16 votes

Help me win an argument with my wife about Open Carry!

I was reading a post about a woman in Michigan that called the cops on a guy walking down the street open carrying, and the 911 operator said to her that it wasn't illegal. I can't seem to find that post again, but it got my wife and I talking, or should I say having a "spirited debate".

My wife says concealed carry is fine, however she doesn't believe people should open carry because it will freak people out. So my question to the Paulites here is, why is open carry a good thing, in practical terms?

I don't mean just because the Constitution says so, but what are the real world advantages to open carry vs. concealed carry? Obviously seeing someone carrying is a huge deterrent to criminals, but what else? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Yeah ...

... like most people, she is not thinking from first principles.

This is the main problem libertarians have in educating others.

That's why I say get her to first think of a principle, and then extrapolate that out to various political topics.

I always try to limit the discussion to principle, not the topic. MANY people get angry and try to cut off the conversation because they are not used to it. But what other choice is there? A lifetime of disagreeing on surface level issues and never getting to the core issue?

Good luck.

The fashion justification

Perhaps try coming at the "spirited debate" from a fashion angle.

Carrying your gun in a hip holster is usually faster to get at. It also allows for bigger guns than body holsters. A hip holster can be concealed or visible, depending on what you're wearing. So the pertinent question is: Should you have to wear a long jacket if you want to carry a gun?

We arm ourselves so that we can protect ourselves and others more safely and effectively. If a hip holstered gun is more effective, than the reasons for allow it are self evident -- more effective protection of ourselves and others.

But my guess is your wife is taking into consideration the environment. While you might be more effective in protecting yourself and her while open carrying in, say, a shopping mall, she's not going to enjoy herself as much because lots of folks aren't used to seeing a gun in such an environment and will give her the look. Someone might even call the police and put the kibosh on your nice shopping trip. She would be correct in arguing that open carrying risks making the shopping trip a drag and what's the harm in slipping a suitcoat on.

I grew up in Alaska and did a lot of backpacking. Guns on hips were the norm. To me, it's comforting to see capable folks carrying guns in holsters.

I agree with your wife that there's something odd about seeing someone packing in a big city environment. But when you think about it, the odds are probably greater that you'll be attacked by a person in a city than by a bear in the backcountry.

We get conditioned by what we're used to. But it's important to step outside that conditioning and look at the facts. Look at what environments lend themselves to what level of protection. And wear a jacket if the sight of a gun is going to degrade your experience.

Of course, you'll have to have a conceal permit for that. Which is the other good reason to open carry. You don't have to have a permit to open carry in most states and your name isn't on a list.

Hope that helps.

Here's a tip...

Stop arguing with your wife!

Even if you win, you lose.

Because it's your right.....

That's all you need to say

Love Liberty, be Vigilant

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Faith in God will prevail all things!

Funny, my wife and I fight about open carry too.

We fight over who gets to carry the .357 Magnum and who is left with the 9mm.

More to the point, though, I carry because people freak out. They freak out because people aren't carrying. Gay couples holding hands in public used to make people freak out. In some places, women showing their faces or their legs makes people freak out. All of these things have been criticized as "dangerous" in one way or another, but people just get used to normal behavior.

On a practical note, a gun is simply a tool. It's one that you hope not to have to use, but it's still simply a tool. Where do you want your tools? You want them in a convenient and safe place.

Besides that, carrying concealed tends to limit firepower. Most people are concealed-carrying .380's, which have poor stopping power, aim, clip size, penetration, etc. Now, I'm not bashing .380's, but you want to have at LEAST a 9mm when bad guys cause trouble. Even a bad guy with a baseball bat might not be stopped when you unload your 5 or 6 rounds of .380.

I've heard everyone say that a .380 is just as deadly as a 9mm if you have good shot placement. Fair enough, but shorter guns have closer sights and therefore are harder to aim. Concealed carry limits your total firepower.

