Open Carry Myths & Misconceptions

Hopefully in last week’s column we sufficiently demolished the idea of open carry as a magic talisman that wards away bad guys that we don’t ever have to see it again!

I’m kidding, of course. No really bad idea ever truly dies. It’s like one of those particularly unpleasant strains of VD that’s always around but just flares up now and then. Regardless of how many sensible people make the point there will always be some hammerhead out there who will insist that somebody with their face stuck in a cell phone and absolutely zero awareness of their surroundings that happens to have a S&W snubby on their hip is going to scare the bejeezus out of every bad guy in a 3 mile radius.

…but instead of lamenting about humanity’s proclivity to embrace perpetual stupidity, let’s move on to some other myths/misconceptions about open carry.

2. Open carry is faster

Yes, actually…kinda. For most people open carry in the sort of holster most people openly carry in is, in fact, a little bit faster on the draw than concealed carry. That’s true in large part, however, because most people don’t really invest a lot of time and effort into developing a proper draw from concealment. I certainly don’t put all of that down to laziness. Go to ranges open to the public and odds are about 50/50 that they don’t allow people to draw from the holster for “safety” reasons. I’ve even attended concealed carry courses where no concealed draws were allowed and the topic wasn’t broached by the “instructor”. Now it seems to me that if we’re going to be all gung ho about people carrying a handgun that at some point it’s probably a good idea to dedicate some time and training space for them to actually, you know, learn how to draw their gun.

For many reasons, people don’t work on their draw or tailor their mode of dress to the method of carry they’ll be using. In the same way that there are people out there packing a Ruger LCP or NAA mini-revolver as their primary because they don’t have the knowledge/experience to know that they can effectively conceal a better gun, there are people open carrying because they believe that they’re much faster on the draw with an open carry rig. Investing in quality carry equipment and working to improve one’s skill on the draw would dramatically alter that state of affairs. If I could take 100 skilled shooters and time their draw from a concealment rig they’ve practiced with vs. an open carry rig they’ve practiced with, I dare say the difference in their draw times would probably be less than 1/2 a second. Now half a second certainly isn’t something to sneeze at when we’re talking about incidents that last only a few seconds, but it’s also not exactly the night vs. day difference that many believe it to be.

Generally when I see someone who insists that they’re “faster” as a reason for open carry, I’m not talking to skilled shooters. Generally it’s someone who has trouble reliably performing a concealed draw due to poor choices in clothing and carry equipment. Their open draw is usually nothing to write home about, either. I hate homework as much as the next guy, but I promise you that drawing the gun and getting it into action is a pretty darn important skill and it’s worth investing time and effort into practicing the skill and getting the right equipment for the job. It’s also one of the skills you can do a considerable amount of work on with dryfire, which might be quite beneficial in these times of ammunition scarcity.

Note that I keep saying “right equipment” in regards to carrying a handgun. I keep saying that because…

3. I’ll be able to defend my gun from a weapon grab

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but most who utter that line either in their head or on forums are nowhere near the truth with it. I got quite a bit of response to the photo I included in last week’s writeup of the female security guard who was asleep on a park bench. I used that to illustrate the concept of “free gun” that I’ve formed when watching most of the open carriers I’ve seen out and about in the world. The truth is that even she is significantly better off than many open carriers in terms of defending against a weapon grab because at least she’s using a holster that’s somewhat resistant to an attempt at a weapon grab.

This is a joke photo...but with some of the bad holsters on the market snatching the gun is just that easy...
This is a joke photo…but with some of the bad holsters on the market snatching the gun is just that easy…

Most people I’ve seen carrying concealed are doing so in inferior quality kydex rigs or in some sort of pitiful nylon rig…neither of which will actually do much in terms of helping to protect the gun from being snatched. You’ll note that police departments require their officers to use holsters with multiple levels of retention. They have this requirement because typically when someone tries to snatch a police officer’s pistol they’re doing so by surprise. If the officer was carrying in some of these horrible gun pockets (some of them don’t really deserve the title of “holster”) then the bad guy would pretty much own the gun the second they laid their hands on it. With a good retention holster from Safariland, however, the officer at least has the chance to fight for the gun.

