Have your friends ever open carried in these bad parts of town? Have your friends read of bad experiences for open carriers in those parts? If not, it's all conjecture based on people's misconceptions. If you listen to elected officials talk about how armed people cause problems then you would know that we force police officers to come and protect us, that nothing ever bad happens at burger joints, and that everybody will have to wear bulletproof vests if open carry isn't outlawed.
Face it, your friends likely don't know what they're talking about. I haven't seen Cato around, but if you're going to open carry, Long Beach a good place to do it for the sole reason that you may get a police officer to come up and hug you. How could you pass up that chance?