Does carrying openly make you a target?

Does carrying openly make you a target to potential armed gun thieves?

Does carrying openly make you a target to potential armed gun thieves?

This story’s gone viral, sparking all sorts of debate about whether open carry is really the way to go when one can in many cases opt to carry concealed.

Local media reports that a Gresham, Oregon, man was openly carrying a handgun this past Saturday when he was robbed at gunpoint by another man.

The victim, identified as 21-year-old William Coleman III, had recently purchased a Walther P22. He had it on his hip in plain sight while he was talking to his cousin on Oct. 4 at 2:00 a.m.

During their conversation, a man walked up to Coleman and asked for a cigarette.

According to Coleman, the individual said, “I like your gun. Give it to me.” The robber then pulled his own pistol from his waistband and pointed it at Coleman.

Coleman turned over the gun and the crook fled on foot.

Authorities said that the suspect is a black male between the ages of 19 and 23, around 6 feet tall with thin, short wavy black hair and a small patch of hair on his chin, local news affiliate KOIN reported. He was wearing sweatpants and a white T-shirt during the robbery.

Many open-carry advocates argue that a gun in plain sight is a deterrent to a criminal. While that may be true in many cases, it’s not true with respect to an armed gun thief, as this story illustrates. One can argue that to the gun thief, Coleman was an easy target.

Now, part of the blame has to be placed on Coleman, right? Why open carry at 2 a.m. on a city street? Why allow a strange person to approach at that hour? Overall, why not be more vigilant and cautious with one’s new pistol?

Open carry is fine, especially when one does it at a place where firearms are common or with a group of people who are also openly carrying. But a critical drawback of open carry is that it really takes away one’s ability to surprise a would-be robber. The armed crook knows the victim has a firearm, which changes the dynamics of the encounter. Instead of approaching one like a hapless, defenseless mark, the crook exercises more caution and may in fact be more prepared to use his weapon on the victim.

At the end of the day some carry is better than no carry, but if you have an option (and I believe Oregonians do), wouldn’t you go with concealed?  I think that’s where I come out on this debate.

What are your thoughts on open carry versus concealed carry in this particular context?

{ 61 comments… add one }
  • Michael Britt May 30, 2016, 1:07 am

    So how are open carry police magically exempt from this fatal flaw?

    Why are they not robbed on a regular basis of their weapons, since they are openly ‘advertising them’?

    There must be an incongruity here… I believe is is to be found in the targeted and deliberate misconceptions of the author.

  • BigR January 23, 2015, 12:19 pm

    I prefer concealed carry, I do not want anyone to know that I’m armed, period!

  • MIKE January 23, 2015, 6:37 am

    I wrestle with the same question at my house. Do I announce with sign in the yard ” I have a security system” or do let them be surprised.

  • mr smith 74 January 3, 2015, 5:33 am

    One has to wonder how many criminals declined to rob this guy because they observed his weapon. Anyone can be caught off guard, but having a weapon on you is certainly a deterrent to most. I know if I was a criminal I wouldnt rob the guy I knew had a gun. Same reason why terrorists/cowards pick soft targets like women and children.

  • AD Roberts January 3, 2015, 1:23 am

    If you know much about guns and bullets, you would know that even if they have the drop on you, and you pull on them. When they shoot you, you will still have time to put a few in them before you die. And once that becomes known by the perps, they will hesitate to be so brazen. I would LOVE to open carry my Taurus Raging Judge with the 6 ” barrell. It makes Clint Eastwood’s gun look puny.

  • Triple T January 2, 2015, 8:04 pm

    I oc every day and night for the past 3 plus years now. There are only 3 times i dont oc. When going into MD, costco, or the farmers market. I live in Delaware. Since oc i have found out that i am much more aware of surroundings. I took a training class from 2 of my friends that are local and county cops. I have 2 i w tes where oc has changed th e out com thate of a situation. Once they saw i was oc they completely started tto get tongue tied backed up and walked away in a hurry. The main thing was that i was aware of what was getting ready to happen paying attention to my surroundings and being on the defensive end before it got to me. I see it as long as you pay attention to who is around you and what is going on than you should by all means oc to protect youself. I also get alot of questions from people about oc or just guns for protection in general and i must say i have helped a good 40 or more people learn something new or there thoughts on guns in general.

  • Will Drider January 2, 2015, 4:24 pm

    Please consider it this way: Your the Good Guy and I’m the bad guy. We are going to play poker. 7 card Draw, play your best 5 Cards. You are open carry so all your cards are face up on the table while mine are all private. You open carry so you have anted up with no choice. The cards are dealt. I see yours you don’t see mine. What are you going to do? Raise or stay? Want to fold without seeing if I raise the Stakes? If you are a rational person, you wish you never started to play. Same lesson applies to the topic.
    This is why you should get a CWP even if you live in a open carry State. Open carry only beats no carry. Does it make you a target? Your bet!

  • loupgarous January 2, 2015, 4:07 pm

    I live in Mississippi, an open carry state. Oddly, while there are no hoops for a citizen with a clean criminal record to leap through to carry “a properly holstered weapon” (no “tucked in the waistband carry”), the usual security clearance fee and records check is still required here for a CCW permit. I’ve seen guys who were pretty obviously hired by the local McDonald’s chain, no idea if they were off-duty PD or SO, but dressed in civilian garb with a heavy-duty sidearm in a holster. I’d sit in my cubicle and nod courteously to them while enjoying my McWhatever and using the McWiFi.

    My thoughts on open versus CCW? Surprises are always nicer if you’re giving them. That said, I’d MUCH rather carry concealed. Especially as I’m cross-dominant (right-handed but sight better with the left eye), so all of my concealed carry positions are left-handed, and less likely to be spotted by a casual or not-so-casual observer.

    Also, the druggies here have been encouraged by one of their own walking out of a courtroom a free man after shooting someone in a Wal-Mart parking lot before many witnesses (hung jury and no street protests, arson or looting on behalf of the poor guy who fortunately survived his near-death experience, cause Al Sharpton never showed up to advocate for him – the victim was insufficiently dark). They seem to have arrived at the conclusion that school’s out, they can rob all they want, and carrying openly might just make them decide they want to take your new toy away from you. Then you get to live the Darren Wilson experience up close and personal.

