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EDC Handguns: Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry


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#1 John B.

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 12:34 AM

Some states allow permit holders to open carry. Others require holders to conceal. 

 

I live in a state that allows open carry, but personally, I would rather carry concealed for a couple of reasons. 

 

1) Although, I'm from the South and guns are just a way of life down here, some still view it as a threat. (I wouldn't want to give a little old lady a heart attack at the grocery store just because she saw my pistol). Haha. 

 

2) I don't want any would-be criminals to see that I am carrying. 

 

In those states that allow open carry, what are your thoughts on it? Just like anything else, there are positives and negatives for both. Gimme your pros and cons. 


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#2 Duff72

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 01:31 AM

My state allows both types and I see the benefit of both . When responsible people carry it helps our cause. I prefer to carry concealed just because I prefer to have the element of surprise, also not forcing a bad situation to escalate. In my opinion open carry can cause descisions to be made for you . I want to be able to choose my options carefully .
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#3 coldwater

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 09:20 AM

If Im out in the woods exploring or hiking, I prefer open carry in a Serpa. We have a pretty feisty coyote population here and their bold as hell, so I like to have the option for quick engagement. On the street. No question, I conceal. I just blend in and disappear, and no one is aware that I'm armed in any way. I like that anonymity of concealment. If the worst happens, you're not seen as an immediate threat, and those seconds count. Also, open carry brings with it a whole new layer of situational awareness to be sure you don't open the door to some thug wanting your gun, and coming in from behind to get it. As discussed John, Crossbreed wins the day.


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#4 Stupendous Walrus

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:09 AM

Let's see if I can provide an opinion from the outside looking in. I try to pay attention and keep up to date with the gun debate in America, as it's important to Canada as well, and I believe in the concept of the 2nd Amendment,

Carrying a firearm is nearly impossible in Canada. There are per its civilians can apply for, but the only ones that really get them are security guards working for armoured car companies and related tasks. Handgun ownership itself requires a different level of licensing versus long gun.

I can't see much of the benefit of open carry in any urban environment. While it may act as a deterrent, it most likely elevates your risk of becoming a target, not just for the valuables you are perceived to be protecting, but your firearm itself. I suppose it also allows you to carry a larger gun as well. As coldwater pointed out, wildlife situations are different. If you're hiking in northern Algonquin, you want it as ready as possible, and hopefully no less than .454 Casull.

Concealed carry has far more benefits in an everyday environment. Public perception, like it or not, matters. Some folks are afraid, don't understand or just plain don't like guns, and in an era of political correctness to a fault, anyone with a gripe and a means of communication can cause a lot of issues.

I'm going to try hard to avoid sweeping, generalized statements, but there seems to be a movement largely in Texas where "activists" carry their assault rifles slung over their shoulder in public areas. Gun advocate or not, this is off putting, detrimental to private firearm ownership and autonomy from excessive oversight. It's also unneccesary and moronic. The right to bear arms isn't a license to act stupidly, and irresponsibly.

With my responsibility from gun owners comes more freedom for gun owners. The other side of that same token, the more people are carrying concealed, the more risk is involved for a street criminal. The knowledge that anyone could be, and may very well be armed can serve a a deterrent not only for thhe carrier, but other members of the public, which serves a much greater purpose than showing off your gun. It's not a case of comparing dick sizes.

Also, as far as I'm concerned, people that think the right to bear arms gives them the right to do and act however they want woth a firearm should remember thst cartridge firearms weren't even invented when that concept was put forth, so if you want to flaunt it for your own good, you better be rocking a flintlock.
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#5 coldwater

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:30 AM

I agree with your considerations of open carry. As far as those few texans carrying openly, it was in protest, and not a usual occurrence overall. They were pushing the envelope to be seen and heard, which worked in their favor, as the open carry bill will be signed into law. As to what firearms we are allowed, James Madison, who wrote the bill of rights concerning our God given rights never to be denied by man, was exceedingly specific and pointed about this very subject. His opinions and judgements can be se seen it the Federalist papers. He demanded that the people be the first in line of defense, and before a standing army. His intent was that the people be armed as well as a standing army, as to safe guard the rights and freedoms of the people against an army of the state. Times have indeed changed, but the intent and clear meaning of the second amendment is written in very plain language, and backed by many opinions in the Federalist papers. The disarming of he people is the first step tyranny, and they saw it paramount that the people be forever armed accordingly.


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#6 Plumblucky1

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:41 AM

Very well put Walrus. I agree, while I get the idea behind open carry, and did a few times before getting my permit, I much prefer concealed. And as for the "2nd amendment supporters" who open carry riffles into McDonalds I think that is one of the biggest harms we could bring on ourselves as pro-gunners. While I agree that there is a very negative stigma to firearms the answer is not to wave them in their faces until they magically decide they are ok with it. It needs to be changed taking your friends and neighbors who have never shot out to a range, to show people you are a responsible gun owner through your actions and how you present yourself, and without starting an argument, question those who support anti gun stances and find out why while truly listening. Then counter them with some basic logic and let them ponder it.
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#7 John B.

