Keep It Secret. Keep It Safe.

Keep It Secret. Keep It Safe.

Keep It Secret. Keep It Safe.

There is much to be learned by Gandalf the Grey when it comes to being the responsible possessor and carrier of a source of extraordinary power. What typically makes a great lie believable is when there is a little truth mixed in, and what generally makes for a great fiction novel is when the reader can relate to the principles off of which it is built. J.R.R. Tolkien’s main character in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the wizard Gandalf, understood some very real obstacles when it came to an ordinary person being given an extraordinary tool that tips the balances of strength and ability compared to that of their fellow man. Here, Gandalf is leaving a small hobbit with the single most sought after possession in Middle Earth and in all of his wisdom conjures up a few simple words that summarizes everything the bearer will need to know for the rest of his life, “Keep it secret. Keep it safe.”

Isn’t that exactly what it means to place in the hands of an average citizen the legal capability to carry a handgun for personal protection on their person in public around many citizens who aren’t equally armed? Let’s face it: most of the pistol wielding population does not comprise the majority of Americans. Even if you look at the number of pistol permits issued, how many actually exercise their right to carry? Just as we should base our preparation to defend our life on the possibility of an attack and not the probability, the attacker should do the same. But that is precisely why violent crimes happen. Attackers base their decision on the probability rather than the possibility that someone is armed which is why attacks are even attempted in public places. They know it and we know it. So what advice can be given to a person of sound judgment who is carrying a legal firearm in a public place for personal protection? Keep it secret. Keep it safe.

Keep it secret

There are two points to be made here regarding the carrying of a handgun for personal protection: one, it should always be concealed to prevent unnecessary alarm; and two, it should always be concealed to keep the element of surprise on the carrier’s side. Imagine yourself as a non-carrier. You go to get your weekly groceries, fill your cart, try your best to keep items from magically appearing in your kids’ pockets, find a short line at the check-outs, discover the person ringing you out is a new hire, do a quick check to make sure your kids are still with you, and then notice a man is standing behind you with nothing but a basket as he sets it on the conveyor belt. As you turn around he smiles at you saying hello, and as you happen to glance down towards his side you see – a gun! What do you think? What do you do? How do you react? What do you say?

Upon closer inspection you realize it’s a gun holstered on the man’s hip, clearly visible and openly displayed for all to see. As we ponder this scenario, it can clearly go one of two ways. One reaction would be based on ignorance of the state’s gun laws. That observer would panic, either silently or outwardly. They would perhaps rush to get their kids out of there and away from the gun. They might confront the person. They might have a preconceived idea that “only a mad person would bring a gun to a grocery store” and automatically assume guilt on the carrier; that they are there to assault them, or everyone else, and call the police (as happened to Eric Scott, 39, at a Costco in Nevada resulting in his unnecessary death.) The other reaction, would be based on knowledge of the state’s gun laws. This observer would notice the mannerisms of the gentlemen, see a person who is non-threatening, and realize that he is in his legal right to openly carry and accept it. That still says nothing at all about how comfortable they are with that acceptance!

Actually, both types of reactions could make the observer very uncomfortable. The only thing that would put both types of people in a calm frame of mind would be that of a badge being displayed showing they are a police officer. How can such a generalized statement be made about people’s reactions to the sight of a firearm? Quite simply. The thousands of documented reports of road patrolmen and women pulling over a licensed carrier who displays (either verbally or visually) that they are carrying a legal firearm shows the proof that some police officers react by drawing their firearms and holding the person at bay until backup arrives. Now here is a member of society who is supposed to know the legal rights of the average citizen and reacts to the sign of someone else having a firearm as being a threat to their life. They’re just not comfortable with it! (Note: If it is your legal obligation in the State you reside to inform a police officer that you are carrying a firearm when being stopped for a traffic infraction, then always do so.)

Can anything be done to change people predisposed this way? No. What can be done, however, is we can change ourselves. The change that is necessary is realizing that our decision to get a concealed carry license, and the State’s agreement to issue it, gives us a legal ability to carry a firearm in and around the public without them knowing about it. We should do everything in our power to make sure it is kept a secret. This affords us the opportunity to prevent unnecessary alarm to those around us; including law enforcement. Probably one of the most asked questions from law-abiding gun owners seeking a concealed carry permit is, “Should I inform a police officer that I have a gun with me when I get pulled over?” That depends. Again, if it is your legal obligation in the State you reside to inform a police officer that you are carrying a firearm when being stopped for a traffic infraction, then always do so. If not, then no.

