“Friends Don’t Let Friends Open Carry”

I would oppose any law making open carry illegal, but remember that open carry is really only useful in certain environments (rural areas where you are carrying a ton of stuff along with your gun and magazines or acting in an some sort of duty or official capacity) .

OpenCarry.org open carry gun laws

OpenCarry.org open carry gun laws (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is a funny quote about open carry I read recently.

From http://pistol-training.com/archives/8604/comment-page-5#comment-50487

OCers are a lot like the dude cavorting through the gay pride parade wearing nothing but a leather jockstrap and a feather boa. You’ll notice that went on for years with no appreciable improvement in gay rights. Gays started getting mainstream when folks realized their brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, etc were gay, and NOT like the freaks parading down the Castro district. Once it started getting mainstreamed, it became acceptable and even fashionable in some cases. Why? Because they went out of their way to show that they’re just like us straight folks in all the ways that matter. They took the mystery and the misinformation out of the debate, and they profited thereby. The method takes time, but over a generation or two, it’s worked a complete 180. 50 years ago you could be locked away in a mental ward for being gay. Now we have openly gay legislators and athletes. That didn’t happen because of the jockstrap-and-feather-boa crowd, it happened because of the folks who made TV shows depicting average joes coming home from work and cracking open a beer just like the rest of us. That’s something the pro-gun folks like us should appreciate and copy.

By LHS on Sep 20, 2013

From Friends Don’t Let Friends Open Carry | Active Response Training.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Open Carry

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Topics: News and Tactical Advice

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Man Legally Carrying Gun Robbed at Gunpoint - TODAY'S TMJ4 2013-09-18 12-05-33

Today’s announcement about Starbucks prohibiting guns in their stores is likely to re-ignite the idiotic debate about open carry.  Starbucks tried to remain neutral on the issue of carrying guns on their premises, but then started hearing from unhappy customers when a bunch of open carry advocates started showing up at their stores with slung long guns and pistols on their hips.  Those morons turned an ally into an enemy.

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of open carry (carrying an unconcealed handgun in public).  Even where legal, I generally think it’s a poor decision.  Too many bad things can happen.  My friend Spencer Keepers said it best: “I support the right, not the practice.”  I agree with him.

This story should be a cautionary tale to those who think open carry is a good idea…

Man Legally Carrying Gun Robbed at Gunpoint

Last year an open carry advocate was robbed of his gun by a criminal who wasn’t deterred by the fact that he was carrying.  This isn’t the only case where something similar has happened.

The open carry advocates insist that crimes like this cannot happen. They are wrong. Open carry likely does deter some criminal activity, but not every criminal will be scared of your big gun.

Having spent a significant part of my life dealing with criminals, I will tell you that they can read body language very well. They know who will use the gun and who won’t. Most have had guns pointed at them their entire lives. Many have already been shot multiple times. It isn’t their first rodeo…and they aren’t scared of you just because that gun on your hip makes you feel like a bad ass.

If I were going to commit a crime, open carry wouldn’t deter me in the least. I’d just take the open carrier out first. Trust me, there are criminals who think the same way I do.   Did you see what happened earlier this week in Washington D.C.?  A killer armed with a shotgun killed at least one security guard in the Naval Yard in order to take his (open carried) handgun.

What you don’t understand is that some criminals see that open gun on your hip as a challenge, not as a threat. It’s a badge of honor for them to bring a gun home to their hood rat buddies and tell them about how you shit your pants when you felt the knife cutting your throat.

Every year dozens of cops (who have training, backup, and retention holsters) get their guns taken by criminals. But you don’t think a criminal can take the Glock out of your shitty open carry Fobus holster? A wake up call is in order….

17 Comments For This Post I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOURS!

  1. D. Hide says:

    Agreed. I already posted on TheBangSwitch about my thoughts on the Starbucks issue. As far as open carry, unless you’re at your ranch or strolling through the woods, it’s definitely a better idea to carry discreetly.

    We’ll have to find other ways to make people aware that they are among gun owners and carriers. It is a shame that so much of our activity it necessarily out of the way and out of mind.

  2. Brad Hunt says:

    Why openly ask to be the first one shot?

    no open carry. no tacticool clothes. no Glock T-shirts. no bumper stickers. (my sturdy belt is probably a tell to those truly in the know, but not obvious, and I need it to hold my pants up, so it stays)

  3. Ron says:

    There are quite a few very heated debates going on over this one. As I read the Starbucks “stand” they didn’t come out and say we ban all guns,,,,they just don’t want the atention of open carry zealots in their stores. I never saw a word said in regards to concealed carry?? I can’t say I blame them for taking a stand to keep their stores safe,,,the legal mumbojumbo they could find themselves in would be HUGE.

