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Thread: Open Carry: Personal Comfort. Potential Crime Deterrent, orTarget Creation?

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Open Carry: Personal Comfort. Potential Crime Deterrent, orTarget Creation?

    This thread is more or less a "feeler" to see what the membership thinks about the practical aspects of open carry. Other than as a Constitutional right, what impact do you believe open carry of a handgun has upon society at large?
    If you OC in WalMart do you believe that somebody considering committing an armed robbery may be deterred by the sight of your handgun, or that it will make you the primary target of that person?
    Do you feel that others in WalMart may be made uncomfortable by the sight of an openly displayed handgun in that environment?
    Do you really give a care what other people may feel by your (perhaps singular) obviously armed presence?

    The reason I chose WalMart is because I recently observed an individual engaging in OC in my local WalMart. It didn't bother me at all, because (I figure) anybody openly carrying a handgun probably isn't about to do anything criminal simply because of the unquestionable attention that such a move brings upon them. I'm fairly certain that there are folks who disagree with that position, but I'd like to see what everybody here thinks.

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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    I was at a hooters and saw someone OC. First I was like yes my second sighting outside a VCDL meeting. Then I was happy that there are others out there who know and exercise their rights. As far as what others think they have their own opinions and you know what they say about opinions.

    I remember my first awkward encounter with a store clerk. She was helping me and the wife and squeaked! Dead serious. She seemed nervous and when I explained it to her she seemed more friendly to it and we bought the freezer we were looking at.

  3. #3
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws by John R. Lott, Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    This thread is more or less a "feeler" to see what the membership thinks about the practical aspects of open carry. Other than as a Constitutional right, what impact do you believe open carry of a handgun has upon society at large?
    See More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws by John R. Lott, Jr. (3rd., Chicago, 2010).
    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    If you OC in WalMart do you believe that somebody considering committing an armed robbery may be deterred by the sight of your handgun, or that it will make you the primary target of that person?
    Deterred. Made a target is a gun controllers red-herring.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    Do you feel that others in WalMart may be made uncomfortable by the sight of an openly displayed handgun in that environment?
    "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    Do you really give a care what other people may feel by your (perhaps singular) obviously armed presence?
    Nope. There is no right to feel one way or another. ps. The only use I have made of China's Great Wal-Mart for some years now is their toilets. Buy Mom&Pop!
    Last edited by Herr Heckler Koch; 01-09-2012 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Add title

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Uber_Olafsun View Post
    I was at a hooters and saw someone OC. First I was like yes my second sighting outside a VCDL meeting. Then I was happy that there are others out there who know and exercise their rights. As far as what others think they have their own opinions and you know what they say about opinions.

    I remember my first awkward encounter with a store clerk. She was helping me and the wife and squeaked! Dead serious. She seemed nervous and when I explained it to her she seemed more friendly to it and we bought the freezer we were looking at.
    Interestingly, I used to travel frequently between Oregon, when I still lived there, and Utah on my motorcycle. During that time I held an Oregon CCW, but in-between was Nevada, and at that time they did not recognize the OR CCW, but NV is an open carry state. When I hit the state line it was time to switch my Glock from my IWB holster to the tactical thigh rig, and I did so. I made numerous gas and restaurant stops and an overnight at a motel in Winnemucca with my pistol openly displayed upon my leg. What struck me, was the fact that nobody in NV even seemed to notice, even though two weeks before there had been a fairly involved shootout in a Winnemucca bar! This leads me to believe that the more common open carry becomes - in those states permitting it - the less concerned other folks may become when they see a handgun openly displayed.

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    I know it's probably considered a restuarant (vs. a bar) but OCing in Hooters and they serve alcohol there? [Sounds kind of like NH, IIRC]

    How about OCing in Utah bars?


    EDIT: My mistake, I meant OCing in Hooters -- or bars -- in Virginia, not Utah
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 01-09-2012 at 08:24 PM.

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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudcroft View Post
    I know it's probably considered a restuarant (vs. a bar) but OCing in Hooters and they serve alcohol there? [Sounds kind of like NH, IIRC]

    How about OCing in Utah bars?
    VA doesn't have bars and it used to be you had to OC if you went to place that served alcohol for on site consumption. Now you can CC with permit but can't drink.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I OC for three very practical reasons, none of which you list.

