The Easy Way, or the Hard Way?


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bogie
September 23, 2008, 08:57 PM
Guys, most big goals are met by increments...

Open carry is a fad these days... I guess the gun rags have been writing it up, since pretty much all the decent states to live in now have concealed carry. Heck, they gotta write about something... And, frankly, in any states open carry is far more of a political statement than a personal safety choice.

Now, the way I see it, if you wanna play that game, there's an easy way, and there's a hard way...

The easy way: You wear a nice 1911, glock, whatever, in a nice brown retention holster, maybe black, but brown is friendlier, and smile at folks and be pleasant. If you want an extra magazine or two, well, you've got a pocket. You're a nice -normal- example of a smiling -normal- person.

The hard way: You strap on that tacticool thing you bought outta the cheap pages of Shotgun News, and cram in a desert eagle, or something else huge. Extra points if the thing has an extra belt that goes around your shoulder or your thigh. More extra points if it won't stretch around your thigh without pain. Now, you stuff all the magazine holders that you bought at the same tacticool joint. Hang them off various webbing points. Put on your "Kill 'em all, then kill 'em again" t-shirt, your sunglasses, and make sure you've practiced your scowl in the mirror, because you gotta look mean the whole time. If it takes more than 10 minutes for the police to show after you make your public appearance, you're doing it wrong. But it's still your right. Yup. Scare the heck outta those folks, make sure they vote to take all those guns away from you. But that's still your right.

Now... Which method is going to win the hearts and minds of the general population? If all you're looking to do is irritate the local constabulary, strap your crap on, and go stand in front of the police station. But if you wanna go to the mall, sheesh, folks, we're in a war of public relations, and some of y'all seem to be determined to lose it for all of us.

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springmom
September 23, 2008, 09:07 PM
Obviously the right answer is "the easy way". Despite the last sentence in your OP, I don't actually think most folks on here are looking to do an XTreme Burt Gummer at the local Piggly Wiggly. OTOH, I've been off the boards mostly since Ike so maybe some really egregious examples have cropped up that I haven't seen.

If we get open carry next year, my choice would be that lovely leather holster I have for my Browning HiPower. As a middle aged mom who LOOKS like a middle aged mom, I always look non-threatening (except to my children, but that's another story). It would be less of a political statement than an ability to easily carry the gun I shoot the most accurately and that carries more rounds than anything else except my XD-9 (not nearly so nice to look at, although pretty accurate itself). And lest I hear again about how easy it is to conceal a full size gun....unless you're a woman my size, don't even go there. It is NOT. At least not if you can't bear to wear a jacket in 90-and-90 weather, which I can't.

Can you elaborate on what sort of "hard way" behaviors you've seen or heard of that elicited your post? I'm just curious.

Springmom

NonConformist
September 23, 2008, 09:13 PM
And your solution of not exercising your right for fear of negative feedback has gotten us where we are, restriction upon restrictions!

I havnt seen anyo go all tacticool when the OC. Sounds like you have a personal problem w/ it to me.

Do what you want to do, but dont disparage those who make a choice you dont like, after all bearing arms is a right!

Walkalong
September 23, 2008, 09:20 PM
I agree with springmom. Said it for me.

mourneblade
September 23, 2008, 09:20 PM
I live in Virginia where some people open carry. I've never noticed the "hard way" though. The only open carry guy I've seen away from gun ranges and gun shops was at Wallmart. I wouldn't have really noticed his gun except the clerk at the ammo area was slow and the guy was in line before me. He was pretty much wearing business casual. The general social rule is to dress nicely if you open carry. Sometimes I wonder if I'd prefer concealed carry so I didn't have tuck my shirt in. :)

AZAndy
September 23, 2008, 09:36 PM
I'm gonna put some 2RCO hot pink grips on my 1911 and carry it that way. Nothin' says "friendly" like hot pink, I'm thinking.

neviander
September 23, 2008, 09:41 PM
Well put bogie, but it's gonna take about a thousand smiling, polite OCers to every 1 tacticool mall ninja out to turn heads to bring any kind of comfort to the overly sensitive, gunophobe general population.

It only takes a few idiots to ruin it for the rest of us; I think, therein lies the problem.

average_shooter
September 23, 2008, 10:07 PM
Okay, I'm moderately confused.

Bogie, was there an incident or is there a trend towards "option 2" that you are seeing which elicited the original post? All the OC folks I've ever run into look pretty "average" or like they're coming from or going to church.

I've been around some OC'ers, not many, but more than a few, and I can't say I've ever run into the Rambo type you seem to be alluding to.

Sistema1927
September 23, 2008, 10:20 PM
When I open carry I normally go "easy way" with a nice 1911 or S&W N-frame. That is what I like to do.

However if someone wanted to go "hard way", who the heck am I to criticize? I might not personally exercise my 1st Amendment rights in the same way as somebody else, even to the point that I don't like what they have to say. I should tolerate those who exercise 2nd Amendment rights differently from me as well.

We spend way too much time worrying about what others think, to the point that we are afraid to be free.

Cmdr. Gravez0r
September 23, 2008, 10:28 PM
I know the post was supposed to be serious, but I laughed at the #2 description. No dissing intended.

