How the Reasonable Person Should Carry

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Dick Jones' "Concealed Carry Handguns" book comes out this month and covers handgun choices listing 150 guns with reviews and editorial content on life as a Concealed Carry Citizen. Look for it in gun shops and outdoor stores everywhere.

Dick Jones’ “Concealed Carry Handguns” book comes out this month and covers handgun choices listing 150 guns with reviews and editorial content on life as a Concealed Carry Citizen. Look for it in gun shops and outdoor stores everywhere.

(Editor’s note: This column was submitted by freelance writer Dick Jones. The opinions expressed reflect Mr. Jones’ own thoughts on concealed carry and do not necessarily represent the opinions of GunsAmerica. If you like what he has to say, you can praise him in the comment section below.  If you don’t like what he has to say, you can politely tell him why in the comment section below.)

At the recent NRA Convention, I observed a couple walking the aisles who were sporting four guns between them with a combined firepower that exceeds the average police squad car. He was wearing an AR 15 pistol on his right hip and a short barreled pump shotgun on his left. She was wearing an AR15 pistol and an FN 5.7 high-capacity pistol. I suspect they were also carrying some sort of backup protection in the event the going really got rough. I asked them the reason they were carrying so much hardware and the response was they lived in Detroit, in a rough neighborhood, and it was their daily carry regimen.

I suspect this was a bit less than true and the real reason was that the big display of armament was more about getting attention and showing off their highly decorated and painted guns. While this over the top version of open carry exceeded anything I’ve ever seen before, it’s not unusual for citizens to legally open carry a gun in many states and locations. In Michigan, as in my home state of North Carolina, open carry is legal and doesn’t require a permit. Unfortunately, just because something is legal, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

There’s no doubt open carry allows you to carry a more effective firearm and allows faster deployment, but as in many other issues in life, for everything you gain, you lose something else. I suspect my new, heavily armed, acquaintance is making himself a target, rather than enhancing his level of safety. The value of his two custom guns equates that of a really nice gold necklace, and probably the street cred of such guns exceeds the value of a gold necklace. I can’t imagine the level of awareness that would be required on his part just to protect himself from an ambush to acquire the guns he’s advertising by walking around with them exposed. Further, there are locations where he simply can’t carry and such an ostentatious display would certainly invite a vehicle break-in.

While a large gun with open carry certainly can be comfortable and effective, daily open carry could effect your civil case in the event of a deadly force event.

While a large gun with open carry certainly can be comfortable and effective, daily open carry could effect your civil case in the event of a deadly force event.

Open carry certainly is a viable option, but under certain circumstances it offers more liability than advantage. The advantage is it’s easier to carry a more effective gun and draw time is much shorter. This makes sense for a uniformed law enforcement officer because everyone already knows he carries a gun. Further, that law enforcement officer is much more likely to have occasion to use his firearm than a citizen. It’s his duty to intercede and pursue when the law is violated. The LEO is authorized to use his firearm in an offensive manner when the need arises. The citizen can only defend.

Any criminal activity that’s planned out will take into account anyone with an observable weapon and that individual will likely be the first target if the perpetrators are determined to continue. Further, in some cases the presence of the exposed firearm could initiate the criminal event because of a desire to acquire the gun. Certainly there are situations where open carry is appropriate. Open carry in rural situations or where guns are more culturally accepted is much less likely to draw unwanted attention and create problems than urban and suburban locations where it might be viewed as strange.

While the law in North Carolina provides for open carry, we also have a provision regarding exposing a firearm in such a way to make others uncomfortable. The statute describes being “armed with the intent of creating fear among the public,” and such a law allows a broad interpretation that might get you charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor for walking down a public street with a gun hanging from your belt. True, a decent lawyer could likely get the case dismissed, but why would you expose yourself to such a situation?

The right to use deadly force in most states is linked to four conditions. Two of those conditions require the defender to not be the aggressor or use excessive force. The third is that the defender was actually in reasonable fear of serious bodily harm, death or sexual assault. The fourth condition is that a reasonable person would agree that such fear was reasonable under the conditions involved. To sum it up, being a reasonable person is a vital part of establishing that your situation provided you with the right to use deadly force. Carrying a pump shotgun and an AR pistol while conducting daily business has a good chance of making a person look unreasonable. In the view of many, constantly wearing an open carry, or easily revealed, double stack service pistol with a double magazine pouch might have a similar effect.

While it’s true that you have a better chance in a bad situation with a powerful, high capacity gun with a speed holster, spending every day so armed would be more than a minor inconvenience. Your odds of needing to defend yourself with a firearm during your lifetime are similar to your odds of losing your home in a fire. We all have homeowner’s insurance, and we all should be capable of defending ourselves. At the same time, there are things that insurance doesn’t cover like family heirlooms. To be certain those items aren’t lost, we could take the family photos, and Grandma’s china with us on vacation but the inconvenience outweighs the risk. The same is true of being over armed for the conditions in which you live your life.

There's no problem with indicating you're a gun owner, but a "Trespassers will be Violated" or "Go Ahead, Make my Day" sign will almost certainly become an issue in a use of deadly force civil case.

There’s no problem with indicating you’re a gun owner, but a “Trespassers will be Violated” or “Go Ahead, Make my Day” sign will almost certainly become an issue in a use of deadly force civil case.

An AR15 carbine is superior to a service pistol in a gunfight, but daily carry of a semi-auto carbine will define you as an unusual person in most locations I know of. A double stack service pistol with two magazines is superior to a compact single stack 9mm for a concealed carry citizen, but you can wear and carry that smaller gun every day with complete comfort and concealment. It’s easy to think of scenarios where you need a high capacity gun, but I can’t remember ever reading an Armed Citizen story in the front of American Rifleman when the citizen ran out of bullets. It’s possible but unlikely. The preponderance of self-defense situations with firearms don’t involve the firing of a shot. A vast percentage of those situations are resolved simply by the presence of the gun.

If you have the unfortunate experience of having to use a firearm to defend yourself, you are unlikely to be charged if you followed the laws of your state. Citizens who follow the law have a less than 5%. chance of being charged. Citizens who use a firearm to defend themselves have a 90% chance of being sued. The real legal threat isn’t arrest, it’s the lawsuit that almost inevitably follows the defense, and in that civil courtroom you need the judge and jurors to see you as a reasonable person. Glib remarks, a history of inflammatory statements, and anything that gives the impression to jurors that you might be spoiling for a confrontation will hurt your case. I’m sure that should my over armed acquaintance have to use deadly force, he’ll be on TV every night for weeks and his experience will make the ordeal George Zimmerman experienced look like a walk in the park.

For the best results in the civil case you’re almost certain to face should you have to use deadly force, you need to be seen by everyone as reasonable. Open carry in modern times — when concealed carry is so easy — makes you a target, both on the streets and in the courtroom.

{ 95 comments… add one }
  • Mark Winfrey May 14, 2016, 3:37 am

    I open carry because I don’t have a concealed carry permit.I’m in the process of applying for one. I can open carry most places or more places than if I had a CCP. NO I’m not doing it to show off.either.I just think being armed is better than being unarmed.
    Open carry is legal in my.state and I’m going to exercise that right. I’m seeing more and more people open carrying I don’t think they are trying to show off either.

  • Matt Jones April 18, 2016, 3:17 pm

    I have a CCW license and carry my weapon concealed. It is a dandy little Sig p238. Not a lot of firearm but easy to conceal. I don’t see the point of open carry in today’s society. I don’t carry to upset people, I carry because I hope for the best but plan for the worst. Hoping for the best does not include frightening the easily frightened. If some one wants to start shooting I would rather they did not know I am ready to shoot back until I start shooting back.

  • Karl C. January 27, 2016, 12:58 pm

    Excellent, well-written article. I also spent much of my life in locations that allowed open-carry and have observed it fairly frequently exercised….. and spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement and consider the points that the author made about the potential of being targeted because of the obvious weapon(s) to be very valid. In defensive situations, the “defender” is generally reacting to the aggressor, and in such situations I’ve personally found (& observed) it to be “better” to have one’s ability underestimated than overestimated, or even accurately assessed. It’s simply poor tactics to advertise my limitations, whatever they are.
    There are times and places where open carry is obviously better, but in most (not all) places and times, concealed makes more sense.
    We should defend our right to carry openly, but use it judicially. As the author mentioned, the aftermath of a defensive shooting will likely include close, public scrutiny of the defender’s actions, weapon(s), attitudes, etc., at the time of the incident as well as way before the incident.

