Which, in my opinion, is one of the most ridiculous concepts in the history of firearm concepts.
Also, in my opinion, anyone who would openly carry a firearm on their person isn’t thinking clearly, particularly if they live in a larger city. You have painted yourself as a target.
I say this with the greatest amount of love possible: you’re not thinking it through..
Unless you are Steven Seagal, you’re asking to be disarmed. And I’ll wager that even an inattentive Steven Seagal can be disarmed if he’s coldcocked first. I certainly know that cops can. And they have more training than you do with the exception of a Massad Ayoob, etc.
I say this as a law enforcement officer of 41 years (retired 6 months ago), having worked Patrol, Detectives and as the Rangemaster for my 2,000+ officer department. I know what cops can and cannot do, and I have watched them train — and trained them — for over 35 years. As I used to say in the classes I taught, “because you can do a thing doesn’t necessarily mean that you should do a thing.”
I can hear many of you ridiculing me loudly. “I’m not thinking, you say? What about all the people who carry rifles and shotguns in gun racks? Even California used to do that!”
You’re right. I can remember, as a kid, men in pickup trucks having gun racks in their pickup trucks, in the back window. It was a common sight for many years of my childhood.
However, that was before America decided that it’s best to let the insane run throughout the nation unmedicated and unrestrained. Before nuts could refuse their meds and before they were mandated to be released onto the streets. Today, the only major system that is forced to deal with the truly mentally disturbed would be — you guessed it — our jails and prisons. Because we kick our mentally defective back into the street, they will offend and re-offend up to and until they commit a crime and come to the attention of law enforcement. It is now considered barbaric to physically restrain and/or keep the mentally challenged in facilities against their will. We are paying the price for that philosophy.
That was also before the mentality of the US changed when the number of gangs and the number of its members literally exploded geometrically. The viewpoint of America also changed, and criminality became somewhat mainstreamed. Criminals and gang members weren’t real criminals; they were merely victims of their environment. We needed to understand them and not pigeonhole them. And oh, by the way, gangs were and are very well armed.
Further and most recently, cops became the criminals and the criminals became the saints.
That said, cops still have problems with their version of “open carry.” Civilian open carry presents an entirely new level of complications.
Now if you’re in a crowd of people all carrying openly, there is strength in numbers. If you are at a public event where others are carrying openly, so be it.
But to me, there are those who will be openly carrying a sidearm in order to simply make a statement. That they can do it.
Because you can do a thing, should you do a thing?
Carrying a firearm also means a concomitant weighty responsibility. And by carrying your firearm in, say, a holster on your belt for all to see, not just the “good people” will see your gun. So will “bad people.” Some “bad people” will want to make an example of you, particularly if you are a woman, if you are small, if you are fat, if you look like a target or a victim, if you look or act like a sluggard or a dolt. Or if you are unaware. Trust me, criminals have excellent “radar.” Like sharks, they can sense idiots, victims and morons in the water. Carrying a firearm openly doesn’t make you bullet proof or smarter than anyone else.
For these reasons and many more I say: if you are properly trained and within the law, carry concealed. It’s best for everyone, yourself included.
Plus, the cops have a little preparation to do. From the WashingtonTimes.com:
Texas police hurry to prepare for open carry of handguns in January
by Andrea Noble
SAN ANTONIO — Texans have long carried rifles and shotguns openly in public. But with the Lone Star State poised to allow residents to openly carry handguns beginning in January, law enforcement agencies are hurrying to train their officers on the intricacies of the law and to devise protocol for inquiring about a gun owner’s open-carry permit.
Officials from agencies across Texas said they are bracing for an uptick in emergency calls from residents who might become concerned because they are not used to seeing people openly — and legally — carrying a handgun.
“I think the public has a perception that if someone is carrying a firearm openly into a shop that they will be arrested,” said Officer Joseph Gamaldi, second vice president of the Houston Police Officers Union. “This a huge concern for us. We are preparing for a significant increase in calls for carrying guns.”
Clearly, that will occur. The dicier question is this: how and when will cops contact those who openly carry a firearm?
Emily Taylor, an independent program lawyer with the firearms legal defense program Texas Law Shield, said she has conducted more than 40 trainings for law enforcement agencies on the topic since the open-carry legislation was signed. Among the most frequent questions she hears from law enforcement are inquiries about how a handgun must be holstered to be in compliance with the law and when an officer can stop and require a person to display an open-carry permit.
“Officers have a lot of legitimate questions, like does the holster have to be worn on the body?” she said, noting that the statute does not explicitly answer the question.
There is also some debate across agencies as to whether officers have the right to approach anyone they see openly carrying a handgun in order to determine whether they are properly licensed. Ms. Taylor said she interprets the law to mean that officers do have that right.
Here’s the bit that few are examining, however:
First, you have to be licensed. Two, you must carry in a shoulder or belt holster. Third, private businesses can tell you to leave because it is their property, not yours. Here are more considerations. You cannot carry in the courts, polling places, jails and prisons, racetracks, schools, and prohibited areas in airports and bars. Or places that are lawfully posted for no carry according to Texas law.
