Response to: The Perils of Open Carry

On her Facebook page, Kathy Jackson shared this link about “The Perils of Open Carry“.

Given my recent open carry oddness experience, a few things about the article struck me enough that I wished to comment.

Before I start out tho, I should say that I’m not really an open carry advocate. Do I find it odd that it’s illegal in Texas? Yes I do. Do I wish open carry was free and legal here in Texas? Yes I do. If I could legally open carry, would I? Probably not, but I appreciate having the freedom of choice because sometimes it may be the right choice.

1) Open carry will cause hassles with other people and eventually the police.

Yes I can see this being a reality today, but the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to believe it’s something that has to be done to allow for change.

Let’s say the wording was changed to “Openly allowing black people to walk around will cause hassles with other people and eventually the police.”  Sure that was the case years ago, but today? It’s not perfect, but it’s better. Should we keep black people, or gays, or Jews, or Catholics, or women under wraps because it will cause hassles and eventually involve the police?

How about instead we let people freely live their lives, and work to spread education and knowledge?

2) Criminals are not deterred by openly carried guns

Yes they are. There’s the Waffle House case back in 2010. There’s also numerous stories in the Chris Bird book “The Concealed Handgun Manual”.

But I will grant, it does change the game for a criminal. The author presents a story that showcases that the crime in fact seemed to be motivated by open carry! He wanted to steal the open-carrier’s gun!  So it didn’t just not deter him, but it also was the prime motivation for the crime itself!

3) Getting your gun taken is a likely possibility!

It’s possible, but when we talk to private citizens about how retention holsters aren’t necessary, it’s backed by many years of looking for a case where this happens. We might see more now, and certainly we will change our stance if we see this is in fact an issue.

But that all said, the author is right. You don’t have magic abilities nor are you Billy Badass enough to keep all criminals from ever getting within 10 feet of you. Shit happens.

4) Most people who carry guns have crappy holsters and no weapon retention skills

This is the one that struck me most, given what I saw the other day. Two people with guns on their hips in crappy holsters. I have no idea if they have any retention skills, but the crappy holster alone was enough. And it may not be just the holster, but their whole equipment system, such as a really cheap belt.

I don’t totally agree with Mr. Ellifritz’s reasoning, but I’m not in total disagreement with him either. I know this can be a controversial and passionate subject for many, even within the “proud gun rights advocate” community. My personal preference is to minimize abridgement of good people, of maximizing freedom and choice. But always remember, just because it’s legal doesn’t always mean it’s the right nor best thing to do. Legality doesn’t equate to moral or right or just or good or sound. I would just prefer to have it as a legal option, because the more choices a good person can have, the more options responsible people can work with, the better decisions they can make.

13 thoughts on “Response to: The Perils of Open Carry

  1. It makes sense to have guns in view. I personally would never mess with someone who I know carries a gun. I like to know what I am dealing with, so I prefer to know they have a gun than to be ignorant that they have one on their person.

  2. I agree that I want to have OC legal in texas, but would probably not do it 99% of the time.

    But this weekend, I am going down to the lease to do some maintenance. I would like to not have to take off the belt and holster just to go get a gatoraide at the store.

  3. Most people who carry guns have crappy holsters and no weapon retention skills

    Apply that to purses, wallets, lap tops, etc and ask if people have retention skills for those items.

    Add in the nearly ubiquitous Openly Carried Pocket or Belt knife; how many people have retention skills for those?

    And yet, we don’t see that many incidents.

    Look around at the way people dress, especially young ladies. Tell me that the style or condition of clothing should affect their right to be in public, I just don’t buy it.

    People should be able to dress how they want — crappy holsters or low cut halter tops — and not have to be Level 7 martial art experts; it doesn’t matter what the object they are carrying or if the criminal views the person as an object.

    I don’t see a call for people to be trained to prevent a car jacking before they can drive on the streets.

    It seems we are playing the antis game when we talk this way — it isn’t and shouldn’t be the burden of the gun owner to be trained.

    Now, that isn’t to say knowing how to do those things isn’t good — just we have to be very careful about saying “Hey we shouldn’t do this without X” because that often becomes the law.

    • Very good points.

      I tend to be on about holsters and gear because there is such a thing as crappy gear and it does affect your ability to perform. My most recent experience was with the Walther PK380, and I just cannot see that as a reasonable “fighting” gun. Sure, use it on the range all you want, but for more serious purposes it just has too many design problems. This is based upon what we’ve seen in classes with that gun, and our own experience trying to make it run. I’m sure there’s someone out there that could be awesome with it, but from both an engineering “KISS” and a tactics “KISS” perspective, it fails. Sure it’s better than a rock or a loud “NO!”, but for the money there are better tools out there so why compromise?

      Same with holsters. You will carry better, more comfortably, etc. with a good holster. And yes if retention matters to you, some Fobus paddle holster is not going to cut it.

      So these things DO matter. And I’d even argue that folks should strive to have better retention mechanisms for other things, like thicker straps on purses and not some skinny thing that’s easily broken if someone rips the purse from your shoulder.

      But, we all make our own decisions, and there’s always trade-offs. You raise a lot of good points.

  4. The Oklahoma House just passed our Open Carry law. I don’t know if it will make it past the senate and governor though.
    I’ll have to toss in with the “I wouldn’t” crowd. In my mind “concealed” is as important part of my advantage as “handgun” is. Same reason I don’t wear shirts that say “Shoot Me First!” on them.

    • But to me, it’s 2 issues. There’s the legal aspect, then the tactics aspect. I would like to see it legal. Thus, I could have it as a tactics option, because some situation may call for that. If it’s illegal, I can’t make it an option, period.

      • I absolutely agree that it is two issues. I may have been unclear in my original post.
        Now, I need to go to the store to find a good OWB holster for my gold plated Desert Eagle .50 cal. If i’m going to open carry, I’m going to do it with panache. 😃

  5. I’m with you: make open carry legal, but I doubt I’ll be open carrying.

    OpSec is more important to me and I’d rather not broadcast that I’m armed.

    I think the two open carry guys in the Waffle House were more lucky than preventative. Sociopaths willing to come in groups and fully armed most certainly have some experience robbing at gun-point. Depending on their experience, desperation, or intoxication, the thugs could have easily came in guns ablaze, taking the two open carry guys either by surprise or fire superiority. Just so happened, the scout was the least experienced of the group who came back spooked about seeing others with guns.

    Otherwise, great points from you and your readers. I’d rather have incentivized firearm education rather than strict laws mandating education or outright banning of our rights.

  6. Pingback: Oklahoma Open Carry « Ronin's Journey

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