This may come across as judgmental to most readers but it is because of self-righteous motives anyone feels they should tell a police officer they have a gun when they have no legal obligation to. The inquirer generally doesn’t ask the question because they want to know the answer, it is because they feel like they should and want to make sure they are right. They want to show the officer they are on their side, that they are there to help, that they are the pinnacle example of a law-abiding citizen. Instructors would do well to inform their students that their firearms should never be revealed either physically or verbally unless they are going to use them or they are being arrested. Only when an officer specifically asks you the question, “Are there any weapons in the car/on your person I need to know about?” do you even think about revealing you have a firearm. Even then, your response should preclude with, “Am I being placed under arrest?” If the officer answers, “No” or, “I don’t know yet” then they don’t need to know. This approach will always prevent an officer from becoming unnecessarily alarmed and it exemplifies the first benefit of concealed carry.

The other benefit to keeping your firearms completely concealed is the element of surprise. As much as it is argued that the open display of a gun deters a crime from happening, careful consideration should be applied to the reason for why we carry. Earlier it was stated that we carry not because of the probability of a violent crime happening, but because of the possibility it could. It is just as much argued that if people chose to carry simply on probability alone many would choose not to. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary took place in a town with a very low probability of a murder happening, much less a crime of such proportions. If only the possibility was evaluated, proactive steps would have been made to ensure it never did – and not just at Sandy Hook, but schools around the country. So how does carrying because of possibility over probability argue for firearms to be concealed instead of openly carried? Because our very reason for carrying concludes that we’re going to be exposed far more to the unarmed, unfamiliar, uncomfortable, non-threatening populous then we ever will to an assailant! By openly carrying we will cause more instances of unnecessary alarm than we will ever prevent a crime. The benefit of preventing unnecessary alarm concealed carry offers far outweighs the deterrence factor openly carrying has.

An attacker who is dedicated enough will not care whether you have a gun or not when he looks through the windows of the gas station. It might provoke him to shoot through the windows. The attacker should always be forced to react to your plan. Just as the element of surprise is what they use to successfully victimize people; it can be adequately used to thwart their attempt by a law-abiding, morally sound, carrier.

So how does one make sure they are properly concealing the firearm? The following considerations should be taken to ensure that it is kept secret:

  1. Use a holster. Carrying your firearm by tucking it inside your pants’ waistband or inside your sock or throwing it on the seat next to you is not at all an appropriate way to carry a firearm. That method does not offer the ability to truly conceal it, nor does it provide a good measure of proper retention and protection from unauthorized access.
  1. Use a strong side hip holster whenever possible. A hip holster allows for the following strengths over other style holsters: easiest access from the authorized user, ease of presentation, and firearm accessibility doesn’t suffer when being bear hugged, held on one’s back, or sitting in the seat of a car. Time to first hit is always faster with a strong side hip holster as well (ladies apparel will be addressed shortly.)
  1. Use a holster that holds the gun tightly to the body. Whether inside the waistband or outside the waistband, the gun should add as little to your body’s width dimension as possible. Today’s holster technology allows us the opportunity to easily carry a medium to large framed handgun without having to substitute it for a pocket pistol because they “stick out to far,” as is so commonly used as an excuse. Keeping it tight to your body’s natural width also helps with going around corners or hip-high obstacles like tables and countertops where the firearm might bang into them, making a noise that would give away their presence.
  1. Use a holster that allows good access to the entire stock of the pistol for a positive grip prior to drawing the firearm. It should do this without compromising the pistol’s concealability.
  1. Use a holster that conceals just as well in shorts and a t-shirt as it does in a three piece suit. For ladies, consider purse holsters before moving to thigh and ankle holsters or even shoulder and small-of-the-back styles. The NRA’s Personal Protection Outside the Home course covers both hip and purse holsters for women looking to become comfortable with pistol presentation in different wear. Men should do the same for their holster selection.
  1. Avoid apparel where the gun can be made out through the clothing. This is called “printing” and basically reveals you have a firearm. Wearing solid, dark colored shirts that are not see-through helps with this. Stripes distort the area where the firearm is being carried and show the outline of the gun. If striping must be worn, vertical stripes print less.
  1. Use a belt of proper grade that will both support the weight of the firearm and conform to your hips so the firearm is pulled tightly to your body more efficiently.
  1. Consider how concealed your extra magazines or speed loaders are. You do carry extra magazines, don’t you? For those not sure why it is important to do so read my article Running Full Capacity. Seeing ammo on a person gives away that they have a firearm too.
  1. Check yourself in a mirror or ask your significant other to check you out for situations where the gun might sneak out or print. Situations like bending over or squatting, reaching or carrying heavy objects, or sitting in a wooden chair and not banging up against the backrest.