…not that fighting for the gun is easy, mind you. Most who talk very confidently of their ability to defend their pistol from an attempted snatch have never actually tried to do it against a resisting opponent. This statement includes a bunch of strip-mall dojo “martial artists” who perform snazzy techniques against cooperative students. I’ve attempted to defend a Sims gun and an airsoft gun against real live folks trying very hard to get the gun so they didn’t end up being shot in the crotch and I have to say…it wasn’t easy, certainly not as easy as some of the people demonstrating on Youtube seem to paint it. It also must be said that I was attempting to defend in an environment where I knew this was going to happen…it’s a whole different ballgame when you’re trying to defend against one that catches you by surprise.

37 thoughts on “Open Carry Myths & Misconceptions”

  1. The biggest problem with your issue here is that it’s simply not common. Yes, if you OC, you need to be more aware of your surroundings and yes, OC means you’re in the fight by other’s decisions, but the fear of getting your pistol stolen is one I hear a LOT of from the “OC is a bad idea crowd” with only one or two stories to back it up. And that’s it.

    Cops have their guns taken more when grappling with actively resisting personnel more than “SURPRISE GUN THEFT!”

    I live in a state where OC is verboten, and sadly our biggest hurdle isn’t the anti-gun forces but gunnies who “Support gun rights but think OC is a bad idea”. I can point to AstroTurf Brady Campaigners and tell a legislator that they don’t support gun rights anyways, so their opinion isn’t relevant, but then I’m drowned out by those on my side who dislike it.

    I need more than a handful of grab attempt stories to convince me I’m putting myself in grave danger by OCing. As I’m a Floridian, I would greatly prefer to be able to wear my gun in a much more comfortable position OWB, but that option is denied to me because too many people pooh pooh OC.

    I’m still confused as why cops openly carry though. If OC is such a tactically unsound thing, then why not require police to conceal?

    1. Because the police uniform would still be a dead giveaway that they were likely armed. Plus, why conceal the gun when you would still have a radio, handcuffs, extra mags, etc hanging off of you. Carrying as a civilian and carrying as a LEO are really 2 different things.

      I don’t think that OC should be illegal, but when I make a list of pros & cons related to carry style & my number one goal (which is that I and my family always make it home safe and uninjured), the CC column always has more positives than the OC column.

    2. “If OC is such a tactically unsound thing, then why not require police to conceal?”
      1. Because the police have a job that requires them to project at least the threat of force to gain compliance… we do not.
      2. Because police actually train in some pretty decent classes to defend said weapon… not all of them use that training but at least when I went though the defensive tactics class it was 40+ hours minimum.
      3. Because most cops/departments actually buy decent gear that is meant to be openly carried… frankly most of the mall ninja idiots I’ve seen think a $30 dollar holster and $10 belt from Walmart is as good if not better (because its cheaper) than a $300 holster and $100 belt combo with proper keepers or a velcor bonding.

      1. “. Because police actually train in some pretty decent classes to defend said weapon…”
        Oh, the LOLS!

        My old man is a cop. He has to BEG for training. If he didn’t, his duty pistol would fuse to his holster from disuse. And a class a year isn’t ‘training’. They do, however, have 27 pages of uniform regulations they have to memorize (and only 8 dealing with lethal force).

        Claiming cops are better trained and therefor better equipped to OC is the same argument the anti’s use to claim we shouldn’t carry guns at all because we’re less trained.

        ” frankly most of the mall ninja idiots I’ve seen….”

        And that’s the same argument again. Other people are idiots and can’t be trusted. They won’t buy the right gear. Gun owners are too stupid to go about their business safely and thus must be talked down about.

        I realize you’re not claiming we should ban OC, but it’s statements like this that we heard *repeatedly* when pushing for legalized OC here in Florida. The condescension toward the practice is loud and clear to those who wish to avoid respecting our rights.

        1. Cops in many departments are better equipped if for no other reason than department policy mandates the use of a holster with at least level II retention.

