Usually, I am a live and let live kind of guy, and if you
want to do something that is affecting only you, by all means, go for it.
However, I was at the local big box hardware store yesterday and I happened to
notice something that got me really to think as to why….and that is open carrying a firearm. I have since moved in the last week and my new state of
residence allows for the carrying openly of a firearm, if you have a concealed
An older gentleman was looking for plants, and his bright
yellow shirt was the first thing that caught my attention, he looked like a
highlighter. Second thing that got me was the Glock on his hip in a crappy
holster that hung away from his body, with no retention at all, looking like
the wilting plants in the hot sun. He was probably in his 60s and from his
movements, looked like he was stiff, a sign of life hard lived like many in the
military community I am in. I was able to gather all of this in watching him
for 5-10 seconds, and it just hit me raw, because I could tell all of this and
even assess if he would have the speed to draw if I went for his gun, and that
came back as a resounding “no”, so why would he advertise all of this.
During the same
interaction, I was carrying too, but concealed, wearing gym shorts and loose
sleeveless shirt (its hot as hell where I am at) and I had my gun in my go to Original Holster, with magnetic retention. While I am probably faster for draw
time from concealed than this gentleman, I looked nothing like him from a
target perspective. Clothes were neutral, no giant wallet in my back pocket,
literally looked like I was a broke dad/contractor (which is probably not far
off the truth). So, what would have been
the advantage of open carrying in that situation? I still can find none, as it
draws more attention, and as I said, with no retention, I feel I could have
easily got hold of the pistol before he would be able to react….not a good
situation for the gentlemen, but I wished him well.
So, when would be in my opinion a good time to open carry.
Easiest one for me is when I am hunting, because I usually have a primary
weapon (Bow, shotgun) and if I am hunting in an area with dangerous game I will
carry open. I can also see how this guy may have wanted to carry if it was hot
out (it was stupid hot), but with the crappy holster he got way too much
airflow as it literally was blowing in the breeze. SO if you are I would
recommend getting a good holster, be it the original or the shoulder holster,
get quality because if you are going to make yourself a target, at least try
and make yourself a harder target.
Author: Ian Bolser