Please, Open Carriers, Stop “Defending My Rights”

06Jul14

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

But then open carriers go and screw things up.

Photo credit thetruthaboutguns.com

Photo credit thetruthaboutguns.com

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

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

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

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

Statesman.com

Statesman.com

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

Now, check out this guy:

US Army photo

US Army photo

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

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

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

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

Photo credit nationalmemo.com

Photo credit nationalmemo.com

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

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

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

——–
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. Ellie…..you are straining my tolerance of the 1st amendment.

    Now how does that sound to you?…do your rights depend upon my tolerance of your rights??

    No?

    If you don’t want to own a gun….fine….don’t…but if you shit your pants when you see a gun?…you need some therapy.

    It’s called hoplophobia…and there is a cure.

    • 2 Ellie Monroe

      When someone walks into a restaurant with an AK and starts yelling at the owner for asking him to remove the weapon from the premises? Yes, that DOES infringe upon my basic rights to feel safe and have my 1A rights stomped upon, along with the owners’ and other patrons. You aren’t helping your cause at all when two or three dozen people leave a business because they don’t know if some lunatic with a giant gun strapped to his chest is going to lose his temper and shoot someone. This all or nothing attitude will do exactly what Chris has pointed out many times above: upset the average people and scare them into wanting MORE laws passed.

      And by the way, it’s not the gun I’m scared of, it’s the person. Chris did a perfect job of describing them above and I don’t trust them and their ability to handle/control that OC weapon in the slightest.

      • So long as these people are in compliance of the law then your fears, insults ,and lack of trust are moot.

        Rage at the wind.

        • 4 Ellie Monroe

          And your extreme unwillingness to have even a remotely civil discussion with other viewpoints on the matter puts those very laws in danger of being repealed. Total lack of respect for your fellow Americans doesn’t look good to voters. But there is no speaking or reasoning with you.

          With that said, excellent article, Chris. If people such as yourself were more visible (instead of the OCers above), then maybe those who are leery of open or even concealed carry wouldn’t be so opposed to such ideas.

  2. While I agree with the spirit of your post, categorizing them doesn’t really do much. I made the same point on recent local television appearance…i.e. people being forced to pick/choose a side who are neutral. That notion seemed to resonate. Its pretty easy to judge as evidenced by the comments below.

    • Understood. I wrote this one in a little more confrontational tone than usual, partly because I don’t think the OC radicals will listen to polite discussion. They’ve ignored the NRA, the head of OCT and numerous other gun rights supporters already.

      Thanks for your comment, and for speaking out.

      • grass roots? hahaha I don’t agree with carrying a big ass gun into a store. but a holstered hand gun wouldn’t bother me. we need to take our country back. and all of this is a reminder that the people who are supposed to work for the people don’t. and the police that “MUST” swear to protect the constitution, before the can be officers are not. there’s so much more important thing for the media to focus on that’s going real wrong in our country then a few yahoos that want to remind people of their rights. but the media is controlled by its owners and the writers are pussies. we need to close our borders for 10 to 20 years to reform our working class and deport anyone not here legally without prejudice or pause. we need to lower the pay to men of political service and not pay them after the terms are complete. convicted people need to got to jail and be dealt the same hardships any poor person would in prison. no country club or private cell blocks for the rich or police. and we need to make it easier to fire police and politicians that violate the people and our trust. then put them in jail. and the media is a croc. people like you that’s whole importance is based on how many people read your trivial copy of others crap. as soon as any of you end up in a life threatening situation you’ll with you had a gun. by the way I don’t personally own a gun. but if Americans didn’t have guns we would be Germany or japans country. and money would be traded in euros not dollars and all the illegals wouldn’t have been able to come here and spawn anchor babies. tampons are on isle 3.

        • Yes, when things go bad I’ll wish I had a gun. Gosh, what’s it like to fire a gun? Or even hold one? Jeepers, must be scary!

          You might want to, oh, maybe read the essay before you vent your oh-so-righteous outrage.

        • 9 doesntmatter

          I’m trying to remember when the Germans and Japanese were on the ground in the US fighting untrained every day citizens armed with AR-15s and AK-47s. Care to help me out?

          • 10 BJ

            To doesntmatter: The long running “response” by Clyde Care concerning what languages we might be speaking if not for the guns (German or Japanese) is only half historically accurate in reference to WW II. German, not so much, but Japanese, perhaps. The Japanese General Yamamoto had gone to university at Harvard and was introduced to a shooting sport of some kind – or more than one. When WW II broke out, he was (ironically) against the war (especially with the US) because he knew we had resources Japan didn’t. But he also warned Japanese decision makers NOT to invade America because “there was a gun in every house.” In other words, that PERCEPTION of America’s intimacy with firearms, at the very least, made Japan “think twice” about how aggressive they should be where US soil was concerned. All the countries they invaded had much less or no private ownership of guns. As history would have it, they did not attempt an invasion in the US. Yamamoto’s comment was at least of some influence to that decision.

        • 11 oh please you are all a bunch of closet case flamboyant queens

          LOL these flamboyant men-peacocks strutting around like butch drag queens. ‘Take our country back!’ From WHAT, precisely??? You have no idea what you’re saying even. You are all a bunch of blow hard mental midgets who essentially seek drama. You carry on and on and on whining in your plaintiff tone about how you are a victim of something you can’t even define. The actual fact is this is a decadent and naive fantasy about the treasonous overthrow of government. In fact you ought to be tried and executed for treason just for your macho little drama act. Go ahead and finally use one of your stupid guns already. Otherwise what’s the point of parading around that the flamboyant men you actually are.

      • If the only reason they open carry is being prepared for combat. What does that say about the police. If they police the land that way, we have the right to do the same. I think everyone forgets, were all americans. All gun laws are illegal honestly. Read your constitution. I don’t care when it was written. It was done for a reason. To defy the constitution says you want civil war in your country. Think about what your asking for…

        • 13 Jacob Kreusch

          “All gun laws are illegal. Read your constitution.”

          SOMEBODY doesn’t understand the constitution or how it works lmfao. “Shall not be infringed” does not equal “dhall kot be regulated.” If you can’t be bothered to ACTUALLY read the constitution, then please stop trying to defend it. You are not defending any constitution except your imaginary version.

        • Justin,

          I’ve been a cop 20 years, and I’ve never once seen a cop carry an AR into a restaurant or other business just because he has the right to.

          And no, criticizing people who OC a rifle into Chipotle doesn’t equal “wanting a civil war in my country”. That’s a pretty ridiculous claim.

  3. i agree with both sides. Both CC and OC. Oc is still our right as well. Unfortunately its true that there are some that OC just to get the attention and to aggravate the police. Basically saying, “look at me, and theres nothing u can do about it”. Which in my opinion is the wrong way to go about it.

    • Call me a ‘mophobe, but to me it’s quite similar to gay pride parades – while there’s nothing wrong with being gay, to flaunt one’s “gayness” is simply wrong way to go about demonstrating it.

      • 17 glock85713

        Actually, I see a subtle but important distinction between “gay pride” and “Open Carry pride” demonstrations – at the former, the demonstrators are not actively displaying that they have the power to kill anyone in their line of sight and effective range at a moment’s notice, as well as the implicit willingness to do so. Being “here and queer,” “loud and proud,” “black and beautiful, ” etc. may be as offensive to some folks as OC is to others, but at least the former can’t get someone killed right that second…

        • 18 oh please you are all a bunch of closet case flamboyant queens

          you nailed it. this is a flamboyant display by men and nothing more.

  4. 19 Rodrigo

    Every private business has the right to refuse entry of someone carrying, either openly or concealed, based solely on the premise that its private property. Management can easily and politely inform the gun owner,

    “Sir/Ma’am, this is private property and it is our company’s policy that weapons of any kind are not allowed on property. Please leave your weapon/s in your vehicle and you will be more than allowed to enter and we will be glad to help you in any way we can. If you refuse to remove your weapons or leave this property, I will have to call the police for criminal trespass.”

    I’ve done private security for years now, corporate and personal, and I can assure you this works better than argueing with them. Let the police handle these morons, it’s not your job.

  5. 21 robert milton

    This type of open carry should not be allowed. Carry a rifle at the ready makes the statement that you are ready for combat. Are these people combatants or not. I carry concealed and if I came across someone carrying an assault rifle at the ready I will defend myself and my family. Strap the weapon to your back which is the proper way to carry a rifle when not anticipating combat. The open carry of assault rifle is not what the second ammendment intended.