  • KOCOOK January 2, 2015, 3:49 pm

    I am fully supportive of Open Carry laws; primarily because there should not be any infringement on a citizen’s right to be armed. Secondarily, I like the law because it completely eliminates the strict interpretation of the concealment aspect of concealed carry. Open carry will allow me to use OWB holsters, which are easier to access and more comfortable for EDC. In other words, cops won’t be harassing a concealed carry because of a bulge under a shirt, or part of a firearm being exposed by a loose garment.

    But I do have the view that open carry in public is giving away a potential advantage should SHTF. I would much rather have the element of surprise on my side and maintain the option to fight or flee as necessary. By advertising my arms, I consider that I am setting myself up for being ambushed and first to be targeted.

    As for deterrence of open carry; that is not lost. On the contrary, concealed carry has a higher potential for deterrence since a would be robber will never be sure if all weapons in a target location have been accounted for.

    All that said, I think it is fine if someone wants to openly carry. It is their right and is fine with me if they want to be the canary in the coal mine.

  • Mickey Rat January 2, 2015, 2:24 pm

    Yes.

  • david January 2, 2015, 12:46 pm

    Open carry MAY make you a target in certain areas of the country. I don’t know. I open carry only when hunting, hiking, and fishing in remote areas. The rest of the time I concealed because… 1) I don’t need to advertise I have a gun, 2) a gun on a hip can make some people around me uncomfortable, and 3) I don’t want those uncomfortable people who may not know that law calling the police and an accident happens.

  • Captn January 2, 2015, 12:25 pm

    You’ll know I’m carrying when that red lazer lite hits you in the face before you die or you run. I have carried for years and you would not I do. Thats the way it is. I hope and pray to never have to take someones life but if it comes down to it, its a done deal. I don’t think open carry is a good idea and could create problems due to the nature of some people. I prefer what you don’t know could hurt you but If you have the choice and chose to open carry then by all means.

  • Ron Wilson January 2, 2015, 11:52 am

    I’m in Florida and have a carry permit. “Open carry” is absolutely prohibited and is a serious legal issue if one
    carries a firearm visibly. This, fortunately, is under review.

  • JungleCogs January 2, 2015, 11:39 am

    It is O.K. in lower population areas and in some romote parts of the country where people seem to know everyone in their community. Late in the dark of night is probably not wise. My state has open and concealed carry. I usually have a jacket of some sort on (outer coat, suit coat; even an untucked shirt in the summer for cover). At night I will often open carry if I stop for fuel as I don’t want to grab my sport coat just to get gas; but pump areas are well lighted, you are only there a few minutes and I am always aware of any people around me. There are many factors but common sense usually is a good thing to have.

  • Michael J. Salzbrenner January 2, 2015, 11:04 am

    This has nothing to do with open carry vs concealed carry. This has everything to do with an absolutely abhorrent lack of situational awareness. Period. Especially from, an assumed, responsible law abiding gun owner. But that is another discussion all together. In truth while I personally choose to carry concealed, I venomously defend the right to carry open. I do NOT feel that responsible law abiding gun owners should be “ridiculed”, “shunned”, or “introverted”, simply because we practice our natural right to defend ourselves. We shouldn’t have to hide! And from what it sounds like in this instances Mr. Criminal Man was concealed. Looks like it worked out well for the law abiding citizens, huh! So once again there are bad people, and they will continue to do bad things, and the best we can hope to do is defend ourselves against them. Only YOU can ensure YOUR safety. Carry open, or carry concealed, I don’t really care, as long as you take responsibility for your life, and are willing to do what it takes to defend it.

  • Gary January 2, 2015, 10:38 am

    Is it just me or does it seem this link has gone over the edge to the moronic ? These last few (4 maybe 5) sendings have really been articles by people that are either idiots or just plan uninformed fools. Or maybe more to the point, inflammatory in some. If you answered some of these questions and the government was truly reading them, you could be in trouble.

  • grnlite January 2, 2015, 10:18 am

    I feel open carry does make you a target in certain circumstances. I am close to 70 yrs. I have hunted, fished, trapped and been around guns all of my life. I’ve been uncomfortable around some folks I’ve seen carrying openly. Wondered just what they were compensating for.

  • David Haarstad January 2, 2015, 9:41 am

    First and foremost “common sence”. It’s not so common any more.
    We all have prefferences and they all may have consequences.
    I am an advocate of firearm safety. Having owned a gun store decades ago. Lifetime member of Front site firearms training.
    Choices come with responsibilities
    The price paid for ignorance is very high.
    I carry insurance from United States concealed carry association.
    I am very well trained, but life has a way of twisting truths
    I carry concealed mostly, but if enjoying the beauty of our evergreen state in the country I on occasion open carry.

    My opinion! Yes, that is part of our freedoms we enjoy here in these United States. Opinion!
    Taking responsibility for your actions and being proficient in your choices.
    The drawback is that even though many agree with me. Their will always be hot dogs that think life is a game. Their will always be bad guys.
    History is a great teacher.
    Their is a DVDs set video’d by Lt. Col. David Grossman. The bulletproof mind.
    Very good informational watching.
    Not a training video, but a combination of history and real would situation to be learned from.
    Bottom line. If you carry, Train, Train, Train.

    Just my opinions. Thanks

  • Steve January 2, 2015, 9:23 am

    I’m inclined to think surprise is an added weapon. So concealed gets my vote. Open carry warrants added vigilance. Like the article, it makes you open to being disarmed and removes all advantage of surprising an assailant. This is only my opinion and how I roll.

  • Christopher January 2, 2015, 8:25 am

    It only takes one time…so how do we limit that one time?

    Well, there have been less than a handful of open carry incidents in the past decade, where thousands of open carriers have carried for millions of collect hours.

    At the same time, there have been thousands of concealed carriers chosen because they look like victims every year.

    I’ll take the method with better results, and I’m not going to beg and pay the state to do it, I open carry.