Keep it safe

As important it is to make sure no one knows of the firearm on your hip, it is equally important to make sure the firearm is properly secured on your person. The following considerations should be taken to keep your firearm as safe as possible:

  1. Use a holster that is appropriate for your firearm. Be wary of holsters advertised as a “one fit for many” solution. If it fits many models slightly, it doesn’t fit any model perfectly.
  1. Use a holster that properly retains the firearm. It does not have to have a cop style holster with three different locking mechanisms to keep unauthorized users from drawing it off of you, but it should hold the gun tightly enough to facilitate running with it and preventing it from making noise when it is stowed.
  1. If possible, choose a holster made of kydex or laminate leather as they tend to not shrink and expand for any given humidity and temperature. This will maintain the level of retention you are trying to accomplish through most environments.
  1. Use a holster that adequately protects the trigger from being manipulated. Some holsters, believe it or not, will make enough contact with the trigger to cause an unintentional discharge.
  1. Remember when carrying that it is not lawful for you to carry in some places. Have a backup plan for storing of the firearm while visiting such places. Simply throwing it under the seat of your car is never a good option. If you are not going to be around the firearm anyways (i.e. going inside the post office), then unload it and lock it up in a way that prevents unauthorized access. Unloading it ensures that if someone does steal it, they are delayed in using it.

That is all for now. Be safe out there.


  • I couldn’t even get halfway through this crap.

    I’ll keep open carrying just to spite this article and its lies.

  • Andrew Cataldo

    I couldn’t read past a couple of paragraphs. The reader is very ignorant about the ways of open carry. I open carry in the very liberal state of Washington all the time. I do so for a variety of reasons, none of which is to make a scene or have a “look at me I have a gun” attitude.

    One, I own a number of full size pistols, of which are very difficult and uncomfortable to conceal IWB. Carrying my sub-compact IWB is also uncomfortable. When I wear a sweatshirt or jacket, it may cover the weapon anyway. Carrying in an external holster at my 3 o’clock is very comfortable.

    Two, it is far more convenient. The element of surprise argument is tenuous when I would rather use any means available to me to not be a target at all. Carrying concealed increases the chances my weapon would have to be presented or used. I have been in a couple of situations where my open carrying greatly DE-escalated a couple of potentially dangerous situations, of which I never had to go anywhere near my sidearm. Digging under clothing to present or draw my sidearm costs me valuable time if I need to use it.

    Three, if I act and behave normally – smile, nod, even give a “hi, how are you” greatly reduces any apprehension if there is any. The overwhelming majority of people simply do not care or notice. The overwhelming majority of those that do notice are visibly less nervous if I act as I suggested above. Those that do ask questions are merely curious and are not hostile. I simply walk away in the very rare instance I get somebody with an attitude.

    I will continue to open carry – this article is a joke.

  • Yep,, open carry screams out,, look at me I have a gun! Brings much unwanted attention in my mind. However, if you’re in a town/area where many people openly carry, other people may be more used to the idea. That may be Chens case below.

    • Yep,,concealed carrying screams out,,look at me I am an unarmed victim choose me!

      I live in WA, and travel to OR, UT, and ID frequently. Never had anyone give me unwanted attention, no police called on me, and no one told my firearm to stop screaming because it was too loud.

    • John Laigaie III

      It does not “Scream” as most people are blind to their surroundings and do not see the weapon. I, too, live in Washington. We are not restricting Open Carry here, we embrace it. In Washington we call it “The New Normal”.

  • I open carry every day at places including grocery stores and have never had people usher their children away from me.

    In addition, the contention that my open carrying makes me a target is ludicrous!

    The average criminal is looking for a low risk victim. A victim without a visible firearm is less of a risk, in the criminals mind, then if he sees a gun.

    Is there a segment of bad guys that strike even if he sees a firearm? Maybe, but, in those cases, whether I have it open or concealed, the bad guy was coming in.

    Using the Costco incident in Las Vegas is wrong. In that case, the victim was concealed carrying and when he reached for something, it became visible. When that happened, a person called the cops. If he had been open carrying, the people around him would not assume that he had nefarious motives while trying to hide his handgun. When was the last time you saw a criminal open carry?

    • blogengeezer

      Costco (including other businesses) has had other incidents. From what I recall, the man began exchanging hostilities with management, rather than quietly leaving the scene. The same happened in ABQ, but ended with ‘words’ and an inordinate amount of wasted time (not worth it), law enforcement confrontation in that case, without ending in deadly violence. Not worth ‘sticking to your guns’ over attempting to prove your ‘rights’. Prudent action is to suck up the personal pride (more difficult for many type A’s) and if asked, quietly leave the premises. Arguing, as a response ‘Escalates’ any situation. One of the first items in the CCW certification is, “Do Not Escalate” Any confrontation.

