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Old September 1, 2010, 08:57 PM   #1
BarryLee
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Caution With Open Carry???

I truly believe that average Americans support the right to carry arms. However, I wonder if those of us who carry could be our own worst enemy if we are not careful. Recently I was in a Five Guys Burger restaurant and noticed a guy openly carrying what appeared to be a Ruger Vaquero or something similar. Several folks in the restaurant were looking at the guy and one family even moved across the room when the lady noticed the gun.

Now, in the state I live in open carry is legal with a permit, but I wonder is it always a good idea? Even folks who support the Second Amendment might think differently if they start to notice a lot of openly armed people.

So, do you think it is better to conceal your weapon simply to try and maintain goodwill even if the law allows open carry?
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Old September 1, 2010, 09:07 PM   #2
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We CAN open carry here... but.. since I have a conceal permit... I conceal.
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Old September 1, 2010, 09:11 PM   #3
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A right unused will be a right lost. But then again, if you need a permit its not a right(Murdock v PA, 1943) since rights cannot have fees, permits/licenses, or taxes as a requirement.

If people dont like it, then it's their problem. I dont like what some people say but they still have a right to say it.

Last edited by JohnKSa; September 1, 2010 at 09:40 PM. Reason: Removed string of insults aimed at every person who has ever had and used a concealed carry permit.
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Old September 1, 2010, 09:28 PM   #4
Young.Gun.612
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if you need a permit its not a right(Murdock v PA, 1943)
If that is the case, why hasn't that case law been applied to 2A cases? With the Chicago ban struck down, on the basis of it being a fundamental right why is it still necessary to get a permit?

I'd like to see it all change, but I don't want to be the martyr.
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Old September 1, 2010, 09:31 PM   #5
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Oh man, here we go again .

I OC regularly, never had a negative encounter with anyone (aside from some looks and what not). Plenty of people ask what I'm carrying, smile, ask how I'm doing... and this is in Ann Arbor, MI. I've noticed I get better service when I go to places like Home Depot or restaurants (this can't be proven of course, just an observation). Possibly because people might think I'm an LEO (I don't dress like a hoodlum when I OC, I dress business casual). I return their politeness, hold doors for people, smile, make small talk, try to look approachable, etc etc.

Negative encounters like in OP do happen, the idea behind OC is to make them happen less. The point is that if that woman was in a lot of places where people were OCing, she would begin to realize that bad guys don't carry guns openly in holsters. The more normal person (read: not dressed in a wife beater and cut off blue jean shorts or in all black with zippers or wearing a rapper t-shirt or acting all suspicious, or being loud an obnoxious etc etc) are seen in public armed, the more the general public will begin to realize that there is a huge difference between gun owners and criminals.

When it comes to OC'ing (just like anything) there is a good way and a not so good way when it comes to the public. For example, when CCing there is a good way (a nice, concealed holster) and a not so good way (lazily Mexican carrying, obvious printing, etc etc). The idea is to differentiate between the good guys and the not so good guys.
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Old September 1, 2010, 09:37 PM   #6
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People who are afraid to exercise their civil rights don't still have them.
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Old September 2, 2010, 12:20 AM   #7
raimius
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Sefner hit it pretty soundly.

OCers should promote a very civil and professional image. Busines/business casual makes OCers look like good citizens. Having a polite demeanor is also critical.
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Old September 2, 2010, 12:30 AM   #8
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In my state they call it reckless display of a firearm. I've never lived in a state that allowed it. I guess if I did I would get used to it but I prefer concealed carry. I'd rather keep that element of surprise in a SD situation.
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Old September 2, 2010, 03:12 AM   #9
BillCA
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As the original poster said, OC can be a double-edged sword.

People who are obnoxious, loud, have poor manners, poor decorum or appearance or are just generally annoying will not help the cause.

However, if one OC's and, as in the instant case, goes to a restaurant and is seated, if other patrons are uncomfortable, it's their option to move. Unlike the smoking bans that started in California, there's none of this "even though you're in the smoking section and your smoke is blowing the other way, it's still bothering me so you have to comply with my whim that you don't smoke" when it comes to OC. The restaurant can choose not to serve someone who is OC'ing and that comes under the right to not serve anyone they choose.

That offended patron is most likely nervous, apprehensive or offended only because seeing someone OC'ing is a rare event in their lives. They wonder what kind of person openly carries a gun around and for what purpose. If, however, she lived in parts of the southwest, she might pay it no mind (or little attention) at all.

It becomes a matter of acclimation. I'm old enough to remember the push for using seatbelts. My parents thought they were a nusiance and a bother. Mom resisted owning a microwave oven until 2002. Likewise, some folks will resist the idea that "armed people" can walk around and peaceably go about their business daily while resisting the urge to blast someone.
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Old September 2, 2010, 10:58 AM   #10
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BillCA is right on with this issue, as usual.

