Why Open Carry – 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 thinking 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 carry permit.
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. The 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 a loose sleeveless shirt (it’s hot as hell where I am) 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. My 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? The 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 it 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