  • Mark Tidwell October 18, 2014, 11:32 pm

    I would like for texas to be open and concealed. I like concealed but that way if by accident my weapon was exposed it could’nt cause me any problem

  • JW Hopkins October 14, 2014, 8:36 pm

    Just being a living, breathing person makes you a potential target. Whether you carry open or concealed, what matters is that you maintain a good sense of awareness and a healthy dose of common sense doesn’t hurt much either. That guy had owned that gun for no more than a day and had little if any training with it, let the assailant approach him and check out him and his weapon, and let the guy get the drop on him.
    Doesn’t matter where you carry it, that gun isn’t going to jump out of the holster on its own and save you.

  • Jorge J Noguera October 13, 2014, 10:07 pm

    In this case it obviously did make him a target. Open carry let’s potential foes know you are heeled. It is always best to surprise your foes; letting them know you can fight back loses you your ability to surprise a criminal. Besides, in bars or other places where people have been drinking you will always encounter the idiot who will dare you to shot him/her/them. When these idiots try to grab your gun what are you going to do? 2 AM in the morning? Where were they? Heading home after closing down the bars? Who has business on the streets at 2 AM except drunks, criminals and cops? I never show off my piece to anyone for any reason unless it is needed. Open carry is perhaps good in the day time but at night all it does is mark you for violence. So the moral of this story is don’t show your nice new shiny expensive .22 Walther especially at 2 AM. (A .22? What does he expect to encounter, mice? I carry a SIG .380 and consider that to be barely adequate).

  • Russ October 13, 2014, 9:21 pm

    The question is; Dose OC make you a target?….Of coarse it dose, so be ready.
    Dumbass let’s the guy test him and finds out he needs more training and a new gun.
    There are lots of people who lack resolve, even cops.
    I feel sorry for them.
    They may not live long.

  • Tim October 13, 2014, 2:06 pm

    Why draw attention to yourself and make yourself a target by openly carrying? Doesnt make sense to me!

  • T October 13, 2014, 1:55 pm

    The problem I have in most states is that they want your fingerprints, and take a course you have to go through that you have to “pay” for so you know how to use the gun you have been using sense you were a kid in many cases and, you are treated like a criminal and are guilty until proven innocent. Real Criminals don’t do that, they carry no matter what restrictions. That’s why they are the criminal. The question I ask people that people seem to have a hard time answering is, Why would the founding fathers want us, THE PEOPLE, to ask the governments for “permission” to own or carry a firearm that they were trying to protect us (The people) from the Large and Authoritarian Governments in the first place? You know that tyranny thing where the Governments might want to revoke your permission slip at any time they want and make you a felon? The other problem I have seen is that the local gun shops and ranges are making money off of this and they are worried more about their profit margine than your rights and defensively argue the need for Permits and Classes to make sure everyone is “safe” with a firearm the people already legally own…….So now, if you don’t have permission that is helped granted by them you shouldn’t have a gun on your person…To me they are contributing to the problem, not solving our ability to defend ourselve freely with out anyones permission and without persecution…..I feel the same about the background checks also, because they don’t work and is whole other debate..IMHO.

  • Michael October 13, 2014, 12:58 pm

    OR. has some Tuff Fire Arm Laws laws on Open carry and are isolationist Democratic Mob rule.

    No Round in the chamber but the Pistol Mag well can with a loaded mag, Any wheel gun is exempted. yes he was not in the right mind set or carried(highly recommended) a back up but he was in a public place too,and all Safety rules do come into mind in a mil Second !

    I live in NV. July 7, 1995, Senate Bill 299 CCW was In acted and out of State Resident of the U.S Only legally, was stopped in 2001. And when AZ passed it’s Constitutional Carry law, You can conceal with out a permit or carry open was legal since the origins of a State. But NV stopped its reciprocity with AZ thou AZ is still active with 38 state or and Who Accept An AZ CHL ,an Option,except NV,no other state did so, to stop an AZ resident with a recognized Permit and with a 38 State, now IL, does recognize a AZ as NV. as NV and AZ recognize IL

    Strange is it not ,The Dem legislation during the Obama Administration.The Democrat NV ATTY general helped block AZ Reciprocity law with AZ ?? GUN CONTROL ?? after the Gabby U.S AZ Congress,Incident, now we hope a Republican, Conservative IAP Canadate will help to change the Law to accept AZ again. NV and AZ have Strict laws thou even if it is legal ,any public Business can stop with a sign even with out a Metal detector or armed guard tho it Violates the NV Constitution as the registration scheme,so the practice of CCW is legal still with out permission or Authority,except Govt Fed and State and All Schools Hospitals,Airports, DHS declared. and the N. L.V dangerous Weapons law Tho they violate and have Ignored the lawsuits Still pending. The Article one Sec 11 rights are stronger then the 2nd Amendment. S NV is 100 % Corrupted !

    Tho the current CO Sheriff says you can openly do so on the strip but with cautions. So the catch is No Permit it is a Felony which challenges the State Constitution ? Conflicting and dangerous in Court in any Self defense situation of many Opinions.

    Beware of Scrupulous Democratic Atty’s They ( Harry Reid) Twist the truth !

  • Scott October 13, 2014, 10:53 am

    Always told my kids (regarding curfew) there were only 2 types of people out at 2AM… Cops, and people looking for trouble. Now I have to add “idiots”. I think this guy was strutting his new hardware, like some 6 year-old and his new toy. Paid for it, and lucky to still be walking.

    Regarding pro-con on open carry, we’re not allowed to in Texas except on our own land or where given permission, still only on private property. I see not reason for *prohibiting* it. Leave that decision up to the individual. It’ll settle out real quick where open carry makes sense and where it doesn’t.

  • Roland October 13, 2014, 10:16 am

    Even when I OC I still have a concealed weapon on me. Shame on the gun robber that turn’s his back after robbing an individual of his OC firearm when he has a concealed backup.

    • Launcher January 2, 2015, 3:06 pm

      Okay, so you have advertised that you are in possession of an item of value to a thug and thug takes you up up on it, he easily relieves you of your open carry. Then as he beats a hasty retreat to whereabouts unknown and the physical threat level to you is diminished,,, you are going to do what with your concealed carry weapon?

