When I wrote about this 3 years ago, I entitled it “Open Carry – Does It Help Or Hurt?” I left the issue open as a question. At the time, I was satisfied to leave the question hanging. I thought I made my feelings know, but after a bunch of recent incidents underscored my premise, I feel I need to make myself clear:
Flagrant open carry hurts the cause of lawful exercise of the Second Amendment, and, unchecked, could lead to all of us losing our rights to keep and bear arms.
So when I say “flagrant open carry,” what am I talking about?
- A man in Forsyth County, Georgia, decides to open carry at a kids’ baseball game.
- A group holds an open carry “rally” at a Home Depot in Dallas, Texas.
- Restaurant employees allegedly hide in a freezer because of an open carry rally.
Examples pop up every day, and with every one, I cringe, and wait for the world to crash.
Okay, first, let me say – again – yes, it is our right to carry a gun, and to carry it in the open if we choose. (Sometimes state and local laws infringe that right, but the right remains.)
But let me lay out as simply as I can why I think flagrant open carry is a bad thing, in reality, in today’s society.
I open carry at times, when I feel it is appropriate, but I never open carry with the intent of “making a point.”
Why? Because some people are afraid of people with guns. You can argue all day that they have nothing to be afraid of, but it does not change them, any more than arguing with an arachnophobe will make them see that most spiders don’t threaten them.
Why do I care if they are afraid?
Because they vote.
The day may come, beloved, when we need everyone we can get to vote with our cause. The day may come when enough crazy people have done enough crazy things with guns that our legislators do the unthinkable – pass some kind of law actually outlawing guns.
The day may come when enough Celebutards get on TV and demand that #SomethingMustBeDone. And then enough people make a big enough noise, that someone who people really pay attention to decides to get behind the movement.
Yes, we think that can’t happen, that we are protected by the Second Amendment. We are protected. But in a worst case scenario, with a crazy enough event, I, for one, would not put it past our society to totally ignore the Constitution, and tell us to line up and turn them all in.
If you think that can’t happen, then you have ignored the examples of Britain and Australia.
So, for God’s sake, open carry if you want, but please do so peacefully, and don’t be an asshole about it.
Edit: In case you think I am alone in this, think again.
7 thoughts on “Why Flagrant Open Carry Hurts Our Cause”
What I find interesting is how much of the media line people — pro-rights people- have swallowed without question.
The “employees hid in the freezer” — no evidence at all it happened. The manager posed for pictures with the OCT group. The 911 call came from a shopper at the near by Home Depot; not Jack in the Box.
The “man carrying at the baseball game” was actually walking through a park where there was a baseball game. There is no evidence that he even spoke to the parents much less uttered anything like “look at me, I have a gun and you can do nothing about it”. That came from a parent who was upset — no one questioned the truth.
Open Carry can hurt. I don’t know how we get people familiar with Open Carry without actually doing it through.
What hurts us more is when pro-rights people use the same arguments as anti-rights cultists; ‘people are afraid to see a gun’. “Normal people don’t Open Carry….” Same argument different firearm.
I think we should try to keep the message and imagery as positive and as neutral as possible but instead of attacking other advocates; go after the media and the antis for their lies and antics.
It wasn’t OCT that pulled Jack in the Box or Chipotle into the political arean; it was Moms Demanding Attention. It was the media who passed on the lies about what happened. Let’s focus on who is really out to restrict our rights eh.
I appreciate your comments. I agree, it isn’t Open Carry per se that is the issue, it’s when people try to make it a big deal that it becomes and issue. I guess the point was missed that I am talking about our image with the Undecideds. There are people who don’t care if I carry a gun, as long as I don’t threaten them or their children. Right now, undecided is not a bad thing, but we may some day need them on our side. And being in their face doesn’t help.
And yes, we can go after the media, but we can’t fault them for doing their job. They report what people want to read. If the Moms make a fuss, the media will be there. And all they have to do is print a photo of someone carrying an AK47 in Home Depot (or better, an SKS with a bayonet [really?]) and their point is made for them. All our hollering about it just sounds, to the Undecideds, like our other cries to Save The Second Amendment.
So, yeah, all appearances are that the “hid in the freezer” thing was so much hysteria.
That said, let us do a root-cause analysis of the problem – no company has been attacked by Shannon and her Moms Demand bullies until such time as the nitwits at OCT made an issue about how the company was “supporting” them.
First off, none of these companies “supported” open carry or OCT – at the very best, they tolerated it, and went along with it to make a buck. After all, companies are in business to make money, not be used as other people’s political soap boxes.
Secondly, no business has been attacked as vociferously by the “gun sense” crowd as those that were protested at by OCT. If your tactics have a proven history of bringing the enemy down on your head, it is time to rethink your tactics.
TX has the same exact “hunting/fishing/camping” exception to their OC-prohibitions that FL has been exploiting to good effect for years now. Try one a protest along their styles and see how it goes, rather than continuing to drag companies – that want no part in either side of the debate – into the fight.
I’ll admit the OCT has provide easy targets for the MDA but
no company has been attacked by Shannon and her Moms Demand bullies until such time as the nitwits at OCT made an issue about how the company was “supporting” them.
That doesn’t address the previous calls for boycotts; it wasn’t the OCT that started dragging Starbucks into the political arena, it was the antis.
TX has the same exact “hunting/fishing/camping” exception to their OC-prohibitions that FL has been exploiting to good effect for years now
Different environments, different tactics. Florida’s coastal and extensive water ways makes it easy for a “fishing event” to be visible. Heck the tourists and locals go to those locations. It isn’t even close the situation in Texas.
As I’ve said, yes the OCT crowd needs to control the message better and present a better image. I don’t question that.
My issue is with the pro-rights community using the same language as the antis when they address Open Carry advocacy.
Except it was OCT that dragged Starbucks into the arena, by proclaiming that Starbucks supported their open carry.
As I said, root-cause analysis does not work out for the OCTers.
And I am sure Texas has lakes. Barring that, empty-holster protests and even picking up trash on the side of the road will work out better than their current escapades.
I noted on my blog in April about someone open carrying (1911 in hip holster) at Home Depot in Woodstock and that other than a few double-takes, no one seemed to care. That said, open carrying a “scary black rifle”, unslung, is just plain asking for problems. As above, if your actions bring the enemy down on your head, it’s time to rethink your actions…..
Pingback: A few words about Open Carry | The New Rebellion University
Comments are closed.