The Open Carry Argument


You're right, I shouldn't have asked. I was just merely curious as to why it was such a big deal being asked to harmlessly cover up.

I'm not the OP but I have a problem giving my money to any business that has a problem with me carrying openly or concealed. Choices have consequences. If the owner chooses to make a big deal about someone open or concealed carrying, then I chose not to give them any of my money. It's not "a big deal" as you want to call it. It is two choices/business decisions.
 

I live in an "Open Carry " state, although I have a concealed carry permit and carry everyday. It is rare to see many people open carry even though it is legal here. The problem I have with people that open carry is most of them have a chip on their shoulder and an bad attitude. Most act as though they are just waiting for someone to make a comment about them having a gun on their hip. No reason for them to cop an attitude with others, as one of those people may have a gun in their pocket pointed at him and he is too dumb to realize it.

I too live in an open carry state and I see lots of people open carry and they are always friendly and polite. Maybe you live is a state full of a--holes. Or, just maybe, it is your preconceived ideas and opinions coloring your perceptions of people that open carry. Maybe the people who are open carrying aren't the ones with the attitude.
 
I'm not the OP but I have a problem giving my money to any business that has a problem with me carrying openly or concealed. Choices have consequences. If the owner chooses to make a big deal about someone open or concealed carrying, then I chose not to give them any of my money. It's not "a big deal" as you want to call it. It is two choices/business decisions.

I get it, I was just simply asking why it was considered a big deal because it just didn't make sense to me to discontinue shopping somewhere just from simply being asked to cover up my gun so that it wasn't visible while in the store since it's not like you're being asked to leave instead, just not visibly show your gun in the store but as I said before, to each is own. I was just merely curious but it was chosen not to explain.
 
Every open carry advocate and practitioner I have ever met and talked to agreed in principle that the concept can be carried too far.
No one ever agreed that it was "all right" for gang members dressed in typical garb to parade around in a retail establishment carrying
AR-15 rifles slung over their shoulders. As you would expect customers flock to and out the front doors nearly as fast as if shots were
being fired. The point is nearly all open carry by those not dressed professionally causes a nervousness around them and this naturally
disrupts any kind of business. The problem is there is no way to legislate attire and appearance and that is why it is legal but
NOT ADVISABLE for very shady looking characters to carry very intimidating firearms. The unfortunate fact is there are some people
who enjoy causing this nervousness around them.... It is easy to assume those individuals might be deficient in some other ways
in order for them to enjoy causing alarm among strangers in public.

On another note who among the open carry crowd would not agree that it is a great advantage for the bad guys to not know who is armed.
 
On another note who among the open carry crowd would not agree that it is a great advantage for the bad guys to not know who is armed.

I agree that it is a great advantage to the bad guy to know who is armed. It greatly aids in their target selection process. Why would the bad guy attempt to rob a convenience store if they can see there is an armed person present? Why would the bad guy pick the person on the street they can see is armed to attack? All the bad guy has to do is wait a few minutes for the armed person to leave the convenience store before robbing it. Or go to the next store down the street where there are no guns visible. Or let the armed person walk past them on the street and wait a few minutes for the next potential victim to come along who is not visibly armed.

So, yes, the bad guy knowing who is armed is a great advantage to them. It allows them the opportunity to avoid a confrontation with an armed victim, an opportunity which the vast majority of criminals will gladly take. Now, as the potential target that the criminal is likely to pass over because they can see my gun, I have accomplished my goal. Call me a coward. I don't carry my gun to dispatch the criminals of this world to whatever is beyond. I carry my gun to protect myself and my family and the greatest way to protect myself and my family is to be the undesirable target that most criminals just won't be willing to take the chance with.

There are no absolutes in life, only odds. And odds are in favor that, given the choice, most criminals of opportunity are going to seek the easy targets, not the targets that are showing the capability to end their lives. So I will continue to bet on the odds of being passed on by the criminal, but I will also be prepared when those odds don't work out.
 
The argument brought forward is always that the bad guy will target the open carry person first in order to better his chances for success.