  • WuDanFu October 13, 2014, 10:10 am

    There are a lot of dumbasses leaving comments here…

    • joe October 13, 2014, 11:14 am

      yeah, and you are one of them!!

  • Paul Foreman October 13, 2014, 10:01 am

    I spent 20+ yrs as a deputy in SW Florida. Open carry as well as concealed was unheard of back in the 70s thru the late 90s.
    Now CC is getting very common. I was already retired, when just before I left, the department called me and actually aske me to come get certified on the range and get a permit. Now I live in Alabama. CC carry is VERY common, and open carry is seen more and more. The law was clarified about a year ago. OK, you say that criminals do nOT “open carry”. NOT yet, BUT what if they wise up and begin to realize that, as open carry become more accepted, they too can open carry and we all revert right back to where we were, before, and not know who the bad guys are,,,,,???
    As for me, it’s concealed carry. I do NOT want the attention and stares and the bad guy snatching my gun.
    When I was a deputy sheriff, one of my biggest fears was having a bad guy snatch my gun. Any cop who denies this is NOT telling the truth. You learn to hook that arm over your weapon, be very aware of someone walking behind you etc. etc.
    My most serious injury was when at a domestic disturbance, the cowardly man who beat up his wife, 2 year old and took his infant baby hostage, tried to get my gun. Well, he lost but I tore my shoulder up bad dealing with it. He went to the hospital, I went home. You say you do not have to worry about accidently showing or printing while open carry. Well, you sure better saty hyper vigilant 110% of the time. I work now at a big box firearms store. I watched a OC person and point out to my co-workers how easily and carelessly he exposed his weapon, while bending over, walking around very closely to others with his fancy theigh swat rig dangerously sticking out within reach of others.

  • OngoingFreedom October 13, 2014, 9:02 am

    Oregonians may have a choice whether to OC or CC (CC with a permit), but as a non-Oregonian visiting there I have no choice. Oregon goes not, as the majority of states do, recognize my permit from my home state of TN. While there I have to OC. At least I get to carry, but I’d rather make my own choice.

  • Bennett October 13, 2014, 8:29 am

    I take issue with open carry condemnations. Most importantly the fear of losing a right because it is exercised. A right is a right. We live in a Republic not a democracy. It is not majority rules. We have a constitution to protect individual rights. The right of the individual is held most important even over the will of the majority. Remember the civil war and all those people who wanted slavery? All the former slaves were given rights and many were killed or beaten for trying to vote or take advantage of their rights. Here in NC we still have Jim Crow laws on the books and crooked Sheriffs keeping honest people from getting guns and carrying them concealed. You all can Google Republic and Jim Crow for more info…
    Yes there are people that should not OC or CC for that matter. There are guns that make a poor OC choice. There are times and places that OC is inappropriate. Yes to all that but it doesn’t change the fact that where it is a right it is a right. People are all too willing to give up freedom for a “feeling” of security. We live in a society being permeated by the twisted misconception that guns are bad and those that have them are dangerous. It starts out so early on with teaching small children not to play with toy guns or chew a pop tart into the shape of a gun. Some activists are trying to get this point across. Some do a better job than others. Those that work within the confines of the law make a point. Look at the way they are treated. I have seen the police respond inappropriately too many times. Yes it even happened to me. I pursued the issue and got a letter of apology from the department. I also work as a LEO instructor so I get to see it from the other side too. I have had to teach my deputies about OC and how to properly deal with it on occasion too. That said I live in a community where I OC every day. I OC because it is generally easier to do but more on that later. Even going to cities like Faetteville, NC or Roanoke, VA where I OC I have only had one run in with LE and that was settled by me untucking my shirt and dealing with the anti-gun sergeant’s supervisor later that day. The sergeant did not understand the law and let an event promoter dictate his will as if it were law.
    I OC every day and everywhere it is legal as do the people I work with and many others that I know. There have been the occasional anti-gun remarks made by tourists trying to impose their hometown beliefs on the communities they visit. The Sheriffs depart gets about three calls a week from people reporting someone with a gun. It is explained to them that OC is legal in NC and in some cases mandatory. That usually solves the problem.
    Back to my reasons for OC:
    1. It is my tactical choice – Contrary to the beliefs of some, most bad guys will look elsewhere seeking out soft targets rather than attacking an armed, hard target. Just like a barking dog or an alarm company sign, it sends a message when done right. If the opposite were not the case wouldn’t LEOs be the target of more criminals?
    2. You lose the element of surprise – NO, just because you see A gun doesn’t mean that is the only gun or the only weapon. And who is to say that your OC will even be seen or noticed by the bad guy?
    3. Access to OC is faster and easier than CC – I wear my gun at 2-3 o’clock, in front where I can control it. I can draw and put lead on target faster than most bad guys, gun in hand can shoot. That doesn’t mean I will try and draw on a drawn gun nor do I advocate it but it can give me an edge.
    4. Comfort – It is more comfortable to wear OWB on my belt than inside my pants. No matter how hot it is, I am not stuck wearing jackets or vests to cover a full size Glock 21, flashlight, magazine and utility knife. Additionally, wearing big bulky clothing to cover a decent size gun or compromising by carrying a mouse gun should not be mandatory. I used to have to compromise in choosing a gun to wear. Not anymore.
    5. Mistaken identity – If I choose to CC I have to worry about printing and who may inadvertently see or notice a concealed gun. I have to concern myself with being mistaken for a bad guy as where OC generally eliminates the question as bad guys don’t OC.
    6. You meet a nicer group of people when you OC – I cannot tell you how many people come up to me in restaurants or when shopping to ask me what kind of gun is that? or where did you get your holster? or other friendly questions. I even had a hippie girl at a fair comment “cool gun man”.
    7. No one will know I have a gun if I carry concealed – If you think you can truly carry concealed and no one will know, you are very skilled or delusional. While the average person may not notice, a LEO and bad guys know what to look for (when they are looking). They know how to tell who is armed even if they don’t see a gun. Those bulky cloths, fishing vests, tactical gear, fanny packs, Glock hat and shirt… a strange gate, constantly checking and touching the gun to make sure it is still there… all a dead giveaway to those in the know. When my kids were little we used to go to the county fair and see who could spot the most people carrying concealed. Yes even my 8 year old daughter could spot most of them. She could usually tell who was LE and who wasn’t too.
    8. Legal reasons – Here in NC (an open carry state), you must be a resident for 30 days in order to apply for a CC permit and even then it is at the discretion of the Sherriff. One Sherriff says you must reside in his county for a year before applying for a permit. Additionally, it can take 3 months or more to get your permit from the state. So what do you do in the meantime? Sometimes OC is the only legal choice.
    9. If I OC then it might scare people and cause a problem, maybe even be bad for the cause – I remember growing up and not hearing everyone around me cursing and using vulgar language as if it were commonplace as it is today. I remember going to pray and seeing people dressed in their “Sunday best” not jeans and t-shirts. I remember how many complained rock and roll was the devil’s music and would corrupt our youth. Some changes are good, some bad. Libtards have been working for decades to make us and our children afraid of guns. Look around and see to what new heights they have raised the level of ridiculous stupidity to. I for one am tired of being vilified. I don’t have that problem where I live now. It is not uncommon to see OC on the street, grocery store… but yet tourists not used to it still get upset. I get worried when I don’t see more people carrying guns, maybe I should call 911. “There are unarmed people in the grocery store!”
    10. Ostrich syndrome – For some bizarre reason I fail to understand, some people feel safer not knowing who has a gun or seeing it. Personally I feel a lot better knowing who has what gun and leaving it all out in the open. If I were a LEO interacting with a person, I would want to know if they were armed. In some states it is mandatory that you tell an officer if you are armed. OC solves that issue.
    11. If we only save one child – My rights and the rights of this Republic are more important than your one child! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imw8YGyPgk4

