Just posted this on an open carry site. Don't really plan on getting into discussion with the chowderheads, but wanted to do my part.
Greetings. I write to you because I have become concerned with the growing movement for the acceptance of the practice of open carry. I am a firearms enthusiast, hunter, frequent shooter, and regularly carry concealed. My guns are for sport, personal protection, and general enjoyment. In short, I am a gun nut.
I have been reading material on the websites for open carriers, and am becoming concerned. It seems the number one objective is to find places to pack your gun around where people will object. Just because something is legal, does not mean that everybody must accept it. Do the rights of property owners mean nothing to you? Wal-Mart does not want you walking around with a gun on your hip, lawful or not. Just as you set the rules at your homes, they make the decisions in theirs. Smoking is legal, but I do not let anybody smoke in my house. I am certain that there is something you would not allow on your land. If you don’t like the idea that some people would rather you come in unarmed, either conceal or just don’t go there. But instead, it seems many of you would rather go through the confrontations everywhere. I have made hundreds, maybe thousands, of trips to stores with a gun. How do I avoid the hassle? Conceal it. Discrete carrying has also never resulted in harassment by police. The burden you complain of is completely self-imposed. You made the decision to make sure everybody sees your pistol. And the sense of self-importance as a ‘customer’ has completely overshadowed the responsibilities held as a ‘guest.’
Why must you open carry to begin with? Here in Washington, you must have a CPL to have a loaded weapon on your person or in your reach in a vehicle. So either you walk everywhere you go, you stop and open the trunk to retrieve your firearm when you reach your destination, or you have a permit, but prefer to display what you have.
Let’s also not forget that everybody votes. So every time you are out in public with a firearm in plain sight, you may be influencing somebody in a negative way. They will remember this come November. Every time I see gays being outlandish, it strengthens my resolve to keep them from ever gaining the right to marry. Do you ever think about how people are reacting to seeing your weapon in public? You are taking a big chance not only with your rights, but with mine by deciding everyone needs to see a gun today.
It is also selfish. Every lawfully carried concealed weapon is one in the hands of a good guy. It makes perpetrating a crime a spin of the roulette wheel. The criminals are taking a chance that this will be the last victim they choose. Concealed carry protects everybody, because nobody can be sure who is prepared to defend themselves, and who is not. Open carry protects only you. It in fact improves the bad guy’s chances, because they can remove one armed citizen from the pool of potential victims.
Please consider doing what the majority of gun carriers do every day, and conceal your weapon. This is not Dodge City, and there is no compelling reason for open carry.