  • Tommy Thompson December 21, 2015, 2:11 am

    I would never presume to say that I *know* what is in someone else’s mind that leads them to do anything, including openly carrying a firearm. Frankly, it’s their right, in many areas, to do so; I believe it should be their right in *every* state. Unless they look like they’re about to rob a store, or something similar, I don’t worry about it. I carry concealed because I’m an old fart who wouldn’t be able to fend off anyone who might try to take my gun. Haven’t had to kill anyone in decades, and really don’t want to have to, again; but, I can only imagine the surprised look on an assailant’s face when that frail old man (s)he picked out of the herd to attack suddenly shoots him/her…

  • Chris December 20, 2015, 8:29 pm

    The butthurt guy who wrote the article sounds like a anti gun liberal who should keep his mouth shut.

    • Floyd R July 25, 2017, 1:08 pm

      What a SHALLOW and “Unreasonable” thing to say… you sound like a 10 year old who plays with cap pistols and water guns.
      Everything Mr. Jones said in this article is ‘correct’… He NEVER SAID anything about the RIGHT of that couple to open carry at such an Extreme level…and certainly any reasonable person could agree that was in the ‘extreme’ category. The couple even acknowledged they are in an ‘extreme’ environment. And he clearly stated that many of his comments and SUGGESTIONS are of an ‘opinion’ or ‘personal choice’ nature. A Combat-Armed Marine does not carry that much weaponry into a full-blown battle!
      A dependable pistol, that you are comfortable with and well-practiced in handling, with some backup ammo, if you choose, is certainly the most “reasonable” level…whether open or concealed. NO level of arms will be completely undefeatable in every situation! If we could completely predict what situation we might face before we leave the house… then we would simply NO GO THERE! But neither is it ‘reasonable’ to walk into a ‘burger joint’ with an SBR and 4 different pistols (each needing different ‘backup ammo’). “Rights” and personal choice includes many choices… from ZERO weapons to whatever the Maximum is where you live.
      One of my personal considerations about concealed or open carry is that concealed gives ME the decision over WHEN and HOW to bring my firearm or other weapon into the situation…or NOT at all! It is partly addressed in the comments about making yourself a target, but it goes beyond that…and again, with each situation being different, and your choices being different in each situation, the LESS the assailant(s) knows about you and your capabilities the better!
      SO…there was NOTHING in this article, nor my own comments, that supports Gov’t Gun Control!!
      What we DO support is PERSONAL “gun control” … how we appear to others, what we choose to carry, how well we train and prepare in advance of a possible ‘situation’, and what we Choose to DO in any particular situation…

  • Dick Jones December 18, 2015, 9:49 am

    Looks like the buzz has died down on this story. This hasn’t been the most controversial article I’ve written, but it certainly reflects that a lot of people read GunsAmerica Digest.I once wrote a newspaper story on homemade biscuits that raised more ruckus.
    It was never intended as anything but an opinion article, I respect anyone’s choice to open carry and I live in a state where open carry might be taken for granted. I am certainly in favor of everyone having the right to open carry, I only submitted the suggestion that it might not be the best policy.
    I might be influenced by the fact that I’ve taken open carry for granted since I’ve lived my life with it. Certainly, as a young man, I envied those who lived in the few states where where were roads with no speed limit posted. I remember riding with a friend on the Autostrada in Italy and wishing for a road like that in North Carolina.
    Most disappointing of all was that the internet sniper who called me a “yellow journalist” never contacted me. I’d have loved to have conversation with him. During my career as a competitive shooter, I’ve had the honor of spending time with real guys who are real heroes and not basement operators. I’ve competed with real Marine and Army snipers, Secret Service countersnipers and agents, Special Forces operators Federal Air Marshals and other genuine guys. All of them are respectful, and would never consider the kind of bravado that’s so prevalent on the internet today.
    Carry in any way you wish, Carry what you wish. My main concern is that we all be responsible and not provide ammunition for those who’d love to see us lose our precious Second Amendment Rights.

  • DIYinSTL November 30, 2015, 12:25 pm

    Jones’ opinions reflect the old axiom “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice (but in practice there is.)” Philosophically I strongly support open carry but for all the reasons stated by Jones I don’t practice it. Also, it has been over a hundred years (more in some areas, less in others) since open carry of side arms was common and accepted while concealed carry was only practiced by card cheats and other criminals. Even in the 1960s the open display of a long gun was nothing to be alarmed about by either the citizenry or the authorities. The nadir for gun ownership and carrying was only a decade or two ago; it will take several generations of responsible concealed carry and a slow growth of subdued display while carrying openly before the culture in our country can change enough so it is a place where carrying a gun is a common and accepted practice. The ostentatious display of Jones’ new friends is not helpful while we work to transform our nation’s mores.

  • Brian November 28, 2015, 10:57 pm

    If people practiced as much as they argued about how to carry what gun
    to carry ect..

  • Marco November 28, 2015, 3:23 pm

    Why have a right if you can’t/shouldn’t exercise it?? (Rhetorical)
    Open carry allows those < 21 but 18 and over to legally carry in states not requiring a permit to OC.
    OC also allows for those that don't wish to BEG the Government for the permission (CHP) to legally carry, where a legal.
    As for OC making you a target stats really don't bear that claim out… However, we have lots of tales of those that CC being targeted.. The CC'ers were probably targeted cause they looked too much like the criminals normal fonder, the helpless sheep.

    Here's a novel idea let free people decide for themselves and support their decision if they prove to be responsible, and punish those that aren't.
    Been OC'ing since 1990 mostly southern NV and VA(2005 to present) but have done several cross country drives and OC'ed when legally allowed….nary an issue.

    YMMV

  • Wayne Thomas November 28, 2015, 10:21 am

    What side of Detroit you stay on that you need that much fire power? But for me one gun with extra mag is good.

  • Lucky Kolb November 27, 2015, 10:25 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, we can’t bottle common sense and sell it to those people who need it the most. Heck, the ones who need it the most don’t have a clue that they’re lacking it…

  • DaveGinOly November 27, 2015, 9:51 pm

    When was the last time Mr. Jones criticized people for driving nice cars or walking around with credit cards, cash, cell phones, handbags, while wearing expensive clothing or accessories, etc.? Are these people all inviting attack? Should we known use, carry, or wear these articles for fear of attack? Are we to blame when we do and we are attacked? That would be very odd – I always thought the criminal was responsible. That’s why we punish them and not their victims, right?

    I mentioned open carry (with the gun completely concealed in a holster that doesn’t look like a holster) to an earnest young man at a gun store two weeks ago. He immediately said that carrying a weapon like that would get me targeted first in a mass shooting event. Mr. Jones believes the same thing. Really? Can anyone name one time this has actually happened? Criminals are known to avoid persons they merely BELIEVE are armed, and to avoid places where such people frequent. The only exception to this rule are bank jobs – if you want to rob a bank, you must deal with the armed persons you KNOW will be there – it’s an unavoidable hazard of a bank heist. But very few criminals are bank robbers, partly because they know that security precautions taken at banks make their work more difficult and dangerous. Although open carry CAN invite certain types of attack, concealed carry can never do something that open carry can – dissuade a criminal from making an attack in the first place. (Although, as I mentioned above, criminals will avoid people they suspect are carrying concealed, they sometimes the guess wrong and attack someone who is surreptitiously armed. Concealed carry does nothing to stop such attacks. Question for Mr. Jones – Seeing he believes open carriers invite attacks to take their guns, do concealed carriers invite attacks so that they can use them?)

    “The LEO is authorized to use his firearm in an offensive manner when the need arises.”
    Unmitigated BS. An officer can only employ potentially lethal force when someone’s life is in danger (his own or that of a citizen), or when he has a reasonable belief that allowing a suspect to escape (rather than shooting him down) presents a credible threat to the lives of others in the immediate future. Police are not allowed to use lethal force “offensively.”

    “To sum it up, being a reasonable person is a vital part of establishing that your situation provided you with the right to use deadly force. Carrying a pump shotgun and an AR pistol while conducting daily business has a good chance of making a person look unreasonable. In the view of many, constantly wearing an open carry, or easily revealed, double stack service pistol with a double magazine pouch might have a similar effect.”
    This is legal nonsense. When a use of lethal force goes to trial, the jury examines the use of force with respect to the “reasonable man” standard – they don’t examine the defendant himself to see if he is “reasonable.” If the jury believes that a “reasonable man” IN THE SAME SITUATION would have used lethal force, then even someone who is obviously bat-shit crazy will walk. “(B)eing a reasonable person is” NOT “a vital part of establishing that your situation provided you with the right to use deadly force.” It has nothing to do with it. “To sum it up,” it’s the SITUATION that determines the legality of the use of lethal force, not the personality of the defendant. (The Zimmerman trial is a case in point. After all the talk about his “unreasonableness” in “pursuing” or following Martin, even after being advised to not do so, the fact remained the Martin presented an immediate and credible threat to Zimmerman’s life – NO MATTER HOW UNREASONABLY HE MAY HAVE ACTED – and the jury acquitted him because they believed that a “reasonable man” having his head pounded into the pavement would have acted similarly. It was not a “vital part” of his defense to demonstrate that his behavior was reasonable, just that it was lawful.)