          Open carry should be legal in all 50 states and any of the civilized places in Europe I might actually like to visit. I’m 100% opposed to any law that bans it.

          …but while supporting its legality I also have a passion for seeing people prevail against bad guys and open carry for many of them is just the wrong move from a self-defense perspective.

        2. well then I would say:
          1. Not all departments are equal, however the average cop still has better gear, better training and more of it (and do we really want more required CEU’s for permits to carry?).
          2. If you don’t like the fact that some in the OC crowd are idiots out looking for attention… then get them to stop being dumb. Now time was not so long ago that I regularly open carried on duty and off, the difference being my “duty rig” and belt weighted a lot more, cost a lot more and I actually not only had training in a realistic environment but I PAID ATTENTION! Now lets take a look at most of the mall ninja idiots I’ve seen cheap, flimsy, light weight, no retention uncle mikes generic holster that looks like it came from the bargain bin at Walmart or Fleet Farm, crappy belt, not paying attention and generally having a chip on there shoulder when it comes to permit checks — yeah right those are some real diplomats.

          Also as a side note” *I AM NOT* opposed to OC and I’ve personally done it! When I was off duty it was mostly out of laziness and comfort actually for stuff like taking out the trash, yard work, driving etc. but I do feel that frankly we need to find a way to get these idiots (see youtube for plenty of examples) from making us all look like total tools.

          1. “then get them to stop being dumb”

            I’ll take “Actions of others that I am not responsible for” for $500 Alex.

            As soon as you get the idiots from ARFCOM to stop being such idiots, maybe then we can work on the small group that make noises that make you uncomfortable.

            And again, your arguments are the same ones the anti’s use to deny people their right to carry. MANY gun owners are friggin idiots who shouldn’t be near an erector set, much less power tools or weapons. MOST gun owners do not take *ANY* training whatsoever. And yet, even with all the idiots and lack of [insert whatever it is you think actually fixes any problems here]… there isn’t a problem.

            And as a board member for Florida Carry, I can tell you the loud, obnoxious ones YOU see because you’re interested in this. Politicians? They care about who lights up their switchboard. And there are a LOT more OC supporters like me than there are loud ones.

          2. Well first off like it or not, those actions DO reflect on all of us! Sorry that fact is not to your liking but I’m pretty tired of these idiots ending up on the local news…

            “MANY gun owners are friggin idiots who shouldn’t be near an erector set, much less power tools or weapons.” OK this is real progress! We’ve agreed on the problem (and it is a problem) now how do we deal with it before the anti’s do? FYI this mind set probably comes from living in the Democratic People’s Republic of Minnesota for too long, where they have damn near cost us the “shall issue” law… along with some other stuff (like the fact they still can’t legally codify the castle doctrine)!

  2. Cops open carry because of the instant intimidation an exposed weapon can portray. Also because it’s a heck of a lot more comfortable to carry openly and you aren’t restricted by gun size.

    I conceal carry an LCP in my back pocket most of the time (in a pocket holster from Meco), and sometimes in the cooler weather I’ll carry a larger pistol. But I don’t kid myself that I’m a quick draw. Ideally, I should be, but I figure it’s better to have a gun available if I have a few seconds to draw than to not have one at all.

  3. Police officers tend to be given away by their uniform. Even at that, though, many of them do carry concealed…namely a backup gun as a means of defending against an attempt to grab their primary weapon.

    Note that nowhere have I even hinted that open carry should be illegal…I’m simply arguing that a lot of what is bandied about as the benefits of open carry in various corners of the gunniverse are not as beneficial as they are presented to be. Those places that outlaw open carry are not doing so because I’m whispering in their ear telling them it’s a bad thing. They’re most likely banning it because they don’t want people causing a panic by openly carrying their firearm. It’s an irrational fear, but who ever said politics is a completely rational endeavor?

    As for why we don’t see more gun grabs, one very simple explanation for why we don’t see them is the simple fact that not a whole lot of people openly carry. Open carry without giving thought to how you’re going about it and the requisite attention to your surroundings is an invitation to disaster…one that lots of people haven’t taken any thought of.

