There’s a lot going around the internet on this subject lately. A seemingly endless barrage of videos can be found on YouTube of people carrying in the open just to get attention from law enforcement. If you don’t agree with those folks you’re berated for not believing in the Second Amendment. It’s something that’s worth saying a few words about.
First off I believe in having open carry laws on the books. All that really does is gives us a “cops be gone” card. Here in Utah we have an OC law and I have carried in this manner on occasion. At first it was just for work. The local shop that I gunsmithed for had a no compromise OC policy. I have to admit I loved it. But being in a gun shop it made sense as a deterrent. After all, who wants to knock over a shop full of guys carrying openly. It basically says, “robbery attempts will be shot to death…and then a few more full magazines will be applied to make sure you’re not a zombie.” When out in public I found here that if you dress like you know what you’re doing, you are clean cut, and you’re not a jerk then most think you’re a plain clothed cop. They stair to see what you’re carrying and what holster. I was really surprised when I had to meet my wife after work and I had nothing to cover my gun up with. We were at the mall, of all Ungodly places. I expected to have a run in with people calling the police about a madman in the store with a gun and had mentally prepared myself for that. I actually sailed through the entire evening without a second glance. One of those, look and act professional and no one cares, type of nights. I was actually relieved to not have big hassles.
Now, I’m not going to go into the tactics of each. I think both carry options have their advantages and disadvantages and is better served by an actual discussion rather than a “this is my blog, my opinion, and I don’t give a crap what you think” kind of post. It just wouldn’t do the issue any good.
Here’s my issue. In places were open carry is legal there are a lot of people that do so quietly and I have no issue with that. If confronted they are respectful to law enforcement, present their I.D. or carry permit, and if the establishment they are in has a problem with open carry (or any carry for that matter) they act in a way that doesn’t cause alarm. Other people are just out for a pleasant evening and it would be rude to disrupt that. Besides, look at it from their perspective. You make a scene and have to be escorted off the premises by police and you look like a criminal or at the very least a complete jerk. But like I said, for the most part that isn’t an issue.
Then there are those that, as a rule, only carry concealed. I have to admit that I typically fall into this category because it’s the kind of guy I am. Kind of the “sheepdog in sheep’s clothing” type of thing. It’s not because I’m scared of the masses or of getting harassed by the police. I just value the ability to blend in. No one really sees you coming and it gives you a trump card instead of having all your cards on the table before a bad situation starts. I think most concealed carry folks think similarly.
Now, there’s a third group which I just can’t condone. These are the in your face, walking down the street with an MP5 clone on my back, openly carrying just to get the reaction of law enforcement on video, I know my rights but don’t care if it scares the sheeple type of guys. These morons make us all look like a bunch of loud mouthed redneck asshats. There’s a huge difference between knowing you can openly carry, doing so, and calmly dealing with law enforcement in such a way that the sheeple see that you treated them with respect and acted in a professional manner. These people see us throwing a fit and quoting legal code and all they see is that they are glad the the police have shown up to deal with a potential deadly situation. Act with respect and have the police check your ID and send you on your way, probably thanking you for helping them keep the neighborhood safe, and the sheeple will think something different entirely. They will see that you are competent, intelligent, and an asset to sheeple everywhere.
Come on people. No one wants you to fold on or give up your rights. We want respectful gun owners adding to the community. Not asshats being a thorn in law enforcement’s side and making a scene. You want to be drama queens, go into community theater and quit making gun owners everywhere look bad.