sheepdog wrote:Maybeyoucould elaborate on this point, as I have never understood the practical advantage of surprise to someone ina defensive mindset.<snip>
Having said the above, I personally would carry most often concealed...I like the element of surprise...the presence of a weapon does help the intended criminal develop his "pecking order"....and the weapon's not a threatening device...if you grasp it at all, you'd better be ready and justified to use it...otherwise...keep your hands off it...no "cowboy leans" needed.... I believe the majority of our citizens would carry a weapon with the same sense of responsibility as they drive their cars...and the law will deal with the few who are irresponsible....
I compare it to a home alarm system; carrying concealed would be like installing an ADT system, but not putting the lawn or window signs up. It looks just like any other house, and it's protected, but a burglar has to break a window before figuring that out. By contrast, open carry, like putting the signs in place, gives a would-be criminal fair notice to look elsewhere.
The element of surprise, IMO,is most advantageous when attacking. Yes, defense can include a counter-attack, but I hear of the element of surprise and I think of surprise attacks, not surprise defenses. As amusing as it might be to have a thug experience a mental and physical 180 when you draw a gun he didn't know you had, it's an unnecessary risk, given that if you were carrying openly the attack would not even have begun.
Criminals do not want a fair fight. Concealed carry does make it difficult or impossible to know if someone else will be able to stand up to them, but the overall chances thatan intended victim is carryingare 1 in 100, and most criminals will take that risk. Open carry guarantees that the criminal will not be able to have his own way.
As far as the risk of "OC = first casualty", I disagree with that assessment for two reasons. First, many criminals get "tunnel vision"; it's a natural consequence of heightened adrenaline. An armed robber is more likely to be focusing on his goal -the cashier andtheir money- than on anyone around him. I have only anecdotal evidence, but there have been many cases where a robbery was averted because the robber didn't know someone else around themwas armed; the funniest one was a guy holding up a convenience store right next to a sheriff's deputy.Second, any gun carrier worth his salt will heed the teachings of St Cooper, and maintain a Condition Yellow state of awareness at all times while carrying. A man casting shifty glares in all directions, or who is headed toward you, eyes on you, can be quickly picked up, typed, and confronted before they become a real threat.