      • John Laigaie III

        His name was Eric Scott. He was fatally shot by Metro officers William Mosher, Thomas Mendiola and Joshua Stark outside the Summerlin Costco store July 10. He was walking with his wife and children with his hands on a grocery cart as he walked out of Costco. An employee made a panic 911 call, LEOs were waiting outside. Conflicting commands (get down, hands up, yada yada. One LEO fired and the others fired because of that. Bottom line, a Legally Armed Citizen was shot again because LEOs panicked. NOT because he was “arguing”

    • 2ThinkN_Do2

      When was the last time you saw a criminal concealed carrying, how would you know?

  • Generally, I agree with most of the other comments here, however, I would point out the author of the article lives in New York state. A state that is not exactly known for being friendly to licensed concealed pistol holders, let alone, gun owners in general. So, in his state, the idea of “keep it secret, keep it safe” I think, does apply. For your own safety, so you don’t get shot by NYS police.

  • Freedom1Man

    So let me get this straight. A criminal wants to target unarmed victims and will more likely avoid a citizen who is openly armed….

  • Shove it in your face attitudes don’t bode well for presenting ourselves as reasonable law abiding citizens. Open carry where it is commonplace will certainly be less alarming then elsewhere. And why stress those around you, let alone a peace officer who has no idea of your intentions. Personally the concept of self defense mandates the need to keep it secret, keep it safe.A shooter no matter what the motivation will target the presented threats first if deterrence hasn’t been achieved. Concealed carry isn’t alarming to the masses unless provoked and fills the gap of being truly self defensive and tactically advantageous if the need arises. That’s my two cents worth.

    • There was a time when the common person understood that only criminals hid their weapons. Open Carry was a way of showing that you were one of the good guys. Just because people are clueless doesn’t mean that Open Carriers are now bad. They aren’t. In fact the old ethic still holds, it’s the milk toast culture that is backwards.

  • cabin cowboy

    I agree with the author. There are a few states where gun owners can open carry without causing fear, suspicion, alarm, and similar thoughts. My state is not one of them; I don’t want anyone other than my spouse to know I’m carrying. I don’t get upset when I see someone who is obviously in the open carry mode, but there are many who practice open carry who come across as in your face gun proponents who could care less what the public thinks about them. In the right location, at the right time, open carry has it’s place; but I’ll still carry concealed, that’s what my permit is for. I’m not in law enforcement. It’s not my job to enforce laws. I want to blend in with the populace, not stand out as a threat, a target, or an a-hole.

    • TexasOlTimer

      Texas is a conceal carry state. There has been talk about going the way of Oklahoma and allow open carry. Everyone I know that currently has a conceal carry permit has said even if this happens, they’ll never open carry. Why? Because the person that can be seen carrying is going to be the first person taken out if a criminal is intent on shooting to neutralize the threat to himself.

      • Cause that happens all the time? I’m sure you can post dozens of stories of that happening? No? Well, I can post plenty of stories of open carriers deterring criminals.

        It’s hard to debate with the anti-gun crowd because they like to make up scenarios, usually based on emotion, and completely ignore real world statistics. Ever since I started to open carry, the anti gun crowd is now no longer the only ones using that tactic. It is in fact, concealed carry only people, that give open carriers the most grievance.

        I carry for one reason, to defend myself and my family. The majority of criminals target weak victims that give them the best opportunity to get what they want. The majority of criminals that see my openly carried firearm will not pick me. If one criminal is stopped while he is choosing a victim, it has done it’s purpose. I can’t say that when I conceal, I just look like every other victim he is choosing from.

        I do find it sadly ironic how many people will criticize open carrying and then in the same breath say they never have, and never will open carry. How can you criticize a method of carry which you have never experienced?

        It’s funny ironic, how many concealed carriers have come up to me, just to lift their shirt and show me they too carry a firearm.

        • TexasOlTimer

          I wasn’t criticizing anyone for open carrying. Everyone has to make that decision for himself. Everyone I know that carries does it for self protection and for that of their family. Whether you do so openly or not is a personal decision if you have that option in your state.

      • John Laigaie III

        Tex put down the koolaid and welcome to the real world. What experience or anecdotal evidence do you have? I Open Carry every day all day, most people do not see it. Those that do do not seem to have a problem with it. If YOU are afraid to carry honestly, that is OK. Do not disparage me or other Open Carriers with fears that just are not real.

