several years I used to see 1-2 people a week open carrying. Since moving here a few months ago I havenít seen anyone doing it besides myself. Is there a reason for this sharp decline of open carrying in the Hampton Roads area? Is the VCDL still encouraging OC? I recently talked to at least 2 members who were anti-open carry which was surprising to me as I thought that promoting OC was the groupís primary purpose? Is the VCDL now divided on this issue?
    I have to ask, where did you get that from?
    Not everyone in a organization supports everything the organization does or says.
    While there is lots of overlap with OCDO posters and VCDL members the two organizations are different groups.

    As far as I know the only person that speaks for VCDL is the President of the org, Phil.




    VA-ALERT:
    Philip Van Cleave, President of VCDL

    VCDL - Open Carry Revisited when I spoke at the Rivannah Rifle and Pistol Club near Charlottesville (thanks, again, to RRPC for their hospitality!), I was asked if I could address VCDL's position on open carry vs concealed carry.

    It turned out that one person who might normally have come to the meeting didn't do so because he apparently didn't like VCDL promoting open carry. I addressed the issue at the meeting, but the more I thought of it, the more I thought it should be addressed on VA-ALERT, as it had been a while since we have done so.


    While VCDL's predecessor organization (NVCDL) was formed in 1994 specifically to push for concealed carry reform, VCDL does not promote one form of carry over the other. In fact, at VCDL events we don't even suggest that anyone carry at all. We have always felt that our members can decide for themselves as to whether they want to carry at an event openly or concealed, or even carry at all for that matter.
    Emphasis mine


    VCDL does not sponsor open carry or concealed carry events at all. We may sponsor an event celebrating a legislative victory, such as the end of the restaurant ban, but we leave the decision on whether or not to carry and the carry method up to the individual.


    We WILL remind you if the law requires a certain form of carry for those that are carrying.
    For example, when we held some of our picnics in State Parks, we reminded everyone that concealed carry is required by law for those carrying.
    Same for open carrying in a restaurant that serves alcohol hosting an event before July 1, 2010.

    There are two camps of thought on open carry:
    1. Open carry is a right that helps advance our visibility, educates the public by disproving the TV & movie stereotypes that the only people who carry guns are cops or bad guys, moves our rights forward, and doesn't require government permission

    2. Open carry is a right, but politically dangerous, is too much "in-your-face," takes away tactical advantages, and could end up being banned or hurting our gun rights.

    VCDL, as an organization, does not subscribe to camp #2's view of open carry.
    While we don't encourage or discourage open carry, we have found that it has been an avenue to showing the general public that everyday people, including friends and neighbors, are gun owners and carry a gun in a responsible manner for self-defense.

    But this issue is more complicated, with each method of carry having advantages and disadvantages:

    Open carry is more comfortable, especially in the hot summertime. It allows fast access to the handgun in an emergency. It can deter crime by a criminal seeing the gun and deciding to not go forward with a crime, keeping the gun owner from even having to draw the gun (lots of such cases documented, including within VCDL membership).
    HOWEVER, you had better know the gun laws and know if you are in a "no carry" zone. Although quite rare, you might be asked to leave private property.
    IF YOU ARE ask to leave, do NOT demand that the property be POSTED! Just politely leave.

    Concealed carry can allow a handgun to be presented in a way that is a surprise to criminal who has begun an attack, which, although generally slower than open carry, can be a tactical advantage in many cases because it allows YOU to decide whether or not to present your firearm. It is very handy if you have inadvertently wandered into a location where you aren't supposed to have a gun. Since the gun is hidden, no one knows that you goofed up. It also avoids the problem of carrying on private property where open carry is prohibited.




    The argument by camp #2 that makes me pull out what is left of my hair is that if someone open carries, they could cause us to lose that right.
    My response to that argument is simple:
    1. If you are afraid to exercise a right because it might be taken away, then you don't really have that right in the first place and
    2. If you are not exercising a right and don't feel that others should either, then what do you really care if that right is taken away or not?


    VCDL will strongly fight to protect both methods of carry from any attack in the General Assembly.

    And the debate goes on... If you wish to comment on this alert, you can do so on VCDL's blog site:
    http://blog.vcdl.org

    Click here to sign up for the FREE VA Alerts.

    This is from the 06/2010 VA Alert.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    I can't imagine I'd even bother showing up to align with a group that doesn't want me to carry the normal way I carry. Has this been a long time WVCDL policy or has this been something implemented since their young leader died in 2012?
    I'm honestly not sure. I only got involved during that time. The reason given is avoiding the perceived image of being "crazy gun nuts". Any discussion of it on the FB page is quickly squashed. And folks who OC, including those without a concealed permit who must go unarmed if not OCing, and won't attend protest unarmed get a little bit of rude treatment. It was a big turn off.
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission - Ayn Rand

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Yes VCDL is an organization that fights for gun rights in VA. Sometimes we feel (Peter) that they fight harder for conceal carry than for open carry but it is usually while trying to pry open freedoms slowly rather than all at once. Constitutional Carry is desireable but baby steps sometimes are a better approach. (Not all the time though)

    Why do you see few people OC-ing? Another mentioned the military and bases but the VAST majority of businesses disallow employees from carrying of any kind. So anyone you see that has a job probably won't be carrying during working hours. Many from other states stay ignorant on VA laws because they don't plan on being here long enough to make a difference.

