More On South Carolina Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 7 months ago

This is just an awful argument for open carry from Tom Knighton at Bearing Arms, but the objections of law enforcement are even worse.

If given my druthers, I’d probably never open carry a firearm outside of some form of pro-gun demonstration. I don’t see any advantage to it besides politics and even then, I personally believe that only goes so far.

That said, the right to do it should be unquestioned. I may not believe in doing it myself, but I’ll fight to my last breath to defend some else’s right to make a different decision.

[ … ]

After all, while I don’t agree with open carry from a more tactical standpoint, I do believe that such actions fall within the plain wording of the Second Amendment. Further, let’s not delude ourselves, there are already people carrying at all of these events Keel cites. The difference is whether clothing is hiding it or not.

Look, I get the concern. Even if you trust the guy with the permit, you may not trust the guy who goes for his gun due to obvious reasons, but thus far, it’s been a non-factor in every other state. Is Keel saying that South Carolinians are especially unstable, that they’re even less likely to obey the law in the presence of a firearm?

What is he even talking about in this last paragraph?  He’s contrasting people with a permit to people who “go for their gun.”  What?  What does that even mean?  Does Tom even know?

Anyway, beyond the awful and confusing rhetoric, I don’t get his “concern” nor the concern he apparently thinks is obvious and to which he is referring.

What Tom might have meant earlier in the commentary is that he doesn’t practice open carry and doesn’t choose to do it himself.  Whatever.  What he said is that he doesn’t “believe in it.”  What does that mean?  What does it mean to not believe in something but then to believe in it enough to be willing to fight to your last breath to defend it?

As to his alleged tactical advantage, I can prove that Tom “believes” in open carry regardless of what he claims.  So here it is, Tom.  Strap on a backpack for a three or four day trip, and make a trek through Jocassee Gorges in South Carolina, where hundreds of bears roam freely.  Do it alone.  Tell me that you want to have your firearm concealed rather than carried openly where you can get to it quickly if needed.

That’s what I thought.  See, I proved that Tom “believes” in open carry.  Don’t tell me to purchase a Hill People Chest Rig to carry it in.  Been there, done that.  When you spend all that money getting good gear to take the weight off of your shoulders and put in on your hips, that chest rig is okay for a day, but after two or three it begins work your neck and shoulders pretty hard.

There is a difference between open carry among, say, a concert of 30,000 people, and in the hills of upper South Carolina.  Or walking along the road at dusk versus walking in for a business meeting.

But even this is going to far for my tastes.  The last comment to Tom’s commentary shows what I mean.

I believe that the decision(s) for the state should not be to “allow” concealed or open carry, but instead, should be limited to background, to use of thought affecting medications, and access to or use of alcohol. When it comes to alcohol for instance, I see no problem with a firearm on site, with management, but I’ve read about open carry by employees of some ‘themed’ establishments.  The problem I see with the latter is an inebriated customer may decide to be playful and ‘take’ the firearm from the waitperson. I also see a new situation that has happened. The amount of new firearm owners with concealed carry permits has exploded. I think it may be time to look closer at the training permit holders have. I know that is anti-NRA and anti-2A but having so many millions of people carrying concealed firearms with a modest amount of training is an accident waiting to happen. I have been shooting for 62yrs. I began carrying before a permit was required. I still take a training course every year. I’m not saying that is what should be done, I know I’m doing more than needed, it’s a requirement of the club I belong to. I just think trying should be looked at, and a minimum should be required before a permit should be issued.

You see, this commenter believes in state permission as a precondition for the exercise of God-given rights, and his pretext is public safety, the same pretext cited by the state when they speak out against open carry.  Witness chief Mark Keel of S.C. SLED.

Chief Mark Keel of the State Law Enforcement Division put these concerns in perspective in addressing a proposed expansion of gun rights. The S.C. House measure (H. 3094) “would allow trained concealed weapons permit holders to carry those guns in the open,” he said in an article by Maayan Schechter and John Monk of The State newspaper.

