Those of us who commit to carry a firearm, despite the life changing results of having to use one, need to be aware of what kind of presence we are making in the civilian community. For myself, I have a theory about why it is important not to open carry or display an image that screams tactical. Now I have several reasons and I hope you can bear with me here. Whether you wish to carry ten guns on you or have everything you’d have in a chest rig as an Every Day Carry (EDC), it all applies.

First thing I want to talk about is the image we place on the anti-gun community when you open carry or boast that you carry firearms and could be dangerous. Let us be clear here, public shootings have gotten more sensationalized and people are afraid of such things because they understand that any crazy person could target them for no reason.

These people have never considered carrying a firearm and feel that there is no reason to have one. Most of the time, they see guns and instantly associate it with violence, and for very good reason.

Inside the Waistband (IWB) and Outside Waistband (OWB) Holsters from Talon Tactical.

You should not give these fearful people fuel for concern. Making people uncomfortable to your presence as a gun owner is not a way to show them you deserve the right to own a firearm. The best way is to keep your firearms ownership and carrying to yourself in public and not cause a scene. In many cases, businesses can and have restricted individuals from entering their stores due to individuals open carrying.

Now in these peoples mind, including mine, open carry is not a good way to represent the rest of the gun community. The majority of the gun community does not make it a habit to practice purposely displaying their reliance for a gun for self defense. I for one find it hard to understand the logic behind open carry other than to display how powerful you are.

The advantages are very low in open carry, and the risks are many. You come off as insecure and as a provocative individual. No one respects those who display their piece in public, not even fellow gun owners who carry. It is about as belligerent as revving your high horsepower engine at a stop light, just to get attention. This has caused people to vote in legal decibel levels. Same goes for public swearing.

In Virginia Beach, Virginia you can be fined a hefty sum for swearing in public. If people get offended enough and enough people agree and sign petitions, they can have it voted on in the next term. That is of course their right, and that means we only have privileges we can fight for. All of our RIGHTS can easily be voted away for the sake of feelings. It is just the world we live in and if our rights are going to survive, you have to adapt.

Writer Joshua wearing Thirtysecondout shirt and Guncraft IWB holster

The statement that it is your right to open carry is a valid point but does not carry much weight. It is also the right of individuals to protest and have public displays showing their pride in being gay or hating America. I’m sure a lot of people would agree that this kind of ‘in your face’ display of opinion is unnecessary and offensive, but then again it is their right.

This does not mean that you need to EXERCISE this right everywhere you go, despite the impact it makes on people. This kind of blow hard attitude is exactly what makes people lose their rights. People are going to vote according to your big man display and decide what is legal based on feelings. As an added kicker, Law Enforcement can intervene if they feel that you are causing a public disturbance by exercising your open carry right. Such occurrences did increase a few years ago when people started carrying around loaded rifles into stores just to make a statement about the rifles not being the killers. It is not the same as wearing a shirt saying you support the 2nd amendment.

Basically I see open carry as being the same as pointing your finger only an inch from their face and repeatedly saying “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you.” People feel that the loose gun no matter the retention level, is a sign that it will be used at any time, just like putting a finger an inch from someone but not touching them.

If you don’t want people to vote your rights away, don’t give them fuel. You making people uncomfortable may not be the goal, but every action whether good or bad can and will have unintended consequences. Be aware of the image you are projecting to the public, and remember that carrying a gun automatically makes you a representative for the rest of the gun community.

*The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.


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By David Donchess

David Donchess served in the Marine Corp as an infantry assaultman for two deployments before being medically retired. He moved with his wife to Alaska and now runs a YouTube channel while fostering, training, and rehabilitating rescue dogs.

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