      • hermannr

        Sorry, urban legend, it does not happen. I have open carried since july 1970. My carry has stopped a bad situation. without ever leaving it’s holster. Deturent is what OC is all about.

        • TexasOlTimer

          As I said above, it has to be a personal decision for an individual. You’ve made the decision for yourself (as it should be). However, that is not the right decision for everyone. It seems to be a bigger deterrent to not know who is carrying and who isn’t. With so many in Texas licensed with CHLs, someone planning a bad deed has to know that chances are the victim or someone near him is armed.

    • There are actually more states that allow open carry than not. Most of those states do not infringe upon that Right either, unlike concealed carrying which is now just a mere privilege.

      The majority of open carriers do not come across “in your face.” You are judging a big populace of gun owners on a very small amount of open carriers.

      Lastly, open carrying being related to law enforcement is an argument ONLY brought up by concealed carriers. No open carrying citizen I know does so to enforce the law, or to play law enforcement. They do so, so they don’t blend in with the populace, so they don’t look like all the unarmed sheep that the wolves are preying on. So my question is, why do you want to look like the unarmed sheep that the bad guys prey on? Are you looking to be chosen so you can play judge, jury, and executioner?

    • hermannr

      Not true in at least 32 of the states, 29 of which require no license to OC, and OK, TN and IN, whic require a license, but OC is well accepted. That is the majority of teh states where OC is not a problem…which states do you think have a problem?

  • Another self proclaimed internet expert who knows what is best for everyone, everywhere. Of course he will be anti-open carry, he’s from New York. What’s next, an article that will tell us why 7 rounds is enough for a self defense gun?

    Even if I am the dumbest criminal alive, I am not going to pick the guy whom I can see has the means available on their hip to kill me as a target. I’m just going to walk on down the street a couple blocks or wait a couple minutes for the guy with the gun to leave and attack one of the remaining 99.5% of the public who does not appear to be armed. That’s just common sense. The less common sense a criminal has the more likely they are to become a dead criminal, or a criminal in custody. Career criminals don’t become career criminals by making stupid decisions, and attacking one of the .5% of the population who they can see can kill them is a stupid decision.

    I open carry all the time in Washington in places such as downtown Seattle and SEA-TAC International Airport. 95% of the public never notices the gun, or never shows that they notice. 4% will come up to me and say something positive or ask honest questions about the gun. Of the 1% that say something negative or act in a negative way – 4 out of 5 of those people are concealed carry only snobs (like this author) who just can’t resist telling me they carry their gun concealed and that I should too.

    I wish USACARRY would check some actual facts rather than publishing such drivel as contained in this article…..although it probably is not just drivel in New York, it makes perfect sense there.

  • Cobrawing

    One of the unique things about our vast nation is we have all kinds of settings and regional attitudes regarding the presence of firearms. There really is no “one size fits all” prevaling advice out there. I think the author meant well and is definitely speaking from a New York centric point of view, which is ONE valid viewpoint but it’s not the ONLY valid point of view. I originally came from New York City but have been living out west for the last 30+ years. I understand multiple philosophies about this subject.

    I think at the end of the day what each person needs to do is simply excercise good common sense and practices for whatever your chosen method of carry. Whether it’s open or concealed carry . . . lets just all hope we get to continue our chosen carry method. The ability to carry in ANY style is what we have to fight damn hard for right now!

  • MB

       Those of us on the right of the 2A debate love to quote Thomas Jefferson when he said things like “Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks”, or “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
       But when arguing that we should be permitted to carry our weapons exposed to the public, we conveniently ignore Tommy’s advice when he says “Liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” (Letter to Isaac Tifany, 1819)  
       While our prime directive as men is to protect those around us, it’s not enough; we must respect their rights as well, dutifully making reasonable provision to quell their fears. Let us therefore be effective in our preparedness without subjecting our gentle and honorable brethren to needless alarm.
       Conceal your weapon.

    • John Laigaie III

      MB said” dutifully making reasonable provision to quell their fears.” I have no need to alay any hoplophobic fears of the general population. If your speech offends me, do you “make a reasonable provision to quell fears?” No, you do not. First amendment Remember? The Second is mine. If my weapon or the sight of it is fearful to you, you need to spend more time with your therapist.

  • John Laigaie III

    The author seems to be angry with Open Carriers I do understand the weapon phobias that livelihood Yorkers have. I also understand he teaches Concealed Carry as a business. This animosity against something that threatens his livelyhood is understandable. That said, his information is flat incorrect. I Open Carry on a daily basis. No one runs away. Half do not notice. Some approach and thank me for exercising my Right to Carry. Some ask “How Can I do That?”