    • Floyd R July 25, 2017, 1:24 pm

      In TRUTH… YES! Wearing expensive jewelry and expensive cars and living in Big houses DOES make you a “Target”..!! Just ask all the folks that get mugged as they leave a Broadway Theatre or other “Fancy” event, and walk to their car. [another reason they use valet parking when possible.] And why they live in Gated communities with 24/7/365 Armed Security…
      No, it doesn’t mean we have to dress in rags and drive a ‘renta-wreck’ car. And of course there are no “statistics” on what exact motivation was in the mind of an assailant…but certainly the choices of location indicates the motivation, mixed of course with their level of ‘comfort’ and likelihood of success.
      Of COURSE that doesn’t mean we are “to blame”!! It is ALWAYS the Fault of the assailant! But Reality DOES increase your “appeal” to some of the predators around us…

  • norman November 27, 2015, 7:35 pm

    Common sense dictates that cc is the only way to carry; “out of sight, out of mind”, and needs to be deployed only under direct threat of injury or death. And it NEVER calls unwanted attention to the presence of a gun My opinion only.

  • Jared November 27, 2015, 7:00 pm

    Mr Jones,

    If you did your research on open carry in Michigan, you would see that it is not as restrictive as concealed carry. Most places off limits in Michigan apply to concealed pistols, and not unconcealed.

    If you wish to actually educate yourself on the issue, please visit our Facebook page.

  • Dick Jones November 27, 2015, 5:38 pm

    Trust me, I am not a closet anti-gun guy. I’m a Distinguished Rifleman, I have served as President and later Chairman of the Board of the North Carolina Rifle and Pistol Association, I’ve served as Volunteer Field Staff for the NRA, I started a gun club on my property in 1979 that now has over 800 members and has held a National Championship under my leadership., I ran the North Carolina High Power Rifle team for six years and have four Dogs of War medals for the National Trophy Team Match. I teach North Carolina Hunter Safety, I am a Boy Scout Merit Badge counselor for shooting. I own and run Lewis Creek Shooting School, teach North Carolina Concealed Carry and have been a shooting instructor since 1980.

    Indeed, the article is an opinion article. It is not short on fact.but it is long on opinion. I did considerable research in writing my book and though the numbers of individuals charged compared to the number sued is based on personal experience involving multiple situations.

    I am not advocating any legal restriction of open carry. I am only expressing my opinion based on the research for my book and law in most states. If anyone wishes to open carry, please feel free, but rest assured that that a “Go Ahead, Make my Day” bumper sticker on your car will come up in your lawsuit should you ever be unfortunate enough to have to use deadly force..

    Again, I do NOT advocate any legal restrictions on open carry. It is your choice. I’m afraid many who’ve posted have resorted to the liberal method of tagging anyone they don’t agree with as being a crank. The interned seems to breed a certain kind of bravery for this sort of thing. Feel free to call me and discuss this, My contact information is on my website and you can read my reviews, match coverage, and other opinions.

    Dick Jones

  • Bill C November 27, 2015, 5:35 pm

    Where I live, open carry has been legal for what seems eternity. At least 40 years and probably more. It is extremely rare that you see it unless, it is appropriate. You may see the owner of a gun store or pawn shop open carry and it is certainly not unusual during hunting season in small mountain towns but, in everyday life, it basically doesn’t exist. One probably sees it more where it is a new thing and the novelty of the concept hasn’t worn off yet. Concealed is definitely the only way to go and, for many reasons that this author captures very well.

  • Chris Baker November 27, 2015, 5:33 pm

    First point: “I asked them the reason they were carrying so much hardware” this impertinent question deserves no better answer than “Why do you question my right to carry?” Or perhaps “Because they’re heavy and I am exercising”.

    It truly boggles my mind how many of the people here don’t seem to understand the second amendment. The wording of the second amendment doesn’t allow for having to ask permission, or being limited to certain areas or specific arms. The last phrase is an absolute prohibition on any infringement of the right to carry arms. If people are opposed the that then they should be working to change the second amendment, not subverting the constitution any more than it already has been. We need legislators who will follow their oath of office and abolish the unconstitutional laws that are on the books. The only constitutional laws about guns in this country are the ones prohibiting using them to commit a violent crime.

    • DaveGinOly November 27, 2015, 10:13 pm

      To put a fine point on your last comment:
      We are often told that the right to free speech is not limitless – you can’t shout “Fire” in a crowded theater. But this is incorrect. In the first place, there might be a fire, so shouting “Fire” would be completely appropriate (which is why it is not illegal to do so). Secondly, when one shouts “Fire” in a crowded theater in order to cause panic and injury, a right hasn’t been exercised – a crime has been committed. The exercise of no right intentionally harms another innocent person. If the act intentionally harms an innocent person, then it’s a crime, not the exercise or abuse of a right. Rights don’t need limits. An act that’s usually (or under different circumstances) a right automatically ceases being a right and becomes a crime whenever the intent is to harm an innocent party. There’s simply no need to criminalize the exercise of any right, because, by definition, the exercise of a right harms no innocent person intentionally. (A right can be exercised negligently, in which case you can be guilty of negligence, but the right itself wasn’t exercised with the intent to do harm. An act that intentionally causes harm is a crime, and “negligence” need not be invoked.)

  • Mike Sachkowsky November 27, 2015, 4:41 pm

    As with most things, especially concerning firearms, everyone has an opinion and we are all experts, I know I am. The thing we must keep uppermost in our minds is the SECOND AMENDMENT! The right to keep and bear arms must be preserved and expanded to the max, open and concealed matters not as long as it is done responsibly. If there are closet anti 2nd amendment characters, shame on them. I escaped from N.J. to the great state of Montana, where both forms of carry are commonly employed and I am glad they are. I personally carry concealed unless out in the forest. Let’s keep the 2nd strong, we have enough anti-gun nuts like Obama, Bloomberg and all the rest, lets not be our own worst enemy!

  • Ram6 November 27, 2015, 3:09 pm

    I don’t oppose open carry. If that’s the individual’s desire then that should be his right under the constitution. I wouldn’t do it, no matter the “lack of evidence of being targeted first”. I think it’s asking for trouble, especially in a bad neighborhood. My firearm, when I carry, is located concealed on my person and I hope to God I never have to pull it out. If I do to defend myself or my family, there will be no hesitation and there won’t be any “shoot to wound”.

  • Victory1 November 27, 2015, 12:56 pm

    My personal opinion, I think our right to carry is stated in our 2nd Amendment— period! While concealed carry or open carry should be up to the individual, I personally like concealed carry just for the fact that I feel it’s less intimidating when being out in public with women, kids, etc. Another thing, if there IS going to be a problem, you will be singles out first. In other words, you’ve lost the eliment of surprise, I also think open carry is akin to showing off!

    Victory1

  • Mark Wynn November 27, 2015, 12:51 pm

    Useful discussion. Thanks. Saving this to desktop for further use. On behalf of rational 2nd Amendment defenders/gun owners, I feel the need to give a “group apology” for those dimwits, above, who attacked you. personally, a anti-2nd Amendment … probably because they exemplify the very gun posers you described.

  • Michael J. Salzbrenner November 27, 2015, 12:46 pm

    And a .45 is better than a 9MM. And its a “magazine” not a “clip”. And hip carry is better than SOB carry. And that guy on some show put his finger on the trigger of his obviously imitation gun and endangered all of nobody with his ridiculous lack of safety concern. Seriously all of these arguments are useless and futile. In EVERY situation there is equal proof to support either OPINION. And that is ALL these are, OPINION! Restating the same tired regimen of sudo facts and isolated “statistics” is beyond redundant at this point. We’ve all heard it before, from BOTH sides of the fence. Anti-Gunners balking at individual rights, Pro-Gunners encouraging only THEIR definition of those rights. And both doing nothing more than simply presenting themselves as pretentious, pompous, narcissists, that assume THEIR way is the ONLY “right” way. So here is the truth, Carry! Period! End of story! How and What are your decision. The only things to consider are your safety, and your comfort. If its comfortable you will do it, If it keeps you safe, use it. Done. I carry because I have a responsibility to myself, my family, and way of life, to ensure the safety and preservation of all three. How I choose to accept that responsibility, is my choice. Just as it is your choice how you wish to accept yours. From all the attacks we must endure from the Anti-Gun community, the most pathetic thing I must tolerate is Pro-Gunners arguing amongst themselves about HOW to “correctly” be Pro-Gun. It’s no wonder they are winning. A large majority of the Pro-Gun group is even more disorganized and even less unified than the Anti-Gun groups. And THAT in itself is the scariest observation.