    Out of sight, out of mind is my personal carry policy. I suspect ego takes over and causes the Mall Ninja Testosterone Warriors to do a tribal dance in these type enviroments. Face it,,,,Abbie Hoffman is dead,,,,, guns and political activism really don’t mix well. The attention whores should seek other outlets.

    • D. Hide says:

      On the issue of guns and political activism, I have to disagree. Guns will not survive without political activism, and we all know this. It just has to be done right. Open carry generally doesn’t do it right, though I can’t admonish them as harshly as some.

  4. Kim D Campbell says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. I support OC’ers. I respect them. And I appreciate the fact they (generally) help the cause through education. But too many (notice I did NOT say “most”) are doing it for – well, for lack of a better phrase – the shock value. I concluded long ago OC was simply not for me. Yes, on very rare occasions I’ll run into a store without a cover garment simply ’cause I’m too lazy right at that moment. But even then I choose my venue carefully.

  5. Mark H says:

    Coming from a law enforcement stand point (now retired after 25 years) I agree with all on this issue. I support the right but question the practice. All points above are valid and here’s one more. You, as an OCer become a resource for some of these predators. You can be identified from a distance and neutralized rapidly by someone who figures the approach and attack. As Greg points out many of the criminals will not think like you, they have more experience with dealing with gun threats and may already know first hand how survivable a bullet wound can be. If I as a criminal don’t present a threat until I am in position to act all I have to do is stun you long enough to take your visible gun away and as stated earlier law enforcement statistics will back up how often they are successful at this with trained targets. Carry, but don’t become a target because of it and for heaven’s sake learn to make friends with those who aren’t against you.

  6. HKL says:

    Ecellent article and coments

  7. ferndale says:

    1) criminals are looking at your belt already to see if you have an expensive smart phone to steal. they’re going to notice your gun. I’ve had people tell me that “nobody hardly notices it” when they open carry. Bull.

    2) It’s sociopathic to willingly choose to scare the shit out of wide swaths of the people you come in contact with.

    • D. Hide says:

      These are good points. I have to request a clarification of #2, however. I don’t think the intent is to cause fear. Additionally, someone else’s fear of a firearm is something you have little control over. As you said in #1, there are some who do not fear the firearm on your hip and there are others who do. They’re not always criminals.

      • ferndale says:

        so, people’s intent may not be to scare the shit out of people, but that’s the effect. a moral person makes changes to his/her behavior out of empathy and concern for his/her community. if safety and security are sought by a person through the possession of a gun, than certainly one could understand that others’ safety and security is threatened by openly carrying a gun, even if it’s ‘irrational.’ political purposes and awareness-raising aren’t sufficient grounds to send children hiding under their mother’s skirt. sociopathy is an internalized, developmental form of indifference for the well-being of others. most criminals are sociopaths, choosing resource acquisition over property rights and security of their victims. the same indifference for others is on display by most proponents of open carry.

  8. Ursa Ele says:

    I’m not involved with the open carry movement, and really my philosophy is along the lines of the guy Greg quoted who said he supports the right, but not the practice. Since i am not in the open carry movement and in fact I generally ignore it, I don’t know what really happened that led them to piss off the Starbucks people enough for the rules to be changed by Starbucks corporate. Like many of you, I wonder how the open carry people could have been so bone-headed. But you know what? Maybe they (i.e., the open carry people) were not the ones that pushed this to the point of people showing up with rifles to their local Starbucks store. Maybe the movement got co-opted by outsiders who were intentionally “joining in” specifically to drive away the support of the gun establishment (trainers, gun writers, the concealed carry folks like many of us, etc).

    Professional, paid agitators can take over a movement and radicalize the direction of the movement. This pushes the movement out of the mainstream and reduces its support amongst the populace and particularly amongst natural (former) allies. This is how (many of us believe) that the authorities finally put an end to the anti-globalization movement that was doing all the picketing, dressing up as trees, protesting, and making it generally difficult and expensive to hold international business meetings and government conferences. The movement was (many of us believe) infiltrated on purpose by professional agitators who then proceeded to radicalize the movement, pushing for violence and property destruction, etc. the more violent that those demonstrations became, the less likely it was that casual protestors or people who were dedicated but peaceful would even bother to show up. Eventually, the whole movement fell apart as the mainstream anti-globalization folks (if I can use that descriptive phrase) abandoned their own movement so as not to be associated with the radicals. Now, go back to what I just described and replace “anti-globalization” with “open carry” and you will get the idea. I don’t have any specific knowledge to back up my theory, but let me just put it this way: If I was Mike Bloombucks, I would be a fool NOT to hire people to do exactly what I just described to throw the whole gun carrying movement onto its butt.