    The other side of the coin is that many places are anti so if you have to go to that place many people don't carry or CC. One of my pet pieves is schools and having to disarm whenever I go on school property to watch my daughters sports.

    When you combine, employment rules, anti-locations (schools, businesses, post office, etc), a diverse geographic-originated population and the fact that some people just never grew up with guns it is not surprising that few OC.

    Now many military people I talk to would love to OC and are more up to speed on the local laws etc but because of the bases being anti they are stuck.

    I have run into some people that are vehemenantly CC only people and will point to California as an example of how OC forced the issue and they lost. I also have had conversations with women, disabled people, the elderly and told them about the 70% chance of not being attacked if OCing vs CCing. OC is proactive and CC is reactive. I explain that as I get older fatter and slower that 70% chance seems like a great option to me of never even having to defend myself rather than surprising the attacker that he chose an armed target while CCing.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 01-28-2013 at 11:24 AM.

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    Re: Why is Open Carry so rare?

    VCDL isn't heard of a lot in Suffolk. I have picked up 2 friends that Oc, and I hope to get Vcdls name our there more, on this side of the James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpguy View Post
    VCDL isn't heard of a lot in Suffolk. I have picked up 2 friends that Oc, and I hope to get Vcdls name our there more, on this side of the James.
    I've talked about this with Grapeshot, VCDL President and anotherBoard Member or two.

    VCDL has to change it's stance on a few things to gain interest from rural areas. One of the board members I spoke with was a little shocked to find out what a small percentage of gun owners CHP holders were.

    While VCDL does recognize all forms of carry, they need to get a little more involved with people that really hunt and not be bullied by Dog Hunters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Firearm ownership, and even interest in firearms are taboo. The government has done a brilliant job convincing the public of such. So even people who carry feel the effect of this campaign.
    I don't know about VCDL, but WVCDL will not allow OC when they organize protests.
    Where? Certainly not in Virginia... at least, not in the part in which I live.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Where? Certainly not in Virginia... at least, not in the part in which I live.
    Hell, not with most of the people I know in the West End either. I got thanked by a neighbor the other day, who saw my pistol on my belt, for being willing to exercise our rights... same with a Henrico cop I happened to encounter (darned ticket >_<).
    Last edited by Numenor; 01-28-2013 at 02:38 PM.

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    Why is Open Carry so rare?

    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Firearm ownership, and even interest in firearms are taboo. The government has done a brilliant job convincing the public of such. So even people who carry feel the effect of this campaign.
    I don't know about VCDL, but WVCDL will not allow OC when they organize protests.
    It's not taboo where I am but I swear unless I am intentionally with people who I know OC I hardly ever see people OCing. I know they are out there because they post their experiences on the other thread and I constantly see places listed that I frequent. Just a timing issue I imagine.


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    Regular Member sparkman2's Avatar
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    OC in the HR area

    I OC all the time in HR area and I see people OCing all the time. I used to be one of those "out of sight out of mind" folks for the longest time.

    Then I read this:
    http://www.usacarry.com/forums/open-...-argument.html

    Whether one chooses to OC or not, it is personal choice. I have made mine and I choose to OC.
    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." Thomas Jefferson (quoting Cesare Beccaria)

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    Regular Member HearseGuy's Avatar
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    What a fantastic article Spark! Thanks for sharing that here. I will certainly be sharing it with some folks.

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    Regular Member T-Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkman2 View Post
    I OC all the time in HR area and I see people OCing all the time. I used to be one of those "out of sight out of mind" folks for the longest time.

    Then I read this:
    http://www.usacarry.com/forums/open-...-argument.html

    Whether one chooses to OC or not, it is personal choice. I have made mine and I choose to OC.
    I believe I've seen excerpts of that article before, but never the whole thing. Excellent read, and thank you for sharing!!