    • DaveGinOly November 27, 2015, 10:20 pm

      Bravo.

  • Vlad G. Spitzer November 27, 2015, 12:11 pm

    An excellent overview of “reasonable carry.” Judging from some of the comments most would agree that in a self-defense situation one should shoot first and worry about lawsuits later. After all, that’s why anyone would carry in the first place. But stop for a moment and consider:
    1. The civil lawsuit that will almost certainly follow a self-defense scenario will have an entirely different standard of proof as to whether you acted properly in defending yourself. It will not be about whether you could be charged with a crime but whether the person(s) against whom you defended yourself against is entitled to compensation–MONEY.
    2. Your every action and movement in defending yourself will be scrutinized in a courtroom with a jury watching—not in milliseconds or even seconds that it took you to shoot, but in hours, days, weeks or months that it takes to complete a trial.
    3. Everything about you and your life, past and present, will become the subject of that trial. Your “tactical” training will not be portrayed as a means of self- defense but as a way of making you a “killing machine.”
    4. The person against whom you defended yourself will be painted a “victim” by his or her lawyer, while you will be portrayed as a gun-toting vigilante who has spent a countless hours training and countless dollars acquiring a formidable arsenal of weapons, just to prepare yourself for “this” opportunity to pounce on some “hapless victim.”
    5. And in the end there’s that “sympathy” factor that all lawyers who do trials for a living are looking to display to the jury, especially if the person against who you defended yourself happens to have lost a limb or worse as a result of the gunfight.
    6. If you lose the trial, there will be a judgment against you that could follow you for the rest of your life. You could wind up bankrupt or worse.

    And yes, you might even win the case and wind up spending your life-savings or your kid’s college fund to do so. So after all that you could still say that you defended yourself and you’re still alive. But be assured that your life will change in ways you never even dreamed of.

    Act reasonably, carry modestly and if there’s trouble try to get away from it. And if you can’t be sure to shoot straight!!

    • DaveGinOly November 27, 2015, 10:18 pm

      Counter sue the individual (or his heirs) for the assault against your person, for the damage to your sense of well-being and security, and for the trauma done to your psychological well-being (you just had to shoot, and possibly kill, someone). If you’ve been put through a criminal trial, sue for that trauma and expense too. Sue for everything you possibly can, and be willing to settle for a withdrawal of their suit.

      Why is this not done? Lawsuits are blades that cut both ways.

      • Frank Dilatush November 28, 2015, 8:54 am

        Because once lawyers get involved both sides bleed green. That’s the reason 95% of civil suits are settled out of court. Best advice for gun owners who decide to carry is to get an umbrella insurance policy that covers us in the event of defensive firearms use. Very few of us can afford the $30,000 and up it costs to go to trial no matter how right we are.

    • Clayguy November 30, 2015, 2:10 am

      Your response is right on target (no pun)! Once you shoot another person, your whole life will change and not for the better. Yes, you may be alive, but you’ll be dead broke and will likely loose your job if there is any publicity, regardless of the civil outcome. I am not discouraging concealed carry, but I am an advocate of being extremely cognizant of when to shoot and when avoid the situation. You have to “war game” different scenarios constantly so you are prepared to take the correct action when needed. As one commentator pointed out, criminals and terrorists do not hesitate to kill. If you hesitate it could be fatal. Train your brain.

  • Jerry Jones November 27, 2015, 11:57 am

    The media and the politicians, as of now, have the upper hand by pointing out and demonizing those who open carry.
    It’s hasn’t been a normal phenomenon for decades.
    How long will it take for society to recognize and accept the fact that guns themselves, and the vast majority of those who legally open carry them need not be feared?
    I guess the answer depends on those of us who can safely, reasonably, and responsibly open carry our firearms.

    • DaveGinOly November 27, 2015, 10:24 pm

      The MSM has conditioned the general public to fear firearms. The only way to decondition them is to repeatedly expose them to the fear stimulus. Over time, the fear response will either become exhausted (they just won’t react any more) or re-programmed (they will actually come to accept open carriers, and gun owners in general, as “good guys”).

  • Larry November 27, 2015, 11:46 am

    For almost fifty years, I’ve carried both open & concealed. My choice is always concealed unless out in the boonies hiking or hunting. I want to always have the element of surprise, not to stick out like a sore thumb for the bad guys to shoot first.

    • Gregg November 28, 2015, 1:26 pm

      You are correct. Special Forces would be less special if everyone knew they were coming.

  • Blankovich November 27, 2015, 11:29 am

    I have several points to make. First, a State that has the correct Constitutional carry law that allows nearly everyone the right to opening carry a firearm is to be applauded; I wish Texas had the same. Now as to that ridiculous “armed with the intent of creating fear among the public” law, this is an obvious attempt by crazy progressives to scare us all out of carrying our weapons opening and legally. It is so subjective!

    Second, let’s all agree that each and everyone of us has to make the “how to carry, what to carry, if I carry” decision by themselves. For those of us who think before we take a serious action (and carrying a weapon open or not is a serious decision!) open carry does have some down sides including exactly what the author stated about bad guys targeting you first.

    I also detect an element of scare tactics in the article in that it is quite clear that the authors opinion is that if you carry or carry openly and have to deploy your weapon that you will be sued into the ground regardless of what happens to your legally. I believe that the heavy stress on that risk is completely out weighed by the fact that if you successfully save your life, your loved ones life, etc., getting sued may happen, but would you rather be dead? I think some balance is needed here.

    Personally, I would like to see all of America be a place where ten to twenty percent of the public walking around were opening armed. I am quite serious. This would be an extremely safe environment for everyone; armed or not armed. What semi-sane criminal would be attempting a crime in such a situation. If you and a group of your friends want to riot because something happened you don’t like in your town will you actually do it if there are many shop keepers and general public there and ready to stop you? If the display of a tool of self and societal defense was commonplace it would be an extremely powerful statement by that society: we will not tolerate miscreants and evil.

    My final thought is that I would take a rather childish delight in what I assume would be quite a few comments by other countries leaders and the complete woosies among us who would probably faint dead away at this sight. Oh, my! A handgun! it may levitate all by its lonesome out of that holster and shoot me! Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!

  • Nayt November 27, 2015, 11:09 am

    My agreement is with the author.
    Personally my feeling has always been open carry makes you the first threat/target for the bad guys. However, I do not feel it a threat for other citizens to open carry and for them to do so takes a lot of pressure off of me; if a situation requiring the use of force ever exist their obvious threat to the bad guys will allow me time to find concealment and acquire my concealed weapon.

  • James Rice November 27, 2015, 10:55 am

    In public I keep my penis and handgun out of view.

    • vinny November 27, 2015, 11:40 am

      Me,too! Unless i’m at a nudist colony or i’m in an open-carry state!

    • Mark Wynn November 27, 2015, 12:54 pm

      Unfortunately, some of the over-the-top posers lashing out here … seem to have the one confused with the other.

  • Snowy Rivers November 27, 2015, 10:43 am

    Very well spoken.
    I am a firearms instructor and do concealed weapons training and offer the carry class in Oregon.
    Much of the root materials offered in this article are spot on.
    Carrying the types of weapons described in the article is just a bridge too far.
    WITH the exception of the Five Seven pistol, which is fine, but still needs to be concealed.
    WE can beat the dead horse all day long as to what caliber, brand, model etc, etc and many will never be happy, but the gist of the matter is still IF YOU’RE GONNA CARRY IT, COVER IT UP.

    STEALTH IS STILL THE BEST ANSWER

    Carry on troops

    Snowy

  • MEEN November 27, 2015, 10:37 am

    I don’t like open carry because the people I see doing this usually look like the problem. Makes me uneasy to the point where I leave the area. It upsets everyone else as well. Not right. I also feel that, if the time comes when you are confronted with a criminal, he’s going to pull the trigger long before you will. Some exceptions, of course. But the criminal probably holds up people/ places for a living and is comfortable making fast decisions where you, most of you, would be so nervous, you would hesitate. Bang! You’re dead. Remember, he usually just wants money. There’s not enough money on the planet to bring you back from death. For sure, pack a gun in your car. I have several, including a shotgun. Pack a small concealed pistol on the occasion there could be trouble. But think about it, are you capable of pulling the trigger? If so, what would you gain? See what I mean, you had to think about it. You’re dead again. Most of us have never killed anything, much less, a human. Don’t get me wrong, I am all in on packing a concealed pistol if you know how and when to use it. Especially with terrorists being on the rise. The life you save may be mine. How about the games we buy our kids? Our government wants to allow gun manufactures to be sued when the games are teaching our kids to kill. Sheesh!

