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”.

475x356xOpen-Carry-Texas-at-Chipotle-courtesy-breitbart.com_.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.iqkJNDMzhi

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?

——–
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.

4452_1084593231917_5914735_n (2)
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).

http://www.amazon.com/Line-Valley-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B00HW1MA2G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=09XSSHABSWPC3FM8K6P4
http://www.amazon.com/Proof-Our-Resolve-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B0099XMR1E/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0S6AGHBTJZ6JH99D56X7



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

  1. Chris, I tend to agree with how you see this. It seems like some of the least mature folks are using this in a way that will surely do more damage than good.

    • I think it’s already done a lot of damage. The OC crowd is providing a constant stream of “look how stupid gun owners are” fodder to those who oppose the 2A.

      Thanks for commenting, and hope you’re doing well.

  2. 3 Aesop

    These are not “gun rights activists”.

    They’re attention whores with a serious brain deficiency.

    I keep hoping against hope that some urban yute(s) will spot these @$$clown posses, cap them, and make off with their weapons, just to prove the point.

    Stupidity this egregious should not only hurt, it should actually leave a mark.

    The fact that most of these folks look like the geek extras from Big Bang Theory, rather than displaying any sort of technical or tactical proficiency, isn’t helping their case our ours eithers. Especially the shot of Cankles & Shades at Chipotle at the top of the article.

    Also, I’m fine with open carry, even perhaps a long gun.
    But if you have hands on the weapon (other than on the sling) for any situation where deadly force is not authorized or called for, you should be charged with “brandishing a weapon recklessly in public”, the penalty for which should be revocation of your carry rights outside the home for a year, and destruction of the weapon seized for a first offense.

    Then maybe common sense will actually break out amongst these senseless drama queens.

    And if, against every instinct in my bones, these people are somehow on “our side”, I think we’ve found the human minefield clearance detail.

    • Aesop,

      I don’t think they’re going to back off until they’ve done some serious legal damage. Once there’s some major setback, like Texas voting to criminalize OC of a long gun, maybe they’ll shut up and stop doing what they’re doing. Until then, they’re just going to keep agitating, keep making enemies, keep trying to make everyone think they represent all gun owners.

      • 5 Aesop

        Most likely yes.

        My personal impression is that long-arm open gun carry inside city limits other than the momentary act of transferring it to storage condition in a vehicle is soon going to require either a fully-enclosing scabbard or at minimum a sling, in about 45 states, and make coon-fingering the weapon otherwise a punishable offense, among those states which don’t simply make OCing long arms outright illegal in town.

        Even in the Wild West, carrying a pistol holstered was no big deal. Laying hands to the weapon in social situations occasioned a wholly different level of scrutiny.

        And notably, few of these ‘tards stands up to take the heat or verbal pasting they merit in firearms advocacy group meetings, online, on air, in print, or in public, except at these little malignant clownfest photo-ops. Nor will they lay claim to the long-term damage when this inevitably blows up in everyone’s faces.

        (“We’re here to do Stupid things in Stupid Ways until we win Stupid Prizes, because Freedom!”)

        We need such self-appointed Ninj-idiots not one bit.

    • Spasiba, Comrade!

    • Just read all your posts about OC. Great minds… 🙂

      • Thanks, Chris. That’s kind of you to say that.

      • 10 Jesse Wiseman

        Can you honestly think of a situation where you would need an assault rifle to protect yourself at WalMart? I mean, outside of Black Friday shopping, that is. I’m all for open carry, and I’m even all for owning rifles and shotguns. I just don’t think you should really mix the two. An assault rifle or shotgun, of which I own several, is for HOME defense, where you don’t have to lug it around with your kids in tow, you can pick a good stable shooting position, and the chance of smoking an innocent bystander by means of blow-through is slim. A pistol is meant for PERSONAL protection, which is why I own a few and carry one at all times. I can’t think of a reason to be lugging an AK through The grocery store unless the apocalypse has come and I’m fending off looters. Caught in an active shooter incident? Get your family to safety and defend your position from there IF NECESSARY. You should not be looking to “bring the bastard down”. You are not an agent of the law. That’s not your purpose, nor is it the purpose of carrying for “personal protection”.

        So I ask again. What situation calls for the need of a Billy Badass assault rifle in public instead of a sensible pistol?

        • 11 Eric

          I agree with you in general – the issue is that they CAN’T open carry a pistol. The majority of this stuff is coming out of Texas, where they are fighting to legalize open carry of pistols. As of now, it is only legal for them to carry long guns. They would love to carry a nice, sensible pistol.

    • 12 Jesse Wiseman

      I think one of my biggest issues with folks strolling around with long guns for protection is a matter of choosing the right tool for the job. Clearly these people haven’t put any thought to that, they just wanna look badass cuz they are packin heat. If they were serious about protection, they would have realized that those cool AK-47s fire a bullet that flies at over 2,000 feet per second and delivers a little over 1,500 foot lbs of force at mid-distance. So, when they blow a round at the average mugger and it passes right through his smooshy unarmored body, where does it go after that? Through walls, car doors, innocent bystanders, etc. Nope. Instead they pick the biggest and meanest hand cannon they can carry. This isn’t about them exercising their right to self-protection. This is about them ABUSING that right, and frankly putting innocent people at risk while they do it. We have seen what a negligent discharge does with a pistol in a crowded place. What happens when it’s with an M4 assault rifle? What happens when the police respond to an active shooter call and see you out there chucking lead out of your Sig 556xi? They don’t know who the threat is at that point, and your probably about to get shot.

      So, in a nutshell:
      1) shotguns and assault rifles are bad choices for protection in public because the chance to hurt innocent bystanders is WAY too high. Put some thought to the safety of the people around you, not just yourself.
      2) carrying the same weapons as a terrorist in Iraq is likely to get you shot. Try something a little smaller and less “billy badass”. A .40 S&W will kill the average lunatic just as dead as an AK-47. And it’s not as heavy to lug around.

  3. 13 RandyGC

    Thanks Chris. I had not made the connection between carrying at low ready/port arms and unholstered pistol. Probably because I have only ever used those positions on the training range or during exercises when I was in the .mil. The only time I ever “OCed” a long gun was walking down a country road back to the car during hunting season either slung or muzzle down in the crook of my arm with the action open.

    With “friends” like this, who need Brady or Bloomberg?

    • I actually read that comparison between rifle combat ready and an upholstered pistol in other articles online. They made a good point. And yes, they think they’re friends to the 2A, they think they “represent” us. And you’re right, they make Brady and Bloomberg’s missions much easier. Thanks Randy.

  4. 15 GSP

    They are Blue Falcons.

  5. 17 Sme

    When you see “attitude” oozing from pictures, you know you’re in trouble. I’m chuckling as one of the above freeze-frame pictures comes to life in my mind and the whole magazine is spent. Not gonna say which picture, but I foresee some black eyes and wild shots probably from a butt kissing the earth position.

    Couldn’t have expressed my feelings better. Thank you.

  6. Anytime Sme, thank you.

  7. 19 Joe in PNG

    Point to ponder- the excercise of rights always needs to be tempered by responsibility. I have the right to vote for canadates that promise to fatten me on pork from the public funds, and to lobby them for more of the same. I have the right to file frivioulous lawsuits until I hit a legal jackpot.
    But is this for the best?

    • Responsible exercise of rights? Perish the thought! As we speak I’m standing on a street corner wearing a Code Pink vagina costume and screaming “No blood for oil!” at passing strangers.

      • 21 Sandy Rae

        At least the vagina can’t accidently explode and kill someone.

        As a non-gun-owning person, were I to meet up with one of those go ahead and make my day wantabees with his or her finger on the trigger of a long gun bigger than they are, I’d be backing out quietly and calling the police. Dumb and Dumber armed? Perish the thought.

        I so appreciate the thoughtful critique of the open carry ubber firepower crowd. It helps to know not every person carrying a gun is so nutty.

        • Oh, vaginas have been responsible for millions of men’s deaths. 🙂

          But I wrote this essay because the average gun owner is NOT like the OC types I’ve described above. Many gun forums have posted essays criticizing these particular OCers (not all, because some actually are reasonable people). In my opinion, the vast majority of the pro-2A side is against confrontational OC tactics. Basically, these guys don’t represent me or most gun owners.

    • 23 bob

      america did not say it wants less guns it was actually thew other way around more gun rights laws along with few restrictions came thru after the fake newtown shootings more guns and ammo sells more new registered owners it was a government puppet news agency’s that posted unbiased news to make it seem so, thats was the reason for the fake shootings to take guns for the new world order i hope all you sheep wake up before its to late.

  8. 24 Stuart the Viking

    Chris!

    Thank you! I have often said that these rifle OCers are breaking the law when carrying at the ready/port arms. Quite frankly, I wonder why we haven’t seen more arrests. In the pictures from this article, “Shades” in the top pic, and “Blondie” in the bottom pic in particular. How is that NOT brandishing?

