Saturday, June 06, 2015

Open Carry of Firearms, Things to Consider

Houston, TX—Like many people I believe in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. There is no question in my mind that Americans have the absolute right to keep and carry arms everywhere.  Politicians and some courts differ with this as they attempt to violate Americans rights under color of law.
Saying that, mentioning the foolishness of civilians openly carrying firearms must be discussed and debated.  The debate about the law here is long over for me.  Open carry or any carry is the law of the land.  The debate about the wisdom of open carrying in an urban setting must continue.
Just because you can carry openly should you? 
I say that open carry is incredibly problematic and will put you in prison or worse!  Let’s begin with the worse.  If you’re carrying a gun for personal and family security doing that openly, deprives you of the element surprise needed to survive a violent event.   Even worse, experienced violent criminals can be counted upon to attempt to strong-arm you for your weapon. The tactical disadvantages of open carry are huge.
Other challenges are laid out like mines in a minefield.  I’ve seen the fallout of open carry first hand. Here are just some scenarios:
A gun rights hater sees you with your gun and calls 911.  The story this jerk tells is exaggerated in many different ways because the caller wants to see the police confront you and your gun.  The 911 caller will say, “the guy appears drugged up or drunk” or “The guy looks mean and angry and has his hand on the gun!” or “The guy is paying quick draw in the street!” The police can be counted on to treat the call like it is valid and the potential for disaster here is enormous.
Then there is the town troublemaker who will see your weapon and will try to aggravate you and instigate to the point where something stupid happens.
Last but not least is the malicious person that you may or may not know.  He or she wants to see you in jail and calls 911 saying, “there’s a guy with a gun and he pointed at me and threatened to shoot me!”  The police arrive and see you carrying the gun as described.  With a complainant that continues with this lie the police have absolute probable cause to arrest you for a felony crime of Aggravated Assault. 
They will arrest you, seize your gun and you will spend the next year of your life fighting the lie in court.  Between the huge cost for bail and lawyers, even if you win in court you lose.  Yes, I’ve seen innocent people sent to prison for as much as seven years this way.
If you are arrested for Aggravated Assault there is an 80% chance you will be convicted. Innocence is really irrelevant in today’s American courtrooms.
If you are discreet and keep your weapon concealed you can avoid so many real booby traps that can kill you or ruin your life.  Why would you take the unnecessary risks of open carry?
Saying all of that there are places where open carry is not a problem Events like those put on by SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) or for filmmaking.
I simply ask you to think before you place yourself in harm’s way by openly carrying. 


E Lang said...

Sage advice Paul but you forgot to mention the importance of insurance too. That can not be overstated. What little it covers is much better then nothing because if you do get into a jam you don’t want lose everything you own financing your defense.

Big Daddy said...

Open carry people are idiots.

Anonymous said...

Very sound advice!

Ed Skinner said...

Open carry makes you a target, a priority target.

When a crime occurs, anyone who can interfere with the act must be stopped. That visible firearm makes you a priority target -- the criminal must deal with you first, and hopefully by surprise before you can react.

And, once down, as Paul notes your valuable firearm is then available to the criminal.

If you carry, do so legally concealed but first learn the legal requirements that must later be demonstrated to the court for your actions, get training from knowledgeable sources on concealment, drawing and firing, and then practice, practice, practice. "Hitting the target" is not an easy thing to do.

Finally, carry your attorney's telephone number in your wallet and set aside a few tens of thousands of dollars to defend yourself.

Unknown said...

Yes there are evil people out there, the criminals who would rob, and the liars who would lie.
Clearly there are many who lack the fortitude and determination to risk their lives for the betterment of society.
Much like a young child is afraid of swimming in the water, many people are afraid of firearms in the hands of civilians. Both can be overcome with familiarization.
Open carry is an opportunity to familiarize people with decent law abiding gun owners, and reduce the fear that they may have.
Our Second amendment rights will not be won dueling with criminals, and having the upper hand in a gunfight. It will be won by winning over the minds of the fearful.
My open carry is an opportunity to educate, and I have spent the last 15 years doing so in Arizona. Many people have asked questions of me and have walked away more enlightened for the positive interaction.
I do not disagree with most your assessment of the dangers except for one. Most criminals are cowards, as is demonstrated by the plethora of attacks at locations where people are disarmed. How many police stations do mass murderers attack?
It is my opinion that most criminals, when they see me and others carrying openly, quite common here in Kingman, Az., will go elsewhere.
Any other risks; I am willing to take for the betterment of our society.

