I can't speak for all the Bible-thumping, gun-toting, freedom-loving patriots out there, but I have a few things to say about the topic of open carry.
First, I will say that I always carry at least one gun. For the most part, I openly carry them. There are only a few places that I go, where I will conceal my firearms.
You might ask me, "Why do you carry a gun?"
I carry a gun because my safety and well-being are ultimately my own responsibility. Likewise, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and well-being. Even government officials are not responsible for your safety, and mine. Even if help is only 30 seconds away, it will likely be too late to anything for you, anyway. We all have to take care of ourselves.
I carry because I am a peace-loving individual. I do not go looking for trouble. I hope and pray that I will never face a situation that would require me to defend myself with lethal force.
However, in the real world, there are evil people that are eager to hurt and kill innocent people for their own selfish desires. I understand that much, and besides, I would rather have a gun and never have to use it than to need a gun and not have one. That is also my reason for not patronizing any businesses that prohibit customers from carrying guns. In this crazy and immoral world that we live in, I do not want to leave myself more vulnerable to an attack.
I am not out there trying to be a tough guy, action hero, vigilante, or anything like that. If I wanted attention, I would probably go to a party and sing karaoke. Just to clarify, singing karaoke is not something that I will do willingly.
Some people might even as me, "Why do you openly carry that gun? Why don't you just conceal it?
Before I answer that, I am not going tell you how you should carry your gun. That is your choice. It is not my place to tell you that. I carry my guns openly for the following reasons:
Guns are not the problem. They cannot do anything by themselves. The only way that people are going to see this is when they can actually see honest people carrying guns, openly. When no one gets shot, even though someone was openly carrying a gun, this ties a visual to the Second Amendment. Visual aids are great. After all, it is surprisingly difficult to teach people, when they cannot see what you are promoting.
Openly carrying my guns provides opportunities, that I would not otherwise have, to engage in productive conversations with people. This allows me to educate people, as those opportunities arise. I have had some great conversations with people. Even so, the vast majority of people do not even notice my equipment.
I will also share some of my thoughts about openly carrying long guns. I completely support it. I would love to see more people carrying long guns around. Other than being difficult to conceal, long guns are superior to handguns, in almost every way. They are more powerful, and most importantly, they are easier to handle and are more accurate. If you can shoot a handgun, with proficiency, you can shoot better, with a long gun. When drawn and raised they are not as bulky as most people think. If you do not believe me, raise a handgun, and note the location of the muzzle. Next, raise a long gun, and compare the location of the muzzle to that of the handgun. The difference will likely be within a few inches.
Depending on how a long gun is carried it can be accessed just as fast, and sometimes even faster, than a handgun.
Add better handling and accuracy to it, and you end up with a tool that is much easier to use, especially under stress. Because it is easier to use, the odds of an innocent bystander getting hurt will also be lowered.
Some of you are probably thinking something along lines of, "I'm pro-Second Amendment, but carrying a long gun is ridiculous and irresponsible. There's no reason to carry a long gun unless you're hunting or fighting wars. Those open carriers are making the rest of us look bad!"
I have some words of rebuke for those folks. The Second Amendment protects your right, and mine, "to bear arms." Arms neither refers only to handguns, nor does it restrict long guns. Restricting the carry of long guns is an infringement, which goes against the Second Amendment. At times, being responsible will require a person to go against the grain, so to say, and do something that is not popular.
If long guns are only useful for hunting and fighting wars, why does every police department, all across the country, deem it necessary to place a rifle or shotgun, and oftentimes both, in every squad car?
They are not fighting wars. Enforcing the law is quite different. I am pretty sure that the police are not hunting deer, either. Those long guns are there because, sometimes, a handgun is not enough for the task at hand. There have been cases where an assailant was still charging at officers, after taking multiple rounds of 12 gauge buckshot.
Here is what is making all of us look bad. The NRA is very high on the list. They have compromised on so many things. Contrary to popular belief, the NRA is not the only gun advocate. There are other organizations that have made much, fewer compromises. Many of the infringements, that we all gripe about, such as background checks, waiting periods, and mandatory training requirements were supported by the NRA.
Some people might be quick to point out that California had their open carry laws taken away from them. That is not what happened. The government, on all levels, are republics.
You could also call it a representative democracy. The people vote elect their officials. In such a system, the governing bodies can only get away with as much oppression as the people allow. With that in mind, the people of California did not have anything taken from them. They gave it up, willingly. How much are we willing put up with?
Godspeed to you, fellow patriots. Carry on.