    Hopefully, if a few of these guys get arrested and that will put a stop to this foolery before all hope of OC handgun in Texas is lost, and Texas loses rifle OC as well.

    The sad thing is this is effecting people in other states as well. I’m sure that when an OC bill comes up here in Florida, the Florida legislature looks at what is going on in Texas and worries that it will start happening here.

    s

    • Stuart,

      Maybe I’m wrong, but these guys really remind me of suicide bombers.

      Reasonable guy: “You know, if you detonate that bomb you’re going to die, and you’ll probably kill a lot of your own people instead of killing your enemy.”

      Suicide bomber: “I don’t care! My cause is holy, so it doesn’t matter how much damage I do to myself and my people!”

      These suicide bombers are going to get more gun control laws passed. I’m pretty sure they won’t stop agitating until that happens.

  9. Okay…
    While I agree that open carry is at best silly, it can have its purpose. When I ran introduction to firearms courses just for women, I asked my assistant instructors to carry on the range and class room. I want people who were interested in learning about hand guns to see people carrying gun and acting completely normal. The statement I was trying for was “The presents of a firearm doesn’t change people.” I believe it worked.

    But open carry just to call attention to yourself? I keep thinking these people are nuts. But having said that there are places, Arizona, for one I believe, that open carry of a handgun in rural cities is acceptable.

    If you were to, if it was acceptable to, if you had compelling reasons to, carrying a loaded long gun, muzzle down across your chest, aka port arms, under positive control, does seem to be the safest way. Unless we are surviving in a zombie apocalypse, why would want the attention drawn to youself?

    Let me interject the Ayoob Law of Necessary Hypocrisy (If you’re going to do something stupid, do it the least stupid way…”) If you open carried an long gun with an ECI, magazine out, to throw a log on the fire, what would be your recommended carry? Just supposing here…

    In my CCW classes I run into folks who think the CCW license makes them, for lack of a better word, “police-like.” It doesn’t and it takes a lot of talking to convince them otherwise.

    • Frank,

      I agree that there are times where OC is appropriate, but I think those times are limited. I know there are some places where OC doesn’t raise an eyebrow, and that’s cool. But, as you said, doing it just for attention is something else.

      As far as OCer’s thinking they’re police-like, that’s exactly what happened in the Valdosta, GA story I linked in my essay.

      Again, maybe I’m crazy, but I think people should carry a concealed pistol and only draw it when it’s absolutely necessary.

      • One of my trainers claimed to have taught to shoot by the Youngstown Mafia. They told him the gun only comes out to speak. It’s good advice….

        • 30 Cody White

          I currently live in Arizona where it is legal to OC or CC without a permit. We never see any issues with people carrying long guns. Most people CC or have a holstered pistol on their hip. It isn’t even given a second look here. People need to wise up and realize what OC is for instead of taking to the extreme side of the concept.

          • 31 PHX Bear

            I am an Arizona resident as well. I have OC’d my 1911 many times, but will usually Concealed carry. People have asked me the about the OC law. I simply tell them if they have the legal right to possess the firearm they want to carry, they can OC it in most places. I continue by saying IF I wanted, I could carry an AR or shotgun with ammo in it…but why the fuck would I? I conclude by telling them to get training, get a dependable pistol, practice shooting, and start with that. These demonstrators are a special kind of stupid. Maybe a sign suggesting a pistol would be a better OC firearm than an AR would make a more positive point. I know it wouldn’t hurt as much at the least.

  10. 32 Julie

    Hi Chris – truly spot on with this post. I’m trying to get in touch if you could send me an email address I can reach you at that would be great. Thanks!
    (julieonpolitics at gmail.com)

  11. 33 Scot M

    Chris, this is spot on… luckily here in NYS we don’t exactly have this problem, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel as strongly about it as a national issue. I honestly don’t know how I’d feel about seeing one of these “cankles and shades” types OCing in public as a demonstration,. I KNOW I wouldn’t feel comfortable eating at a restaurant with a bunch of these asshats carrying (see: brandishing), their rifles that I am CERTAIN they aren’t properly trained to use.

    Just having given my CCP here this last year has shown me than even concealing a weapon and thinking that I can safely and accurately use it in an extreme situation requires some serious training…

    …on that note, I greatly look forward to your review of your recent course you took. I’ve been shopping around for a good tactical course to advance my knowledge and training.

    Keep up the good work!! (And congrats on your new writers desk!) 😉

    • Thanks Scot. I’ve taken two classes recently, and will have a review of one of them posted this week. You’re right, to be good with a pistol we need a lot of training. I was way behind on good training.

      And yeah, that writer’s desk is bad ass. It’s actually a mid-century typewriter desk that I’ve had for years, and my wife has been trying to make me get rid of it, but we finally have it set up with an antique typewriter I just bought. I think the whole setup is awesome.

  12. Well, the plus side is that it seems long gun OC activism is making people more accepting of open (and by extension concealed) carry of pistols.

    • Dan,

      I don’t know, I think it’s having the opposite effect. I think these guys are creating more opposition to any kind of carry. I’m sure the effect varies from place to place though.

  13. 37 Pat Aherne

    I agree with you, Chris, with one exception: perhaps the blonde with the large-bosom could explain her advocacy of my rights to me for a few hours, in a private setting.

    • 38 Sme

      You could probably help her with the black eyes she’ll likely have after her first round goes off, as I mentioned in an earlier comment – and then spent time giving her first “aide”. LOL…definitely why the women’s militias in the Middle East all wear braless tank tops!

    • 39 Allen

      “Hey babe, want to come to my state? We have open carry of handguns if that’s what you’re into”.

    • Pat,

      A large-bosomed blonde was in my essay? I didn’t notice!

      Chris

      [p.s. My wife reads my blog…]

    • 41 Rachel

      You do realize how sexist your comment is, right?

  14. 42 Max

    Thanks for another well reasoned and thoughtful post. I am reminded of two sayings. First – stupid is as stupid does, and second, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I can, for example, go to the nearest bridge and jump off of it. While this is probably not real prudent, I can. In my opinion these open carry folks are doing the same thing.

    At present, there is a well funded ( and we know who they are ) program to demonize firearms and their owners and to instill fear of guns (tools) in the general populace. For these folks to parade about with their “scarry looking weapons” only serves to reinforce the other side’s argument. As a counter, I would submit that pro-gun people wage a campaign of non-confronational information that is just as well funded and grounded in the concepts of our Constitution and the rights that it affirms. I just do not believe that one will have much success attempting to educate the public about their rights when all they can see is your AR.

    As to your writing, keep it up!!! I will be first in line for the next offering

    • Thanks Max. I like to think I help explain why we need the 2A in a way that doesn’t scare off non-gun people. If I had money, I’d be happy to create an organization that teaches the history and reason behind the 2A in a non-confrontational way. Unfortunately, I’m still giving $5 handjobs on the corner, since I’m not quite a filthy rich author yet. Maybe someday…

      • 44 bob

        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.

  15. 46 Alex

    I so agree with you. As a Liberal (more or less) gun owner, I am very conscious of what Liberals think about guns, and by extension their owners. I hear so many rants that the Second Amendment is obsolete. Doesn’t that by definition make the Bill of Rights obsolete? They ARE a package, after all.
    But to carry an AR in public, “coon fingering” (OMG!!! I LOVE it!!! Sorry Brothers, I hope it has no bigoted overtones.) it is just plain stupid, and I am totally stumped at the Law Officers out there who have not ventilated one or more of them. Must be the training, I guess, or they were warned.

    The two in the warehouse home store, if I had turned a corner and were carrying (have taken the course, waiting for the permit – can take a long time in my state), I would likely have drawn on them, and think I would be within my rights, because, here in my state (NC), you can pull if you see a “perceived threat”. Well, seeing a jake ace with a 15 or a 47, as here, with his hand on the throttle, damn if I don’t perceive it as a threat!

    I do not think this is a good advertisement for our sport, hobby, way of life, what hae you. As you say, it is just stupidity.

    Thanks for a level headed article.

  16. Thanks Alex. I hope none of the OCers wind up challenged or shot by LE or another armed citizen, but I think it’s inevitable if they keep up the confrontational OC events in private businesses.

    • Good article, share your sentiments exactly! It’s only a matter of time. Vets and prior service were trained to respect weapons plus some discipline, regular civilians with no class of training or restraint are destined to make something happen I feel. The video is a perfect example of youth with no discipline roving around asking for trouble. All it takes is one loose temper, a trigger finger, and then the whole thing goes up in flames.

      Good bye 2A after that.

      I also wonder if the laws were passed in order to give gun control ground to stand on honestly, let people screw up and give an example of why we should have gun control.

      • Thanks Nathan. I definitely don’t believe the laws were passed to give gun owners more rope to hang themselves though. In Texas we’ve had OC of long guns forever. And nobody talked about repealing it until our OC crowd decided to launch their offensive.

