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Thread: An Open Letter to Open Carriers

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    Greetings. I write to you because I have become concerned with the growing movement for the acceptance of the practice of open carry. I am a firearms enthusiast, hunter, frequent shooter, and regularly carry concealed. My guns are for sport, personal protection, and general enjoyment. In short, I am a gun nut.

    I have been reading material on the websites for open carriers, and am becoming concerned. It seems the number one objective is to find places to pack your gun around where people will object. Just because something is legal, does not mean that everybody must accept it. Do the rights of property owners mean nothing to you? Wal-Mart does not want you walking around with a gun on your hip, lawful or not. Just as you set the rules at your homes, they make the decisions in theirs. Smoking is legal, but I do not let anybody smoke in my house. I am certain that there is something you would not allow on your land. If you don’t like the idea that some people would rather you come in unarmed, either conceal or just don’t go there. But instead, it seems many of you would rather go through the confrontations everywhere. I have made hundreds, maybe thousands, of trips to stores with a gun. How do I avoid the hassle? Conceal it. Discrete carrying has also never resulted in harassment by police. The burden you complain of is completely self-imposed. You made the decision to make sure everybody sees your pistol. And the sense of self-importance as a ‘customer’ has completely overshadowed the responsibilities held as a ‘guest.’

    Why must you open carry to begin with? Here in Washington, you must have a CPL to have a loaded weapon on your person or in your reach in a vehicle. So either you walk everywhere you go, you stop and open the trunk to retrieve your firearm when you reach your destination, or you have a permit, but prefer to display what you have.

    Let’s also not forget that everybody votes. So every time you are out in public with a firearm in plain sight, you may be influencing somebody in a negative way. They will remember this come November. Every time I see gays being outlandish, it strengthens my resolve to keep them from ever gaining the right to marry. Do you ever think about how people are reacting to seeing your weapon in public? You are taking a big chance not only with your rights, but with mine by deciding everyone needs to see a gun today.

    It is also selfish. Every lawfully carried concealed weapon is one in the hands of a good guy. It makes perpetrating a crime a spin of the roulette wheel. The criminals are taking a chance that this will be the last victim they choose. Concealed carry protects everybody, because nobody can be sure who is prepared to defend themselves, and who is not. Open carry protects only you. It in fact improves the bad guy’s chances, because they can remove one armed citizen from the pool of potential victims.

    Please consider doing what the majority of gun carriers do every day, and conceal your weapon. This is not Dodge City, and there is no compelling reason for open carry.

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    Yay a troll... Let me bite...

    So what about those who are 18-21 years old? Open carry gives them the option to have a firearm for self defense. And don't tell me they should wait until they are 21 to get their CPL... criminals do not care how old you are and they will not wait for you to "grow up." Also what about people visiting out of side? It gives them the option to carry as well without going through the process of getting a non resident permit. Permits cost money, and if a tourist decided to come to Washington every few years, it isn't worth it to go through the process to get the non resident CPL.

    Personally, I don't open carry as much as I like. But there is one event that I always open carry: when I go hiking. Ever tried carrying concealed while hiking? It sucks. You are sweating and your firearm is moving all over the place. Open carry is a godsend on the trails. Whether or not I open carry, I will still do as much as I can to keep it legal and to spread the word.


    Also your examples are not even backed by fact. If you talk to criminals in jail, 9/10 criminals avoid confrontation. They just want to do their thing, and get out. The violent ones you see on TV are that 1/10. Those criminals who are part of the 9/10 will avoid the guy who is open carrying. Why risk your life when there are plenty of other victims and other banks to rob. Criminals change plans all the time. They will not risk getting into a confrontation with a open carrying person. Why risk the extra jail time as well if they get caught. It's the same thing with security guards. A criminal wants to rob a bank. The bank on the right has an UNARMED security guard. The one on the left has no security guard. He will rob the left one because hehas one less thing to worry about. Criminals want to get away with their crimes and in order to do that, they need to keep their crimes as uncomplicated as possible.

