Thinking more with open carry

Due to various things I’ve been very behind on my RSS feeds and have been catching up this morning.

Seems there’s still a lot of talk about open carry going on, whether it’s good to do or not.

I admit, since my last post about open carry, I’ve been doing it a bit more… in public. I should say that I more or less open carry around the house. I’m in the privacy of my own home, I’m wanting to be comfortable, Wife and Kids don’t consider it anything special or more different from wearing a pair of socks or seeing me with my hair in a pony tail. But any time I would have to go outside, even to take the trash out, I’d always throw something on or I’d untuck my shirt or something to cover up. Since that last post I opted to try it a bit, so when I’d take the trash out or do some small task in the yard I’d go outside without covering up.

Nothing happened. I figure because most every time I had the fortune of there being no one else outside. Or it was dark. Or a few times there was someone walking by but somehow I was covered, either with a garment or maybe I was carrying something that happened to obscure my holstered gun.

But every time I went outside, every time I did see someone on the street or some car drove by… it nagged at me.

I’ve come to realize.

To open carry at this stage? It veers upon making a political statement. I don’t carry to make a political statement. I carry because I know there’s bad people in this world and there are better tools than coffee.

I don’t need nor want to frighten the sheep. Why bear my teeth? I have the teeth if I need it, but I don’t need to be flashing those pearly white (grips) all the time. I’m here to protect the sheep, not frighten them. Some sheep may not flinch, but some will. It’s a fine line to walk and balance on. I have enough stuff to deal with in a day and I just don’t need the potential hassle.

If I want to get political, there are other avenues and venues for that, and I’m certainly active in those ways. Does that mean I’m against open carry? Heck no. I do believe the legal restrictions should be lifted. I just realize that, at least for now, open carry is not for me.

9 thoughts on “Thinking more with open carry

  1. Hsoi,

    I’m like you in what I do at home. Most of the time I will Open Carry but I’ve noticed that I tend to cover when there is company…even other family or long time friends.

    I’ve also started going out in the yard Openly Carrying a couple of time.

    I understand what you are saying about not wanting to make a political statement. I’m not knocking your decision or you for making it.

    What I’ve been thinking about are my neighbors and how they perceive me.

    I know 5 houses on my street well enough to do more then wave hi. Only 1 of those houses know that I own firearms or that I’m into shooting. That’s out of a dozen houses on my street.

    How do I affect their perception of gun owners if they don’t know I’m a gun owner?

    I’m starting to come to the opposite conclusion you did.

    I think I need to carry openly more in the yard and doing chores so that people can see that not all gun owners are thugs. Some of us are just the guy next door.

  2. I have a long personal history in considering how people perceive me. Being very tall, wearing heavy metal band t-shirts, having long hair, being half Korean and looking it… I know I don’t look like your average Joe. I know how I am perceived and I know the image I project. I also know that perception can vary wildly. I’ve seen some parents that draw their children closer to them, I’ve had some kids that just run up to me and give me big hugs. I know how appearances matter, and I know I can only do so much to affect how I am perceived because in the end it’s the perceiver’s conclusion that matters to them… not how I attempt to project myself (that matters, but it’s not the final word).

    So maybe my neighbors thought I was a good guy… then they saw me with a gun and now think I’m a nutjob (and he seemed so nice, he seemed so normal). If they have those sorts of prejucides and perceptions about guns and gun owners in the first place, they may be strong enough to override any other feeling they may have had towards you or assessment of you.

    I’ve learned if I want to affect someone’s beliefs about guns (or anything) in a more positive manner, then I need to engage them one-on-one in a more direct way about it, not some passive “show” where I cannot directly impact or influence how the show is perceived. For instance, I’ve shared the sausage from my pig hunts with my neighbors. I just say “hey, do you like sausage?”, they respond affirmatively, I give them some from the freezer, they ask where it came from, I say from the pig hunt I did, and that’s that. Breaking bread, they learn I hunt (which means I have guns, which means I have killed things), and it’s nothing more than that. Sometimes the discussion continue, some times it doesn’t. But at least I’m working in a situation where I can now more directly affect perceptions.

    I do agree that people need to see gun owners as responsible people. Millions of guns and millions of responible gun owners in this nation and this world, and people only hear about the occasional fruitcake and assume that we’re all that way. The best thing to do is live your life well and be a good example. Eventually they’ll see other traits about you, be it being a gun owner or otherwise, and it will all come into place.

  3. When I’m on my rural property in Caldwell county I’m always carrying my CZ SP-01 in a Blade Tech dropped and offset belt holster right out where everyone can see. It’s right there on my hip as I talk to neighbors, have friends over to shoot on the private range, work with various contractors I’ve hired to do work on the place and I’ve even walked right up to a sheriff deputy who drove onto my driveway looking for some lost cattle. Nobody batted an eye or said anything. To them, a man with a gun (especially on his own property) is no different than a man carrying a hammer or any other tool. Thats a good part of why I’m intending to move out there as soon as possible.

    • Consider your context – rural property in Caldwell county. Out there yeah… very different mentality towards things. Here in Austin, different context.

  4. I’m not even sure that tucking your shirt in behind your IWB holster counts as open carrying (besides in the legal sense).

    Depending on the gun, cant, position (behind the hip), etc. it might not look like a gun or even be visible until you get close.

    You need to walk around in your front yard with a big ol’ hogleg strapped to your side before you come to any conclusions. :)-~

  5. Pingback: Carrying At My New Bank

  6. Pingback: Even more open carry thoughts « Stuff From Hsoi

Comments are closed.