  17. Ok, I just have to call you out on the coffee shop guy – I know him personally and he’s OK, and is much more restrained than you realize. Also, that group is much, much more restrained and careful in which shops they visit.

    • If he’s so restrained, then why would he walk into a coffee shop with an AR-15 on his chest? By what standard does that equal “restraint”?

      He may well be a good guy, but he certainly doesn’t seem restrained when he walks into a coffee shop carrying the same weapon I carried in combat, in the same manner I did.

  18. Author is obviously unaware of how these open carry activists were born. You must know of the C.J. Grisham arrest while he was legally walking down a farm road in Temple, Texas, and a police officer grabbed his rifle while it was on his person, then slammed his face into the hood of his aptrol car while ramming his service pistol into the side of Grisham’s neck while Grisham’s son watched everything. Police in Texas were handing out disorderly conduct citations to rifle open carriers who were seated, sipping iced teas. The police do not do this any more. And if you are confusing Kory Watkins standing in Home Depot with his finger outside the trigger guard with anything but a POSED photo, there is somehting wrong with you. A large group of people exercising a “LEGAL” right is not threatening by any means. Nobody can/should dictate how they carry their weapons. I see ALL barrels DOWN. That is safe, and it is NOT alarming. Explain “alarm.” Explain “alarm” from a legal, Texas statute stance, and not your “opinion” stance. The 2A is enduring, and your blog here (which does nothing but divide 2A supporters/advocates/defenders, is misplaced. You are somehow misinformed and misguided about open carry. Comparing Texas long gun open carriers to a Soldier on patrol in Iraq is idiotic. Most of these guys are Veterans of our 13-year war, and you can bet your fourth point of contact they know what they are doing; they are trained, and all those around them are trained. They are a danger to nobody. You have no credibility, no matter how many blog pieces you write, or how many books you have published. You are irresponsible with your first amendment right — how does that sound? Sounds like you, saying 2nd Amendement advocates/activists are wrong while performing perfectly legal acitivities supporterd by the U.S. Constitution.

    • A long reply is forthcoming when I’m off work and not typing on a phone. I was wondering how long it would take before a furious OC advocate would hypocritically accuse me of harming the 2A cause. 🙂

      • Not long, after a person weeds through all the posters who see what you wrote and say to themselves, “Yeah … that’s how I feel,” without thinking for themselves. But you harming the 2A cause is not all I said. And when you reply, “before a furious OC advocate would hypocritically accuse me of harming the 2A cause,” that makes no sense, because I am not doing anything hypocritically, and I’m not furious. Just remember your oath to support and defend the Constitution; you should be supporting 2A advocates, NOT saying their behavior is wrong, just because it is not what you would do. If your long-hand reply defends yourself in these areas, no need to reply. There are people like you all over the place who have lost their bearing. Reset your compass, then let’s talk on the same sheet of music. You have the credentials of a being former Marine and now a Texas Guard Soldier, I see. Just remember your oath, and be a little less critical of those who support the enduring 2nd Amendment; otherwise, you render yourself as an oath breaker and a 2nd Amendment “butter,” which is basically useless.

        • 55 Robert_O

          Actually, he’s far more concerned with what the constitution says than you are. The 2A has the stipulation of “well-regulated” which he is demonstrating that these OC morons are not. They’re not even self-regulated, nor are they acting in a way that demonstrates proper training.

        • Ah yes, you know for certain none of those posters thought for themselves. Please tell me, Mr. Psychic, what am I thinking right now? Since you can read minds and all…

          As for supporting 2A advocates no matter what – bullshit. Plenty of 2A advocates have done ridiculous, moronic crap and I don’t support it. As I said in the essay, I support OC in private businesses the same way I support the Westboro Baptist Church; it’s stupid and self-harming, but hey, in America you have every right to be stupid. My oath to support the USC is the reason I’m speaking out against OC. Every time you OC guys create a mass confrontation, the likelihood of losing our 2A rights becomes greater.

          “Lost my bearings”? That’s funny. You just said I shouldn’t criticize someone’s actions “just because it’s not what I would do.” Then you say I’ve lost my bearings because I don’t agree with you. Hypocritize much?

          And I’m now an “oath breaker”, for exercising my 1A rights. And a “butter”. Of course I’m supposed to recoil in terror, fall to my knees and beg “Please don’t label me a ‘butter’! I love the 2A! I’ll do anything to prove it, honest!” Yeah, whatever. Some 2A guys think even convicted murderers should have their 2A rights restored. And anyone who disagrees with that is a “butter”. Well, I don’t agree. And I don’t apologize for that.

          By the way, thanks for coming here to debate. I value your input, no matter how much I disagree.

        • 58 Jacob Kreusch

          Oh yes 2A_advocate, we should absolutely turn the second amendment into a fucking religion. “DO NOT QUESTION OUR LOGIC! ANYTHING WE DO IN THE NAME OF THE 2A IS GOOD AND NECESSARY!” Jesus on a pogo stick kiddo, do you support the Millers? You must LOVE domestic terrorists who go out out and kill cops as long as it’s over a gun law. Please, keep your cult mentality away from society.

    • “Author is obviously unaware of how these open carry activists were born. You must know of the C.J. Grisham arrest while he was legally walking down a farm road in Temple, Texas, and a police officer grabbed his rifle while it was on his person, then slammed his face into the hood of his aptrol car while ramming his service pistol into the side of Grisham’s neck while Grisham’s son watched everything. Police in Texas were handing out disorderly conduct citations to rifle open carriers who were seated, sipping iced teas. The police do not do this any more.”

      I’m aware of MSG Grisham’s nonsensical arrest. His arrest in Temple doesn’t mean it makes sense to walk around Target in Houston with an AK at the combat ready.

      “And if you are confusing Kory Watkins standing in Home Depot with his finger outside the trigger guard with anything but a POSED photo, there is somehting wrong with you.”

      Why is he posing with an AK inside Home Depot? Are you saying it’s fine to carry an AK in Home Depot in a combat-ready manner, as long as it’s a “posed” picture? What sense does that make? Posed or not, he’s doing it in Home Depot.

      “A large group of people exercising a ‘LEGAL’ right is not threatening by any means. Nobody can/should dictate how they carry their weapons.”

      Really? So I can walk around any business anywhere with my M4 in a low-ready position, finger on the trigger, weapon off safe, stock in my shoulder, and as long as I’m not actually pointing it at anyone it’s fine? How about this: I’m a cop. I can legally carry a pistol anywhere in Texas. So if I carried my pistol at Sul as I walked through Target, or carried it at temple index in Home Depot, nobody should have a problem with that?

      “I see ALL barrels DOWN.”

      You have poor vision. Take another look at the gaggle of freedom lovers outside Chipotle. Blue T-shirt is carrying his weapon at port arms. I specifically mentioned that in my essay, which I’m wondering if you actually read.

      “That is safe, and it is NOT alarming.”

      Again, so if I’m walking around Sonic with my weapon at Sul, that’s just peachy? I didn’t say carrying muzzle down on your chest is unsafe; I said it’s threatening because it’s a combat-ready stance.

      “Explain ‘alarm.’ Explain ‘alarm’ from a legal, Texas statute stance, and not your ‘opinion’ stance.”

      I don’t need to. I didn’t say our OCers are breaking the law by “displaying a weapon in a manner calculated to alarm.” I said they’re being stupid and creating enemies. Actually read my essay, see if I said anywhere in there that they should be arrested for breaking the law.

      “The 2A is enduring, and your blog here (which does nothing but divide 2A supporters/advocates/defenders, is misplaced. You are somehow misinformed and misguided about open carry.”

      Yes the 2A is enduring, which is why I support it so strongly. But here’s where your hypocrisy comes into play. You accuse me of dividing 2A supporters, simply because I’m talking about actions you support. Yet it’s the actions that are dividing 2A supporters, not my words about those actions. You might be surprised to hear this, but I’m not the first gun rights supporter to criticize OCers. And I won’t be the last. You guys are generating enemies, even on your own side, with every OC event you orchestrate. You want to criticize someone for dividing us? Take a look in the mirror.

      “Comparing Texas long gun open carriers to a Soldier on patrol in Iraq is idiotic.”

      More evidence you didn’t read the essay. I didn’t compare the two, I showed that the allegedly non-threatening OCers are in fact carrying their weapons in the same manner as soldiers in combat. But if you want to talk about idiotic, I’d say carrying an M4 on your chest in Target as if you were in combat is pretty idiotic.

      By the way, that picture was from Afghanistan, not Iraq.

      “Most of these guys are Veterans of our 13-year war, and you can bet your fourth point of contact they know what they are doing; they are trained, and all those around them are trained.”