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:50 AM

Yes, responsibility is the key. And to do things in a sensible way! 


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#8 Chris Szaroleta

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 12:41 PM

My wife and I each have handguns and carry permits.  We also live in Tennessee, where carrying is not at all frowned upon from a governmental/legal perspective, as long as the carrier has his or her permit.  I'm on the fence when it comes to the concealed vs open carry discussion.  I get the appeal of each, but personally, I conceal.  Everyone makes good, valid points in favor of open carry, yet I still feel slightly uncomfortable doing it, because I know it makes others feel uncomfortable.  It's unnecessary for me to put them in that state when I don't have to.  

 

I don't mean for this to come off as offensive to anyone, but there are different kinds of individuals who carry.  Not everyone's the same, and it's that mystique that frightens people.  I like to think I fall into the carry category of strictly for protection and self defense purposes.  I actually hate feeling like I have to carry at all.  I see other individuals who carry because they can, waving the US Constitution Second Amendment flag, in addition to self defense, which is also fine.  I do often question the intent of some of those people.  Then there are those who are incredibly responsible and fall into a bit of each category.

 

Here's how it boils down for me:

 

When people are in public around other people whom they have no familiarity, they know only of each other what their outward appearance tells them.  Until I've spoken to someone who has an exposed firearm on their hip, it's difficult for me to not make some general assumptions about the intent behind their carry.  I don't look at that person and immediately think to myself, "oh, there's a responsible gun owner and if we encounter a troublesome situation, thank goodness they're here to help protect everyone."  I reserve those notions for individuals in law enforcement (perhaps a bit naive?).  In all likelihood, what I'll probably think is, "hmmm...let's distance ourselves from that person."  All that person has done is tell me that he/she has a gun and nothing more.  Frankly, since I don't know them, I'd rather not know if they're carrying...ignorance is bliss.              


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#9 coldwater

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 01:10 PM

Guns have never made me uncomfortable. I grew up with shooters, and learned early. When I see someone carrying in a holster, I barely take a second look. It's the guy that has it in his hand that gets my attention, or seeing one shoved in a waistband. I'm of the mind that no one should carry if their not fully trained on the gun they carry, and have the mindset that it may be necessary to use it for deadly force. It's not a cool thing to have, it's not an extension of your manhood, and it's not there to make you feel better about yourself. It's a tool like any other, with a specific job. Wether you carry openly or in concealment, be respectful. Keep your hand away from it, keep your attitude in check, and when approaching someone, don't present your gun side first. Smile, hand out, eye contact, and say hello like you don't know it's there. 


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#10 John B.

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 01:43 PM

Guns have never made me uncomfortable. I grew up with shooters, and learned early. When I see someone carrying in a holster, I barely take a second look. It's the guy that has it in his hand that gets my attention, or seeing one shoved in a waistband. I'm of the mind that no one should carry if their not fully trained on the gun they carry, and have the mindset that it may be necessary to use it for deadly force. It's not a cool thing to have, it's not an extension of your manhood, and it's not there to make you feel better about yourself. It's a tool like any other, with a specific job. Wether you carry openly or in concealment, be respectful. Keep your hand away from it, keep your attitude in check, and when approaching someone, don't present your gun side first. Smile, hand out, eye contact, and say hello like you don't know it's there. 

 

Very well said coldwater! 

 

I may be profiling a bit here, but I feel if someone shoves a pistol in his waistband without a proper holster, he is a thug or at the very least, someone who doesn't respect the weapon. (Either way, someone who doesn't need to have possession of one). People with holstered weapons don't bother me because they at least look somewhat responsible. That's not to say that they are responsible or that they aren't carrying for wrong reasons, but they at least made an effort to buy a holster. 

 

Anyway, I just don't see how that would even be comfortable to just have one stuck in your pants. 


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#11 coldwater

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 01:55 PM

I see everything as a risk assessment, and there's better than good odds that someone that has a secured sidearm in a holster is probably not an immediate threat. I'm more leery of someone hiding their face with a hoodie or a hat, and has his head on a swivel or keeps his chin on his chest and his hand in his pockets. That stinks of trouble, and I keep them in front of me. I do understand the idea that some people may be fearful of someone with a firearm, and try I to be respectful, but I'm a legal law abiding citizen with a wife and a daughter. I work hard, own my own home, we have a business, and enjoy a good reputation overall. If someone has an unwarranted and unfounded fear of someone because they may see a print under a shirt, or a glimpse of a pistol inside an open coat when I'm buying milk or getting gas for my truck. That's their problem, not mine. 


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#12 Duff72

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 06:41 PM

The gun in the waist band always makes me think of this
Plaxico Burress On Gun Safety:
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#13 Stupendous Walrus

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:23 PM

Well done Duff!!

 

Guns have never made me uncomfortable either, growing up around them in the context that we have them in Canada, but at the same time, I would rather not know who has one and who doesn't. As a law abiding citizen, if I saw a person walking down the sidewalk with a sidearm, I would be somewhat fixated on it, for no other reason than because they have one. It just draws unnecessary attention to what is, by my thinking, no different a self defense tool than pepper spray or a beefy folder. I'm fine with it all, but I don't understand the advertisement.

