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Thread: "Why do you open carry?"

  1. #1
    Regular Member Wolfebane's Avatar
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    "Why do you open carry?"

    I suppose this might be a bit off topic for this section, but perhaps not.

    My friend, who is very pro gun, asked me "Why do you open carry?"

    I gave him my response of:

    "For personal protection and to show others that not every person with a gun is a nut-job, and can be a responsible and respectful citizen."

    He then proceeded to ask me again, "But why do you open carry and not concealed carry, after all you do have a concealed permit."

    I then explained to him that some people only got the WA CPL (such as myself) to be covered for when they use a vehicle (to avoid having to unload and load upon entry/exit if you don't have a concealed permit) and to allow them greater freedom for choice of dress while maintaining their level of protection.

    He couldn't understand why I chose to open carry, he was of the opinion that "It's not your job to educate others about the laws." and "I figured you were just doing it to be a confrontational jerk." (he later clarified what he meant by that that he thought I was just doing it to get a reaction).


    Anyway, this got me thinking about why I choose to carry and how I can properly explain that to others. I'm not discounting some unknown subconscious motivation for my reason to carry, but I am still satisfied with my state motivation.

    I'm just wondering how others answer this question when asked - "Why do you open carry?"

    -Wolfebane

  2. #2
    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    well,,,

    read a whole sub forum about why folks open carry.
    Why Open Carry

    i will say that open carry DETERS CRIME before it happens,
    that is why their are practically no statistics of the benefits of OC,
    except for the averted kenosha pan cake house robbery,
    and a 7-11 robbery that didnt happen, cause the bad guys saw
    my friends OCd gun and ran away.
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    ďIf ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.Ē

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    I OC because when it's warm it's just more comfortable. Also, it's been proven that if a criminal knows you're armed they are much less likely to bother you or commit whatever crime they had in their tiny minds to begin with. It also, as you suggested, is a conversation starter. It allows me to educate people about their rights and YES WE ARE RESPONSIBLE for teaching others their rights if they don't know what they are. (I could rant for a while about that one)

    For the above reasons plus a few others it's just my personal choice to carry openly when circumstances warrant it.
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


    "I like people who stand on the Constitution... unless they're using it to wipe their feet." - Jon E Hutcherson

  4. #4
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Because I can.....
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  5. #5
    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    Here is my argument.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Squeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainsail View Post
    Here is my argument.
    Good post!

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    "It's not your job to educate others about the laws."
    It allows me to educate people about their rights and YES WE ARE RESPONSIBLE for teaching others their rights if they don't know what they are. (I could rant for a while about that one)
    Because I can.....
    I have begun to practice my reply to that question. I want to be able to "reasonably articulate" my reply to the "WDYOC?" question.




    Don't forget that impending Zombie Appocolypse!!

  8. #8
    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainsail View Post
    Here is my argument.
    Wow, great post. The way I dress most of the time CC is very impractical most of the time. (large full size 9mm) I dress for the weather not the gun, so if it's cold wet and nasty I CC, if I'm going from car to business and not
    staying out in the cold for long I OC.
    "The beauty of the Second Amenment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." Thomas Jefferson
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  9. #9
    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    My answer:

    Why not?

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfebane View Post
    He couldn't understand why I chose to open carry, he was of the opinion that "It's not your job to educate others about the laws." and "I figured you were just doing it to be a confrontational jerk." (he later clarified what he meant by that that he thought I was just doing it to get a reaction).-Wolfebane
    He has a fundamental lacking of American values if he believes it is not your/our job to educate others about the laws. It is precisely the job of the current generation to know and understand the laws we abide too, and it is precisely our job to teach the next generation the law, culture and respect for our unalienable rights. Who should teach the next generation about firearms? Should we leave it to government officials? Teachers? Unions? The media? It is a resounding 'no' in every case. It is the firearms owner, the grandfather, the father, the uncle, or perhaps your aunt or mother. In my case it was many of these people.