I've never read any shooter or armed attacker story where this was actually the case.

I open carry regularly, was in the bank yesterday while doing so.

Am I also fully capable of being the "gray man?" Absolutely.
 
I agree that it is a great advantage to the bad guy to know who is armed. It greatly aids in their target selection process. Why would the bad guy attempt to rob a convenience store if they can see there is an armed person present? Why would the bad guy pick the person on the street they can see is armed to attack? All the bad guy has to do is wait a few minutes for the armed person to leave the convenience store before robbing it. Or go to the next store down the street where there are no guns visible. Or let the armed person walk past them on the street and wait a few minutes for the next potential victim to come along who is not visibly armed.

So, yes, the bad guy knowing who is armed is a great advantage to them. It allows them the opportunity to avoid a confrontation with an armed victim, an opportunity which the vast majority of criminals will gladly take. Now, as the potential target that the criminal is likely to pass over because they can see my gun, I have accomplished my goal. Call me a coward. I don't carry my gun to dispatch the criminals of this world to whatever is beyond. I carry my gun to protect myself and my family and the greatest way to protect myself and my family is to be the undesirable target that most criminals just won't be willing to take the chance with.

There are no absolutes in life, only odds. And odds are in favor that, given the choice, most criminals of opportunity are going to seek the easy targets, not the targets that are showing the capability to end their lives.

Open carrying will either make you or not make you a deterrent or a soft target but it's funny how you lean towards in such a way that is trying to convince us that a criminal will most likely automatically avoid you at all costs if he sees you carrying. I highly disagree but that's just me. Everybody I've talked to about it, friend or stranger disagrees with this as well but you know what, it doesn't matter. You carry however you wish. If you're confident that your gun being openly carried for the whole world around you to see won't ever cause a problem, then I guess you have nothing to worry about.

Not trying to change your opinion or convince you not to open carry, how you carry is your business but let's say you're standing in line at a 7-11 and you get popped in the back of the head by the bad guy who's about to hold the place up because he sees you carrying? It's game over for you. Or, the guy walks to the door with his gun in a coat pocket and as soon as he clears the door, you get popped. Are you gonna have time to react? He's already got the upper hand. Criminals don't go walking around openly showing their gun. They don't want you to know they have a gun. They want the element of surprise.
 
The argument brought forward is always that the bad guy will target the open carry person first in order to better his chances for success.
I don't think it's always, but it's highly possible. It also depends on your situational awareness too. I prefer not to be looking over my shoulder all the time.

I've never read any shooter or armed attacker story where this was actually the case.

Do a quick Google search. I found a few stories fairly quick.

But again, it doesn't matter what you read. If you do a bit of research, I'm sure you'll probably find equal numbers of stories that back up open carrying as a deterrent and as a soft target. For me, I just choose not to open carry. If those who do want to, that's their business. Hopefully your gun being displayed to many, many eyes will always "scare" the bad guy away.
 
I don't think it's always, but it's highly possible. It also depends on your situational awareness too. I prefer not to be looking over my shoulder all the time.

Do a quick Google search. I found a few stories fairly quick.

Can you point me to a credible news link and not an anecdotal story on a forum? That's all I found, and frankly those are not credible sources, and often are just stories to enhance myth or opinion.
 
Can you point me to a credible news link and not an anecdotal story on a forum? That's all I found, and frankly those are not credible sources, and often are just stories to enhance myth or opinion.

I shouldn't have to do the research for you but it's not that hard to find.

Here's one that discusses several cases.

Another one....

And another one...

But either way as I said, if you look hard enough you'll find equal amounts of information that both supports, and makes open carry a bad idea but that's neither here nor there. You wanna open carry, no one's stopping you. I just don't agree with it which is why the only open carry holsters I own are only used at the range or if I go hiking out in the woods on a trail.
 