As he said, it does depend on locale. Here in MI, if someone anyone gets nervous about seeing me or anyone OCing, it's good to remind them that about one in 30 people in MI have their concealed carry license. That means for every 30 people they pass by during their day, at least one is likely to be armed (I realize not all permit holders carry everyday, but it gets the point across). Those people don't cause anyone to get nervous, and think about it, ANYONE could be concealing a handgun! (/sarcasm) The only difference, as the saying goes, is where OCers tuck their shirts in.

People will be offended by anything. I work at a place that has a huge TV behind the desk where we work. Used to play Planet Earth on Blu-Ray (was interesting, had awesome visuals, people liked to watch it while waiting) Had a client come in and get really offended that she HAD to see a little gazelle get taken down by a wolf and she can't believe we would allow people to see that! We attempted to tell her it's Planet Earth, not Die Hard 2, but she would hear nothing and left.

Now obviously guns are a little different, but the point I'm making is that if I went about my life worrying about offending other people, the only thing I would be able to do is worry.
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Old September 2, 2010, 12:23 PM   #11
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+1000 to BillCA and Sefner!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryLee
Several folks in the restaurant were looking at the guy and one family even moved across the room when the lady noticed the gun.
Those people are acting out of a fear that has been instilled into them by images the media accompanied by propaganda the anti-gun groups cram down their throats with the idea that somehow a gun, in and of itself, is an evil thing.

How is the public ever going to recover from that if we don't present the opposite visible image to them? Concealed carry does nothing to provide the public with a positive image of gun ownership and exercising the right to protect oneself from violent crime. In fact, I would even suggest that die hard concealed carry only statements to the effect of "a gun should never be seen unless it is being used" actually supports the idea that carrying a gun is some shameful act and that there is something mysterious or less than honorable about it.

We need to show the public that it is acceptable and should be commonplace for a person in America to have the means available to them to protect themselves and those they love from criminal activity. How can we show them that image if we hide our guns? How can we ever change anyone's mind or educate anyone if the only image they ever see of a gun comes from the media or the anti-gun groups?

Will we educate everyone? NO. Will we change every anti's mind? NO. Is concealed carry evil or wrong? NO. But we must have a balance and we must do what we can.
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Old September 2, 2010, 12:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Removed string of insults aimed at every person who has ever had and used a concealed carry permit.
This is what always worries me about the open carry discussion. It gets ugly because a certain segment looks down upon those who choose not to do so, or who dare question its validity as a practice.

I don't do it. I have my concerns with retention and such, and to be honest, I don't like to stand out in a crowd. Your mileage may vary.

The point has been made that presentation matters, and I couldn't agree more. I'd really like to see greater acceptance of the practice, but I'd also like to see it done in a way that isn't geared towards ruffling feathers.

I've seen it twice in the last month. In case #1, it was a well-dressed guy at the gas station who was having a friendly chat with the clerk. Nobody seemed to raise much of an eyebrow.

The second was a guy wearing a shirt reading, "911 was a ____ joke," who looked like he didn't understand the notion of shaving.

One of those could help our cause; the other does not.
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Old September 2, 2010, 02:43 PM   #13
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I don't know where this vilification of CC'ers came from. I CC just as often as I OC depending on the whether, where I'm going, what I'm doing etc etc. I have a CC permit. I don't see any OC'ers saying that CC'ers are somehow inferior to OC'ers. I think it's comparing two different things that serve two different purposes for two different types of people.

OC'ing is not for everyone, and that's perfectly OK! Some people don't want to deal with the attention that OC can bring, and that definitely has merit. Just like in politics, some people are better out there in the front taking the attention while others are better at being unnoticed, working behind the scenes, and being there when the people up at the front say something stupid (like that 911 truther in Tom's post).

NavyLT is right, we won't educate everyone or change everyone's mind. But what OCing WILL do is plant that little seed in someone's mind so that when they go turn on the news that night and see the media talking about "fanatical gun owners" they can remember that guy who held the door open for them at the mall and smiled and said hello - and oh yeah he had a really nice looking gun on his hip - and how that contrasts so starkly with the news infobabe going on about arsenals, "cold dead hands", military style assault weapons, and redneck stereotypes. It's that person that OCing is targeting (excuse the pun).

Do I view this as some kind of gun rights crusade? Not really, I just really like shooting my guns and if public awareness is part of the civil rights battle then so be it, it's one that is fun, gets a lot of interesting conversations, and just maybe reminds that one bad guy that his next target not only might be armed, but might be within view of someone who is.
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Old September 3, 2010, 12:41 PM   #14
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This is touchy. When I see OC I doesn't offen me in the slighest. I figure that this person is the least likely threat. My wife who is ok with me packing CC and takes a gun when she has to drive out of town is very offended when she sees OP. Just because you CAN doesn't mean that you should. What about winnig the battle and losing the war. If that your thing and you feel strong about your right, then by all means go for it. Best, Lyle
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Old September 3, 2010, 12:51 PM   #15
maestro pistolero
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Quote:
Several folks in the restaurant were looking at the guy and one family even moved across the room when the lady noticed the gun.
And THAT made them feel safer? LOL.
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Old September 3, 2010, 01:09 PM   #16
NavyLT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle0711
My wife who is ok with me packing CC and takes a gun when she has to drive out of town is very offended when she sees OP.
What did BarryLee ever do to her? BarryLee, do you owe this guy's wife an apology for something?