    1) Because it is my right as a human being, and my duty as a citizen to provide for my own personal safety and security,

    2) as a message to criminals that I am NOT willing to be a victim (OK, I guess that falls under "deterrent"), and also to put the "anti's" on notice that I will NOT be bullied by their propaganda, snarky comments, or emotional hooha into joining them in their masochistic reverie of voluntary victimhood,

    3) Because it is a great "conversation starter" and enabled me to have educational conversations with people who would LIKE to carry but aren't up on the law--pointing other law-abiding citizens toward greater levels of personal liberty and responsibility is one of the true joys of Citizenship.
    Last edited by Dreamer; 01-09-2012 at 07:35 PM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I think OC has the potential to have a profound effect on our modern society. People don't think twice when they see someone in a uniform with a badge OC. They don't think twice to see someone in a US military uniform OC. But they see a guy in jeans and a tucked in polo style shirt OC with longer than "regulation" hair and wow does it hit the fan sometimes. I find it troublesome that We, the People find it totally acceptable for an agent of OUR government, by the People and of the People to carry lethal means to enforce the will of that government upon the People, but find objection to a citizen, one of the People, to carry the means to defend himself, family and supposedly his property (although defense of property is pretty much a non-player in modern society beyond the illegally obtaining of that property presenting a physical threat to a person so we'll kinda drop that point as it is always contentious even on OCDO).

    OC is an avenue to remind people that we have a natural and common law right to self-defence. The gov't's desire to enforce its laws through LEO does not supercede our individual rights to defense. The state's desire to arrest, charge, try and sentence a criminal and the criminal's right for due process upon criminal interaction with the State does not supercede my right to survive the criminal act in the first place. And the criminal's right to due process is as to his interaction with gov't not his interaction with me when he threatens my life or family's.

    So do we remind our fellow citizens of that by lecturing them when OC. No, but the very act of openly carrying reminds fellow citizens that the State does not have a monopoly on self-defense or lethal force. It mutely challenges them to think about their relationship with government. It may give the opportunity for us to question why they wouldn't think to ask about our OC if there were a badge on our belt next to the sidearm. Etc.

    I don't want to write a book here and I'm making some general comments that leave room to attack from a detailed analysis so please know I am talking in concepts rather than specifics in trying to answer the OP questions.

    At the end of the day though, no, I really don't care all that much about what people think about my OC (or carry in general for that matter). I don't intentionally make people uncomfortable due to personal morality and because it is counter-productive. And I am a proponent of the idea that if possible, there are times and places it is better to just CC under the "there is a time and place for everything"concept. But at the end of the day I think the 2A is an important fight to win for the very foundation of our nation and as a defining line as to our personal relationship with our gov't.

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    Uber_Olafsun,

    Thanks...I said Utah when I meant Virginia (had glanced at the wrong post and thought the Hooters was located in UT).
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 01-09-2012 at 08:26 PM.

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thanks For The Input

    Thank you all for your input on this topic! It seems that (after day one) the "bottom line" is that:
    1. We open carry because we can (in most states). Our Constitution neither restricts the exercise of that right, nor encourages it - it's just there for us in the Bill of Rights.

    2. Most OC for personal comfort - that being the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones in circumstances perceived as life or death.

    3. The "deterrent or target" question still appears to be undecided. Personally, I see open carry as having the potential for either, depending on the state of mind of a criminal. Responsible OC demands - at the minimum - a good retention holster, and even better, the retention equipment would ideally be combined with retention training.

    4. The consensus seems to be, that most of us don't really give a rat's ass what the general population might think about our openly displayed sidearm.

    With power comes responsibility, and a readily accessible handgun is 'power' in the form of the ability to immediately take a human life, should the circumstances require such an action. Your handgun is not a fashion accessory, it is a defensive weapon, and openly displaying one means you must be prepared to use it within the boundaries of existing laws. Why? Because you will be identified as a "threat" by anyone in your vicinity who is bent on engaging in criminal actions.

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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    The deterrent effect is hard to prove scientifically. I believe a number of "polls" of criminals have been taken however. One of them was in the FBI statistics where criminals stated they were unlikely to victimize someone they believed was armed.

    Common sense though would say that OC is indeed much better than CC to stop one from even being targeted. If you are CC, you can still get robbed and may not be able to draw your weapon without getting shot yourself or at least escalating the situation. If you are OC, you are much less likely to become a target in the first place, at least as far as common sense is concerned.