    Where I live, it is not uncommon to see people OC. Deputies I have asked tell me that 30% of the people they come in contact with are armed, many OC. They are cautious but it is normal to carry a gun here. NYC is different. So part of this does depend on where you are, how you dress, what you carry…
    My message – make an informed choice and do what works for you and make sure you do it right. Do not give up rights and freedom in trade for security. Open or concealed there is a right and wrong way. Discretion is the better part of valor. Be respectful with everyone you meet since you are a representative of the gun community. Good luck and be safe.

    • DaveGinOly October 13, 2014, 12:47 pm

      I agree completely. There is no value in a right that can’t be exercised. In part, those who object to OC do so because of the consternation it can cause and the disapproval of the public. But isn’t our system set up to protect the exercise of rights when their exercise is the subject of public disapproval? Activities that the public finds acceptable require no defense.

      Tactically, however, OC does present its own set of advantages and disadvantages compared to CC. They tend to balance out, because they depend strictly on the tactical situations in which an armed citizen may find himself in need of his sidearm. So overall, it’s a wash, with one exception – the open carrier must use a retention holster. There is no advantage in making yourself more vulnerable to a snatch attempt.

    • Russ October 15, 2014, 10:51 am

      I agree will all you’ve stated and the video.
      I only wish California was still that way.
      Your lucky to live in NC.

    • Ben January 2, 2015, 9:43 am

      Everyone is entitled to their thoughts, beliefs ect. There are many OC advocates that feel a gun in open site make them a ‘hard’ target. Hard to miss if you ask me. If I’m a crack head about to do a robbery and you are OC, I may move on, or I may get close and cap you in the head without warning, now I have two guns. It is very difficult to ward off an ambush, hence the tactic. The sole purpose of carrying a weapon is to protect yourself and those around you. That becomes hard to do when you take away any advantage you may have had in the way of surprise. Guns are lethal, the site of a gun in any normal public situation will always raise tensions because of that lethality, especially in this day and age. The other problem I have with OC is the attitude of most of the folks I meet that are OC that are not LEO’s. It’s much like another phenomenon I have noticed, when otherwise average friendly guys put on a motorcycle vest with a patch on the back. Their chest pokes out a bit further to let everyone know that “I am not to be trifled with!” I carry concealed. You will not spot me, I don’t have “tells’. I practice. I will defend myself and those near me. I would bet that a large majority of those who carry for other than occupational reasons are not trained and do not practice at all, let alone regularly, most lack the fortitude to actually pull the trigger on another living being. Be honest with yourself, if I just described you, your gun is just as likely or more likely to get you injured or killed than not. As I said earlier, everyone is entitled to their thoughts and beliefs. If open carry is your way then go your way, I’ll see you…..but you won’t see me.

      • DaveGinOly January 3, 2015, 12:37 pm

        You can get capped in the head with no warning while carrying concealed too. Or your armed assailant could just saunter up to you with gun in hand because he believes you to be unarmed. Now you’ve got a contest – who is faster, you, who have to draw from concealment, or your assailant who already has his finger on his trigger? Can OC get you capped? Absolutely. Can OC also prevent a perp from even approaching you? Absolutely. What happens and what doesn’t happen are not always the same things as what can happen. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods of carry. An argument over which is better is foolish.

    • SSgt Mas January 2, 2015, 6:59 pm

      I realize this kid posted this two months ago, and I understand the attention span of the age, but allow me to correct some glaring errors. I will preface the following by stating that I believed myself faster, smarter, stronger, and generally bullet-proof for the majority of my 20’s- I say the following out of love and the hope that I can help those in my previous position speed up the learning curve a bit (I know you won’t listen, but I’ll try). My comments are in brackets.

