You know, I'm pretty sure I would not open carry very often even if SC allowed it. As much as I'm willing to share on here with all of you kind, like minded people, gun ownership and my choice to carry has been a deeply private struggle for me.
I grew up in WI and became interested in guns during the late 80's and early 90's and spent most of my teens and early 20's trying to find someone to teach me about guns and hunting. This was a time when where I lived owning a handgun was looked upon with disapproval by the general population and women who had interest in guns were discouraged. Guns were a man's world and any woman who didn't have a male relative willing to teach her was out of luck.
I would occasionally find someone to go plinking with but other than that I was told either that I couldn't handle the big calibers deer require, or that their wife/girlfriend wouldn't like it if they took me hunting, not even if it was just a day trip. Or both. Mostly I got the impression that I was encroaching upon sacred male territory though. There was one guy who had handguns who was willing to teach me, but after watching the downright stupid shooting out behind the barn with his friends while they emptied several cases of beer I decided these weren't my kind of gun people.
Then the local gun store started advertising a membership discount to their gun club with purchase of a gun, new shooters very welcome, so I decided I'd buy a gun and a membership and learn how to shoot that way. I read some magazines and reviews, decided I wanted a 1911, and in May of 1996 I went to the gun store with the cash in my pocket to buy it. I was shown two "ladies purse revolvers" a .38 and a .22, and was told that was all that he had for me. I pointed at the 1911 and said I'd like to see that one, and he said that's not a ladies gun. I said I'd like to see it anyway and he said women aren't strong enough to handle a gun like that, walked away and went into the office until I left. I was so ticked off, discouraged and sick of the years of girls don't shoot guns that I gave up after that experience. F 'em, guns are dangerous and obviously attract too many idiots anyways. Right? My doberman would take good care of me and if she couldn't I'd throw my (now ex) husband at the bad guy and run like h-e-double hockey sticks.
It took moving to the south in 2002 and marrying my wonderful, supportive, gun owning and cwp carrying 2nd husband to start thinking that maybe gun people didn't all have giant egos and minuscule iq's, maybe I really was allowed to like guns. It took a few more years before I decided that it was okay for me to handle a handgun, and then a few more years before I decided that I was allowed to have my CWP too. Even though everywhere I went in the south I was met by (intelligent, kind, SAFE!!) gun people who welcomed me and encouraged me I had to convince myself that not only was it ok, not only was I really allowed, but that it was my legal right to own and carry a gun if I chose to. I really had taken all that rejection much deeper to heart than I realized, and I am far from a wilting flower who gives up easily.
How does that all tie in? Well, I fully and completely support people who choose to open carry and will vote to support open carry, but it's not something I'm interested in doing. I don't necessarily believe that people who choose to OC are trying to attract attention, but they do get more attention than someone CC'ing and I don't want that. Some have said that because I had such a difficult time that I should get out there and OC to try and help change the way society views gun ownership and encourage those that are like I was, and that my friendly, open personality would make me a natural at it, but right now I'm not up for being a public advocate. I simply don't want to risk opening myself up for that kind of damage again. When someone else brings up the topic of weapons and ccw I'm more than willing to expound upon my views and opinions most of the time, but that doesn't mean that I tell them that I have weapons or a cwp. I don't want to have to explain my motivations or defend my decisions any more unless I decide to put myself out there for it and these days I'm disinclined to open myself up for that kind of interaction. I want to buy my groceries, haul my kids, eat my dinner, walk my dogs, go to the gym, and sit in my yard knowing that I have the skills and tools at hand to keep myself and my loved ones safe without feeling obligated to be an ambassador too. And I would not make a good one. Somehow I don't think a narrow-eyed look and a wary, defensive, don't even think about jumping my case attitude when asked why I'm open carrying would give them the warm fuzzy feelings we want them to have about armed citizens.
I'm all for freedom of choice and fully respect and support your interest in open carry, but I do hope that if you can't understand it, you'll at least respect my right to chose not to.
Thanks for the interesting discussion!