    It does not matter HOW you carry, it matters THAT you carry. Legally Armed Citizens…..the new Normal.

  • Christopher Embardino

    I think a lot of people have missed the point of this article, if only to argue for their preferred method of carry. What he’s done here is make a case for concealed carry as an OVERALL good idea. Personally, seeming to be like everyone else – for me anyway – is much better than walking into a place where there may be an ignorant SOB that doesn’t like my weapon showing, or putting a target on my back for anyone looking to start shit saying “Shoot me first because i have the capability to stop you”. It’s not a question of what your rights are and i think a lot of people turn these articles into a rights debate where none exists. Look at the different areas differently. Have an open mind to things and make an informed decision. Nobody is going to stop you from open-carry if it’s within your right to do so whatever building/town/state you’re in. The author is just making the case that, discretion may be the better part of valor. Not sure why rational people think that’s an attack on open carry.

    • What got me in this article is the blatant lies. It’s hard for me to read a gun article when all they do is prey on the emotion and hypothetical’s that have never been shown to be true in the real world. There have been only a couple instances where an open carrier MAY have been targeted for open carrying, and only one of those instances the open carrier died (after he chased the guy who grabbed his gun).

      The question “who is going to get shot first?” is easily debunked with the enormous amount of real life stories, both on forums and in news reports, that clearly show open carriers are not chosen first.

      Right now, there are blatant lies going on about “assault rifles/weapons.” Every time I hear someone say assault weapons/rifles should be banned, because most of the shootings will stop, makes me cringe because only 2% of shootings involve said rifles. This argument here is no different, the problem is gun owners are the ones pushing the misinformation here.

      So what I guess I am getting at is, if you are against open carry, at least bring arguments to the table that are not completely based on misinformation or emotion. Back up your claims with real world situations and not hypotheticals.

  • Johnathan Celso

    Thought I would address the reader’s comments:

    Assumption #1) I was addressing New Yorkers: In NYS it is illegal to openly carry. The only permit you can get is keep it at home or carry it concealed. Therefore I was not addressing New Yorkers, I was addressing citizens of states that allow open carry.

    Assumption #2) I wrote this because I live in NY: I do currently live in NY. However, I have lived and/or carried in multiple open-carry states. I still carried concealed for the reasons explained in the article.

    Assumption # 3) I have a disdain for open carriers: That is not true. I am glad to see my fellow Citizens exercising their right to bear arms. I just disagree that open carry is the best way to carry for the reasons I stated.

    Assumption #4) This is simply a matter of opinion: The NRA Education and Training Department spend millions of dollars, thousands of hours in research, performs multiple closed session national trials of their courses with both law enforcement and other professional shooting schools attending, and pay for consultation by many of the big names in personal protection before releasing their “philosophies” as curriculum. They do this to ensure their personal protection courses are the best possible means of bringing an ordinary and prudent person to a place of complete confidence and comfortability with avoiding a lethal encounter, or defending themselves should the need arise. Their courses require the teaching of concealed carry around the country, even in states that are open carry. I highly doubt any of us have the same amount of resources to adequately disagree with them.

    • kimbercarrier

      As to #4. The NRA has a reason to oppose open carry as they provide the training in order to get a permit to conceal and open carry usually does not require permission to carry. Thus leaving them with less income. Ask the NRA to support open carry and it will fall on deaf ears.

      I open carry most of the time here in Virginia and have no negative reactions. I do however get positive comments and even inquiries about carrying that I would not get if I concealed. The more people get used to see law abiding citizens carrying the more normal it becomes. You have to start some where.

      We always here about the person open carrying being the first to be shot. It just does not work out that way. there are just 2 or 3 instances that can be cited and at least 2 of them put themselves into a bad situation to begin with. I do know of several instances were open cary stopped and attack or deescalated it.

  • DT

    Have to disagree with this. Open Carry is not a bad thing, and frankly the more desensitized the general public gets to seeing citizens with firearms the better. I OC probably 60-75% of the time and have never had an issue. Cops have told me they support citizens doing so and they are not worried about those that do. Neighbors have come up to me and THANKED me for exercising my right.

    OC or CC, the choice is yours, but do NOT attempt to dictate to others which way to go.

    • wow, that’s great. What state do you live in? Not California, that’s for sure. The cops here lobbied to have OC banned, and it was.

      • DT

        I live in Virginia. Something interesting of note, CHP holders can OC/CC in our State Capitol building and in the legislator office building.

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  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    FYI: You cannot carry a firearm onto USPS property period, locked in a box or not; it is technically against the law. Of course, if it is concealed, who knows, right?