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    CCWONLY wrote:
    Greetings. I write to you because I have become concerned with the growing movement for the acceptance of the practice of open carry. I am a firearms enthusiast, hunter, frequent shooter, and regularly carry concealed. My guns are for sport, personal protection, and general enjoyment. In short, I am a gun nut.

    I have been reading material on the websites for open carriers, and am becoming concerned. It seems the number one objective is to find places to pack your gun around where people will object. Just because something is legal, does not mean that everybody must accept it. Do the rights of property owners mean nothing to you? Wal-Mart does not want you walking around with a gun on your hip, lawful or not. Just as you set the rules at your homes, they make the decisions in theirs. Smoking is legal, but I do not let anybody smoke in my house. I am certain that there is something you would not allow on your land. If you don’t like the idea that some people would rather you come in unarmed, either conceal or just don’t go there. But instead, it seems many of you would rather go through the confrontations everywhere. I have made hundreds, maybe thousands, of trips to stores with a gun. How do I avoid the hassle? Conceal it. Discrete carrying has also never resulted in harassment by police. The burden you complain of is completely self-imposed. You made the decision to make sure everybody sees your pistol. And the sense of self-importance as a ‘customer’ has completely overshadowed the responsibilities held as a ‘guest.’

    Why must you open carry to begin with? Here in Washington, you must have a CPL to have a loaded weapon on your person or in your reach in a vehicle. So either you walk everywhere you go, you stop and open the trunk to retrieve your firearm when you reach your destination, or you have a permit, but prefer to display what you have.

    Let’s also not forget that everybody votes. So every time you are out in public with a firearm in plain sight, you may be influencing somebody in a negative way. They will remember this come November. Every time I see gays being outlandish, it strengthens my resolve to keep them from ever gaining the right to marry. Do you ever think about how people are reacting to seeing your weapon in public? You are taking a big chance not only with your rights, but with mine by deciding everyone needs to see a gun today.

    It is also selfish. Every lawfully carried concealed weapon is one in the hands of a good guy. It makes perpetrating a crime a spin of the roulette wheel. The criminals are taking a chance that this will be the last victim they choose. Concealed carry protects everybody, because nobody can be sure who is prepared to defend themselves, and who is not. Open carry protects only you. It in fact improves the bad guy’s chances, because they can remove one armed citizen from the pool of potential victims.

    Please consider doing what the majority of gun carriers do every day, and conceal your weapon. This is not Dodge City, and there is no compelling reason for open carry.
    You really don't get it do you? I could say to you "Why do you carry concealed? Are you ashamed to let people know you have a gun? Do you really need a gun? So much of what you suggests says you don't understand Constitutional Rights and why we have them. Back in the old west, the vast majority of todays criminals wouldn't be criminals because most everybody had a gun and today's bad boy would be just that bad boys and not criminals out of fear of the main body of citizens and their guns. Today when nobody carries openly the criminals get their gun and figure they have the upper hand. OCers are telling them they don't have the upper hand plus letting the world know at the same time, that guns are not evil, they are just a tool and a good man will carry a gun and use it to defend himself and others. Bad people use tools to do bad thing. The tool is not at fault, the bad person is. You claim that OC only protect the OCer. False from the word go, concealed carry only protects the concealed carrier and does nothing to prevent crime until after it is in progress. OC deters any criminal activity in the general area, sort of like when a cop is around. Your contention that this isn't Dodge City applies to you, why are you carrying a gun? There is no compelling reason for you to carry a gun concealed. But since you carry, you don't agree with your own statement.

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    Regular Member badger's Avatar
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    I think the opencarry.org motto "A right unexcercised is a right lost" just about sums up your quiery. Helping everyday people see that not only police and criminals carry guns is one way of showing them that guns aren't inherently bad. I have no bone to pick with anyone who chooses to conceal their firearm.

    As far as you bringing up Wal-Mart, their corporate policy (as with most large retail corporations) is to mirror state law when it comes to firearms. I'm still trying to figure out why you brought up gays.

    With regards to people voting, without exposure to firearms many citizens may not even see a need or use for them beside police/military and vote for stronger gun laws out of mere ignorance. This doesn't help any gun owner.

