There’s been a lot of talk on the book of faces and social media lately about how dumb it is to open carry a firearm in places that allow you to conceal carry. I for one want to enthusiastically issue a BIG public “thank you” to all of those that open carry around me. But it’s probably not for the reason that you’re thinking. I do not feel they, the open carry crowd, add a realistic layer of security or protection. No, I am thanking them for a entirely different reason.
As a profound 2nd amendment supporter I absolutely agree it is everyone’s God given right to carry a firearm to defend themselves, whether it be concealed or open carry. I personally think a lot of people that open carry today do it as a political statement. Some others, unfortunately, do it to be cool or to be seen as a tough guy. While others, rightfully so, do it to protect themselves and their family within the law of their state, etc. I am of the belief that if you live in a place that allows you to conceal carry your firearm that you really should try to conceal carry whenever possible. However, if you want to open carry your firearm (in a location that allows concealment) and show the entire world you’re a badass with a gun on his/her hip that’s totally your decision. And I thank you for it. Why? Well…it’s pretty simple and I’ll attempt to explain below, however open carry just isn’t a very good idea most of the time.
Congrats, you’re now a Tank
My biggest issue with non-concealment is this; when you open carry, you are essentially painting a target on yourself for any bad guy out there in your location that wants to do harm. The fact that you have a visible gun is not going to stop anyone hell bent on causing you harm. More than likely you may complicate or escalate a situation unwittingly. By you open carrying your firearm you’re “tanking” all of the possible aggression in the event of an criminal/active shooter situation. To be honest, when that happens you’re buying people like me time to get my family to saftey and you’re allowing me to deploy my own concealed firearm from a safer location. So again, thank you. Thank you for taking the heat first when shit goes down. Hopfully it doesn’t cost you your life.
I’m simply asking you to think. If your state allows you to conceal carry a firearm, but instead you choose to open carry, ask yourself why? I mean it’s your right to do as you wish, but what are the benefits of carrying out in the open vs carrying concealed? Other than broadcasting to everyone around you that they should not tread on you (which I don’t think is a good thing), I cannot think of a realistic “tactical” advantage. Some suggest they can get to their weapon faster, and I tend to disagree. We’ve done the draw-time testing, and it just doesn’t add up. The draw speed of the weapon between the two carry styles can be leveled out with proper training and practice. With conceal carry you don’t alarm non-wrong doers around you which can give you the element of surprise if a bad life threatening situation develops. Again, bad people aren’t going to be detered by you carrying a firearm on your hip, so if you carry as a visual deterant you might just want to stop and reconsider why you’re carrying a firearm. Don’t believe me? Ask any Police Officer, they will tell you criminals often don’t care that cops are armed – and often have the criminals trying to get to their weapon in the heat of a street scuffle. Police Officers are being shot everyday now it seems (thanks Beyounce) and they open carry as part of their job. If it doesn’t help the, why do you think it’s going to help you?
Get a Quality Holster
Most of the people I’ve seen open carrying have crappy universal one size fits all velcro Walmart holsters. These holsters have very little to no retention at all and aren’t form fitted to your specific firearm. Smart gun owners don’t use junk holsters like that. Whether you’re carrying open or concealed, do yourself a big favor and get a good holster with the proper retention so your weapon is secure. Last thing you need to do is run to get cover during a shooting only to have a yard sale of gear behind you as it all falls out. My recommendation is to get a quality kydex holster specifically made for your particular firearm. Leather will rub more on your firearm causing more unneeded wear than kydex will, so just get a quality made holster from the start — then train with it.
Another thing to think about when open vs concealed carry is someone getting a hold of your weapon. When concealed properly, no one will know your’re armed. You have the element of surprise. Open carry on the other hand is right there for the world to see, and grab. Think you can stop someone from getting to your weapon? You don’t have eyes in the back of your head. Don’t kid yourself. Even if you train frequently, it’s always possible to get your firearm taken from you and then used on you or your family.
Most of the people I’ve spoken to who prefer to open carry do it because it’s more comfortable. This annoys me to no end. Carrying a lethal weapon every day should NEVER be comfortable to anyone. Listen, carrying a firearm for defensive purposes is a way of life. It’s not to score “cool points” with your friends. It’s a way of life and it comes with its own legal and moral set of responsibilities. Carry right. Carry within the legal realm of your location. But most of all, carry smart.
Look, I know I seem like I’m ragging on open carry for no reason….but just understand that I’m not trying to deter anyone from open carry if thats all you legally can do. But if you can legally conceal carry, why not do it when the advantages are stacked in your favor?