View Poll Results: Can the gear you wear and how you dress impact public perception and support for Open Carry and

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  • Yes and I will take it into consideration in the future.

    17 85.00%
  • No it is not worth the effort.

    3 15.00%
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Thread: Public Relation for Open Carry

  1. #1
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    I have been a practicing Open Carry person for 17 years plus now..

    Carried openly in many of the Western States all these years without incident (PBTJ)
    Have on more than one occasion had Peace Officers notice me in a coffe shop then make a point to smile and sit in the next closest booth to the corner with their back to me facing the door.

    Over time I came to realize like the rest of you we all are unofficial ambassadors for both open carry and the Second Amendment..

    Which means how people perceive us is as important as the Second Amendment and laws that enforce citizen rights to openly carry.

    That being true for all of you now I just wanted to make a suggestion...

    Obviously fit, clean cut, modestly dressed people make good impressions with others..

    Something less obvious is the selection of your holster and magazine pouches also has an impact on others.

    I try to wear gear that matches the clothes I am wearing. Reducing the initial impact on the psyche of the uninitiated and those unfamiliar with open carry regulations.

    Earth tones browns, tans, Lt greens are reassuring to people.. Black on the other hand has a certain degree of force to it... So when selecting your clothes.. and wearing your sidearm these things willl impact public perception..

    I suggest when possible wear brown leather...vs black anything.
    Avoid "Tactical Holsters" where possible. There is nothing to stop you from painting that Kydex Magazine Holder or Holster a tan or light brown if you cannot obtain the tans or browns to begin with.. Krylon offers products specifically designed to adhere to plastics rough it up a bit prime and paint. (Try the back of that paddle first to ensure it will adhere properly.

    The idea is to diminish the initial visual impact when your open carry.. For people to see your smile, pleasant demeanor and be put at ease,

    When a middle aged women siting beside you waiting for her tires to be rotated feels comfortable enough to ask with out being confrontational.. "Why you are carrying a firearm"? That is a success... You will know what you are doing is working as you are afforded the opportunity to explain how most people in fact are good, honest an decent. How you wish she and every peacable person would carry either openly or concealed and why.. That no Women, Senior, or any honest hard working citizen should ever have to be concerned that they cannot defend themselves and those they love against evil...

    It does work... it does help and it is worth the effort.

    For your consideration.and comment.



    Wm




  2. #2
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    Wm wrote:
    I have been a practicing Open Carry person for 17 years plus now..

    Carried openly in many of the Western States all these years without incident (PBTJ)
    Have on more than one occasion had Peace Officers notice me in a coffe shop then make a point to smile and sit in the next closest booth to the corner with their back to me facing the door.

    Over time I came to realize like the rest of you we all are unofficial ambassadors for both open carry and the Second Amendment..

    Which means how people perceive us is as important as the Second Amendment and laws that enforce citizen rights to openly carry.

    That being true for all of you now I just wanted to make a suggestion...

    Obviously fit, clean cut, modestly dressed people make good impressions with others..

    Something less obvious is the selection of your holster and magazine pouches also has an impact on others.

    I try to wear gear that matches the clothes I am wearing. Reducing the initial impact on the psyche of the uninitiated and those unfamiliar with open carry regulations.

    Earth tones browns, tans, Lt greens are reassuring to people.. Black on the other hand has a certain degree of force to it... So when selecting your clothes.. and wearing your sidearm these things willl impact public perception..

    I suggest when possible wear brown leather...vs black anything.
    Avoid "Tactical Holsters" where possible. There is nothing to stop you from painting that Kydex Magazine Holder or Holster a tan or light brown if you cannot obtain the tans or browns to begin with.. Krylon offers products specifically designed to adhere to plastics rough it up a bit prime and paint. (Try the back of that paddle first to ensure it will adhere properly.

    The idea is to diminish the initial visual impact when your open carry.. For people to see your smile, pleasant demeanor and be put at ease,

    When a middle aged women siting beside you waiting for her tires to be rotated feels comfortable enough to ask with out being confrontational.. "Why you are carrying a firearm"? That is a success... You will know what you are doing is working as you are afforded the opportunity to explain how most people in fact are good, honest an decent. How you wish she and every peacable person would carry either openly or concealed and why.. That no Women, Senior, or any honest hard working citizen should ever have to be concerned that they cannot defend themselves and those they love against evil...

    It does work... it does help and it is worth the effort.

    For your consideration.and comment.



    Wm
    While I agree that the way you dress and the way you carry yourself does indeed effect people's view of you, but the bold statement above could very well describe any police officer, and isn't undoing the stereotype that only cops carry guns one the things we're trying to do.

    As far as wearing gear that matches your clothes, it doesn't lessen "the impact", it reduces the noticability of you gun, i.e. it camoflages it. If non-gun people, who usually aren't that observant to begin with, are presented with a gun and holster that matches the pants and shirt, it generally doesn't even register to that person that you arecarrying a gun. If they don't notice it, they don't have to deal with any unfounded fears, and they don't have the opportunity to become used to seeing ordinary people with guns.

    I think that someone seeing a slightly overweight, bearded man closing in on 50, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, with a big black gun in a big black holster visible on his hip, plain as day, has more of the effect of letting them know that everyday ordinary "civilians" who happen tocarry guns are nothing to be concerned about.

  3. #3
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    I agree that how you dress has an impact on what people will think about you having a gun on you. It doesn't really matter what they think though.