    • Actually Robert Milton that is pretty much exactly what it intended, but I agree that the aggressive nature of these wanna-be patriots with zilcho training do not further the cause of gun rights or 2nd Amendment protection. Even former servicemen (and women) that were in non-combat roles pretty much suck at proper rifle operation, so I would in fact prefer that non-infantry types leave this kind of thing at home so they don’t cause some incident. If they want a big organized and well led rally, sure, go for it, no problemo. But it needs to be led by organizers with strict rules for attendance and safety. These ad hoc trips to wal-mart and other retailers don’t help.

      • 23 David

        How do you know what kind of training any of those open carry have had?And for your information all of OCT rally’s are well organized and there are rules all participants must follow. Your basically just flapping your gums about something you know nothing about.

        • As an Army Vet. myself and trained, proper gun owner, I can tell. How do you tell if they are trained or not? If they carry and handle improperly, which all these Opun karree cavemen do. They have no concern for others around them, the fact that they are doing it to cause controversy, not to demonstrate what we already have. In the Army, on patrol I would carry my M16 at port ready or combat ready. Hand on the handle, finger near the trigger, and left hand on the fore-grip IE: Ready to open fire on any threat/hostile/tango. This is not helping, this is giving the anti-gun libbys ammunition (pun intended) to put more restrictions out there.

          You’re* basically the one who is flapping your gums about something you don’t know anything about.

          Army Combat Veteran

          3/385/C, SSgt.

    • 25 Walt Shipley

      Robert, I agree with you about the carrying of a rifle. That makes all liberals think we are gun nuts. It’s giving libs a bad image of anyone that owns a gun, be it a shotgun, rifle, or handgun. If I carry on the street, it will be one no one can see at the ready.

  6. 26 rob

    It’s unfortunately the same set of circumstances we find in most topics of beaten these days- people with a poor understanding of common sense loudly voicing their half baked opinions.
    I’m a gun owner and I believe in the right to open or concealed carry, however I believe that if one is going to do so, then one must think about how they present themselves to the public .
    When I was young a cop stopped me for carrying a large knife on my belt while walking in a mall. It was a perfectly legal knife and the officer was quite helpful, he simply told me that while I was on private property, it would be best if I kept my knife hidden.
    I live in California- concealing my knife is definitely illegal, but I understood what his reasoning was, and these days, it just seems like common sense.
    Openly displaying a firearm is one thing, keeping it in a position from which you draw attention to it is another. Any time I open carry (admittedly only in national forests out here,) my pistol is holstered at my side, not with a hand resting on it. Or if I am carrying a rifle for plinking, it’s bordered, empty, locked open and with my muzzle in a safe direction- doing my best to look as non – threatening as I can. People are sensitive, why push it?
    I think people should stop trying to walk their AR’s and stick with something slightly more defense oriented if their going to open carry, or, even better- take the training and get yourself a concealed carry permit so NO ONE HAS TO KNOW.

    • Rob,

      Last year my wife and I went to Wal-Mart. She went to the grocery area, I went to Gardening because I needed an axe to chop up a branch that had fallen in my yard. I picked out an axe and went back to meet up with my wife. And I realized, there is no way to carry an axe through Wal-Mart without attracting a lot of attention. I tried a few different ways to carry it, and kept getting suspicious looks. And that was just an axe, with a plastic shield around the axe head. But these guys claim they can carry an AK through Wal-Mart, and it shouldn’t bother anyone?

  7. I must say that I agree with you 100%! It is my personal opinion that what these people are doing can be categorized by some as a “terroristic act or threat”. Look up the definition of what that means before you bash me for what I said. To terrorize means to “cause fear”. Hate me or agree with me, I don’t care. But to intentionally cause fear, for what ever your cause or reason, is nothing more than being a terrorist trying to make a statement. And yes, I do have an open carry permit and an AR-15. It is my right to walk around with my weapon exposed, but my common sense keeps me from causing undue fear with the general public. We all have rights and beliefs and I am all for people being able to express these. But it is also your OBLIGATION AND DUTY to STOP BEING an IDIOT!!.

    • Tony,

      I know what you’re trying to say, in Texas “terroristic threat” has no connection to “terrorism” as we usually use it. Thanks for offering your insight, and stay safe.

    • 30 WaldoJim

      As it stands, you nailed the very reason that law needs to be removed from the books. I could “cause fear” by sitting in a Starbucks with books about explosives and a backpack with me. That doesn’t mean there was any intention for it. It could simply be research for my career, but that combination in the right setting could “cause fear”.

      Ambiguous laws help no one.

      And trying to take away rights from people because you are scared of them helps no one either.

      There are many comparisons made in the comments regarding what is right and wrong about people OCing. To be frank, most of it is crap. The only really valid complaints I have seen so far, relates to HOW people carry their weapon, and getting open carriers to walk away.

      If a private business doesn’t want the weapons there, walk away and call it a day. If you really must, then go home and whine about it on facebook. You should not be carrying a weapon at the ready EVER until you are actually getting ready to shoot something. If it is a long rifle (of any kind), then it belongs on your back. Not out front with your finger hovering over the trigger guard. Not out front with you holding it in place. Not out front at all.

      Now, it is worth mentioning, that there are some places that I would certainly open carry a weapon on my back. And probably keep it loaded as well. There is a WalMart where I used to live that was well known for its multiple shootings. And I’ll be damned if I am ever walking in there without a weapon. Most shooters are afraid of being shot, they will move on and find an easy target. I refuse to be that target in places like that. Since then, however, I have simply worked on improving my situation in life, and left those cesspools. Not everyone is that lucky.

      Anyhow, I kind of went off the beaten path a bit. The point remains, “terrorism” as is currently defined, is absolutely insane and should be struck down and unenforceable.

      • 31 Jacob Kreusch

        Waldo, the actual definition of terrorism is “use terror ik order to make gains for a political cause.” Terror after that is loosely defined as violence or intimidation. The law can simply be updated and it will end up being just fine. Intent is a very important factor when using that term. When Benghazi first occured and we were told that it was rioters, a lot of people criticized Obama for not immediately throwing out the T word, but were it to have simply been a riot, it woukd not necessarily have been terrorism. Not looking to start a Benghazi thread for the more rabid in here to fap to, but that was the point at which I realized how poor the public connotation of the word really is.

        I would personally classify a handful of OC vids that I have seen as terrorism, but not all of them and that is in no way to say that OCing is inherently terrorism. It all comes down to intent.

  8. 32 David

    I guess the writer of this has no basic concept of a protest. OCT knows how ridiculous it is to carry long guns in public but until the open carry of handguns is passed in Texas there is no choice. And yes they do in high traffic areas to bring attention to their cause, it wouldn’t do any to protest in a bean field outside of Cool Texas. And please stop with the BS that they are doing more harm than good, before they started there was one senator that was trying to get open carry passed and every session it was shot down in committee now after their protests have brought it out into the public light we have both candidates for governor supporting open carry, yes even Wendy Davis. We have eight state senators sponsoring the open carry bill and a huge majority of both state houses supporting the open carry bill. It will probably pass in the next session. 44 other states have some form of open carry Texas should too. As far as the pictures you have fallen victim Bloomberg and Moms Demand “Attention” spin, These pictures are taken after the walks and usually happen because the person taking the picture wants to see the the “GUN” in the picture. Remember these are protest they carry signs they carry flags they hand out informational pamphlets they notify local police departs and check with the business were they are going to meet to make sure its OK for them to use the parking lot to stage before and after the walk. All guns are are cleared and a red straw is put in the chamber to show its empty. These are very well organized marches don’t believe the spin. These protest are working. I myself will not open carry even when it passes but I think anyone that can legally own a gun should have the right to carry however they deem best. I support the 2nd Amendment 100 percent and I always wonder about the people that say ” I support the 2nd Amendment BUT” they really don’t, they support it as long as the person carries it the way they think it should be carried. You either support it or you don’t there is no BUT in the 2nd Amendment.

