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Why Open Carry?

malignity

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
1,101
Location
Warren, Michigan, USA
Why Open Carry?
Written by malignity


As the open carry community in Michigan grows, more people in the public have become ‘aware’ of gun owners. Some are not bothered by the law abiding citizens that open carry, whereas others are fearful. This essay will cover some of the post popular arguments against open carry, will explain some of the reasons the community does so, and will explain why some prefer to openly carry their firearm instead of concealing it where applicable to those with a Concealed Pistol License.

Comfort
Carrying a firearm in general can be a burden. Ask anyone who carries one daily. The two most carried firearms are large framed firearms, such as the 1911 style .45 caliber handgun and various Glock models such as the Glock model 17 or Glock model 22. Having a larger frame typically results in more weight, especially in metal framed firearms such as the 1911. Though the Glock is polymer framed, the magazine is double stacked with rounds side by side or staggered which causes the firearm to be wider and thus more difficult to conceal. Many of those that open carry do so because it is simply more comfortable for them. Concealing such a large framed gun can be almost impossible at times, especially in the summer months when shorts and a T-shirt are of normal dress. There is nothing more difficult than attempting to conceal a full sized firearm with a 5” barrel when you aren’t wearing clothing that will naturally do so.

Draw Speed
The open carry of a firearm in a vast majority of situations allows for a quicker draw of the firearm when needed verses concealed carry. If the use of deadly force is imminent and cannot be avoided for the defense of yourself, your family, or another, the ability to access said firearm must be quick. There is no bad guy on the planet that is going to wait for you to draw and your gun so you can send him on his way to the emergency room. Drawing openly from the hip ensures the following: First that you will save seconds, or even fractions of a second when drawing your firearm because you do not have to move your shirt, or open your vest, or suddenly reach in your pocket or bend down and grab your ankle. Your firearm can snag on a pants pocket, on your shirt, etc. All of these things waste time, and when seconds count and your life is on the line, no one will be waiting for you. Wasting precious seconds could mean the difference between life and death.


Deterrent
To say that open carry deters crime is simply a ‘no-brainer’. There has been national news stories in which open carry has clearly deterred crime. Not long ago in Georgia multiple men planned on robbing a Waffle House. As the others waited in the car, they sent a scout in to survey the place. As the scout walked in, the police noticed the remaining men in the car looking suspicious but continued to watch. The scout walked into the Waffle House, noticed two men open carrying their firearms and quickly ran out of the place to tell his friends that the deal was off. Upon doing so, the police that were watching said men decided that they had enough reasonable suspicion against the crooks and all of them went to jail. Needless to say, if it weren’t for open carry, even if the police were watching carefully, lives could have been lost. It is always better to completely deter crime from happening than to have to defend yourself and possibly injure or kill someone no matter how deserving it may be. This also will likely cause a very expensive legal battle if you must defend yourself, and simply avoiding the situation all together and yet refusing to become a victim in the process is clearly the best option.
If still not convinced that open carry deters crime, ask yourself this question: Why do police and security guards open carry if not for a direct deterrent to crime? Very few people will commit crime in front of said Law Enforcement Officials. It isn’t necessarily their power of authority that is a deterrent however. Any civilian can do a citizen’s arrest when a felony is committed; one does not need to be a member of Law Enforcement to do so. Criminals know that if they commit that crime and put other people’s lives in jeopardy, it’s the almighty gun that’s going to give them a bad day, not the handcuffs.

Political Statement and Exercising of Rights
There are some open carry simply for the sake of exercising their right to do so. One may argue that simply because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This may be true in some aspect, but on the other side of the coin, a right unexercised is a right lost. The fact that someone has a gun on their hip does not make them a raging lunatic. To some, open carry is simply a political statement saying that they are proud to live in a nation that allows their citizens the right to keep and bear arms. At an open carry picnic in Marysville in which the Canadian border could be easily seen, some open carriers stated they were proud to be American, because not less than a mile away, our Canadian neighbors are not even allowed to own a pistol of any kind. Between 25-30% of Americans own a firearm in our nation. These people are your family, your friends and your neighbors. As firearm awareness increases, and with the news media constantly reporting more heinous crimes daily, more and more Americans are deciding that it is time to take a stand for the safety of themselves and others. In times of economic crisis, where cities cannot afford to keep police forces at full capacity, more Americans are finding out that the responsible citizen does not wait sometimes hours for police protection in a time of need, but instead refuse to be a victim and have decided to take matters into their own hands if the occasion arises.

