Scarbelly79 wrote:I hate to say it, but if someone is asking you why you are carrying a gun, they are probably asking a rhetorical question.
Not necessarily. I OC a fair amount and I have had multiple good conversations with people who asked me why I was carrying a gun, and they legitimately wanted to know. I've even had multiple people ask me why I was carrying, and then after talking for a minute, they said that makes a lot of sense and then expressed interest in getting a gun/cfp themselves. I've been able to educate many people on the legality of open carry as well as other carry laws. I would say that 9 out of 10 of the gun conversations I've had while carrying have been quite positive. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I hardly ever run into jerks.
I usually respond to "why are you carrying a gun" with something like this:
I carry a gun for the same reason that I wear my seatbelt, keep fire extinguishers in the house, and have insurance. It's a safety precaution to protect me and my loved ones from harm. I hope I never get in a car crash, have a fire in my house, or have a big disaster, but if any of those things were to happen, I feel much better knowing I'm prepared. Carrying a gun is the same. I hope I never have to use it, but the world can be a very bad place and you just never know when you might need to protect yourself or your family. And if someone were ever threatening to hurt or kill myself or my family, I would much rather have a way to protect myself, than just becoming another helpless victim.
That is more or less what I usually say. How much I say all depends on how interested the person really is. It has always worked great for me, and people really seem to understand it well. When we're done talking, almost everyone says, "ya that makes sense". Talking to people is a great way to change the negative public perception about guns. Just do it with a smile and stay positive, and you will make a good impression
“Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” - Jeff Cooper