I always thought the way to go was "classy" (as described) not "bad."

mr.trooper
September 23, 2008, 10:35 PM
I agree: one bad apple spoils the bunch.

While guns are great, you have to admit...they seem to attract morons like an old barn attracts cats.

tigre
September 23, 2008, 10:49 PM
Do people actually go around dressing like tacticool idiots with guns on? I've never lived anywhere with open carry, but I imagine that sort of thing would be pretty rare. Unfortunately, it wouldn't take many of them to cause problems. I'd support their legal right to do it, but I don't think I'd look kindly on them. Just because you've got a right to do something doesn't mean it's not really stupid.

And, frankly, in any states open carry is far more of a political statement than a personal safety choice.
I'll second what Springmom said about this. At my size I'm quite limited in what I can conceal. Open carry would dramatically increase the number of guns I could choose from. Most of the states I'm considering for my next move have open carry, and I most certainly would do so for that reason alone.

goon
September 23, 2008, 10:57 PM
I kind of agree with the OP but realistically, he's preaching to the wrong group of people here.

JesseL
September 23, 2008, 11:33 PM
The easy way: You wear a nice 1911, glock, whatever, in a nice brown retention holster, maybe black, but brown is friendlier, and smile at folks and be pleasant. If you want an extra magazine or two, well, you've got a pocket. You're a nice -normal- example of a smiling -normal- person.

That is pretty much exactly the way I carry, but I take exception to open carry being called a "fad".

I've been open carrying for quite a few years now, far longer than I've paid any attention to internet gun boards or gun magazines. For as long as I can remember I've seen local gentlemen packing 1911s, K & N frame S&Ws, and a few old timers with Colt Single Action Armys - all in pretty decent looking leather. I was more than a little surprised when I learned that many parts of the country made it hard (legally or socially) for ordinary folks to do what I had always seen as natural and ordinary.

I'm happy see that so many folks are rediscovering their rights, and bogie makes a good point. I guess it just strikes me odd at first because I need to remember that not everybody has had the advantage of learning by example, seeing how more mature generations handle open carry.

I love this quote from the late Col. Cooper:
"Strange at it may seem to our over-civilized friends throughout the world, it still warms our heart to see pistols worn openly in the check lines of supermarkets in Prescott. Sad to say most of the exemplars may properly be characterized as geezers, but then Prescott has always qualified as a geezer town - that is one reason why we moved here."

Aguila Blanca
September 23, 2008, 11:37 PM
I think either Bogie is off his meds, or somebody whizzed in his Cheerios this morning :)

DoubleTapDrew
September 23, 2008, 11:59 PM
Are you trying to tell me I shouldn't OC the PLR-16 and a load bearing vest with 12 mags? :p
I think getting made fun of would be the biggest deterrent to the mall ninja types. Sticking out like a sore tactical thumb also isn't very advantageous in the event you were in a situation that called for responding with force. Might as well wear a "shoot me first!!!" shirt along with your gear.

Tribal
September 24, 2008, 12:02 AM
deleted

Mickstix
September 24, 2008, 01:36 AM
Okay, I'm moderately confused.

Perhaps the OP was giving hardware/wardrobe "advice" to any peeps who are considering OC??

bogie
September 24, 2008, 01:39 AM
Guys, it's a lot easier to be nice.

True, example #2 was a little extreme, but hey... maybe it will make a few folks think... And I've seen a few posts where I'm really wondering what really happened...

And you gotta ask why you open carry: Is it for your safety, or is it as a political statement? If it's leaning toward political, you may need to do a head-check, and tone it down a little... Gradual wins are still wins.

And if any of y'all will only settle for "all or nothing," well, you're going to learn a lot of harsh lessons as you grow up. Lately I've been wondering just what group of people are members here anymore - seems like at least half the posters' major firearms experience is via video games, with paintballers coming in a close second...

And as for...

And your solution of not exercising your right for fear of negative feedback has gotten us where we are, restriction upon restrictions!

A whole bunch of younger folks are reaping the benefits of stuff that a lot of us older, more "stick in the mud," folks have done. So it might behoove you to think before you start wiggling your fingers the next time.

A few years back, you would only rarely see mention of open carry on the major forums - So, hey, I use the term "fad." It's popular. It's stylish. Whoopee. As the gun rights movement has managed to get concealed carry in most states, they're now moving toward acceptance of open carry. Sort of a logical next step, but we have to be careful about how "hard" we step.

Why?

We will win this NOT by freaking out soccer mommies and getting the cops called so that they can explain to the soccer mommie that the bad man with the bad gun is allowed to terrorize her - because the soccer mommie will go -all the way- over to the dark side, and will actively vote against guns. The way we will win this is incrementally - by getting the soccer mommies to accept nice people, who just happen to be armed.

In some cases, it seems like the most interaction that folks have is with the police. Guess what, guys? People are watching that. And that sight is reinforcing to them that "if you see a man with a gun, you call the police." The object is NOT to have the police tell people that it is okay, and that they are not empowered to bust you. The object is to not have the cops called in the first place. Because in the former situation, you just lost the PR battle.

Most "non-gunnies" are not actively antis - they are sitting on the fence on the issue. But they get swayed, one way or another, by attitude. YOUR attitude. And if they feel nervous, and then get told that the police are unable to do anything about you, well, they just might try to do something about that.

