Caleb Giddings, who I still think is a great role model in the shooting sports, posted a comment on the Open Carry thread. I wanted to make sure it got full visibility.
@Chris, I actually avoided adding my own editorial voice to that video I posted on Gun Nuts. Since my position on open carry is readily discovered by a simple google search http://gunnuts.net/2011/03/02/i-support-open-carry-in-florida/ (read the last paragraph), I assumed that folks would realize that I'm just presenting Rob and James' video. Not endorsing or decrying one way or the other.
While I certainly could have added a line to the post with the video saying "these are not the opinions of Team Gun Nuts", I just didn't think it was necessary.
I felt like Caleb's original post was an endorsement of Rob Pincus' position, especially as he called out a "money quote." His linked post above clarifies his position. I wanted to apologize for misrepresenting Caleb's views as an "endorsement" of Rob Pincus' position.
I like unlicensed open carry for a bunch of reasons.
1) It provides a way for people who need a defensive tool in a hurry to get access to one without jumping through time consuming CWP hoops. I refer to this as the "DV victim whose ex gets out of jail next week" test.
2) It provides a way for travelers who don't have a permit with reciprocity to carry. This was the case when I visited Cali last year.
3) It provides a way for people to carry without a permission slip from the state.
4) Obviously issues of personal comfort.
5) It desensitives the public. Normal dude or dudette + "jeans and polo" look + family + good holster + sidearm = normal.
The problem is that in some jurisdictions carrying a firearm is inherently political, and if it is open carried you are very likely get attention of the unpleasant sort from authorities. For example, in Las Vegas, where I spent some time, there are still ordnances on the books which forbid transporting a deadly weapon in your car, period dot, regardless of permit status. These ordinances violate state pre-emption and are not technically enforceable but that does not stop the cops from hassling people and the courts refuse to throw it out. I open carried very rarely there, maybe once or twice immediately after hitting the range when I wanted to stop for ice cream or something on the way back.
Furthermore, just before I arrived in Vegas the whole Erik Scott shooting went down. For those not in the know on this event, Erik Scott was a CWP holder who ended up being killed by the cops after a MWAG call by Costco. It was ruled justifiable by a non-adversarial coroner's inquest (i.e. the cops present their side, and that's it), but in a spate of strange coincidences, the Costco security camera footage was not available after a forensic analysis by the cops and all of the dash cams were broken or not useful in the incident. This is just one in a string of questionable "justifiable homicides" and incidents of excessive police force against many types of citizens by metro police. The LVRJ did a series on it a year or two ago even.
I did not spend much time in Cali but I imagine the situation there was similar from a harassment perspective and even worse as Cali (A) has no reciprocity with any other state and (B) has may-issue.
Sebastian wrote, "If trouble finds you, that’s one thing, but when you find yourself putting in a dash cam and audio recorder, it’s time to re-examine your life." I disagree. In such a jurisdiction you NEED to take "unreasonable" or "political" actions like carrying a recording device and having a buddy. Regardless of why you are personally carrying it will be perceived in a political light and you will get unpleasant attention. In such jurisdictions there is little public pressure on the police to ensure that things like dash cams and surveillance tapes work or don't "go missing." If you want a tape made you need to make it yourself.
I'm not suggesting that all cops are bad people. I'm just saying that in some jurisdictions, the citizenry has no inclination or ability to check abuses of authority by a few bad apples in the criminal justice system including overzealous police officers, city attorneys who buck pre-emption, judges who allow unlawful ordinances to continue to be used to harass the law abiding and so on. In such places the reasonable citizen who wants to carry a firearm needs to be smart about it. I didn't carry to make a point in Cali or Las Vegas. I did so because (1) I always do so when legally allowed and (2) because Las Vegas is a fairly violent city and I actually had a few run-ins in the course of doing normal middle class person things where being armed was or would have been comforting.