April 29, 2010

Open Carry Advocates Are The Shooting Community's Second-Worst Enemy

We can count on gun control advocates to tell lies and twist truths in an effort to demonize gun owners, but most citizens realize the mindless zealotry and distortions up, front, and so pay these groups little mind.

Far worse for gun owners are those in our midst that confuse their right to bear arms with their imagined right to shove them in your face... metaphorically speaking, of course. While guns rights seem to be gaining ground across the nation, the confrontational, combative nature of some open carry advocates is detrimental to all gun owners, a fact many readers don't seem to agree with in my latest article at Pajamas Media.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 29, 2010 01:01 PM

I am sure the right to bear arms will do us a lot of good when the arms in question are home, locked up in a safe, and we are carjacked. This is why I quit reading PJM about a year and a half ago.

Posted by: TimothyJ at April 29, 2010 01:06 PM

You obviously didn't understand the article, or the comments.

The open carry demonstrations cited in the article both instances made the attendees look like extremists. Several of the individuals at each event are proven extremists or publicity seekers( which I chose not to delve into in the article), and they optics they created at these events (taking firearms to a political speech; creating an event that was nothing more or less than a thinly-veiled threat) is bad for the shooting community at large.

Further, I said nothing at all about leaving firearms at home, locked up in a safe. You made that assumption all on your own, and it was the wrong one.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at April 29, 2010 01:21 PM

What I got from the article is you don't like open carry, for a variety of reasons, some valid, some explicitly buying into the liberal media take.

You also said in the comment thread, "As a practical matter, the primary reason I can think of is that it makes them the first target of any criminal."

That only happens if the number of folks who are open-carrying is arbitrarily low. Imagine a situation where some appreciable fraction is open-carrying. Is that likely to be a criminal target? Of course not. In fact, given three possible scenarios, if both open and concealed carry is allowed:

1. No person at the potential criminal target is openly armed. Some might be concealed-carrying.

2. A low number of people at the potential criminal target are openly armed. Some might be concealed-carrying.

3. A larger number of people at the potential criminal target are openly armed. Some might be concealed-carrying.

Which of these 3 situations is the criminal more likely to target? Of course it would be 1, and 2 more likely than 3.

Posted by: Skip at April 29, 2010 04:03 PM

Friends, let's come to an agreement. Can we agree that guns are really good for solving the problem of those damned deer that keep eating my cucumber and pea plants, and the 'coons that punch their paws into my watermelons to eat, like, one single bite before moving on to kill the next melon?

Let's dwell on the good things about guns and how they help ME instead of worrying about other people. That's what's important. To me at least.


Posted by: Kevin at April 29, 2010 05:21 PM

I can see Bob's point about open carry for no other purpose than to be in your face. Let's look at gay rights for a moment. I think they should have the same rights to do to each other that the rest of do but I don't want to see them tounging each other any more than I want to see straights tounging each other in public. Is it legal? Sure but not very pleasant. It's the same with guns. Only uniformed police carry their firearms openly displayed. All other cops carry theirs concealed. Even in the gun totin Old West towns passed laws that forbade guns in certain venues. One obviously was a saloon. So I don't get it when some people have to take every thing to the absolute extreme and make the rest of us uncomfortable in public. Would you like to take your family to a Little League game with AR15 carrying spectators sitting all around you?

Posted by: inspectorudy at April 29, 2010 05:34 PM

As a matter of fact, there is VERY little need for immediately-accessible personal defense weapons for the vast majority of US citizens.

While the NRA runs what...a dozen?....instances/month of some good citizen preventing a crime (or several) with a personal defense weapon, that number is very small in comparison to the population as a whole.

I've had a weapon nearby for about 10 years, and have driven through some damn seedy areas, in some cases, parking and walking to/from a business appointment. No problems. I also use common sense and am not wandering around a drug-crime area in the middle of the night.

Anyhoo.......your take on these folks is correct. They are showboats and are not a credit to responsible gun owners.

Probably another commie plot.

Posted by: dad29 at April 29, 2010 08:15 PM

In other words, CY, don't do anything to make liberals call us nasty names. Might as well shut down the blog. Or join Charles Johnson.

They are never going to leave us alone. The sooner Americans (as opposed to Copperheads) recognize that fact, the better. Appeasement NEVER works.

Posted by: SDN at April 30, 2010 01:12 AM

Ah, yes. The "good" gunowner who is quiet, demure, and no one knows is a gun owner, versus the "bad" gunowner who isn't willing to lie down and pretend that it isn't their right that being infringed upon.