Hearts and minds, guys... Win their hearts and minds...

When you carry concealed, you give up the right to defend your honor over petty crap. You learn to walk away from bullbleep juvenile fights, etc... Some guy cuts you off in traffic, well, that's life. It ain't worth it. The idiot who just screamed obscenities at you for driving on "his" highway will never know how close he came... which is, well, for the most part, a good thing.

When you open carry, you need to head-check more often... "Am I appearing as a fine upstanding person?" Because people won't just notice the gun - they'll notice you.

For starters, make sure you tip the help.

Soybomb
September 24, 2008, 01:52 AM
We will win this NOT by freaking out soccer mommies and getting the cops called so that they can explain to the soccer mommie that the bad man with the bad gun is allowed to terrorize her - because the soccer mommie will go -all the way- over to the dark side, and will actively vote against guns. The way we will win this is incrementally - by getting the soccer mommies to accept nice people, who just happen to be armed.
My thoughts on the matter are the people who are going to freak out would be freaking out if you looked like fred rogers and had on a holster that had I LOVE HUGS stamped on it. With the above in mind, how many people have you read reports from that have had to talk to police or store security for OC? How many of them do you believe were actually in mall ninja attire? I imagine we have several members here who could tell their own stores of normal dress and confrontation

Kind of Blued
September 24, 2008, 03:19 AM
And you gotta ask why you open carry: Is it for your safety, or is it as a political statement? If it's leaning toward political, you may need to do a head-check, and tone it down a little... Gradual wins are still wins.

This seems backwards to me. When I open carry, it's something "nice" and generally an attractive gun. This is for the political statement aspect of it; to show that normal people carry guns.

If I were to carry ignoring the political aspect, simply for defense, I'd carry something more "extreme", and simultaneously more practical, like a Glock 19 with a 33-round mag, a light and a laser to make sure I hit what I intend to, and a can on it in respect for the ears of those around me.

This is opposite of how you put it, but I can see your point. It's detrimental to the cause to carry something such as the suppressed G19 expecting people to freak out "because you can", even though this gun would be better for shooting anything and everything.

e7grt5
September 24, 2008, 03:21 AM
Original post had me http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/7144/lollj3.gif

To be honest, I don't think anyone who wants to stand for open carrying, has or WILL do it the "hard way." {insert Homer voice} Unless...

bogie
September 24, 2008, 03:24 AM
Hey, I've freaked out... Ain't that hard to do... There was a guy walking around a local mall - Was wearing some sorta uniform pants, boots, and a navy "military style" sweater, and a gun on his hip. High and tight haircut, looking at the world like he's ready to take it on... Wasn't wearing any sort of insignia or badge... This was before we got CCW in Missouri, and in a county where open carry equals brandishing... So what's going on? He's not wearing a badge - he doesn't look like security. Looks really mad...

Turns out he was an off-duty cop moonlighting as security, and that was his idea of a "subtle" uniform. But to me, well, I was wondering if it was some fellow playing dress-up prior to food-court target practice.

Lotta you guys woulda come to the same conclusion. I guess most of it was based on the vibes I got - fellow was younger, not all that big, and maybe he thought that projecting attitude would get him respect. Instead, it got this ol' boy a little worried...

My inquiries didn't go further than the mall security...

And now several folks are going to say he had the right to do this, and to stare daggers at anyone who crossed his path, and all that... Well, the rest of us have the right to situational awareness - what if he -had- been getting ready to do Bad Things?

And do you know why I keyed on the guy? Scowling tough-guy attitude, coupled with "military" style dress on a civilian, and then I saw the holster. In that order. Lot of you guys would have done the same thing. Subtly walked to the nearest concierge desk, and asked if they knew what was going on.

Guys, it is not a contest in who can be the most "out." You may be in the right while you exercise your rights, but if a hundred people see you standing next to the cop car while they figure out just what the law is, that's a hundred people who just had it reinforced that "police need to save us from people with guns."

The idea is to NOT seek confrontation. We lose with confrontation.

3KillerBs
September 24, 2008, 09:57 AM
I'll second what Springmom said about this. At my size I'm quite limited in what I can conceal. Open carry would dramatically increase the number of guns I could choose from. Most of the states I'm considering for my next move have open carry, and I most certainly would do so for that reason alone.

And I add a third to that.

My carry gun has to be a 5-shot revolver because I'm 5'3", overweight, and physically malproportioned.

Open carry is legal in NC but not accepted in my area and I don't have the lawyer money and childcare money to deal with the possible consequences of activism right now. If open carry were more the norm I'd strongly prefer it so I could carry a larger gun that I liked better.

In an ideal world, women would be able to buy stylish retention holsters that matched our shoes and purses so that we'd look nicely put-together. ;)

And, of course, color-coordinated grips to suit our outfits. :D

bogie
September 24, 2008, 10:59 AM
Oh yeah - leave the "naked piece of trailer trash wrapped in a confederate flag" grips at home... Your great-great-great-granddaddy had his ass handed to him. His side lost. Deal with it. Because now, whether you like it or not, that crap is something that says to the world "Hi - I'm a racist lowlife." Just as much as pants around the knees and a sideways hat says "Hi - I'm a predatory thug."

