I carry concealed, and am intrigued by the passion for open carry. I get the argument about open carry normalizing gun ownership, and the political argument about strengthening the 2A constituency. But from a public policy standpoint, why do we want people walking around with guns? There really aren't any stats on whether gun ownership deters crime. (Don't give me John Lott; he's been discredited
. The consensus among non-advocate academics, from Kleck on one side
to Hemenway on the other, is that concealed carry doesn't appreciably affect crime one way or the other.) Any advantage to open carry, i.e. discouraging crime, is no doubt offset by the disadvantage, i.e. guns readily to hand in a road-rage, domestic abuse, or other ugly situation. So let's call that a wash. Aside from the political utility of open carry, what's the public good in open carry?
It's an honest question, and I'd appreciate a civilized answer, without a lot of the infantile name-calling that gives firearms enthusiasts a bad name. Thanks.