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The Easy Way, or the Hard Way?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bogie, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. bogie

    bogie Mentor

    Jan 2, 2003
    St. Louis, in the Don't Show Me state
    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.
  2. springmom

    springmom Senior Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    Spring TX
    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.

  3. NonConformist

    NonConformist member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    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!
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    I agree with springmom. Said it for me.
  5. mourneblade

    mourneblade New Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Northern VA
    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. :)
  6. AZAndy

    AZAndy Active Member

    May 20, 2007
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    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.
  7. neviander

    neviander Active Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    Kilgore, TX
    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.
  8. average_shooter

    average_shooter Participating Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    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.
  9. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Senior Member

    May 21, 2004
    "Land of (dis)Enchantment"
    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.
  10. Cmdr. Gravez0r

    Cmdr. Gravez0r Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    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."
  11. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Participating Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    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.
  12. tigre

    tigre Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    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.

    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.
  13. goon

    goon Mentor

    Jan 20, 2003
    I kind of agree with the OP but realistically, he's preaching to the wrong group of people here.
  14. JesseL

    JesseL Senior Member

    Aug 26, 2004
    Prescott, AZ
    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."
  15. Aguila Blanca

    Aguila Blanca Participating Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    I think either Bogie is off his meds, or somebody whizzed in his Cheerios this morning :)
  16. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Mentor

    Feb 23, 2006
    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.
  17. Tribal

    Tribal Active Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Virginia 757
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  18. Mickstix

    Mickstix New Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    Debary, FL.
    Perhaps the OP was giving hardware/wardrobe "advice" to any peeps who are considering OC??
  19. bogie

    bogie Mentor

    Jan 2, 2003
    St. Louis, in the Don't Show Me state
    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...

    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.


    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.
  20. Soybomb

    Soybomb Senior Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    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

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