    • ferndale says:

      guys were walking in their to get their coffee with AR’s and other long guns slung across their backs.

    • Kim D Campbell says:

      Interesting take. Alas, I do know far too many in the OC movement that think they’re furthering the cause somehow by carrying their slung long gun – Bloomie doesn’t need to hire anybody.

  9. Hank says:

    The proper way to handle this such situation would be to have written an email/letter/make a phone call thanking Starbucks for supporting their rights. No sensible person walks around a coffee house with a slung AR15… This isn’t Israel. I understand that to keep your rights, you must exercise your rights. Do this!!! Excercise your rights… But don’t be an asshat and get OUR rights taken away because you think you are gonna go to my coffee house with an AR. Open carriers made all gun owners look like asshats.

  10. Rob.G says:

    I think there are two camps of people who open carry. One walks into a place such as Starbucks with a smile, orders and enjoys a cup of coffee and quietly leaves with a smile.

    The other swaggers in with an AR, an AK or a shotgun just because they can.

    I fall into the former camp and agree that the latter folks have seriously hurt our cause.

  11. Jeff Edwards says:

    To amplify Greg’s excellent points: The criminal who observes the OC practioner – or for that matter “makes” a careless CCW – is already three steps ahead on the OODA loop.


    • PDC Dave says:

      Jeff, Every predatory criminal is three steps ahead on the OODA loop on most every assault. The fact that a gun is on your hip doesn’t change that. The skill to get inside his loop is what you train for. Both OC and CC include risk; both have pros and cons. Unfortunately, there are those, both OC and CC, that don’t train and think that just having the firearm will make them safe.

– See more at: http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/friends-dont-let-friends-open-carry#comments

Thanks, Idiots

19-Sep-13 – 14:22 by ToddG


To all of the in-your-face tough guy Open Carry zealots who held Starbucks rallies such as the one pictured here, thanks.

Thanks for forcing a major, high profile international corporation intochoosing between its image and yours.

Thanks for making such complete idiots of yourselves with your “Look Ma, I’ve got a gun and a coffee at the same time!” antics that what had been a nice political win for our side is now a huge media circus about how Starbucks finally said stop bringing guns into our stores.

You can croon about how you’re educating the public all you want, but it’s bullcrap. And here’s a perfect example. Did you convert the average American? No. But you scared enough soccer moms, kids, and coffee jockeys that Starbucks was forced to take action.

It was you that turned Starbucks into a political battleground. It was you that couldn’t just take the victory of Starbucks saying it would abide by local laws rather than ban guns. It was you who had to push the limits and do things utterly unacceptable among almost any normal community in the United States just so you could brag to your equally moronic Facetwit buddies. You did this. You gave the entire Second Amendment movement a huge black eye. You just educated America, all right, you educated them into believing that gun owners are a bunch of retarded monkeys who’ll throw feces the first chance they get if it’s legalized.

Do you know what would happen if you walked into the NRA Headquarter Range carrying a gun like the guys pictured above? You’d be refused entrance because they don’t allow people to walk around like that. Know what would happen if you, a stranger, walked up to my front door carrying a shotgun like this guy:

At a bare minimum you’d have a gun pointed at your face and police sirens closing in at top speed. Worst case scenario, you’d get shot dead. You know why? Because in suburban America, normal people don’t walk around carrying rifles and shotguns. Period.

Go tattoo your forehead or get your eyeballs pierced if you want to be cool & different & edgy. Stop carrying guns or talking about guns or even thinking about guns. Because you’re idiots, and you’re not helping.

(for a less angry, more in-depth intelligent read on the subject, try Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned)

Train hard & be smart for once in your God-forsaken life! ToddG

original rifles in front of Starbucks photo from NBC affiliate KXAN 

shotgun photo from thenewcivilrightsmovement.com (edited to add: per the shotgun-wielding gentleman in the photo above via practicaltacticalpodcast.com via Tam, that particular Starbucks is in fact in Kuwait circa 2005 … so no harm no foul, buddy, but thanks for giving me a photo to riff off of)

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Posted in Awareness, Concealed Carry, Humor, In the News, Politics

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