Seriously, though, does she have a reason for being upset about SEEING a gun?
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Old September 3, 2010, 03:49 PM   #17
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People are taught, for the most part, that guns are dangerous, ergo bad, and should be avoided. So, when they see a weapon, they get scared. The difference between OC and CC is that the former they can see, the latter, they can't. As the cliche says, ignorance is bliss. Most of the sheeple would rather be ignorant than be aware of whats happening around them.
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Old September 3, 2010, 04:07 PM   #18
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I live in a state where half the people aren't paying any attention at all to what is on a persons hip, and the other half are carrying themselves (open or concealed), more or less.

Whats kind of funny, we get a lot of tourists up here for fishing/hunting/everything outdoors. That means we also have a lot of fishing/hunting guides. Now, the tourists, when they arrive in Anchorage, are decked out in their camo and hipboots, and carrying their backpacks with all their fishing gear, or rifle cases, the whole nine yards. Even though they likely are headed to a hotel immediately, or jumping onto a charter flight to a lodge out in the bush.
Fishing guides are not much better. You see them wandering around town, taking their clients to the stores for gear, and the guides are decked out in the hipboots, and open carrying the 44mag in shoulder rigs, though they are still 150 miles from their fishing destination.
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Old September 3, 2010, 04:14 PM   #19
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Before I got my permit I read on here, and I've found it to be true now that I carry, what your say above; most people don't notice what you have on your belt. The average joe shopping in walmart is thinking about what he's doing, or talking on the phone, or whatever. He's not looking at your belt wondering if you're carrying a gun. The people who are looking are probably carrying as well.
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Old September 3, 2010, 04:53 PM   #20
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Although open carry is technically legal in my state, it is generally frowned upon and most police officers are actually taught at the academy that open carry is NOT legal. The interesting consequence is that the populace is so unaccustomed to seeing citizens with guns that if they do happen to notice when I'm carrying ... it is automatically assumed that I am a police officer.
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Old September 3, 2010, 08:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
Although open carry is technically legal in my state, it is generally frowned upon and most police officers are actually taught at the academy that open carry is NOT legal. The interesting consequence is that the populace is so unaccustomed to seeing citizens with guns that if they do happen to notice when I'm carrying ... it is automatically assumed that I am a police officer.
Funny story... I was standing in line at a concession stand at a mall theater. My then girlfriend, now wife nudges me and says, "I think you are about to get talked to." I get my soda/popcorn and turn around and there are two guys with theater name tags on behind me. One says, "Um.... excuse me, are you an officer?"

I say, "Why yes, I am a Navy officer."

He says, "Would you mind showing me ID, because only officers can carry guns here."

I said, "Really? Well, OK..." and show them my military ID card. I doubt if he even knew how to tell if I was a military officer from my ID card. Maybe he recognized LT from TV...

He says, "Thank you, have a nice day." And I went in and watched the movie with my gun on as normal. My girlfriend and I had a really good inside laugh about that, though.

Another time my wife and I went to another movie theater, not in a mall this time. I went past the ticket taker and I heard a woman behind me say, "That guy had a gun." The ticket taker said, "Who?" The woman said, "That guy that just walked by you!" The ticket taker said, "ummm... okaaaay." I think he really wanted to end it with, "AND?" That was it. No mass hysteria or people running for the exits.
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Old September 3, 2010, 09:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyLT
I think he really wanted to end it with, "AND?" That was it. No mass hysteria or people running for the exits.
Maybe. Or maybe what he really wanted to say was, "Okay, he has a gun ... and I don't. And you want ME to talk to him?"
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Old September 3, 2010, 09:16 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
Maybe. Or maybe what he really wanted to say was, "Okay, he has a gun ... and I don't. And you want ME to talk to him?"
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Old September 3, 2010, 10:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sefner
...But what OCing WILL do is plant that little seed in someone's mind so that when they go turn on the news that night and see the media talking about "fanatical gun owners" they can remember that guy who held the door open for them at the mall and smiled and said hello...
I seen that conjecture often, but I've never seen a scintilla of evidence to support it.

It would be nice if that conjecture were to be tested with properly conducted focus groups and properly conducted surveys. I suspect that individuals have a very wide range of reactions to people carrying guns openly -- from "it's great to see an ordinary person carrying a gun" to "there's a nut with a gun, there ought to be a law." But without some good studies, we're just guessing.
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Old September 3, 2010, 10:17 PM   #25
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...But what OCing WILL do is plant that little seed in someone's mind so that when they go turn on the news that night and see the media talking about "fanatical gun owners" they can remember that guy who held the door open for them at the mall and smiled and said hello...
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddletown
I seen that conjecture often, but I've never seen a scintilla of evidence to support it.
In the one-on-one discussions I have with people regarding the gun on my belt, I have seen plenty of evidence of it being true.
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