“I’m a Second Amendment guy. Nobody believes any stronger than I do in the right to bear arms,” Keel said. In South Carolina and other Second Amendment Central places, it is necessary to establish one’s bona fide on rights. The Sun News Editorial Board is there, make no mistake.

Keel has “great concerns” about public safety: “I wonder how it will be in the summer time when people are strolling down Ocean Boulevard on peak weekends wearing guns openly, not to mention people openly carrying during Harley Week or Memorial Week and crowded country music festivals where there’s alcohol involved.”

He expressed his bona fides, and the only thing missing is his love for apple pie, puppies and the American flag.

The problem is that none of this matters.

Not tactical issues (Tom), not public safety (Mark), not anything.  None … of … this … matters.

Anything that can be done with an openly carried firearm can be done with a concealed firearm.  It’s an amazing thing that we actually have to cover this ground again, but the fact that someone cannot visually ascertain the presence of a firearm doesn’t mean it’s not there.  Any confusion on this fact points to a second-grader level psychological problem.

Some people choose to carry a firearm openly because they hate to sweat their weapon in the summer months, or because it’s just uncomfortable.  Some people choose to conceal their weapons because they think that there is some sort of tactical advantage.  Some people choose to openly carry their weapons because of appearances, others (mostly men) don’t care because we can use our girth to hide our weapons.

Others choose to openly carry because of the rapid access to the weapon (the example of hiking in Jocassee Gorges).  Still others choose to conceal because of what others might think.  The point is that people make their own choices, and it should be up to them how they carry their weapons, not the state.

As to these and all of the other objections, caveats, and qualifiers:

None of them matter.

None of them matter.

None of them matter.

None of them matter.

None of them matter.

Did you get that?  None of them matter.  The state has no business dictating to a man or woman how to carry a weapon.  And Tom, you do us no favors by telling our opponents that you think there is a tactical disadvantage to open carry.  Maybe there is in some circumstances, maybe there isn’t, and it may depend upon the person, place, time and surroundings.  That, too, is none of your business.

As for the chief of SLED, he further states the following.

Keel said that open carry could cause issues for law enforcement officers responding to calls of a person brandishing a gun.

“Our (concealed weapon’s permit) law is one of the best in the country, and we have not had problems with concealed weapons holders,” Keel said. “But open carry creates a whole new dynamic.”

That’s a lie.  The South Carolina concealed weapons permit would only be one of the best in the country if it didn’t exist at all and there was permitless carry.  There should be no permission to be sought for the exercise of God-given rights.

And as to causing issues for law enforcement officers, you’re wrong about that.  So went the objection every other state (e.g., Texas, Arkansas, etc.) had to open carry.  None of these revisions to the code caused blood running in the streets.  You would think that opponents of open carry would have researched where this has been done before (46 other states) and been embarrassed to offer up such pablum for consumption by the ignorant and intellectually challenged legacy media.

As for making it easy for LEOs, I couldn’t possibly care less.  Teach them to holster their weapons until they know what’s going on.  Then we’ll all be safer from the copious law enforcement shootings that have become a scourge to the land.  Shootings of dogs, shootings of innocent people through their own front doors, and on and on.

I hate disinformation, lies, and pretend allies.  The SLED chief is no friend of the 2A.  And if Tom is, he needs to get better at his advocacy.

Prior: South Carolina Open Carry Tag


  1. On February 16, 2021 at 1:28 am, George 1 said:

    Tom is a Fudd. There are advantages to concealed carry as well as disadvantages. There are advantages to open carry and disadvantages. Everyone should decide for themselves what works best for them. I will put forth one very good reason to open carry. Your choice of handguns becomes nearly endless when you are not worrying about concealment.

    The police, at this point, should have no credibility to offer opinions on anything, much less Constitutional rights issues.

  2. On February 16, 2021 at 7:58 am, John Taylor said:

    What “George 1” said. May God save us from the “Fudds” among us! With friends like these …

    The State always devolves to be the enemy of the people. The police always devolve to be the tools of the state. The law always devolves to be the diktat of our overlords )who always exempt themselves from it).

