I speak with customers daily about methods of carry. Is concealed carry better than open carry? Will people see my gun and know not to mess with me? The list of questions go on and on. Before answering, I reply with one of my own. Which method of carry is safest?
One point in which we can agree, Outside the WaistBand carry is more comfortable than Inside the WaistBand carry. I know it is difficult acclimating to the discomfort of IWB. It’s common. Everyone goes through it. Before I go too far down that rabbit hole, this post isn’t about IWB vs. OWB. All of the above was said to point out that OWB carry is easier and more comfortable than carrying IWB. Since OWB is more comfortable, doesn’t that make open carry a good option?
I personally OWB carry most of the time during winter months when I can wear a jacket. I ALWAYS conceal my pistol. Why do I always carry concealed? Put simply, I carry a weapon for protection. In some cases, an open carried firearm can prevent me from protecting myself. Sound odd? It’s not as odd as it may seem. A visible pistol increases your level of risk. Many times, you put yourself at a disadvantage when your opponent knows your strengths. It’s one of the most basic and vital forms of strategy….the element of surprise.
Allow me to paint you into a terrible scenario. You are standing in a checkout line. One instant you’re standing there, wishing the woman in front of you would shut her kids up. The next instant you are on the floor bleeding out. What happened? What happened is today was the day you decided to open carry. It was also the day a punk decided he was going to rob the store. He walked in, scanned the people and saw your pistol. He assumed you were a cop and neutralized the biggest threat in the room…you. You never saw it coming because your back was to the door.
The simple fact is open carrying makes you a target. You are the biggest threat in the room to bad guys. Now play out that same scenario with you carrying concealed. For the sake of this argument, let’s not make you a hero. Let’s say you obeyed his commands to get down on the floor, he took the money and left. You survived. You were armed and just as deadly while concealed carrying as you were when you were open carrying. The big difference here is that you were actually safer when you were concealed carrying. In this scenario, concealed carrying made you look just like everyone else. You became one person in the crowd. It saved your life.
The point of carrying a pistol is for protection. If open carrying is going to expose me to unnecessary danger, what’s the point? That gun on my side can put a bullseye on my back. We live in a world where basic humanity and morals are quickly becoming a thing of the past. There are many stories of bad things happening to good people. Those stories are often of a misguided person that places no value on life. If that type of personality continues to spread through our population, are we ever truly safe? If we are never truly safe, why would we make it easier for the bad guy to paint us as a threat? It’s easy to open carry. Although it’s simple and comfortable, it’s also the most dangerous way to carry a gun.
I understand the odds of the scenario above happening to you. Even though they are low, that type of thing really does happen. The above is not a story I made up. It actually happened. Its a true story. The man lost his life to a complete stranger because his open carried pistol made him a threat.
I have heard the “Open carry is my right” argument many times. I am not attempting to talk you out of your Second Amendment rights. I’m simply asking everyone to carry safer and protect yourselves. The next time you decide to open carry, ask yourself a single question, “Is it worth it?”