Open Carry

For those not familiar with the term, open carry means carrying a firearm, openly in public.

In Virginia at least, for pistols, I believe this involves getting a permit from the state (which means a background check and a mandatory course in gun safety and use) to do so- or am I confused with getting a concealed and carry permit?

Given the current political climate and who is in the White House at the moment ( but thankfully the constitutionally mandated exit is drawing ever nearer) the right to bear arms is a politically charged issue here.

Yesterday evening, after wife unit had finished work, wife unit was famished so we stopped off for a burger at a nearby Five Guys.

After we got our order and started to tuck in, I got up to get some condiments and as I turned round to go back to our seats, noticed a man. Caucasian if you must know, who had sat down at the table immediately in front of this and as I quickly noticed, had what was probably a 9 mm semi automatic pistol and  2 ammunition clips openly holstered on his person.

Now I am all about 2nd amendment rights, but that is tempered with common sense.  Besides wife unit & I, the burger joint was hosting a large party of adults and kids. Further the individual in question is older than I and had to walk into the store with the aid of a cane, which calls into question his ability to actually use the firearm in the less than likely event its use, i.e., lethal force was necessary.

So why the gun and why openly carry it around in public?  Some manifestation of inner insecurity/fear?  The suppressed desire to be a Walter Mitty and rise to the some occasion of danger?  A political statement?  All of the above?

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3 Responses to Open Carry

  1. lwk2431 says:

    “So why the gun and why openly carry it around in public?”

    Maybe he had been victimized in the past and thinks a display of an ability to protect himself from younger and fitter criminal types makes him safer? It is just as easy to give him the benefit of the doubt as to imagine it was a Walter Mitty impulse. In any case the possibility of being a hazard to you, or children, is probably a lot smaller than the same being victimized by criminals.

    If he was a crazy type he would hide the gun and then pull it to victimize whomever fit his fantasies. Your chances of being hurt by him was probably smaller than being hit by lightening.

    That said, his idea that this made him safer, especially given his apparent age and infirmity, was probably misplaced. Concealed carry is by far the better choice. The obvious advantage is that a bad guy has no idea you have a concealed handgun until it is time for him to know it.

    If you know anything about police open carry by uniformed officers then you should know that criminals will sometimes try to take their gun from them. More than a few officers have in the past been killed by their own gun, taken from them by a criminal. That was why the officer in Ferguson was 100% justified in killing Michael Brown. If a perp tries to take an officer’s gun there is no doubt that the perp intends to kill or seriously injure an officer.

    That is why today uniformed police officers are almost always equipped with a type of holster that aids in retention of the firearm. It often requires a slightly complex series of movements to remove the gun and which the officer must practice until they can do it without thinking too much about it. The perp rarely knows the required manipulations to remove the gun.

    It slows down the officers draw, but experience has shown that is safer to the officer than being killed with his own gun.

    I don’t know about Va. a lot, but in Texas if you, your wife-unit, or young children are in public then they are almost certainly around armed civilians with concealed handguns all the time and largely unknown to them.

    The bottom line is that old guy would have been safer with a concealed handgun. No reason to give criminal the idea of trying to take your gun.

    The other bottom line is that people in America who get a license or permit to carry a concealed handgun are some of the safest of Americans, and by their record, statistically safer than armed police (not a bad reflection on police, they have to go in harms way by profession, where a civilian can retreat or avoid if he or she chooses). Statistically too people with a concealed carry license are arrested slightly less frequently than sworn police officers for arms violations.

  2. The what ifs can be brought up/debated from here to the end of time.

    One thing I have learned through life is everything in moderation and he exercise of common sense.

    To put it another way, I have the right to get blind drunk, but then I do not have the right to put others in danger by attempting to drive a motor vehicle. I have the right the keep the yard around my home neatly mowed, but I do not have the right to trim it at 5:00 am.

    Likewise with the individual we came across.

  3. lwk2431 says:

    “I have the right the keep the yard around my home neatly mowed, but I do not have the right to trim it at 5:00 am.”

    The right to keep and bear arms is basic human right protected by the Constitution in the 2nd Amendment. There is no question the man had a right to carry that firearm in self defense. The pertinent question is how best to accomplish that. I am simply saying that concealed carry is a better option.

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