Open Carry A Bad Idea

Many people do not know what “Open Carry” means. Even more do not realize at least 40 states have laws that permit openly carrying a gun in some fashion. I am not referring to concealed carrying here. I am writing about John Wayne style, gun on your hip for the whole world (or state) to see.

As a concealed carry advocate, open carry disturbs me. What is the point? Attempted intimidation is the only conclusion I can make. What are the benefits to open carry? Well, only one that I can think of – it scares away the absolute meekest of the bad guys. I do suppose that if everyone openly carried this would be a great deterrent to the bad guys – but that is very much unlikely to happen outside of a gun range.

Does “Open Carry” have any negatives? Plenty. You make people scared. You make people apprehensive. You make people question your motives. You make people call the police because they do not know your motives. You also let the bad guys know who to shoot first. Think about that last one – you let the bad guys know who to shoot first. You could even make yourself a target just because somebody wants to steal your gun. You don’t honestly think the bad guys buy guns at a gun store, do you?

How would I describe those who open carry? Well, they look like they are begging for respect. Their “in your face” attitude about guns simply does not go over well with a lot of the country. Guns ARE scary. Guns CAN kill people. Sure, so can a toaster in the right situation. But making someone look at your gun when they do not know you always makes people uneasy – even me. I would rather be blissfully ignorant of whether or not a good person is carrying a gun – because if it is in my face I am going to wonder if they are a good person. This is going to be very distracting. It is human nature.

Some of the open carry folks want to cause a scene. They want police to question them. They want to get up on a soapbox and lecture us about their rights. They want our attention. I urge them to think about political statements they felt was a bit over the top, whether it is an abortion or war protest. I have never, ever, wondered if the abortion protestors were going to shoot me. I do, however, get uneasy around open carry people and I am extremely pro-concealed carry.

Please stop open carrying. Let the concealed carry movement make more progress before we focus on open carry. People can and do get the police called on them because they are carrying a gun. It happened to me a few days ago. What are the cops told over their radio? There is a guy with a gun inside the store. This leads to police showing up with their adrenaline levels at an unhealthy high. This is how good people end up getting killed by the police. Police can and do get scaredPsychology Articles, just like the rest of us. 

Practitioners of “Open Carrying” do a lot more harm than good. Their “in your face” attitudes do far more to hurt the gun movement than help it. Let the bad guys wonder who is carrying – don’t let them know who is carrying. The fringe of the open carriers love to post their self-recorded videos of their interactions with police. They also love to record themselves at places where guns make people especially uncomfortable – like a bank. This is something a spoiled child would do to show his parents he was right about something. Open carriers – please let the concealed carry movement continue to grow before you kill it.

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