    1. “Those places that outlaw open carry are not doing so because I’m whispering in their ear telling them it’s a bad thing. ”

      Actually, your voice is heard and it’s thrown in our faces quite a bit. “Nobody, not even gun owners, think OC is a good idea!!!”

      And I challenge your assumption that more OC will result in more gun grabs JUST like I challenge the gun banners who claim more guns will equal more violence. You’re using the same logic to make that jump.

      I wish to OC for several reasons. Comfort, inoculation, and safety.

      “Because the police uniform would still be a dead giveaway that they were likely armed. ”

      You know what else is a dead giveaway that someone is armed? A visible gun.

      1. “You know what else is a dead giveaway that someone is armed? A visible gun.”
        Which is exactly why I don’t open carry, in my situation and for my needs it makes more sense to carry concealed.

        I have no say in how someone else decides to exercise their right to carry nor did I imply that I did. I made 2 points in my reply.
        1. CC as a carry method has more positives than OC for ME in MY situation.
        2. LEO’s carry method has very little to do with this conversation.

      2. You’re veering off into the weeds. The simple fact is that a number of bad guys attempt every year to snatch the weapon carried by a police officer. Some of these attacks, unfortunately, succeed. Would anyone really like to argue that a bad guy inclined to try and snatch a police officer’s weapon in the process of assaulting them would be unwilling to attempt the same on average joe on the street?

        See, I don’t subscribe to the notion that police face an extra-special breed of bad guy. I maintain that the guy police are killed and injured trying to deal with is the same breed of criminal who pulls all manner of criminal hijinks from strong armed robbery to murder. That is not the breed of bad guy you want to be facing with the situational awareness I see from most who openly carry (including police officers, mind you) a holster with zero retention, and absolutely no weapon defense skills.

        Open carry may be more comfortable in some circumstances may be more comfortable, but I know from *experience* that good carry gear and the right mode of dress make concealed carry every bit as comfortable as open carry. Safety, well there again we run into the problem of the gun as a talisman rather than a tool. The gun on your hip doesn’t make you safe. If the plan is to have the sight of the gun scare away the bad guys you aren’t aware of, it’s just *a bad plan*. If you are are aware of the bad guy there are plenty of techniques to keep him at bay that don’t require revealing the zenith of your self defense plan from the getgo…which could prove useful when you’re dealing with bad guys that don’t work alone.

        Inoculation? I’m going to talk about that next week.

        1. ” The simple fact is that a number of bad guys attempt every year to snatch the weapon carried by a police officer.”

          So? Anti’s like to point out that accidents happen. Should that dissuade us from owning guns? No, because the number of accidents is so low as to be statistical noise. Same with your gun grab claims. It doesn’t happen with enough regularity to make it something we should fear.

          “Would anyone really like to argue that a bad guy inclined to try and snatch a police officer’s weapon in the process of assaulting them would be unwilling to attempt the same on average joe on the street? ”

          No, but I will argue that is uncommon.

          “See, I don’t subscribe to the notion that police face an extra-special breed of bad guy.”

          Then you don’t pay attention. Police lose their guns while grappling with bad guys they are trying to arrest. The incidents of cops being pinched for their guns by random are fairly low, those from Open Carriers are even lower.

          And cops *actively seek* the problems. They put themselves into the dangerous situations so that the rest of us don’t have to. That automatically increases their risks.

          “Open carry may be more comfortable in some circumstances may be more comfortable, but I know from *experience* that good carry gear and the right mode of dress make concealed carry every bit as comfortable as open carry.”

          Are you claiming that your personal experience is 100% applicable to all people, in all climes, with the same level of financial ability to try out 30 different holsters with 14 different belts? Because I have experience that is completely different than yours and I’m *fairly* well versed in carry. You don’t carry a full size, Glock 20 without learning how to make the best of comfort and OWB is infinitely more comfy to tote AND doesn’t require buying clothing a different size than necessary.

          I don’t really care if 90% of OC’ers want to carry in floppy Uncle Mikes pouches because there isn’t a retention problem. If there was, we’d hear dozens of stories a *week*, rather than the one or two stories people point to from the past couple of years.