      Oh, I’m sure they’re all combat vets. Boonie Hat and Shades in the top picture are probably former SF. Blonde In Skintight Black Clothes was probably Delta Force. I’m a two-time combat vet myself, and these guys don’t strike me as well-trained veterans, but I guess you know them all personally. Since you’re making the claim, please, back it up. Show me evidence that “most of these guys are veterans of our 13-year war.”

      “They are a danger to nobody.”

      Look at Shades in the top picture again. Holding an SKS at the combat ready in Chipotle. Then look at the other pictures of him that have popped up on the net. Holding a pistol with his finger on the trigger while flipping off the camera. Sure, he’s the safest guy around. If I was an OCer, I’d really want him representing me.

      If I saw him in Chipotle, carrying his weapon in that manner, I’d consider him a threat.

      “You have no credibility, no matter how many blog pieces you write, or how many books you have published.”

      Now you went and lowered my self esteem. I’m crushed.

      Actually, if I have any credibility it comes from being a cop, soldier and shooter my entire adult life. Some people think I’m credible, some don’t. However you feel about it doesn’t make much difference to me. Check out my background and my writing if you like, and then judge my street cred. If you think I know nothing about gun rights, no worries, I won’t expect you to come back.

      “You are irresponsible with your first amendment right — how does that sound?”

      It sounds pretty much like what I’d expect you to say. “I walk around Target carrying an AK ready to shoot, and you better not criticize my exercise of my 2A rights! But if you do criticize me, you’re irresponsible with your 1A rights! How dare you!”

      “Sounds like you, saying 2nd Amendement advocates/activists are wrong while performing perfectly legal acitivities supporterd by the U.S. Constitution.”

      Please define “wrong”. I’m not saying OCers are “wrong”. I’m saying they’re creating enemies, turning average Americans against us all and doing great harm to the gun rights cause. Again, I didn’t say they should be arrested. I didn’t say OC needs to be illegal. I said these guys are doing it just to be confrontational, and it’s not helping.

      • 62 Dalton Robertson

        Chris, you are the most well educated person I have ever met on the topic of the 2A. I’m glad that someone understands that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I will share this page with all that care about the 2A. The USA needs more people with your knowledge.

        thank you,
        Dalton Robertson

      • 64 Sean Patton

        Personally I kinda agree with the comment that you are making uneducated points about this topic. One) 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. Two) your comment about seeing members in Home Depot and wondering of whether or not they’re demonstrating or criminals, I can answer that easily, are they pointing the firearm at you or anyone else? No? Then you don’t need to become afraid of them, you fear mongering is more likely to get innocents killed than their possession of the firearm. You can be aware of them without showing obvious fear of them. Three) your comment about the Starbucks latte man carrying in similar fashion to a soldier who has it “at the ready” made me laugh. No DUH he has it in an “at the ready” position. If he has it strung over his back it defeats the purpose of him carrying it for the purpose of self defense. Rifles are not as easy to draw as easy as a pistol, though I believe they are easier I draw than a concealed pistol. The point of carrying a rifle as a means of self defense is that you can easily pull it to a firing position if you need to. I’m a 20 year old. As a 20 year old I cannot carry a handgun even concealed legally, my only means of defense would be a long gun. I’ll be damned if I let your irrational fear prevent me from protecting myself in the face criminals. I will not become a victim. If you want to see less people open carrying long guns, I suggest you quickly become an advocate for 18 as the age you are able to legally acquire a pistol and concealed firearm permits, as well as campus carry for college students. Lastly, this comment of us “creating enemies” is bulls***. They’ve always been our enemies, they don’t like guns At All. They don’t want guns to be available to us as citizens At All. The organization isn’t doing anything to make us look bad, because we’re not doing anything bad. The liberal leaning media is using it’s position and relying on common American ignorance to promote fear mongering while they do it themselves. Instead of getting all your information from your local news program, I recommend reaching out to the organization, because I know that many of our members would be very open and welcome to speaking with you on what were really doing, in fact, I’ll give you a little taste of it really short and sweet.

        OCT marches around or stands on street corners passing out information on what we’re trying to do and on what is legal for us to do based on state and national laws. A few times in the past we have organized events where we will go into businesses and Support them by making purchases and eating at their establishments while carrying our firearms. Going about normal business while carrying a firearm, no big whoop. Every group sponsored demonstration we have done we have alerted local police departments so as not to cause a panic, and we have called ahead and asked permission to visit these local establishments, again to reduce panic and let them know what is happening. If asked to leave, we do so. If they don’t want our patronage then we will take it elsewhere. This is the true story, but these photos being used by the fear-mongering media has painted a dirty picture of us that most Americans trust to be the truth. Because of these negative and falsified reports, we receive threats on our lives on a daily basis along with common, “I hope they shoot themselves in the head,” or maybe a “we should drone them.” Reading through the comments, your blog has now become a staging ground for these sort of comments, wishing death upon responsible fellow Americans; and you allowing it without deleting their posts of it is more irresponsible than the false reporting of these liberal media casts. Anyhow, your points left me chuckling so I thank you for that and that they show that many people still have not researched what is going on, instead just jumping on the hate wagon.

        Warm Regards with the Hopes of you and your family and friend’s safety,
        Sean

        • And sorry, just as a side point, all the pictures of members holding their firearms in a way that you deem as an unsafe fashion, namely the two chipotle pictures where a member has hands on the firearm as if they are preparing for a shootout. Both of these pictures are obviously “posed” pictures. Anytime someone or a group of people is “posing” for a picture, they want the picture to look good, I myself have posed with my firearm in a way that I might look like a soldier carrying at the ready. Any pictures of OCT that you see while they are doing what they set out to do, marching or handing out fliers or whatever, never do you see them holding the firearm at the ready as you do in these posed pictures. This is another way that the liberal media is falsifying their reports to make us look bad.

          • “One) 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.”

            Right. So you’d be good with someone carrying a pistol out of the holster, as long as their finger is off the trigger? How would you feel about a police officer approaching you at an OC rally, with his carbine at the combat ready? Would it be cool, as long as his finger was off the trigger?

            “Two) your comment about seeing members in Home Depot and wondering of whether or not they’re demonstrating or criminals, I can answer that easily, are they pointing the firearm at you or anyone else? No? Then you don’t need to become afraid of them, you fear mongering is more likely to get innocents killed than their possession of the firearm. You can be aware of them without showing obvious fear of them.”

            Ummm…HAHAHAHAHAHA! The kid who walked into a school in GA with an AK also wasn’t pointing it at anyone (at first).

            “Three) your comment about the Starbucks latte man carrying in similar fashion to a soldier who has it ‘at the ready’ made me laugh. No DUH he has it in an ‘at the ready’ position. If he has it strung over his back it defeats the purpose of him carrying it for the purpose of self defense. Rifles are not as easy to draw as easy as a pistol, though I believe they are easier I draw than a concealed pistol. The point of carrying a rifle as a means of self defense is that you can easily pull it to a firing position if you need to.”

            Really. The OC crowd has been claiming there is nothing threatening about the manner they carry weapons in public. Now you’re claiming they are in fact carrying ready for combat, in the same manner as soldiers at war. Please advise OCT to publicly broadcast to the public that they’re walking into businesses ready for combat rather than simply as a peaceful protest.

            “I’m a 20 year old.”

            Yes, I saw that. I’ve been shooting and collecting guns since about ten years before you were born. I’ve been carrying a gun every day for as long as you’ve been alive. So I’m really eager for you to impart your gun wisdom upon me.

            “As a 20 year old I cannot carry a handgun even concealed legally, my only means of defense would be a long gun. I’ll be damned if I let your irrational fear prevent me from protecting myself in the face criminals. I will not become a victim.”

            How brave of you. So the only way you can feel safe is by carrying a long gun in public? So you carry a long gun everywhere you go, even when you’re alone? I’m going to guess you don’t, and that you only carry long guns in public at OC rallies. If you don’t carry a long gun everywhere, then your “I’ll be damned if I let you make me a victim, I carry a long gun for self defense, blah blah” claim is pathetic bullshit.

            I guess my irrational fear has prevented me from walking around town with my M4 every day. And when I was 20, and owned an old AR-15, I never felt a need to carry it into the nearest Tex-Max restaurant.

            But that’s just me. I’m so irrational.

            “If you want to see less people open carrying long guns, I suggest you quickly become an advocate for 18 as the age you are able to legally acquire a pistol and concealed firearm permits, as well as campus carry for college students.”

            I do advocate campus carry for CHL holders. I don’t see a need to lower the pistol age limit to 18.

            “Lastly, this comment of us “creating enemies” is bulls***. They’ve always been our enemies, they don’t like guns At All. They don’t want guns to be available to us as citizens At All.”

            “They” is a ridiculously broad generalization. And it’s absolutely in line with what I’ve seen of the OC crowd. “They” are all the enemy. “They” are all traitors. “They” are all “butters”. Only OCers truly love America and the Constitution. Yes, there are some people who hate guns no matter what. Then there are other people who are in the middle, they’re not anti-gun but don’t want guys with AK to walk into Chipotle while they’re having a family dinner.

