Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Concealed Carry vs Open Carry

If you haven't been over to the CNI website, you may have missed this Daily Insight link which gives a pretty good explanation of concealed vs open carry.  IMHO, here are the situations where concealed and open carry are appropriate:

Open Carry

  • When you are participating in an open carry event.  When lots of people are carrying openly at an open-carry event in order to make a legal/political point, you may see a boatload of firearms however the threat level from said firearms in very low.  And the public won't, in general, feel threatened.
  • When you are making a tactical point.  I found it at first surprising that many clerks at corner-type stores in high-crime areas in Florida carry openly.  After a quick pondering of this situation, it only makes sense that #1 the average robber will think twice about robbing these stores and #2 should the need for a quick draw arise, open carry will enhance the carrier's ability to do so.
  • In areas where open carry is part of the culture.  In many rural areas, open carry isn't that unusual.  An openly carried firearm is less a political point than it is a standard tool, commonly used for whatever purpose (ie: firearms during hunting season, open carry when working on the range, etc).
  • For advertising.  Oddly enough, one of the few young women I have ever seen--in an urban area--openly carrying a firearm was also wearing a polo shirt with the name and info about the shooting range she worked at.  It made a surprisingly good advertisement for said range.

Concealed Carry

  • When you don't want to scare the public.  This should be the default almost any time you are carrying in public these days, since, when the public sees someone carrying a firearm openly, they automatically think "mass shooter".  No need to draw that sort of negative attention to yourself.
  • When you want to keep a low profile.  Again, another default.  Personally I see no need to openly carry just to prove a point (yes it is my legal right to openly carry but why advertise to everyone that #1 I am armed, #2 I probably have a nice collection of firearms at home, and #3 I am to be perceived as a threat).
  • All the time.  Carrying a concealed weapon is a serious choice.  The carrier needs to get a concealed carry permit and needs to educate themselves on all facets of concealed carry (not the least of which is regular training with the weapon).  Then the decision becomes when you should carry and the answer, not surprisingly, should be regularly and often.  Having a concealed carry weapon is like using a seat belt--you never know when you will need it but when you do need it, you will need it NOW.  Note that you should never think "I need to carry my concealed weapon because I am going into a bad neighborhood/I am entering into a possibly dangerous situation/I may run into a person who is a threat to me.  If any of those situations arise, you should have the forethought to NOT put yourself into the situation to begin with.
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