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Thread: How To Overcome Open-Carry Anxiety

  1. #1
    Regular Member Gun Daddy PV's Avatar
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    How To Overcome Open-Carry Anxiety

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ID:	10809And if you are going to just say "grow some balls", that's not helpful.

    I just made a new leather avenger-style holster and would like to show it off. I also understand that if every person carrying a gun carried openly, then public perception (especially after seeing nobody getting shot and nobody threatening anyone) would change for the better.

    Here's what's holding me back:

    1. I have to carry pepper-spray when open-carrying so I can escalate force of necessary - at least that's how I feel.

    2. I don't like intimidating people unnecessarily.

    3. I don't like the YouTube videos where people bait cops just to make the video interesting. AZ is a Constitutional Carry state, but I like our cops.

    4. I have been fired for having a gun in my vehicle. I tried to sue, but my attorney was less than enthusiastic.

    5. I don't want to have to disarm and be defenseless just to go into Costco. (If they don't know, they don't say anything.) Ya - Costco forbids weapons, even though they don't have it posted.


    So - take those apart and convince me why open-carrying when I can would be helpful, good, right, etc.
    Last edited by Gun Daddy PV; 09-16-2013 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Added photos.

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    1: I only carry a pistol so that I never second guess myself if I have to shoot. If someone pulls a weapon on me they mean to do my harm, I will return the favor.
    By carrying the pepper spray you will also cause yourself a moment of pause, as you try to decide what to reach for in a critical moment.

    2: How would you be intimidating them? I don't feel like I am when I carry, but I also don't care what they think because I carry for my protection and the protection of my family. You will never be able to normalize carry if you don't carry.

    3: Don't bait the cops, lol. I have only had one encounter with the police and all they wanted to know if that I had not done anything illegal, two out of the three were nice people.

    4: How did they know you had a gun? Not trying to pry, but was it out in the open? Sounds like that was an uptight place to work anyway, there are jobs that allow it. Mine does, in fact they allow me to take my gun into the warehouse to keep it close if I felt better that way.

    5: This is just me, but if it is not posted I would carry in there until they ask me to leave. And if you have the permit to conceal just cover it when you walk in.


    Not sure if that is what you were looking for, but heh. I open carry because of one reason, safety. I have always known you can carry in Missouri but never really thought it was for me, until my family was walking and a dog came out of its house and attacked the small dog with us. No amount of kicking affected the dog, at that time I realized that if that dog had attacked one of my kids there was nothing that I could have done to stop it. My son is now scared of big dogs because of it, and both are terrified to walk down the sidewalk that the dog had come from. That is when I decided that I would carry, so that my kids would not have to be scared.

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    Regular Member Gun Daddy PV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7om5hipp View Post
    4: How did they know you had a gun? Not trying to pry, but was it out in the open? Sounds like that was an uptight place to work anyway, there are jobs that allow it. Mine does, in fact they allow me to take my gun into the warehouse to keep it close if I felt better that way.
    I worked with other gun-enthuseists. However, the lady in charge, though she said she had a gun, disallowed me to bring it to work and wrote me up saying that if I wanted to bring my gun, even though it was unloaded, locked and out of sight, I could not work there. The job was at a residential treatment center with an attached school, but AZ law allows carry onto school property so long as it's out of sight, in a locked vehicle (or a locked box within the vehicle) and unloaded (I know... unloaded... as if it's going to go off all by itself if it's loaded). Even though I followed the law - she didn't care.

    Ever since then, I've been quite nervous open-carrying. My current job just doesn't allow me to carry when I'm on the clock. Other times don't matter.

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    Yeah that sounds odd, sounds like they had it out for you. I know the schools here allow the staff to carry a gun in the cars, at least in my town. They even allow parents to have it in the car when on school property while picking their kids up. I was scared my first few times I carried, but like I said, I carry so that my kids know that I will do whatever it takes to keep them safe. My daughter likes that I carry, she tells people it is so that daddy can stop the bad guys, my son says it is so I can stop the mean dogs.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Daddy PV View Post
    ...So - take those apart and convince me why open-carrying when I can would be helpful, good, right, etc.
    There are threads on here about just that subject - there's no need to start another one specific to you.

    As a matter of fact, there's a whole sub-subject devoted to the issue: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/fo...Why-Open-Carry

    My answer is this: If you're not comfortable doing it, for whatever reason, then don't do it, and don't feel bad about it.

    Life is about choices - make your own and be comfortable with whatever it is.

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    Regular Member kinggabby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    If you're not comfortable doing it, for whatever reason, then don't do it, and don't feel bad about it.