            “The organization isn’t doing anything to make us look bad, because we’re not doing anything bad. The liberal leaning media is using it’s position and relying on common American ignorance to promote fear mongering while they do it themselves. Instead of getting all your information from your local news program, I recommend reaching out to the organization, because I know that many of our members would be very open and welcome to speaking with you on what were really doing, in fact, I’ll give you a little taste of it really short and sweet.”

            I didn’t say you’re doing anything “bad”. I said you’re doing something that’s stupid and harmful to the 2A cause. In your simpleminded manner of thinking, anyone who is against you is either anti-gun or brainwashed by the media. Not quite. I don’t base my opinion on media accounts of OC events. I base my opinion on what I see. And in the first picture in my essay, two guys are posing inside Chipotle with military weapons. One of them is holding it at the combat ready. That tells me what I need to know. There is not a good reason to pose inside a restaurant with an SKS; if you do that, you’re an immature fool who is at the very least willingly providing ammunition to people who want to repeal the 2A.

            “OCT marches around or stands on street corners passing out information on what we’re trying to do and on what is legal for us to do based on state and national laws.”

            When OC events were in public areas with slung weapons I had no complaint at all. Look back on my blog posts; I never complained about OC rallies until people started walking into private businesses with weapons at the combat ready.

            “A few times in the past we have organized events where we will go into businesses and Support them by making purchases and eating at their establishments while carrying our firearms.”

            Sure. You’re just supporting them. Chipotle, Jack in the Box and Starbucks loved your support so much, they asked you to stop carrying weapons into their businesses. Sonic loved your support so much, the manager kicked you off the premises.

            “Going about normal business while carrying a firearm, no big whoop.”

            Right. I go about my normal business while carrying a gun every single day. No big whoop. Going about my business while carrying an M4 at the combat ready? Yeah, obviously a big whoop. If you guys weren’t so blind to the damage and bad publicity you’re generating, you might notice that numerous huge media outlets and even many pro-gun forums have vehemently spoken out against what you’re doing.

            “Every group sponsored demonstration we have done we have alerted local police departments so as not to cause a panic, and we have called ahead and asked permission to visit these local establishments, again to reduce panic and let them know what is happening.”

            Which, again, explains why Sonic kicked you off their property.

            “If asked to leave, we do so. If they don’t want our patronage then we will take it elsewhere. This is the true story, but these photos being used by the fear-mongering media has painted a dirty picture of us that most Americans trust to be the truth.

            The truth is, you guys intentionally went into private businesses carrying military weapons at the combat ready. That’s already stupid. The truth is, these businesses then asked people to not carry guns into their stores. That’s not media spin, that’s what happened. The net result is that you guys have given the anti-gun side the equivalent of a neverending belt of ammo to use against us. Gee, thanks.

            “Because of these negative and falsified reports, we receive threats on our lives on a daily basis along with common, ‘I hope they shoot themselves in the head,’ or maybe a ‘we should drone them.'”

            Negative reports? Yes. Falsified? Sure. I guess you didn’t walk into Chipotle with AKs, ARs and SKSs at the combat ready, and those businesses didn’t then ask people to stop carrying guns. Yeah, that’s all made up.

            “Reading through the comments, your blog has now become a staging ground for these sort of comments, wishing death upon responsible fellow Americans; and you allowing it without deleting their posts of it is more irresponsible than the false reporting of these liberal media casts.”

            Once again…HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! So you guys aren’t being irresponsible by wandering around Starbucks with an M4 at the combat ready, but I’m being irresponsible by letting people talk about how much that pisses them off? Here’s a life lesson for you: if you’re man enough to do something, you need to be man enough to take the heat for it. I knew when I wrote this that I would take a ton of crap from the OC crowd. That’s part of the deal. You undertake an action specifically to be provocative and confrontational, then whine when you’re called out on it. Grow up.

            “Anyhow, your points left me chuckling so I thank you for that and that they show that many people still have not researched what is going on, instead just jumping on the hate wagon.”

            Yes, this is just a hate bandwagon. A LOT of proud gun owners and 2A supporters are screaming “PLEASE STOP, YOU’RE HURTING GUN THE GUN RIGHTS MOVEMENT!” and you guys just stick your fingers in your ears and say, “We don’t have to listen, they’re just hatemongers.” And then you walk into Sonic with your AK in front and finger on the trigger guard, and can’t understand why they kick you out.

            “Warm Regards with the Hopes of you and your family and friend’s safety,
            Sean”

            Same to you. Seriously. One of the reasons I wrote this essay is because I worry that an OC rally will lead to unnecessary deaths someday.

          • Chris Hernandez does not think it is OK to pose for a picture, though. LOL

  19. 68 Charlie

    I want everyone that can carry legally to carry a firearm right out in the open just like these people. I’m not saying I want them to be dumb with the handling of them. But I can guarantee you that where ever these people are there will not be ANY crimes committed!

    • Charlie,

      That’s one claim that I have no argument against. OC in groups will deter crime. OC by isolated individuals, not so much. But yes, criminals will avoid places where they see a lot of people OCing. Good point.

  20. 70 stokeslawyer

    Oddly, TTAG posted commentary on the chipotle incident as I was reading this thread. Apparently they had permission from management at the Chipotle before they entered, and there were allegedly law enforcement personnel standing just out of frame in the posed picture with Shades and Cankles. Not that he should be at low ready, but context is everything. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/07/dean-weingarten/media-campaign-against-open-carry-doomed-to-fail/#more-327933

    • I read that, thanks for the link. I’ve contributed several articles to TTAG and agree with them on many things, but not this one. That article was simply a counteraccusation against an accusation. No evidence was presented that police officers were at Chipotle, no managers were quoted as saying they gave permission. All I saw were claims, without evidence.

      And unfortunately, even if it’s all true, you still had Shades posing inside a restaurant with his SKS at the combat ready. At best, OCT still had their members doing stupid crap in public and giving ammo to the entire anti-gun movement.

      • 72 defensor fortisimo

        I actually think it’d be interesting to see this reposted at TTAG if only so we could set up a betting pool on how long it takes someone to misinterpret your piece and accuse you of being a puppy killing statist and/or Fudd

        • I’m actually kind of surprised it hasn’t popped up there already. When I wrote a post criticizing OCing pistols TTAG put it on their FB page, and I was accused of killing puppies for the statist cause (although a lot of people agreed with me too).

          P.S. What’s a Fudd?

          • As in Elmer Fudd, looney toons character. A Fudd is someone who supports guns for hunting but not much else. “You don’t need thirty rounds to kill a deer” and such.

          • Aha, got it. I can proudly say I’m definitely not one of those guys. 🙂

        • 76 defensor fortisimo

          I like their site, I actually comment on there pretty frequently, but it has a tendency to represent one of the biggest issue with extreme libertarianism, the tendency to demonize Law Enforcement and to a lesser extent the Military. It’s not even that I disagree with the issues that have them riled up, I agree that militarization of the police is an issue and it’s hard not to look at cases such as that of a baby in Georgia getting burned by a flashbang during a no knock raid as anything but problematic. But painting all of law enforcement with the same brush is stupid, especially when all the data out there points to the vast majority of the rank and file cops that are out there are some of the strongest supporters of the second amendment. Then to top it all off, when they start applying to folks like Dom Raso, well they’re on their own there.

          • 77 Scot M

            Pardon me, but what’s your issue with Dom?

          • 78 defensor fortisimo

            My issue? On the contrary, I like Dom’s work, I’m a huge fan of Media Lab. I’m referring to a series of articles published on TTAG that took issue with a pair of videos that they perceived as support of police militarization.

          • 79 Scot M

            My apologies, I must have misinterpreted what you said. I’m a fan of Dom’s as well, his voice is endlessly is exactly the type we need people that are on the fence about firearms in America to hear.

  21. I’m not sure i understand the Open Carry thought process;

    – If bad guys are supposed to be frightened and deterred by Billy Badass with a visible gun on his hip or slung on his body, why be surprised if Joe Schmo and Suzie Soccermom are also frightened and deterred by the same person, wearing the same gun, at the same place and time?

    – If Joe Schmo and Suzie Soccermom are supposed to become “desensitized” and “normalized” and lose their fear of guns and gun owners by seeing Smiling Sam visibly carrying a gun all the time, can’t we expect that sooner or later, some violent, predatory criminal type will also perceive the same person, wearing the same gun, at the same place and time, to not be a threat sufficient to deter his violent, predatory plans?

    Aren’t bad guys and good guys both human beings? Don’t we all interpret body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues and communication in more or less the same way, at least within our mutually shared North American culture?

