I fully support both your 1st and 2nd amendment rights, and support your exercise of them. So, please do not take the forthcoming mild chastisement as criticism of you or those rights, but as an admonishment to use them discretely. There are forums available where it would be appropriate to discuss the types of weapon and method of carry, but I personally don't think this is one. If I had a CCL, and if I chose to carry on the course, you would never know. In fact, no one but my wife and children would know, not even my playing partners if I do it correctly. That to me is the purpose of concealed carry.
I don't have a problem with open carry, per se, but I don't think I would do it. In certain situations, I think it would make one a target. If I am an armed robber knocking off a convenience store, the guy with a gun on his hip is probably my first target. On the other hand, if I walk in a convenience store with the intention to rob and see a couple of armed cititzens, I might just move on. I do think our friends in Texas and other places have not done the best job of public relations by carrying rifles around their neck into Chili's and Target. Arguably, such in the face expression does more harm and less education; when proponents of other issues rub my nose in it I am turned off, even if I agree with their rights.
Mailman, I am happy to hear your opinion, and to know that there are some of our cousins who are not averse to firearms. What many fail to understand is that NOT CARRYING is the relatively new phenomenon in the history of firearms, not only in the US, but in the UK and other places as well. I grew up in a rural area, and even in my lifetime, it was not uncommon for high school students' pickups to be parked in the school parking lot with a rifle or shotgun in the gunrack. It was also common for most boys to have a pocketknife. None of these were ever involved in any schoolyard fights. Alas, even I must admit that such an idyllic place is no longer attainable. I think I fired my first firearm, a .22 rifle, before I turned 6, and I brought my children up the same way. I fully support the military and law enforcement, but even they will tell you that protection of individuals is not what they do. The military protects the rights of individuals as a country against aggression, and while many police cars are logoed with the words "to serve and protect", their real function is to deter before and pursue and investigate after the fact.
While I applaud states for enacting shall issue CCL, making carrying legal where it previously was not, I don't necessarily believe that qualified citizens should be required to have a permit. Felons, and certain others by Federal and state laws are prohibited from owning firearms, so obviously carrying one by them is also already illegal. Many states do allow open carry without a permit, so I don't have a big problem with the CCL in shall issue states. Many require training in safety and legal use for the permit so that is a good aspect. I believe that responsible potential carriers, open or concealed should avail themselves of the available CCL courses, whether it is required or not. And I apply this to myself. Even though I have been around firearms literally all my life, I plan to take one of the courses that recently became available.
As for the "copper mouth water rattler" as the late Lewis Grizzard called them, they will come after you. My grandmother killed more of them with her garden hoe than I have with my .22, so actually a 4 iron is probably better defense than a gun.