Ed D said...

I would prefer to conceal carry everywhere. However, at times I am forced to open carry--such as at the public library. Here in Nevada, there is a law on the books that says the managers of a public building can prohibit concealed carry of a firearm inside the building if either there is a metal detector at all public entrances or a sign posted at all public entrances prohibiting firearms. However, there is no existing law that the public library district can use to prohibit the open carry of a firearm into their public buildings. Therefore, whenever I want to go inside the library I always have to open carry.

Lorin Partain said...

Unfortunately most of these problems only exist because we live in a culture that does not believe in, is opposed to or is simply not familiar with gun rights. This is truer in some parts of the country then others, and I would say that if you live in Arizona or Wyoming these issues may not exist at all. But in you live in California or NY, this could be sage advice. My point being though, that open carry per se is not really a problem, it's only an issue due to the state of our nation in these times. Even the tactical issue, would be far less of an issue if everyone was an open carrier. You can't just strong arm one man out of his weapon when there are half a dozen other citizens around carrying as well.

If we got back to being a society that practiced our rights more, it would be perfectly sensible to open carry. The more we exercise our liberty the better it becomes.

Mark Belk said...

We fight to retain our God given rights and then we complain and refuse to use them? No wonder we are headed for tyranny.

slobotnavich said...

What kind of dolt would openly carry? First, it alarms people, and second it's an invitation to have your gun taken away and used on you by various violent miscreants.
Even in the old Wild West (contrary to the myths propagated by Hollywood and started by Ned Buntline and his dime novels), people rarely openly carried sidearms, a practice that generally was forbidden in practically all Western cow-towns and throughout all municipalities throughout our nation.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the current stats but years ago about half of police officers killed in the line of duty were killed with their own guns or their partner's guns (Fahey and O'Brien, Kilroy and Hauser). Part of the problem back then was most POs carried very unsecure holsters, today high security holsters are available.

As a uniformed PO I was occasionally confronted by honest citizens who were alarmed by the mere sight of my holstered sidearm. I always tried to assure them that they were safe in my presence. Carrying concealed, off duty or as I still do since retirement, I have never had a problem as people don't know that I am armed. I would never open carry, I think to do so is simply an invitation to disaster.

The lady in the photo could be quickly disarmed by a surprise attack and now a bad guy without a gun will have a gun and may hurt quite a few innocents before being dealt with by good guys with guns.

Anonymous said...

Concealed carry WITHOUT PERMISSION from the 'authorities' in NO permit required....imho

Unknown said...

As long as there is a right to "open carry" that is fine with me. But to "flaunt" it and open carry just to make a statement does not encourage common sense. I don't want to be spotted carrying a gun and thus targeted, I don't want to be hassled by the police because I open carry, I don't want someone sneaking up behind me and grabbing my gun in a crowd or anywhere, I don't want a bad guy to spot my gun then go off on me, etc. That is why I conceal carry.

jarheadljh said...

Open carry is the stupidest thing you can do, and the best thing ever.

It alarms people? GOOD. These are the people that we should want to leave the country. These are the people that will not hesitate to use the violence of the state to take away your God-given rights so it's well passed time we stopped caring about them. At all.

Stop worrying about offending them. Stop compromising with them. Generally do whatever they don't like. And if the state enforcers are on their side, they can go too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you want your carrying to be a secret.

vonu said...

I want to hear what you think about that in Phoenix in july.

Slim Father said...

@Big Daddy said "Open carry people are idiots."

So that would include Cops yes?