    • 33 Surgeons Jack

      Alabama just passed the last law to make it an open carry legal state, and none of it had to do with these wackos, it had to do with honest, open debate. It had to do with the people who actually care about the 2nd Amendment. Not to mention, it’s freaking TEXAS, it wouldn’t be so dang hard to get the open carry law passed if these wack jobs weren’t acting a fool. Not to mention the current POTUS (and the liberal left) has already shown his complete disregard for the Constitution, this only points his nose in this direction to implement some “executive action”. So maybe people with your mindset should start seeing the bigger picture. I completely reject your argument that these people support the 2nd Amendment more than myself. I don’t think it should be illegal to carry your AR-15 out and about, but I think you should possess the sense enough NOT to. I grew up shooting all guns, including these military type rifles, never once did I go, “gee…I’m going to Starbucks, better grab the AR”. No. Because I am not stupid. The attention these people get, is negative, and it only strengthens the argument AGAINST guns. This “protest” is going to get these morons killed. If you are carrying a long gun at the ready (or any gun at the ready) to the store, you are going to scare people, and under several states’ self defense laws, it would be completely legal to shoot you. I know if I turned the corner in Home Depot to see these posers, I would automatically have my hand on MY concealed weapon. These people “protesting” are just looking for attention, and unfortunately it is these people who are going to end up ruining it for the rest of us. Grow up.

      This article was written well. I’m sorry if you can’t handle it because it doesn’t fit in YOUR agenda. If I wouldn’t feel safe around these people, then nobody would.

      • Fantastic points, Jack. Thank you.

      • 35 David

        How is someone protesting going to get someone killed? Thats just stupidity at its most. They don’t get up and say grab your AR lets go to Starbucks. These are all pre-planned protest well organized and you pinheads are too stupid to understand what a protest is. Every “argument” you put foreword are the same bullshit crap that the left spouted all during the fight for concealed carry. All Bullshit. And no you don’t support the Second Amendment, you give it lip service like some liberal california politician. You not a supporter of the second amendment, you just want to sit on your ass while others fight for your rights and if you want to admit it or not what OCT is doing is working. Before they started the passage of open carry had no chance to pass now because of OCT it will probably pass in the next session. What these people are doing is working and once it passes OCT wont need to do these protest. If you don’t want to stand up for whats right don’t, just sit on your ass and criticize those that are getting things done. You and these other butter’s are just pathetic cowards.

        • LMFAO.

          ” These are all pre-planned protest well organized and you pinheads are too stupid to understand what a protest is.”

          Ah yes, the old ‘The general public should magically know good and well that we are coming to this establishment so as not to cause alarm.” routine. So say I just so happen to be concealed carrying, and walk in upon a number of you wingnuts with your arms in a combat ready position. Say I hadn’t heard that you guys were a comin’ down that day? Do you really expect me to sit for an extra minute to decipher whether you are psychos or peace-loving hipster gun owners? Yeah sorry, anyone who takes self defense seriously enough to carry around a gun knows good and well that those seconds are your life.

          Also, as for the pre-planned and well organized bit….NOPE. I’m afraid that this article put a .50 sized hole through that when they pointed out the difference between combat-ready and not.

          “if you want to admit it or not what OCT is doing is working”

          Afraid not. 2 years ago I was moderately conservative, republican, and a proud gun owner. After what you wingnuts have started, I’m actually MORE supportive of mild gun control laws. Your kind helped me see the NRA for the industry mouthpiece that it is, and realize that right wing stances are in the wrong spot nearly across the board. Now I don’t even take my firearms off of my property because I don’t want to be associated with you blathering, rabid zealots. There was a time when gun owners were a proud, respected, and RESPECTFUL subculture. Used to be, we were considerate of others. This whole “You don’t like my GUUNNNNN???!!!! LET ME SHOVE IT IN YOUR FACE UNTIL YOU DO!” mentality has completely alienated me from the issue and I refuse to vote for any politician supportive of your hijinx.

        • 37 Surgeons Jack

          Hey doll, I am a bigger supporter of the second amendment than you could ever be. I’m not the complete maniac who thinks terrorizing people is a way to get what you want. I am not completely BLIND to the actual harm you and your dumbass friends are doing to the REAL cause. You want to say this crap to my face, why don’t you come on over to Alabama and we can chat.

          I am about as CONSERVATIVE as they come, I would make Sarah Palin look blue. I am a female, Christian, Pre-Med student in the south. I go to the gun range every chance I get, and I was shooting/cleaning/and field stripping a .45 before I got to Kindergarten. As a matter of fact I was JUST at the range at an NRA sponsored high powered rifle competition shooting my Colt AR-15 this past weekend. So you tell me who the liberal is. I don’t sit on my ass, I take care of what needs to be taken care of without acting like a freaking terrorist. And guess what! I have my CC, so how really is any of this a liberal argument?

          Why don’t you go into detail what “liberal California politician” bullshit I put forward? Because I am fairly confident I would shock the hell out of any liberal. You have nothing supporting your argument, so instead you are going to hurl insults at my rebuttal. You have NO data any of this bull is working, in fact all you have is a lot of data of you and your “buddies” pissing off a lot of 2A supporting Americans who feel like you are harming the REAL cause.

          I’m sorry you are some nutjob who needs your ass kicked because your mamma didn’t do it enough. You have no respect for the weapon or for your fellow 2A supporting Americans. You haven’t put forth a SINGLE argument that benefits YOU.

          Oh…btw…there are PICTURES and many stories of people just going into coffee shops and stores with their high powered rifles, not as a group, but as individuals…that doesn’t seem organized to me. That seems like morons trying to scare people into submission to me. Terrorizing middle America for your own enjoyment, nothing else. Mark my words, these people are going to get hurt.

    • I think this is my favorite argument. “Yes this is ridiculously stupid, but if you criticize it for being ridiculously stupid you’re against the 2nd Amendment.”

      In none of the pictures I’ve seen was a red straw visible in the chamber of the weapon. Can you back up that claim? Have any pictures or links?

      And this is my second favorite argument: “If you criticize us, you’re a victim of anti-gun propaganda.” No, and I could really give a rat’s ass what Bloomberg or MDA have to say. I criticize OCers in Chipotle because carrying an AK into Chipotle is just stupid, and harmful to the larger 2A cause.

      As far as the “I support the 2A BUT” accusation, well how about this. I support the 2A but I don’t think paroled murderers should be able to legally own a gun, and I sure as hell don’t think they should be able to carry one into Starbucks. If that makes me a “butter”, then I really don’t care that someone would use it as an insult.

      • 40 David

        Ya go to OCT facebook page and take a couple minutes there, All the info you need is there and any questions you have they will answer for you.

    • Using a firearm as a theatrical prop, even as protest, shows a pathetic lack of respect for the firearm and for the public in general. It’s dangerous and it’s about as aggressively rude as you could possibly be. Sooner or later there’s going to be a “situation”. This is simply not a legitimate use of a firearm. It’s not sport, it’s not hunting, it’s not mercy killing, and if it’s “self defense” it’s bad tactics.

      • Good observation. I don’t get why OC supporters use the argument “but these were just posed pictures” as a defense; if you’re standing in Chipotle posing with an SKS at the combat ready, you’re proving you’re not the guy who should be carrying a weapon in public.

      • 44 WaldoJim

        That entire thought was almost as dumb as the morons carrying weapons at the ready.

        Your rights are not “you have the right to hunt” or “you have the right to sport shoot”. It is the right to bear arms. Period. There is no mention of a condition to bear arms. Find a better excuse, like the author of this piece did; carrying in a ready position.

        The manner in which you present yourself is far more important than the message.

  9. 45 fake person

    Boko Haram is too extreme for Al Qaida lol….

    • If you’re suggesting any defense of the 2A is extreme, explain it. The floor is yours.

      • 47 Surgeons Jack

        I think this person is referring to the video when he was discussing the OCTexas had “distanced” themselves from one specific county OC group.

  10. 48 Robert Dale

    I’m a Canadian. Served 30 years in Canadian Army. Was a small arms instructor…If I could carry openly here I WOULD…but our gun laws here in Canada is more about defending the rights of the criminals then the right of lawful gun owners….

    • Robert,

      I’ve had the good fortune to train with the Canadian Army a couple times, some of them said the same thing you have. I hope that changes, sounds like Canada is all about screwing the regular guy who just wants to go out and shoot every once in a while, to say nothing of the guy who wants to defend himself and his family from criminals.

    • 50 David

      Robert tats what will happen here too if people don’t stand up and be counted. Little by little we will lose what rights we have.

      • Yeah, but that doesn’t mean go in and deliberately terrorize people at their place of business. We had the anti-gun stuff down in Congress, but then you guys are just ushering it in across the board at the private level. I’m almost sure that you guys are the most successful false flag op ever conducted.

