Personally, I Open Carry on my own property...sometimes at the homes of friends where it's a customary and welcome practice...and a few times a year in public just to gauge general public's response in different parts of the country.
Most of the time, I Conceal Carry. The exposed pistol does alarm some nice folks...allows troublemakers to accuse you of having threatened them with the gun when you didn't, and making their false complaint more credible if there are no other unbiased eyewitnesses...and I do want to keep the surprise factor.
When I'm working for the police department, the gun is of course exposed in uniform, will be exposed in plainclothes when I'm in a police environment but rarely in public unless I'm with identifiable brother officers.
FWIW, I would like to see open carry legal in every state. For one thing, it's a lot faster for a new convert to the armed lifestyle than waiting 90 days to process a concealed carry permit, should they experience stalking situations or death threats, etc. For another, at takes away ambiguity about legality if the wind blows the coat open and the legally concealed pistol becomes visible.
I believe in the surprise factor, AND no one needs to know that I am armed.
Has there been any cases that you have heard of whereby a citizen exercises Open Carry and is targeted somehow? Does having an open carry make the person vulnerable to a more planned attack in plans to disarm the individual?
I theorize a person who open carries is spotted by a group of people. As the person is completely unaware, he is attacked and disarmed. The problem I forsee is a civilian who does not have the resources to "call for backup". 9-1-1 is not exactly expedient for all locales.
Disarming of Open Carrying citizen doesn't happen every day, but it happens. At least one case has been discussed in Carry Issues. Of course, most people don't open carry in public anyway. Unpleasant confrontations due to someone being frightened/offended by the gun are more common, as a leisurely tour through the Carry Issues archives at Glock Talk will show.