    If so, how exactly is it that we expect Open Carry to be such a powerfully effective deterrent to violent, predatory criminals, and simultaneously not instill at least some degree of apprehension, if not outright fear, in ordinary folks with little to no experience of violent crime? How exactly is Open Carry supposed to persuade ordinary, non-gun-owning folks that visibly-armed citizens are not a threat to them, without also showing violent, predatory criminals that the same visibly-armed-yet-non-threatening-citizens are vulnerable to a surprise attack as they let down their guard while “winning hearts and minds?”

    Maybe I just don’t have enough experience with Open Carry – which I haven’t done since I got my first CCW permit in 1994. Maybe teaching CCW classes for over 10 years has limited my outlook and experience. Maybe taking multiple defensive-pistol classes from nationally-known instructors, none of whom recommend Open Carry except where no other legal option exists, has made me unfairly biased. Maybe I need to study at the feet of some of these “highly trained master gunfighters” to learn the true power of Open Carry, so i can defeat attackers without even being aware of them, just by showing everyone my gun…

    • Phil,

      GREAT points. If I was arguing for the other side, I’d say that OCers, once OC is accepted as normal, wouldn’t be viewed as a threat by the law-abiding public, just as visibly armed cops aren’t viewed as a threat by the law abiding public. I don’t believe that will ever happen though; the general public will never totally accept OC. And I don’t think OCers will ever be viewed with the same level of trust or at least tolerance that police officers get.

      Speaking of pistol instructors, I recently attended a Graham Combat pistol class. Matt Graham made a statement on the last day: “You can quote me on this. I’m a HUGE advocate of open carry. I love having a big selection of guns to take from people.”

      • 82 LiberalismIsADisease

        As a weapons instructor myself (handgun, shotgun, rifle, rope/rappel, edged weapon defense), having someone I don’t know try to take my OC weapon is a great way to get himself killed. I carry a 9mm, .40, or .45 every day, either CC or OC, depending on my outfit, destination, weather, and mood for that day.

        As an almost daily OC’er in places where it’s legal, I’ve been given thumbs-up, handshakes, a comment of thanks, question about what type of weapon it was, “I’m looking, what do you recommend…”, or merely a nod of recognition. I have never been on the receiving end of any negative comments or looks from my OC lifestyle.

        If we are to get this country back to a place where the general public is NOT afraid of the sight of guns anymore, we absolutely must re-educate the public, but we must be responsible carriers to do that.

        I have to agree and disagree with a couple points you made. Depending on where you live, LEO’s are not always viewed in a trusted light and are more and more being seen as those who overstep their bounds and could very well be a threat. I absolutely believe that’s why we see more and more people recording all contact with law enforcement.

        On that point, we’re seeing an increase (in my area and observation, anyway) in the feeling that law-abiding armed citizens certainly can be more trusted than law enforcement. The more we exercise our rights to carry, the more the public will get accustomed to seeing defense tools on our persons.

        I agree that there are those who do this wrong, just as there are people who exercise their first amendment rights in the wrong way, shouting nonsense and/or obscenities on the streets and causing a general ruckus. But I don’t believe that people should be told “Please stop defending my 1st amendment rights” based on a few people who annoy others. The constitution does not guarantee that you will never be annoyed or offended, nor does it guarantee that anti-gunners will never be annoyed by OC’ers. It’s only by our continual exercising of our rights (our RIGHTS – as American citizens) that they will be accepted as normal as not viewed as a threat.

        I do agree that criminals intent on committing criminal activity should be afraid and deterred by the general public being armed all around him, while the non-criminal element, like moms with kids, should never be afraid, as those are the people who will most likely be the only people around to defend her and her children should an idiot try to rob or hurt her or them. Remember, cops are only minutes away when you need them in the next few seconds.

        As an almost daily OC, to say that “the general public will never totally accept OC” is something I do not agree with. My experience is that I was completely accepted, and if there were those who didn’t, they simply kept a wide berth and didn’t bother me, as I didn’t notice any of them. But at no time was I ever perceived as a threat or incompetent, and I believe that’s the point that we as self-defense gun owners and carriers MUST get to. Simply telling others they’re not allowed to exercise their 2a rights is exactly what the anti’s are already doing, and I’m disappointed this was even brought up as a possibility. Suggesting it be done in a reasonable and responsible manner is the only way this issue should be addressed.

        • I’m a little pressed for time, but I wanted to say I know of two instances where pistol OCers were targeted by robbers. In one case the robber was armed and took the weapon, in another the robber was unarmed and tried to disarm the OCer but was stopped when a third party intervened. You might be so well-trained and skilled that you can fight off any attempted disarming, but the average person isn’t (and I don’t think there’s a single person in the world who can claim they could never be disarmed under any circumstances; if Mike Tyson hits you in the back of the head with a brick while you’re in line at Wendy’s, he can probably take your pistol afterwards).

          I don’t agree with some of your comment, but you make some good points and I’ll write a longer reply later. Thanks for commenting.

  22. Their strategy is just so short-sighted. It doesn’t matter how much cooperation they had with the restaurant or how well they pre-communicated with the police… they won’t be able to fight the issue of context. The picture is going to get out there, and it won’t be accompanied with a clear explanation of the situation. It’ll get picked up, people will share it, emotions will run high, hysterics will erupt and even the most responsible, well-meaning OC’ers will end up reinforcing the unfortunate stereotypes of gun owners.

    What’s that about the road to hell and intentions?

    • Smith,

      Agreed. I can see it with well-organized demonstrations on public land, but not in private businesses. One thing I’ve told others in debates before is that people don’t get shot at OC events; before Operation Let’s Get Gun Owners Kicked Out Of Every Business In Texas, OC events were calm, peaceful and generally something to be proud of. They were proof that gun owners can peacefully gather while armed and not present a threat to anyone. This crap is different, and as you say, even with the best of intentions, when you walk into Jack in the Box with an AK you can’t expect a good outcome.

  23. Excellent article, brother. Concur with a large majority of you remarks. You wrote this very well. Good for you. Be safe.

  24. 88 Amber DeSadier

    Thank you so very much. I am not a writer, nor an eloquent speaker so I had no idea how to say everything you just said. I appreciate you giving a voice to those of us who see these acts of “Gun Activism” as nothing more than the actions of stupid people who fight for “Murica in every sense of that slang.

    • Amber,

      I never claim to speak for anyone but me, but it’s nice when I hear that others feel the same way. Thanks and hope you keep coming by my blog.

  25. Howdy. Thanks for linking the video.

  26. Is it wrong that I just can’t wait until one of these fruitbaskets shoots one of the others? They’re already squaring off in public – it’s just a matter of time before one of them freedoms the other one a new second amendment hole right in the Murica.

    • Actually, I’d prefer that it never got that far. Well put and funny, and I’ll probably quote you at some point, but no thanks on the actual bloodshed.

  27. 94 Que, Pho

    Nuthin sez “Mur-caaaah, Fuck yeah!!” like BCing yer AR type (or AK) into a Circle-K to pick up a gallon of moo juice. But then again, it tells the Islamafascists- “Bring it Bizatch!” Which, with 10-15 percent of the 1.2 Billion Islamist being radicalized (CIA World FactBook and Unesco) is NOT at bad way to get the groceries! Just sayin, whiney pissants gonna miss those BCin AR types when the day comes to wait 10 minutes for the police to show up.

    • I don’t think OC of a rifle is going to deter a terrorist attack. Terrorists regularly attack Syrian and Iraqi police and soldiers who are armed with rifles and machine guns, wear body armor with plates and drive armored vehicles. The OCers I’ve seen haven’t presented an image of well-trained fighters; on the contrary, based on Boonie and Shades I’d say they look pretty goofy. A terrorist probably wouldn’t consider either of them, or both together, much of a threat. It’s possible that a poorly armed, untrained, not very dedicated terrorist might chicken out at the sight of an OCer, but real ones won’t.

  28. 96 Jesse Wiseman

    As a soldier I am keenly aware of the need for responsible carry of a weapon, and of the devastating LACK of it that open carriers, including my neighbors (until I recently took him to a civilian target range) seem to display. So here’s a few things I’d like to point out.
    1) quit walking around with assault rifles and shotguns for “protection”. You look like an idiot. You don’t need more than a dependable pistol to fend off the odd crazed shooter or team of muggers. Instead you look like your preparing to fight off the conquering legions, or the zombie apocalypse. Both cases make you look like a dipstick. If your serious about being OCer, then spend the couple hundred bucks to get a pistol and leave grandpa’s shotgun at the house.

    2) If your gonna carry a weapon, carry it correctly. Weapon holstered and safety on, or in the case of a long gun (see above statement) slung on your back or at your side. DO NOT put your hand on the grip or stock in anything resembling the firing position. You reserve the right to carry? Cool. Law Enforcement reserves the right to shoot you when you appear to be a threat. Judging from the pictures, the cops have had way more training than these yokels. I’m pretty sure they will win.

