The 9-12 Project of Central PA

"You Are NOT Alone!"

I will blame my growing political activism mostly on my age (and finally maturing), and partly on our organization.

WARNING: This is not a discussion on OC (Open Carry) vs CC (Conceal Carry).

I have recently been researching the political, personal and legal consequences of OC in Pennsylvania. I have come to the conclusion that if I continue to follow the law I can deal with the personal crap as a trade off for the benefits that it will bring socially and politically.

It is probably not much of a secret to this small group or the few in my personal life I can call "friend" that I CC on a daily basis. For 15+ years I have been a strong believer that CC is the right choice for me. I have also been a believer that it is no ones business but my own and a few loved ones. This philosophy has served me well up until this point in my life. It is now time however for me to change and do what is right for future generations. I will still need to CC at certain times but for the majority of my life from this point forward I will be one of the minority who OC.

To me, OC is akin to saying "Yes I believe in the 2nd Amendment and I am actively helping to educate others on the need to keep our rights - ALL OUR RIGHTS from being eroded away."

It seems as the years have gone by, we Americans have actively and passively participated in allowing our rights to be watered down. By apathy (as in my case) or through more insidious means like activist judges, "we the people" are responsible for what our nation is becoming.

As this group has finally formed, stood up and taken a stance, so shall I.

http://paopencarry.org/forum/oc-discussion-f-10.html
http://forum.pafoa.org/open-carry-144/
http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/recent.html

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Replies to This Discussion

This is always an interesting topic of discussion. I think it ultimately comes down to two things. As you stated, one consideration is the educational value to the general public of Open Carry, under the premise that some people seeing a civilian openly-carrying will ask the carrier or seek out information and learn it is our right to do so. The other consideration is the fact that no matter the law, there will be Law Enforcement personnel and others that either through ignorance, arrogance, or some anti-gun agenda will challenge your right to Open Carry. In the case of other individuals, sometimes you can ignore them or decide if it is worthwhile to try to re-educate them. If it is an owner of a business, then they have the right the choose whether they want open carry in their establishment, just as you have the right to choose not to spend your money with them. In the case of LEO, regardless of the law, if they wish to hassle you over open carry, my opinion (strictly my own thought on this) is it is not worth the trouble to argue with a cop in the moment. I will (up to a certain point, but no further) do as they say, and argue the principle or legality of the encounter after the fact. Open carry in PA seems to be a big neon arrow pointing at my head, saying "Hey Cop! Harass Me, Please!!!!"

I respect the hell out of anyone choosing to open carry outside of Arizona or any other states where doing so is broadly practiced.
Cork,
I tend to agree with Joe's comments. I'll let you be the test subject :) Let us know how you make out. I suspect you will receive a lot of stares (at the minimum) and hassles. Wouldn't it be nice if more people did this. What a civil society we would have.
Good luck,
Dan
Guinea pig here ;)

Well, today is day 3. After today I will not update unless anything is exceptionally good or rather bad.

So far there have been zero incidents which I attribute to 2 things. On the trip to the garage I only encountered 2 people, the owner and one of his friends. I ended up being around them for an hour and nothing was said AT ALL. This was w/ a shoulder holster so there was no missing it. I figure they just didn't care.

The second and third public trips involved Appleby's for dinner and the Cinema 6 for a $1 movie. These trips were not either before or after work so I was using an OWB holster. It is entirely possibly nothing was even noticed.

I am not silly enough to believe that there will be no problems but I hope to be mentally prepared when they occur.

The following are a couple web sites which let OC folks gather information and pass along stories if anyone has an interest:

http://forum.pafoa.org/open-carry-144/
http://www.opencarry.org/

See you all tonight:
Cork
Cork,
I don't know anything of your background or training, so don't take these questions in any negative way. Is your OWB holster equipped with a serpa interlock or a securing strap kept fastened at all times? I know some plastic paddle holsters without serpa hold the gun snugly enough that they do not add a retaining strap. Are you practiced at maintaining awareness and protecting your firearm from being grabbed out of the holster? It is amazing what not only adversaries will try to do with malice, but also idiot "buddies" will do to goof off when you let down your guard. I have heard some things that just make you shake your head. Good luck, sir.
Joe:
All good questions/points. I would never assume the worst of someone who is entering into an honest debate, so fear not. I am old enough to realize that there is more and more that I do not know :)

Is your OWB holster equipped with a serpa interlock or a securing strap kept fastened at all times?
Currently i use two holsters depending on what the day has in store for me. The SH (Shoulder Holster, leather) has a snap which is always closed holding the gun in the holster. The Kydex OWB is the type designed to be very difficult to draw unless from the correct direction. Not the locking type though. I have looked into those but opted not to use them for reasons of simplicity. I want to only have to remember to draw and pull the trigger. That is one reason I am getting a new pistol (SA XD .45 Compact) similar to the Glocks which have no additional external safety to worry about. I had a Glock 27 for years but was a bit chunky so I switched to Kimber 1911. Now going back to "no manual external safety" for daily carry.