Every time you show the world something like that, associated with guns, you reconfirm the stereotypes that a lot of us other folks are trying to erase. Please stop it.

Hearts and minds, guys... Hearts and minds.

davepool
September 24, 2008, 11:29 AM
I think it's attitude when you open carry more than the equipment you use.
I was at Sportsmans warehouse last weekend buying cleaning gear when two young early twentys guys walked by with the big thigh holsters and extra mags strapped on, and my first thought was negative about that type of display, but they turned out to be very friendly young men,smiling, being courteous,heck they even asked the old guy(me) which cleaning solvents i used and which lubes i prefered.Nice guys.

What i'm trying to say is that everyone has their own style, it's how you conduct yourself that matters.

You can't always judge a book it's cover. If you strap on a gun and it makes you feel like God, and you act like it....you are doing all gun owners a disservice....attitude is everything

MagnumDweeb
September 24, 2008, 11:42 AM
I can sympathize with the OP not so much on the open carry bit so much but rather there are those who would ruin it for the rest of us. My first CCW-capable gun was a Ruger Security Six .357 Magnum a few years back when I was 21 and had gotten my CCW permit a week after I bought the hand gun. Turned 21 and got my grandfather's old 7.5" SBH .44 Magnum, day after I turned 21 I bought the Security Six, and a week after that I took the class and waited my sixty days, sent out the paperwork the same day I took the class, got my fingerprints done a few days before I took the class.

Now my friend at the time (no longer friends because of his continuos poor choices), he was an idiot. Bought a Taurus PT145 and showed it off constantly and talked garbage all the time about how bad he was because he had a .45 ACP caliber sub-compact(one time he literally fire a hundred rounds and hit the edge of the silhouette paper twice, yeah two out of a hundred). He would constantly give me garbage in front of our friends how my .357 magnum was a piece of junk in comparison, rrrigghhhttt. And then he got his CCW permit and all hell broke loose. Well he shortly there after had to pawn his gun but that didn't stop him from showing off his CCW permit like he was somehow incredible for it. And we ended, I stopped, not riding to places together in the same car because he knew I had my Ruger with me and would mouth off about it. "Hey my friend has .357 you act like a fool and he'll end you", he said something like that one time when we were downtown picking up a friend (last time I drove with him anywhere) and kicked him out of my car(literally, we somehow continued to be friends for nearly two years after) and left him there with the person he just threatened while I raced away, granted he ran after me but had to take a taxi home.

Open carry or concealed carry, there are a lot of idiots who can't respect and appreciate the tradition and right of gun ownership. We as responsible law abiding gun owners have to to some respect ostracise these folks otherwise we'll be lumped in with them.

I figure myself as a gunowner to be a walking PR ad no matter what I do so I generally try to stay cleanly shaved, cleanly dressed even if it's just in jeans and a T-shirt, smile and be polite, and while I've got a 45+" muscled chest and 24" biceps, I do my best to never scowl or attempt to intimidate people (I'm only 5'9") unless they're justly deserving it (wanna be badasses or thug types). I reguraly work to convert people to gun ownership or at the least the idea of gun ownership being okay. I've converted four girls at my law school in that they've bought glocks, PPKs, and a 642 (Two bought 'matching' G19s, one bought a PPK .380, and another bought herself a 642 because she thought it was cute :scrutiny:). I will continue to work to bring more folks over to our side because the more gun owners there are, the greater our chances of being accpeted are likely.

Remember it all rolls downhill be it good or bad, I'll do my best to make sure it's good, hope the rest of you do too.

springmom
September 24, 2008, 12:02 PM
This just keeps getting more confusing to me.

3KillerB's posts about her color coordinated grips, and Bogie gets going on

Oh yeah - leave the "naked piece of trailer trash wrapped in a confederate flag" grips at home... Your great-great-great-granddaddy had his ass handed to him. His side lost. Deal with it. Because now, whether you like it or not, that crap is something that says to the world "Hi - I'm a racist lowlife." Just as much as pants around the knees and a sideways hat says "Hi - I'm a predatory thug."

Where did racist lowlife come from out of color coordinated grips, for heaven's sake???

There's an awful lot of passion in those posts that seems like it MUST have more fueling it than just the one incident you saw at the mall. And THAT wasn't even relevant to CC/OC because police officers do not HAVE to conceal off duty (amended to add: at least not down here, don't know about Missouri). We were in the parking lot at SuperTarget up on I-45 and Cypresswood a couple of days after Ike (only place we could get cellphone signals) and some guy drove up and parked nearby. Gets out, opens the back of his truck with camper hood, and starts strapping on the tactical gear. Drop leg holster, black jacket, the whole nine yards. My take? Must be a cop getting ready for duty.

And it was. They had guard duty over that rarest of items post-Ike...an open gas station.

I think Kind of Blued has it nailed...it is in fact the choice of the lovely holster and the best-looking gun I own that you could label "political". If I want plain old functional (which would included the calculus of the cost involved if, after a shoot, my gun was taken by the police and maybe returned in less than salubrious condition) I'd go with the XD-9 and a Kydex paddle holster. Same number of rounds as the BHP, same caliber, cheaper and easier to replace in case of a shooting and it becoming evidence.

