OK folks, I tried reading this thread but it got painful very quick so I'm skipping to the bottom w/o reading the rest.
First of all, VA did not pass a law to make OC "legal". There has never been a state law criminalizing OC. Localities (such as Alexandria) made laws criminalizing OC which were pre-emted by the legislature. See http://vaguninfo.com/pages/opencarry.htm
for more info on open carry in "laws" Virginia.
Secondly, all this crazy talk about police shooting you, moms calling the police, or neighbors flipping out is just that, it's crazy talk. If the police receive a report about a "man with a gun" (MWAG from here on out) the dispatcher will inform the complainant that OC is legal in Virginia and unless the person in question is doing something suspicious the police have nothing to investigate, as OC is legal activity. The police sometimes will offer to send a unit out to look at the MWAG but the officer will not speak to the MWAG unless something fishy is going on. How do I know? I OC all the time and have had the police called on me. I've even watched someone call the police on me while I stood 10 feet away from them. It's always funny to watch their face as the dispatcher delivers the news to them. I've also had the police respond to reports about me. They never speak to me, just drive by and check things out. I make it a point to wave at them and wish them a nice day as they drive past.
Ahh, lastly the "does OC reduce crime" question and the challenge to prove it with statistics. Observer wrote: "Simply look at an area that allows open carry, we can use NOVA. Now, locate the crime rate for the NOVA area, you could be even more specific and just use Fairfax County. Now, find a county that doesn't allow open carry with the near the same population. Compare the stats and you have a statistic to use in your advantage".
I'll take you up on that challenge. But since I'm busy I won't even bother to look up the stats/facts. Let's compare Fairfax County to DC. One allows open carry, the other does not. Where do YOU feel safer? Want to go shopping sometime in Tenelytown? (the area were gun violence is so bad the DC police are setting up unconstitutional checkpoints)
I'm gonna wrap this up by saying there is a lot of innuendo, half-truths, and emotional garbage tainting this topic. If you want to open carry a legal sidearm in VA then do so. Read vaguninfo.com, vcdl.org, and opencarry.org for more educational information before you do open carry.
If anyone has questions specific to open or concealed carry in VA feel free to email me at vaguninfo ^at^ gmail ^dot^ com and I will provide you the *correct* answers to your questions w/o the baloney and emotional garbage found in this thread.