    Also, this being the largest pro open carry website you are bound to read MANY stories involving the subject. As with any topic there are going to be complaints. Our mission isn't to see how many places we can get ourselves kicked out of. We do try to give each other a heads up about places that do cause problems for OC. We understand that private property is just that and respect the rights and wishes of owners.

    Hope you enjoy the Labor Day Rodeo!

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    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    CCWONLY wrote:
    Wal-Mart does not want you walking around with a gun on your hip, lawful or not.
    That is factually inaccurate.

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    It seems the number one objective is to find places to pack your gun around where people will object
    Could you provide an example?

    Wal-Mart does not want you walking around with a gun on your hip, lawful or not.
    But that's not true. The Walmart corporate policy is to mirror state law on gun carry. The uninformed local manager cannot change the corporate policy. Do some more reading here about Walmart incidents.

    If you don’t like the idea that some people would rather you come in unarmed, either conceal or just don’t go there.
    Any in places where OCers know that OC is not allowed, that's exactly what we do. Usually we pick the don't go there.

    Why must you open carry to begin with? Here in Washington, you must have a CPL to have a loaded weapon on your person or in your reach in a vehicle.
    And almost everyone here does have a CPL, to satisfy the vehicle carry requirement. We follow the law. Why must we? We mustn't. We choose to, within the law. If we didn't want the choice, we'd just move to France.

    there is no compelling reason for open carry.
    The government needs a compelling reason, not me.

    You do what you want without hurting anyone, and we'll expect you to be left alone. I'll do what I want without hurting anyone, and I expect the same courtesy.

    Welcome.









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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    There are at least 2 current threads addressing all matters in the "open letter". If CCWONLY won't take the time to actually read the forum and the consistent responses to these matters I see no reason for us to take the time to respond to the "open letter". Most likely this is another hit and run troll just like the last few who will post this and then disappear. We will spend pages responding to no avail because no one but us will read the responses anyway and we already know what each other is going to say because we have already said it in a dozen threads like this.

    CCWONLY, if you want to take the time to actually read this forum and our responses to other comments exactly like yours, and then start a thread addressing those comments and responses on the forum, I am sure that many people would be happy to discuss the issue with you. Otherwise, thank you for your pontification and have nice day.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    John Hardin wrote:
    CCWONLY wrote:
    Wal-Mart does not want you walking around with a gun on your hip, lawful or not.
    That is factually inaccurate.
    Mr Hardin is correct. In my local Wall-Mart no employee has ever ever said a word to me about my pistol and it isn't like they haven't had a chance to say something too.

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    Regular Member Bobarino's Avatar
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    Every time I see gays being outlandish, it strengthens my resolve to keep them from ever gaining the right to marry. Do you ever think about how people are reacting to seeing your weapon in public? You are taking a big chance not only with your rights, but with mine by deciding everyone needs to see a gun today.
    then your problem lies only within yourself. do you get upset when you see heterosexual couples getting "outlandish"? making out in public? there's nothing illiegal about either couple doing it. the fact that YOU or somebody else will have their delicate sensibilities offeded or have their own perceived notions of right and wrong compromised doesn't mean that your will should be imposed on other, law abiding people.

    your mere possesion of firearms offends Sarah Brady. should she be allowed to impose her will upon you? Obama is completely against any carry of any kind including concealed. should he be able to take away your right? or tell you that even though its legal, you should leave it at home anyway because he doesn't like it?

    your arguement is weak, ignorant and hypocritcal.

    carrrying of a firearm in the state of Washington, openly or concealed with a permit is 100% legal, has no adverse effects on anyone except those that CHOOSE to be adversly affected by their own ignorance and baseless fears.

    some people choose to exercise their 1st Amendment rights by getting tatoos of naked women or profane words, some choose to do it by writing open letters on a website. should one be protected and the other not?

    a right is a right. people choose to exercise their rights in different ways. you need to learn to resepct other peoples' methods of doing so just as others repect yours. only being allowed certain methods of exercising a right means that right is no longer a right, but a priveledge. either you are for the right to keep and bear arms or you're not. only being for it as long as its done as YOU see fit makes you no friend of the right to keep and bear arms.