      “Back to my reasons for OC:
      1. It is my tactical choice – Contrary to the beliefs of some, most bad guys will look elsewhere seeking out soft targets rather than attacking an armed, hard target. Just like a barking dog or an alarm company sign, it sends a message when done right. If the opposite were not the case wouldn’t LEOs be the target of more criminals? [Using the word “tactical” in your first sentence- strike one. There is nothing “tactical” about your dumb choice. LEO’s who wear uniforms are already exposed, so they have no reason to conceal a weapon- they also use Level 3-4 retention holsters, and receive dozens (if not hundreds) of hours of training concerning weapon awareness (being constantly aware of where your weapon is in relation to the public), weapon retention, and other techniques to utilize to prevent getting their weapon snatched from them.
      Plain clothes LEO’s carry concealed all the time, and ALL LEO’s that I know (and I know hundreds around the fruited plain) carry concealed when off-duty and not hunting or at the range (if they carry at all, don’t get me started there)- that should tell you something. Also, you seem like a nice guy with little to zero street knowledge- what you think is a “hard target” is absolutely irrelevant- what a predator is looking for is- do you have situational awareness or do you look lost, do you look physically fit or like a bag of doorknobs, and do you project confidence or do you seem like a puss? Your belief that you magically make yourself a “hard target” by OC is as silly as thinking that you make yourself look like a rock star by carrying a guitar around. Except this silly mistake, and misunderstanding of your adversary, is likely to get you hurt. You make yourself look like a guy carrying something valuable that a criminal would LOVE to steal.]

      2. You lose the element of surprise – NO, just because you see A gun doesn’t mean that is the only gun or the only weapon. And who is to say that your OC will even be seen or noticed by the bad guy? [Bad guys notice quite a bit, and you’re obviously a good guy who doesn’t know much about bad guys- that’s nice, but it’s going to get you hurt. You lose the element of surprise- it’s not disputed. Read more Sun Szu and understand the nature of armed combat- don’t make stupid assumptions that will get you hurt.]
      3. Access to OC is faster and easier than CC – I wear my gun at 2-3 o’clock, in front where I can control it. I can draw and put lead on target faster than most bad guys, gun in hand can shoot. That doesn’t mean I will try and draw on a drawn gun nor do I advocate it but it can give me an edge. [WRONG WRONG AND DEAD WRONG- this dumb statement alone motivated me to respond to you, because you’ve obviously never done any force-on-force training on this subject. ACTION beats reaction 100% of the time- you will NEVER, and I repeat NEVER “”draw and put lead on target faster than most bad guys, gun in hand can shoot.” The juvenile belief that you can, will only serve to get you killed or injured- I beg you to get some training under your belt and re-evaluate this wrong idea- you’ll thank me later.]
      4. Comfort – It is more comfortable to wear OWB on my belt than inside my pants. No matter how hot it is, I am not stuck wearing jackets or vests to cover a full size Glock 21, flashlight, magazine and utility knife. Additionally, wearing big bulky clothing to cover a decent size gun or compromising by carrying a mouse gun should not be mandatory. I used to have to compromise in choosing a gun to wear. Not anymore. [Comfort is directly related to the handgun you decide to carry- there is nowhere comfortable for a G21 to fit when you’re sitting in a vehicle or the hard booth of a restaurant. Your lack of training and/or creativity shows here- a Glock 21 (my duty weapon) is probably THE most uncomfortable sucker to wear while sitting in a vehicle- too big and the grip is too long- constantly hits the seat. Try doing it for the next 15 years and tell me how your lumbar spine feels. There are far better choices for concealed carry, especially with the wonderful choice of ever-growing selection of good concealment holsters. 20 years ago, you may have had a point here, but now this excuse rings hollow.]
      5. Mistaken identity – If I choose to CC I have to worry about printing and who may inadvertently see or notice a concealed gun. I have to concern myself with being mistaken for a bad guy as where OC generally eliminates the question as bad guys don’t OC. [WRONG. OC is not limited to good guys- this isn’t the old west where the sheriff and his posse wore their guns outside their pants while the banditos tucked them into their belts (Mexican carry, anyone?). You’re far less likely to have a LEO encounter if you concealed carry and keep your mouth shut. Worried about printing? Have you seen some of the smartphones that people wear on their belts- everyone is printing nowadays- just carry concealed and don’t act the fool- you’ll be fine.]
      6. You meet a nicer group of people when you OC – I cannot tell you how many people come up to me in restaurants or when shopping to ask me what kind of gun is that? or where did you get your holster? or other friendly questions. I even had a hippie girl at a fair comment “cool gun man”. [Your need for attention and social interaction is evident- however, my 2nd Amendment rights, and those of my Country, outstrip your need to feel loved and accepted. Seek social interactions elsewhere and go to a damn bar or coffee shop if you want to meet friends.]
      7. No one will know I have a gun if I carry concealed – If you think you can truly carry concealed and no one will know, you are very skilled or delusional. While the average person may not notice, a LEO and bad guys know what to look for (when they are looking). They know how to tell who is armed even if they don’t see a gun. Those bulky cloths, fishing vests, tactical gear, fanny packs, Glock hat and shirt… a strange gate, constantly checking and touching the gun to make sure it is still there… all a dead giveaway to those in the know. When my kids were little we used to go to the county fair and see who could spot the most people carrying concealed. Yes even my 8 year old daughter could spot most of them. She could usually tell who was LE and who wasn’t too. [You’re doing it wrong. If you’re wearing a shoot-me-first vest and are NOT carrying a camera, that’s almost as bad as OC from a tactical and strategic standpoint. You’re seeing the smaller percentage of people who don’t carry correctly (come on with the fanny packs, SMH)- I will submit to you that there are thousands of discreetly armed individuals around you going unnoticed, because they are doing it correctly and have probably obtained some training and experience to bolster this. There has never been so many good, cheap concealment holsters available as there are today- and pistols like the Shield have made hiding a duty caliber pistol much easier. Your point of “it can’t be done, so I won’t even try,” is a weak-minded argument.]
      8. Legal reasons – Here in NC (an open carry state), you must be a resident for 30 days in order to apply for a CC permit and even then it is at the discretion of the Sherriff. One Sherriff says you must reside in his county for a year before applying for a permit. Additionally, it can take 3 months or more to get your permit from the state. So what do you do in the meantime? Sometimes OC is the only legal choice. [This is stupid- and I agree that your Jim Crow laws need to go- this is an excuse that will buy you 30 days, but I don’t see this as applicable in your case.]
      9. If I OC then it might scare people and cause a problem, maybe even be bad for the cause – I remember growing up and not hearing everyone around me cursing and using vulgar language as if it were commonplace as it is today. I remember going to pray and seeing people dressed in their “Sunday best” not jeans and t-shirts. I remember how many complained rock and roll was the devil’s music and would corrupt our youth. Some changes are good, some bad. Libtards have been working for decades to make us and our children afraid of guns. Look around and see to what new heights they have raised the level of ridiculous stupidity to. I for one am tired of being vilified. I don’t have that problem where I live now. It is not uncommon to see OC on the street, grocery store… but yet tourists not used to it still get upset. I get worried when I don’t see more people carrying guns, maybe I should call 911. “There are unarmed people in the grocery store!” [Your generation has been raised with an inflated sense of self-worth, the special snowflake phenomena. You aren’t special- you aren’t worthy of attention or notoriety just because you prance around armed- nobody cares- go home and realize that you are NOT the center of the universe. Your actions are part of something much larger than you or your special feelings, and it is imperative that you recognize that your selfish behavior and need for attention are having a detrimental effect upon the future success of the overall RKBA struggle. Know your role and stop being a special snowflake.]
      10. Ostrich syndrome – For some bizarre reason I fail to understand, some people feel safer not knowing who has a gun or seeing it. Personally I feel a lot better knowing who has what gun and leaving it all out in the open. If I were a LEO interacting with a person, I would want to know if they were armed. In some states it is mandatory that you tell an officer if you are armed. OC solves that issue. [IF you were a LEO? You are very far off the mark with your jaundiced assertion here. Do you know how much LEO’s don’t appreciate having their time wasted from protecting the community and doing their job by answering “man with a gun” calls by attention-seeking adolesscents with an inflated sense of self worth? Leave the speculation on what LEO’s want to the LEO’s- we respect the hell out of everyone’s right to carry, but we don’t appreciate your OC antics, especially when you carry in a shitty holster, have no retention awareness, and generally prance around looking for more attention.]”
      11. If we only save one child – My rights and the rights of this Republic are more important than your one child! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imw8YGyPgk4 – [AGREED- keep your laws off my guns.]