Common Arguments against Open Carry

If you open carry, you’ll be shot first
While this could in fact be true in some circumstances, consider this. If someone is hell-bent in committing their crime, they are going to do so regardless of the presence of a firearm. The situation can either go as follows: One, a scout or lone criminal can come to commit their crime, realize that someone has a firearm, and call off the whole gig completely, deterring them from the scene. Two, the criminal simply barges in and attacks blindly without any consideration whatsoever to their surroundings. At this point, it does not matter if the firearm is concealed or open, as the criminal has already made up their mind as to what they plan on doing, and is probably completely unaware of the firearm on someone’s hip. The last situation would be that someone scouted out and planned their attack ahead of time, and they do target you first. There is no way in knowing whether or not you would have been targeted first anyway; a bank robber intent on killing everyone in a bank who happens to be full of women with the exception of one man is obviously going to kill the greatest threat first, which perceived by most is going to be the male. This man would have been killed first because he is male, not because he is carrying a firearm. There is no evidence to support the fallacy that open carriers get shot first.

I want the element of surprise
The element of surprise is an offensive tactic. Being that the only lawful use of a firearm is for the defense of yourself or someone else, it makes no sense to respond to an offensive tactic with an offensive tactic. The act of drawing to defend yourself is a defensive tactic. If a criminal has a gun pulled on you and you feel you can successfully pull your gun on them and defend yourself without getting yourself killed in the process, then the criminal has already made up their mind on what they want to do, and at the point of drawing and shooting, there’s no amount of surprise that’s going to change his mind in the future. He’s made up his mind, you’ve made up yours, and the end result is going to be someone going to the emergency room. The element of surprise plays absolutely no role whatsoever in this defensive situation, as any hesitation in waiting for a criminals response to your gun could end your own life. Very rarely could surprise turn the tides in your favor unless the criminal has a significantly poor sense of situational awareness. The majority of concealed carried handguns are more slowly drawn than those that are openly carried. When you need your gun, no criminal is going to wait for you to pull it on them and fill them with lead.

I don’t want to be hassled by police
As the open carry community grows, so does the amount of police education provided. More and more people in the Law Enforcement community are becoming aware and even supportive of citizens rights to openly carry a firearm. Many police realize that because more crime is being deterred, it allows them to have more time to devote to where they can quickly and more effectively respond to crimes that would otherwise not be deterred by a civilian. Police are also beginning to realize that felons who cannot legally own a firearm or are carrying for unlawful intent are not going to attract attention to themselves by carrying their firearm in the open.

I don’t want to scare people
With 25-30% of Americans owning guns, that gives the United States a nearly one in three ratio of those that own guns. Take the number of those Americans that don’t own firearms but are supportive of the second amendment, and you could have nearly half the population. Those that fear firearms are those that are typically uneducated about them. Only in Hollywood will you see guns simply go off on their own and Wild West shootings. There is absolutely no reason anyone should fear a law abiding citizen who is going out and living their daily lives shopping at a grocery store or purchasing a coffee at the local coffee shop with a gun on their hip. The vast majority of gun owners are in fact law abiding citizens who go through their daily lives attempting to stay out of trouble and live ‘good’ lives. Remember, everyone in the state of Michigan must pass a criminal background check before purchasing a handgun. Therefore one cannot have a violent criminal record to legally own or purchase a pistol of any sort. Those that commit violent crime are typically repeat offenders who have a previous record and cannot even possess a firearm lawfully anyway. There are 42 states in the United States that allow some form of lawful open carry by citizens. Multiply that number by the amount of people across the entire nation who open carry. Either we have an extremely fearful nation as a whole across those 42 states, or open carry simply does not bother people as much as you might think.

I’m still not convinced
Though this article may not convince you that open carry is the correct way to carry, or may not convince you to even support open carry, know that open carry isn’t going away anytime soon. The goal of this argument is not to convince the anti-gun person that it is acceptable to open carry, but rather to convince those that who may otherwise conceal, to carry their gun openly from time to time and support and exercise your rights. One in twenty five people in the state of Michigan have a valid Concealed Pistol License, and though you do not need a CPL to open carry, if this article persuades even a handful of CPL holders to open carry when they would otherwise be carrying anyway, then the job of this article is complete. The sooner awareness is spread, and the more visible guns there are deterring crime, the safer our state will become. Remember, a right unexercised is a right lost, and even if the act of open carry is not important to you, but the right to open carry is, consider giving it a try, if only once. You may find that it’s not nearly as bad as you think it is, that people really aren’t afraid of you like you thought they would be, and who knows, you may even deter a crime in the process.
 
