Friday, July 24, 2015

Concealed Carry and Open Carry: Which?

Many people know I’m a gun guy and an instructor. They too are interested in guns so the question they ask is not in an anti-gun way. “What do you think of open carry?”
This is a question I don’t like to answer because I don’t want to discourage any self-defense with guns. I believe open carry does keep guns and their use in the public eye. I also think open carry is a right given us by the constitution.
When I answer the above way, the usual next question is a variation of “Would/Do you open carry?”
I can only think of a few times I’ve felt the need to open carry. One was in camping situations where we were so far in the back woods where we didn’t even see trash. You know you’re a long way away from people when you don’t see one scrap of paper or plastic trash. I felt I needed to protect myself and those who were with me from wildlife. Some places wildlife is not so afraid of you because they have never encountered a human. Other times I’ve open carried was on private property. I don’t think I’ve ever open carried in public without wearing a military uniform. Would I ever open carry in public? I might.
I believe in concealed carry anywhere and everywhere. In church? Yes. In a courtroom? Yes. In school? Yes. In a bar? Well that’s a tough one for a Mormon to answer. Probably not. So I guess I amend my previous statement. I’m also unusual as a gun nut because I am pro-licensing of any carry. Licensing will help to weed out those undesirables access to a gun. Background checks don’t really work but at least a license usually has you take some training. Also it makes you spend money on this right, limiting who would pay for the license, pay for the training, not to mention the cost of the gun and ammunition. Money does limit a weapons license to someone willing to commit a little money and time to carrying a gun. I know that some would argue with me, but this is what I feel. I taught many people how to shoot. In that time I’ve noticed some pretty bad habits and some bad misconceptions about guns and shooting. Hollywood and the ignorant mainstream media have managed to mis-educate Americans in a big way. Without proper verification of being taught correctly, we would have some dangerous people armed out there. I just think they should hear gun safety from someone who knows at least once. Even though that does not ensure anything. It’s not revenue that we need from licensing or control, but safety is my concern. Back to open carry.
Open carry does very little to keep America safe in my opinion. Some say it’s a deterrent. That may be, but I don’t want to be the sitting duck decoy out there trying to deter the less hardened criminal. Because a criminal with nothing to lose is not going to care that someone else has a gun. He or she will just appreciate the identification of a law abiding citizen that they have to take out first. Maybe open carry has it’s place, but I’m not sure where that is and I don’t want to be the one to find out.
Constitutional carry is something I can agree with, yet I am torn because of the lack of responsibility I see in concealed carry holders. My problem is that too many people go through the training, get their license, then never shoot again. We ll, maybe once or twice a year. Then they end up shooting a bad guy, AND two bystanders because they couldn’t find the time to practice and stay proficient. I know through my own experience that shooting is a perishable skill. I go to the range 2-3 times a week. That takes time and money. But if I get busy and end up shooting once or twice in a two week period, I can see my skills diminishing. There have been times when I went two weeks without shooting at all and when I go back I can hit the 12 inch circle, but the shots are all over the place. Some people would say that’s fine, you can stop a threat with that. Add to all over that 12 inch circle some stress and other than optimum shooting conditions, then you have a recipe for a disaster.
I have a co-worker who has his license, bought a S&W shield, great gun, but admits that he has never shot the weapon. Yet he carries it. WOW! Talk about a false sense of security! It boggles my mind. He is a military veteran so he has been trained in weapons. But to “hope” that new gun will work is just nuts! I love Smith and Wesson and think they make a superior weapon, but there is always a chance of failure. Not only that, this is the only sub compact this guy has ever owned. He’s never shot a sub. I hope all works out and he is able to defend himself and his loved ones.
Please, I beg of you… if you have a concealed carry license, practice. Carry all the time and practice.
Now, I’m not completely convinced that concealed is the way to go. Open carry has its virtues. I wonder if a criminal wants to surprise me with presenting a weapon at close range, regardless of the weapon, if I would have time and space to present my gun and stop the threat. Would a 1911 on my hip deter the criminal into picking another target? I’m not sure. So, I’m certainly not against open carry and would love to see it the law of the land in every state. I’m just not sure it’s what I need for my defense. I’m not sure what it would take to sway me, but at the moment I live in a state that will let you do both.
And so the great gun debates continue:
AR or AK?
9mm or .45?
Obama or Any other breathing person except for Hillary/A doorknob?
Open or Concealed?
Whatever you decide is right for you, practice, practice, practice. Be effective not dangerous.

Semper Paratus
Check 6