Plus, concealed carry guns are almost always pistols, not revolvers. (Sometimes derringers.) I carry a revolver with no safety, because it doesn't need it. In a crisis, a pistol's safety switch may fumble you, whether it's cocked or has a round chambered may cause the first shot to simply not happen, and there's no way to show the attacker that the gun's loaded and ready without simply shooting. A revolver is very safe, because it's stupid simple. You squeeze, it goes bang. You squeeze again, it goes bang again. Attackers (and you yourself) can SEE the rounds on the sides.

Ever tried figuring out which of your car keys opens the doors and which starts the ignition and which opens the glove box, etc? Which way up does the key go? Which way do you turn the key in the lock? Now imagine doing that while a criminal is violently attacking you.

But again, the main reason I open carry is to MAKE it normal. Be sure to visit opencarry.org for more info.

Michael Nystrom's fists can punch through FUD.

Female Answering

How does your wife feel about breast feeding in public? I myself am all for it, but is she? Or does she believe you should ignore the hungry baby, finish what your doing, till you can go find a private place?
This is how Im looking at it. A woman has the right to feed her child, just as a man or a woman have the right to open carry. Just because its her right..doesn't mean shes required to do it, now does it?
Or do to her what I have done with others. I ask (mostly liberals)to name in order the rights they are willing to give up. (most cant answer that one..but some do)
One said gun rights. I replied ok..so we can stop paying police, and the Secret Service..because they carry guns..and most times you wont see an immediate need for them to have one. They can call 911 like the rest of us.
That kind of stuns them a bit.

I believe in Hope & Change..I Hope the government will Change
Spindale-Rutherford County-North Carolina

If you're not doing anything wrong...

you've got nothing to hide... ?


"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

False Premise

There's no winning with a woman. Even when you win, you lose :)

Sounds like

Sounds like your wife won't pick up Ducks either.
Sadly, we're all in there (us guys) hoping you do convince her, but I think you lost the argument when you said "wife".
She might listen to someone else?
I ducked before I hit the "save" button on this one.

If we

banned everything that some dope is scared of we wouldn't be able to do anything outside our homes.

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com

Two most winnings words in marriage history:



uh huh!

What? Are you a grown man?

What? Are you a grown man? Why do you need help explaining to your wife about a free and independent human should be free to walk down the street with a legal weapon. WTF guy, start being men and stop being little metro sexual weaklings.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

i rather carry secretly.

i like my privacy.

As a man with a concealed

As a man with a concealed carry license I agree, although it's not my place to tell other humans if they should or shouldn't hide their weapon.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."


What is wrong with just making the case for FRIGGIN' FREEDOM!! Who the hell should tell me that I can't open carry!! Don't engage in the debate about practicality or any other nonsense! It distracts from the REAL point about freedom and puts you in a position to have to try to convince them using the same asinine reasoning (or antireasoning).

A story about open carry in Israel

I traveled for business in mid 1991, just after the Gulf war. It was consumer products training, unrelated to military/war, so I was not accustomed to seeing armed guards everywhere, starting at the El Al terminal in New York.

Once in Israel at the terminal, guns were on display every place there were passengers... on the transport buses, terminal, gates. It made me feel a bit uncomfortable.

After being picked up by my colleague we went to a diner for chow-time. It was a cool old-style train-like diner and we sat at the food bar to eat. Another interesting aspect of the place was the owner was a fan of Native American art and paintings as well as other western art. Sitting at the food bar, the gents on either side of us had pistols holstered in plain view. Other people walking around had side-arms as well. These were civilians, not military. It was a surreal feeling of being back in the days of the "Wild" West.

Then it dawned on me - these were the good guys with the guns, and they were on my side. From that moment on, I was happy to see anyone carrying a gun... civilian or military, I felt safer.

So you're both right (don't you love it when that happens?)
A) Open carry does freak people out at first because it's something unusual, and the media portrays guns as bad most of the time.
B) Once you realize the good guys have the guns, you feel safer.

