On Open Carry – Tactical

So Open Carry (of handguns) is coming soon to Texas.

In the past when speaking on the topic I’ve framed it as two matters: legal and tactical. These days I’ve added a third facet: social.


So just because it’s legal, does that mean it’s a good idea? Because the law says you can, does that mean you should?

As with many things in life, it depends.

There are stories of open carry deterring crime.

There are stories of open carriers getting robbed of their openly carried guns.

There are stories of police having their guns taken and being killed with their own guns. Uniformed police of course open carry, and in retention holsters. Granted, uniformed police act in a different capacity than private citizens, their job requiring them to come into close contact with known criminals who obviously have no reserves about murdering people. But too many private citizens allow strangers to get too close – witness the above open carrier getting robbed.

Yeah yeah… it won’t happen to you. You’re head’s on a swivel, you have the senses and awareness of Daredevil, you live in Condition Yellow. Sure. Fine. But you’re also human, and your awareness will slip, you will make mistakes.

If there are people in this world willing to murder a cop for their gun, what makes you think you’re immune?

Why advertise?

Most any trainer worth their salt understands that a fight avoided is a fight won – that whole “discretion is the better part of valor”. Open carry all too often becomes a situation of not avoiding the fight.

Certainly I’m making a blanket statement, from a tactical perspective, with a general recommendation against open carry. It does certainly depend upon context and situation, and may be right and may be harmless at times. But on the whole, in terms of general procedure for daily life, I remain unconvinced open carry is a sound tactical option for most private citizens.

And a big reason for that?

I’ll talk about tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “On Open Carry – Tactical

  1. As continuation of my comments yesterday…. I still see no reason to open carry other than outlined in my comments yesterday. I’ve not been more specific in my previous comments as I wanted to see what your thoughts were in today’s ‘tactical’ commentary.

    I’ll also reserve myself regarding the ‘social’ component until I’ve read your comments.

    Tactically it makes no sense for me. The biggest ‘tactical’ point is leaving your status unknown to a potential attacker. Do I really want to advertise that I am armed? To me this takes away an element of surprise. Who is the first person an attacker/robber/nut etc might decide to shoot? That dude with a pistol on his hip….

    Combine that with the possibility of being robbed or shot for your firearm…. No thanks.

    And lastly. It’s nobody’s dang business to know if I’m packing or not. (That may be more related to the ‘social’ component of this discussion.)

  2. Crud. The blog won’t let me edit my post….

    I wanted to add this…

    As far as the potential of preventing crime by carrying openly, that’s not my job. My job is to get home to my cats safely every day.

    • Just going to reply to this one (stupid WordPress). 🙂

      I agree with you here — it’s not my job to stop “other” crime. But what about stopping your crime? I have a book by Chris Bird, “The Concealed Handgun Manual” and in there he relates stories of shop owners open carrying within their shops and for sure having crimes deterred because of their open carry (e.g. their store didn’t get robbed). So this very much becomes something where it directly affects you and your ability to get home each day.

      So again, there’s no real right or wrong here; it’s contextual and personal and varies. But we just must evaluate the appropriateness of it based upon solid criteria, not just because “it’s cool” or “because I can”.

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