Saturday, January 19, 2013

AZ and Open Carry

So I have been down here in Arizona for a few months. We like it a lot. The weather is generally real nice, stuff is pretty cheap, very pro gun. (For background we come from a pretty gun friendly open carry legal state.) This brings us to open carry.

First I will discuss trends I have seen in OC down here and then we will talk about OC as a concept. Pretty much every time we go to a place with a lot of folks (like Walmart or a grocery store or a festival/ parade) I see at least one person open carrying. Almost all the folks open carrying are (at the risk of judging ethnicity by appearance) white men. I have seen 1 Hispanic fellow open carrying and 2 women.

Personally ,with no statistical backing, I do not think there are more people packing guns around  than at home in the PNW. I just think the ratio of open carry is a lot higher down here in Arizona for whatever reason.  Should anybody have actual evidence that shows different I would love to see it.

Broadly speaking most seem to be lower middle to middle class (for whatever that means). There have been no definite trends in terms of guns. A few Glocks, a few Kel Tech's, some double action wheel guns, either a black powder pistol or a single action revolver, a nice stainless 1911 and a Sig. As to holsters I have seen 1 nice leather rig (the guy with the 1911 who also carried 2 spare mags and either knew what he was doing or at least how to buy like he did), a few kydex holsters, some various cheapo leather rigs, and a bunch of el cheapo Uncle Mikes nylon rigs.

I do appreciate that everybody we have interacted with that was open carrying was very nice. The (to some people) scary looking biker dude packing a SAA knock off in an Uncle Mikes holster with his significant other trying to find the right toy for some little kid were nice to us and Walker. A chick packing a Kel Tech (PF9?) was quite pleasant and careful not to smoke near our kid at a parade. They were probably good folks or at least realized armed people need to behave at a higher level.

Now it is worth touching on Open Carry as a method of carry. My YouTube acquaintance Hoss USMC is a big open carry advocate as well as a patriot. I have talked it a bit with him in the comments of various posts on his channel. Anyway...

Open carry is a deterrent to problems. Strait up folks are a lot less likely to try and mug you if they see a handgun. I used to need to travel to a pretty sketchy town for basic services. Packed my 1911 OC and never had any issues. Some people might say folks will target you because you have a gun but I think that is dumb. People who want to steal a gun will break into a house or a car that has a Glock/ XD/ HK sticker on it, not try and roll a dude packing a pistol who will likely shoot them.

A lot of folks try and talk about the statistics of cops getting killed with their own guns or whatever and relate them to open carry. This is invalid because cops are in an oppositional situation with a lot of criminals and marginalized folks. That just does not relate to Joe Bob open carrying a pistola to Starbucks then Bed Bath and Beyond and eventually for some sushi. He is not in an oppositional situation with any thugs.

Personally I do not open carry as a rule. I OC if in a state where that is the only way I can legally carry. Did so in my trip down here. This is mostly for my wife. She would rather not have people looking at us and such stuff which I understand.

Concealed carry gives an advantage in terms of tactics because you could surprise a person with a weapon.


riverrider said...

i wish more people would oc, might remove the stigma, get folks used to seeing it. back in my day we kids even carried openly, nobody thought anything aboutit. half the trucks in the hs parking lot had guns hanging in the window, one fellow even walked his shotgun in the door to the pricipal's office every morning cause he hunted before school. picked it up at 3 and went hunting again. now people shit themselves every time they even SEE a gun.

Anonymous said...

If everyone open carried there would be a lot more polite people and alot safer...

Anonymous said...

Funny, the hostility toward OC you run into sometimes, particularly from the gun community. There's this assumption that you're looking for trouble, rather than simply exercising a God-given right.


David W. said...

Most of the people I see open carrying are the guys with the super awesome 1911 custom guns and the super shiny revolvers and the occasional Beretta by guys who are tan despite it being January so I'm assuming Army/Marine dude.

Until I started really thinking of getting my CHL, I started to notice all the people printing. It's amazing how many women have a gun on one hip and a baby on the other.

Chris said...

I started open carrying awhile back. Realized almost nobody noticed with a conservative rig and even fewer cared. Made we worry a lot less about printing.

I will often OC because it is hot outside. I also OC when I have some spare time to deal with questions and/or hassles. I'd prefer to OC a serious fighting handgun than to conceal a tiny little holdout gun in most situations.

I always dress neatly when OCing and use either a nice leather holster or a working retention holster.

Jon said...

I've open carried all over Arizona and haven't had single negative interaction to date (it's possible I've gotten dirty looks that I didn't notice). I'll be doing it again in about 15 mintues when I take the dogs out for a walk.

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