          Now, this isn’t to say that I think people *should* do so, I just don’t care if they decide to do it otherwise.

          As for the security aspect, I’m not saying OC replaces being in Condition Yellow. Anyone who thinks so is a friggin’ idiot. But to claim OC is no deterrent is to ALSO say that concealed carry is no deterrent. People like to claim that criminals will avoid attacking people if they think they might have a gun hidden on them, but somehow that same criminal will be emboldened to attack you if they *know*.

          That makes NO sense whatsoever.

          “Inoculation? I’m going to talk about that next week.”

          I hope that before you do, you reach out beyond your own personal bubble of experience. I’ve been hosting OC events here in Florida for 3 years now and my group has quite a bit of experience in inoculation over the entire state to pull from. In a state where OC is verboten unless you are fishing, hunting, or camping, I’m willing to bet that our experiences are different than yours. I would *love* to discuss them with you (Caleb has my # if you need, or just email me)

          Finally, thanks for the conversation. If I come off as pissy, it’s mostly because I’m passionate and we’ve had a harder time getting gunnies on board than we do battling the anti’s here in Florida.

          1. “it’s mostly because I’m passionate and we’ve had a harder time getting gunnies on board than we do battling the anti’s here in Florida.” good luck man!

        2. Would anyone really like to argue that a bad guy inclined to try and snatch a police officer’s weapon in the process of assaulting them would be unwilling to attempt the same on average joe on the street?

          I will. And the reason I will is that there is one huge difference between the two scenarios you mention.

          You see, in the scenario with the cop, it’s the cop who has initiated the contact with the bad guy. With very rare exceptions, this is always the case. The bad guy did not go out looking for a cop to assault in order to get a gun. For whatever reason, the cop came to him, and in most cases the bad guy knew he was probably going to end up getting arrested. From the bad guy’s perspective, he has already failed to avoid the confrontation, and his only remaining options are surrender or escalation.

          Bad guys, with very rare exceptions (because nothing is absolute), do not randomly confront an obviously armed person just to steal a gun. In fact, they will rarely confront anyone they think is capable of fighting back, outside of a specific personal dispute. There are much easier and safer ways for them to steal a gun than trying to take it off of somebody who is wearing it at the time, and criminals know this.

          1. “Bad guys, with very rare exceptions (because nothing is absolute), do not randomly confront an obviously armed person just to steal a gun.”

            yep true except those that are willing are also generally the same ones that:
            1. know how to disarm someone.
            2. are willing to use force… including said gun!

          2. I can’t disagree with anything you say, but I do have to misquote Tom Cruise and say “show me the numbers”. It’s certainly something we should all be aware of, but is it really an issue, or does it amount to nothing more than statistical noise?

            Or, in other words, is it really something we should insist people spend time and money worrying about, or is condition yellow and a decent holster sufficient for the average OC’er?

        3. One of the reasons cops end up getting their guns taken has to do with their job. During the course of their job in order to follow policy and not shoot every petty thief they end up in ground fights. In these fights many times the criminals are going to do any and everything to not go to jail. There are few if any gun grabs from cops just walking around minding their own business.

          The thing about police training is true in large cities. Where I live you can work as a cop for up to 365 days without formal training. So you get hired, go to work and get a badge and gun on day one. You ride with a training officer for a certain amount of time then boom you are a cop for that small town. A few months later you might go to the state run academy. By that time you have been an open carrying cop for a couple of months with little or no training.

          On a different note. So far the myths of OC articles have dealt with things that apply to both the OCer and the CCer. Just because you CC does not mean you have such a great tactical advantage that you will never get in trouble. If you CC and have zero situational awareness you are just as big if not more of a target than the OC guy who is lost on the cell phone. If you CC with crappy equipment you will have similar results to the OCer with crappy equipment.

          It is easy to through a CC course and then onto some further instruction and parrot what all the “big name” instructors tell you. The way the anti OC crowd makes it sound is I will get my gun stolen as soon as I walk out the door. When in reality there are many places and many people who OC every day and do not get their gun taken. There are many armored car company employees who carry crappy guns in crappy holsters with a next to no training that do not get robbed carrying money. Most people who complain about OC would be amazed at how many people do not even notice guns on your side. I worked for an armored car company for a couple of years. I had the same route for quite sometime. It seemed like once a month somebody I had talked to 3 day a week looked down and asked when I started carrying a gun.