    Life is about choices - make your own and be comfortable with whatever it is.
    I agree Open Carry is not for everyone. Most of us here would rather you be comfortable when you carry. If it bothers you to open carry then that means you are not comfortable. Carry everywhere legal and nowhere it is not but just carry however you feel is best for you.

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    Stop carrying at Costco. Depending on State law, it could be a crime, usually trespassing. Respect their property rights and their right to be stupid.

    Don't mention that you carry at Costco. They don't allow you to advocate breaking the law here.

    Again, stop carrying at Costco. Either disarm before going in, or (my preference) don't go in. Why would you want to break the law to give money to folks who don't trust you to carry?

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    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    Like a couple people have mentioned, carry in a manner that is comfortable for you. I open carry because it is comfortable, convenient, works best with my defense strategy, and I think it is excellent idiot deterrent. I can name a couple of instances where my being visibly armed may have prevented a situation from escalating. I don't like the CC argument of "element of surprise" since that usually requires the weapon to be employed and is an inherently offensive strategy IMO. I would rather not have to do that if at all possible. These are my reasons for OC. They don't have to apply to you.

    OC does put you and your firearm into the realm of public scrutiny. So you do have to think about how you will deal with people and possibly law enforcement. The overwhelming majority of comments I have had were positive or out of curiosity. How you carry yourself will project how the public perceives you and your carry. I would suggest starting OC in places where you frequent and people know you or the business is known to be OC friendly. My first OC was at the Frys and Chase bank on Willow Creek Rd not far from ERAU. I was a bit apprehensive the first time, but the bank clerk noticed my purchase at High Noon on my statement and wanted to know what I got I very quickly learned what worked well for me and what didn't. I could care less what some insecure hoplophobe thinks about me or my manhood. lol

    Just be yourself and do what works best for you. Finally, don't carry in places where it is illegal to do so. Signs do have the force of law in AZ.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Stop carrying at Costco. Depending on State law, it could be a crime, usually trespassing. Respect their property rights and their right to be stupid.

    Don't mention that you carry at Costco. They don't allow you to advocate breaking the law here.

    Again, stop carrying at Costco. Either disarm before going in, or (my preference) don't go in. Why would you want to break the law to give money to folks who don't trust you to carry?
    +1

    Better yet, never give Costco another dime. They don't want your money. Why are you forcing it on them? If you really need to get rid of it that badly, I'll take it off your hands.

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    How to reduce anxiety?

    http://www.texasguntalk.com/forums/t...mart-walk.html Just change it from CC to OC.

    If you go about your day as if that thing on your belt is not worth paying attention most folks will follow your lead. If you don't bait the cops they mostly will not harass you. Rehearse a response or two to give to folks who ask you about OCing. Be polite (and possibly ignore) to folks who insist on making derogatory comments.

    And yes, grow a pair. Your concerns are mostly worst-case scenario what-ifs with very little chance of happening.

    stay safe.
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    Campaign Veteran ATM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Daddy PV View Post
    1. I have to carry pepper-spray when open-carrying so I can escalate force of necessary - at least that's how I feel.
    Not sure why you feel that way. If I could justify escalating use of force in small increments, I should just as easily be able to justify avoiding, evading or deterring any such need unless I'm further pressed to require deadly force to end an attack.

    2. I don't like intimidating people unnecessarily.
    Intimidating is a verb in this case, not to be confused with an adjective some people ascribe to an inanimate object which you have a right to bear. Don't do anything threatening which would actually cause anyone to be intimidated, but don't assume responsibility for unprovoked fearfulness, either.

    3. I don't like the YouTube videos where people bait cops just to make the video interesting. AZ is a Constitutional Carry state, but I like our cops.
    I like most cops as well. Most cops won't see a lawfully armed citizen as "bait" nor would they go out of their way to harrass or subject you to anything beyond a mutually consentual conversation.
    If you run into the rare bad apple that does consider you bait and just can't resist detaining, seizing, lecturing or even threatening you, the fact that you captured the violation on video or shared it for the world to see does not make you the bad guy.

    4. I have been fired for having a gun in my vehicle. I tried to sue, but my attorney was less than enthusiastic.
    Bummer. Find a new attorney? I'm not versed in your state laws, but in my state, that would be illegal for most companies and they would be liable for having or enforcing such a policy.

    5. I don't want to have to disarm and be defenseless just to go into Costco. (If they don't know, they don't say anything.) Ya - Costco forbids weapons, even though they don't have it posted.
    Agreed with some of the others here, I'd spend my money elsewhere.
    If you really want to give them your money and it's not a posted prohibition (or lacking the force of law backing their wishes), simply cover it up on their property and then uncover it again after you leave.