    In short, yes; I believe it is a deterrent. Even if some people think that it could make you a target to a criminal in the "right frame of mind" they can't argue that for other criminals it is a deterrent. No one can argue that CC is a deterrant on on individual basis because the criminals don't even know it's there. Therefore, OC wins by default as a greater deterrent than CC.

    I'll take my chances against the tiny percentage of criminals that would possibly target me vs. the far greater percentage that would decide on an easier target.
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    Regular Member William Fisher's Avatar
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    BGs see people randomly OCing they are (IMHO) less likely to try grabing Grandmas purse or slapping Grandpa upside the head and taking his wallet. Also the two or so seconds you save could make the difference in the BG being stopped or your likelyhood being murdered. But then again all of that is just my opinion.

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    Regular Member okiebryan's Avatar
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    I'm fighting for OC in Oklahoma because I truly believe that it allows criminals to make more well informed decisions. I wish for them to decide to leave me the hell alone.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okiebryan View Post
    I'm fighting for OC in Oklahoma because I truly believe that it allows criminals to make more well informed decisions. I wish for them to decide to leave me the hell alone.
    +1 That about sums up that part of the issue.

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    Here is at least one documented case of OC working as a deterrent.

    http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-i...bbery-kennesaw
    AUDE VIDE TACE

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    I OC because:

    1. It is my right as a free man and is the mode of carry encouraged by Alabama Supreme Court decisions.
    2. It is hard to comfortably conceal in Alabama summers.
    3. I don't know that the little angels hanging out in the parking lots after dark are up to no good, but they sure seem to head elsewhere when they see that I am carrying.
    4. I have a lovely bride whose safety is my responsibility and I see it as one of my primary duties to protect her.

    This is not in order of importance.

    From having talked to several graduates of one of our state's fine institutions, I have arrived at the following conclusions:

    The career criminal does not want a confrontation with an armed citizen.
    The drug abuser/mentally unbalanced can go either way. If there is any lucidity left in either case, they will avoid the armed citizen. If they are high or having a psychotic episode, they are very liable to attack even a armed citizen.
    The teen or young adult out for thrills is, like the drug addict and mentally unbalanced, unpredictable.

    Bottom line is that I intend to protect me and mine against all of the above.

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    Regular Member Outdoorsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    I OC because:

    1. It is my right as a free man and is the mode of carry encouraged by Alabama Supreme Court decisions.
    2. It is hard to comfortably conceal in Alabama summers.
    3. I don't know that the little angels hanging out in the parking lots after dark are up to no good, but they sure seem to head elsewhere when they see that I am carrying.
    4. I have a lovely bride whose safety is my responsibility and I see it as one of my primary duties to protect her.

    This is not in order of importance.

    From having talked to several graduates of one of our state's fine institutions, I have arrived at the following conclusions:

    The career criminal does not want a confrontation with an armed citizen.
    The drug abuser/mentally unbalanced can go either way. If there is any lucidity left in either case, they will avoid the armed citizen. If they are high or having a psychotic episode, they are very liable to attack even a armed citizen.
    The teen or young adult out for thrills is, like the drug addict and mentally unbalanced, unpredictable.

    Bottom line is that I intend to protect me and mine against all of the above.
    Well said!

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    1) Because it is my right as a human being, and my duty as a citizen to provide for my own personal safety and security,

    2) as a message to criminals that I am NOT willing to be a victim (OK, I guess that falls under "deterrent"), and also to put the "anti's" on notice that I will NOT be bullied by their propaganda, snarky comments, or emotional hooha into joining them in their masochistic reverie of voluntary victimhood,

    3) Because it is a great "conversation starter" and enabled me to have educational conversations with people who would LIKE to carry but aren't up on the law--pointing other law-abiding citizens toward greater levels of personal liberty and responsibility is one of the true joys of Citizenship.
    What he said. This is what I follow too
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    1. I go alot of places with my 2 year old, my gun is hopefully a deterent to anyone wishing to do myself or my family harm, if not then I am quicker on the draw OC'ing than CC'ing all day every day.Hopefully by having it where the criminal can see it will keep my little girl out of harms way.

    2. It is good to educate the uneducated whether they are for carry or not, whether they know it is legal or not they learn or at least ponder why a person is carrying a firearm in public and hopefully go home and take a look at the laws so they can educate other uneducated people.

    3. It is my right ,not granted by man nor government ,it is god given and I will excercise it how I see fit whether it bothers someone or not is there problem.