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acmariner99

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Feb 12, 2010
Messages
659
Location
Renton, Wa
Good points but.... just for fun

Very good information. Now, the following scenario is unlikely -- and the person who would do this would have to be certifiably crazy, but stranger things have happened: somebody sees you with a gun and wants to pick a fight, or assumes you want to pick a fight and tries to do so. It falls along the line of "looking for trouble". Some nut thinks you are looking for a fight and tries to give you one. Granted the chance of this is incredibly small, but I have had a nutjob try to push me to the point of drawing my weapon, so such a thing can happen. In my opinion should something like I described actually occur, it shifts into how you carry yourself and how you tactically respond. But I have heard of this argument as a reason against OC. What do you think?
 

stainless1911

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Dec 19, 2009
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Davisburg, Michigan, United States
Very good information. Now, the following scenario is unlikely -- and the person who would do this would have to be certifiably crazy, but stranger things have happened: somebody sees you with a gun and wants to pick a fight, or assumes you want to pick a fight and tries to do so. It falls along the line of "looking for trouble". Some nut thinks you are looking for a fight and tries to give you one. Granted the chance of this is incredibly small, but I have had a nutjob try to push me to the point of drawing my weapon, so such a thing can happen. In my opinion should something like I described actually occur, it shifts into how you carry yourself and how you tactically respond. But I have heard of this argument as a reason against OC. What do you think?
IMO it can happen. That said, anyone who would pick a fight with an armed man would be crazy enough to justify the need for having that gun.

We have rights, so we don't need a "need" to carry, but it would certainly justify having one, even to those who don't necessarily agree with it.

Situational awareness, a retention holster, and a digital voice recorder are recommended in defense of such things. Getting 911 on the phone to overhear the situation can't hurt, and if you can move towards people in an attempt to generate witnesses would be a great benefit to you in such a situation.
 

acmariner99

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
659
Location
Renton, Wa
Situational awareness, a retention holster, and a digital voice recorder are recommended in defense of such things. Getting 911 on the phone to overhear the situation can't hurt, and if you can move towards people in an attempt to generate witnesses would be a great benefit to you in such a situation.
All of the items you mentioned were purchased or upgrades when the incident in question occurred. (Its under "Scary Target Encounter" in the Tales of Self Defense Section if you are interested). As such, and for practical reasons, when we choose to Open Carry, we must be prepared to respond to curiosity, harassment, bullying, or worst case: someone looking for a fight. In my experience of carrying a firearm, the biggest thing to keep in mind is how you carry yourself and your preparation in handling people's questions and the actions of law enforcement.

I hate fighting, thats why I carry a gun.
 

xmanhockey7

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
1,489
Location
Portage, MI
Good article but I did see one factual problem. Canadians can actually own pistols. Yeah they have to be registered and what not but they can own them and shoot them at the range. Canada also has a carry permitting system in place that is a lot like a "may issue" type of thing. I assume it is very difficult to get but who knows if you show reasonable enough cause I think they do.
 

rushalot1

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Feb 9, 2012
Messages
17
Location
Genesee
Gun laws keep guns out of honest peoples hands, leaving only criminals armed. When is NATO going to realize that!
 

rushalot1

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Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
17
Location
Genesee
Once again criminals shoot up flint and saginaw in our great state and people want to know why we open carry.
 

michaelm_ski

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
99
Location
Clare , MICHIGAN
Why Open Carry ?

Open carry to REFUSE TO BE a VICTIM ! it doesn't get any simpler than that . I open carry because of all the people who fought for our right to keep and bear arms , they paid the price for our freedoms .Plus it makes my wife feel safer when we go out to places where we are unsure of the crime rate . :D
 
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Mahnarch

Regular Member
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Aug 23, 2012
Messages
22
Location
Borculo, Mi.
We're allowed to steal this essay, right?

If not then... OH MY GOD!! WHAT'S THAT?!! *points over everyone's shoulder*


*runs away with essay under his shirt*
 

Mahnarch

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
22
Location
Borculo, Mi.
What?


Either way; It appears I have to retype the entire thing since it won't copy/paste.
Though....I haven't tried "Print Version" of this.

It's too awesome NOT too... but I'm too lazy TO do so.

DAMN YOU, LAZINESS!!!




[
Ninja Edit: I found a way! I copied the text with the task bar and pasted to Notebook (which looks HORRIBLE). Then I copy/pasted to Word and highlighted the titles and did spacing fixes, myself.]
 
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Big Gay Al

Michigan Moderator
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Aug 27, 2006
Messages
1,954
Location
Mason, Michigan, USA
What?


Either way; It appears I have to retype the entire thing since it won't copy/paste.
Though....I haven't tried "Print Version" of this.

It's too awesome NOT too... but I'm too lazy TO do so.

DAMN YOU, LAZINESS!!!




[
Ninja Edit: I found a way! I copied the text with the task bar and pasted to Notebook (which looks HORRIBLE). Then I copy/pasted to Word and highlighted the titles and did spacing fixes, myself.]
Odd, I was able to do it with my mouse and the right click menu.
 

TaurusRanger

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2012
Messages
20
Location
Coleman, Michigan
I know it's been awhile since someone has posted on this thread, but hopefully I can ease the minds of those worried about scaring people by openly carrying a firearm, even if only a little bit. I know it's not a grand story, but I have actually been stopped on the street by regular people and thanked for carrying a firearm. Once at a speedway in Midland, at a K-Mart in Bay City, and even by a Baptist preacher at a Shell in Coleman, just to name a few. Doesn't sound to me that people are that worried about it. To quote a popular saying, "Keep calm and carry on."
 
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