The Big Question: To Conceal or Not to Conceal

Written by S.C. Sherman on January 25, 2014

Every day it seems there are more stories of some of the 2A brethren pushing the envelope by open-carrying. The story usually grabs a headline. The picture tends to show a confrontation between a police officer and an openly carrying individual. Many online stories come complete with video and audio as friends record the event on their phones. The open carry faction of the gun rights movement demand what they believe to be a God given human right documented and guaranteed through our Second Amendment. They see it literally. Black and white. No need for a permit. No need for permission. No need for concealment. No off limits places. No restrictions. A right is a right is a right, right?

They root this belief in the Second Amendment itself and I will just say I don’t disagree, but. Let’s review for fun the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” There is nothing in there about permission, background checks, concealing, permitting, limiting magazine capacity, calibers, gun free zones, or much of anything restrictive that we are dealing with every day in America. It reads like patriot poetry, beautiful words of freedom. Oh, if it was just that easy, but we all know it’s not. Let’s start with why would you want to open carry? I think there are three main reasons to do it.

1- Function. You feel that open and easy access to your weapon is necessary to achieve victory in an armed altercation. Also, hunting or working outside can make open carrying the most logical thing to do for safety sake.
2- Rights. Since it’s our right, some people want to do it just because they can. This falls under the whole freedom thing. Are we not free to do what is within our rights?
3- Shock Value. Some people like to be the center of attention. Whether it’s getting arrested on TV or just stirring the societal pot, some people enjoy being the fly-in-the-ointment.

I’m sure there are other reasons, but these listed would encompass most of them. Feel free to add more in the comments section. State by state this topic is being tossed around. Some states are staunchly against while others, mostly out west, say carry away. I like personal choice within our right to carry, the ultimate freedom. The less the government micromanages our affairs the better as far as I’m concerned. With that said, I personally only open carry for reason #1. If I’m hunting or in bear country and wearing a winter coat, I like that heavy handgun accessible as Momma Bear comes around the bend. Otherwise, I would never open carry. Just my opinion.

Here’s why. I don’t like attention. I would never do it for reason #3. I’ve always been that way. It might just be me, but I don’t like public attention. (My wife is snickering right now as I try to book another speaking event!) I’d rather know a secret and keep it than tell the whole world.

I don’t like freaking people out either. I believe our cause may be hurt by scaring the sheep of our world. The gun control sheeple of America have been conditioned to fear the mere site of blued steel. Guns of all kinds really, but pistols especially scare the begeezus out of them.

My goal is to advance our gun rights within my lifetime or at the very least hand to my sons and daughters the ones we were given. Fear of weapons is the most powerful tool our anti-gun opposition has. I personally don’t want to give them any more power by walking around Wal-Mart open carrying.

I know it’s my right to do it. Calm down open carriers. I’m still on your side. I didn’t say you couldn’t do it. I just told you why I don’t. My last reason to choose to conceal is the aspect of surprise. I prefer my enemy not to see it coming. I like the idea that Joe Psycho may walk into a locale and open fire thinking all of us are unarmed. Then he will get to know the dirty little secret. We aren’t all unarmed. BAM! Dead psycho. I feel carrying concealed gives me an advantage against a would-be adversary. I know open carry folks are typing furiously right now. Blasphemy! Open carrying makes you safer as a deterrent.

They feel that when Joe Psycho sees you are carrying he will leave you alone! Right? Wrong. If that was true, we would never have a cop smacked in the head, disrespected, or shot and killed. They open carry all the time. Are they exempted from being a target? No. Sometimes, they are a bigger target because of who they are and what they openly carry.

As you ponder the age old question, to conceal or not to conceal, check why you’re doing it and what you hope to accomplish. I choose to conceal. My home state of Iowa has a Permit to Carry. It doesn’t require concealment. I choose concealment, but that’s just me. However you do it…Keep Calm and Carry On!

mercy shotAuthor, S.C. Sherman latest novel titled Mercy Shot is available for purchase at and Kindle version is available on S.C. Sherman is available for speaking events and members of the media feel free to contact him for interviews. If you are interested in bulk purchasing or resale of Mercy Shot, please contact S.C. Sherman via email Also, go LIKE to stay up to date on all things Mercy Shot. All new LIKES are entered into a drawing to win a Safari Cigar Sampler Pack.

Doug ‘The Big Dawg’ Giles reviews Mercy Shot:
Mercy Shot is a riveting, modern tale of the twisted and insidious war that’s being waged against our Second Amendment rights. S.C. Sherman does a great job of forecasting in this timely tome of how things could possibly go down. My advice is to a.)Read this book and b.) Buy a stack of guns and ammo, pretty damn quick. Molon Labe.”– Doug Giles, CEO of

Image: Courtesy of:

S.C. Sherman
S.C. Sherman grew up a farm kid in rural Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Communications Studies. Steve is a business owner, and recently ran for Iowa State House of Representatives.. S.C. enjoys political commentary and great stories. He has written three fiction novels found at He currently lives with his wife and four children in North Liberty, Iowa.