You decry "making a statement" but then tell us to be careful about the statement we make. Don't get me wrong, I agree that dressing like Rambo to go to Cici's Pizza is probably about as dumb as a human being can get. But neither have I *ever* read of anybody doing that, so getting all het up about what it would do if they did seems unnecessary.

But you're right, of course...it is important for us to be good ambassadors for the firearms owning community, and our appearance AND our behavior should be something other gun owners will never cringe and be embarrassed by, and your post is a good reminder of that.

Springmom

bogie
September 24, 2008, 12:19 PM
Springmom, you obviously haven't seen the popular "naked trailer trash wrapped in a confederate flag" 1911 grips, have you... You go to enough gun shows, you'll run into 'em sooner or later...

Not only is it a picture of "naked trailer trash wrapped in a confederate flag," but it is so poorly drawn that it offends me as a working artist.

I've seen jailhouse tattoos that were done better.

Every time I see an NRA sticker on a pickup next to a confederate flag sticker, I cringe. Do some of y'all WANT folks to vote against us?

arthurcw
September 24, 2008, 12:59 PM
While I agree with some of the OP and as one of my gay friends says, "D@M#IT! Why is it that in the stupid pride parade there are hundreds on normal looking people but they have to put the cameras on the 3 idiots that think it's ok to expose themselves in public..."

BUT... do you really thing the sheep are going to take the time to distinguish between a "polite 1911" in leather and a Glock in a drop leg? No. They will see a gun and freak if they are so inclined.

As an aside... The ONLY time I've seen tacticool impolite holsters have been on off duty vice cops.

Still if it's legal and you want to... go ahead and do it. Not for me to say. I know many high-waisted women who will opt for a drop leg if we get open carry. Good on them.

AlaskaErik
September 24, 2008, 01:05 PM
When I OC it's an XD-45 in a Galco retention holster and two spare mags in a Galco mag carrier. No one gives it a second look.

3KillerBs
September 24, 2008, 01:06 PM
Still if it's legal and you want to... go ahead and do it. Not for me to say. I know many high-waisted women who will opt for a drop leg if we get open carry. Good on them.

Most definitely.

One of the reasons for the size restriction on my carry gun choice is that my figure physically prevents me from drawing anything longer than 6 inches because its either in my armpit or, to the embarrassment of male instructors attempting to find a solution, jammed under my DD breasts.

Gordon Fink
September 24, 2008, 01:36 PM
Open carry is a fad these days … I guess the gun rags have been writing it up, since pretty much all the decent states to live in now have concealed carry.…

Bogie, I’m glad you enjoy the fruits of liberalized concealed carry, but it is important to remember that almost fully a third of all Americans (over 96 million persons) do not have this privilege and probably scarcely realize its otherwise vast geographic extent. It is even more important to note that these people live in the cultural centers of the United States and are the ones who usually set the trends that inform and shape national policy. In other words, the “decent states” where liberalized concealed carry is now so common are the states where most people don’t live.

But, yeah, all that “tactical” junk is just silly. Nevertheless, I long for the day when open or concealed carry would simply depend on the weather and what one wanted to wear on a given morning. Unfortunately, we’re still amost 100 million souls away from that day.

~G. Fink

Smaug
September 24, 2008, 01:46 PM
The easy way is to carry concealed and not alarm anyone. (assuming that is allowed in open carry states) As more and more folks carry concealed, there is a higher and higher possibility that one of those folks will stop a crime. This will slowly help our case.

Maybe it would be a psycho running onto a playground and he can't kill as many kids before an armed citizen guns him down. Maybe he walks onto the playground, pulls the gun, and some alarmed citizen shoots him in the back before he has a chance to kill anyone. Maybe he is the bystander in the gas station when the robber pulls the gun on the clerk.

Open carry may act as deterrent, but it also makes the carrier a target, in more ways than one.

Tyris
September 24, 2008, 01:52 PM
If you want fools dressed up all black and tacticool, I suggest a trip to NYC, my favorite open-air prison.

The only thing missing is the face mask.

http://sociology.rutgers.edu/IMAGES/NYC%20police%20cropped.jpg
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/02/02/nyregion/02machinegun.600.jpg
http://aftermathnews.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/herculesteam.jpg
http://bp1.blogger.com/_e5slTxJ5tng/SBFJFlsMGQI/AAAAAAAAAPo/_VUVCyQXWLU/s400/mpolice.jpg

-T

springmom
September 24, 2008, 02:00 PM
Bogie, you're right...in all the gun shows, I've never seen THAT. I wouldn't know whether to laugh or cry!!! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Re: NRA and Confederate flag....you live in a border state (I grew up in Springfield, near the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, and loved learning about the local Civil War history when I was a kid :)) But to get back on point, you probably have a different response to that flag than some folks down here. It is used by the racists, yes; there are also those who are not racist who display it. Not me, I can't see any reason to start more trouble than finds me naturally, but it doesn't actually equate. I won't speculate on whether it equals racism in most, or some, or a few cases, I don't know....but I do know that it's not a totally accurate correlation.

Apart from the flag bit, though, my point is that if people see "drop leg holster and military haircut" there is one conclusion they will jump to, at least down here. And it just doesn't have anything to do with "guns are bad because that guy looks like a freak." The much-maligned "soccer mommies" are most likely to look, think "cop doing security" and go back to watching practice. Again, at least here that's true.