  • Philip Gunderman November 27, 2015, 10:29 am

    In general, I think that open carry is a mistake unless there is a clear threat. I also believe that in such a situation, the prudent person would stay clear if at all possible. Make no mistake, I am a firm believer that every law abiding citizen has the right, if not the duty, to defend himself and others. I cherish the 2nd Amendment, in fact I would very much like to make it stronger so that there is no room for legal “interpretations” based on the current political whim. Open carry sends much the same message about guns to the general public as the heavily tatted gang banger, one of intimidation. Making the general public feel fear will only hurt our desire to secure our 2nd Amendment rights, and strengthen the push to disarm law abiding citizens. Yes, where open carry is a right, it must be protected. At the same time, I very much agree that just because something is legal, does not mean it is appropriate in all situations.

    • Danny Griffin November 27, 2015, 11:08 pm

      “Making the general public feel fear will only hurt our desire to secure our 2nd Amendment rights”

      Where is the proof of this assertion? Each year open carry is becoming more prevalent and more widespread across the United States. With just a couple of narrow exceptions, most states are simultaneously enacting more pro-gun legislation every year. Although some do have limits, 45 states currently allow open carry, not including some rural open carry in California. Arkansas and Texas recently joined the ranks of full open carry states. Florida and South Carolina won’t be far behind. As with the other spurious anti-open carry arguments, the facts prove just the opposite of what they claim. More states are expanding their “stand your ground” laws, slowly eliminating gun-free zones, and requiring CLEOs (chief law enforcement officers) to sign off on NFA items including short barreled rifles (SBR), short barreled shotguns (SBS), suppressors (silencers), and fully automatic firearms (machine guns). In the past few years, a number of state legislatures have crafted and passed “Constitutional Carry” bills where no license whatsoever is required to carry a firearm concealed or openly.

      • Clayguy November 30, 2015, 1:53 am

        Danny, your request for proof is pretty lame. It’s called COMMON SENSE! The MAJORITY of our fellow citizens are not accustomed to seeing people openly carrying firearms when not in a police or security guard (if authorized to carry a firearm), uniform. I believe open carry should be legal, but those that open carry just to show they have a firearm are idiots that just reinforce the stereotype of gun owners as armed wackos. I’m a retired cop and can tell you we got calls from citizens when they saw somebody carrying a firearm. And we did not assume that the carrier was a law abiding citizen authorized to carry. Assumptions can get you killed. The result is the carrier got more attention than they likely ever wanted. Again, it goes back to common sense.

  • Bob November 27, 2015, 9:53 am

    You leave your home, there’s a fire, your heirlooms burn up.
    You leave your firearm at home. You get robbed and murdered.
    You really think these compare? This is taking convenience and comfort much farther than my “reasonable” self is willing to go simply to appease the gun grabbers and those that are easily offended at the sight of my protection. I cover it, but it can’t be hidden without going to more extreme than is reasonable.

  • GLt November 27, 2015, 9:52 am

    the state I live in used to have an open carry law, but due to people you just described, we no longer have that right. Great Article!
    It’s the old adage “look at me” type that screw things up.

    • Mark Wynn November 27, 2015, 12:58 pm

      Succinct, common-sense response of the hour award winner

  • Dave November 27, 2015, 9:50 am

    Good article, but it’s hard to take any professional writer seriously when they don’t know the difference between Affect and Effect

  • Richard November 27, 2015, 9:44 am

    I mostly agree with the argument that open carry where legal is OK, and although I live in NC as well, I usually wear an OWB holster with a concealment garment of some sort. It is my belief that this gives me the greatest ease of access and comfort without announcing, “I have a gun!”. I am of the opinion that it is a tactical advantage that the punk at the Stop-N-Rob doesn’t know I, or anyone else for that matter is armed. When I see someone open carrying, I usually give him or her an affirmative nod and a good morning; regardless of our carry method, we are birds of a feather.

  • DSharp November 27, 2015, 9:37 am

    In South Carolina open carry is not allowed and someone with a concealed carry permit must be careful not to allow their firearm to ‘print’, meaning 100% concealed, not peeking out from under your light jacket or a pocket gun showing impressions and depressions of the obvious firearm. This is where I’d like an open carry law. So one could carry concealed but if your firearm is observed it is not a volation.
    Recently on vacation in Wyoming, it was nice to carry a larger caliber, not open, but in an OWB under a light jacket and remain lawful if someone got a glimpse of my concealed carry. Also nice that I could take my jacket off and be lawful with the then open carry. I support both concealed and open carry as it is our right.
    Having supported the armed forces for over 50 years on active duty and civilian, I resent the fact that we cannot legally carry on our ‘gun free zone’ military facilities. How ridiculous that we who served for long periods carrying to protect our country cannot be trusted when off duty or out of uniform or retired. Also PTSD should not be a forever penalty. It is some of the ridiculous laws saying we cannot protect our families and ourselves that flames not only combat vets and LEOs but read some of the comments in this article and see how opinions get heated over stealing our 2nd Amendment rights or simply open or concealed carry from combatants and non-combatants alike! Would those heat of the moment while reading an article give the reader a few PTSD symptoms? Support your ‘combatants’ help keep them from being branded for life.

    • Danny Griffin November 27, 2015, 11:02 pm

      Printing is NOT illegal in South Carolina.

      Section 23-21-210, (6) “Concealable weapon” means a firearm having a length of less than twelve inches measured along its greatest dimension that must be carried in a manner that is hidden from public view in normal wear of clothing except when needed for self-defense, defense of others, and the protection of real or personal property.”

      So even temporary (accidental) exposure is okay, and printing certainly is. SLED has confirmed this. No one has ever been arrested for “printing” in South Carolina.

  • Rick S November 27, 2015, 9:15 am

    Hard to pick out a particular point, in such a long-winded article. As far as the Michigan “open carry couple” – openly carrying AR’s and SBR Shotguns – yeah – that would be a little over the top for street carry, though I can see “showing off” at an NRA Function (even though the question arises – can you “open carry” an NFA Registered SBR, but I digress).

    Two sides to every story (or debate). A bunch of the “open carry crowd”, walking into Starbucks with AR’s to prove a point – proves the point that we don’t need to TERRORIZE the non-gun-loving-public, in order to prove a point. This kind of behavior harms all of us (in general), than serve to help our cause.

    I’ve held a Florida CCW, for 20+ years – and have carried daily, EVERY SINGLE DAY – for that 20+. And not little pocket guns either, up to and including the (cough cough) “High Capacity FN 5.7” (though the 30 round extended mag prints a little too hard under a shirt – so I stick with the 20). But most of my concealed carries are full frame pistols (Sig 226, SA XDm, HK P30, etc.), and I do dress accordingly to conceal them as best as possible – sometimes they print, sometimes they don’t. And I typically carry a backup mag and always a flashlight on my support side. And unless you know what you’re looking at, for the most part – “average citizens” don’t know they’re there. AND I LIKE IT LIKE THAT.

    Florida currently has an “open carry optional” for CCW holders working it way through the legislature. Ostensibly, NRA/ILA is pimping the bill, to prevent CCW holders from being prosecuted for “momentary exposure” – even though this is ALREADY COVERED in Florida statute.

    Personally – should the bill pass and be signed into law – I would STILL CONTINUE TO CCW. Would it afford me the “fashion convenience” of tucking in a shirt and carrying OWB? Sure it would. At the expense of having all my hardware out in plain view. If open carry were my ONLY OPTION – then I would (versus going unarmed). I don’t feel the need to advertise my “armed status”, CCW give me a tactical advantage. Open Carry may work in some parts of Florida, but in others – all it will result in is more “public places” (malls, etc.) posting a “No Weapons Policy”, so as to not have all the non-gun-folks FREAKING OUT at the sight of guns all over the place.

    I currently carry in ALL PLACES NOT PROHIBITED BY STATUTE – even those with posted “No Weapons”, because at worst, if discovered, all they can ask me to do is LEAVE (it doesn’t immediately become “armed trespass” in Florida, unless you refuse to do so). But, with open carriers getting into confrontations in (supposed) “Gun Free Zones”, you can bet the legislature will amend the “armed trespass statute” to remove the warning requirement, and force the armed citizen to forfeit his right to self-defense in these places – or risk a felony arrest (and loss of firearms rights).

