Open Carry: Yes or No?

by Kevin Michalowski, Senior Editor
Gun Digest the Magazine

For all the honest world to see…

Recently, a group of open carry enthusiasts gathered in a municipal park to share some food and exercise the right to bear arms. I attended this event not so much to make a political statement, but to see what sorts of political statements would be made by others.

The open carry picnic was a success. No one got shot. No smart-ass kids threw strings of firecrackers into the crowd and local police officers assigned to monitor the event had nothing to do.

All the attendees got to talk about guns and the organizer got to move to the center of the circle and brag about all the places he’d carried his “loaded 9mm pistol.”

He kept mentioning that it was a 9mm, as if that mattered to anyone. Anti-gunners simply see it as a gun and couldn’t care less about the caliber.

Of course the news media was on hand and a few interested citizens stopped by to see what was going on. The rest of us just strolled around doing touch-and-goes through the food line as we tried to keep track of our kids playing near the river.

Open CarryThe event showed the citizens of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, that despite their fears, no one died as a result of guns being openly carried in a city park. There were no accidental shootings. No one was felled by gunfire during a dispute over the proper recipe for potato salad. One of the moms from the baseball tournament did stop over and asked if she could be frisked. Don’t know what that was about, but it made for a laugh.

The open carry picnic proved that gun folks are good people, but it didn’t settle some of the other issues that swirl around open carry.

One of the big issues seems simple: Should citizens carry openly? That is a question that sparks a great deal of debate.

Yes, you have the right to carry openly, but should you? A right unused is a right lost, but does open carry cause more problems than it solves. Do those not familiar with guns or with the law get scared when they see a gun? Could you end up chatting with a police officer as a result of your choice? Does open carry push middle-of-the-road folks away from gun rights issues?

Gun Digest the Magazine, August 30, 2010

This column appeared in the August 30, 2010 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine. Click here to learn more about this issue. Click here to subscribe.

Does open carry make you a target for some thug to attempt a gun grab? These are all important questions and the debate cannot be addressed on this page.

It can be addressed on the pages of Just log onto the website and search for “Open carry” you should find the forum with the discussion.

Give us your input. We really want to know what you think.

Good Shooting,

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