    Bobby

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    People this is probably another troll. He posted this and was signed in for no more than 30 minutes afterwards. He didn't post this and sit back to have a discussion. He posted this and the exact same letter in the "Why we open carry" sub-forum, stuck around for less than half an hour and logged off.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    CCWONLY wrote:
    This is not Dodge City, and there is no compelling reason for open carry.
    I've been to dodge city...... never saw anyone opencarrying there.........

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    He posted this and was signed in for no more than 30 minutes afterwards.
    Maybe he has a life. I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt. I hope he will return and engage.

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    jchen012 wrote:
    Yay a troll... Let me bite...

    So what about those who are 18-21 years old? Open carry gives them the option to have a firearm for self defense...
    Unless someone 18-21 is in his/her place of abode, fixed place of business, or on real property under his/her control, s/he cannot open (or concealed) carry (RCW 9.31.240) unless certain other exceptions apply, such as the lawful outdoor recreational activity exception (RCW 9.41.060).

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    sean-1286 wrote:
    jchen012 wrote:
    Yay a troll... Let me bite...

    So what about those who are 18-21 years old? Open carry gives them the option to have a firearm for self defense...
    Unless someone 18-21 is in his/her place of abode, fixed place of business, or on real property under his/her control, s/he cannot open (or concealed) carry (RCW 9.31.240) unless certain other exceptions apply, such as the lawful outdoor recreational activity exception (RCW 9.41.060).
    Actually that was what I was referring to. Sorry for not going into detail. Thanks for the clarification.

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    I know do not feed the Trolls. Well the devil makes me do it.

    This comes up all the time. People want to Cherry Pick the Constitution. If you do not do their way than it is wrong or a problem. The problem is we went down the CC path in the first place.

    I cc all the time and open carry when it suits me depending on what I am doing. They are really acting out of fear. "Oh don't open carry that will cause problems".

    If people can stand on a street corner and burn the American Flag while my son and others are shedding blood in the sand than surely folks can get past open carrying.

    I see this year as the year of the gun. I think that their has been somany positive events happening around the country in regards to gun rights that even the Democrats would have a hard time quelling the movement now.

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    We’ve all heard “opinions are like *******, everyone has one” I wouldn’t get your tail feathers all ruffled over this person. He obvious signed onto the wrong forum. There are plenty of CCW websites for him to surf, were Open Carry supporters wouldn’t bash him. Hell many of us have CPL’s and CCW at times. What he forgets is the 2nd, the 24th and all those RCW’s are for everyone, open or CCW. Why one person exercising his right would bash another for doing the same just makes them look like mentioned earlier “A troll”. Again, It’s a shame one gun supporter would bash another for the way he supports the his/her rights. He may be an Obama plant trying to divide supporters of the 2nd and 24th.
    Im proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Let’s also not forget that everybody votes. So every time you are out in public with a firearm in plain sight, you may be influencing somebody in a negative way. They will remember this come November. Every time I see gays being outlandish, it strengthens my resolve to keep them from ever gaining the right to marry.
    This, my friends, is the words of a bigot.

    Seriously, CCWOnly, what is your point in lobbing this grenade into this forum, especially with THAT statement right there.

    Do you not realize that one of the founders of the open carry movement here in Washington State is OUT AND PROUD GAY MAN?!!!!! Isn't just great to be part one of the most ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS populations in this country?

    If you read enough of this forum before lobbing the grenade, you'd know that.

    How many people, with your concealed pistol, have been told where to get concealed pistol licenses because the persons asking you didn't think it was even legal to carry guns up here in Washington (I've gotten plenty of that from ex-Californians), whether concealed or open? I've had DOZENS of people tell me that they are applying for their carry licenses, therefor putting more people out there CARRYING, period, however they choose, whether concealed or open.

    As for your statement that open carry will get banned....

    Not gonna happen. If the Washington State Legislature passes an open carry ban, it would have to be accompanied by a Alaska style carry license system, or the licenses would have to be entirely free, in order to pass constitutional muster here in Washington, and even then that's doubtful due to the strong wording of the Heller.