          Deterrence is a better crime fighter than surprise. For example, if you see a cop that appears to be running radar in an area you are more likely to slow down. If a cop is hiding and running radar he is waiting for the crime to be committed before he acts.

          Both articles have basically stated that if you OC you will get your gun taken do to your poor tactical choice. If you CC you are a ninja and nothing can happen to you because of your super cool tactical advantage.

          1. “When in reality there are many places and many people who OC every day and do not get their gun taken. There are many armored car company employees who carry crappy guns in crappy holsters with a next to no training that do not get robbed carrying money. Most people who complain about OC would be amazed at how many people do not even notice guns on your side. I worked for an armored car company for a couple of years. I had the same route for quite sometime. It seemed like once a month somebody I had talked to 3 day a week looked down and asked when I started carrying a gun.”

            *face-palm* yup I know the types! what company were you with? I was Garda/UA/AS (lots of companies buying other companies back then)

  4. The biggest advantage of open carry is that the gun is visible. It makes a strong political statement that carrying a firearm is a right, is acceptable, and there is nothing you can do about it. Carrying openly is primarily a political act, and secondarily for self protection. If you want more physical protection, carry both openly and concealed.

    Attempted physical grabs of openly carried firearms are extremely rare. Attempted political grabs of firearm rights are common. Carrying concealed tends to say, politically, that carrying a gun is unacceptable in polite company.

    Finally, open carry plays the odds in preventing attacks. Somewhere upwards of 95% of attackers run off when they find that their potential victim is armed.

    There have been a number of cases where a concealed carry holder has been attacked because their attacker thought they were unarmed. It is almost certainly more common than those that grab guns from open carriers.

    1. Well said Dean and in today’s environment we need the political act to deter these congress and senate weasels that are trying to infringe further on our rights.The open carry of firearms was very helpful in WI to encourage our elected officials to pass a carry bill as it raised the level of awareness for all Wisconsin residents as well as mitigating some of the more onerous crap the antis and NRA tried to shovel into the bill, we didn’t quite get constitutional carry as we hoped for but we came pretty close on the first try. It was also helpful in Ohio a few years ago if I remember right. I also tend to agree with Robb …even if he isn’t wearing pants.

    2. Well Dean, it might be a political statement for you; when I open carry (which is rare) it has nothing to do with political statements. It has to do with comfort and conditions I am in, that happen to be safe for open carry; in other words, there is about 1/1000th of a 1% chance someone might attempt to take my weapon. Main reason being, there isn’t but a handful of people that might cross my path, while I am open carrying.

  5. I’ve been carrying openly (“open carrying” just sounds wrong grammatically 🙂 ) for about three maybe four years, now. I even have an Open Carry Chronicles series on my blog, but haven’t added a new entry for a while because, well, people just don’t notice or don’t care. Which is a good thing. I hope it’s more the latter than the former. And I’ve never had a negative experience, either.

    (I’m waiting for Pincus to show up and call us assclowns again, and then whine “can’t we all just get along”; or James “I put cameramen downrange and I like it” Yeager whose only legal means to carry for a time there was to move east one state and carry – heh – openly.)

    I carry openly for political reasons. I carry openly for educational reasons. I carry openly for deterrence, of which there are at least a few documented cases out there. And I carry openly because I can. All of them are good reasons to carry, no matter what the naysayers theorize about it.

