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Posted: 4/15/2002 7:07:26 AM EDT
I'm posting this here instead of CCW since I'd like to get as many points of view as possible on this topic.

Something happened the last time I renewed my Carry License. The person behind me in line was at the Magistrates Court for something else, and her reaction when she heard I was there for a Concealed Carry License was visceral. She literally moved away from me and turned so that she couldn't see me. It was though I was a flasher, exposing myself on a train.

After I left, I was thinking about that and I realized just how damaging the idea of Concealed Carry has been to the image of firearms. It's as though a handgun is something shameful, "do it if you must, but keep it away from decent citizens". We allowed the anti's to totally change the perception of handguns and yet we never even noticed. Today, there are anti-printing and anti-flashing ordinances in even the most gun friendly states.

I believe, that until we can get back to open carry, we will continue to gradually lose our RKBA. I know all of the arguments folks use to justify concealed carry, "I'd rather keep the BGs guessing". But guess what? BGs don't guess. If they did, they'd realize that the risk wasn't worth the reward and they'd take up a safer occupation. In the meantime, by hiding gun ownership and use, we continue to enforce the stereotype of Guns Are Dangerous and Must Be Hidden Away. Until guns are openly carried, and people get used to seeing them and to understand that having a gun does not automatically make you a killer, we will be starting off deep in the hole. It will be an uphill fight before the general public see handguns as tools instead of only weapons.

What do you folks think?
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 7:44:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/15/2002 7:45:36 AM EDT by IMHO]
I guess that I've never really thought of the licensing process in these terms before, sig. My first reaction is to say that I believe that this woman's reaction was extreme, but that it isn't unusual. People are, I believe, products of their environment, and I guess that she hasn't been exposed to firearms in the course of her life. They are something to be hidden, and even the mention of firearms is taboo. I think that the "flasher" analogy is appropriate.

Acceptance varies throughout the country. I have spent time down in Southern Colorado, and have dined at restaurants with ranchers who carry their pistols to the table on their hips, and I have been warned by the local gendarmes (yeah, I know, literally "armed people", but I'm referring to the Boulder Police) that it's prudent, in our community, to avoid alarming the local, generally anti-gun, population by carrying my weapons to and from the range with true discretion. Open carry is legal in Colorado, but the officers have indicated that it is not unlikely that they would receive a call if people saw the guns. Yes, this is unfortunate, and in the words of a teenager: "So unfair", yet this is the reality.
Colorado is in the process of modifying its CCW process to standardize the application procedure. I believe that acceptance of anything new, of anything "scary", comes only incrementally, in a Psych 101-type desensitization progression, and that a relaxation of the procedure is a step towards relieving the sensitivity. I hope that more people apply for the CCW permit, and that, eventually, there will be a greater acceptance of the sight, and mention, of guns - even in "liberal" places like the People's Republic of Boulder.
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 8:03:51 AM EDT
We have open carry with no permit here in VA along with concealed by permit. I don't think people really care too much about it either way. I don't see people packing guns on the outside for all to see because anyone that would probably already has a permit and carries concealed. I never get any odd reactions from anyone at the courthouse, empolyee or citizen, when I have to get something gun related.

It will vary obviously depending on where you are. Of course here they sell Shotgun News at Wal-Mart, and Soldier of Fortune at the grocery store. I carry concealed because I choose to. I know that it may bother some folks, so I carry it concealed so it doesn't bother them, but I still have the protection. If I smoked, I wouldn't just blow smoke in other people's faces either. It's just courtesy. While the "flasher" analogy is probably accurate, I keep that gun concealed as well out of courtesy.

Ross

Link Posted: 4/21/2002 6:56:28 PM EDT
Yeah, I agree. Open carry should be acceptable. Here in PA, it is advised against, but there really is no law against it. And we have Art I Sections 1, 21, & 25 of our constitution stating in no uncertain terms that RKBA can be touched.
I personally don't believe in concealed carry permits or licenses. No reason for them and the are unconstitutional. I refuse to get one, and I wil carry w/o one. I can make a good case that PA's constitution prohibites such a thing.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 7:18:19 PM EDT
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