Here's the problem. It's almost impossible to prove a negative. You can come up a mere handful of cases of people openly carrying firearms being attacked. 5 or 6 instances over a spread of several years. Now compare that to how many times someone has been passed over as a target because some factor - such as the visible presence of a gun - has caused the criminal to pass on that particular target. What is the ratio of deterrence to attack? 100 to 1? 1000 to 1? 1 to 100? We'll never know. Because very seldom will a criminal come up to somebody and say, "Man you are so lucky I saw that gun there because I was going to roll you for your wallet until I saw that!" All I know is that common sense would dictate that if the criminal has the choice between the target with the visible gun and the target with no visible means of self defense, the criminal would choose the soft target. But, again, to each their own.

It's also interesting to note that a large portion of the pro-gun group likes to claim that criminals prefer gun free zones to attack because there is less of a chance of meeting armed resistance. So, according to that theory, it would follow logic that if the mere increased possibility of meeting armed resistance deters criminals and sends them to gun free zones, that knowing they are going to face armed resistance by seeing the gun would deter them even more.
 
Just because statistics may show that you are more likely to ward off a bad guy by open carrying, it doesn't make it 100%.

Yes, most bad guys want easy targets; but not all of them prey on easy just despite thewitt's dismissal and referring to the links I posted as questionable.
 
...but let's say you're standing in line at a 7-11 and you get popped in the back of the head by the bad guy who's about to hold the place up because he sees you carrying
There are enough 7-11 type store robbery surveillance videos on youtube or vimeo to keep you busy for days. In not one did the robber walk in and check out the customers for firearms, even when uniformed police officers were in line.

One can speculate any scenario but still needs to ask; is it realistic?
 
Originally Posted by corneileous View Post

...but let's say you're standing in line at a 7-11 and you get popped in the back of the head by the bad guy who's about to hold the place up because he sees you carrying


There are enough 7-11 type store robbery surveillance videos on youtube or vimeo to keep you busy for days. In not one did the robber walk in and check out the customers for firearms, even when uniformed police officers were in line.

One can speculate any scenario but still needs to ask; is it realistic?

You sat for days watching videos in an attempt to disprove? Hmm.

I wasn't saying what I said above like it actually happened somewhere. That was just merely an example, hence the, "let's say" part.
 
Just because statistics may show that you are more likely to ward off a bad guy by open carrying, it doesn't make it 100%.

Yes, most bad guys want easy targets; but not all of them prey on easy just despite thewitt's dismissal and referring to the links I posted as questionable.

If bad guys want easy targets, and it is more likely than not that the known presence of a firearm will ward off the bad guy - then why would I not want to take advantage of the odds in my favor?
 
Here's the problem. It's almost impossible to prove a negative. -snip-
Agreed yet while it may be impossible to definitively prove a negative the paltry few incidents of media coverage of open carriers being shot first or being targeted for their gun, especially considering open carry is commonplace (and has been commonplace for decades!) in Arizona, is a good indication that those things don't happen to open carriers very often. Especially considering the anti gun media would revel in reporting any and all misfortunes that might befall open carriers.

I understand that my openly carried gun is no more a magic talisman that wards off attacks any more than concealed carry makes someone a super duper stealth ninja warrior.... but I do know that if my openly carried sidearm causes a bad guy to decide to pass me up in favor of attacking the concealed carrier because the concealed carrier looks like all the other unarmed folks wandering around then I'm quite happy to go on about my day without being accosted.

And if a bad guy attacks me for my openly carried gun then I am in no worse a situation than the concealed carrier who was attacked for his wallet.
 
If bad guys want easy targets, and it is more likely than not that the known presence of a firearm will ward off the bad guy - then why would I not want to take advantage of the odds in my favor?

But that's just it, carrying openly in plain view isn't always a 100% guarantee that a bad guy won't mess with you. Awareness of your surroundings will help minimize that but in my opinion it isn't worth it but hey, that's just me.
 
If bad guys want easy targets, and it is more likely than not that the known presence of a firearm will ward off the bad guy - then why would I not want to take advantage of the odds in my favor?
I consider open carry to fall into the same category as situational awareness. While neither is 100% guaranteed to prevent an attack both are ways to lower the risk of being attacked.
 

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