  11. 52 COE

    This hits the nail on the head, and if i owned a small shop and seen some jackass carrying in with their mall-rat toyed out AR-15 in the front…. don’t be surprised when i have my old single action Ruger Vaquero out with 2-6 slugs into your chest… just sayin’ no need to carry the long gun in the stores, if there is you probably don’t want to shop there.

    • Agree that if a store is so dangerous you need an M4 to enter, it’s probably best to just avoid that store. However, I’d ask that you not immediately engage anyone unless you’re sure they’re a threat and not an OC advocate. Let’s not get anyone dead who doesn’t really need it. 🙂

    • 54 David

      Then you would go to prison for murder, and please explain to me why this never happens in the 44 states that already have open carry? You sound like Harry Reid.

  12. 57 BG

    The soldier that you use as a reference is in fact, carrying his weapon entirely wrong. That is NOT a way to carry a rifle, and it demonstrates laziness and the lack of vigilance. So, before you make statements about “morons not knowing what they’re talking about”, make sure you don’t fall into that category.

    • The soldier is carrying his weapon up front so he can quickly bring it up to engage. I intentionally looked for a picture where a soldier did not have his hands on his weapon. I was on many missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and my weapon was always in front, although sometimes my hands were off of it (while I was working a radio, writing, pointing out a location, checking my GPS, etch). Yes, if the soldier is about to engage, he should have his hands on it. No, the fact that his hands are momentarily off does not mean he’s not carrying it in a combat-ready position.

  13. 59 Rocky Road

    You’re absolutely dead on. I am a firm 2nd amendment supporter and if some random person walked into a store with a weapon at the ready, I would get out as fast as possible. There’s NO reason for it. it’s threatening and pointless.

    • Thanks Rocky.

    • 61 David

      Rocky these people are not just out wondering around, these are planned and organized walks and they ask permission before going in anywhere. And there is a reason, its to educate the public on the stupidity of Texas open carry law that allows the open carry of a long gun but not a pistol and to get it changed. Everyone of these people would rather carry a hand gun but Texas laws doesn’t allow that.

      • Right, they always asked permission. That explains why Sonic kicked them out and a bunch of other businesses asked them not to come back.

        • 63 Bob

          Rally David? Those two guys in the HD picture really look like they are part of a well organized protest! Just take a look at some of the people carrying those weapons in public. Most look like they are on a mission, and not a peaceful one either. A large part of carrying a weapon concealed is the fact that you have the tactical advantage over the potential looney because the y don’t know you have one and think they can get away with what they are going to do unabated. If you need a weapon in the places they are going to, perhaps we should just stop going to those places. As a private entity, they always have the right to refuse. Good story here, Chris.

  14. While I support the 2nd amendment, I don’t think everyone should just carry around a rifle because they can. Carrying a concealed handgun (or a unconcealed, holstered one) is fine, but a rifle is just silly.

    Guns aren’t toys. There’s a reason why parents tell their kids not to pick up a gun and flaunt it in front of their friends. Every time I see one of these prideful idiots carrying a combat rifle in public (in any position, combat ready, non-threatening, etc.), I can’t help but cringe. You never know what could happen. It could go off while you’re buying your coffee. You could bump into someone and drop it, and subsequently make it go off. Someone could take it from you and do exactly what you want to prevent. Someone, like the one mentioned in the article, could draw on you. The possible accidents are endless.

    Treat every gun as if it’s loaded and made of fragile glass. Only use it when necessary, and even then make sure you’re thinking through every action you take. Owning/using a gun is meant to be an example of your maturity and responsibility, not your toughness.

    • I agree with most of that, the only exception is with your comment about “it could just go off.” Other than a few very poorly made historical firearms, weapons don’t just go off. Poor handling makes them go off. Any modern, high quality weapon like an AR or AK can be beaten with a hammer and not discharge. Aside from that, good points and thank you.

    • 66 David

      I guess your one of the ones that don’t understand what a protest is, these people are not carrying long guns just because they want to. it’s because Texas law does not allow the open carry of a hand gun while it is legal to open carry long guns. That is the whole point. IT IS A PROTEST!!! Why is it so hard for some people to understand that.

      • Bull, we have these idiots here in Ohio where open carry has been legal for decades. So what are they protesting here? Most people that open carry long guns are wanna be’s and all that does is hurt the rest of us.

      • Yes, the guy with the SKS and huge smile in Chipotle just hates carrying his rifle in public.

  15. Either we have the right to carry arms or we don’t.It makes no difference if it handgun or a rifle.I have friends who do to physical difficulties can not use a handgun.So a rifle or a shotgun is all they can use for self defense.Would you take that away from them? We are all supporters of the 2nd.We can not fight among ourselves. If we do it will be over the gun grabbers will win. And for those of you who do carry rifles,shoulder that thing Do not carry at ready.

    • So if I don’t have the right to walk into a day care with an M249 SAW, then I have to right to carry at all?

      Nobody here has advocated removing the right to carry (I certainly haven’t, and I don’t recall any commenters here doing so). My argument is against people who carry just to be confrontational, as I believe those OCers are doing. And I absolutely disagree with your “we can’t fight among ourselves” comment. I’m not a hack; I will never adopt the stance “whatever my side does is right.” That would make me just like some of the people I despise most. When my side is wrong, integrity demands that I recognize it.

      Having said that, I do appreciate your point, and your comment. Thanks Bob.

      • 71 David

        These people are protesting, that’s the whole point is that it is legal to open carry a long gun but not a handgun. Have you ever seen a protest that was not confrontational?

    • 73 Travis

      I’m sorry but I cannot imagine what disability makes carrying a pistol hard but they can carry a shot gun or rifle with ease. A shot gun or assault rifle weighs a lot more, requires not one hand but two, and the triggers are pretty much the same. So sorry, but you cannot justify walking around town with an assault rifle or shot gun. Unless your disability is stupidity.

  16. Reblogged this on If I look back, I am lost… and commented:
    Reblogging this because it’s brilliant, and pretty much exactly how I feel about gun rights and stuff. I don’t even really know how to use a gun, but I do hope to someday learn, and I would even consider getting one eventually. All of that for my own personal protection. You never know, nowadays, when you will need to know how to use a gun, even if it’s not your own. Situations involving guns are all around us everyday, and it’s better to have the knowledge than to not, I think. Anyway, this blog post is just brilliant, so I’m sharing. So read it. And stuff.

    • Faithy,

      You need to be quoted loud and often. Even if someone isn’t a gun person, they should still know the basics of safe firearms handling. Thank you and if you’re in Texas I’d love to show you the basics on firing a weapon. 🙂

  17. 77 Derek Huffman, AZEX

    You are a sellout, plain and simple. Just another spineless Repugnicunt. Please Sunshine Patriot. Fuck off.

    • That all you got kiddo? This is so pathetically laughable. You and I both know that you can’t even bring up the slightest argument against this guy, likely due to a lack of reading comprehension skills, so you just hurl insults. Please kid, if you aren’t going to contribute to the conversation, stay out of it. And do the rest of us a favor and apply that to society as well. We’d rather not deal with you.

    • I’m so hurt by this, I can’t even type a response because I can’t see the keyboard through my tears. 🙂

  18. 80 Kramer

    Your local liberal here!! I love, love, love this! So many amazing points that I can’t list them all. For a liberal I’m relatively gun neutral, but the aggressive open carry owners are leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths. I only wished that more OC/gun owners had the same amount of common sense that the author and most of the commenters here have!
    Thank you for the breath of fresh air, and one of the best blog posts I’ve read. Well done sir, well done.

  19. I do not want to be put in the same categorey as this group of bozo’s.When asked if I am carrying,my standard response.That is of my concern if you see a weapon in my hand then you’ll know. As well as this when you see a weapon in my hand there are only to emotions you’ll have,and that will be determined by which side of the threat you are on.
    If a group or individual came into my shop with a rifle or shotgun exposed I can easily see assessing a threat and responding in an appropriate manner.

  20. 84 Travis

    So let me see if I understand this. You want to preach gun rights and say you uphold the 2nd as long as nobody is SEEN using said right? This is monumentally stupid. This is akin to saying you are pro 1st but tell people not to speak in public for fear of offending someone. Look you are either pro Constitution or not. If you support the second then support it fully and stop whining like a liberal who did not get their way. This is America we do not hide nor do we have to!