    Similar to other contentious debates in american society today – we are not going “change peoples minds” by rubbing their faces in it – in fact – it’s going to have the opposite effect.

    Open carry (at least here in Florida) will also result in MORE INTERACTIONS WITH LEO – in order to verify that the open carrier holds a CCW (as we are not talking about Constitutional Open Carry here). It will also afford people who are not authorized to carry weapons (or perhaps even posses them), to carry on the less-likely-chance that they will actually be confronted by LEO to verify valid CCW.

    So while I support the expansion of gun rights in general, open carry OPTIONAL for CCW holders – is not the same as “constitutional open carry for all”, and will create more problems than it solves.

    My $.02…

    Rick

  • rev_dave November 27, 2015, 9:03 am

    Everybody with an opening under their tail has an opinion. I get tired of reading both sides as if there is a ‘right’ way to carry a gun and we only need to prove it to the unenlightened. Me, my preference is that everybody who wants to carry a gun, should carry a gun. I don’t really care how it’s done, as that is a personal preference. You need to be comfortable with how you carry, and practice to be capable of efficiently deploying your weapon when you need it. Do that much, and I’m a happy camper.

  • Rick November 27, 2015, 8:59 am

    Most Demcrats are anti gun lovers, I’am making the proposal for everyone to change their political affiliation to Republican. I have been a Democrat for over 40 years and I’am embarrassed by their stupidty . Most Repubicans are pro gun and we need to get more of them in office. This is easy to do and will shock the Democrat party.
    SPREAD THE WORD……..

    • CR9 November 27, 2015, 12:47 pm

      Problem is that many Republicans are bible-humping homophobes…rife with plenty of stupidity in their own right , so choosing a side is often more complex than focusing on gun rights.

      • Chris Baker November 27, 2015, 5:21 pm

        Sure, lump us Christians as people you’re afraid of. That makes no sense at all. You put yourself on the same level as Obama and Clinton and Steinfeld and Boxer et al. Christians are allowed to defend themselves, in the book of Luke Jesus tells one of his disciples to sell his cloak and buy a sword. But defense is a far cry from the insane actions of the liberals. We don’t hate anyone. I pray for Obama to be touched by God and convicted to repent his sins and ask forgiveness almost every day. I would never attack anyone who hasn’t attacked me of another innocent without provocation.

        • CR9 November 28, 2015, 12:24 am

          Please leave religion out of this and anything having to do with laws and legislation, thank you.

      • Outlaw December 9, 2015, 1:17 am

        WTF is wrong with that? I’ll take a “bible thumping homophobe” over a limp assed liberal who supports all of those positions only for the votes they buy him. You really believe liberals love all the gays, immigrants etc.? All they care about like those Republicans is the votes they provide other than that they are just pawns.

  • Bob November 27, 2015, 8:55 am

    I am in agreement with Mr. Jones with one exception which is this statement:
    “The LEO is authorized to use his firearm in an offensive manner when the need arises. The citizen can only defend.”
    What is he talking about when he refers to an offensive manner??? A law enforcement officer going on the offensive??? My goodness that seems not to work very well in this day and age does it?? My point is that John Q. Public and law enforcement officers have the same right to use deadly force to protect themselves or others. If Jones is referring to a situation like what occurred in upstate New York when the two felons escaped the prison and were shot by law enforcement he is still wrong. That is not an example of law enforcement going on the offensive, but rather it is law enforcement protecting themselves and the public, as those two escapees were believed to be armed and dangerous. It would be interesting to hear Jones expound on how law enforcement officers go on the offensive!!!

  • SiliconSorcerer November 27, 2015, 8:52 am

    “Citizens who follow the law have a less than 5%. chance of being charged. Citizens who use a firearm to defend themselves have a 90% chance of being sued.” It’s a litigious but seeing the real stats would be ideal.
    I prefer open carry law which just makes concealed so much more convenient I prefer a OWB so I don’t have to buy all my cloths with a firearm in mind and a tailed shirt to cover it.

  • Ken Wilkinson November 27, 2015, 8:31 am

    Here in Connecticut the law is not well defined as to the question of open carry. I tell my candidates in the Personal Protection classes I conduct the following.
    It is easy to get a LTC in Ct and even easier to lose it. Please carry your gun in such a way that you avoid an interview by the Police or cause unneeded attention to be directed toward you by your fellow citizens.
    Open carry in my opinion is unwise from a public relations standpoint and poor planning from a tactical point of view.
    To the first point, in my opinion, most people here are not anti gun. The majority seem to be neutral on gun ownership. We have a powerful minority who hate guns and never miss an opportunity to make it harder to own or carry a gun. Unfortunately these folks carry a lot of clout with the liberal democrats who control our legislature. As we saw in recent times any event like the Newtown massacre allows them to stir up the general population and gain their support for a raft of new and oppressive gun control laws.
    To the second point, If I need my gun to deal with a problem I want Surprise to be on my side.
    Respectfully,
    Ken

  • Highlandtactical November 27, 2015, 8:14 am

    While interesting, this article is more of an opinion piece than advice. I live in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is very common to see people open carrying – in fact it would be weird to have an entire day pass without seeing several people OC. This includes Richmond, Charlottesville, Hampton Roads – all urban areas. I actually did a three-year long study of defensive shootings here in the Old Dominion, and found that while far less then 5% of legal defensive shootings are prosecuted; the rate of civil suites runs about 8% – a FAR cry from the 90% claimed in your article. It is also true that in the Crime in Virginia 2013, by the State Police (the most recent edition available) in crimes of violence involving weapons, firearms ranked #5 out of 6 categories of types of weapons used. Personal weapons (knifes, clubs, chains, bats, etc) was #1 at 73.6%, followed by ‘other weapon’ (brooms, golf clubs, lamps, ashtrays, chairs, etc) at 11.2%; ‘None” (hands, fists, feet) at 6.1%; Motor vehicles at 4.4%, Firearms at 3.7% and “unknown” at 1%. These data are located on page 56 of the aforementioned report.

    In the instances I have looked into comparing assault per capita vs the unarmed public, in no cases did the criminal target the person open carrying – and those who are interrogated while incarcerated state that they look for the easiest mark, and would at all costs avoid someone who they knew had a firearm. These are the facts at hand.

    That being said, I am a 100% EDC guy, and 80% of the time I carry concealed, and 20% OC. This is due to the type of work I do. I would have no issue Open Carrying every day if I could without drawing attention to myself. But as a registered Private Investigator, attention is something I avoid while on the job.

    This should be marked as an OPED piece rather then an informative article, especially considering that the author does not cite his sources for these percentages he tosses around, like I did here. That makes these suspicious data even more suspect.

    Thanks and Stay Safe!

    • George November 27, 2015, 9:27 am

      Bravo! Excellent rebuttal to a piece of ‘yellow journalism.’ The author’s name reminds of another ‘Dick Jones’ that was connected with Detroit; that of the main bad guy in the original ‘Robocop’ movie and we all remember what happened to THAT guy. I’m not sure I would want to take any advice from this Dick Jones based on the utter nonsense in this piece of pulp fiction……

    • Doug November 27, 2015, 12:40 pm

      Very well stated !!!! I, too, suspect his percentages are just his opinion and not true fact. Personally, I conceal carry 99% of the time, so someone who is open carrying, while they may become a target by a thug for said OC, only misdirects the perp’s attention away from me, possibly enabling me to defend without being noticed ahead of time. I have no problem with someone openly carrying within the law of each state. After all, “…the right of the people to keep and BEAR arms , shall not be infringed.” is pretty straight forward and not hard to understand. “BEAR” being the operative word. It’s pretty hard to “BEAR” arms concealed. Truthfully, if people would just follow the Constitution, we wouldn’t even being having this conversation……But given current events and the fact that Islamic radicals have declared WAR on our citizens, our country, and our way of life, I think everyone should carry how they choose and be prepared, trained, and ready, should the need arise.

      • Dick Jones November 27, 2015, 6:23 pm

        My 90% number came from two sources. The first was from the North Carolina Justice Academy when I took my Concealed Carry Certification Instructor class, their number was even higher. Since I could find no official data, I reduced the number. The second source came from talking to individuals who had experienced a deadly force event and .100% of then had been sued.

        I would be very interested to see the Virginia numbers. You can contact me through my website, werofftheporch.com.

        As to me being a “Yellow Journalist” I’d love to have a telephone conversation with you. My contact information is on the website.