You just seem a tad wound up on this one, to me. But you sound like you've seen some real doozies, too.

Springmom

Tom Servo
September 24, 2008, 02:25 PM
Open carry is legal where I am, but I never saw it much until recently. Used to be, I'd see someone well-dressed and middle-aged openly carrying an N-Frame or nice 1911 in a fancy holster and think, "wow, good for him."

Now, I'm seeing 20-year olds in shabby clothes with two days' beard growth wearing black automatics in Uncle Mike's rigs. They chant "what part of 'shall not be infringed don't you understand?'" and such at anyone who looks their way.

The first group seemed to do so as a well-considered decision, while the second seems to be doing it as part of an agenda. It's the second group that worries me.

I won't for a second argue that it's not their right, but the OP is right that these things are gained in small steps. There's been a concerted effort, starting with FDR and running through the Clinton administration, to label anyone with a gun as a dangerous psychopath. It's been seventy years chipping away at our rights--we won't get them all back overnight.

Concealed carry still makes many people nervous. Open carry can also do so, no matter how well-intentioned.

When it's done for shock value, it's even worse. Every new law and judgment in our favor meets with serious resistance, and we need to be very careful how we present ourselves. We've done a phenomenal job in the academic, legal and media arenas, and we need to be just as judicious in our dealings with the man on the street.

Me? I don't open carry. I'm a bit on the shy side, and I just don't like having attention drawn to me. If you want to do it, more power to you, but please get trained, develop situational awareness and wear a decent holster with retainment.

And remember, whether or not you mean to, you may be speaking for all of us. Present yourself as an ambassador. Think Henry Kissinger, not Sandra Bernhart!

Carlos Cabeza
September 24, 2008, 02:27 PM
Practical is better than tacticool anyday. Its a shame that the people that would wear the black nylon and plastic gear in the manner you described probably need something to make them feel as cool as they perceive themselves to be. Even some real professionals fall into this ego trap.

I don't get excited in the least when I see a gun on someones hip but someone else might react wholly different.

There are alot of stereotypical tones to the original post, and just like all stereotypical labels, boil down to nothing more than discrimination based on appearances. Almost racist.

It is too bad that the people who make these judgements should probably look inside themselves and not worry so much about the choices that others make.

Unfortunately this is not a realistic answer. The "Black is cool", EBR, Blackops, Bubba Redneck B** S*** has been played out far too much. Who to blame ? Movies ? Who knows ?

Who cares...................

bogie
September 24, 2008, 02:35 PM
We are ambassadors.

And we can be our own worst enemies in dealing with "the public" when it comes to gun rights.

Most folks could care less about the bill of rights. That's just the way it is. It's not really a major concern to them. They just don't think about it.

Now, we can fight a losing battle to convince folks that the 2nd amendment matters, and get repeatedly tuned out, or we can appeal to something that they DO care about.

Safety and security.

It's all about the message, and how it makes it to the audience.

If you appear "safe and secure," and tip the scales on the side of "we want this person around us," then we WIN. We can worry about all that stuff that guys who've been dead for 200 years wrote about later... It's an incremental process, folks. Give the people what they want.

So, next time someone sees one of you open carriers and asks "Why are you carrying that thing?" - well, if you reply "It's my right," you haven't really reinforced a "safety and security" message. But if you say "Well, with all the crime, we thought it might be a good idea" - well, that is something that they can understand.

Having the general population accept safety and security is EASY, but trying to convince them to think in terms of the bill of rights, and all that other fun stuff, is HARD.

EASY wins are still wins.

Walkalong
September 24, 2008, 02:38 PM
It is the fact that a confederate flag sometimes cry's "racism" that I don't want my 17 year old son to wear shirts with it on them. (Dixie Outfitters shirts - Yes, I am in the heart of Dixie - I won't argue wether it in and by itself is racist. I also won't argue that there are not racists on both sides, because there are.)

The kid does not have a racist bone in his body, but he also does not understand the hate it brings out in some folks and how it can make him a target. Naive.

What we wear sends a message.

Wether it is a flag, or pants down below our A**, etc, etc. Many kids who have Dixie Outfitter shirts on are not racist, if not most. Many kids with pants hanging below their A** are not thugs, if not most.

BUT, they sure look the part, and people see them that way.

We have a responsibility to all gun owners to carry responsibly. If we dress up all tacticool and threatening looking we will only scare those on the fence and make it worse. They could much more easily get used to average looking folks who carry without being scared. People over the years have often asked me if I was a cop, so I bet they would just think I was off duty or a detective or something, if I chose to OC, as long as I was dressed nicely. If I was dressed like a bum, it would be different.

I have seen the grips bogie. If the flag does not bother you, and half naked women don't bother you, and poorly drawn "art does not bother you, I guess their OK. Personally, I would not have a pair.

Walkalong
September 24, 2008, 02:42 PM
If you appear "safe and secure," and tip the scales on the side of "we want this person around us," then we WIN. We can worry about all that stuff that guys who've been dead for 200 years wrote about later... It's an incremental process, folks. Give the people what they want.

So, next time someone sees one of you open carriers and asks "Why are you carrying that thing?" - well, if you reply "It's my right," you haven't really reinforced a "safety and security" message. But if you say "Well, with all the crime, we thought it might be a good idea" - well, that is something that they can understand.