    I will go as far to scold those who rely upon the NRA to 'educate others about the laws' as well. The NRA is great concerning safety, but they have given away the legal and political standing of firearms owners for the last 40 years or more. They espouse that 'concealed is concealed' and other misleading serial misinformation. To conceal, to hide, to be silent and not educate your neighbor, your friend, your peers is an absolute failure to the next generation. We must stand up and say; 'yes I carry a firearm and there is nothing wrong with it, and it is legal'. We can no longer be silent gun owners and expect the next generation of firearms enthusiasts to grow in numbers to carry on the great political experiment of our Republic.
    Live Free or Die!

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    My short answer is that I believe that visible deterrents are much more effective then invisible ones.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  12. #12
    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Thanks to you who have responded to this thread so far.

    I conceal carry in Mississippi (where the issue of OC is "iffy" at best) and the insights you have shared are very insightful and informative.
    Last edited by MilProGuy; 07-13-2011 at 03:37 AM.

  13. #13
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    The following article was written by Mainsail back sometime in 2008. It's one of the best and well reasoned approaches to Open Carry.

    The Open Carry Argument

    My primary goal when Iím 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 donít want to be responsible, legally or morally, for anothers 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 Iíve 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 donít attack lions to steal the gazelle the lions have just killed. Itís all about risk management; are the potential gains (a tasty gazelle dinner) worth the potential pain and damage the lionís teeth will cause, and does the hyena really need to test the lion to figure out the answer? No, the hyena can see the lionís teeth and knows to stay well clear.

    Deterrent Value:
    When Iím carrying concealed I feel like my Ďteethí 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 donít 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 donít want to be a victim and I donít 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 criminalís gains are far outweighed by the risk. There is no ambiguity when the thug is doing his risk assessment, thereís 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 itís 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 Ďthe first one shotí 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 youíre 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 doesnít 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 doesnít know if youíre an armed citizen or a police officer and isnít 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 doesnít make any sense that they would be.

    Surprise:
    Probably the most common condemnation of open carry comes from the armchair tacticians who believe itís better to have the element of surprise in a criminal encounter. Although this was touched on in the previous paragraph about deterrence, Iíll 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 whatís happening, make a decision, and react. Imagine youíre 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 thereís 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 donít draw and they pull a knife or pistol when theyíre 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 wifeís 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 Ďsurpriseí 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 donít claim it could never happen; just that itís so remote a possibility that it doesnít 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. Iíve never kept track of the dozens of fellow citizens Iíve 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 wasnít 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, youíd 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 donít or havenít carried openly; those of us who do so on a regular basis have an entirely different experience.

    Iím 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 itís 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. Iím 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 criminalís job that much more risky, that much more dangerous, and that much more uncertain.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1Gunr View Post
    The following article was written by Mainsail back sometime in 2008.
    I posted a link to the most current version above. It also has all the links and formatting that aren't in this version. Thanks for the kind words though!

  15. #15
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    A guy named Marko Kloos wrote this in an essay a couple of years ago.

    It's the last paragraph of the essay.

    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation...and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

    The rest of the essay can be read here:

    http://jpfo.org/articles-assd02/marko.htm

    While his essay doesn't mention either open or concealed carry, open carry certainly carry's the message that he is trying to point out without having to actually having to take any action to make one aware that you are carrying a gun.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainsail View Post
    Here is my argument.
    Thanks for posting that again. I've read it before and have yet to see a better discussion. I particularly like your refutation of the "you'll get shot first" and "concealed carry is a tactical advantage" notions. SVG's "because I can" is also satisfying in its simplicity.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainsail View Post
    I posted a link to the most current version above. It also has all the links and formatting that aren't in this version. Thanks for the kind words though!
    I just saw that a couple days ago over on the USA Carry site. An excellent, well thought discussion on open carry. It have become one of my favorite things to read about the subject.

    Thanks,



    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    A guy named Marko Kloos wrote this in an essay a couple of years ago.

    It's the last paragraph of the essay.

    The rest of the essay can be read here:

    http://jpfo.org/articles-assd02/marko.htm

    While his essay doesn't mention either open or concealed carry, open carry certainly carry's the message that he is trying to point out without having to actually having to take any action to make one aware that you are carrying a gun.
    That essay is excellent as well. Very well thought out.

    Thanks,

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