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Old August 23, 2011, 06:32 PM   #1
Coyote WT
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Join Date: March 16, 2011
Location: Woodinville WA (north of Seattle)
Posts: 147
My first open carry experience

Living in WA state, I enjoy the best of both worlds. I have a CLP and carry my P95 under a button down shirt (some would argue about the 'conceal' aspect since I still haven't found the best way to avoid printing...but that's another topic). This weekend, I was at an event with my wife and our dog. It was just too hot for a over shirt so I peeled it off and stuffed it in my camera bag. I spent the rest of the event open carry.

Very few people even gave me a second glance. Now, I will say that this was a pit bull event so a lot of the people there were very aware of the difference between public perception and actual fact when dealing with things sometimes seen as counter culture. I'm not saying that all bully owners are gun nuts but there is a certain degree of open mindedness that comes with the territory.

I only had two people comment. One was just a passing "nice piece" as I walked back to the car.

The other one got me thinking though. He said that he was surprised I was carrying open even in an open carry state. He commented that he never did because he didn't want joe public calling the cops thinking he was "brandishing". Well, says I, if it's in the holster it's not brandishing. Still, his mentality was one of not wanting to risk being hassled by the police.

I felt sorry for him in a way. You see, I have a LOT of things that most of the mass public would see as odd. I'm pagan, I breed snakes, I'm polyamorous and I am a proud liberal minded gun owner (not an oxymoron). All of these things I make no attempt to hide or apologize for. I understand why some people choose not to risk the hassle of being open about X (in this case open carry) and I don't shame them for their decision. On the other hand, deciding not to carry open based solely on what others might think is letting those with the least understanding of hand guns decide what you can and can't do.

I'm never one to do things for the express purpose of "look at me! I gots me a gun!" but if it is convenient for me to carry open in a given situation, I really can't justify letting joe public's insecurity bother me. After all, carrying open or conceal is about my security.
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Old August 23, 2011, 11:35 PM   #2
BarryLee
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Join Date: July 29, 2010
Location: The ATL (OTP)
Posts: 2,717
I think the concern some folks have is not really about what people think about them as an individual, but what they think about open carry specifically. I believe most Americans support the Second Amendment and do not mind people exercising their rights. However, when people who are not as comfortable around firearms see people open carrying at the local Burger Doodle they get a little anxious. The concern some have is that this could lead the average citizen to support restricting gun carry rights.

Now, I am not sure I totally agree with this line of thought, but I do understand it. It does sound strange to say that to protect our rights we should not exercise those same rights.
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