Having the general population accept safety and security is EASY, but trying to convince them to think in terms of the bill of rights, and all that other fun stuff, is HARD.
Agreed

tigre
September 24, 2008, 02:44 PM
In an ideal world, women would be able to buy stylish retention holsters that matched our shoes and purses so that we'd look nicely put-together.

And, of course, color-coordinated grips to suit our outfits.
Speaking of holster fashion, I've already picked out the one I'd use with my CZ P-01 if I could OC (certainly can't carry that concealed - my Sig P230 is at the very upper size limit for me). I'd probably want to add a thumbreak and maybe change the floral design a little, but it's really pretty and I can't see it freaking anyone out, especially on a 5'4" 125lb woman.

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb192/RobbinCapers/DMBullardHolster.jpg

Mr. James
September 24, 2008, 02:45 PM
Well, thank you for that last post, bogie - my dander was up and I was about to unload. I'll just say I am in complete agreement with your last post, and leave it at that.

Oh, and while I avoid Confederate battle flags, my vehicle does bear a Bonnie Blue license plate. But since no one knows what the heck that is, no one thinks to call me an irredentist racist. ;)

Carlos Cabeza
September 24, 2008, 02:50 PM
Bogie, I agree. I try very hard to portray myself as you've described but here in the area of the nation we live in it's not very hard. Most residents of OK. have some degree of exposure to firearms that is positive, such as "My Grandpa used to take me squirrel hunting when I was young, I sure do miss him !" and I do, very much.

The concept of self preservation exists in everyone, but expounding the idea of being responsible for one's own safety goes against what many people have been taught.

I feel, at the very least, responsible for the few minutes between the 911 call, and the hopefully expedient arrival of those who would come to my aid.

Many people don't have a realistic concept of actually how long this might take.

Tom Servo
September 24, 2008, 02:54 PM
it's really pretty and I can't see it freaking anyone out, especially on a 5'4" 125lb woman.
Yes, it is. Black Hills?

Oh, and as a very festive man once told me in Atlanta, "sweetie, the holster has to match the shoes." That's actually quite good advice, even for someone as fasion-autistic as myself.

It's worth noting that you're carrying it openly because it's practical, rather than saying, "man, this is soooo gonna freak out the sheep at the movie theater!"

Those are the folks who are causing us problems.

tigre
September 24, 2008, 03:04 PM
Yes, it is. Black Hills?
D. M. Bullard (http://www.dmbullardleather.com/), in my hometown of Azle, TX - which just makes me want it even more.

bogie
September 24, 2008, 03:15 PM
I suspect that that holster is going result in more than one case of...

"Honey, you're buying me a gun. No. Don't ask why. I've decided. And this is the kind of holster I want. I don't know. A gun that goes in this holster. Now."

Cosmoline
September 24, 2008, 03:23 PM
I've never noticed the "hard way" though.

Neither have I. I've seen thousands of people open carrying in Alaska over the years. Never seen one like that description. Other than the LEO's.

Ske1etor
September 24, 2008, 03:36 PM
How about this... I will wake up in the morning and put on the same clothes that I wear on a normal day. May be cargo shorts, may be jeans. Those jeans may have a few holes in them or they may not. Then I will throw on a shirt. Might be a polo, might be a t-shirt with a skateboard company logo or local football team logo on it. I will then slip on my shoes. Normally a comfortable pair of skate shoes. I then put on my belt, put my black galco c.o.p. series three slot holster on and stick my 1911 in it.

I will then leave the house and go about my business. If someone hassles me I will respond courteously.

I am so tired of people (especially on the pro-gun side of the fence) expecting me to dress a certain way while I am openly carrying. How about this. To show the neutral-gun citizens something... be yourself AND open carry. Thirty years ago a man with a bunch of tattoo's was looked at like a punk. Now, schoolteachers and soccer moms have tattoo's and nobody blinks an eye. They are showing nude scenes on network cable and the radio stations are ever closer to allowing full blown explicit lyrics.

I am a gun owner. I carry a gun and I am prepared to use it if I absolutely have to. Get over it. I dress a certain way and I will not change that because some uptight, closed minded gun rights activist thinks that I am hurting his future by openly carrying while wearing clothes that I like to wear.

Attempting to persuade the open carrying population into changing their way of life to more suit your vision of what a responsible open carry citizen looks like is quite hypocritical. You value the right to carry a firearm, you value the right to free speech but you do not value the right to self expression?

Oh, you value that right... but only if it doesn't interfere with your politically correct view of what the anti side "needs" to see? I say to hell with them. You think wearing a suit and tie makes them think you are a responsible citizen? They detest you and I regardless.

We will never sway the anti's into thinking our views are ok so you might as well toss that dream of a cliff... We can though, keep fighting to retain the rights we have now and keep fighting to restore some that have been taken away in the past. The bickering and fighting from the interior of the pro-gun community will be the straw that breaks the camels back. Unite all firearm owners and pro-gun people because right now, from what I can see, we are certainly not united.

United will we stand, divided we will fall.