    Anti-gunners are in complete retreat all across the country. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is likely going to incorporate the Second Amendment (don't laugh, there's very strong indications that this will happen), which means open carry will be CONSTITUTIONALLY from state action, within the next 6 months.

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    It seems the number one objective is to find places to pack your gun around where people will object.
    Nope. Exactly the opposite, for me. Am not specifically looking for confrontation of any sort.

    Carrying openly shouldn't shock anyone, cause fear in anyone, disturb the peace or anything close to it. There is nothing criminal about it. Carrying, itself, is not a threatening act, openly or otherwise.

    The thing of carrying a sidearm as a tool is that, if it's neither illegal nor ill-advised, there shouldn't be a problem no matter where it is. And that's exactly the point. We, as citizens, aren't pariahs and should not be treated as such, merely because we opt to provide for our own security. OC helps people see that the drooling, slavering gun nuts aren't much different from anyone else, when it becomes a common thing to carry.

    I'm all for concealed carry, in higher-risk areas, and I tend to believe that the element of surprise is worth retaining. But in the end, it's hard to not appreciate the simple fact that common use and engagement can and often does lead directly to a reduction of irrational fears and ultimate acceptance.

    So every time you are out in public with a firearm in plain sight, you may be influencing somebody ...
    Sure. That's the whole point. To be seen for what it is. A part of being a free citizen without a boot on one's neck.

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    This is not Dodge City...
    You've been watching too many Hollywood Westerns. In 1872 Dodge City had 15 murders, and then the citizens started policing up the place. They hired the best to keep the riffraff down to a dull roar. They even outlawed the carrying of firearms in the city limits. Yes, Dodge City had "gun control." You could not open carry in the Dodge City of 1876.

    And I open carry simply because it's too warm in the summertime to try to hide my sidearm.

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    I revel in the dailyexercise ofevery creator endowed, constitutionally guaranteed right known to man. What a country!

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    Oh you asked for it:


    The Open Carry Argument

    My primary goal when I’m 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 don’t want to be responsible, legally or morally, for another’s 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.

    Carrying a concealed firearm presents to a criminal that I am unarmed. Every study I’ve 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 don’t attack lions to steal the gazelle the lions have just killed. It’s all about risk management; are the potential gains (a tasty gazelle dinner) worth the potential pain and damage the lion’s teeth will cause, and does the hyena really need to test the lion to figure out the answer? No, the hyena can see the lion’s teeth and knows to stay well clear.

    Deterrent Value:
    When I’m carrying concealed I feel like my ‘teeth’ 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 don’t want to be a victim that fought back successfully and triumphed; I prefer to not be victimized at all. Concealed carry is good; it throws a wrench in the works for criminals who might see the teaming masses as a smorgasbord of financial gain. This deterrent effect is, nonetheless, indirect. 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 don’t want to be a victim and I don’t 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 criminal’s gains are far outweighed by the risk. There is no ambiguity when the thug is doing his risk assessment, there’s 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 it’s 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.

    First One To Be Shot:
    There are some who criticize open carry and claim it will make you more of a target or ‘the first one shot’ 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 you’re 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. Back in the 7-11, if he 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 doesn’t 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 doesn’t know if you’re an armed citizen or a police officer and isn’t 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 armed individual have a partner who is likewise armed behind him in the parking lot, 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 doesn’t make any sense that they would be.

    Surprise:
    Probably the most common condemnation of open carry comes from the armchair tacticians who believe it’s better to have the element of surprise in a criminal encounter. Although this was touched on in the previous paragraph about deterrence, I’ll 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 based on unrealistic or ill-thought out scenarios. The circumstance where several street toughs surround and taunt you for a while 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 what’s happening, make a decision, and react. Imagine you’re 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 there’s 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 may forever lose your firearms rights for such a foolish action. If you don’t draw and they pull a knife or pistol when they’re 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 wife’s 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. 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 ‘surprise’ 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 as 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 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. There are no Robins in the hood trying to help the poor by stealing from the rich. I don’t claim it could never happen; just that it’s so remote a possibility that it doesn’t warrant drastic alterations to your self defense strategies. If you believe otherwise, leave your watch, sunglasses, jewelry, and cell phone at home, hop into your Pinto wagon, and head out to do your thing.