    So - take those apart and convince me why open-carrying when I can would be helpful, good, right, etc.
    You gave a pretty good reason yourself: "...if every person carrying a gun carried openly, then public perception (especially after seeing nobody getting shot and nobody threatening anyone) would change for the better."

    Don't count on others to fix the misperception and misinformation, take an active role in normalizing and promoting our heritage of being an armed and responsible citizenry while carrying according to your own preference.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    I agree with what “7om5hipp” wrote in post #2. I would only add that all of the encounters I have had with police while carrying have ranged from nothing said to positive comments. Not one has been negative in nature. As for your having a gun in your vehicle and getting fired, that is indeed unfortunate. I would have pursued this if the job really meant something to me or if I lived in an area where employment was thin. Best to be careful about your company at work and vet them well before discussing certain topics.

    And then there is this thing with Costco which others have chimed in about. I open carry to my local Costco’s every time I go there (Manassas, VA) and have never seen a sign (I don’t go out of my way looking for these things), have never had an encounter with an employee, and have never been asked to leave when armed. To my knowledge (please don’t educate me), that Costco has no policy against the carrying of arms in their store. In fact, several years ago a member on this site who worked in that store as a manager invited me to introduced myself to him the next time I was in there. So like I requested, don’t educate me about Costco because as far as I know, that particular store chooses to adhere to state law.
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    How To Overcome Open-Carry Anxiety

    Correct me if I am wrong (I am pretty damned sure I am not), but haven't numerous posts of confirmations about Costco's anti-carry stance been posted here on OCDO? I have been left with the absolute, unequivocal impression that Costco is absolutely, unequivocally anti-carry. Again, correct me if I am wrong.


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    Last edited by eye95; 09-18-2013 at 09:10 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong (I am pretty damned sure I am not), but haven't numerous posts of confirmations about Costco's anti-carry stance been posted here on OCDO? I have been left with the absolute, unequivocal impression that Costco is absolutely, unequivocally anti-carry. Again, correct me if I am wrong.
    Costco is one of the few places I've been ejected from (Price Club Plaza). I was told at the time it's corporate policy, and this has been the conclusion reached on all the threads surrounding the subject.

    Actually, I wasn't even ejected. On my last visit, the doorman stopped me right away and informed me of the policy.
    Last edited by marshaul; 09-18-2013 at 10:08 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    And then there is this thing with Costco which others have chimed in about. I open carry to my local Costco’s every time I go there (Manassas, VA) and have never seen a sign (I don’t go out of my way looking for these things), have never had an encounter with an employee, and have never been asked to leave when armed. To my knowledge (please don’t educate me), that Costco has no policy against the carrying of arms in their store. In fact, several years ago a member on this site who worked in that store as a manager invited me to introduced myself to him the next time I was in there. So like I requested, don’t educate me about Costco because as far as I know, that particular store chooses to adhere to state law.
    Sorry, you're getting educated.

    Ordinarily I'd share your stance (if not ejected, there's no issue), but Costco has such a long, well-established record of being anti-OC that I feel, at this point, you're knowingly supporting an anti-gun business, in direct contradiction of official open carrier policy.

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    If you have a favorite place to eat, take your family and OC there.

    We have Steak n Shake in our area. We go there almost every weekend. They know us. Two college age sons, my lady and myself, plus my Taurus. The girls want us to sit at their table(s). They even know what we are going to order.
    I sit on the outside seat in the booth so my gun is front and center. No one has said one single word.
    Now there may be a customer or two who is apprehensive at first sight of us. But once they see the interaction between us and the staff I'm sure their nerves settle down.

    Tip 2: Look like a respectable citizen. Put on a decent polo shirt over that T shirt. Wear clean jeans not those with the holes.
    Tip 3: Wear your gun up high. Not on your leg. Use a black holster not brown.

    Basically the more you look like you might possibly be and off duty officer the less fear you will strike into people.

    My biggest fear was OC into a bank. But in reality it's a good place to start.
    PNC is OC friendly. They know me by name. They know about how often I come in.
    Not one word has been said.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samkent View Post
    Use a black holster not brown.
    Logic?

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    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samkent View Post
    SNIP...Tip 2: Look like a respectable citizen. Put on a decent polo shirt over that T shirt. Wear clean jeans not those with the holes.
    +1 for recommending he not look like a living laundry pile or walking mural in tattered clothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by samkent View Post
    Tip 3: Wear your gun up high. Not on your leg. Use a black holster not brown.
    What about tan? Or chestnut?

    Quote Originally Posted by samkent View Post
    Basically the more you look like you might possibly be and off duty officer the less fear you will strike into people.
    -1000 for advocating the "only ones" image. If we wish to change public perception on armed Law-Abiding CITIZENS, we can't intentionally look like LEOs or allow someone to claim we are without correcting them (something along the lines of "actually, I'm just a law-abiding citizen that has chosen not to be an easy target for the criminal element in society").

