View Full Version : Concealed Carry vs Open Carry - a very personal decision

10-02-2007, 10:45 AM
From a Virginia Citizens Defense League e-mail:

VCDL does not take a position on whether you should carry or not, or
whether you should carry your gun openly or concealed. That decision
is yours, and yours alone.

The open vs concealed debate is one that has been raging within the
gun-owner community for many years.

One of the arguments is whether carrying concealed gives you a
tactical advantage in an emergency situation.

I, personally, have been of the opinion that both open and concealed
have some tactical advantages. There is an element of surprise with
concealed carry, but an element of deterrence with open carry. It
was the latter that I believe may have come into play for myself and
Dennis O'Connor recently.

I was visiting Dennis at his apartment in downtown Suffolk a couple
of weeks ago. It was around 10 PM and I was heading home. Dennis
decided to walk with me down to my car.

Both of us were carrying openly.

We were on a side street, near a bank, walking towards the parking
lot where my car was parked.

Dennis and I both became alerted to a young adult male wearing baggy
clothes, who was walking towards us, but on the opposite side of the
street. He looked our way and then crossed in the middle of the
street arriving at just the point that Dennis and I would be after we
passed by a couple of parked cars. The male's left hand appeared to
be holding something inside his waistband.

Dennis instinctively dropped back a little bit, putting some space
between himself and me. As the male entered our side of the road, he
looked at us in a manner that I would refer to as "sizing us up." He
then looked down and saw each of our holstered sidearms.

His entire demeanor changed, his hand came out of his waistband
empty, and he simply walked by us uneventfully.

Dennis and I never said a word to each other, but when we compared
notes after the incident, we had both been coming to the same
conclusion in tandem. We both felt that something was very wrong
about the whole situation. Each of us had asked ourselves, "Why
would he cross the road into that particular spot when he could have
crossed anywhere else - the entire sidewalk was empty?" The fact
that he saw us and then cut across the middle of the street to arrive
on our side of the road at the point where we would all meet didn't
seem like normal human behavior. And, not insignificantly, there was
something that felt wrong about the way he had his hand in his

Did we know for sure the male was up to no good?

No. However, all of our instincts independently were saying that
something was very wrong.

I think that if the male indeed was up to no good, having our
firearms where he could see them might have discouraged him from
drawing a knife or pulling a gun on us, which would have forced
Dennis and I to use deadly force in response.

As it turned out, everyone just went about their business that night,
with no one getting hurt. For that I am grateful. I am also glad
that Dennis was there. Two armed men, separated and at a wide angle
relative to a single armed assailant, would be a tough tactical
situation for the assailant to overcome - he could only cover one of
us with his gun or knife at a time, leaving the other person in a
position to neutralize the threat.


10-02-2007, 10:51 AM
I want the ability for both, but honestly would open carry more, just because I don't wear many jackets or loose fit clothes. I think open carry is simply more comfortable.

10-02-2007, 2:01 PM
I'd like to be able to do either. I'd probably carry concealed primarily, but if I printed or the grip stuck out of the waistband, no worries legally.

10-02-2007, 2:19 PM
I would LOVE to be able to conceal carry. I wouldnt however want to be limited and constantly worried about someone seeing the gun (i.e. open carry forbiden)

10-02-2007, 2:23 PM
Armed polite society.

10-02-2007, 6:54 PM
I'd do either depending on which car I was driving.

10-02-2007, 9:15 PM
an armed society is a polite society...

10-02-2007, 9:29 PM
I live in the hood of San Diego and see wanna-be thugs walking down the street with their hand on their waistband like they're about to draw a handgun all the time, I'm sure 99.9% of them are bluffing, but they want you to think today might be the day you cross paths with that .1% that isn't bluffing. Probably some silly trendy thing to make them feel good about themselves. As for the walking towards you and sizing you up, common A-Alpha Male "Who's your daddy?" male dominance behavior IMO.

I usually look em' right in the eye and do the "Boba Fett" nod to acknowledge that yeah, we could probably kill each other if we wanted to, but be cool and there'll be no problems. I dunno, I already have them sized up as well,...and if need be they're nothing more than a moving target on my shooting/knifing range to me.