    • Good advice…you can break the law as long as you don’t get caught. Really gives gun owners that moral high ground.

      • 2ThinkN_Do2

        It wasn’t meant to suggest one violates written prohibition against our right to bear arms. However, I will admit that the prohibition should be repealed.

  • Ben

    Being licensed in Fla., I appear to have reciprocity in all Southern and most Western states, which is, frankly, the only areas I wish to visit anyway. As for the holster, in Ft. Lauderdale, I rarely dress up so I made my own pocket holster which keeps my automatic upright in my pocket and also has a hook (as part of the leather holster) which snags on my pocket when I wish to withdraw the gun alone. Having seen some videos and stories about bad cops, I’m very reluctant to reveal, even to cops, that I’m carrying. I’m not keen on a bad cop confiscating my gun, thereby leaving me totally defenseless against someone who may try to do me harm. I’ll have to double-check Fla. Statutes to see if it is, in fact, a requirement, by law, to reveal one’s weapon to a cop. Thanks for the article. It is very informative and gives one much to ponder.

  • Ben

    In re Keep It Secret: When I was undergoing the required, concealed carry safety course, one-on-one with the instructor, he told me to avoid open carrying in the newsstand that I owned at the time. His reasoning was that anyone coming in to commit robbery and/or murder would shoot at anyone armed, first, and that I should not carry, even in my own shop, openly. Obviously, a crook would want to disable any perceived danger, first thing. Even if I was in an open carry state, I would still carry concealed because of this instructor’s advice.

    • Did you ever stop to think that way more often than not a crook might want to avoid a perceived danger and not try and disable a perceived danger?

    • another Colorado OC

      ok, so let me twist your scenario a bit, and see if you think the outcome would still be the same….

      if you put a big sign on the front window that says “protected by Smith and Wesson” or, “discount for armed citizens” or some such, do you think the bad guy will come in shooting, or just go down the block to the place with the “no firearms” sign?

      so isn’t that what this is about? advertising your ability to defend yourself or not?

  • I can’t believe this idiot just compared carrying a firearm with some fictional story of magic rings, wizards and fairy tale creatures.

    • he was simply stating that, yes, you have this great power…but it comes with great responsibility…best to keep it secret and safe.

  • Fucking East Coast hoplophobes.

  • hermannr

    So, the reason we carry is not to detur a possible problem, but to give us an excuse to shoot someone??? Is that the idea here? I Openly Carry my firearm for the deturent effect. I have no desire to shoot anyone, but I do have the desire to be able to protect myself and my loved ones. I have openly carried my sidearm for over 42 years, and i have seen my carry turn a bad situation into something much better for everyone involved, without my carry ever leaving it’s holster.

    If your carry is concealed, your adversary will not be forwarned, a may do something he might not try if he knew you were armed beforehand. (BTW: This is exactly the reason so many laws against CC were enacted in the first place)

  • These are the same reasons an anti-gunner politician in California gave to outlaw open carry altogether. A right that according to the Supreme Court is precisely what is protected by the 2nd Amendment. All so that no one would feel “uncomfortable”. Sorry but there is no right of comfort, but there is a right to self defense. Now many in California have been relieved of their rights entirely since their county Sheriff will NOT issue. Besides you should not need a permit for a Constitutional right. A permit to conceal, perhaps, a permit to exercise the right altogether, no.

  • Johnathan Celso

    I would argue a permit to open carry is necessary over conceal carry. Out of sight out of mind.

    In addition to the points made for concealed carry in this article, there’s this one:

    Someone who boldly proclaims to the world they have a gun by placing it on their hip for all to see makes themselves a billboard, advertising the slogan, “Come to me!!! I’ll save you all!!!” Concealed carry not only provides the benefit of having the element of surprise, it also provides the benefit of allowing the carrier to choose who and when they want to protect, if at all, after carefully considering all the circumstances and variables. They have complete control over whether and when they act with out being pressured by those around them to decide. You know, when those same people who smile thankfully at you because you are exercising your right to openly carry suddenly start screaming at you, “You have a gun!!! Do something!!!”

    A police officer in uniform also is that billboard. But they also have a level of intimidation to criminals that citizens do not, because a police officer comes backed with state funded insurance, legal defense, and training, as well as, laws that protect them from assault, resisting arrest, and termination of employment and/or incarceration because they “made a mistake.” They will get a slap on the wrist and you will be tried hard and true.

    Do you have such resources backing you? Are you trained adequately enough to assume such responsibility? Do you have enough liability insurance to cover you when you shoot the wrong person. Do you have a source of (relatively speaking) unlimited funds for your legal defense and civil suits? I would think that the more those are considered, the less likely a person would choose open carry.