 

Makes me think of guys that drive Hummers through the city. Yeah, we get it, you have money and a fancy thing, but what of it?

 

Just me.


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#14 coldwater

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:32 PM

Plaxico Burris. Classic. LOL.



#15 happy

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:04 PM

I subscribe to concealed carry. My rational is whether or not it is legal, it's a little distracting and unnecessary to open carry. 

 

It's a little like a low cut top on a woman with lots of cleavage. It isn't wrong and it's attractive to many, but is it necessary? Does it draw attention away from the conversation?

 

That is, unless you are trying to show off your gun which is usually a no-no. 

 

And the other maybe less rational reason is, don't you just want to feel the steel (or plastic!) inside the waist and against your skin? There is something comforting about that.


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#16 Stupendous Walrus

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:07 PM

Plaxico Burris. Classic. LOL.

GOOD MAN!

 

Not Plaxi, you. Burress was one of the biggest NFL failures of the modern era.



#17 Dom

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 08:42 AM

I live in Pennsylvania. You need a permit for concealed carry. But there is no explicit state law prohibiting open carry. However, some cities and counties have their own laws prohibiting open carry. In Philadelphia there were some instances when people challenged this by simply walking around with a holstered sidearm. It didn't end well for them, and it was counterproductive to the point they were trying to make.

I live in a Philly suburb now, but went to college, lived and worked in Philly. I never fealt the need to carry at all in the city. Being aware of your surroundings is by far the best offense. Your defense is not likely to enlist a weapon, flight not fight. A gun would be too late in an urban fight. I have NEVER heard of a situation when an attacker was thwarted by a gun carrying victim. Could it happen? Sure. But it's an urban environment, not the wild west. And even in the wild west, you were required to check your firearms with the local deputy (despite what movies portray).

Here's a concise summary with some logic about open carry:
http://www.pafoa.org...arms/open-carry
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#18 Jorruss

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 08:58 PM

Having grown up in Canada and moving to the US as an adult, owning a hand gun and concealed carry was a totally new concept for me. I had various rifles (.22LR up to .308) growing up in the country, but never shot a pistol before moving to the US. Since I now had a right to obtain and carry a concealed firearm, I went ahead and got my CCW permit also. I mean, have you seen the news for Florida? Just last week, 900 teens stormed a mall in Orlando and created chaos. A few months ago, 2 people were killed at a shooting in a mall food court in Melbourne. Last year a retired COP shot and killed another man at a movie theatre in Wesley Chapel after confronting him about sending text messages during the previews. Seriously, Flori-duh is full of batshit crazy people. I hope I never have to use deadly force, but at the very least I want to have the option.

 

Being relatively new to the CCW culture, I've observed several things that I think are interesting.

  • Since I've started carrying concealed, I tend to be more observant of the people around me and my surroundings. I tend to make eye contact with people more as we pass each other, and I'm always aware of who's behind me and I'm always scanning my surroundings for exits and choke points. Carrying a gun has elevated my overall "situational awareness", and that's a very good thing.
  • At first I had some anxiety because I was afraid my gun would print through my shirt or pocket and someone would notice, but most average people are blissfully ignorant of people that carry, and those that carry can sometimes pick out others that carry based on clothing choices, posture and behavior. In those rare cases, there is usually some subtle exchange between CCW practitioners, like the ubiquitous upward nod as you pass one another in the supermarket.
  • I'm suddenly much more interested in baggy cargo pants & shorts (Duluth Trading's stuff is pure gold), high-quality leather belts and good holsters!
  • My interactions with the police have changed. While I'm not required to present my CCW permit to the police, when stopped a while back I did so anyway. Immediately the officer asked if I had a weapon in the car or on my person and what kind of weapon it was. I told him what & where it was (in the door pocket), and he had me exit the vehicle and stand behind my car while he ran the permit. In a few minutes he returned and let me go without incident. Perhaps the fact that I legally obtained a CCW (ie I'm not a convicted felon or criminal) put him at ease, and perhaps he's a firearms enthusiast himself (most cops are), but showing him my CCW permit changed things. Perhaps my experience next time may be different, but I tend to think presenting my permit helps.
  • My relationship with US  and Canadian Customs & Immigration changed. Since the early 90s, I've crossed the border between NY/Vermont and Quebec well over 100 times. Only once was I searched, on the 1st anniversary of 9/11. Since buying a gun and obtaining a CCW permit I drove through the border once going to Canada and once coming back to the US. Going into Canada I was asked if I had any weapons, which is normal, but then I was asked a second time specifically about handguns. Yeah, they know. After telling them that I didn't have any, they searched my car anyway. No big deal, it took 5 minutes and I went on my way. Coming back to the US the agent asked me a series of questions and ended with "Have you had your fingerprints taken for anything recently?" Yup, he knew I got a CCW Permit, and god help me if I didn't mention that. From now on I'll expect to be under more scrutiny at the border.

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#19 RKS

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 07:51 AM

Concealed. Always concealed.


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#20 Stupendous Walrus

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 06:38 PM

Very well said Jorruss!
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