For the record, I like The Gunmart blog. I’ve linked to them in the past, and I’ll continue to link to them in the future.
“The exit question here is, Is open carry really a deterrent?”
No, of course not. Open carry is no more of a deterrent to crime than having a cop cruise around a neighborhood once a week. Good policing requires the police to be involved in their community, and good gun ownership requires gun owners to be good citizens first, gun owners second.
The point of open carry is that it turns the bearing of arms a normal thing, period full stop. If you want good gun laws, get good people carrying guns out into the public eye. Do you think that fact that Arizona has had the best gun laws in the country for two years running might, just might, have something to do with the fact that open carry has been legal in the state since before it was even a state?
Open carry is not a deterrent to crime, because if you’re in a neighborhood where you need to open-carry to stop a criminal, buddy, are you ever in the wrong neighborhood. Rather, open carry is a way to show normal people (not criminals) that guns are not bad, because nice people carry guns. If you act badly with carrying a gun, expect people to think that guns are bad, because the people who have them are arrogant pr!cks and might do something bad with a gun.