    I’m all for the right to own and carry a firearm. I personally own a few guns and carry them regularly. But there is something to be said about doing it right. Just cuz you have a drivers license doesn’t mean you should go buy a Mack truck. You don’t need a monster truck to drive to work. Quite walking around with warfighter weapons. Even the cops don’t patrol with rifles. A good pistol is plenty adequate for self defense. Quit making up for a lack of training and capability with a larger gun. Get a pistol and actually learn how to use it effectively. Then you won’t need an AK with a 30 round mag just to scare off the aggressive jerk at Walmart.

    • “Even cops don’t patrol with rifles.” Good observation. I wonder what an OCer would do if a cop faced him in Chipotle, carrying an M4 in exactly the same manner the OCer was carrying his own weapon. OCer would probably claim he was being threatened.

  29. I couldn’t possibly agree with you more! I grew up in a house with lots of guns (my father was a police officer), so guns in and of themselves don’t make me nervous. What worries me is the direction that this entire debate is taking us.

    • At its furthest extreme, the debate is taking us toward more incidents like those two nutjobs in Vegas who thought they were starting a revolution. And we don’t need that.

  30. 100 K

    Thank you for making this statement, and thank you for your past service to our country.

    I suppose I’m really quite conservative. I’m probably older than most of the people who post on your blog. I began shooting for sport when I was young. I would go to the target range with my father and brothers. When I was young we engaged in “plinking” at small targets with our crickets on summer days when we didn’t feel like fishing and all the horses had been groomed and stalls cleaned. At a certain age we earned right to shoot skeet with the big folk by behaving responsibly and respectfully around and while using firearms. Taking out the guns was a structured event that was supervised at all times by a responsible adult, which is one of the ways we learned to become responsible adults ourselves. The guns were kept in a very large floor safe unless they were being used or cleaned and then they were put away again. One did not carry one’s gun around for fun. One did NOT show off one’s gun (or rarely, anyway – sometimes at the range and there was a structured protocol for doing so).

    So, I’m sorry, maybe I’m just old, but I can’t imagine a situation where I would need to carry a semi-automatic rifle into a restaurant. If I was to see someone bringing such a firearm into the restaurant I was eating in, especially in the manner shown in these photos, I would leave right away and call 911. But we weren’t allowed to bring our shotguns to the table at home either. There was one family I knew however who did. That of my brother’s fiancé. Sadly her brother accidentally killed himself through careless behavior with his guns. So, not only do I feel that there may be a real threat inherent in the way these people are behaving – I feel that threat may be their simple, obvious ineptitude. I like guns, guns are useful and I enjoy shooting – but, though I’m sure this may upset some people for me to say this, they are not safe in the hands of people who exhibit such poor judgment, IMO.

    I would not want the right to carry my firearm taken away, therefore I am going to behave respectfully, courteously and responsibly with it. But that’s just me.

    • Thanks K. I commented on another forum earlier, I’ve lived in big cities and small towns, lived in an unincorporated rural area and spent a lot of time around farming communities. In none of those places would carrying a rifle into a restaurant be considered normal.

  31. 102 Mike

    You are either pro 2nd Admen or not. They are fighting for a right they DONT have. Is what they are doing ideal, nope. But congratulations on being against their rights because you don’t LIKE it.

    • Nonsense. They’re fighting for the right to OC a pistol by aggressively forcing themselves upon people who have no obligation to take sides. By doing so, they’re creating enemies of the very right they claim to fight for. I also support the 1st Amendment, but I think the Westboro Baptist Church people are flaming douchebags. Does that mean I’m against the 1A? Nope. It means I think the way the WBC members exercise their right sucks.

      And once again, here’s the hypocritical part of the OC argument: “If you speak against OC, you’re anti-2nd Amendment!” But you don’t criticize the actual OCers who are pissing everyone off and turning Americans against the 2A, you only criticize those who speak against them. That’s ridiculous.

      Sorry bro, but I’m not the problem. I’m not scaring the crap out of people at Starbucks and Chipotle. I’m not getting us kicked out of Sonic and Target. I’m not giving Mother Jones a neverending ammo belt to use against the 2nd Amendment. The OC crowd is doing all that damage. Maybe you should flip your little “you’re either 100% on our side or you’re enemy” script and tell your OC buddies, “If you intentionally harm the 2A cause, like you do every time you wander around a business with an AK, you’re not really a 2A supporter.”

      • 104 Mike

        I would prefer those who claim to be pro 2nd to say – “I would not personally carry like that. I don’t think it’s the best form of protection. I understand why they are doing it and what they trying to accomplish. What can I do to help you in your cause to help you reach your goal so you do not feel the need to carry long guns. I will not carry one with you in protest because I don’t think it’s the best ends to the mean and do not like it, but can I help you get there?” Nope all they get is – your an ass. You a douche. Y’all are setting us back years. Shut up and be quiet. Your scaring people.

        Or to address one of your concerns, “If you must carry a long gun in protest then carry it like this…….”

        If they break laws get on their ass. Outside that be 100% 2nd.

  32. 108 Scott Briggs

    Much appreciate your article. Closing the line of communication with anti-2nd folks will not help our cause. Whether you are Progressive/Conservative/Libertarian, we all want the same thing.
    To send our six-year-olds to school worry-free.

  33. 110 Jeff

    I think the open carrying of rifles is just strange. YOu carry for defense. A rifle is not a defensive weapon. It is pure offense. I support the right to carry whole heartedly, but these people are just strange

    • I would say it’s completely inappropriate for self defense in this country at this moment. And it has been for most of our history. LA Riots? Sure, plenty of business owners would have been smart to carry a rifle for protection in South Central LA. Likewise in NO during Katrina. But downtown Fort Worth today? Not so much.

  34. 112 Angela

    Great article Chris. Personally, I fully support armed citizens in publc places in order to deter crime. However, open carry does make me very nervous and most of the bozos that I have seen (in pics anyway), don’t instill in me a feeling of safety and protection. As a person that is not comfortable around guns, I don’t think open carry will ever be normal to me.
    My point, carry your guns, just don’t rub my nose in it.

    • Angela,

      I’d bet most of America feels the same way you do. And you’re the kind of person the OC movement is already alienating. Thanks for commenting.

  35. 114 brian calloway

    I am not a gun owner. I’m not against guns and I am pro open and conceal carry. These people who walk around with these weapons at the ready at all times scare me. Not because they have a weapon because I believe they are not responsible with it. Last i checked you didn’t need to have your finger on a trigger guard to buy a slurpee.

    Like I said i don’t own a gun because i don’t believe i would be responsible enough with it. That being said maybe just maybe I’d be better than these nitwits.

  36. 116 Alan L

    I have to agree. I conceal carry almost every where. If I saw a person walking into a restaurant with a ar15 they just might get my attention.

  37. 118 shane

    My brother used to work for the state Dept of fish and wildlife near an urban area but also near some popular hunting grounds. Back in the day, nothing pissed him off more than the guys who would mount the recently killed deer heads to their bumpers. His reasoning went something like this: “Just about the time one of these guys was driving home through suburbia, he’d pull up along side a minivan full of kids who had just seen a mid morning showing of Bambi. Mom would have to try to explain to the crying children why they had just seen what they seen. Mom gets home, and emails the mommie and me coffee group and the next day the local congresscritter has 50 phone calls about hunting. What happened is a number of people who were, at worst case neutral, are now anti hunting because it was forced upon them. Same story with open carry. People who otherwise dont have an opinion or are supportive of 2a rights get angry explaining to their kids why the guy in front of them at targetstarbuckschiliswhereverthehellelse is holding an AK. Frankly, I dont blame them either.

  38. In the second sentence, did you italicize “does not” because it’s a lie? Or, because you’re talking out of your ass?

    • Read the sentences that followed. If America so desired new gun control, those things wouldn’t have happened. I’m on a phone and will have to write a longer reply later, but if you believe “America wants more gun laws, it’s just a tiny minority of NRA and Tea Party extremists who stop common-sense gun laws from being passed,” you don’t have a good grasp on history or human nature.

  39. 122 Tom

    Amen.

  40. 124 Jeff Smith

    If its Texas they can’t open carry handguns legally they can only carry rifles open.at a shooting range I was told don’t point a rifle barrel down because if it goes off accidentally the bullet would hit cement and could hurt someone which makes no sense because handguns are carried barrel down most of the time. As for some people carrying in public some want to make a statement but don’t know proper way to handle a firearm. We all have the right to protect ourselves some take martial arts some carry pepper spray only gun owners are demonized.when its the criminals that are the ones doing the crimes

  41. 125 Wolfer

    This discussion comes up quite frequently in my house. My wife and I both carry CC and OC and we have walked out of places where someone thought it was a great idea to have their A strapped to their chest. OC has its place if I’m going out on the town I’ll cover it, running up town to pick up something real quick I’ll grab the paddle and make that quick trip. Running the hills I always OC but the only time my weapon of choice is a long gun is hunting season and the shotgun used for that late night uninvited guest. Our battle is hard enough without these guys trying to prove a point.
    The article is a great read and ty

  42. 127 Chris

    How can damage be done to our rights by someone exercising theirs? Do you say the book burning zealots are damaging the first amendment, or free writing anarchists are damaging the first amendment? Are the guilty people who invoke their 5th amendment rights making the rest of us look bad when we invoke our 5th amendment rights. I could go on and on. Yes they look foolish and I wish they did their protest differently. But they have done nothing illegal. Purposefully they are staying within the law. Would you be condemning them if OCT had openly carried handguns?

