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Bravo to those who open carry their weapons


Those who choose to carry their weapons openly are making a statement every time they step out their door. It forces everyone who sees them to confront the whole gun issue. There may be some who are morbidly afraid of the kind of people who would carry a gun, and they will run away. There may be some who come over and slap you on the back and commend your civic spirit. There may be some who promptly call 911 to report you, and when the police come you get to have a nice conversation about municipal laws and the Second Amendment to the US constitution. Educating is important, but it might make you late to a meeting.

Open carry can start some beneficial conversations. Sadly, those most likely to start a conversation with you about it are the true believers on the other side who will try to browbeat and berate you. (That always amuses me. Here they are, claiming that citizens carrying guns will lead to blood in the streets because those carrying are just looking for somebody to shoot, and then they start yelling at you for having the audacity to flaunt your lethal weapon. If they truly thought you were a violent nut case, what does that make them as they try to bully you?)

Having said that, it truly is beneficial to American society in the long run for the patient proselytizers to carry their weapons in the open. It is sort of like refusing to get up from the Whites Only lunch counter, or refusing to go to the back of the bus. Many groups try to steal the honor and luster of the Civil Rights movement for their own cause, but the second amendment really is part of the US constitution and is worthy of fighting for. I don't see the comparison as unreasonable.

Openly carrying a gun also shows the general public over and over that a person who is not a police officer can carry a weapon and not shoot anybody at the grocery store or otherwise going about their business. There will be a slow desensitization in our society that will go on, until spotting a pistol on someone's belt is observed and evaluated by the average person like an interesting car or unusual boots, just part of the landscape. There is also the salutory effect on criminals who choose not to attack in a place with armed citizens. Even if they don't choose to attack the person with the gun, they don't know if that person might seek to rescue your un-armed victim. It makes their life harder.

The decision of whether to carry one's sidearm openly as opposed to concealed was an easy one for me. Carrying openly leaves nothing to the imagination of the public: That man or woman is carrying a lethal weapon. Granted, it is a choice only for those who have paid for a CCW permit. The rest must carry their weapons openly or not at all. I have carried a concealed weapon for many years now, and not once has it been noticed in public. I like the fact that I draw no attention to myself, and prefer it because in a crisis situation, the first targets would be those carrying weapons the criminal could see. I engage anyone I can in pro-gun discussions, but I have more control over the where and when if I am not on exhibit by carrying in an openly visible way. My preferred venue is the written word. I seem to have made one anti-gun blogger abandon his site in dispair after a few exchanges on his blog.

Each of us has the responsibility to restore our constitution to its original place of honor in American society. We have come a long way in twenty years with the second amendment, and it is the steady pressure of logic and the documentable benefits of liberalized gun laws on the reduction of violent crime. If you are among those who carry openly, I am one of those guys who commend you on your civic spirit!

More from Gun Rights Examiners 

Atlanta: Ed Stone  |  Austin: Howard Nemerov  |  Boston: Ron Bokleman  |  Charlotte: Paul Valone  | Cheyenne: Anthony Bouchard  |  Chicago: Don Gwinn  |  Cleveland: Daniel White  |  DC: Mike Stollenwerk  |  Denver: Dan Bidstrup | Detroit: Rob Reed |  Fort Smith: Steve D. Jones  |  Grand Rapids: Skip Coryel  |  Knoxville: Liston Matthews |   |  Los Angeles: John Longenecker | Minneapolis: John Pierce  |  National: David Codrea  | Parkersburg: Nicholas Arnold  | Phoenix: Douglas Little  | Pittsburgh: Dan Campbell  |  Seattle: Dave Workman  |  St. Louis: Kurt Hofmann  |  Tucson: Chris Woodard  |  Wisconsin: Gene German


  • MamaLiberty 5 years ago

    in a crisis situation, the first targets would be those carrying weapons the criminal could see.

    Please document a verifiable incident where this has happened. We've been asking for a verified incident for years at and have never had one presented.

    On the other hand, I have personally experienced two incidents in the last two years where a possible attack was averted because the potential attacker saw my openly carried firearm.

  • JR Bailey Casper Coffee Examiner 5 years ago

    Hey Mama,

    I'd like to see the empirical evidence myself.

    However, it IS straight forward logic that IF heavily armed criminals of the non-garden variety (MS-13, Bloods, Crips, Russian Mafia, et al) came into a specific venue/local and were 'on a mission' of some sort, the first folks that would get targeted other than those already on the list (intended targets as in an assassination attempt), would be anyone openly carrying.

    Again, I'm in full agreement with you: I want to see the empirical evidence in a CIVILIAN situation.

    We have NUMEROUS empirical evidence in a police context when non-garden variety criminals encounter police officers (LEO's of any sort really): they shoot the cops or attack the vehicles in which the cops are ensconced.

    The bottom line Mama, is that the non-garden variety criminals, Illegals the majority of the time, are going to transition to shooting armed civilians, because more civilians are walking around armed.

    It's gonna happen.