    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. I’ve never kept track of the dozens of fellow citizens I’ve 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 wasn’t being carried in the commission of a crime, one 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, you’d be much more likely to believe in ghosts if you saw one rather than if you listened to a ghost story around a campfire. We give much 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 don’t or haven’t carried openly; those of us who do so on a regular basis have an entirely different experience.

    I’m 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 it’s 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 do so, I would prefer to use that five or six seconds to avoid the entire encounter. I’m 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. The combination of the two makes the criminal’s job that much more risky, that much more dangerous, and that much more uncertain.


  22. #22
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    Mainsail wrote:
    Oh you asked for it:


    The Open Carry Argument

    My primary goal when I’m 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 don’t want to be responsible, legally or morally, for another’s 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.

    Carrying a concealed firearm presents to a criminal that I am unarmed. Every study I’ve 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 don’t attack lions to steal the gazelle the lions have just killed. It’s all about risk management; are the potential gains (a tasty gazelle dinner) worth the potential pain and damage the lion’s teeth will cause, and does the hyena really need to test the lion to figure out the answer? No, the hyena can see the lion’s teeth and knows to stay well clear.

    Deterrent Value:
    When I’m carrying concealed I feel like my ‘teeth’ 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 don’t want to be a victim that fought back successfully and triumphed; I prefer to not be victimized at all. Concealed carry is good; it throws a wrench in the works for criminals who might see the teaming masses as a smorgasbord of financial gain. This deterrent effect is, nonetheless, indirect. 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 don’t want to be a victim and I don’t 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 criminal’s gains are far outweighed by the risk. There is no ambiguity when the thug is doing his risk assessment, there’s 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 it’s 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.

    First One To Be Shot:
    There are some who criticize open carry and claim it will make you more of a target or ‘the first one shot’ 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 you’re 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. Back in the 7-11, if he 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 doesn’t 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 doesn’t know if you’re an armed citizen or a police officer and isn’t 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 armed individual have a partner who is likewise armed behind him in the parking lot, 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 doesn’t make any sense that they would be.

    Surprise:
    Probably the most common condemnation of open carry comes from the armchair tacticians who believe it’s better to have the element of surprise in a criminal encounter. Although this was touched on in the previous paragraph about deterrence, I’ll 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 based on unrealistic or ill-thought out scenarios. The circumstance where several street toughs surround and taunt you for a while 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 what’s happening, make a decision, and react. Imagine you’re 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 there’s 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 may forever lose your firearms rights for such a foolish action. If you don’t draw and they pull a knife or pistol when they’re 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 wife’s 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. 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 ‘surprise’ 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 as 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 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. There are no Robins in the hood trying to help the poor by stealing from the rich. I don’t claim it could never happen; just that it’s so remote a possibility that it doesn’t warrant drastic alterations to your self defense strategies. If you believe otherwise, leave your watch, sunglasses, jewelry, and cell phone at home, hop into your Pinto wagon, and head out to do your thing.

    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. I’ve never kept track of the dozens of fellow citizens I’ve 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 wasn’t being carried in the commission of a crime, one 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, you’d be much more likely to believe in ghosts if you saw one rather than if you listened to a ghost story around a campfire. We give much 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 don’t or haven’t carried openly; those of us who do so on a regular basis have an entirely different experience.

    I’m 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 it’s 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 do so, I would prefer to use that five or six seconds to avoid the entire encounter. I’m 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. The combination of the two makes the criminal’s job that much more risky, that much more dangerous, and that much more uncertain.

  23. #23
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    A person wiser than I once said:

    "Freedom means putting up with other people's freedom."





    The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
    The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand




  24. #24
    State Researcher
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    Urgh...

  25. #25
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    I smell driveby troll.

    Also, this exact same message is copy-pasted over in the Brigade forum.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum6/14123.html

    (Yes, I know what I did here)
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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