Concealed Vs Open Carry – Why I Conceal
I can picture it happening. “She’s got a gun!” From the mouth of some overexcited shopper with their eyes popping out at the grocery store. I picture people running and screaming away from me as I stand in shock. The police coming and handcuffing me for what is a misunderstood and unfortunate situation I think every responsible gun owner fears.
It’s happened! And it’s part of the reason I conceal in an open carry state.
My decision to carry came a few years ago and today it shapes when and where I shop.
Like many law-abiding responsible gun owners…I pay attention to marked signs on storefronts and do a search on the policy before going somewhere new. While I’m sure businesses think they’re protecting shoppers by not allowing firearms, what they fail to realize that criminals don’t care about laws or signs. “I’m sure criminals will see this sign, turn around and leave their weapon in their vehicle…” I sarcastically think to myself.
I now avoid stores like Target, which was once a place I visited regularly, due to their anti-gun policies. Target not only doesn’t want open carry in their stores…they stated that they won’t honor concealed carry permits either. “…we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.”
I hope the employees have been trained to yell “You’re not allowed to have your gun here” if God forbid a shooting occurs.
I just don’t shop at Target anymore. If I can’t conceal my weapon…I’m not going to put my safety at risk andI’m not going to leave my firearm in the car where it can be stolen or at home to get a good deal on a comforter. Read their online statement about guns here.
Where does this leave responsible gun owners?
Yes, it’s easier for me to draw from my OWB holster in an open carry. Yes, I prefer to carry on my hip. No, I don’t want to run into a nervous anti-gun person or alert criminals to the fact that I’m carrying. So, when I’m concealing I wear an IWB holster at 4-5 o’clock and a loose shirt to help hide my pistol.
The issue at hand –
Social media is flooded with anti-gun and fear based articles. It won’t end anytime soon and while the gun debate continues to stir online and in social media, I want to practice my right to carry without drawing attention to my firearm. I’m a busy Mom. I have shopping to do, activities to attend and chores to do at home. I don’t want my day interrupted by an anti-gun fanatic or nervous person at the grocery store.
With what seems like the rise in mental health crises/public shootings continues, I certainly wouldn’t want to be mistaken for a villain instead of a busy Mom willing to defend myself and my children should the need arise.
Let’s face it. No legislation or rule is going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Responsible citizens can the first line of defense…way before the police and other authorities respond and arrive to the emergency call.
Find a list of stores to avoid from concealedcarry.com here.
My fear –
I can picture it happening. I’m reaching for a can of soup lifting my shirt just above my pistol and some wide-eyed woman screams “she’s got a gun!” Someone who has no firearm experience, watches too many TV dramas and definitely should be treated for an anxiety condition alarms the entire store to my carry weapon…as if I’m a threat.
I’m arrested and facing penalties for simply going out shopping, practicing my second amendment right and carrying a valid permit all over a misunderstanding.
For this reason, I conceal and I make sure I do my best to avoid imprinting.
Some may argue that this is exactly the reason we should all open carry, and I agree. I just don’t want to be arrested while grocery shopping with my kids and pay thousands of dollars in legal fees, get stuck in jail and miss soccer practice.
Some of my favorite holsters are listed below with affiliate links.
Do you open or conceal carry?