      • SSgt Mas January 3, 2015, 9:37 am

        Forgive the spelling errors in the above- big fingers, little keys.

  • garyflh October 13, 2014, 8:17 am

    In this particular case you maybe right but I think you miss the big picture. How many wouldbe crimes are not commited just because of the presence of a gun. I think if I were a robber I would not pick out the person you know has a gun and a very good chance of shooting you. I would move down the street and find the easiest looking target I could.

    I own a gun store and I open carry whenever I am there as I want everyone that walks thru my door to see the gun strapped to my hip. I agree with both open and concealed carry the point is to be to protect yourself and your family. My thoughts for what it is worth

  • gary66 October 13, 2014, 7:45 am

    I could break this down and add in a perspective that’s been time tested over centuries in detail, but I’ll leave that up to the reader because in the looking wisdom is gained.

    For the sake of argument there were 2 kinds of people in this example, the open carry and the concealed, which was the honest one? So, the perception is a cc person resembles the dishonest one. The end game is the cc person will be not trusted by the public who will end the rights to carry at all.

    Historically the cc person was a despicable kind, sneaking around doing just what this guy did, taking advantage of others who were able to fight fair, but snuck up on, sucker punched. Courts in days gone by wrote rulings making this very claim, but admitting at that time they were powerless to do anything about it. A Virginia court ruled this way about people who carried concealed daggers.

    Nothing happens in a vacuum, what you promote today does have serious consequences tomorrow. History is supposed to be the glass’s used to see what that tomorrow can be like.

    Open carry, as offensive as it is, is the honest mans choice. This example proves that without any doubt. The open carry person wasn’t the smartest, but lived to learn. He is just a kid.

    • SSgt Mas January 2, 2015, 6:17 pm

      Gary 66, your limited historical account of “honesty” is an interesting background- fortunately for us, concealed carry has lost the stigma of being dishonorable and your assertions are quite dated, even for the older generations.

      There is absolutely nothing “dishonest” about concealed carry for anyone living in this century. I can appreciate that in the old west, a man wore his six-gun outside his pants “for all the honest world to see,” but times (and case law) do change. In this recent years, the changes were for the better of the 2nd Amendment and the RKBA movement- from Heller to the expansion of concealed carry nationwide, times are changing.

      The worst thing that could happen to fell this wonderful movement would be for more attention-starved fools to ruin the responsible image that gun owners have worked so hard to achieve.

  • skidmark October 13, 2014, 6:25 am

    So by your line of reasoning cops should be carrying concealed because “[t]he armed crook knows the victim has a firearm, which changes the dynamics of the encounter.”
    Or is there some other dynamic in play which stops most armed robbers from preying on cops? Somehow I do not see the mere wearing of a costume to be what keeps cops from being robbed at gunpoint – and let’s face it, all the stuff on their bat-belt is quite tempting.
    I’m not going to play the “situational awareness” card. Instead, I’m going to suggest that the victim lacked the unquestionable resolve to use deadly force. Without that resolve a person has no business carrying a firearm for any reason except as a fashion accessory.

    stay safe.

    • dink winkerson October 13, 2014, 10:16 am

      It’s that they know they will be hunted like a rabid dog if they rob a cop.

    • DaveGinOly October 13, 2014, 12:36 pm

      Cops are already targets because they’re cops. They’re recognizable by their uniforms and they’re already known by all to carry a firearm, so carrying openly doesn’t make them a greater target than they already are. But they do carry openly with retention holsters, and they do so because they are targets for gun snatching and they know it.

    • A. Contreras January 2, 2015, 9:22 am

      Well, you have two kinds of LEOs: plain clothes and uniformed. The uniformed type carries openly because once you are in uniform, it makes no sense to conceal the weapon: your uniform says “I’m a policeman, and I have a firearm.” In that case, the benefits of concealed carry are outweighed by the benefits of open carry.

      But then there are plain clothes policemen, Guess how those carry. Of course, concealed. It’s all about not advertising who you are, and what you are carrying. Element of surprise outweighs the benefit of easy access to the firearm, or the undesirable so called deterrent effect.

      Not flashing your firearm is no different than not displaying valuable, really. Lackadaisically openly carrying a firearm at 2am in a neighborhood that reports a greater than national (and local) crime rate (neighborhoodscout.com)? Can anyone say “asking for it”?