    4. My situational awareness while oc'ing is very high, everyone at least gets a lookover, how I stand in line at the store,where I sit in restaurants so I can see both entrances, every decision I make while armed I make to protect my life and my familys lives in any situation. I am actually alot more engaging while OC'ing as well more apt to talk to folks even if it is not about open carry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by okiebryan View Post
    I'm fighting for OC in Oklahoma because I truly believe that it allows criminals to make more well informed decisions. I wish for them to decide to leave me the hell alone.
    +2

    AND because, for me, it's more comfortable

    Situational awareness is the key to both OC and CC

    Just 1 man's opinion

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    If you OC in WalMart do you believe that somebody considering committing an armed robbery may be deterred by the sight of your handgun...
    According to interviews of criminals, nearly all of them say knowledge of someone in the vicinity who's carry a firearm is a show-stopper. They'll either wait until the OCer leaves the area, or they'll leave the area.

    ...or that it will make you the primary target of that person?
    Statistically speaking, absolutely not.

    Do you feel that others in WalMart may be made uncomfortable by the sight of an openly displayed handgun in that environment?
    Let's reword this: Do I feel that others in WalMart may be made uncomfortable by the sight of an honest, law-abiding citizen engaging in a Constitutionally-protected activity?

    Do you really give a care what other people may feel by your (perhaps singular) obviously armed presence?
    Yes, I do care. But if they're "alarmed" by it, then my concern is one of pity for their having been brain-washed by an uber-liberal media. The courts have consistently ruled that an observer's "alarm" has no bearing on the legality or illegality of an activity such as exercising one's 2A rights. People are alarmed by chihuahuas, whether they're yapping or being quiet. That doesn't make carrying a chihuahua illegal.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    This thread is more or less a "feeler" to see what the membership thinks about the practical aspects of open carry. Other than as a Constitutional right, what impact do you believe open carry of a handgun has upon society at large?
    If you OC in WalMart do you believe that somebody considering committing an armed robbery may be deterred by the sight of your handgun, or that it will make you the primary target of that person?
    Do you feel that others in WalMart may be made uncomfortable by the sight of an openly displayed handgun in that environment?
    Do you really give a care what other people may feel by your (perhaps singular) obviously armed presence?

    The reason I chose WalMart is because I recently observed an individual engaging in OC in my local WalMart. It didn't bother me at all, because (I figure) anybody openly carrying a handgun probably isn't about to do anything criminal simply because of the unquestionable attention that such a move brings upon them. I'm fairly certain that there are folks who disagree with that position, but I'd like to see what everybody here thinks.

    No matter your method of carry, are YOU prepared and trained to react IF any of those situations presents itself? If your answer is NO, then consider it a wake-up call and take the opportunity to train on firearm retention simply for the reasons you noted above. There are no civilian statistics to truly validate OC and/or CCW as a deterrent, the cases are few and far between.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SavageOne View Post
    Here is at least one documented case of OC working as a deterrent.

    http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-i...bbery-kennesaw
    It's a bit one-sided to present just that side of the conversation, so I'll make the counter clarification for everyone else. OC'ing and robbed at....wait for it...gunpoint.

    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/95999354.html

    Fortunately, some dumb criminals have a hint of intelligence and won't risk an encounter with another armed individual in that kind of environment. It's the dumb criminal with no sense of fear that we all might be armed that worries me. Kind of like the Glock commercial found here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsVCHE7ayPE
    Last edited by REALteach4u; 01-13-2012 at 10:06 PM.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I generally OC in the summer, and CC in the winter. Why? comfort. Same gun, same holster, difference is coat, or no coat. Been the same way for over 40 years.

    I greatly prefer OC. Why? educating the public, and giving the BG a chance to just leave this old man alone. In the last 40 years this stratigy has worked perfectly. I never been mugged (even on S 1st in Seattle).

    BTW: if I am in Seattle I will intentially OC, even if I have a light coat on. I think it is safer. I would rather not encounter a BG, v. having to defend myself. I don't go to Seattle much, and even less so now that I live on the dry side, but I do occationally find myself there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    BTW: if I am in Seattle I will intentially OC, even if I have a light coat on. I think it is safer. I would rather not encounter a BG, v. having to defend myself.
    This. I'm not a hero, and I don't play one on TV. My goal is to avoid clearing leather at all costs, so I would much rather have a dirtbag choose a softer target and never know he sized me up in the first place.

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