    But you are free to choose whatever course of action you would like to make and I am glad you choose to exercise your right. But please do not assume and claim I am an “idiot” or “hateful of open carriers” or “dispel garbage” because I am simply teaching what I have been certified to teach by those more qualified then most. Thank you.

    • DamonK

      Are you at any point going to come up with some facts of statistics? Or will you continue to rely on hypothetical scenarios and what ifs? The reality is that open carry is an extremely effective way to carry for multiple reasons ie comfort, deterrence, safety, public awareness, and so on. The only negative that you have come up with are in made up situations that just don’t happen in the real would. Just be honest with yourself and everyone else. You don’t like open carry because it’s not finantually adventagous for you. Your livelyhood depends on teaching people how to hide their ability to defend themselves. And in doing so, you make them potential victims.

      People like you are the problem. You polarize the firearms community for your own financial gain. Shame on you.

  • rgm

    Thanks, I agree with most of what you said. I have to disagree with not informing law enforcement though. Why wouldn’t you? They will know the minute they run your license that you are a ccw holder. I would rather them know up front than have them alarmed and wary, where a wrong move could be misinterpreted. At the point that they ask, if you deny you are giving false information. To ask if you are being arrested just seems stupid if you were pulled over for a simple traffic violation.
    I agree if I am standing in Starbucks and a cop walks in, I am not going to run up and show him my card and say I am carrying. It just seems like at the point of any official contact where my info is being ran, it would make sense to inform them. Their job is difficult and stressful enough as it is; if I am legal and lawfully carrying, what is there to worry about?

    • Have you ever had a police officer hold a gun to your head after informing them you have a carry permit? I have. I will never inform unless required by law.

  • dean800

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  • WesSeid

    Question: if you see two people you want to rob, and one has a gun on his hip and one does not, which would you prefer to rob?

    • If you are retarded, like the author, you shoot at the nearest swat member.

  • Marlene Wilkes

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  • Gregg

    Seriously? You are going to use the case of Erik Scott as your back drop against why you shouldn’t open carry? That man lost his life for several different bad choices. From drugs to not leaving when asked. He escalated the situation instead of defusing it like a responsible gun owner and it cost him his life. His open carry wasn’t the main cause of the problems that day. If you read the report you had him on drugs, the guy calling 911 mislead the cops into thinking it was a hostage situation, and then he reportedly drew his weapon when the cops was there. That is what got him shot. As far as your Gandalf story, there are many times in that series of books that the mere sight of their swords chased away the bad guys. If open carrying discourages a crime from happening to me then all the better. I would rather that be the case then to have it randomly happen to me and then have to draw and shoot them.

  • Olga Peluso

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  • Emily Boyd

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  • John Laigaie III

    marlene, you, my sweet, are an unmitigated a$$hole.

  • Bikenut

    About that “element of surprise” thing……….

    CC and OC have the very same “element of surprise” because the “element of surprise” is really nothing more than the bad guy being “surprised” to discover his intended victim ….. has a gun.

    With CC the bad guy is “surprised” to see his intended victim has a gun to defend himself with after the attack is already in progress and at that point seeing the gun can make the bad guy decide to stop the attack.

    With OC the bad guy is “surprised” to see his intended victim has a gun to defend himself with during the bad guy’s choosing a victim process and at that point seeing the gun can make the bad guy decide not to attack at all.

    But either way… it was the bad guy being “surprised” to see a gun that was the actual “element of surprise”.

    Quite frankly… I’d prefer the bad guy be “surprised” to see my openly carried gun and decide not to attack me so I can go home and watch the 6 o’clock news coverage …. from the comfort of my easy chair….. about the CC’er who had to pull his gun and “surprise” the bad guy who attacked him.

    Does OC’s “element of surprise” really work? Well…. there have been thousands of folks open carrying in many States (Like Arizona) for decades! and yet accounts of folks OC’ing being attacked are rare. And you know with the anti gun media any incident involving an open carrier being attacked would be covered over and over and over yet such has not been the case in the past nor is it now.

    And, in my not so humble opinion, because CC’s use of the “element of surprise” is only effective after the attack has begun but OC’s use of the “element of surprise” can prevent an attack from happening…………. OC’s use of the “element of surprise” is far superior to CC’s because….

    I’d much rather watch the 6 o’clock news than to BE the news.

  • Bikenut

    Oh… and those who would allow their fear of “offending” or “scaring” someone to restrict them from legally exercising their right to bear arms don’t need any gun control laws to stop them from exercising their rights because they already are allowing their own fear of what other people might think to ………… control them.