  • JohnF (Boulder, Co) 5 years ago

    I'm not sure it's good to see concealed carry being praised like this.
    It's been forced on us by ninnies who are afraid of the thing in open sight -so they make us get a permit to carry in a way that doesn't frighten them on sight.
    Why should somebody want to conceal? Because intolerance by others makes us uncomfortable. Sorry, but irrational fears harbored by somebody else shouldn't force me to spend more just to get on a police list.

    "Vermont Carry everywhere" should be the only thing we'll accept (and abolish all bans on specific types). Force them to show us how it'd be a bad thing. (Hint: they can't)

  • Robert 5 years ago

    If I were a criminal intent on starting something the first people I would zero in on would be armed people/police/guards since they are the greatest threat to me. A CCW person would not get my attention thus allowing him or her time to draw and fire upon me. I believe in both open carry and CCW and that both have a place in our society among average people. I worked a ranch with my father in law and open carry was common whether walking or riding. No one took their gun off when they left the fields to do something else and no one cared. Elsewhere in other situations discretion (CCW) was better IF someone had to carry. A gun is tool to use to ensure safety up to a point. If I was in a bank and had an open carry on me when gunmen came in I would be praying someone had a CCW. While the gunman was zeroed in on me the CCW could do what they needed to do. We should chose what fits us best and not critize others for choosing another option.

  • Diamondback 5 years ago

    Even if the "hardened" criminals were to target those they could see carrying a handgun/weapon, it could provide another, unarmed potential victim the opportunity to grab the weapon and defend their and others lives. Unfortunately, due to an errant son, I have more exposure to the criminal element than I would like. They have ALL told me that running up against a victim that turns out to be armed is one of their greatest fears. They are ALL AFRAID of me and have sent out the word to "stay away" from T's dad. One of their leaders, in the early days, was in my basement while my son was taking a shower when I stopped by the house for something. Once in the house, I realized something wasn't right, drew my Kimber .45 and eased my way downstairs. The poor guy literally turned gray (or is it grey? - don't want to seem overly ignorant here). That was approx. 5 years ago and to this day they ALL treat me with the greatest respect. I'm virtually assured to NOT experience a home invasion

  • Diamondback 5 years ago

    Additionally, I've watched several videos online of gunfire exchanges between gangbangers and others. Most of them can't hit squat! Therefore, I personally believe that my training and experience will give me enough of an edge to prevail. I always sit with my back to something with a view of all entrances including the kitchen etc.

    Trust me, most criminals, "hardened" or not, do NOT want anything to do with an armed, trained, determined citizen. In other words, they're more interested in sheep than sheepdogs!

  • Kingfish 5 years ago


    I am normally a fan of your column but your comment about an OCer being the first shot is unfortunate. You first praise OCers but then warn us not to do it because we will be the first shot.

    If you prefer to hide your rights then so be it. Some of us will not.

    Could you provide a SINGLE cite of an OCer being shot first? I could provide a couple links to an OCer PREVENTING crime.

    Maybe a retraction is in order or an update with a source for your unfounded and emotional reactionist claim.

  • Joel 5 years ago

    Thanks for the kind words toward open carriers. We don't often get any of those, even among CCW boosters. The whole "you'll get shot first" thing wouldn't seem to be anybody's business but mine.

    I open carry because I spend most of my time in the boonies, where carrying a gun is smart and it doesn't make much sense to hide it. I keep the gun on in town, don't bother to hide it, and have never been seriously hassled. This is a *very* rural town. When I'm in a city, I go concealed because I'm not an activist and don't feel like trying to explain myself to a cop who doesn't care about rights anyway.

  • Otter 5 years ago

    OCing with a loaded gun is fine, but carrying an unloaded weapon is just asking for trouble, especially if the bad guys know that honest law-abiding citizens aren't permitted to carry a loaded weapon. It's just another way legal firearms are placed into the hands of criminals. Every citizen should be permitted to carry a loaded firearm either openly or concealed, in every State. Just like I have the freedom to say "Obama is a jerk" in all States, so should I have the Right to carry a loaded gun in every State.

  • DOM 5 years ago

    BRAVO to the Cailf OC guys & gals out there!! YOU, my friends, r this Nations Hero's - for the bravery & vigilence you extol every day!! YOU are this Nation's role models! Godspeed, and keep in there. This Nation is behind you ALL THE WAY.

  • 5thofNov 5 years ago

    " I like the fact that I draw no attention to myself, and prefer it because in a crisis situation, the first targets would be those carrying weapons the criminal could see."

    Really? How the hell do you know that they will engage those with weapons they can see? Where do you get this information from? Brady Center?

  • ExNuke 5 years ago

    I'm fully in favor of open carry because I see no reason to humor the delusions of people who want to "feel safe" and panic at the sight of a gun. Whether they admit it or not their reaction is actually to the realization that they are not safe, never were and that they have chosen to render themselves helpless. They are welcome to delude themselves any way they want, while they are "feeling" safe they can "feel" wealthy, intelligent and important as well.

  • MrTwigg 5 years ago

    The lawful open carry of handguns is like walking around with your own little "Crime Free" zone sign.

    Only this one actually works.

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