'Quiet, responsible carry' is what OC proponents seek (as here, in Starbucks) but what do we do about the deliberately confrontational?
I'll say up front, I'm not a big fan of open carry (though I haven't completely made up my mind about it). Not because I have any issue with the Second Amendment, I don't. We just passed an Open Carry provision in Oklahoma in the form of Senate Bill 1733. I have absolutely no issue with the theory behind it, I do have concerns with the execution and practical application. I know it sounds good to say 'An armed society is a polite society,' but I'd be lying if I wasn't worried (from an LE perspective) about the effect it will have on possible confrontations. More than anything else I take issue with open carry for no more reason than to make some bombastic political statement. At a time when the entire idea of owning a firearm is under continuous attack, it seems counterproductive to have activists treating this like some kind of rabid theater doing our talking for us.
Here is one firearms trainer, Rob Pincus, expressing his opinion on the matter. I'd be interested in hearing your varied responses on the subject of open carry.
Irresponsible Open Carry Activism Jeopardizes The RKBA
Guns should be carried for personal defense, not Activism.
The best way to do that 99% of the time is Concealed Carry. Even if people do choose to Open Carry, they shouldn't do it to provoke confrontation nor be uncooperative with the police while doing it. It makes gun owners look bad, turns cops against us, wastes their valuable time and certainly isn't going to make it more likely that people will think "oh, gun owners are normal people, not trouble makers.
Spread the Word. Most people have realized that the time for "solidarity" through tolerance of the guys carrying guns with video cameras has come and gone. Their bravado is jeopardizing our RKBA and should be seen as an embarrassment to responsible gun owners. When the OC Movement started, people carrying while going about their daily business to show responsibly armed people are part of everyday life, it made some sense... but, the extremists have spun out of control. Let's make sure that the firearms community is condemning this behavior.
I am not calling for a change in laws or for us to ostracize people who carry openly in a responsible, civil manner. Perhaps responsible OCers should be most concerned and the most openly critical of those who are using their guns to get (inevitably negative) attention? Obviously, I am a proponent of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and do not want to to see OC made illegal, but I fear that will happen more and more often, in more and more places (as it already has it one state), if the confrontational actions of a very few reckless people continue.