Please, Open Carriers, Stop “Defending My Rights”

06Jul14

I’m not sure what’s going on with the gun rights movement lately. We faced a serious threat after Newtown, but at the grass roots level, America showed that it does not want more gun control. Most major gun control efforts failed miserably. Gun sales have soared. More and more good, decent citizens are getting concealed carry permits. The public is slowly learning that despite the incessant media focus on guns, actual gun crimes have plummeted. A few prominent liberals like Anthony Bourdain have tried to convince other liberals to stop demonizing gun owners. By most measures, we on the pro-2nd Amendment side have won.

But then open carriers go and screw things up.

Photo credit thetruthaboutguns.com

Photo credit thetruthaboutguns.com

At last count several large corporations including Starbucks, Sonic, Chipotle and now Target have at least asked OCers to stop open carrying at their businesses. I’d guess they did this because OCers were driving customers away. The businesses’ request, of course, drove some pro-2A people nuts. These businesses have all been accused of being “anti-gun”. In reality, they just want to sell stuff. On their private property. You know, in accordance with their right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. They aren’t required to take sides in a fight they never wanted to be involved in. They should be left out of this.

But instead of leaving the uninterested out of the debate, open carriers have apparently adopted a policy of forcing people to take sides. They do this by flaunting their right to open carry, carrying specifically to provoke a reaction, carrying for no logical reason in really stupid places, and basically making asses of themselves. Then they take pictures of themselves proudly “defending our gun rights”.

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Really, who wouldn’t feel comfortable walking into Chipotle’s with this gaggle of freedom-lovers hanging around outside? It’s not like any of them are CARRYING THEIR F’KIN’ WEAPON AT PORT ARMS, which has been taught as a combat-ready position for decades. And just look! None of them, NONE, have their weapon slung in front, which is where we soldiers carry our carbines on patrol so WE CAN QUICKLY RAISE THEM TO SHOOT PEOPLE IN THE FACE.

This has been explained by other writers already, but it’s worth repeating: if someone is carrying a weapon at port arms or low ready, it’s no different than walking around with a pistol out of the holster in a combat grip. Professionals carry their long guns in front when they’re prepared for imminent contact. When I was overseas and outside the wire, my weapon was either in my hands or hanging on my chest. You know, the way OCers carry their weapons inside coffee shops.

Statesman.com

Statesman.com

Now, I’m going to do a little compare and contrast. Take another look at the totally non-threatening latte buyer above. Note how his weapon hangs by the sling on his chest. If I ever have a chance to ask him, I’m sure he’ll say nothing in the manner of his open carry suggests he’s a threat.

Now, check out this guy:

US Army photo

US Army photo

Notice that he’s carrying his weapon in pretty much the same manner as the latte buyer. But he is, in fact, one hell of a threat. Because the soldier, probably unlike the coffee shop customer, has been trained how to quickly raise his weapon and engage. The soldier carries his weapon up front specifically so he can shoot people with it. The fact that the open carrier apparently doesn’t know that he’s carrying his weapon in a combat-ready manner kinda suggests he shouldn’t be carrying it in a coffee shop.

And then there are guys like these flaming morons, wandering the streets with AR-15s that they can probably barely operate. And intentionally walking past a police station. While talking like rappers. And bragging about their right to open carry. Just to get attention.

But you know what’s even sadder than that? When you realize that those ridiculous open carry bozos were actually safer and less threatening than the coffee shop guy.

Now, let’s say I’m in Home Depot. I carry a concealed pistol every day. I’m with my wife and kids looking at appliances. We turn the corner to another aisle. And I see this guy, carrying an AK with his hand on the grip and finger just outside the trigger guard.

Photo credit nationalmemo.com

Photo credit nationalmemo.com

I now have a decision to make. Is this an open carrier demonstrating in support of a right, that we already have, by walking around Home Depot completely oblivious to the fact that he’s carrying his weapon ready for action? Or is it an aspiring active shooter who just ditched his trenchcoat to expose his weapon? Might I be forgiven for not realizing that he (supposedly) doesn’t intend to appear threatening, and that he’s just clueless?

Many of us pro-2A people carry a gun just in case we run into some murderous nutcase wandering around a business with an AK ready to open fire. Then we encounter “gun rights activists” wandering around businesses carrying AKs ready to open fire. But the gun rights activists are supposedly on our side. And we’re supposed to be able to quickly tell the difference between the two. At least one open carrier in Georgia couldn’t tell the difference, and drew on another open carrier recently (http://www.valdostadailytimes.com/todays-top-stories/x1736693358/First-day-of-new-gun-law-leads-to-arrest).

Here’s another example. How do these guys, especially the woman carrying with both hands on her weapon, not know they’re carrying in a threatening manner?

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EDIT: I had to remove this image because I inadvertently attributed it to the wrong source. The picture is originally from the Detroit News (who charges for its use), and can be seen here: http://www.colorsmagazine.com/stories/magazine/88/story/us-gun-owners-want-the-right-to-order-caramel-frappuccinos-while-fully-arme
——

Could it be… gosh… maybe they’re not the highly trained master gunfighters some of them imagine themselves to be?

Call me crazy, but I feel one of my responsibilities as a gun rights advocate is to show people that gun owners are reasonable, responsible people who aren’t a threat to the innocent. If I were to, say, walk into Chipotle carrying an AK at the combat ready, I’m pretty sure I’d accomplish the exact opposite. And I really couldn’t blame regular Joe for being afraid of me. Think about it, guys. If a cop walks into Chipotle with a rifle, people will get scared. If a soldier walks into Chipotle with a rifle, people will get scared. If some unknown guy walks into Chipotle with a rifle, especially if he’s carrying it at the combat ready, people are going to get scared. In America, carrying a rifle into a restaurant isn’t a normal act. Right or wrong, it scares people. And you won’t make people less scared of guns by intentionally scaring them with guns.

At this point, I’m sure open carriers will call me “Hoplophobe! Anti-gunner!” or whatever else helps their “You’re either one of us or one of the enemy” mindset. My response is, “Sure, whatever.” I’m 100% pro-2nd Amendment. In fact, I actually support the legal right to open carry in private businesses. I support it the same way I support the Westboro Baptist Church’s right to protest at soldiers’ funerals. I consider both acts to be the height of stupidity. I think the WBC and open carriers are only harming their own cause. Both acts are moronic. But this is America, and people have a right to be morons.

Peaceful open carry rallies where gun owners safely carry long guns slung across their backs on public land? I’m down with that. Blatantly ridiculous, orchestrated confrontations where open carriers walk into private businesses with rifles at the combat ready, just to piss people off, knowing that all they’ll do is create more enemies? No thanks.

So please, open carriers, stop “defending my rights”. Just stop. You’re not helping. You’re not creating friends. You’re not “proving how important it is to exercise our rights.” You also have a right to wander the streets dressed in drag; do you exercise that right? And you’re not “getting people used to open carry.” For years, the Westboro Baptist Church has angered people by protesting at funerals. America hasn’t gotten used to it. We grudgingly tolerate it because it’s legal, but pretty much everybody hopes the WBC picks the wrong funeral and gets beaten senseless. America will never say, “The Westboro Baptist Church? What a great group of guys!” And you open carriers will never NOT provoke a reaction by carrying an AR-15 inside Chipotle.

But maybe, if you keep doing this stupid crap, you’ll turn more gun-neutral people into anti-gun people. Once you create enough enemies, you’ll finally hit the critical mass that gets new gun control laws passed. When that happens, I won’t just blame those anti-gun people. I’ll blame YOU.

ADDED 7/9/2014: I just ran across this video. I don’t know anything about this guy’s background, but he makes a lot of good points.

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com, Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).



334 Responses to “Please, Open Carriers, Stop “Defending My Rights””

  1. You know, I used to be a supporter of our right to bear arms. I thought, “if the bad guys have guns, we should be able to protect ourselves” and that “if the government ever became corrupt and belligerently evil” that we would be able to protect our rights.

    When my brother turned 13 my grandfather took him outside and taught him to shoot a 12 gauge and he said I’d have the same teaching when I turned 13. However, when I turned 13 the neighbors had reported him for discharging his weapon, on his own property. He did this to shoot deer that would come into his garden, or in some cases to scare them off. I was beyond mad.

    I didn’t learn to shoot until my brief stint in the military, but I had learned from a young age that you should respect guns, that they can do a lot of damage. So I respected my weapons in the military. This was when I first got a taste of the reason that I don’t support the right of most folks to own a weapon.

    Instead of going into all of the details, I want to just highlight two. I have a good friend who has his conceal and carry permit. He goes to the range and shoots, he conceals his weapon and doesn’t brag about it, and he has a respect for the weapon. Most people don’t even know when he’s carrying, which is how it’s supposed to be done, in my opinion.

    Then I had a boss at a job who kept a gun in his desk, another in his car, and a few at home. He would preach about people trying to take away his right to own a gun and how responsible gun owners shouldn’t be forced to wait or even be licensed. I walked into the office one day and he called me into his office. He was pointing a loaded gun at me and laughing as if he had just played some hilarious joke on me. Then he’d have a few drinks at work, go to his house and he’d brag about shooting a squirrel. One time we were driving to a client’s office in separate cars, he pulled up next to me and drew his weapon and laughed. The thing is, that in his mind, he was a responsible gun owner.

    More often than not, I find that gun enthusiasts have the same attitude, not of my friend, but rather like that of my boss. They think a gun is cool and it makes them cool for owning one. They flaunt their guns and make light of the fact that they are holding a weapon that can easily take a life. Granted, I might run into a lot more responsible gun owners than I know, but just not realize it. For me, even one person who plays with his gun like my old boss did is too many. That’s one person who might accidentally take a life, and that’s one accidental life too many.

    The other thing that I’ve realized is that all it takes is one really really bad day and an opportunity to make for disaster. You get to work after waking up late, your boss fires you for being late, you go to your car and get a flat on the way back home…the whole time, stressing about how to tell your wife that you’re fired. They fix your flat and your credit card is declined, you wonder how you’re going to pay your mortgage without your job now and somehow, you make it home. When you get home and walk inside, you find your wife in bed with your best friend and your firearm on your side…You kill yourself, or them, or everyone. All it takes is that one bad day.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have a right to arm ourselves, but I do think that there need to be bigger restrictions and I think open gun laws just lend themselves to more idiotic accidents…especially by the type of people you’ve pictured above. The people who don’t realize that they are at the ready and can be perceived as a threat…the people who want to “show off”.

    I vote we keep guns in the hands of people like the author…people who understand what a gun can do and people who don’t want to flaunt them. People who know that shooting someone isn’t “Cool”, but it’s an act that can change you forever. I think the open carry laws have simply brought the morons into the spotlight.

  2. Chris Hernandez’ article all boils down to this one quote of his: “I agree that there are times where OC is appropriate, but I think those times are limited.” Blah, blah, blah, blah. He does not support the 2nd Amendment, no matter how many times he says he does. He is for ever banned from writing about the 2nd Amendment here on his blog. This thread is dead … AND closed. Nothing more needs to be said.

    • Your god complex is almost cute. Please, ban me from something else. It’s kind of fun. :)

    • 4 Jacob Kreusch

      Oh yes 2a_advocate. Please tell us about your idea that anything in our bill of rights is impossible to regulate. Please then also explain how slander,liable, and obscenity laws came to be. We would very much like to hear your rendition of the complex inner workings of our federal government over the past 2 centuries.

      I support the right to own and bear arms. That doesn’t mean that I would find it ok to randomly point my gun at a schoolbus full of kids.That doesn’t mean that I expect to get on a plane while carrying. It doesn’t mean that I like to masturbate my shotgun’s pump. You and your kind’s irrational fear of moderation is precisely why you will end up lumped in with the dinosaurs.

  3. What Chris Hernandez, Author™ is doing in this article is playing elitism, and his select club (CCH) are the benefactors. Any bashing of full open carry can be defused by referring to the many states wherre FULL OPEN CARRY IS ALREADY LEGAL. In those states you will find people treat others with more respect and dignity, the sky has not fallen, it has not reverted Back To The Old West™, and in fact crime rates are significantly lower than non open carry states.

    But if you want to defuse the argument further its really simple. All rights movements were ‘scary’ ‘offensive’ ‘stupid’ ‘wrong’ at the time, look at slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights, and gay rights. All groups had inaleinable rights defined in the constitution but fallable man placed limits on those rights and it took scary, offensive public protest to re-affirm those rights and change public opinion.

    Look at gay rights – not long ago thej closet gays bashed the public gays and said “Stop kissing in public! Look what you are doing! You are hurting our cause!” And 20 years later here we are with widespread acceptance of gay rights.

    And oh how scary and offensive it must have been when the blacks sat down in the white cafe!

    • 6 Brad

      I use that argument all the time, these idiots just don’t seem to get it. All rights are won, not given, and you have to make people uncomfortable to get there. Of course, anyone that open carries at the low-and-ready position is hurting our cause and I’m shocked a carrier hasn’t shot one of these idiots yet.

      • 7 Surgeons Jack

        You already have the right to open carry rifles in Texas, how is open carrying a rifle helpful in the argument for OCing pistols? “Oh…You don’t want to let me OC my pistol? Then I am going to OC my SKS.” This OC movement seems like immature brats who are stomping their feet to get their way instead of having an adult conversation to win the battle. The states that got the OC laws, did it with adult discourse, not by scaring people into submission.

        These jokers are going to get killed, and the people who pulled the trigger will not be charged because it will be completely legal. Sad but true. If a CCer is walking around Walmart and sees a couple of guys with their ARs or SKSs across their chest in a ready position, they most likely aren’t going to chat up a conversation to see if they intend on killing people or if they are just being douche bags. In many states (including here in AL) the law only requires you to have a legitimate fear for your life and feel as though the person is about to use unlawful and deadly force. Therefore that “protester” would be dead for his “cause”.

        There are better and more mature ways of getting things done. Ie. educating the public about the actual DATA behind looser gun laws and the correlation with less crime. Voting people into office on the issue. Bring the issue up to each state representative in your state senate and house, tell them they will be voted out if they don’t get it passed.

        Learn to operate the system the way the founders intended! Not by being children and pitching fits.

    • Matt,

      I don’t think you read the essay. I’m not opposed to legal OC; I’m opposed to stupid OC. And no, I’m not some type of “CC only” guy. I don’t think pistol OC is tactically a good call, but I see that it makes sense sometimes. Same thing with rifle OC. There are times it makes sense, but walking into Chipotle with an AK in a combat hold doesn’t.

      Your comments about the sky not falling, old west, etc don’t apply to me, I didn’t make those remarks and never have. Please actually read what I wrote. Just try it. Actually respond to what I said, instead of what you think I said.

      Regarding your comparisons with gay rights, women’s rights, civil rights, there’s a gigantic difference between those and OC. Civil rights marchers weren’t presenting a credible threat of violence against the very people they wanted on their side. OCers who walk into restaurants with rifles at combat ready are in fact presenting a credible threat of violence. That is going to create automatic resistance to their cause.

      The “blacks sitting at the white café” remark is laughable. Nobody is oppressing you poor OCers. A couple of days ago another OC advocate quoted someone who was speaking against genocide, and compared it to the OC movement. Now you’re comparing the OC movement to the black community’s struggle for equal rights. You guys have done a bang-up job of convincing yourselves of the holiness of your cause.

      • You have selectively chosen a tiny fraction of instances that could* maybe* possibly* nearly* be combat ready. But none that actually are. Any OCer who is in combat stance is a criminal or in an assault/defense situation. You have shown absolutely zero instances of that. Instead you are playing a word game and a media game of smoke and mirrors. Showing pictures of some guys with guns on their chest saying its threatening. I see nothing of the sort. Until I see a head down on the sight plane, gun in hands ready to engage, then I see no combat or combat ready posture. Plain and simple. Just cuz I can suddenly clench my fists and go to a boxing stance doesnt mean we should ban fists. You are on the wrong side of this issue. Blinded by good intentions and a fawning media. You should not ever call yourself a 2A supporter because you’re not. Period. You support restrictions on firearms. Period.

        To paraphrase George Washington – it is evil and wrong to limit the freedoms of others on the suppositions that they may do wrong with them.

        Yes, that makes you the evil one for judging and controlling others.

        Freedom isnt always warm and fuzzy and tingly. Sometimes its uncomfortable. Sometimes its not fun for you. But that is no reason to limit the freedoms of others.

        • 10 Jacob Kreusch

          Matt:

          Once again you have failed to read chris’s article.

          “Until I see heads down on the sight plane.”
          Bro….do you even shoot? Even a sloppy backyard-trained shooter can engage and hit a target without doing that. Secondly, if you’d bothered to read the article, he explains why these stances DO qualify as combat ready. I’m sorry, but I’d rather trust the guy with the military experience here than you Mr. Armchair Sergeant in what is regarded as a combat ready stance.

          “…doesn’t mean we should ban fists.”
          GREAT! Nobody here was saying that we should ban guns. Once again boy, read the article. He has not touted any gun restrictions or laws but is chastising those who treat weapons as a fashion accessory and use them to become 15 minute celebrities at the expense of others. He is merely calling for more mature handling protests.

          “You support restrictions on firearms.”
          Please rinse and repeat reading of my above paragraph. Gods be damned kid, I’m embarassed for you. But please keep pushing away those of us moderates who aren’t blinded by fake angst. You and your kind are the ones here dividing us all. I think that most of us will agree that we were doing better until your kind came in and said “YOU DON’T LIKE A MA GUNS??!! WELL YOU’RE GONNA LOOK AT EM TIL YOU DOES LIKE EM!”

          Also, while you and I can quite back and forth all day long our founding fathers and I could point out to you that Jefferson and Madison each had their own disagreements with Washington and other founding fathers, I feel I can save us some time here with a reality check: the founding fathers…they’re my bros, you know? Love those dudes for what we have today…but they were simple idealists, many of whom had little business running a colonial city let alone setting forth the blueprint for our nation. So with all that said, while I like the blueprint, these guys were not deities, nor do their quotes automatically qualify as law, or even a solid support for an argument. I would much rather support my arguments with facts and logic rather than hinging on the mouthings of a dead man.

          • 11 Scot M

            *Slow clap*

          • 12 Cecelia

            Consider the naive attitudes here. Tyranny abounds in this country. How can you not see it? How can you miss all the efforts to destroy the states’ rights? Its states’ rights that keep the federal government at bay with a Marxist minded president trying to dismantle America and weaken her to the point an invasion can take place.

            If our means to keep our freedoms are infringed by government policies and without even a consensus from the people via the US Constitution, we will absolutely face tyranny. We are now. So we must not forsake one another and therefore imperil us all. Freedom takes a constant vigil to protect our freedoms. If you don’t understand this conversation, then you are just part of the problem so the majority just simply wont receive your message and it rightfully becomes is null and void.

            I am a white conservative female. 60 years old. Christian. My father was a WWII veteran who actually passed on what real threats are, what they look like and how he killed to keep freedom ringing and the bloody evil doers were killed not with words but with all we could kill them with until they were too weak to keep killing us.

            Can it happen again? Here on our soil? Are you seriously just poking fun at people who have the idea we might need our right to bear arms to stay free? Its happens to be the only reason the Japanese didnt invade our mainland but the said it was because we are an armed people, unknown what they faced.

            Israel is a trained and armed ready nation. Think they should stop open carry in their schools? The teachers carry Uzis in the playground.

            Do you think you know so much about real world threats and evil that you can bicker and talk like this is a game? What will be your action if you suddenly needed a defense?

          • What does any of that have to do with carrying an AK into Starbucks?

        • Ah yes, I’m part of the evil media and playing a word game. Well, here’s another game: I’ve gone to war twice. I’ve spent more than two decades training for war. I’ve been trained specifically to carry my weapon up front, one hand on the grip and other on the fore end, finger on the trigger guard, as a combat ready stance. I strongly suspect the OCers whose pictures I posted didn’t know they were carrying at combat ready; I suspect that, probably like you, they had no training and were just posing with their weapons because they thought it looked cool. That shows a general lack of maturity, lack of respect for the power of the weapon, and lack of respect for other American citizens around them.

          So if you, as a gun owner who carries in public, see an individual walk into a restaurant with an AK held in front, finger just off the trigger, you’re not going to react at all? You won’t consider him a potential threat until he actually raises the weapon and starts shooting? If the answer is yes, then you’ve convinced me you have no training at all.

          Now, you’ll notice I didn’t say the OCers in question should have been arrested for the way they carried. Try actually reading the essay. Nope, I didn’t say that, and didn’t even say OC should be illegal. I never have, in any of my writing. Your George Washington quote was inspiring, and I assure you that as we speak I’m waving the American flag, crying and shouting “‘Murica!” as the Star Spangled Banner plays in the background. But unfortunately, since I’m not clamoring for OC to be illegal, you just wasted your dramatic appeal to patriotism.

          As far as calling myself a 2A supporter, I call myself that because I am. I’m a student of history, and know why the 2A was enshrined in the Bill of Rights. I’ve spent time in crappy parts of the world where innocent people were victimized en masse because they were unarmed and helpless. I’ve written about the importance of the citizens’ right to own military weapons. I’ve written about the dangers of police abuse of authority, based on an incident overseas where I refused to participate in the abuse but failed to stop it. I support the 2A, and understand the history and philosophy behind it But I don’t believe paroled murderers should have the right to carry fully automatic weapons onto airliners. I don’t believe convicted rapists should be allowed to walk into Chipotle with an AK.

          How unreasonable of me. How anti-freedom.

          I’ll ask you, again, to actually read the article. If you do, you might see that I support OCing rifles into businesses, the same way I support the Westboro Baptist Church’s right to protest at soldiers’ funerals. I think it’s stupid, self-defeating and creates enemies, but it should be legal. I don’t think people should do it, even if it’s legal. That opinion puts me in the same category as an “unnamed staffer” in the NRA who wrote a letter asking OCers to stop carrying in private businesses, and the head of OCT who asked people to stop carrying at the combat ready in private businesses.

          If that makes me evil, then I guess I’m evil. Somehow I’ll learn to live with the guilt.

          • 15 Matt Sturgeon

            Nobody walks in that stance with a hand on the pistol grip! NO ONE! The fact that someone poses that way in a picture is not relevant! The fact that some weapon is readily available is not relevant to your argument. Your entire argument is based on FEAR rather than LOGIC. I’m sorry you went to war and now are scared of your fellow citizens holding guns. Get over it. What do you have to say about other states where full OC is already legal and all your scenarios and hypotheses have failed to pan out?

            And for you to try and cop out and say “I’m not talking about OC just stupid OC” is moronic because your own headline on your own website on your own article betrays your words and shows your true intent. You are talking to OCers, period. You are lumping everyone into one category cuz they all scare you. Combat ready is only a few motions away, gasp! Now you try and clarify and say ‘Im just against stupid OC” well DUH we are all against stupid but you didn’t bother to clarify that with your blanket headline, did you? You were just looking for that pat on the butt from your fellow gun snobs. Atta boy Chris

          • And you still haven’t read the essay.

          • “Nobody walks in that stance with a hand on the pistol grip! NO ONE!”

            First of all, calm down. Second, please look at the “Colorsmagazine” photo of the group of OCers walking across the street. It’s the place where I wrote “EDIT” and placed a link. Click on the link. Then look where the blond woman’s hands are. I never graduated from college or anything, but gosh darn it, it sure does look like she’s walking in that stance with a hand on the pistol grip. Which kind of renders your hysterical “Nobody walks in that stance with a hand on the pistol grip! NO ONE!” shrieks irrelevant.

            “The fact that someone poses that way in a picture is not relevant!”

            The fact that someone poses with a rifle inside a restaurant suggests they’re immature and shouldn’t be trusted with that weapon. And besides that, posing with a weapon inside a restaurant gives fuel to the anti-gun side, because it just looks moronic.

            “The fact that some weapon is readily available is not relevant to your argument.”

            When did I say a weapon shouldn’t be readily available? Please quote me. I’ll wait.

            “Your entire argument is based on FEAR rather than LOGIC.”

            Yes, I’m terrified. And incapable of logic. Obviously, these brave OCers are winning hearts and minds, and making people say, “Hey look, that guy’s carrying an AK in a combat hold in Chipotle. By golly, let’s vote for pistol OC!” Because that’s the logical conclusion non-gun people reach when they see Boonie and Shades posing with rifles in a restaurant.

            “I’m sorry you went to war and now are scared of your fellow citizens holding guns. Get over it.”

            I’m not sorry I went to war. I kinda liked it. Even though I was around fellow citizens carrying guns. And every day I’m still around fellow citizens carrying guns. Sorry, I must have already gotten over it or something, because I just don’t feel the fear you’re talking about.

            “What do you have to say about other states where full OC is already legal and all your scenarios and hypotheses have failed to pan out?”

            I say, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” And then I ask you, again, to read the article. I didn’t say OC should be illegal. And I presented one hypothetical, about turning a corner and seeing an OCer carrying his rifle combat ready. If by “all your hypotheses” you actually meant “your one hypothetical”, then I say yes that could still happen.

            “And for you to try and cop out and say ‘I’m not talking about OC just stupid OC’ is moronic because your own headline on your own website on your own article betrays your words and shows your true intent.”

            No, since the guys I’m talking about are indeed OCers so the title does apply to them, and in the essay I didn’t criticize pistol OC at all. But you wouldn’t know that, since you won’t read the article and are just lashing out at the headline and pictures. Gosh, isn’t it so easy to win an argument when you don’t even bother with what your opponent actually said?

            “You are talking to OCers, period. You are lumping everyone into one category cuz they all scare you.”

            Here’s a quote from my essay: “Peaceful open carry rallies where gun owners safely carry long guns slung across their backs on public land? I’m down with that. Blatantly ridiculous, orchestrated confrontations where open carriers walk into private businesses with rifles at the combat ready, just to piss people off, knowing that all they’ll do is create more enemies? No thanks.”

            Kinda sounds like I don’t lump all OCers together, doesn’t it? Of course you wouldn’t know, since you didn’t bother to read the essay.

            “Combat ready is only a few motions away, gasp!”

            And once again you’re providing evidence you have no actual training. If I’m facing someone holding a military rifle in a combat ready hold, yes, it is only a few motions away from being fired. As I wrote in the essay, it’s no different than holding a pistol in a low ready grip, or Sul, or at temple index.

            Tell you what, at your next OC rally how about we send a cop walking toward you with his pistol in the low ready position. I’m sure you and your buddies would dismiss it, and say “There’s nothing threatening about the way he’s holding his weapon.”

            “Now you try and clarify and say ‘Im just against stupid OC’ well DUH we are all against stupid but you didn’t bother to clarify that with your blanket headline, did you?

            No, we’re not all against stupid OC. You’re not against it at all. You won’t even condemn the two idiots posing like children with their rifles inside a restaurant. And if the headline is the issue I guess that makes sense that it pissed you off so badly, since after all that’s all you read.

            “You were just looking for that pat on the butt from your fellow gun snobs.”

            My god. You don’t mean to tell me you’re criticizing fellow gun owners, are you? You OC guys have been screaming about backing each other up no matter what, but you’re criticizing me? It’s my right to be a gun snob! How dare you criticize my exercise of my rights! You’re not a real 2A supporter!

            Sound familiar?

            “Atta boy Chris”

            Thanks!

          • I take it as a compliment that you devoted so much energy to debunking EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE that I wrote. LOL – Sorry I’m not sitting at a computer to so thoroughly reply. But its safe to say that your hypothetical scenario hasnt played out anywhere that OC is already legal. The only person that believes that scenario is possible is you. Millions of people in OC states have never had that problem. People have something called discernment and judgement. Used to be called common sense before we went to war for 10 years. Now everything is a threat that must be eliminated by a CCer. No wrong moves anyone. Chris Hernandez might blow your head off.

          • I take it as a compliment that you failed to address a single point I made in response to your silly, hysterical comment.

            “But its safe to say that your hypothetical scenario hasnt played out anywhere that OC is already legal. The only person that believes that scenario is possible is you.”

            Nope, it hasn’t. And in other news, it wasn’t until very recently that OCers started doing ridiculous, moronic things like carrying AKs into Chipotle. So you’re right, it hasn’t happened, but yes it could now that you guys are carrying AKs into Chipotle to get attention.

            “Millions of people in OC states have never had that problem.”

            Have millions of OCers carried AKs into Chipotle? Nope. It’s just been a tiny number, and that tiny number just started doing that recently.

            “People have something called discernment and judgement.”

            Right. Which is why so many people with brains don’t carry AKs into Chipotle. It’s only been a tiny number of people without discernment or judgment who have carried AKs into Chipotle.

            “Used to be called common sense before we went to war for 10 years.”

            Uh-huh. Before we went to war, people carried AKs into Chipotle every day! And it was no big deal! Am I right? Am I right?

            “Now everything is a threat that must be eliminated by a CCer.”

            This is one of the things I LOVE about the OC movement. You guys are so desperate to deflect blame for your ridiculous, moronic actions, you create strawmen to pin guilt on. “This controversy isn’t our fault! Sure we carried AKs into Chipotle and turned thousands of people into 2A opponents, but all these problems are really being created by CCers!”

            “No wrong moves anyone. Chris Hernandez might blow your head off.”

            Right. If someone walks into Chipotle with an AK at the combat ready and someone blows their head off, the dumbass walking into a restaurant with a rifle ready to fire couldn’t possibly be at fault for his own death. Intentionally presenting a lethal threat to a crowd of innocent people couldn’t possibly justify the use of deadly force.

            Let me ask a couple questions, genius.

            1) Is a person armed with an AK, carrying it at the low ready, an imminent threat? If you say no (and I know you’re going to, because now that you OCers want to carry AKs into Chipotle it’s suddenly just peachy and non-threatening to carry a rifle at low ready in public), then you’ve proven your training and understanding of lethal force encounters sucks.

            2) If walking into Chipotle with an AK at the low ready isn’t the least bit threatening, why don’t you guys do it as individuals? It’s totally non-threatening, right? OCing a rifle makes so much sense, right? So why don’t you guys do it when you’re alone? Is it because, oh, even you guys know it’s stupid, and dangerous, and threatening, and puts you in danger of being shot by someone who reasonably has to respond to you as if you’re a possible active shooter?

            I’ll now wait for you to respond in a way that again fails to address a single point I just made, then I’ll look for you to deflect blame onto someone else, then I’ll hope your finale is a weak attempt to personally insult me. Come on now, Matt. Don’t disappoint me.

            P.S. Sorry for the delayed response, I was at a training course over the weekend.

    • I’m ok with guns rights but not ok with people acting threateningly with assault rifles in coffee shops. You people are morons and are going to get yourselves shot.

  4. 21 BCassidy

    I am on the curb about gun rights. I think about people like my brother who are responsible gun owners who hunt in season, keep his guns in a locked safe. .. And there’s the people who you half way wonder if they are just protesting or want to open fire in a crowded theater, or poor kids killing other poor kids. Maybe if you’re passionate about something it is easy to look past those things, but I’m not. Those people are scary, and I feel I have the right to go to any establishment without worrying if you are crazy or just an asshole. Like penises, keep it in your pouch.

  5. Chris Hernandez, Author™, are you aware that everything you are complaining about is already legal in many other states and no one has assumed or done the things you predicted or feared in this article? Your article conveniently ignores reality. People carry guns, openly, into restaurants and other public places, constantly, in states where it is legal. I challenge you to actually visit one of those states before writing your next emotionally volitile scare piece.

  6. 24 Wayne Mehl

    First of all, thank you for writing this blog. You hit the nail on the head. There are many responsible gun owners that I know, that I trust to carry. You explained to those who own and carry the exact technical issue with the practice of open carry by groups like Open Carry Texas. Your knowledge and background speaks in a language that gun owners have to listen to and respect.

    But here is the problem. I am that neutral person who tolerated carry. Now I am actively working against carry, because it has gone too far. If I am forced to choose, I choose conditional carry over unlimited carry.

    How do we get back to some middle ground? It is the responsible gun owners of America that will have to help do this. If the responsible gun owners do not step up, nothing will change. It will only get worse, as open carry of this type start to become a fashion. Young people will gravitate to this quickly as they would any new fad. Let’s go here, scare some people and post it on YouTube. That would never happen.

    For those who would disagree, remember, the next time you see an open carry, it might be THAT person, the person at the range who you know has no business owning a weapon. Maybe they have been asked to leave the range more than once. And when you see THAT person, what will be the response. I hope you are prepared for that moment.

  7. Artfully written – but you are not pro 2A: “Many of us pro-2A people carry a gun just in case we run into some murderous nutcase wandering around a business with an AK ready to open fire.” — that’s not what the pro gun movement is about at all. …

    • “The pro-gun movement is not about self defense. If you carry for self defense you’re against the 2nd Amendment.”

      Got it, writing that down.

      Seriously though, care to explain?

      • 27 Wighty

        I think he’s saying that when the Army comes to disarm him after that Obama guy abolishes the 2A, he will be ready to ‘slug it out!’ Yeah, OK bill…

        Like the Army couldn’t just drop a Hellfire missile on your head from an AH-64 orbiting 3k out at 2000ft AGL. You’d never even hear it. The 2A lost that meaning after the modern progression of arms and armor, which ehhh I don’t know, happened in 1918? So you’re about 96 years too late for that argument.

        • Wighty,

          I strongly disagree. I’ve written before about how people with rifles could resist a modern military. Insurgents armed with not much more than rifles have been giving us a hell of a fight for more than ten years. And if Americans were fighting our own military (which I hope never happens), the military wouldn’t go all out with air strikes. We don’t even do that overseas.

  8. 29 Turtle

    When the all-out revolution, economic collapse panic free-for-all, or zombie apocalypse begins THEN you might have cause to take your AR, AK, or M16 wherever you go. Until then, it should be secured between home and the range, or the gunsmith that maintains your firearms when necessary.

    The use of such firearms in most retail establishments or on the street for self defense has high potential for collateral damage of innocent bystanders. “Know your target and what is behind”, do not become more of a threat than the criminal you are defending yourself against.

  9. 30 Ron Happening

    I read the article and I think it’s haughty and elitist. Texas has an asinine law prohibiting the OC of handguns. Oh it’s fine to carry a rifle or shotgun with ten times the power and range, but forget the pea shooter of sorts.

    Does anyone think that’s going to stop a criminal from CC? It’s a ridiculous law. So these guys want to make a point, educate the public, and good for them. I’m proud of them. We are losing our gun rights and someone has to start making a public stand to get them back. Certainly someone cruising around Home Depot with a CC isn’t helping the cause.

    But for God’s sake stop harping on the carry position of a rifle. If I’m going to be forced to open carry a rifle and have a choice you’re damn sure it’ll be in front where I can get at it. I suppose by your logic it shouldn’t be loaded either, right? I mean why carry a loaded gun when it could be unloaded?

    If my rifle’s behind me someone can quickly disarm me or make an attempt at my weapon without my knowledge. In these times I want someone to look me in the face as they try to take my weapon. And btw, a sidearm is quickly and easily accessible for most carriers, just as a rifle should be. Front Site, a range here near Las Vegas, teaches you to draw your weapon and get two rounds in the torso within 1.8 seconds. Care to try that with a rifle on your back, or on the front?

    If you want to talk common sense in gun laws then talk Arizona, and start fighting for it. Let us all CC without fees or restrictions. Do you think our founders had any restrictions in mind? Hardly.

    So take your elitist “I’m a better 2A guy than the others” thoughts somewhere else. Carrying a gun is no where near abusing a gun, hardly the comparison you make with hate speech. Everyone has a right to speech, as well as owning a firearm.

    And FYI, those rights are not to be infringed. Start fighting the battle in Texas and other states so Americans don’t have to jump through hoops to exercise their Constitutional rights.

    • “I read the article and I think it’s haughty and elitist.”

      I disagree, but point taken.

      “Texas has an asinine law prohibiting the OC of handguns. Oh it’s fine to carry a rifle or shotgun with ten times the power and range, but forget the pea shooter of sorts.

      Does anyone think that’s going to stop a criminal from CC? It’s a ridiculous law.”

      I don’t disagree with that. I actually do support a pistol OC law in Texas, although I think it’s generally a bad tactic to OC a pistol.

      “So these guys want to make a point, educate the public, and good for them. I’m proud of them. We are losing our gun rights and someone has to start making a public stand to get them back. Certainly someone cruising around Home Depot with a CC isn’t helping the cause.”

      Can they make a point and educate the public by OCing with rifles slung, on public land? In Texas, where most of this is happening, we’re not losing our gun rights. And by some accounts, we were on the verge of gaining pistol OC before the OC demonstrations started. And do you think OCing a rifle around Home Depot is helping the cause?

      “But for God’s sake stop harping on the carry position of a rifle.”

      No. If it makes sense to carry a rifle combat ready at Home Depot, then it also makes sense to carry a pistol combat ready, or at Sul, or temple index. Do you advocate that? Do you think pistol OC means people should walk around with their pistol held in both hands in front of them, ready to engage?

      “If I’m going to be forced to open carry a rifle and have a choice you’re damn sure it’ll be in front where I can get at it.”

      “Forced” to open carry a rifle, Yes, they’re being “forced”. I feel so sorry for those poor victims who were “forced” to carry their AKs into Chipotle. Funny, tens of millions of other gun owners, millions in Texas, haven’t been “forced” to carry rifles into Chipotle.

      As far as carrying it up front ready for use, please see my previous comment about carrying a pistol combat ready.

      “I suppose by your logic it shouldn’t be loaded either, right? I mean why carry a loaded gun when it could be unloaded?”

      So why carry a pistol holstered when you can carry it at the low ready? That’s what you’re advocating, right?

      “If my rifle’s behind me someone can quickly disarm me or make an attempt at my weapon without my knowledge.”

      True, but you can also be disarmed and/or shot if your rifle is in front. I’m currently writing a true story about a unit in Iraq that had two soldiers armed with M4s up front shot and killed by a guy with a concealed pistol. From a tactical perspective, carrying a rifle up front (or carrying a rifle in public at all) has serious disadvantages. Besides skylining yourself as a target, you’re also using a weapon more unwieldy than a pistol.

      “In these times I want someone to look me in the face as they try to take my weapon. And btw, a sidearm is quickly and easily accessible for most carriers, just as a rifle should be. Front Site, a range here near Las Vegas, teaches you to draw your weapon and get two rounds in the torso within 1.8 seconds. Care to try that with a rifle on your back, or on the front?”

      That’s true, a trained shooter can quickly draw and engage from the holster. They can engage even faster if the weapon is out of the holster in a combat hold. Thus, having the weapon out of the holster is more threatening and is an escalation of force.

      If a cop walks up to you with his pistol out of the holster on a traffic stop, do you see that as more threatening than a cop with his weapon in the holster?

      “If you want to talk common sense in gun laws then talk Arizona, and start fighting for it. Let us all CC without fees or restrictions. Do you think our founders had any restrictions in mind? Hardly.”

      No argument there either. But I didn’t talk about “common sense” gun laws in my essay. All I said was it’s stupid to OC a rifle into Chipotle.

      “So take your elitist ‘I’m a better 2A guy than the others’ thoughts somewhere else.”

      Didn’t say I’m better than them, although I’m pretty sure I have a lot more training and understanding of lethal force encounters. The fact that so many OCers insist a weapon carried up front in a combat hold isn’t a threat proves they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

      “Carrying a gun is no where near abusing a gun, hardly the comparison you make with hate speech. Everyone has a right to speech, as well as owning a firearm.”

      Carrying it at the combat ready into Chipotle is legal. And it’s stupid, and creates 2A enemies. “Hate speech” is also legal, and stupid, and creates enemies. But anyway, NOT everyone has a right to own a firearm. Convicted murderers don’t, and shouldn’t.

      “And FYI, those rights are not to be infringed. Start fighting the battle in Texas and other states so Americans don’t have to jump through hoops to exercise their Constitutional rights.”

      True, we shouldn’t have to jump through hoops. And OCing into Chipotle creates a likelihood that we will have to jump through hoops that we otherwise wouldn’t have to.

  10. 32 Tracy

    Mr. Hernandez, I had to stop reading the comments since my head was starting to hurt, but I appreciated your essay. You beautifully articulated much of how I feel, exactly. Thank you for publishing it. Best to you and yours, and may you never encounter the dilemma about the dude in Home Depot.

  11. Who gives a shit what that downtown Yorker Anthony Bourdain thinks.

      • 35 Scot M

        Wow, I have a completely newfound respect for Mr Birdsong! Never knew that about him

        • 36 sean

          im with the open carry. should they carry it across there chest, no. on the strap on you shoulder with it pointed down or up only. but to the people who want to change the way to 2a reads, no it was wrote to obey and not for different states to make there own rules to change it. they will never rewrite the constitution! people are scared of others with guns that are not the police. so i have the right to carry open but i shouldn’t do it because mary is scared when she sees me do it, thats violating my rights to say don’t do it because it scares others, they should get over it make a news report that it is ok to open carry, it will help some with the problem. we has something but you don’t want me to use it?? you don’t want people speeding but you make cars that go 100mph. why not make all cars to 55 only. so i have it but don’t use it because others are scared when i do or they choose not to use theirs?? people need to get over it and just accept it


  1. 1 Open Carry | KeithClicque.Com
  2. 2 Idiot Open Carriers | roadkillrecipes
  3. 3 Good argument against Open Carry protest - Page 3 - M14 Forum
  4. 4 Open Carriers - Stop "Defending My Rights" - RECOIL

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