  • Smitty November 27, 2015, 8:06 am

    A few things popped into my head while reading this anti gun article. Would the Detroit couple be safer if they instead wore the gold their arms were worth? Since the uniform makes law enforcement officers into targets, should the uniform go? For the N. C. statute on “intent”, do they plan a similar statute addressing the “intent” of performance vehicle drivers? Being a gun owner for all but 60 years, I’m starting to feel picked on.

  • Jackpine November 27, 2015, 7:45 am

    “Citizens who follow the law have a less than 5% chance of being charged. Citizens who use a firearm to defend themselves have a 90% chance of being sued. The real legal threat isn’t arrest, it’s the lawsuit that almost inevitably follows the defense, and in that civil courtroom you need the judge and jurors to see you as a reasonable person.”

    Great reminder.

  • TT0558 November 27, 2015, 7:36 am

    Where to start? There is so much wrong with this thought process that I am wondering if a run for congress is in your future. First and foremost you have the right to fully express your opinion in this great country of ours. I also have that right. The difference is that you carry a responsibility as you are widely published and that with it carries a responsibility. Your words in a published article carry a certain credence granted by the publisher and thus you must be careful to temper your comments or you will be doing the same thing you accuse others of doing.

    Your first comment that a LEO is authorized to use their weapon in an offensive manner is extremely inaccurate! That is a fact not an opinion. Any officer who uses their weapon in an offensive manner should and most often be prosecuted for murder or attempted murder. Offensive means that you were not legally provoked and took it upon yourself to use your weapon in a manner that is not to protect or defend anyone. That is a fact and not an opinion. Check the law if you disagree. If an officer uses their weapon to defend themselves or someone else, then that is fully justified. There must be a clear and present danger, not I feel like it moment.

    Next to say any criminal activity that is planned out will account for open carry weapons, may be an overstatement. Rarely does a planned event look for open carry people as the planning usually targets areas that do not allow for any type of defense (such as gun free zones). If true planning was done, such as military, an assumption would be made that everyone may have a weapon and disarming them is first on the action list. Thankfully most criminals lack some very basic intelligence and forget that.

    I am not saying I am for or against open carry, but it does equalize things for me. I am a legal concealed carry person and respect the rights of anyone who stays in compliance with the law. No matter what that law is. I don’t have to like it, but I must try to understand and come to grips with it. That is my responsibility as a responsible thinking human. I am often wrong as I don’t know what I don’t know and there is so much that I don’t know. After over 40 years of carrying and using weapons to defend our country, protect fellow citizens, and protect my family; I can say I have not seen it all and never will.

    So just remember one thing. We all have opinions and we must temper them with other opinions, many of which are in conflict with ours. My opinions are not always right and neither are your. Be careful of the power you wield as it can be used against you too. Live long and be at peace.

  • Don creen November 27, 2015, 7:20 am

    Great conversation piont. The situation of the couple from detroit would not be an issue if they were carrying like that in detroit . I have been to all the niegborhoods there and followed news and police scanners from there its not a cake walk to live there. What is thought excessive firepower or showyness in one place might be necesary suvival in an other place. Having said that i dont think the nra convertion you are talking about was held in detroit.

  • Steve November 27, 2015, 7:09 am

    I am all for open carry. My carry gun is a Ruger LCP .380. Usually I have just it with the mag and 1 in the chamber tucked in a pocket. If I am in a SHTF situation I would want some open carry folks there with their additional firepower. If they draw the fire away from me and my family so much the better. If the bad guys take them out there is the possibility I could get my hands on one of their weapons to increase my firepower.

  • SJ November 27, 2015, 7:03 am

    Some good thoughts there, especially being over-armed an taken to court. However, I came out of this with the thought that the overall tone is anti-gun. Carry the smallest gun with the least ammo you can. Granted, my carry pistol is a single-stack, but I carry the extended magazine (7 rnds) and a spare on my support side. The fact that the author never read a front-page story about someone running out of ammo doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Standard sdrvice pistol with two extra mags? Sure! I see no foul there, especially in an open carry environment. As a ‘reasonable person’, there should be no fear of that weapon going crazy and killing nuns and babies by itself. Personally, if I had to use my kitchen fire extinguisher, I would damn sure replace it as soon as possible, not carry on as if nothing is going to happen again – maybe sooner than expected.

  • Kevin Etter November 27, 2015, 6:59 am

    “Citizens who follow the law have a less than 5%. chance of being charged. Citizens who use a firearm to defend themselves have a 90% chance of being sued.” Broad generalizations are rarely correct. In Texas, if you are not found guilty of a crime related to the act of using a firearm for self defense, then you can’t be sued for anything related to that act. All states should pass a similar law.

    • GL November 27, 2015, 9:59 am

      Please tell that to my Kalifornia law makers!!!!

    • Dick Jones November 27, 2015, 5:16 pm

      North Carolina has the same law, but lawyers in NC tell me that law doesn’t prevent a lawsuit. It strengthens your position but you still have to defend yourself from the suit.

  • Philip Ledig November 27, 2015, 6:42 am

    Two thoughts

  • Ken November 27, 2015, 6:22 am

    North Carolina “Common Law” states; it is unlawful for a person to arm him/herself with any
    unusual and dangerous weapon, for the purpose of terrifying others, and go about on public
    highways in a manner to cause terror to others. The North Carolina Supreme Court states that
    any gun is an unusual and dangerous weapon for purposes of this offense. Therefore, persons are
    cautioned as to the areas they frequent with firearms.

    This law applies to “public highways” and it MUST be proven the intent for carrying the dangerous weapon was to “terrify others”.

  • Nick November 27, 2015, 6:06 am

    Boy, can people make arguments that make sense – to them. I agree with Dick Jones, that open carry has more drawbacks than benefits, in urban areas. People can do whatever they want with their guns, where legal. Personally, I think it is mainly about ego.

    • LARRY PARISH November 27, 2015, 12:29 pm

      I ALWAYS FELT THAT CARRYING AN EXPOSED WEAPON WAS JUST LOOKING FOR TROUBLE

      • Chris Baker November 27, 2015, 5:04 pm

        Well then, if you feel that way, don’t do it. It’s your choice.

  • Jerry Jones November 27, 2015, 5:55 am

    The author states “Any criminal activity that’s planned out will take into account anyone with an observable weapon and that individual will likely be the first target if the perpetrators are determined to continue. “….I’m sorry but this just isn’t true and I’m sure the statistics will back me up…… the vast majority of crimes are committed by criminals who intentionally, and willfully seek a scenario that offers them the least resistance, especially being confronted by anyone else with a gun….. Name one mass shooting that wasn’t planned in a gun free zone.

    It is the nature of criminals to seek, unsuspecting, helpless victims.

    • Ryan November 27, 2015, 2:55 pm

      Likely true for criminal acts against you or I but the majority of gun related homicides are gang/drug related and while I don’t know actual stats, I assume many victims are armed or had a firarm easily accessible when they were shot. criminals always try to sway the odds in their favor and take any tactical advantage they can. If someone is thought to be armed, criminals simply attack in greater numbers or surprise the victim (e.g., drive by shootings, late night home invasions when victims are thought to be sleeping, simply walking up from behind). Law abiding citizens are less likely to be involved in drive by shootings and the like but don’t let that fool you into thinking that a gun on your hip will ensure you aren’t viewed as a “helpless victim”.

  • Ken November 27, 2015, 5:40 am

    One angle that the author failed to address is the fact that open carry is a red flag to the anti gun crowd. They are easy enough to derail in many cases, but why give them fuel for the fire? I do open carry on occasion, but usually my weapon is concealed. I don’t feel the need to advertise that I have a firearm on my person, it’s enough to know that in the remote chance that I may need it, it’s available.

  • Darryl November 27, 2015, 4:34 am

    i too don’t get the so-called 2nd amendment supporters who are always saying people shouldn’t open carry. i mean why have went through all the standing up for our rights to be told by yet more people that we are wrong. and these are the ones that say they are on our side. i’m for how ever you want to carry that is legal in your state, don’t care how you do it. now these people that you said you seen would not be the way i would do it but i’m not about to go and tell someone what they are doing is wrong. we got enough people to do that who if they had their way we wouldn’t be armed for protection at all.

    so to each their own as long as they are doing it with in the law. had that been me you came up to i would have politely told you it is my business how i want to carry my protection. but this kind of thing where we are at each other about how we carry is just what the anti-gunner wants. as the other poster said i have yet to see anything that backs up that open carry is any worse the conceal carry. yes you can say anything you want about what may or may not happen in the way a person carry’s but without real case’s to back it up it means nothing. i’m not talking about you heard or someone said. police department reported case’s of this happening.

    i open carry and i’m not trying to be a big guy or make up for something it’s just the way i like to do it. everyone else can do what they want don’t care.