Are you practiced at maintaining awareness and protecting your firearm from being grabbed out of the holster?
Let me answer this question in 2 parts. First - NO, I am not practiced in protecting my firearm from being stolen from my own holster because I am new to Open carry. Having CC'd for 15+ years I have not needed to worry about that aspect of carry (huh, honesty LOL). This is not to say that it is not at the forefront of my awareness though. I think any sane individual needs to be aware that w/ a gun in plain sight, that person behind you may be the one criminal who is looking to steal a gun that day. This awareness will lead me to answer the other part of your question: Am I practiced at maintaining awareness?

I practice situational awareness daily - every day - night and day - ever since I began to CC. One thing I did in the beginning was to take 3 levels of training classes w/ Randy Smith who is a member of our group (http://pistoltraining.com/). In PA it is not mandatory to train to get your LTCF but I personally do believe it is imperative to do so. Some simple things I do (just a few examples) is to check for all the exits in a room I am in; I like to sit in a room where I can see all the doors and most if not all the room; when walking I am constantly scanning those around me..... At home I always have doors locked. I am armed at all times where and when legal (yes, a gun will be found in the bedroom, bathroom... Wife and I have a code word/sentence we say when one comes through the back door so the other knows all is well. The list goes on but that gives you an idea.

I believe that you can never know when or where the worst can happen so you must try to always be vigilant.

I also am reading constantly about real situations which have occurred to try to learn. Some sagacious person recently stated ;) that knowledge is power. I agree 110% !!!

Trust me I realize that no one can be prepared for all situations. I will be the first to admit that I will never stop learning. The training I do at the range is only the tip of the iceberg to my personal protection mindset and planning.

Thanks for making me think through my preparedness to OC like you have. We all like to think we know what we are doing but.......

Thanks again - Cork
Cork, it sounds like you have definitely thought things through and are well prepared.

I think any sane individual needs to be aware that w/ a gun in plain sight, that person behind you may be the one criminal who is looking to steal a gun that day.

My question about the holster-retaining device was less for someone trying to "steal" your open carry gun, than it was about being disarmed in a struggle. I know (own a couple) of the plastic paddle holsters that are snug and molded in a manner where there is resistance to someone trying draw the gun at an angle away from the torso.

I don't own a Blackhawk paddle holster with serpa retainer myself because I don't open carry except at the range, and even then I always have a backup concealed piece.*

You make a good point about the trade-off of the time to disengage a retaining strap or interlock and the ability get your gun on target as soon as possible when every split second counts. Once again, there is no one correct answer. Every person has to do what works best for him or her.


*Yes, I know this is technically against range rules. Tough crap. I am not walking 50 - 200 yards to change my targets leaving my guns sitting on a bench without being able to throw a mag of rounds up range at someone trying to walk away with my stuff while I'm 200 yards away. I'm not kidding myself that I'm going to hit someone at 200 yards with a 3" barrel handgun, but I'll sure as hell let them know I'm not happy about it. (to be serious, I think it would be wrong to shoot at someone stealing your guns at the range if that person wasn't directly threatening your life in the process. They would have to be pointing a/my own gun at me before it would be reasonable to fire at them.)
I am not walking 50 - 200 yards to change my targets leaving my guns sitting on a bench without being able to throw a mag of rounds up range at someone trying to walk away with my stuff while I'm 200 yards away.

Dag Nabbit Joe:

You got me on this one. I do not take a back-up piece to the range normally (unless I am planning on practicing w/ it too that day) but that will change ASAP. I have even read about cases where there have been murders at shooting ranges but "never thought it could happen here, to me".

This is why I love to argue and discuss so much; to learn !

Below are some of the cases I have read where these things have happened and I still had my head in the sand. :( Granted this 1st one is at an indoor range but...

WARNING: unsettling still picture right before the murder.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,513282,00.html

http://www.700wlw.com/pages/localNews.html?feed=119585&article=...
Joe:

Went to the range with the new XD yesterday. And YES I also had the 1911 on my person as well. It did feel good mentally having a loaded gun 100% of the time at the range. Thanks again for the idea.

Cork

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