  20. #20
    Regular Member sparkman2's Avatar
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    I was glad to share it but I must give credit where it is due. I was introduced to this article by someone here because at the time I was on the fence about OCing around town. I read this post and it put things into perspective for me. I carry just about everywhere I go now, except for work and the places that it is unlawful to carry into the establishment. Where I work at does not allow any firearms on their property. It would be nice to have some sort of legislation that enables a citizen to carry to and from work as long as it is secured in their vehicle. I believe there was legislation passed last year that allows city workers to do just that. It is private property and I respect that, but it doesn't do me any good while I travel to and from work.
    Last edited by sparkman2; 01-29-2013 at 05:24 PM.
    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." Thomas Jefferson (quoting Cesare Beccaria)

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    I live in VB and I OC everywhere I go. The only time I CC is when I am wearing my jacket outside, if I go in to a restaurant I take off the jacket. I have a CHP only so that I'm covered during the winter when I wear a jacket, otherwise I OC everywhere. As for VCDL, I've never heard of them having issues with anyone OCing or CCing to their events, so long as the establishment allows for it (which it typically does).

    As for it being taboo... I've yet to experience any negative reaction from my OCing. Typically if I get a reaction at all, it's positive or inquisitive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Firearm ownership, and even interest in firearms are taboo. The government has done a brilliant job convincing the public of such.
    i'm gonna have to disagree with this statement. i live in NOVA which is way more libby then the rest of the state and i have yet to have a bad experiance meeting a non gun person while carrying or conversing thru my job or in general. i have had alot of people who i never thought would be interested in shooting ask me questions or even ask me to take them along on my next range visit. my mom is an avid shooter and that would be the last thing you would think she does meeting her in public. my brother is a tat'd up hipster cheif in a high end resturant in san fran and enjoys shooting just as much as i do.

    not every person who doesn't own a gun is anti or scared of guns.

  23. #23
    Regular Member shadow247's Avatar
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    I feel you on not seeing many other OCer's. In fact I think I've only seen 1 other person OCing in Hampton Roads, and that was a customer at the parts counter of the dealership I worked at last year.

    I OC all over Hampton Roads, but I carry in a manner unlikely to draw attention to myself. I carry a black gun, on my right hip, in a black holster. I am typically wearing a black sweater tucked behind the holster, and dark jeans. While I am technically OCing, the way I dress helps to sort of hide the gun unless you are looking for it. Granted I have only been OCing for a little over a month, but I've only had 2 people say anything. 1 was the pharmacy clerk at Target while picking up a prescription. She asked my wife why she had a cop with her, my wife just replied that I was her husband and definitely not a cop. The other was at the Verizon store. After talking to a sales associate for about 10 minutes, he asked me what line of work I was in because I was open carrying. I told him I just sold parts, and just carried it for personal protection. He then proceeded to ask me about my permit, to which I informed him that I did not have a permit, and that one is not required to open carry a firearm. It was interesting to see the response on his face, as he was a little taken aback by that. He said he had a CHP and did not know that you could OC without a permit. I think there are a lot of people that just have no idea that you can even do it. Then you have people like my dad and step-father, who think that I am making myself a target by open carrying. I always reply to those people, "when was the last time you read a story of someone being targeted because they were open carrying." They usually have no answer, and I always tell them that it's because it just doesn't happen as often as they like to think it would.
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  24. #24
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow247 View Post
    I feel you on not seeing many other OCer's. In fact I think I've only seen 1 other person OCing in Hampton Roads, and that was a customer at the parts counter of the dealership I worked at last year.

    I OC all over Hampton Roads, but I carry in a manner unlikely to draw attention to myself. I carry a black gun, on my right hip, in a black holster. I am typically wearing a black sweater tucked behind the holster, and dark jeans. While I am technically OCing, the way I dress helps to sort of hide the gun unless you are looking for it. Granted I have only been OCing for a little over a month, but I've only had 2 people say anything. 1 was the pharmacy clerk at Target while picking up a prescription. She asked my wife why she had a cop with her, my wife just replied that I was her husband and definitely not a cop. The other was at the Verizon store. After talking to a sales associate for about 10 minutes, he asked me what line of work I was in because I was open carrying. I told him I just sold parts, and just carried it for personal protection. He then proceeded to ask me about my permit, to which I informed him that I did not have a permit, and that one is not required to open carry a firearm. It was interesting to see the response on his face, as he was a little taken aback by that. He said he had a CHP and did not know that you could OC without a permit. I think there are a lot of people that just have no idea that you can even do it. Then you have people like my dad and step-father, who think that I am making myself a target by open carrying. I always reply to those people, "when was the last time you read a story of someone being targeted because they were open carrying." They usually have no answer, and I always tell them that it's because it just doesn't happen as often as they like to think it would.
    Well if you used to work at Wynne Ford or Tysinger Hyundai it might have been me OC-ing several times last year. :-) Unfortunately needing parts. :-(

    I switched my daily carry gun to a FNP-45 black gun with its black leather holster and seem to get slightly less comments than my stainless Sig P220 with Rosewood grips. :-) The black gun tends to melt into the background more than the stainless one. Even when I OC-ed the P220 daily it was still a low chance that anyone would comment on it or me OC-ing. Most people are either oblivious or simply ignore someone OC-ing. The rare occassion when someone turns around and walks the other way can be amusing but they are as rare as bumping into another OC-er.

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