I figured I'd share a couple random thoughts on open carry vs. concealed carry after a few "sightings" out in the world lately.
First, I am an advocate for the right to carry a firearm wherever and however it is safe, appropriate, and lawful for a good person to do so. Now, with that out of the way...
I've been reflecting on the guy we parked next to in Rocky Mountain National Park a couple weeks ago who was openly carrying a full-size Glock and loading his family into their SUV.
I made mention of it to my wife, just saying "Huh, look, that guy's open carrying." in an indoor voice. With our windows down I'm guessing his kid either heard me or he just noticed me looking at him and his pistol. Once he saw that I saw, he went what I'd call "hard yellow" and didn't take his eyes off me or turn his back. His demeanor changed to "I know you know I have a gun on." I wasn't staring or making anything of it, but we had now had an interaction at the gun level and I wasn't going to tip my hat nor my hand.
While I so desperately wanted to say "Dude, same team, relax." I just went on about my day. On one hand, the only difference between him and me was a thin cotton camp shirt - I was carrying, too, but he didn't know that - but on the other his reaction is something I've been thinking long and hard on lately.
I would HATE to live my everyday life the way he looked at me. Suspicious, wary, and hackled-up for a verbal confrontation. Being in the National Park and in among a TON of visitors from all over the country as well as the world, I'm not going to "normalize" anyone to guns. These folks are on vacation, and they don't want my politics thrown in their face at 10,000 feet on a lovely Saturday afternoon. Too much damn stress on everyone, not even thinking of the potential contacts with Federal employees which will certainly smudge a relaxing day.
My solution, keep it concealed and look like anyone else in the Park, because that is EXACTLY what I am... just another guy out for a day in the mountains with my family. No better, no worse, just prepared to defend me and mine from two or four-legged trouble.
Our best bet, to borrow from our hip-hop brethren, "don't start none, won't be none."
- Posted from somewhere on this big blue marble.