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    one thing i love about arizona... NO ONE even double looks me when i carry which is one of the best feelings imo, feels so free here. but in the event someone did confront me i wouldnt be to worried about looking like a bad guy im very clean cut, and always dress nice. but being a teenager theres always that steriotype of a kid with a gun. either way i try my best to give OC a positive look for everyone

  5. #5
    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    "Happiness is a warm shotgun!!"
    "I am neither a pessimist nor a cynic. I am, rather, a realist."
    "The most dangerous things I've ever encountered were a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass and a Private who was bored and had time on his hands."

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    Wm, I just posted a comment in a 'choose a holster' thread about this very thing.

    I took a slightly different tack, but all in all I agree with you about how we dress and the holster and so forth we carry.

    In essence, attempt to look competent, professional and decent. Avoid looking cheap, unkempt or hostile.

    Can't hurt.
    I'm too old to take a beating, don't fight so well and my knees don't allow me to run. Do I carry a gun? Don't ask questions for which you don't want an answer.

  7. #7
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    Do you have a link to your Holster posting?


    Wm

  8. #8
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    Just a story on OC: My wife and I went to a restaurant that we like, neatly dressed and I was OC'ing my S&W 686 in a black holster. The manager came over and said I looked just like the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control in Virginia) Enforcement Officer, as my sidearm was similar; he thought that I was, in fact. the same person. I told him that I was not, and that I was OC'ing as that was the only legal means to carry in a restaurant;and my professionwas anything but law enforcement (I am a Math teacher). Despite that, he ensured that we were treated to the finest service, even brought us a few free drinks; and he gladly said to come back anytime.

  9. #9
    Lone Star Veteran Gator5713's Avatar
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    Everyone has their own 'personal style' just as with musical choice. Personally you will typically find me wearing wrangler jeans, pearl snap or button down 'work' shirts, and boots (hat varies between ball cap, cowboy hat, and no hat) and my hair is cut short (flat top or similar) with a neat trimmed goatee. That is just my personal style of dress gun or not and thus it tends to lead people to assume that I am either LE or (ex) military (one of the reasons I keep the goatee) but at any rate, always professional.
    I don't think that you have to be dressed professional or 'cowboy' or in any way specifically; so long as your appearance is neat (not grungy or offensive) and your demeanor is friendly/approachable.
    If you are wearing ripped up/overly baggy/etc. jeans and untucked dirty offensive t-shirts then I think you can expect some negative looks and disapproval, if not full confrontation. If you look like a gang banger, you will likely be treated like one. If you look like average Joe friendly citizen, the the gun is non threatening
    Attitude is everything...!

  10. #10
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Gator5713 wrote:
    If you look like average Joe friendly citizen, the the gun is non threatening
    Attitude is everything...!
    Or Jane Citizen.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

  11. #11
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    Tess wrote:
    Gator5713 wrote:
    If you look like average Joe friendly citizen, the the gun is non threatening
    Attitude is everything...!
    Or Jane Citizen.
    Oops..... Sorry.... Didn't mean to be 'sexist' or exclusionary

  12. #12
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    I guess I carry myself well as I wear all types of clothes with mostly t shirts of some sort and a vest in the winter.

  13. #13
    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    "Happiness is a warm shotgun!!"
    "I am neither a pessimist nor a cynic. I am, rather, a realist."
    "The most dangerous things I've ever encountered were a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass and a Private who was bored and had time on his hands."

  14. #14
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    I've noticed that on weekends if I'm out and about in one of my rattier pairs of jeans (dressed for yard work, car maintenance, etc) with similar shirt and we go out for lunch that I get more "notice" than when I'm in a nicer pair of pants (even jeans) and a clean shirt.

    Moderately annoying, but that's about it. Usually I'm with my wife, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. I just ignore the people who are freaking out and just act normal.

  15. #15
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    I'm just a lowly working stiff and don't have a closet full of wardrobe. Most of my clothes are for work, mostly jeans and "Dickies" workshirts. So far I've not gotten any strange looks that I'm aware of. But then, I'm in a rural area and my attire is the norm. Infact I might be considered a bit dressy if you consider that cammo is common around here.



    Oh yeah, I'm always wearing my cowboy hat, that goes nicely with my .45 six shooter when I carry it.

  16. #16
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    I have noticed a difference in the way I see myself as I OC. I am a working class type who usually wears steel toes, jeans and sleeveless shirts.. I have tattoos on my shoulders and frequently wear some type of goatee.. but depending on my agenda for the day, I will change my wardrobe to make sure I don't come across as a possible threat. It makes me hold myself to a little higher standard without compromising my personal "style". A LOT of how you come across is your attitude. I find a positive demeanor and smile disarms the general public. I pretend the sidearm I carry is just another part of my outfit. I don't make any reference to its existence unless someone else asks about it directly. Offhand remarks in passing get no attention from me as I consider that a kind of brandishing. BUT, I do take every opening to act as a positive representitive for the cause. I will talk your ear off given the proper opening. hmmm... kinda like this post... I will shut up now.. time for a coffee break..

  17. #17
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    Its great to fit in, but when the long haired bubba redneck guy (help me I know I describled someone) shows up with a limp, 2 teeth, 1 eye and 14 kids that look just like him, or the skin head tattooed pin cushion ... I am willing to bet you the gun on his side will scare the general pop as much as the angry loud mouthed woman screaming in the corner...



    There is nothing wrong with any of the aboved toting a gun as they are all good citizens, but they can't look like a cop, or CEO,,,, theses guys are the ones that are public image...



    either you get more legal citizens carrying or do it the way we all do it right now.

    one thing that will help the entire US is to work on those last 6 states that do not allow... like SC, TX, etc...

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