    Dean, I’m not sure I would say that it is *primarily* for political reasons for *me*, but, yeah, in reality, whether you own, sell, buy, trade, shoot, carry (openly or concealed), blog about, fondle or dream about guns, you are engaged in a political act. No matter what you do with guns, you are offending someone.

    sharpasamarble is correct. No matter how hard those trying to convince others that carrying openly is a bad idea try to squirm and weasel out of it, your logic is, for all practical purposes, identical to the anti-rights cultists. The red flag always goes up for me when the naysayers start with “I’m not at all saying it should be illegal” as much as is does when the antis say “we’re not trying to take your guns.” I don’t give a flip. As Rob points out, it *will* have the same effect. I am so sick of the “open carry isn’t a good idea” crowd telling us that we are ambassadors for all gun owners. Um, not a chance. Until I see a regular, huge paycheck, I ain’t an ambassador for *anyone*. They say that and then wave “First Amendment!” at us (which they have every *right* to), but ignore the fact the anti-rights cultist DO in fact use your opposition against us.

    So let me take a page from Pincus’ complaints and say, WTH can’t we all get along? How about you carry how you want, and stop looking at me and criticizing my mode of carry, type of gun, caliber, type of holster, dress, when you have zero knowledge of my situation, history, experience, and alert level (which except in extreme circumstances, you can’t discern from a cell phone picture on the internet).

    Are we good?

  6. I find this article bigoted. Less so than the anti-gun crowd, but dismissive and demeaning of others just the same. You hold the opinion that CC is better than OC, and therefor everyone should CC. Well, CC may very well be better for you, as it is for many people. But there are also many people for whom OC is better. Even good CC gear is uncomfortable for many, depending on body type. I personally love crossbreed supertuck holsters, but I know more than a few people who hate them. Everyone I know, however, loves my Mitch Rosen custom OC rig. It is super easy to find a good, comfortable OC rig.

    There are many arguments for and against OC (and CC for that matter). What it comes down to is preference and what works for you. Obviously I do both, and understand the differences and reasons for both. I invested in finding a good CC holster, because I needed one. I did not have that expenditure when looking for a good OC holster. I found a good company, got one holster (a nice looking one, because everyone can see it, and i like nice things) and was done. I didn’t have to hunt around ant try many types to find one that fit like I did for my CC rig. Most people who need to carry on the cheap would be better served getting an OC rig, as the costs to find a good holster are less than finding a CC holster that fits, and the additional costs of changing your wardrobe. The should of course know the limitations of such carry, and should strive to maintain awareness, but shouldn’t we all strive to maintain awareness anyway?

    Articles like this give ammo to our enemies, and hurt our chances of getting OC passed in states that need it. Your writing should reflect that, and while you should share your experiences and preference for CC, you should acknowledge that OC is just as valid, and that some may even need OC as CC just is not a viable option for them. I would strongly urge you to consider adding that disclaimer to your article, just to avoid having it help those we fight.

      1. Its not my feelings I’m worried about. I honestly like your site, and you have a lot of great writing that I appreciate. I just hope you relies that when you write like this it has a similar tone to those in the anti gun crowd. “I dont like it, therefor no one should do it.” There does not seem to be any concession that maybe OC is a valid form of carry, and that there are good reasons for doing so, and that your writing can be used as one more small piece to help prevent OC from being legalized. you may have intended to write an opinion piece on why you like CC more than OC, but it came across as an attack and belittlement of people who OC, with a few cherry picked examples of people carrying in condition white who perhaps do not represent the whole of people who OC.

        1. I believe if you look back over last week’s post and this weeks post you will not find “I don’t like it, therefor no one should do it.” anywhere in the over 2,000 words I’ve used discussing this topic. Some might call this a clue.

          As for “cherry picked” examples of people openly carrying, I’m not “cherrypicking” anything…I’m speaking based off of ***my personal experience with open carriers.*** As an example, just a couple of weeks ago I was in a store with a friend and someone was open carrying a Ruger 1911 in one of the generic nylon holsters. I was able to get close enough to actually reach out and touch the pistol without the individual even knowing I was there. I’m not attacking or belittling him…I want him to improve his awareness so that somebody who means to do him or others harm can’t get the drop on him.

          I want him and others like him to go home at night instead of finding out the hard way that he was getting some bad advice or had some defective assumptions about his level of awareness.

          I see the same sort of hurt feelings when I say that a weapon with a 5.5 pound trigger and no manual safety needs to be handled especially carefully. I don’t make that statement because I like getting a rise out of Glocktalk, I do it because I can show you pictures of people who injured themselves because they didn’t take a hard look at their handling practices.

          If you want to be able to effectively defend yourself and your family, you had damn well better be in a continual process of examining what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It’s how you keep from becoming complacent. Complacency kills.

          I am amused at being labeled as but a hair’s breadth from Sarah Brady…especially after just about every article I’ve written in the last several months has been in one way or another about making honest people better able to shoot bad guys in the face. If on your spectrum of ideas you can’t see a whole lot of daylight between what I’ve written and Sarah Brady, then maybe it’s a sign that you need to take a step back and rethink where you’re coming from.

          1. You’re not Sarah Brady – you’re much better looking and I could have lunch with you and not want to punch your teeth out.

            However, I do want to point out that the tone of your writing has been condescending to Open Carry. From that, people can logically infer that you’re intending that OC is a poor choice because you don’t like it / it doesn’t work for you.

            Now, I’m totally fine with people bringing up the extra issues that come with OC and reminding people of them so that they don’t have other gunnies coming up behind them and fingerf***ing their pistols (a *really* stupid move on your part, by the way, especially if the guy *was* aware and decided you were trying to make a grab and reacted accordingly).

            To use your other example – it’s one thing to remind people with light triggers that they need to be extra careful with their handling (I use the Apex AEK on my carry pistol because it’s the same trigger I compete, practice, and live with AND I never remove my pistol from my holster unless I’m actively shooting. Pistol and holster come off as one piece). It’s another to belittle the concept of a light trigger since you don’t like it and infer that others probably shouldn’t because a handful of people had poor pistol handling skills where a heavier trigger wouldn’t have helped anyway. It seems to me you’re taking the second approach with OC.

            Also, as a reminder – I’m *extra* sensitive about OC because we’re trying to get it here in Florida, and it’s articles like these that make it difficult. I appreciate conversation and don’t mind being challenged on my views, and I’m sorry if I come across as somewhat of a d*ck (it’s because I really am. Ask Caleb), but I’m going to argue my point as well.

          2. What Rob said (I assume its rob anyway). OC is important to have, which I think you relies, but the tone of your articles does not acknowledge that, and indeed conveys the opposite sentiment. It is not written with the tone or “I like CC better than OC, but OC is still an important fight to make, and may be more valid for certain people, YMMV, watch out for x,y and z.” but rather “I think OC is dumb and no one should ever do it unless they are wearing a uniform.” One way conveys your opinion, and let your readers know that, the other helps our mutual enemies create legal minefields for us (in states like Florida).

  7. I think that with open carry, more people would carry, as marbles referred it is physically more comfortable. As far as the “offending” others or scaring them, Is ALL offensive or scary physical adornment and activity banned in public? If banned, is the ban actively enforced? Even if initially intimiated by open carry, most people would recover just fine after a reasonable time period and adapt to the fact that people were carrying guns around. I would think that as is human nature, the UNKNOWN is a bit more frightening. Like “who has that virulent VD strain?”

  8. The big reason for me to favor open carry is the same reason that I am not quiet about being Gay. In the Gay Rights movement we have a saying “Silence = Death”. The American Public has been so sensitized to guns. They never see guns except on cops. If they knew more gun owners and knew how many carry they would understand we are not all that dangerous. If guns become common the public would not get so upset. By us hiding our guns we are playing into the hands of the gun haters. We feed the fear.
    As for it being safe, well that is the problem. I don’t know the answer to that but I have open carried with a unworkable gun. With my real gun concealed. If they take my open gun they have the nothing and I have the real and loaded gun.

    1. That actually brings up a somewhat delicate point: Do folks really believe that adopting the firearms equivalent to “We’re queer! We’re here! Get used to it!” is an effective strategy for securing 2nd amendment rights? I think it’s a flawed model as one cannot count on the same sort of support from the “great and the good” that the gay rights movement has received over the last couple of decades.

      1. Not so much has “get used to it” as showing the public that a lot of people carry and that it is common. But that only works if we all open carry. I myself think it is better we all wear bright shirts with the words “Gun Owner”. And all do it on the same day.

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