In WA we have the option to open carry. Washington is also a Shall Issue state for concealed carry and the fee is low, with zero training requirement. I have a CC permit (called a Concealed Pistol License or CPL here). I open carry for only a few days a year, when hunting/fishing/camping. Here's why:
In metro Seattle if I walk into the mall with a visible firearm on my hip and not wearing a uniform I will become an object of interest and comment (and fear). People will notice and will shuttle their children away to safety. Law enforcement or security may be called and I'll have to deal with an unpleasant hassle.
If I drive 100 miles east on I90 I can carry the same firearm in the same way and no one will comment. It will create no hubub at all.
Since I live and work in the Seattle area I carry concealed. It's easier. Open carry here neither educates nor convinces. It just makes for a long day.
I like the idea of OC. But in the present state of affairs where most people live it makes a mess. I also don't know why we assume that it is possible to "educate" the public. To me, a person who OC's to "educate" is an annoyance of the same order as anti-globalization protestors who periodically shut down traffic with protests in parts of the city. How do the protestors think they are going to convince me to come around to their point of view by annoying me? I'm less likely to convert if you've turned my 10 minute drive into a 2 hour ordeal not more likely.
"Me fail English? That's un-possible!" --Ralph Wiggum
"A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her"-- W.C Fields