I firmly believe in B), and we should not deny that A) is also a valid opinion, but not a reason to keep the good guys from open carry.


p.s. - I met the most wonderful people there... turns out they were just like me ;-)

Never argue with the wife,

Never argue with the wife, just tell her how it's gonna be. Then duck.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

It is more suspicious to

It is more suspicious to carry a weapon secretly than to carry one openly. It's actually courteous and shows that you have nothing to hide.

Get her to watch Bonanza reruns

No one freaked out when Ben Cartwright and Adam, Hoss and Little Joe rode into town and walked around all open carrying.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

All their girls die :(

They had pretty girls, but the Cartwright Curse got them all :(

Pretty common here, too

in Wyoming. Especially during hunting season. One day while eating lunch in a parking lot in town I saw a man walk from his truck to the liquor store with a rifle. It didn't even register with me, till later. It is so common, that I realized later that if it happened in other states, I would have seen the blue lights and heard sirens. Hey, the guy was probably just showing off his rifle to the owner of the store.

She must provide evidence...

The burden of proof is on her.

My biggest argument for open carry

is that it DOES freak people out! That's because of the political and media blitz scaring people about guns. Open carry, in my opinion, should become so widespread that people don't think twice about seeing it. Ask your wife why she thinks people freak out when they see open carry. It's because people have been conditioned by the media to freak out over nearly everything these days, especially all things gun. If enough people open carry people will simply stop freaking out about it. Heck, at one time people freaked out when they saw a car.

Both have pros and cons

But open carry has stopped two cars of robbers with rifles. Two guys were open carrying at a Waffle House in GA when a scout saw them. He returned to the two cars to call it off.

Fortunately, just at that time an officer noticed these two suspicious cars and they were caught.

Here's the story....


So really, we don't know how many robberies or assaults are deterred by open carry. These two open carriers had no clue what they had done while they were doing it. The robber knew though.

Phxarcher87's picture

conceal everytime

i open carry when i go hunting or when we are out shooting, the rest of my life its under my shirt.

iv always thought if i were somewhere and my gun was hanging out and some dude saw it he could think, well if i run up behind him and hit him in the head i can take his 900$ gun while he is knocked out. bad guys see money signs when people are flashy with things.

you being a military man have a little more training than the average person with firearms.

but have you ever been in a physical fight? the first thing i learned in high school about fighting was that if you really had a reason to beat someone up you, didn't go running your mouth and tell everyone so the guy could figure out you wanted to fight him.(open carry) you simply walked up when he wasn't paying attention surprised him and got it over with.(concealed carry)

surprise is a big part of success when it come to handling a situation

One of the biggest pitfalls in a "movment" is the temptation to get cultish about it and refuse to realize that it is only part of the picture. -Joel Salatin ; You Can Farm pg 202

One problem

with conceal carry is time to draw your weapon.

I saw a youtube video of a jewelry store owner who got robbed. The shop owner had a gun, but tucked in his back out of view (probably to not freak out customers). The robber comes into the store acting weird. You can see the owner thinks he may try a robbery. The robber realizes it too and pulls out a gun. The owner reaches back for his gun at approximately the same time, but that split second was too much and the robber gets off a shot or two into him. I'll try to find the video.

It would seem to me the smarter thing would have been to have his gun holstered at his side. As the robber made his move to draw, his hand hanging ready at his side could have probably beat him (since the robber's gun was concealed).

Phxarcher87's picture


some time you get the wrong end of the stick even when you have a plan.

for me i stay below the radar and you know what they say about guys who fly below the radar dont you... they are below the radar....

One of the biggest pitfalls in a "movment" is the temptation to get cultish about it and refuse to realize that it is only part of the picture. -Joel Salatin ; You Can Farm pg 202

I agree. I like to see businesses packing. It tells people

they better think twice. Plus, the person working is at a huge disadvantage because the robber is intending on pulling out a weapon. Practice makes perfect though.....

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown


The owner of my local silver shop open carries a pistol. It felt great being escorted to my car with my purchase.

Open carry is a right in some states. Use it or lose it.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift