Open Carry, Part II: Confessions of a 2nd Amendment “Butter”
Recently I wrote an essay titled “Please, Open Carriers, Stop ‘Defending my Rights’” (http://chrishernandezauthor.com/2014/07/06/please-open-carriers-stop-defending-my-rights/comment-page-2/). In it I explained that I’m a 2nd Amendment supporter, and that I think it’s absolutely ridiculous for so-called “gun rights activists” to open carry AKs and ARs into private businesses, especially if they’re carrying at the combat ready (what I call “Stupid Carry”). I gave good reasons why OCing a rifle into Chipotle or Starbucks creates enemies of the 2nd Amendment, rather than gaining support.
It was the most successful essay I’ve ever written. 55,000 people read it in one day. It’s been shared on many gun forums, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds. Numerous 2nd Amendment supporters agreed with me. Of course many others didn’t, and made sure I knew they didn’t.
You are a sellout, plain and simple. Just another spineless Repugnicunt. Please Sunshine Patriot. Fuck off.
the second amendment was put in place to fight off a tyrannical government and thats it, not hunting not sporting to protect people liberty the constitution its self when you dont have a means of doing that your dead already you no marine guy tell you combat buddys share your posts with your unit they would give you a blanket party every night your a disgrace to everyman and women whos ever wore that uniform.
2A is the right to bear arms, period. You butters who judge who, what, where, and how are playing right into the MDA’s hands. Legal carry is legal carry. Grow a set or STFU.
You people bashing your fellow gun owners are ignorant cowards. They are exercising their rights, either get behind them or stop talking like you support the 2nd amendment. The hypocrisy and PC bullshit from you supposed patriots is pathetic.
According to these guys, if you don’t support open carrying a rifle into Chipotle you’re a “butter”, which is a person who says “I support the 2nd Amendment but…”. I guess I’m one of the worst butters, since I’ve been so vocal about the blatant stupidity of walking into Chipotle with an AK. And I do say, “I support the 2nd Amendment, BUT I think you’re a moron if you walk into Chipotle with an AK at the combat ready.”
I find the whole “butter” thing pretty amusing. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the principle; we’ve heard many elected representatives say stupid things like “I support the 2nd Amendment for hunting. But I don’t see a reason to own an assault rifle.” Those people don’t understand what the 2A is for. It’s not about hunting, it’s about the citizens’ right to resist tyranny. In fact, since Newtown I’ve written several essays about the importance of the 2A.
These are about how armed citizens and armed teachers can deter and defeat active shooters.
This one is about the importance of keeping military weapons in civilian hands as a means to resist tyranny.
This essay is about an experience I had when I was a UN police officer in Kosovo, where I failed to stop other officers from stomping on people’s rights. This experience, probably more than any other, proved to me how important the 2nd Amendment is.
This one is about how ignorant of reality many gun control supporters are.
This is about the failure of gun control at its most fundamental level.
This essay is about how deadly force can be justified even against unarmed criminals.
In addition to writing about the importance of the 2nd Amendment for the last year and a half, I’ve been shooting and collecting weapons for thirty years. I’ve been a vocal gun rights supporter and opponent of gun control my entire adult life. As a cop I’ve strongly advocated citizens’ right to carry. As a soldier I’ve gone to war twice to defend our rights. But I think carrying an AR into a restaurant in a combat-ready hold is a stupid act that’s guaranteed to create enemies.
Since Newtown, the 2nd Amendment has been under incessant attack. When a grinning, shades-wearing OC activist poses like an immature child with his SKS ready to fire inside Chipotle, the anti-gun side screams “Look at this dangerous killer! This is why we need to ban guns!” And much of America agrees. Which leads to a greater likelihood of new gun restrictions. So this is probably nuts, but I kinda think we shouldn’t give more ammunition to the people who desperately want to disarm us.
But if I criticize Mr. Shades, I’m a “butter”. Well then, I guess I am. And I don’t care that the extremist, fringe, “If you disagree with me about anything you’re a traitor” crowd considers me a “butter”.
And anyway, I have my own opinions about the radical OC crowd. I think they’re living out a fantasy where they’re the righteous dragonslayers, bravely defending our rights while all other, lesser humans cower in terror. I suspect they surround themselves with likeminded friends who constantly reinforce their “us versus them” bunker mentality. And they’re pretty loose with who counts as “them”. They don’t only oppose the anti-gun side, they’ve even labeled many gun rights supporters enemies for not being sufficiently radical.
And some of them really think they’re at the forefront of a holy crusade. Some pretty interesting comments to my essay were from OC activists who compared their actions to the Civil Rights Movement.
…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….And oh how scary and offensive it must have been when the blacks sat down in the white cafe!
How long have you supported Jim Crow laws, Mr. Hernandez?
Yes, because carrying an AK in Chipotle is no different than blacks risking being beaten and arrested for sitting at whites-only counters. Gosh, those open carriers are so courageous to risk nothing by carrying weapons into places where they’re not threatened.
But civil rights comparisons weren’t the best comments. One guy made a weird comparison between the OC movement and resistance to the Holocaust.
First they came for the long gun open carriers, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a long gun open carrier.
Then they came for the pistol open carriers, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a pistol open carrier.
Then they came for the concealed carriers, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a concealed carrier.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
A longtime reader of my blog sent me an interesting essay which I think explains the psychology behind the extreme “I’m going to walk into Chili’s with an AK in a combat ready hold and if you think I’m wrong you’re a traitor!” group. Basically, they don’t care how their actions make them look. They don’t care that multiple, huge media outlets use their actions to smear the entire gun rights movement. They don’t care that many gun rights supporters are publicly saying “Please stop this, you’re hurting the gun rights movement!”
The writer of this essay, Lee Harris, was a Vietnam War protestor in the 60’s. His goal was to force a change to policy that would end the war, and he opposed anything that would create enemies of the anti-war movement. His friend, however, was going to participate in a massive, disruptive anti-war protest designed specifically to cause problems for the general public.
“My friend did not disagree with me as to the likely counterproductive effects of such a demonstration. Instead, he argued that this simply did not matter. His answer was that even if it was counterproductive, even if it turned people against war protesters, indeed even if it made them more likely to support the continuation of the war, he would still participate in the demonstration and he would do so for one simple reason — because it was, in his words, good for his soul.
What I saw as a political act was not, for my friend, any such thing. It was not aimed at altering the minds of other people or persuading them to act differently. Its whole point was what it did for him.
…The protest for him was not politics, but theater; and the significance of his role lay not in the political ends his actions might achieve, but rather in their symbolic value as ritual. In short, he was acting out a fantasy.”
And the “I’m doing the lord’s work and you all are cowards” fantasy isn’t the only one these guys indulge in. Many of them cherish the fantastical belief that there is nothing threatening about carrying a rifle in public in a combat ready hold.
…the picture of the two standing in Chipotle “rifle at the ready” was taken by a customer wanting a cool picture, he had the safety knowledge to keep his finger off the trigger because realistically, that’s the only way the firearm will go off.
…[You’re] 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.
So according to these guys, unless someone is actually pointing a weapon at you and pulling the trigger, there’s no threat. I find that humorous. Comparing that to pistol carry, I guess a guy walking around a restaurant with a pistol in a combat ready hold isn’t threatening either. If you saw me in Chili’s with my pistol in Sul, you’d have no reason to worry at all! I mean, my eyes aren’t on the sights, right?
What? You think there’s something threatening about me walking around a restaurant with my pistol in a combat ready hold? Hoplophobe! Anti-gunner! Butter!
Then again, since I can punch out and engage from this position in less than a second, maybe it is kinda threatening. Just like, oh, walking around Chipotle with my rifle combat ready is kinda threatening. I bet most OC activists would freak if a bunch of cops walked up to them with their pistols unholstered. But OC activists insist they’re not being threatening when they carry like that, and that only peoples’ irrational fear of guns would make them scared. Some of them like to accuse anyone who opposes stupid open carry of being scared of guns.
I guess that applies. I’m terrified of guns. Just hearing the word “gun” makes me wet my pants. Here’s proof that I’m scared of guns.
I got tired of only being scared of ARs, so I decided to be scared of AKs too.
Here’s me teaching a friend to be scared of guns.
Here I am firing a carbine with my eyes closed because I’m just so terrified.
This is right after I came home from Iraq. I missed being terrified of all the M4s in Iraq, so I bought one to be scared of at home.
In this one I’m firing a suppressed French sniper rifle. I needed the suppressor because I shrieked like a little girl every time the gun made a big loud bang.
So, sure, I just oppose Stupid Carry because I’m scared of guns. Right. There’s no other possible explanation.
Or maybe seeing a bunch of yahoos walking around a restaurant carrying military weapons which are specifically designed to kill people quickly and efficiently is kinda scary to Joe Regular Guy. Maybe it’s scary because said yahoos carry them ready to engage. Should I blame Joe for getting nervous when Shades walks into Chipotle posing with his SKS? Call me crazy, but I just don’t see Joe as unreasonable for wanting to eat dinner with his family without complete strangers wandering around showing off weapons designed to kill people real fast.
And before you OCers start screaming “Hoplophobe! You’re scared of an inanimate object!”, calm down and answer this questions: why do YOU want military rifles? Is it because they’re completely non-threatening? Or is it because they’re powerful tools that give you the means to resist tyrannical force? I’d guess that you want them for the same reason I do, because it gives me means to resist. Doesn’t “means to resist” equal “power to kill”?
And who cares if it’s inanimate? An axe is inanimate, but if some joker walks into Chipotle with an axe over his head, yeah, I’d get nervous. If some clown walks in with an inanimate samurai sword in a special two-handed decapitating hold, yup, I’m going to prepare for a shooting. And if some “gun rights activist” hits the salad bar with an inanimate AK-47 in a combat hold, yes I’m going to keep one eye on that guy and one hand on my pistol.
Now, go right ahead and tell each other “That Chris Hernandez guy is a coward. He’s afraid of guns.” Prop each other up. Stroke each others’ egos. Cause you’re right, I’m oh-so-scared, while you’re so brave. I’ve only carried my weapons into foreign lands where thousands of people wanted to kill me. I’ve been shot at. I came damn close to being hit. Other around me did get hit.
Which means nothing, of course. I oppose Stupid Carry, so I’m a coward. You, on the other hand, have carried your weapons into Chipotle, where dozens of regular, unarmed people posed no threat to you at all.
How brave of you.
You want to do something that’s actually brave? Take responsibility for your actions. Admit that your desperate quest for attention gave the anti-gun side the equivalent of a neverending ammo belt to use against us. Stop blaming Moms Demand Action and Bloomberg for using your pictures as “propaganda”. You posed for those pictures yourself. All MDA did was use your own stupid actions against you. Stop blaming “gun snobs” for looking down on you. Other gun owners are looking down on you because you’re doing stupid crap that hurts the 2nd Amendment, not because they’re snobs. Stop hypocritically saying “It’s wrong to criticize the way someone exercises their 2nd Amendment rights” while simultaneously screaming “How dare you use your 1st Amendment rights to criticize me!” Stop contradicting yourselves by saying “carrying a rifle into Chili’s makes perfect sense!” and then saying “we’re only carrying rifles into Chili’s to show how ridiculous it is that we can open carry rifles but not pistols.”
Tell you what, if open carrying a rifle makes so much sense, do it when you’re by yourself. Don’t only do it when you’ve got 50 other guys with rifles to back you up. Walk into Chipotle by yourself, with your rifle in a combat ready hold. See what happens. Let us know how it works out for you.
Someday, if you guys ever grow up, you might realize you don’t own the 2nd Amendment. Just as the Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t get to decide who “real” Christians are, you don’t determine who real 2A supporters are. I don’t have to prove my loyalty to you. No matter how many guns you carry into Target, you’re not the scariest people I’ve ever dealt with. You won’t frighten me into agreeing with you.
Liberals tell me I have to be a democrat because I’m Hispanic. Bullshit. Conservatives tell me I should be republican because I’m a veteran. Bullshit. Now you “gun rights activists” have created your own “you either support my right to stupidly pose with my SKS in Chipotle or you’re a butter” litmus test. You think you can intimidate all of us into falling in line with your extremism. You think I’m supposed to fall to me knees and beg you, “No, please don’t call me a butter! I’ll carry my M4 into Chipotle, I promise!”
In my very pro-2A world, extremists don’t speak for the rest of us. We didn’t give radicals keys to drive the pro-2A bus. The clowns giving ammo to MDA, Bloomberg, Jon Stewart and a host of liberal media outlets don’t represent me. In the country I fought for, nobody has the standing to tell me “You must think the same way I do.”
I can determine for myself what the 2A means. And I think I understand it much better than the guys wandering around Chipotle with AKs.
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Tags: 2nd amendment, open carry texas, veteran writers