Isn't nice to know our rights are all dependent upon someone's PR campaign concepts of "playing nice"?

I just don't see Open Carry as being particularly provocative. Which pretty much undermines your argument in my eyes.

Posted by: ruralcounsel at April 30, 2010 07:24 AM

I actually agree with you, at least half way.
I think gun owners should give a lot of thought to the PR aspects of open carry. I am a poster and reader of the forum and I recently posted just such concerns there. Of course there are some who think they should go literally everywhere with a gun strapped on. I think your right that such thinking will repel the typical non gun person and scare hell out of many.
On the other hand, a recent attempt to pass an ordinance against open carry in Topeka failed due to strong public resistence to the idea of banning open carry.
I think open carry is a right best used with discretion and sagacity. In my Kansas City suburban town we enjoy the right to open carry but if I were to start packing when I went to the HyVee grocery store I am confident that Mission would soon react by banning it. By using discretion, if the NEED ever arises to start open carrying, it will be there to keep my gun from being confiscated and me arrested.

Posted by: Gary Foster at April 30, 2010 12:32 PM

Most CCW permit holders would rather remain unnoticed and unknown to any bad person that they may encounter. When you go to the store are you ready for someone to grab your weapon when you have two bags of groceries in your hands? Are you alert like someone who is paid to be alert for their 8 hour shift? What do you accomplish by wearing openly the arm you think you may need someday? Read the piece in the Friday's WSJ about open carry. It's by a woman but she is right.

Posted by: inspectorudy at April 30, 2010 06:50 PM

Provacative a few years ago was openly being black in an all "all white" business. There was nothing wrong, except the enemies of freedom created a public stigma, making something normal (a man having lunch at the lunch counter, or riding in the front of a bus) into something provocative. Saying that a man having lunch in a certain place was 'provacative' - revealed much about the inner thoughts and fears of the accusers.

Today, enemies of freedom go after guns. "Don't bring that gun to my lunch counter" or some such. The act is normal, natural thing, acknowledged in the Constitution. Finding it 'provacative' reveals much about the accuser. Saying that a man carrying a gun while he eats lunch in a certain place is 'provacative' - reveals some flaw in the heart and mind of the accuser.

Bearing arms is a natural right. Saying it's provacative reveals much about the thoughts and fears of the accusers.

Posted by: sofa at May 1, 2010 02:33 PM


I read your editorial, and while I agree about the counterproductive results of the public demonstrations you describe, conflation of those demonstrations with the situation inside California is wrong.

In California open carry is already illegal. The anti-gun laws of California are so bad that carry of a loaded weapon, concealed or unconcealed, is illegal for the general public, with only rare exceptions. So the open carry events in California are of unloaded weapons. Unloaded! But even that ticks off the anti-gun politicians so much that even unloaded carry is now targeted for extermination via assembly bill 1934.

California is a 'may issue' state; police have wide discretion over who gets a permit to carry a concealed weapon. And, of course, the general practice of most of the police agencies in California is to abuse that discretion. So it is impossible for the overwhelming majority of Californians to get a permit.

Politics are already so toxic in California that improving this situation through legislation is impossible. California is gun-control central, ruled by a supermajority of Democratic Party legislators who are doubly entrenched in office by a partisan gerrymander of election districts.

I don't see how public reaction to open carry of unloaded weapons could make the situation any worse in California than it already is. That's probably why the next objective of the pro-gun litigation offensive after Washington D.C. and Chicago will be California.

In other words, so what if AB-1934 passes into law? It will have no practical effect, since self-defense outside the home with a firearm is already impractical under current California law.

California isn't the bellwether it might have once been. Next door Arizona is going to unlicensed concealed carry despite how anti-gun California has become. So I don't think gun rights in the rest of the nation are in any danger because of events inside California.

It's damned hard to be a gun enthusiast and resident of California. I've witnessed close up how bad things have gotten over the last 21 years, with scant prospects for relief. I would hope that as a previous resident of New York and a current resident of North Carolina that you could show a little empathy for those of us still trapped behind enemy lines.

Open carry of unloaded firearms in California is probably a futile gesture, but not likely counterproductive. And at least it shows the spark of resistance is still alive inside California, that we still have the gumption to fight back against our anti-gun persecutors.

Posted by: Brad at May 3, 2010 05:17 AM

There are some States that require people to open carry if they do not have a CHP, or a CWP,etc. So, what some might take for "in your face" are people just following the law.

Posted by: citizenofmanassas at May 3, 2010 08:49 PM