    • “Look you are either pro Constitution or not”

      Words of wisdom from someone who likely has no concept of what the words actually mean, nor the nuances in the very document he claims to protect. Nothing is black and white. No right in out bill of rights is free from regulation. In fact, the first amendment is actually protected OUTSIDE of the Bill of Rights, and therefore moreso than the 2nd amendment, and even THAT has been regulated a time or two via slander/liable laws as well as obscenity laws.

      No, the point of the article was. We support the second amendment, but we don’t support ABUSING it. Please OC’ers, we had most of the anti-gun regulation out of the feds hands. We were free to have our guns. Then you guys just waltzed in and started getting private businesses to ban guns. You guys must be the most successful false flag operation of all time.

    • Let me get this right. You don’t bother to read the essay, then accuse me of saying things I never said?

  21. I beleive in OC however doing so in a threatening manner could turn ugly quick , law enforcment and military members are trained to respond to threats with DEADLY force , remember perception IS reality , carrying your weapon in a non threatening manner will go a long way to securing your continued good health and well being.

  22. 88 Dave

    Rock on bud. Texan gun owner, hunter, and obviously a 2A supporter. I don’t CC, but I have carried in my car in bad neighborhoods. These assholes drive me nuts. Being an asshole in public doesn’t help win public support…ever. I grew up knowing that the first step in owning or handling a gun is being responsible, if you aren’t responsible then dad takes the gun away. These folks need to have a talk with dad, and get their heads out of their asses.

    YOU ASSHOLES MAKE EVERYONE LOOK BAD. Someone is going to make a mistake and someone is going to get hurt. You look threatening and people are going to get hurt by your stupid games.

  23. I have nothing against open carry and it’s always been my preferred way of doing it. BUT, no one needs to carry a damn assault rife down the street, in public parks or into their local dept store or fast food place! It’s one thing to carry a handgun, but those who carry anything bigger are either paranoid, assholes or just plain dickheads. Either way, the have no right to be entrusted with anything bigger than a slingshot because being responsible they ain’t.

  24. So now we’re raising generation of children to not know whether the gun is being carried by a crazy person or not. So they will be sitting ducks because all of you taught them not to be concerned about people with guns. Thanks a bunch. If you need a gun for protection, get a conceal carry permit. That was the compromise. But nooooo, it’s never enough for you gun addicts. Now we have to deal with guns at children’s playgrounds. You expect children to discern a “good guy” from a “bad guy”? Every poll out there says Americans want 100% background checks, smaller magazine clips, and other sensible reforms. Take your guns to the border and terrorize small children there, to show America what you’re really all about. Then maybe we’ll stand up against you and the NRA, once and or all.

    • Sandy,

      What polls show Americans want 100% background checks, smaller magazines and other reforms? Can you back that up?

      By the way, the NRA publicly criticized the tactic of OCing a rifle into a business.

      I agree with some of your comment, but I believe you are factually incorrect on the rest of it.

  25. 94 ashley77

    The Purge is coming.

  26. 96 barrycole0101

    Its the same reason its inappropriate to strap a leaky deer carcass to your roof. Blood running down sides and back of your car. 10% hunt. 10 percent anti hunters. Show some respect for the 80 % most of whom will be glad to know that a good Samaritan is nearby to protect, but don’t want to be confronted!
    Virtually all the photos of Israelis carrying in social settings is back packing the fire arm. If someone in Israel is gun at ready, get down!

    • Barry,

      Someone else mentioned how some hunters piss off other people by doing things like mounting freshly-killed deer heads on their hoods. You’re right, the same principle applies here.

      Also, someone told me today that in Israel people who carry rifles are mandated to carry across their backs, and only bring the weapon up front if there’s an imminent threat.

  27. 98 piny

    Why do people have to walk around with guns? Because they might need to shoot someone at the coffee shop? I don’t get it! Having a gun in your home for protection and/or hunting is one thing. But carrying a gun around out in the open wherever you go is unnecessary and ridiculous! I get it….you’re making a statement, but what does that statement say about our country when citizens walk around with guns? It boggles my mind.

    • 99 Shawn Tilton

      So I guess this should apply to police officers and military? Do you have any idea how many crimes are prevented from open and conceal carriers? The answer is more than the police. It can take up to 5 minutes for police to arrive. It takes a trained carrier less than 3 seconds to respond. This will give you time to flee while this person puts their lufe on the line for you.

      • 100 Jacob Kreusch

        “The answer is more than police.”

        Ahem…sources please? Please find me a statistic that shows how many crimes didn’t occur when open carriers were around. Then please do find me their methodology explaining how they deduced that it was the open carriers and not a number of other factors that prevented these crimes for which there can be no accounting.

        I’ll be waiting. In the mean time I think I’m going to teach a goat to fly.

        As far as I’m concerned, as long as we have these jackoffs intentionally terrorizing people to make a point, who needs criminals?

      • It can take a lot longer than 5 minutes for police to arrive, which is another reason I’m a huge advocate for armed citizenry. But why are you bringing up concealed carriers? I didn’t argue against CC at all, I personally wouldn’t OC a pistol but I don’t have a huge problem with it, and I accept rifle OC depending on the situation. My argument is with confrontational rifle OC tactics in private businesses, which force middle of the road people onto the anti-gun side.

    • Piny,

      Yes, people carry weapons because they might have to shoot someone at a coffee shop, or Luby’s (Killeen, Texas 1993), or McDonald’s (San Ysidro, CA 1984), or church (Colorado Springs, 2007), or mall (Salt Lake City, UT 2007), or movie theater (Aurora, CO 2012), or public street, or wherever. No, it’s not likely I’ll ever encounter anything like that. I’ll probably go the rest of my life without ever having to draw my weapon. And that’s fine with me. But if I have to use a weapon top defend myself, my family and other innocent people around me, I’m going to.

  28. 103 Shawn Tilton

    Open carry Americans. Please continue to open carry. This makes me feel safer knowing someone there is ready to stop violent crimes and protect the innocent people who cannot defend themselves. Even the dumbass anti gun activist who are happy to continue to be victims.

    • 104 Jacob Kreusch

      “This makes me feel safer…”

      Congratulations on being one of the few who views firearms as a fashion accessory and a garlic clove that magically keeps crime away, without recognizing the dangerousness of a weapon, nor the reason behind feeling nervous or apprehensive around someone with a tool made for killing.

    • I’d be with you on OCing a pistol (although I think it’s a bad tactical decision), and understand rifle OC in very specific situations. Confrontational rifle OC doesn’t make sense, though.

      And by the way, I have a feeling you didn’t bother reading the essay. There’s no anti-gun activism around here.

  29. 106 Robert

    “…shall not be infringed” says it the best. However career politicians and the sheep that keep them in office don’t care about the constitution!

  30. 107 Cal

    Have your cake and eat it too

    Isn’t it odd that the same people complaining about how their rights were being infringed are now running their lips about the perceived effects of a small few that are a little further out on the right than themselves? Isn’t it also odd that these appear to be the same people that are new to the conceal carry movement?

    I’m seeing so many conceal carry people whining about how the open carry people are ruining it for them. This reminds me of how children can think that if two siblings are fighting over the presumption that if one pisses off their parents the other will suffer. That somehow dad won’t let kid #1 stay out late since kid #2 broke curfew the day prior. Simply stated, your idiots if you think this way about your constitutional rights. No one is going to take your permit because someone carried a rifle into Starbucks. People are walking around in Starbucks, Sonic, Chipotle and Target with AR-15s because they want to show these companies that it is un-American to fall in line with the other liberal companies that have openly banned firearms in their stores. These companies don’t have the sack to put up no gun signs on their doors. That’s why they are “asking” for our cooperation. These companies are being targeted by the open carry groups because the company’s anti-gun policies are attempting to impede the constitution, nothing more. The next issue is even funnier.

    I’ve been reading about conceal carry people being concerned because they are walking in Lowes and seeing a guy with his hands on a pistol grip of an AK. Or, the real giggle, people are walking around with ARs hanging from their necks on the front of their bodies. The pistol grip is the point on an AR or AK that offers a person the most control of the weapon with one hand. Thus, it is completely understandable that a person adjusting his rifle might do it via his pistol grip. For those braniacs that have a problem with ARs being on a person’s chest, look at the gear market. When was the last time you have seen a parade sling for an AR or even sling keepers on the AR itself? The slings of today, that can be bought at Wal-Mart, are tactical slings. These are specifically designed to hang a weapon on a person’s chest. If you think that it is “aggressive” because someone has an AR hanging on their chest, you’re and idiot.