    “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”
    ~ John Philpot Curran

  3. On February 16, 2021 at 9:23 am, Thomas Madere said:

    I am a life long Louisiana resident. Louisiana has always been an open carry state. It’s only in the last 25 years that Louisiana became a shall issue concealed carry state. I conceal carry, it i my choice. I see very few people opening carrying. Open carry is a non issue here.

  4. On February 16, 2021 at 10:02 am, Longbow said:

    “…could cause issues for law enforcement officers responding to calls…”

    Paraphrasing here, “I truly believe that only me, and members of my Gang, should be carryin’ guns. I’m a Law Imposement Officer. I am endowed with powers and abilities above and beyond those of mortal men. All “civilians” must be subject to me and be happy that I am benevolent most of the time. If “civilians” go around carryin’ guns, they might get the idea that ain’t my subjects no more, and that makes me feel bad. I don’t trust anyone who ain’t…me.”

    Do you still believe in Dudley Do-Right? It is a rhetorical question as most readers here see through this bull pucky.

  5. On February 16, 2021 at 12:54 pm, Sanders said:

    I’ve carried open since I was 14, growing up in a ranching community, nobody thought much of it. The only time anyone gave me a sideways glance is when I was walking out of the grocery store as a Brinks guy was making a delivery. Even then, all it was was a sideways glance. When all you own is a Super Blackhawk with a 7-1/2 bbl, conceal carry isn’t very practical.

    Since then, my collection has grown to include some firearms that are easy to conceal. I have rigs for concealment and for open carry on my hip. How I carry depends on how I am dressing for the day, and what I will be doing.

    Since this damned china flu and the cult of the masks, I’ve taken to carrying openly more often than not. Karens tend to not hassle me for not wearing a mask. I don’t know if it is the pistol on my hip, or my ugly mug that conveys “Leave me alone”, but they leave me alone.

    If open carry is such a bad idea, then why do cops open carry? Perhaps we should pass laws that mandate cops only carry concealed. Watch how they’ll squeal!

    Look for a whole lot more “I’m a gun owner but….” articles in the near future. Especially since there are so many new gun owners who really have no idea just what “…shall not be infringed.” really means.

  6. On February 16, 2021 at 3:15 pm, Michael (from Utah) said:

    “Look for a whole lot more “I’m a gun owner but….” articles in the near future.”

    I’ve observed this in Utah over the last 26 years or so (since the concealed carry laws were relaxed in 1995). With the state now allowing concealed carry without a permit, these same clowns have come out of the woodwork yet again:

    – I’m a gun owner, BUT this sure seems dangerous and unnecessary

    – I’m a gun owner, and support the 2nd Amendment, BUT there’s no need to carry a weapon into (fill in the blank).

    On and on it goes. I do my best to ignore these clowns, but it is tough at times.

  7. On February 16, 2021 at 6:40 pm, Paraclete said:

    instructional “safety” course should be the only
    requiremet for either open or concealed carry.

  8. On February 16, 2021 at 7:37 pm, Bill Buppert said:

    Guns don’t kill people, physics does. Books have probably been responsible for far more deaths. Karl Marx is Exhibit A.

  9. On February 17, 2021 at 8:28 am, June J said:

    Ah, the same old tired arguments from they “yeah,but” crowd and the “might” folks. Heard them all in Texas, still get dredged up occasionally.
    The facts are though that blood hasn’t run in the streets, hasn’t run in the hallway of colleges, hasn’t been rivers of blood in restaurants, bars, retail stores or anywhere else.
    Law enforcement concerned about open carry and responding to “brandishing” calls should engage dispatchers and officers in thorough training about the law and how to question the karens who call to determine if there is an actual firearm being waved around in a threatening manner or merely a law abiding citizen exercising their rights.

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You are currently reading "More On South Carolina Open Carry", entry #26924 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published February 15th, 2021 by Herschel Smith.

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