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    Regular Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samkent View Post
    If you have a favorite place to eat, take your family and OC there.

    We have Steak n Shake in our area. We go there almost every weekend. They know us. Two college age sons, my lady and myself, plus my Taurus. The girls want us to sit at their table(s). They even know what we are going to order.
    I sit on the outside seat in the booth so my gun is front and center. No one has said one single word.
    Now there may be a customer or two who is apprehensive at first sight of us. But once they see the interaction between us and the staff I'm sure their nerves settle down.

    Tip 2: Look like a respectable citizen. Put on a decent polo shirt over that T shirt. Wear clean jeans not those with the holes.
    Tip 3: Wear your gun up high. Not on your leg. Use a black holster not brown.

    Basically the more you look like you might possibly be and off duty officer the less fear you will strike into people.

    My biggest fear was OC into a bank. But in reality it's a good place to start.
    PNC is OC friendly. They know me by name. They know about how often I come in.
    Not one word has been said.

    Really guy? Dress code for carrying a gun? Geez...It's a right, not a flippin' fashion show. Not everyone even owns a polo...Why not say be respectable and a good ambassador...How can you normalize something when people think you have to dress and look a certain way? There is nothing wrong with tee shirt, jeans and boots. Or snealers, or flip flops....Or whatever...I do agree though, if you act like a thug, you MAY be treated like a thug...Dress is a smallpart..
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    baiting cops

    It is impossible to bait honest people...
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Sorry, you're getting educated.

    Ordinarily I'd share your stance (if not ejected, there's no issue), but Costco has such a long, well-established record of being anti-OC that I feel, at this point, you're knowingly supporting an anti-gun business, in direct contradiction of official open carrier policy.
    Don't mind the education but this is one of which I am not aware;

    "...in direct contradiction of official open carrier policy"

    Is this written somewhere within this site's policies and procedures? As for Costco, unfortunately there is no similar store within a reasonable distance of my home. We do have a BJ's close by but they don't have everything that Costco has. And the closest Sam's Club is quite a ways away so that one's off the table. Which kinda leaves me with Costco. Bit of a quandary, ain't it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Logic?
    Most of the police departments I know of use black. Any other color sticks out.

    For someone who is just easing into OC I feel they need to blend in as mush as possible. They don't need to questioned two or three times their first day out. That might put them off from exercising their right to OC.

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    Really guy? Dress code for carrying a gun? Geez...It's a right, not a flippin' fashion show. Not everyone even owns a polo...Why not say be respectable and a good ambassador...How can you normalize something when people think you have to dress and look a certain way? There is nothing wrong with tee shirt, jeans and boots. Or snealers, or flip flops....Or whatever...I do agree though, if you act like a thug, you MAY be treated like a thug...Dress is a smallpart..
    That's fine if you don't mind people calling the cops on you everytime you step out of your car.

    Me I just want to have the feeling of another layer between some 20 year old ethnic person and myself.
    I'm not looking to make a political statement.
    In fact I put a lot of thought into where I will be going while getting dressed for the day. If it's a new place where I have never been before, I'll CC.

    If you are comfortable with dressing down and unknowingly walking past a school while OC'ing, fine. But I have things to do, places to go and people to see. I don't need a well meaning officer grilling me for my name and intentions. Partially because I'm less likely to volunteer information as I get older and crankier.

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    Regular Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    Not dressing down. Dressing regular. BEING NORMAL...Going about my business. Nothing special.
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    A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone

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    Quote Originally Posted by samkent View Post
    That's fine if you don't mind people calling the cops on you everytime you step out of your car.

    Me I just want to have the feeling of another layer between some 20 year old ethnic person and myself.
    I'm not looking to make a political statement.
    In fact I put a lot of thought into where I will be going while getting dressed for the day. If it's a new place where I have never been before, I'll CC.

    If you are comfortable with dressing down and unknowingly walking past a school while OC'ing, fine. But I have things to do, places to go and people to see. I don't need a well meaning officer grilling me for my name and intentions. Partially because I'm less likely to volunteer information as I get older and crankier.
    I just do what I would be doing with or without my pistol and see no reason why the pistol should change my daily activites.

    I always dress the same, beat up workboots, jeans, t-shirt, and ball cap.

    Usually clean, but sometimes dirty and/or greasy from working on my truck or in the yard, still have never had an issue.

    I used to be self conscious, but have gotten to the point where I really don't care, if the business doesn't like it they can ask me to leave, still hasn't happened.
    Last edited by ron73440; 09-18-2013 at 02:05 PM. Reason: spelling
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