I realize open carrying is your right. And by all means, if you want to exercise that right you should do it. In fact, I’m lucky enough to live in the great state of Virginia where open carry is legal and people do it all the time.
Personally though, you’ll never catch me open carrying. You see, I’m a very practical sort of guy. The only reason I carry a gun and spend hours at the range is for personal protection purposes. I’m not a competition shooter and I don’t own a tricked-out $3,000 1911. My firearm of choice is a Glock 19. (Yes it may be ugly, but if I pull the trigger I know it will go boom.)
My point is, when it comes to carrying a gun I’m doing it for practical personal protection reasons and open carry isn’t “practical” in my eyes. Now, I know that half of you just screamed at your computer “this guy’s an idiot, of course it’s practical,” so let me explain.
First off, when I carry a gun I carry it concealed for a reason.
I don’t want anyone else to know I have a gun. I don’t want to be standing in a 7-11 one day and have some criminal run in and shoot me first because he sees that I have a gun on my hip, therefore I’m his biggest threat.
Also, I don’t want to be standing in line at Walmart and have to worry about some dirt bag grabbing my gun from behind. You see, when you open carry you have to be very aware of where your “gun side” is at all times. Law enforcement officers are well- trained in this, but I’ve seen the “average Joe” open carry and far too many of them have no awareness when it comes to their gun. (Plus, if you open carry you’d better have a retention device on your holster, but this still doesn’t mean someone can’t try and take it.)
Of course, in general, I just don’t want to make a spectacle and draw attention to myself. When I’m out and about running errands I want to blend in with everyone else. If I’m ever face to face with a criminal who’s about to take my life or someone near me I want him to look at me and think I’m some harmless guy in jeans and a t-shirt. (I don’t want him to know that if the situation calls for it he’s about to see the business end of my Glock.)
Plus, we all know…
That many cops and other law enforcement officials don’t know state laws when it comes to open carry. And as fun as it is wasting half my day while some cop hassles me, I’ll pass.
But perhaps you’re thinking to yourself, “There’s got to be some good reason to open carry,” right? Well, as I stated at the beginning of this article it’s your right to open carry. So if you choose, go ahead and get together with your fellow friends and have “open carry night” at the local Denny’s.
Another reason to open carry is that it is faster to come out of the holster. I realize that when you carry concealed you have to lift up your concealment garment with your opposite hand to be able to draw the gun. However, if you “dry fire” practice coming out of the holster with your concealment clothing on you should soon be able to draw very quickly. And in my opinion, carrying open for a faster draw does not outweigh the benefits of carrying concealed.
Well, there you have it. I know that open carry vs. concealed carry will always be a personal preference so let the hate mail begin.
About the Author:
Jason R. Hanson is a former CIA officer. He’s also an NRA Certified Instructor, a Utah Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor and an Eagle Scout. Jason believes there are few things in life as important as being able to protect yourself and your loved ones. That’s why he’s giving away a free report titled, “Insider Secrets of Buying Your First Concealed Carry Firearm” at www.ConcealedCarryAcademy.com.