      Places and situations where open carry make sense to me are pretty limited, particularly since it is not my job to deter crime. So, to me open carry would be reserved to any location where I would be “on my property” and anyone other than a lawfully invited guest is by definition suspect. For everything else, there is concealed carry.

      • DaveGinOly January 3, 2015, 12:29 pm

        Concealed carry by plainclothesmen only gives them the advantage of surprise if they’re not identifiable as cops. Carrying openly would make them stand out, even if they are not identifiable as cops, and would defeat the purpose of being in plainclothes. If some tactical advantage other than surprise could be gained by carrying concealed, then even uniformed officers would carry that way. Concealed carry does present a potential tactical disadvantage to the civilian carrier – he may be singled out for an assault because the assailants don’t know he’s carrying – they pick “the wrong guy.” But picking on the wrong guy can still result in serious injury or death to that guy, even though he’s armed. When carrying openly, the fact that he’s armed eliminates this type of “mistake” by the criminal, who will generally go looking for a softer target. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods of carry for the citizen.

    • SSgt Mas January 2, 2015, 4:45 pm

      Skidmark you have truly lived up to your name. Ask ANY off-duty LEO how they carry and they will tell you: unless hunting or at the range, it’s CONCEALED carry all the way. These open carry guys are a bunch of attention-whoring drama queens that are seriously damaging the credibility of the RKBA movement and giving free guns to violent criminals.

      Those who I see open carrying have minimal to no real firearms training, and usually ZERO training in weapon retention taught to all police officers. Compounding this folly, most also carry in a retention-level 0 or 1 holster with so little retention that a child could easily snatch it. With such little situational awareness, I’m surprised the thief in this story didn’t just skull the guy with a brick and take his pistol- how sweet that he asked nicely.

      Another word to the wise for wanna-be action heroes: action beats reaction every time, and if someone already has a weapon trained on you, even old Hickok45 himself won’t be able to clear leather fast enough to avoid getting shot. When you’re 21 you think you know what time it is, but you will find out in about ten years that you didn’t know DICK.

      Take a lesson from every single wolf (criminal) AND off-duty sheepdog (LEO)- Open carry is a stupid idea unless you’re hunting or at the range. Concealed carry is by far your best bet for weapon retention AND staying safe. Don’t listen to the 22-year-old know-it-all kids with the grossly inflated sense of self-importance, unless you just really need the extra attention.

      • Mark January 3, 2015, 12:24 am

        I completely agree with SSGT Mas. I am retired LEO and as he said when off duty or now retired, we carry concealed. There is no reason to draw attention to yourself or your family. I never understood the push for open carry where individuals intentionaly were challenging officers and baiting them into verbal altercations. For the most part, LEO’s are supportive of ccw rights. When “Open Carry” supporters antagonize law enforcement needlessly government reacts to it by seeing them as a threat. As a result California outlawed open carry because they were able to sell many people of the safety concerns of open carry.

        • MarkOwen January 3, 2015, 7:22 pm

          California outlawed open carry because the voters allowed it! DUMB-DUMB-DUMB everyone else in the open carry world calls California the land of the fruits and nuts. As a matter of fact you almost have to have an act of god to carry concealed there, Why you ask? Because of the voters. I used to admire the western states because you could go buy a gun and strap in on almost everywhere, now you can’t whose fault is it, The Voters! Most people don’t realize open carry is legal in a lot of states, I was surprised Michigan is an open carry state and I’ve lived here most of my life. Look it up see if you can open carry in your state.

  • JD Sorrell October 10, 2014, 11:59 am

    There is a time and a place. 2AM out on the street when you apparently are not exercising too much vigilance is not the time or the place.

    • MSG John Laigaie October 13, 2014, 9:59 am

      So, JD, what are the “official,” hours of the day for open carry? Do you get a schedule as to when you are safe ad when you are not. Like those little yellow stickys that they have in the heart attack commercials.

      • Larry October 13, 2014, 11:42 am

        I don’t know that the time or place plays nearly as great a role as the mentality of the open carry fan. I carry everywhere & ALWAYS concealed. When I was a cop in uniform, I was ALWAYS a target. I like not being a target much better.

        • Red January 2, 2015, 9:26 pm

          I was a police officer for 30 years. I thank that is long enough to be a target. I do not like people to know I am carrying. I want it to scare then when they see I am ready to protect Myself, My family and the public.

        • LEADFOOT320 January 23, 2015, 1:04 pm

          I like OPEN CARRY ! (1) it does discourage CRIMINALS ! (2) IT KEEPS THE ATTENTION OF THE CRIMINAL ON THE OPEN CARRY AND OFF ME (I AM CARRYING CONCEALED !!!)

    • mpr October 13, 2014, 1:06 pm

      the crooks use concealed carry – it is effective for them! that should be your first clue. I would always want the element of surprise on my side.

    • loupgarous January 2, 2015, 4:25 pm

      ANY TIME when you’re not on “yellow alert” (aware of your surroundings and anticipating trouble when someone you don’t know from Adam hits you up for a cigarette) is a bad time to carry. Or even to exist. Outlaws don’t care about your rights or whether you’re carrying or not – they do a very simple risk/benefit calculation: “If I don’t take this guy down with my first hit, will he try to kill me?”

      Having had both martial arts and handgun training and having broken noses when I didn’t intend to, I am pretty confident that if someone doesn’t 10-ring me or tap me in the head, first thing, I’m still in the game and ready to get on the board. It seems crazy and somewhat undesirable to be on the alert for assailants most of the time, but “most of the time” is when they attack – when you’re not expecting it. So I try to expect it.

    • Randy January 6, 2015, 4:04 pm

      Johnny Carson once asked Mohammed Ali on the show, “What would you do if someone, knowing who you are, came up to you in a New York alley and punched you in the face?” Ali said, “Johnny, I would run like he** (bleeped), because that guy either knows exactly what he is doing or he is crazy, and I don’t want nothing to do with either of them.” When you open-carry, you may deter a large number of criminals that have not totally thought through their crime and realized they only brought a knife to a gunfight; but because of a bold and brash few, one who open-carries must be extra vigilant.

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