When I was in Patrol as a deputy and as a Sergeant, I wore a marked uniform, drove a marked car and carried necessary equipment on my belt and in my unit. I also wore a bullet resistant vest. It wasn’t bullet proof and neither are you.
When I was in Detectives, wearing plain clothes, I seldom carried openly; usually only on scenes where I was going to be there for a period of time. I did not carry openly otherwise in public, opting to wear a coat or blazer.
Instead, I preferred the element of surprise, and the element of not pushing the proverbial envelope.
Further, cops are disarmed many times a year. Recently, in my area, a CHP officer was attacked during a freeway encounter. It took four cops to assist and keep the suspect from disarmed the CHP officer. All the officers were well trained by their agencies according to POST and, moreover, were at least as large or larger than the suspect himself. One assisting Placer County sergeant was substantially larger than the suspect. From the AuburnJournal.com:
Law enforcement officials were keeping a close eye Tuesday on Victor Manuel Hernandez, who tried to disarm an officer Monday. The suspect was placed on suicide watch at Placer County Jail. Hernandez, 28, was arrested Monday morning after trying to take a pistol from Officer Larry Olveda of the California Highway Patrol.
Officers arrived at the scene of a crash on westbound Interstate 80 near the Elm Avenue off-ramp to assist Sgt. Mark Reed, of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department Monday morning around 11 a.m. Within moments of making contact with the driver of a smashed maroon Chevy, Olveda found himself involved in a potential life-or-death situation as Hernandez attempted, unsuccessfully, to take Olveda’s gun. This time, no one was injured. “Easily the suspect or one of the officers could have been killed,” said Steve D’Arcy, under sheriff for Placer County. In the past six months five CHP officers were killed in the line of duty and if not for the quick action of multiple law enforcement agencies Monday there could have been one more.
“There were Placer County sheriff’s deputies, local police, CHP and two detectives from another agency stopped and the paramedic who all helped get this guy under control without anyone being injured.” Mike Peters, of Auburn, is retired from the Sacramento Police Department after a 26-year career. He said Tuesday he knows all too well what Olveda was going through. “I’ve been in that exact situation before, but it was just me and the suspect, no witnesses, no photographer,” Peters said. When his case got to court it was Peters’ word against the suspect’s. “With a photographer on the scene it’s a done deal,” Peters said. “It’s absolutely phenomenal that the photographer was there.” Dan Kirkpatrick is an instructor at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento and requested some of the photographs that ran in the Auburn Journal for his class. “The incident is a perfect example of someone trying to disarm an officer,” Kirkpatrick said. ‘The main thing is to make sure the gun doesn’t leave the holster. What you see in the photo is textbook.”
Both officers involved in the scuffle were back on the job Tuesday. Reed said the entire event unfolded quickly. “You don’t have time to think,” Reed said. “Your instinct is to end the threat and I think officer Olveda did an outstanding job with his gun retention.”
Reed said that as soon as he made contact with Hernandez he knew something was amiss. “He immediately was acting strange,” Reed said. “I had a pretty good idea that the fight would be on.” Officer Kelly Baraga, spokeswoman for the CHP’s Newcastle office, said Tuesday that in light of five officers killed in the line of duty recently, a traffic stop or crash scene is no longer routine. “A lot of us have a heightened sense of awareness because of recent shootings,” she said. “We’re definitely not complacent and know every stop has the potential of becoming violent.”
The event began to unfold just before 11 a.m. Monday when Rodriguez, driving a maroon Chevrolet sedan westbound on Interstate 80, crashed into the right guardrail near Elm Avenue, bounced off and slid into the center divide, officials said. Firefighters were in the process of accessing the driver’s injuries and treating him when he began to fight and reach for Olveda’s gun. Fortunately, for all involved, no one was injured. “This could have happened anyplace, and I think you’d see every officer in the area respond,” D’Arcy said. “Cooperation is not unique, here it just happens on a regular basis.”
I had an individual go after my own firearm while I was on a call by myself in the 80s — and had no initial evidence to expect the person to do what he did. I am therefore well-versed in the “oh shit” feeling involving an attempted disarming. When that occurs the gloves are off. All of them. It was a report call. I was a solo officer. I had no clue what was coming until the last moment when I happened to look directly into his eyes. Some day I may write about that event.
Am I against carrying a firearm? Not at all. Those who can, should. Training is important, highly important. Comfort, confidence and competency is important.
But should you carry openly? Lets put it this way: in my youth, much stronger (I could bench 300 pounds in Patrol and Detectives) and more consistently trained and more conscious of my surroundings and with officer survival paramount in my mind, I could have but didn’t. I didn’t then and I wouldn’t now.
This will make me unpopular with the open carry “we’re going to do it because we can” cadre. Oh well, so be it.
Anyone who knows me and reads my blog realizes that I am a massive supporter of the Second Amendment and, further, that I am an Oathkeeper.
That said, I also believe that good Americans have to be smarter, savvier and more judicious than the current iterations of our various governments, than the criminal class surrounding them, and those persons who want another excuse to disarm America and further, to actually confiscate guns. You think that can’t happen in the US? Go here; it’s already an issue.
We have to craftier than the Leftist gun grabbers.
Because we can do a thing, should we always do a thing?
All I’m saying is: be smart.