    Conceal carry guys, every time you open your mouth about this you show you ignorance. I have no doubt that there are very responsible people that have concealed carry permits. Unfortunately, I only seem to be finding them yapping and not teaching. Not doing their part to maintain their rights. Not telling stores that ban firearms that you would like to do business with them but cant because you carry a firearm. That you don’t want to change your ways so that a store can enforce its rights that infringe on yours. It’s your choice to go into that establishment. This is the American way. I will leave you with one question. Would it be necessary for these open carry groups to do these things if their rights weren’t already being infringed upon?

    Now that you’ve formed your opinion you should know that I fully endorse both open and concealed carry, I do tell businesses that I won’t do business with them if they don’t allow weapons and I have never carried a rifle into a store.

    • I don’t even pretend to know what you’re talking about. If you’re referring to me, no, I’m not “new to the concealed carry movement.” I’ve been carrying as a cop for 20 years and have been a huge supporter of the CHL law since before day 1. In Texas CCers don’t have to do anything to support their CC rights, nobody is trying to repeal the law.

      And I wish you OC supporters would decide why you support OC. Is it to show people that OCers are no threat? Is it to show how ridiculous it is to ban pistol OC while allowing OC? Is it a message to businesses that don’t support 2A rights (as you just claimed)? Are these OCers carrying in a totally non-threatening manner, or are they intentionally carrying in a combat ready mode? I’ve heard all these arguments from your side. Make up your collective minds.

      And going further, your assertion that these people are targeting businesses to show they shouldn’t be anti-gun is pretty ludicrous. THE BUSINESSES ARE BECOMING ANTI-GUN BECAUSE OPEN CARRIERS ARE TARGETING THEM. In a nutshell, that’s the problem. Companies that never said a word about guns for years now have suddenly become “anti-gun” because OCers intentionally targeted them.

  31. 109 Melvin R. Blann III

    What is the difference between a law-abiding citizen, and a law-abiding citizen carrying a firearm – any firearm? Nothing, absolutely nothing but the unreasonable, unfounded, phobia of the observer.

    • Well, for some odd reason, people’s phobias start twitching when they see Boonies and Shades posing with their rifles in Chipotle, but they don’t start twitching when CCers carry or sometimes even when pistol OCers carry. Seeing random guy walking through a restaurant with his AK at combat ready is considered alarming to everyone but you, I guess. I’m sure you wouldn’t react at all if you saw it.

    • 111 Jacob Kreusch

      “unreasonable, unfounded, phobia of the observer.”

      Oh yes, because it is completely unreasonable to recognize that guns are weapons designed to kill people all but instantaneously. It is also unfounded to he a bit apprehensive about the fact that a standard glock with a 10 round magazine has the potential(albeit slim) to quickly kill 10 people. As someone who owns firearms, I find it incredibly disrespectful for people to not recognize that a firearm is a deadly weapon rather than a fashion item and incredibly insulting that you believe that a human’s natural fear of killing devices is “unreasonable” and ” unfounded.” I don’t need someone to see my firearm in order to be able to deploy it and in fact I prefer it of they don’t. I’m smart enough to know that if violence shoukd break out, that my visible firearm only makes me a primary target. I don’t feel the need to subject the general populace to exposure therapy in order to exert what is a piss poor understanding of psychology in a vain attempt at desensitizing someone away from a rational fear.

  32. 112 Konrad oO

    I agree.

  33. There is a new facebook page who are 2nd amendment supporters, but against these idiots ruin our image. Please join us.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/gunsafety/

  34. 114 Ken

    First they came for the long gun open carriers, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a long gun open carrier.
    Then they came for the pistol open carriers, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a pistol open carrier.
    Then they came for the concealed carriers, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a concealed carrier.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    A modified version of Martin Niemöller’s work.

    Agree with the practice or not, it has its place and should be supported by all Americans.

    In addition the bottom picture with woman carrying the AR at the “low ready”, I believe that was so it did not slap against her while walking. I was at that rally in Birmingham Michigan. I am the guy in the tan Glock hat on the right that is taller than everyone. A man not old enough to buy a pistol or obtain a CPL was left only to carry a long gun for personal protection. He was arrested and charged for legal activity. The whole point was to open carry a long gun at the rally. No of us were arrested and he was found not guilty.

    • Wow. I’m not really sure what to say. First time I heard that quote in its original form was by Elie Wiese, speaking about the Holocaust at a University. I guess I can praise you guys for your absolute belief in the holiness of your cause.

      I do think OC has its place. As I stated, I’m down with rallies in public venues where people safely carry slung rifles. What I criticize are OCers who carry at the combat ready, especially in private businesses. All they do is create enemies. The pro-gun side is pretty divided on this type of OC, and it’s not because guys like me write about it, it’s because guys like you do it.

      Now I have to call BS on something: the woman was carrying combat ready because her rifle was slapping her while she walked. First of all, that’s one reason why it makes no sense to carry a rifle for self-defense under normal circumstances. Second, who cares if it was uncomfortable? Sometimes carrying a pistol is an uncomfortable pain in the ass. So I guess it’s cool if I just unholster it and walk around in Sul. I mean, why should I holster it? It’s uncomfortable that way.

      As far as the arrest goes, I don’t support anyone getting arrested for not breaking the law, and that includes OCers.

      Thanks for commenting, and feel free to explain your side of this. I’d like an OCer to explain how this activity could be reasonable.

  35. 116 cnctx

    It seems the majority of your objection is the way the OC people are dressed and the way they handle their long guns. So am I to assume that if they were all clean shaven, wearing three piece suits, had their long guns slung over their backs with magazines out and zip tied you would have no problem with them open carrying long guns anywhere that’s legal that businesses haven’t asked them not to right?

    • I’m not sure where you got that. I don’t recall criticizing anyone’s manner of dress, and I also did criticize the well-dressed guy in the coffee shop. What I criticize is their manner of carrying and where they’re carrying. When OC rallies were being held in public venues by people with rifles slung safely on their backs, I didn’t say a word. But when guys walk into private businesses carrying weapons in a combat ready mode, I feel compelled to speak. Because I think those actions create enemies rather than generate support.

      • 118 cnctx

        maybe I misunderstood the “Boonies and Shades” reference. But I see a lot of people making fun of they way some of these guys look and how they dress. Most of your criticism seems (and rightfully so) at their handling of the weapons in businesses, but then there are several comments that would lead me to believe you don’t support them bringing long guns into businesses period. ” In America, carrying a rifle into a restaurant isn’t a normal act.” ” I criticize OCers in Chipotle because carrying an AK into Chipotle is just stupid” So you don’t support allowing long rifles in businesses where it is legal and the owners don’t object and if they are slung on their back?

        I haven’t been to an OC rally but I think I will to check it out. I have been following this and reading about the truth of what is really going on instead of what the media is telling us. And it seems like too many 2A supporters are too ready to accept the lies made up by MDA and the gun grabbers. I read about the lie that the jack in the box employees locked themselves in the freezer out of fear they were being robbed. Even though it was exposed as a lie I see it brought up a lot by pro 2A people criticizing them. How is repeating the lies of the gun grabbers helping the cause?

        Here’s another example. OCT was criticized by some saying they only do their protests in rich white neighborhoods, OCT said good point, let’s do a walk in the poor black neighborhood to show everyone they have the right to OC white black Asian whatever. Well all of the sudden it became a bunch of white racists with guns are planning on scaring black people in their neighborhood!

        Another example is that since several months ago when the largest group, OCT changed their policies to not carrying in chain stores that MDA used pictures from a year ago in a Target to start the whole pushback against Target. They weren’t even carrying in Target anymore and they acted like it was happening every day and the pictures were fresh.

        I do know from the OC people that were actually at a lot of these places that in several instances they sent an unarmed person in first to ask if it was OK for them to come in and they were allowed, And the real reason some of these businesses have asked them not to open carry wasn’t because they just decided it on the spot but because after the fact MDA posted stole the OC pictures from FB and put the pictures everywhere and got people all over the country to call the stores to change their policies after the fact. It wasn’t an issue until MDA used it to stir their people up.

        I think it is easy to point out a couple of instances like the idiots up in another state walking around talking trash and make it seem like this is typical of the OC movement in Texas. But the acts of individuals, many not even officially in the group doesn’t mean this is what the majority of OC people are doing. From what I see it isn’t. I know the largest group, OCT several months ago made it their policy to not OC in chain businesses and to switch to BP revolvers which is more in line with the legislative battle they are fighting. I know that the majority of what they do is walks on public streets carrying large banners and flags so people know they are a protest, they notify the police of what they are doing to head off any calls, I have seen several videos of police coming up to them and telling them they support what they are doing, and I have seen a lot of videos of the public being receptive as they talk to them and hand out literature. I commend OCT for recognizing that MDA was using them and changing their tactics. Personally I see a lot of hateful things said here by a lot of people that aren’t helping either. MDA posts this kind of information to attack the OC people saying “look even gun owners say these guys are crazy” personally I would never attack another gun owner lawfully exercising their 1st and 2nd amendment rights, especially with the language and vitriol I have seen here that would best be left for attacking the real threats to our gun rights.

        • cnctx,

          I get what you’re saying, and I’ll clarify my position for you.

          My issue isn’t with OC in general, it’s with OC in places like Chipotle or Starbucks. Carrying an AK into Chipotle makes no tactical sense, especially when it’s at the combat ready, and only serves to alienate the very people we want to either support the 2A or at least not oppose it. As I’ve stated in other comments, I didn’t complain about OC rallies in public venues where rifles were slung across backs. I’m complaining about this specific tactic, of carrying rifles at the combat ready into normal businesses full of people who rightfully don’t expect a stranger to come in with an AR-15. I don’t see how OCing a rifle into a regular restaurant is reasonable, and it has a proven track record of creating enemies. If a business makes a point of welcoming OCers, fine. I’ve never said OC should be illegal. But carrying an AK up front into a regular business isn’t a normal act.

          Now, to address some of your other points:

          Many OC advocates immediately fall back to the “You believe the MDA and Bloomberg propaganda” defense (which is more of an offense). You kind of went there with this second comment. But no, my opinion has nothing to do with MDA or Bloomberg. OCers themselves are posing with rifles at the combat ready inside restaurants; that’s stupid, immature and shows a complete lack of respect for other citizens around them. MDA didn’t force Boonie and Shades to pose for a picture, they chose to. Bloomberg didn’t force the group in front of Chipotle to pose, they chose to. Nobody forced the head of OCT to pose with his hand on the grip of his AK in Home Depot, that was his choice. The instant “blame MDA and Bloomberg” response is a childish refusal to accept responsibility for OCers’ own actions. The fact that so many OC advocates immediately accuse others of being “brainwashed by propaganda” while simultaneously refusing to own up to their actions, and refusing to condemn those who childishly pose with weapons in public, is more reason for average 2A advocates to distance themselves from the OC movement.

    • 120 glock85713

      You know, the bank robbers in the movie “Heat” were better dressed than anyone I’ve ever seen pictures of at an Open Carry event…

  36. 121 Paul

    Chris, I just wanted to thank you first and foremost for your service and of course for speaking your mind in such an intelligent manner that your point came across with such ease. It’s a shame that society has come to the “you’re either with us or against us” stance when expressing personal beliefs but you took a major step in opening a lot of eyes with this article. If you were able to reach even one person who was conducting OC in the manner you’ve explained then I’d say you’ve more than accomplished your mission. Keep fighting the good fight by sharing your knowledge with those who are not as experienced and seeking answers or help. Thank you again.

    • Thank you Paul, I appreciate that. Alas, I don’t think any OCers will change their mind based on what I’ve written. But maybe I’ve helped the middle ground understand that most of us 2A advocates are reasonable people who aren’t trying to antagonize anyone.

  37. I find it funny that in the pic for Chipotle you say none of them have their weapons slung in front, yet the pic to support it has 4 of them that way. (And 1 at port arms that you also say no open carriers do at all….)

    While your op ed is a nice read, let’s work on the facts being right first. (Stopped reading after this section. Basics. If you don’t get your basics right, you ‘help’ no more than those you are asking not to help you defend your rights. 🙂

  38. 125 Kyle

    For the record, Westboro Baptist Church is not Baptist, and is not even a Church. And protesting in stupid ways DOES help their cause – they are a family of lawyers who go to the legal limits to provoke others so that when they do get assaulted, they have a hefty court case standing by and they make a killing off of the attack. Just FYI.

  39. This is really simple. If I see anyone carrying a weapon as shown…Guess what? I call the police and say: “There is a person in a business displaying a firearm.” Well guess what happens. The cops will respond code 3. At the sight of a person displaying a weapon the cops will draw their weapons and challenge the “open carry” person to drop their weapon or they will shoot them. If the cops do this in every instance this nonsense will stop. There is a reason concealed weapons are allowed and permitted. THEY ARE CONCEALED! The reason for this is that a concealed weapon is non-threatening to the average coffee drinker at Starbucks or Burrito eater at Chipolte. Second amendment my ass. Public safety is a priority with all the fucking nut jobs shooting up schools, churches, Safeways whatever. “Open Carry” advocates have a death wish and death by cop is the first way to send these folks to the winners pedestal at the Darwin Awards…..

    • ” “There is a person in a business displaying a firearm.” Well guess what happens. The cops will respond code 3. At the sight of a person displaying a weapon the cops will draw their weapons and challenge the “open carry” person to drop their weapon or they will shoot them.”

      WOW, the ignorance just pours from you.

      That does not happen. and you want to know why? Because cops are not as stupid as you.

      What does happen is the cops will arrive and talk to the person, check their ID and permit (if required) if they are legal, the cops may say something like “hey, maybe you should put the gun away.” but they can not FORCE them to.

      The cops will then talk to you and possibly charge you with trying to incite a panic. You could be fined or arrested.

      “The reason for this is that a concealed weapon is non-threatening to the average coffee drinker at Starbucks or Burrito eater at Chipolte.”

      Translation: “Ignorant people that don’t know what’s going on around them feel safe.”

      Tell me what the difference is between me having a gun under my shirt, while I drink coffee, vs me having a gun on my side in view while I drink my coffee? How am I any more dangerous by open carrying? I’M NOT. Only the ignorant people around me have been brain washed to think guns are bad and anyone with a gun must be plotting to commit a crime.

  40. “And you’re not “getting people used to open carry.””

    Actually. Yes we are. Have had several people tell me that they used to be afraid when they saw someone with a gun, now they see it so often and see that no harm is being done, they don’t think twice about it.

    This is one of the most ignorant articles i have ever read.

    “I’d guess they did this because OCers were driving customers away.”

    The only people being driven away are the ignorant that don’t understand open carry actually help prevent crimes.

    It is not the LAW ABIDING open carry citizens that people need to worry about. No criminal has ever walked in with their gun open carry and committed a crime.

    To the OP. we are not trying to defend your rights. we are defending OUR RIGHTS which you obviously have no understanding of.

    Don’t want to open carry, THEN DON’T.

    http://wrighttofight.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/ill-have-a-mocha-latte-with-a-side-of-2nd-amendment/

    http://wrighttofight.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/its-your-gun-its-your-right-to-carry/

    http://wrighttofight.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/oh-my-god-he-has-a-gun-the-world-is-over/

    • 130 Scot M

      Guess what smartass? The same right to self preservation that is protected by the 2A (which is not in itself a right), covers you and me both. REGARDLESS of our manner of carry. So yes, despite that you somehow think that your “right” to open carry a rifle around is somehow different from my “right” to carry concealed…is just straight up wrong. Both serve the same end purpose, therefore, they are both part of the same “right”.

    • “Actually. Yes we are. Have had several people tell me that they used to be afraid when they saw someone with a gun, now they see it so often and see that no harm is being done, they don’t think twice about it.”

      Okay. And I’ve had people tell me that anyone OCing an AK into a restaurant should be immediately shot. So it’s a draw. You hear good opinions, I hear bad ones.

      “This is one of the most ignorant articles i have ever read.”

      Did you actually read it? You were talking about OCing a pistol earlier, and my essay doesn’t address that.

      “’I’d guess they did this because OCers were driving customers away.’
      The only people being driven away are the ignorant that don’t understand open carry actually help prevent crimes.”

      Please cite stats. I agree that OC can be a deterrent, but show me some numbers.

      “It is not the LAW ABIDING open carry citizens that people need to worry about. No criminal has ever walked in with their gun open carry and committed a crime.”

      Michael Hill walked into a Georgia elementary school carrying an AK, loaded it in front of the office staff and announced his intention to kill people.

      Are you suggesting that anyone openly carrying should automatically be perceived as not being a threat?

      “To the OP. we are not trying to defend your rights. we are defending OUR RIGHTS which you obviously have no understanding of.”

      Well, unless you’re a citizen of another country with different rights than mine, then I DO understand them.

      “Don’t want to open carry, THEN DON’T.”

      I won’t. And I don’t mind if you do. Unless you carry in a stupid way that makes all gun owners look bad, which was the subject of my essay.

      • 132 Surgeons Jack

        Good points again, Chris! I keep thinking I will stop looking at this article, but then I keep reading/laughing at the hysterical “arguments” the Pro-OCT nuts keep posting. Always a nice break from studying Biochemistry.

  41. 133 mountianjames

    Ok, I OC a rifle often. Several years ago I bought some acreage nearer to town than my home property, it is just a few miles by dirt road so I will often just drive the tractor, which has sort of a saddle holster that fits the AR-10 nicely. The small town is getting bigger, less luke a small town, there is even a Starbucks. While losing the small town feel is sad, it is nice to have some of these things in town. Sometimes after a long morning haying the field, I get hungry, so I go to town, yes, on the tractor, with the AR-10 in its place. When I go into an establishment, even to national chain restaurants, the rifle comes with me on my back. That is a better option than leaving it out in the open. When I sit down, I look for a place where I can place the rifle so that it is accessible to me, but less for anyone else, usually against a wall. When I return, I always top off the diesel at the filling station in town, go in and buy a couple of sodas, with rifle slung, and then get on my way.

    I also carry a holstered pistol, but a rifle is a much better weapon for most situations. Anyone with training should know this. I used to carry the 30-30 lever gun, but most would agree that an AR platform is better for most defensive scenarios. I haven’t had to fire the AR for purpose yet, but the 30-30 had taken care of a few coyotes, a wounded deer, and a very sick cow (at its owners request for a humane end). The cow was interesting, had I not been carrying a rifle, the cows owner may have never noticed that I had a firearm at all, and never made the request.

    I believe in constitutional carry, no permits, carry what you want, when you want wherever you want. Many believe that you should submit to government permission and/or registration infringements, I’m not one of them. In some places, like Texas, you have a choice to acknowledge those infringements as legal and submit to them in order to bear arms, or, carry a rifle. Even I am a bit of a 2a hypocrite, I also have a cc permit, a few actually, there are situations where I prefer cc, but, it is my choice.

    The fight should be for constitutional carry, but it seems that many so called 2a supporters believe in registration, they did it for their permit so should the next guy. If everyone could carry the way they wanted to without getting government permission, groups like OCT would not exist.

    • James,

      All the circumstances you described would, to me, fall under “reasonable OC”. I didn’t see anything in your comments about carrying to make a political point, or entering businesses specifically to make a point about carrying in private restaurants. I don’t have an argument about ALL open carry, just against OC for the purpose of being confrontational, in private businesses, and especially at the combat ready.

      Thanks for commenting, and stay safe.

  42. 135 Vitta

    One question only WHY DO YOU NEED TO CARRY A GUN?

    • 136 Scot M

      This is why: http://gunssavelives.net/browse-by-state/

      Guns are used every day by law abiding citizens to protect themselves, their loved ones, and also others that they see in potentially mortal danger from an attacker. This idea that we live in a country thats all butterflies and rainbows, and “oh we’re so civilized”, and “nobody NEEDS a gun”, just take a look at cities like Chicago, or even other ‘low-crime cities…people are mugged, raped, attacked, murdered every single day.

      Also please note that the link I provided above is only documented, defensive gun uses. In no way does the data on that site represent every case of defensive gun use, and it CERTAINLY does not represent every case of a situation where a citizen might wish to have a firearm at that moment

    • 137 glock85713

      Actually, the question should be, “Why do YOU think I *shouldn’t* carry a gun?”

      Answer that question first, and if your concerns are valid, then I can show you what I do to reduce and alleviate those concerns, and how I go about it.

  43. 139 Lawman45

    Fools and their rights are soon parted. And these small ego, smart alecks will lose OUR rights too. The least they could do is wear unwrinkled “office attire,” shave or trim their beards, and look like normal people. Fat Man and Little Boy have done as much damage to the pro-gun movement as their namesakes did to WWII Japan. WE DO NOT WANT PEOPLE TO THINK OF US AS FREAKS.

  44. 141 James staples

    I prefer open carrying but the people in these pictures aren’t exactly portraying the demographic spoken of, I don’t care to conceal carry. Just me then again the article seemed to written by a closet homosexual that prolly thinks he’s a badass cuz he and his gay friends all have glocks and can’t afford a kimber.

  45. 143 Bill Valenti

    This issue is all about self-restraint and moderation in civil society, recognizing that all fundamental “rights” come with responsibilities. We all cherish our rights to freedom of speech under the First Amendment, but “self-regulate” our speech in, say, family restaurants, churches, public squares, without anyone feeling that their “rights” have been infringed. There is no such notion of self-restraint/moderation among a certain segment of gun rights activists. It is guns everywhere, all the time, in your face, “look at me I’m dangerous” and f**k you if you even suggest that there is something wrong with this. These people are insecure, willfully ignorant sociopaths. And they will likely do more to roll back gun rights in America than the Brady Campaign, or Moms Against Guns or any other anti-gun organization. More than anything else, Americans detest extremists. These gun peacocks that are invading the public square with their fetishes displayed will be the death of gun rights in America.

  46. Ok Ladies google the term AstroTurfing.

    These “open carry” displays for the camera DO NOT RING TRUE OR AUTHENTIC to me. No one I know who is a 2nd amendment supporter believes this crap is a good idea.
    Ponder this (after googling AstroTurfing). How hard would it be to recruit a bunch of uneducated, mouth-breather rednecks via craigslist, tell them they are going to get a $100 Walmart giftcard 30 days after they are photographed posturing for the camera in a Target, Starbucks etc (thinking they are helping support the 2nd Amendment). All the while these naive jackasses are unwittingly performing the work of the leftist, anti-constitution, and anti-2nd amendment crew. ( I recruited for 5 years and could have you sell your soul in 15 minuets during a casual conversation). SO THIS ISNT ROCKET SCIENCE! it’s not hard to pull this sort of political OP off on a shoestring budget with very little danger of exposure or blowback.

    Be willing to contemplate the possibility that all you see on the Internet (or media in general) is NOT what it appears. Somethings are made-for-media events, staged and paid for by the very people you would never think are involved.

  47. 145 Swordforger

    I tend to agree with you, but I have been wondering if maybe some of these “extreme OC kids were either showing their oats (so to speak) or if maybe they are actually Anti-2nd Amendment folks trying to scare the gun neutral people off of the fence to the Anti-second side.
    I can see a holstered or concealed pistol in a restaurant, and even an AR out on public lands, but these folks carrying AR”s in the grocery store are just needlessly scaring a lot of people. Yes I do support 2nd Amendment rights to the fullest extent, carry them wherever,,, When Needed.

    • 146 Jacob Kreusch

      With the idea of them being false flaggers, I don’t believe them to be, but I sure like to joke about it because they end up accomplishing the same stuff. There are unfortunately radicals in most every group and sometimes they take over or speak loudest.
      For instance: I am a gun owning liberal. Unfortunately these days that is seem as an oxymoron. It wasn’t always so. We are unfortunately today often judged by the actions of people like Bloomberg, who was a zealous tyrant who had absolutely no place in office.
      Another example would be that not all conservatives are fear-mongering liars. But Ted Cruz and Faux have certainly done a good job of building that reputation for them.

      But these individuals aren’t false flaggers. They are just rabid raving zealots who have latched onto a fundamental principle in a manner that undermines the very principle that they wish to protect.

  48. 147 Jacob

    I’m a former student at Texas A&M in College Station. A couple years ago we had an incident on campus where a bus driver called in a man with a gun on campus, which of course shut down campus and pretty much the town. As it turned out, this was a Corps of Cadets member carrying his fake practice weapon. All that to say that the general public doesn’t distinguish see anything but a threat when long guns are carried out and about, even on a campus with a strong military background and presence. I support concealed carry completely, not so much open carry. The ace-in-the-whole concealing provides goes out the window, and simply put, it scares a lot of people.


  1. 1 Idiot Open Carriers | roadkillrecipes
  2. 2 Good argument against Open Carry protest - Page 3 - M14 Forum

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