This is why I'm a proponent of CC, but not open carry. When the general public sees a person walking down the street or sidewalk, with a big ol' pistol at his side, someone will get paranoid and nervous about it, and call the cops, which seems to be what started this incident.
A gun in itself means nothing, its a tool. Yet the mainstream society has a built up paranoia when they even see PICTURES or TOYS that look like guns.
You know what, that means their is something wrong with them. I CC because as mentioned by Haas, people are paranoid, but I do respect people who OC because people's paranoia is really not my problem.
As my brother says, if people are worried about a guy walking down the street with a gun openly, maybe they should carry a gun (instead of infringing upon MY right to do so)
The main thing that makes people nervous about open carry, is in this day and age, it's not typical to see anyone carrying. In the days of the wild west, when everyone carried, it was no big deal because everyone did it, and it was a common site. But in today's society with the rash of freaks that go and shoot up everyone in a school or theater, it's got everyone on edge, and as soon as they see that gun on someones hip, it's panic time.
I know the FEAR of mass shootings is more common but that is because of the media.
Nothing to fear but fear itself. Theres a quote that never gets ingrained in people's heads these days. They use the fear to manipulate us. In my opinion, Mind control is real and they have us figured out pretty darn well...
The problem with what you state is that folks who think this way are viewing things through tainted lenses. They fail to take into consideration that what may be the case in one state is not the case in others. Where I live, about 35 miles from Washington, DC, we just don't see what you have described. I am not going to say that there are zero problems with open carry, but it is darned close to that here. I have openly carried over the past 5 1/2 years into restaurants (many of them - two this week), small town festivals, police stations/precincts, stores, banks, gas stations, big box businesses, liquor stores, our state capital, legislators' building and offices, and on an on. And in this entire time, I have only had one negative encounter. That was from a man in a McDonald's in August 2009 who claimed he was a retired LEO. However judging from his accent, he was not from Virginia... most likely from the northeast.
So blanket and general statements are just that. And while they may have some basis in fact for specific areas, they are NOT true for the entire nation.
Now one other thing about open carry that is constantly brought up as a reason for not carrying in this mode and that is "you are going to be the first person taken out by a BG". Well, this just doesn't seem to be happening. Has it happened? I know of one case in my state but the man went back into the business and was disarmed and shot by his own gun. Is it a possibility? Of course it is. Is it likely to happen? History has not shown this to be the case.
For the record, I support both modes of carry and I do both. Most of the time I open carry and I have what I believe to be excellent reasons for this (of course, I owe no one a reason or excuse). And there are times when I deem it to be in my interests to conceal. But there is this. In my state, concealing a sidearm is the queer thing to do; the exceptional thing, whereas to openly carry your firearm is the normal thing (read that as standard or default thing). I say this because no permit is required to open carry, but one must obtain permission from their employees to conceal. So open carry is normal whereas concealed carry is abnormal based upon the requirement of a CHP to conceal.
I'm sounding argumentative here, but I'm not trying to be. Just talkin'.
A number of states' citizens are pretty easy going and acceptable when seeing people open carry. Your best bet is to visit opencarry.org and peruse the state forums to see how it is in the states. And most of the members on that site are more than willing to give you information.
In the "earlier" days of OC'ing in Virginia, there were some incidences of negative and uninformed police encounters (uninformed on the part of the police, that is). Those were quickly addressed and the involved individuals told how to conduct themselves when encountering armed citizens. We even had situations were we swarmed town council meetings, while armed, to voice our concerns. The word did go out and the requisite corrections were made. When there are problems of this kind in my state, it is more often in the southeastern part (Tidewater). Up where I live, negative encounters are extremely rare to nearly non-existent.
I don't have a problem with open carry. What I do have a problem with are these smart asses who walk around OC'ing with a video camera just looking for a confrontation. They're no different than those who elect to show their CC permit at a traffic stop.
I don't think that there is a correct answer to this. Either way is a gamble. Speaking for myself, I would not. I think you run the risk of a police officer with anti-gun views giving you a rough time, all within the confines of legality. Besides they run your drivers license and find it in their database anyways.
In MI you are required by law to inform an officer that you have a CPL during a traffic stop or official encounter (not casual like simply walking by and saying "hello" )... or your gun license can be revoked.
These videos are posted by individuals attempting to get law enforcement attention and set the tone for the entire interaction. I see too many individuals "baiting" cops into arguements and throw out case law and statutes that they've memorized in preparation for their anticipated encounter. Most officers are simply responding to a call of a suspicious man with gun... it's no different than a call of someone walking down the street looking in cars, in the fact that when the officer arrives he may simply see this individual walking down the street. He very well may have been up to a suspicious activity or actually looking into vehicles. Police have an obligation to at least stop the individual and assertain if something is amiss.
Before people start condeming cops for doing their job and commending these idiots with cameras and personal agendas... you should ask yourself how hard is it to simply ID yourself if you've done nothing wrong... instead of arguing and drawing more attention to yourself.
I'm all for OC & CC... but feel CC makes more sense. I value individuals rights too... but what do you really gain by being uncooperative?
You can't have your cake & eat it too... people want police to be proactive and stop crime but don't want them to investigate a call regarding a MWG? What if he was doing something suspicious? The officer dosen't know, and being difficult only raises suspicion even further.
I see both sides to this issue and feel a lot of cops are not always up to date on every law as some are not enforced often or that situation has never presented itself to an officer. We are human... after all.
Well said!! ^^^^^