  • Chris November 27, 2015, 3:14 am

    While agree with some of what you have to say I do not with a lot as well ,,, you state a lot of Opinion Its legal but maybe not a good Idea even if legal WTF its Legal or not it’s a choice leave it up to the person and as for NC I doubt that their law will stand Federal scrutiny just based on Brown v texas weather its alarming or not its a legal act and can not be basis for a stop. I wish all the 2a groups would get their head out of the asses and see this for what it is an attempt to divide us an attack on one is an attack on all. Because after they pick off one they will be after the rest I know not why its so hard to understand Shall Not Be Infringed its not a hard legal definition to understand. While you don’t understand or agree with the people that carry the armament that you describe why attribute motives to them and state things like you believe them to be lying you have no proof of this but you disparage them in a Article and claim some knowledge of use of force situations.. I have been teaching use of force for LEO and Corrections for over 10 years and I will say that doesn’t make me a know it all but your statements about robbers or taking out open carriers first is Hog\wash most people robbing a store or 711 or bank for that matter have what is called tunnel vision its a symptoms caused by the adrenaline dump and they solely focus on the cashier or teller even if there are more than one perp they tend to be focused on the partner and the Cashier or teller this is a lack of training… There are the 1 in a million that will be trained or have the smarts to do what you are talking about but for the most part its just not how it goes down.. I hope you will take what I have said here with a grain of salt I tend to get hot with people that disparage people that they really do not know and attribute motives to them. Its ok to not agree with them or even what they deside to carry but really dose it do anyone any good to write an article bashing them.. I love you used of the term Hi-Capacity when talking about the FN 5.7 I am guessing that it was the standard Mag for this weapon Why dont you call it an assault weapon then you can write just like the Libtards attributing actions to Steel and things that are tools nothing more .. I will have to say the more I read your article the more pissed I get becase you seem like a sheep in wolves clothing

    • Blankovich November 27, 2015, 11:45 am

      Yep. I agree that the author seems extremely long on opinions and not much fact. I also was overwhelmed by the feeling that he is actually a closet anti 2A person. Those evil forces operate on many, many levels and with many pseudonyms.

      • TPSnodgrass November 30, 2015, 1:22 pm

        I would respectfully disagree. I didn’t get that “opinion” at all from the article. Having been carrying legally concealed from the time I started out in law enforcement(1978) and now as a retired person, I agree that “open carry” should be a legal constitutional right, however, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, and that applies to a LOT of things one can do that is “legal”.
        I prefer the element of surprise myself, coupled with appropriate situational awareness. Most law enforcement deaths in this Republic, are with the officer’s own firearm. So, weapons retention is a PRIORITY for all of us who legally carry, open or concealed. An no amount of our being a “legend in our own minds” is going to change that at all. The thugs DO practice weapons take-aways (disarmament) while in the joint. That IS a fact. We need to be highly proficient in ensuring our firearms are not used against us or any other innocents.

    • Ryan November 27, 2015, 2:42 pm

      Don’t think the author was suggesting open carry was always a bad idea or should be illegal. Rather, he makes common sense observations that reasonably intelligent people will assess and manage risks regardless of their ethics. If you were planning to rob a bank wouldn’t your first priority be to incapacitate the security guard? I don’t know the statistics of the outcome of the “90%” of civil suits noted in the article but the legal outcome is only one consideration. The time and cost spent successfully defeating a civil suit as well as the impact on ones reputation, while less important than winning, can still be significant. Could your career survive a lengthy civil trial? What about your marriage? look at the Zimmerman case in Florida – he was ultimate acquitted but at what cost? What aspects of Zimmerman’s past and behavior led to his public crusification by the media. How do you think the people described above would fair in criminal and civil court if they ever had to use deadly force? How would they survive in the court of public opinion? If open carry provided a significant advantage over concealed carry, I’d open carry every day but (IMO) it doesn’t and the potential consequences are greater than the benefit in most circumstances.

      To each his own – I support legal open carry but rarely do so. Regardless of your opinion, the 2nd amendment survives today because supporters are able to have civil debates about facts and benefit from the collective experiences of each other without irrational fear mongering that dominates our politically correct culture. Although I’ve given this topic a lot of thought, I certainly don’t claim to know everything so I’m interested in what others say.

      • astsjr November 29, 2015, 10:55 am

        I agree!

        • randy November 29, 2015, 9:09 pm

          Agreed! Well said.

  • Ted Roberson November 25, 2015, 5:34 pm

    I read the article and came away thinking it was long on opinion and short on facts. I do agree the example of the open carriers cited are the extreme and not the normal. I live in Virginia where open carry is not out of the ordinary. You hear it repeated on the Internet that open carry will make you a target and the first one taken out. I’ve yet to see facts and statistics to back that claim up. I am aware of one case a few years ago where an open carrier was robbed of his brand new gun as he walked around showing it off. I’m also aware of a recent case where a concealed carrier was followed into a restroom where he was robbed of his gun. Neither case proves one method of carrying is better than the other.

    Here in Virginia, several years ago now, a person open carrying was in a neighborhood convenience store when a man with a gun entered and proceeded to hold the store up. To read this story the good guy open carrying should have been the first person shot but that’s not how it went down. The bad guy ended up with a chalk outline around his body.

    I personally don’t care how you carry as long as you carry responsibly. The author of this article didn’t do it but I read so many opponents of open carrying say things that sound no better than what our anti-gun opponents say about gun owners in general. It’s more important to be prepared now more than ever than to be arguing whether you conceal or open carry.

  • Erick November 25, 2015, 2:14 pm

    Good, rational thoughts on this subject! Thank you.
    During the last year, I’ve seen some in the 2A (Second Amendment) crowd argue AGAINST open-carry being good. I think a number of them would actually make open-carry illegal if they could. These misinformed people should read their history and Constitution.
    However, you are spot on about open-carry being impractical at certain times and location; because, sometimes it just is. For instance, in my professional office, it would be a bit weird if I clipped a handgun onto the outside of my leather dress belt; but, if I needed to go into a rough area, it might be necessary. Regardless, I want the freedom to choose between open-carry OR concealed-carry. I do not see why we have to limit ourselves to one or the other; and I truly do not understand why those in the 2A movement are against open-carry. Let the people CHOOSE! Choice is a fundamental aspect of freedom.
    The passage of open-carry laws in many states was a good thing. Those in the 2A crowd arguing against it are actually arguing against freedom itself.
    Anyway, enough of my speech. Great article and good points Mr. Jones.

    • jay November 27, 2015, 11:05 am

      I find that open carry takes away the element of surprise, also those that have a conceal permit have had to go through back ground check, there should be more training on what the law says if you have to pull your weapon even if you don’t fire a round, probably a lot of people would not carry. I think people view someone openly carrying are just looking for a fight and might be a little trigger happy. If I am in a place of business, a guy or gal comes in to rob the place, if he just takes the money and goes I am not going to do a thing (my weapon will be pulled under cover) but if that individual starts something or threatens to harm a person then that is putting that person in immanent danger I will then tell them to drop their weapon, if they don’t then what happens after that is his or her choice.

    • Penrod November 27, 2015, 9:46 pm

      Hi Erick, ” I think a number of them would actually make open-carry illegal if they could”

      I think the most powerful practical argument for not banning open carry is pretty simple: If open carry is banned, anyone carrying concealed who inadvertently reveals the gun can be charged. Should they be? No, but they can be, and if they can be, some will be.

      Same thing with the states which banned concealed carry but allowed open carry: it is frequently impossible to carry concealed: winter coats, rain coats, sport jackets all cover any gun carried in a normal manner, unless one thinks a bandoleer over one’s parka counts as normal.

      As far as the Constitution goes…well, we all know how much respect that gets among the anti-gun or anti-free speech crowds. Including on the Supreme Court, among the Justices who apparently believe that ‘shall not be infringed’ obviously means ‘may be made a felony if I think that is a good idea, which I do.’

    • David November 29, 2015, 5:48 pm

      Eric, you really said it well. I would really like to see more focus on the responsibilities that go with our freedom to choose.

    • Albert A. November 30, 2015, 10:14 am

      I think open carry should be defended and legal because by it is our constitutional right. My personal opinion is that open carry should be limited to occasions of last resort. By exposing the fact that you are carrying simply makes you a target. In my humble opinion I would much rather hide my weapon and only show it as a last life or death resort.

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