Tribal
September 24, 2008, 03:56 PM
deleted

Carlos Cabeza
September 24, 2008, 03:59 PM
Well, I didn't say I don't like the black plastic and nylon, it is just a bit over the top for me. Clothes don't make the man either. Some of the worlds most ruthless criminals wear a suit and tie.
It all comes back to passing judgment on a person based on how they look.

If its wrong, then its wrong on ALL levels.

We in the U.S. are still battling racism even though most would agree that it is wrong. This is no different. The aversion to guns comes from conditioning and the (bad) experiences one has with them.

bogie
September 24, 2008, 04:09 PM
We will never sway the anti's into thinking our views are ok

I'm not talking about antis.

I'm talking about the millions upon millions who've never really formed an opinion on the matter, because they've never actually had to think about it.

THOSE are the people who we need to reach.

Gunnies - hey, we're there already, so as far as a PR campaign, we don't matter.

We're not going to be able to convince the hard-core antis, so let's not even try.

But there's a LOT of folks sitting in the middle.

Now, are you gonna be nice to 'em, or are you going to try to intimidate them into agreement?

Hint: of the above two strategies, one will actually maybe work, and one will definitely drive them in the other direction.

Ske1etor
September 24, 2008, 04:20 PM
Now, are you gonna be nice to 'em, or are you going to try to intimidate them into agreement?

I understand that you are talking about the fence sitters. Those who are in the gray area between that pro's and the anti's.

That is exactly who I am talking about. The anti's are a lost cause. We can forget about them. The fence sitters though need to see the truth, not some polished up version of the truth.

If we expect to win the open carry fight we need to be the upstanding citizens that we are with 100% honesty. Helping sway someones opinion by hiding the full and honest truth in my opinion is morally wrong.

People have a right to choose and sorry to say it if they choose to be anti, more power to them but I won't take part in using slime-ball tactics to pull the wool over a soccer mom's eyes by dressing up in a suit and tie while doing what I do.

If a person is too judgmental to see past what I am wearing and see that I am a nice, law abiding person then I don't want them on our side for they won't be on our side for long.

Honesty is the best policy and getting people on our side by being honest will result in those people who choose our side to stay here for good.

tigre
September 24, 2008, 04:31 PM
I didn't get that bogie was suggesting business attire or anything, just reasonably tasteful and/or normal clothes. The example in the OP was someone trying to draw attention to themselves, not someone simply dressed casually. Heck, I could dress more casually if I could OC than I can if I conceal - shorter shirts, tighter jeans, etc., none of which would cause panic in the streets or anything.

Superlite27
September 24, 2008, 04:58 PM
I've been OC'ing here in Missouri since spring (finally worked up the nerve). I have never had anyone so much as glance at me twice because I have always dressed nicely and been very warmly outspoken towards strangers nearby.

"Hi! :) How are you today?", to anyone who looks at me.

Now, I definately believe there are different situations for each mode of carry. If I'm headed to downtown St. Louis, I usually conceal because I anticipate the heightened possibility of needing my firearm for protection, therefore, the tactical advantage of concealment. But if I'm merely headed to the local gas station, or McDonalds for a burger, I don't raise my situational awareness from yellow to orange like I do in urban areas, therefore, I open carry as a political statement. I believe the general public needs to see normal everyday citizens carrying handguns to make them aware that we actually exist and are not just a statistic mentioned in a newspaper.

This being said, It was only a matter of days after I started growing a beard before I was approached in Wal-Mart by a group of managers and asked if I was a police officer. (Obviously the beard must have suddenly made me seem a dangerous felon because I have openly carried there numerous times before......beardless). The chief manager stated that he was unsure if a civilian carrying a firearm was allowed in the store by company policy. I pleasantly informed him that I was certain that it was or else I wouldn't be doing it. They all suddenly became disinterested and walked off. I think this is because I maintained a confident and pleasant demeanor...regardless of the beard. I finished my shopping expecting a SWAT raid, but I left the store after making my purchases without incident.

Easy way is the only way.

bogie
September 24, 2008, 05:52 PM
The fence sitters though need to see the truth, not some polished up version of the truth.

Can't we tell them about it a little at a time, rather than bludgeoning them with it? Lead 'em. Don't drag them. Because dragging doesn't work. Forcing an issue -automatically- pushes a great majority folks in the other direction. Is that what we want to do?

It isn't about "suit and tie." It's about "nice." And "safe." And "this is the person who I want to have around."

Superlite - if you carry into STL City, you're going to get charged with brandishing. I'm pretty sure the county and St. Charles county are also that way.

shorter shirts, tighter jeans, etc., none of which would cause panic in the streets or anything.

Speak for yourself - If the Bogie wears short shorts, babies cry, grown men faint, and fashion artists everywhere cringe...

Gordon Fink
September 24, 2008, 07:19 PM
I’ve gotten some surprised looks the few times I’ve done it, but the only person to comment on it simply said that he’d never seen anyone outside of Texas (where he was from) do it.

Isn’t open carry “illegal” in Texas? :evil:

~G. Fink

springmom
September 24, 2008, 08:06 PM
Isn’t open carry “illegal” in Texas?

Yes it is, except on your own property or when you're out hunting. I can OC up in the Sam Houston National Forest when I'm hunting (who would care anyway during deer season!?!?) and on our ranch.

But not down to the grocery store.

Springmom

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