I live in an open carry State and DO NOT open carry. I would hazard a guess that 99% of the citizens in my State that do lawfully carry a firearm, do not carry openly. I would speculate based on my own observation in my home State that those who (do) carry openly are often motived by attention seeking, activism or some sort of social engineering.
I see mode of carry as a strategic issue as well as a minor tactic. Each person must choose for themselves but I can say without any reservation that I do not believe OC to be very prudent for the lone joe citizen.
Like others in this thread, I will OC in the woods or in some remote location where I do not expect to be around the general public at large. I make this exception due to my belief that remote and sparsely occupied locations effectively mitigate many of the potential perils that are often associated with OC in general.
I say everyone should carry in the method that they feel comfortable with carrying.
I carry in the mode that allowed me to draw my weapon the most efficiently as well as the most convenient. I won’t change my clothing of what I am wearing just so that I can carry openly or concealed.
With the style of activities I do, and the weather, sometimes in those circumstances carrying concealed would basically be the same as not even carrying, as it would take 5 min to just get through what I am wearing to get access to my weapon.
Other times I am hiking and all I have on is a pair of shorts and hiking shoes. If I carry anything that would make for a viable weapon, it will be exposed and by some states standards considered open carry anyways.
There are clear advantages to each mode of carry. Each offer their disadvantages as well.
When it comes to my decision to openly carry or carry concealed, it all has to do with where I am going, what I need to wear, what I will be doing, the weather and of course the law. What I am NOT concerned with in the least bit is what anyone else thinks or feels about seeing me with my handgun.
Here’s the other thing... I am a Texan, with a Texas LTC. If I go to Oregon, Oregon does NOT recognize a Texas LTC. Neither does Washington. So if I wish to legally carry in Washington or Oregon I would be REQUIRED by law to open carry. However I recently obtained my Utah LTC, so in Washington I can now carry concealed as well.
So depending on ones location, and what LTC/CHL’s one May or may not have. A person maybe REQUIRED to carry openly, or maybe required to carry concealed if they wish to do so legally.
I will always follow the law. However if I have the choice. I will always carry for the situation of the day and I have my 2A right to do so.
I do not carry for attention.