In the current “popular” push against law enforcement, more and more states are beginning to pass laws that advance the rights of their citizens to keep and bear arms. Many people will see this as a bad thing, specifically because they feel that the erosion of a system of policing the public increases the chances something bad will happen. It’s difficult to know with any certainty just how bad things might get based on the change of one variable.
At any rate, it’s happening and it’s something we’re going to have to learn to live with, for a while at least. As certain people gain access to fewer restrictions on firearms, it is important to take a moment to consider all the aspects included in that very complex decision. Many people will simply buy a pistol, shove it in a cheap holster and go on about their business. The reality is that responsible carry of a dangerous weapon requires a bit more thought than that.
There are myriad things to go over when it comes to buying and carrying a firearm, but the focus of this article is the difference between openly carrying your firearm versus concealing it on your person. Both sides have pros and cons, and most people don’t think enough about what they’re doing before choosing an option, assuming both are available to them. Let’s take a moment to go over what these options mean and why you would pick one or the other.
Openly carrying is the most basic and versatile way to carry a handgun. This is usually place on the hip attached to a belt in a holster specifically designed for the size of weapon you are carrying. It provides the quickest access to your weapon in an emergency, and potentially provides a deterrent to criminals who might be considering you for a target. On the other hand, it also draws a lot of negative attention, and if a situation erupts into violence you will likely be the first person attacked in an effort to subdue the most obvious threat.
Concealed carry is the act of placing your weapon on your person in such a way that it is not clear that you are armed. This is typically done in similar fashion to the basic open carry method, except that the weapon is covered in some manner, typically with a shirt or other article of clothing. This concealment makes accessing your weapon more difficult, but has the positive effect of removing the constant tension associated with interacting with a public not comfortable with firearms. It also avoids undue attention by people with violent intent, as well as the attention of law enforcement.
As a person who believes in maximum individual liberty, I will always advocate for the most options to every person. Both open and concealed carry should be maximally available to all citizens, but I would also highly recommend that a method of concealed carry be used when going about your daily life. Many times it simply isn’t worth the trouble you might get into walking around with a publicly visible weapon on your person.
This is not to say that you should be timid about defending yourself. It is not cowardice to conceal your method of self defense, simply strategic planning. If your goal is to show off your weapon, you might want to rethink why you carry. Being smart about the methods you use to prevent harm to yourself or others is simply the best way to think about things, and when it comes to a tool as deadly as a firearm, more caution is always better than less.
What do you think about carrying a weapon? Can you think of reasons why you would choose either carrying openly or concealing it? What method do you think would work best in your daily life? Most of the time, we don’t really think about the details of how we do things and we are able to get away with it. This might work for a time when it comes to your firearm, but the consequences are simply far too high to leave things to chance.
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