    • The 1st and 5th Amendments aren’t under attack. The 2nd is. Organized and well-funded groups of politicians and celebrities aren’t banding together to repeal or partially repeal the 2A because “If you believe in the 2nd Amendment, you’re a fucking idiot” (Daniel Tosh). I understand your point, there should be no penalty for exercising a right. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality. As an analogy, imagine a woman who proclaims, “I should be able to walk naked through a bar full of drunken laborers at 2 am without having to worry about being sexually assaulted.” And yes, she should be able to. In reality, she’d be an absolute moron to do it. Same thing with the extreme OC crowd. In principle, no harm should result from exercising a right. In reality, real harm is being caused.

      And just to clarify, I didn’t claim they did anything illegal or say it should be illegal, I just think it’s ill-advised and harmful.

  43. 129 Mike Burleson

    Its a proven fact that in California, befor open carry was illegal, anti gun sympathizers openly carried pistols a numerous events leading up to an all out ban on open carry….

    • Can you provide a link please? One common claim or suspicion on the pro-2A side is that these guys are “false flaggers”, which as far as I can tell is wishful thinking. I think these guys really are pro-2A, and really don’t care about anyone’s opinion if it doesn’t align exactly with theirs.

  44. 131 jk651

    I open carry. I carry a pistol, in a holster, and it will stay in the holster unless I really need it. I get very little attention, and what attention I do get is usually positive. I don’t really like this article because I feel like you are lumping me and others like me in with the guys carrying AR’s at low ready (good point, by the way).

    I also think you are leaving out one important detail. A lot of these long gun carrying events are in Texas where the only gun you can legally open carry is a long gun. If Texas would make it legal to open carry a pistol in a holster a lot of this would go away.

  45. I am not a pro gun person. I have not been trained and have no desire. My experience is that I live in a very safe country. What I do appreciate is gun owners who respect my rights. Peace.

    • Becker,

      I appreciate that. I don’t expect everyone to be pro-gun, just to respect the 2A the same way I respect opinions I strongly disagree with. Take care and thanks for commenting.

  46. 135 David Gamache

    I would just like to point out that these individuals are not OC to scare the general law abiding citizens of our nation. The reason they are OC is because they are saying loudly for everyone to hear, ” I should be able to protect myself.” Lets go back to the old high school bullying topic. You may say this has no bearing on the topic, but it does. Your walking down the hallway minding your own business and a bully walks up and starts punching you, so you punch back. When all is said and done, you both end up being suspended for fighting. One for instigating a fight, and the other for defending themselves. When did our society decide that the ones defending themselves are in the wrong? We have an god given right to stand up and protect ourselves. These OC’ers are just loudly and proudly pronouncing “if you mess with me, your going to get a fight.” Now, most citizens don’t OC, that is their choice. However, I have seen many videos where a normal everyday citizen who was carrying a concealed weapon thwarted criminals from achieving their agenda. I for one, am not afraid of weapons, I am afraid of ppl. Weapons DO NOT kill, they lay there harmlessly until they are handled by a person. If I was walking down the street and someone attacked me (IE. the bully) to either just cause me bodily harm, or take my possessions, I would gladly appreciate one of these individuals being there to thwart such an attack. If you as a citizen, are scared to death of someone carrying a weapon where you can see it, I am hear to tell you that you just passed 20 ppl in the mall carrying concealed weapons before you see that one person carrying an weapon in the open. So, why are you afraid of that one person and not the other 20? I guarantee each and every individual throwing a hissy fit about needing more gun control out there would quickly change their tune the day they are saved from a vicious criminal by another citizen who carries a weapon and supports our second amendment right to bear arms.

    • You just pointed out the basic problem with OCing a rifle: you described “a normal everyday citizen who was carrying a concealed weapon thwarted criminals” yet used that to defend OCing a rifle. I understand groups of OCers as a crime deterrent. But these OCers I’ve written about aren’t doing it as a means of self-defense, they’re doing it specifically to make a point and get attention.

      And if your “If you as a citizen, are scared to death of someone carrying a weapon where you can see it, I am hear to tell you that you just passed 20 ppl in the mall carrying concealed weapons” comment was directed at me, you’re way off base. I’ve carried concealed for 20 years, and know a hell of a lot of people who also CC.

  47. Oh gee Chris….when you wrote this on your blog were you FLAUNTING your 1st amendment rights?…or exercising them?

    If one has the right to open carry…how does one FLAUNT that right while legally exercising it?

    You are in effect saying…yes you have the right…but don’t do it….is that what you fought for?

    You can do what you want….until I say no…

    Thankfully it is not up to you.

    Yeah well with all due respect.

    As a CCW instructor of over 20 years……Pound sand pal.

    I will exercise my rights whether you like it or not.

    • Please point out where I said people can’t OC. Quote where I said “You can do what you want….until I say no.” I’ll stand by here until you do that.

      And while I’m waiting, I’ll remind you, with all due respect, that the 2A isn’t the only A in the Bill of Rights. I’m certainly exercising my 1A rights; the difference is, I’m not making Regular Joe think “We need to repeal the 1A, if idiots are going to exercise it like this.” Your OC buddies are doing that with the 2A, though.

  48. 141 Ellie Monroe

    I just happened to come across this post through a friend, and I must say, that you’ve really hit the nail on the head. I’m one of those gun-neutral people you mentioned, and although I’ve had some experience with guns through my veteran/actively serving family members, I personally do not own or intend to own a gun. That’s just me and my personal preference. I’m your average American citizen in that regard.

    However, my tolerance for guns has been strained quite a bit by the OCers you’ve mentioned above. They scare the crap out of me, for numerous reasons. I have no idea if they’re properly trained, mentally stable, trigger happy, looking for confrontation, etc. and it scares me and all of my friends and family, most of whom are your usual gun-neutral American. Having someone walk into a nice, privately-owned Indian restaurant with an AK during my college graduation dinner did nothing but freak everyone out, including both my own party and the majority of other patrons who chose to leave within 5 minutes of this man and his family’s arrival. And then this man had the gall to yell and antagonize the elderly owners and their children when they kindly asked him to remove the gun from the premises.

    Incidents like this (and I’ve witnessed two others of a similar fashion) will only alienate Americans who are gun-neutral or non-gun owners, since most of them just want to go about their daily lives without a scary-looking gun being thrown in their faces. You don’t retain a right or help your cause by scaring the beejeezus out of Joe Schmo and his gaggle of small children, or the rather jaded medical scientist like me. None of us want to feel like we’ve walked into Fallujah or Homs when we’re buying our weekly bags of bread, milk, and butter at the local Food Lion or Giant.

    But seriously, thank you for even thinking about us gun-neutral or non-gun owners out here. We always seem to be ignored by those on both sides, so it’s really nice to actually see someone take our thoughts and feelings into consideration, especially on a subject such as this.

    • Ellie,

      Thanks for sharing your story. Might you have a link? I’d like to investigate that incident further, since it completely contradicts the “OCers aren’t being confrontational, they’re being very respectful and polite and aren’t scaring anyone” claim.

      And just FYI, I have a lot of friends who aren’t gun people, and I have no desire to force them onto either side of the issue. Just like every other major life choice I’ve made, my decision to be armed isn’t for everyone. It’s very personal and people who don’t make the same choice don’t merit criticism or scorn for it (generally speaking; there are some people who refuse to defend themselves or their families, and I do have an issue with that).

      Please email me, I’d like to hear more about your experiences with OCers.

      • 143 Ellie Monroe

        I never heard any more about the incident at the Indian restaurant in North Carolina, although I will ask my aunt (who lives in that state/area) if there was any follow-up to it or if the man left before the cops arrived. However, this second incident happened last summer while I was at a medical conference in Vancouver, WA and Portland OR. Two of the local presenters panicked when they heard about someone walking around with a rifle in/near the family center where three of their children were for the day. Ironically, that day’s medical topic was on gunshot trauma in emergency care pediatrics. I was able to find a reliable link to this one:

        http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Open-carry-debate-Man-arrested-after-causing-panic-in-Vancouver-214093571.html

        And I totally understand the need for self-defense, especially since I teach students and battered men and women basic (physical) self-defense at my local university. However, I prefer to just carry pepper spray and a concealed knife on me since I feel much more comfortable with those than a gun.


  1. 1 Open Carry | KeithClicque.Com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: