First, I'd like to ask (cannot demand) that this stay civil. This is born of a debate between another user and myself in PM, which is probaby better served as a thread. Second, if at all possible, I'd love to treat this as a universal issue, and not just a "USA" issue... in other words, this isn't a debate about the 2nd Ammendment. My intent in this OP, is to explore the advantages of each form of carrying a side-arm, one or the other, or a combination. There is no, "no guns" here, because in the context of this debate, the issue is purely: Concealed Carry, or Open Carry?... benfits?... drawbacks? Third, and finally, I sent the following as a reply to a PM, so if it seems oddly disjointed... it's half of a conversation which (both parties) hope can be carried on here, with company and other views. I should emphasize, this has been a friendly debate, and if at all possible I'd love to see that remain the case. OK... now, I'm generally against Open Carry (OC) for mostly practical reasons, but not always, and I'm just one person with limited experience. I also had to quit writing this before I finished, because the flexors in my left arm want to kill me. Please forgive this, by definition, incomplete beginning to a thread. In a general sense, I find it very hard to believe that a criminal who doesn't specifically want to kill you, or one who isn't divorced from reality due to drugs or mental illness... is going to avoid an openly armed individual. I think there's also a tacit implication that is quite ancient: "I'm armed, and I know enough about these arms to bear them openly as a warning." In theory, this is very sound; clearly it's very effective for police the vast majority of times. I think we'd agree that a properly wielded firearm is one of the most effective force multipliers on earth that is available to civilians. The problem then, is that while you and I understand the tacit threat to a criminal of OC, criminals tend to be pretty dumb and massively short-sighted. Given that, lets take two points you've made: 1.) CC = At least an added second to draw and acquire. 2.) OC = Granny with a gun has a big "buzz off" sign in the form of a pistol. Here's the issue with that; most people who aren't naturally good with pistols and the Modern Method of shooting (MM) aren't going to go from "empty hands" to shooting at a target in a second. You can, and I might be able to, although I come from the "accuracy is god" camp, given that most shots miss in practice. I really am a strong believer in the Mozambique: two to the center of mass (chest ideally), ride the recoil and re-acquire, one to the head. I know of no better method to ensure that what you hit will not be doing anything to you. Still, I only practice that because of my nutty South African counselor when I was 12... so lots of target practice. Most people, including police it seems, are taught to empty their magazine and advance. If people want to OC, they need to back up the threat with skill, or the threat becomes a target: free gun. In the case of your being taken down in Las Vegas, consider: if I were a criminal and hell-bent on robbing, I'd wait for a vulnerable target. Your point is that a guy sporting a gun is about a HARD a target as you get next to a cop or national guardsman with assault rifle. Still, many crimes while rational in their motive are not so rational in their execution. For instance, I was robbed at "screwdriver" point.... well... attempted robbery anyway in Philadelphia as a college student. I can't imagine even an obviously desperate addict doing that had I been OC'ing; as it happened I had no gun or LTC in PA, which could have gone very badly for me. The thing is... what is your most valuable tool? Your gun?... or your training, and reactions to... your situational awareness? One is needed to properly use the other, unless OC is a nearly perfect deterrent. If I'm a crook, have a gun or even a cudgel, and I see a woman walking with a gun OC, but clearly unaware of her surroundings... I'm knocking her head in and taking that gun. For that criminal, it just became Christmas, and in casing that joint, they'll note: older lady, openly carrying a gun, alone, unaware. If they're wrong, that's one less criminal, and that has to be a VERY desperate, or very violent criminal, which is relatively rare (at least, that desperate and violent). Still, a rational response for a violent criminal in a world of guns, is pre-emptive action, and the irrational case is jumpy nerves and panic fire. Thus far, I'm trying to explore every advantage to OC that I can imagine, without relying on anecdote... even trusted anecdotes. The thing is, if everyone can openly carry, you don't change dynamics of training, or willingness to use that weapon. I believe that in practice, you may have failed to awaken in Nevada if you'd been armed. In essence, you remove the middle of the bell curve (violent, but non-lethal crime) leaving the outliers of nonviolent-cunning, and violent-stupid. In short, if your OC does NOT deter, then you open yourself to death or injury without warning compared to the more usual non-violent encounter. In a way, it removes part of your ability to control the escalation of an event, as the price for speed on the draw and deterrence. Now, to me the question is how to get the best of both worlds? OC carry zones on the federal level: You analyze crime stats for rape, violent robbery, A/B, Murder, and in those areas (parking lots, garages, all of Las Vegas ) if you can CC, then you can OC; up to having your gun in hand, or a clip-on holster. You don't create tension for police, nor do you change the dynamics of public discourse... it's a scientific approach to high risk. In regions where violent crime exceeds X threshold, that's an OC state. This is not where I would choose to stop, but my left arm is telling me that I should, or hurt a LOT.