TTAG reader James Mortimer [not shown] read an anti-gun op-ed that rubbed him the wrong way. He responded thusly:

Mr. Crisp [above],

It was with great interest I read your op-ed piece concerning the open carry of weapons and its psychology which recently appeared in my local paper. As is so often the case with op-eds on gun control, I anticipated a disingenuous, meandering diatribe based on little more than emotional appeals. You certainly didn’t disappoint . . .

Matters of great public interest should be debated with dispassionate facts and reason based argument. Your article contained nothing of the kind. You merely trotted out tired, discredited memes calculated to not-so-subtly discredit the opposing viewpoint. From a college level teacher I would expect better. I would also expect an English teacher to be familiar with the tenets of rhetorical argument and to put forth a well-organized and thoughtful opinion.

Instead, to the careful reader, it’s readily apparent you crafted a piece of dogma designed to inflame passions and cause panic at the prospect of open carry. The opening paragraphs relating the tragic shooting in a theater by an ex-police officer over cell phone etiquette, and the shooting of an apparently unarmed young man over loud music, merely exploits the notoriety of the cases in an attempt to frighten the public.

Then, using these tragic incidents, you insinuate that any person, otherwise a seemingly responsible and productive member of society, can suddenly snap with homicidal rage over minor incidents. It’s a reprehensible ploy, unsupported by any academic study with which I am familiar. That you don’t reference any such recognized behavioral phenomenon is a clear indication and acknowledgment that there is in fact, no such evidence. This is perhaps merely your personally distorted worldview. There is, however, a considerable body of work on psychological projection whereby one rejects their own negative qualities and instead projects them onto the outside world.

It’s quite clear you have an agenda and will use any artifice to further it.  You offer no objective facts, only a couple of tangentially related anecdotes. Even worse, you create “facts.”  You write “citizens are encouraged to carry concealed weapons because they believe others are carrying them,” and “states…promote (concealed and open carry).”  How did you determine what a concealed carrier thinks? Do they all have the same exact thoughts you are somehow privy to? What state law can you cite that “promotes” concealed or open carry? Have I missed the public service announcements?

Additionally, you then regurgitate the Old West meme, a tried and true fear-mongering tactic to sway the uninformed. It’s the exact same drivel spewed during the move to concealed carry in Texas and many other states.  Somehow, though, you missed the readily available data showing licensed concealed carriers are statistically – by a wide margin – more law-abiding than the general population and even police officers. You ignore the states that currently have legal open carry and their crime statistics. In short, you offer absolutely nothing other than your personal suspicions.

Nor are you above discrediting the supporters of open carry by accusing them of being fearful, insecure, paranoid, aggressive, and prone to intimidating others. It’s hateful speech and doesn’t warrant the dignity of a detailed response.

I encourage you to examine facts objectively before forming an opinion and exposing yourself to further ridicule. You would do well to review your college texts and re-examine the lessons in rhetoric, especially the fallacies of emotionally based arguments. You sir, have done a great disservice to your readers, your profession, and your fellow citizens.

Sincerely,

James Mortimer
Lampasas, Texas

77 Responses to The Psychology of Open Carry – A Crisp Rebuttal

    • Sticking my reply to the all various comments here.

      Thank you all for the kind words and appreciation of my response. I’ve also noted the criticisms, many very valid points – I’ll work on my grammar and wordiness. I especially appreciated the comment that my response was a bit “churlish.” In retrospect, I agree and would have moderated it a bit, but not much.

      More importantly, the comments of speaking to the choir I’ve taken to heart. This is true. My response was written and emailed to Mr. Crisp before this appeared in TTAG. No response from him, but that was expected. I’ve attempted to submit to my local paper (which is not the linked article.) Mr. Crisp’s article is a syndicated piece and has appeared nationwide which why there was no comment to the linked article.

      James

      • Actually what you have written, with the exception of grammatical errors, is precisely what needs injected into to debate. Short, direct and fact filled is instantly rejected by leftards, universally. Got to draw them in with something longer, couple of twists and turns,by the time they figure out they are actually thinking you got them hooked!

        And can we cut&paste this and pass it around, unedited? Don’t want to step on your intellectual toes, as it were.

  1. Nice piece, however, you are singing to the choir. Get it published in the same newspaper that carried the piece you commented on.

      • I agree.

        Honestly, this is an excellent written response to like at least half of the gun control editorials I’ve seen.

    • Sammy has a point. While your rebuttal is flawless, it does tend to preach to the choir. Very well worded, though.

      Another issue that needs to be addressed (and you sort of touched on this with reference to his projections) is that these anti-gun libtards feel lost in today’s world. They are caught up in a whirlwind of change and lack faith in themselves to do anything about it.

      Thus, while they unconsciously feel totally ill-equipped and incompetent to responsibly handle a firearm, themselves, their solution is to project their insecurity onto some supposed need for a safe society and therefore, removing everyone else’s guns will somehow, miraculously, diminish their pathetic feelings of emasculation.

      These are sick people. Not only are they blind to their own shortcomings, but they are so busy being consumed by their own safety issues that they never notice the political charlatans who have crept into office to take advantage of their insecurity.

      The worst part, here, is that these people are allowed to vote and breed.

    • There likely won’t be one. These types almost never enter into an argument with an identifiable opponent. Most prefer to hide in the bushes and just lob rhetoric at the anonymous masses.

      • Yep. A while back, right after Sandy Hook, I posted some well worded and thought out responses to some posts on several prominent and smaller gun control blogs. No name calling, just calm, fact-based arguments. A couple of them just deleted my responses while two of them replied with a response to the effect of “We aren’t interested in debating the facts and you are a horrible person for not agreeing with us.” Just one actually engaged me in a back and forth. I actually made some headway because they were genuinely interested in a fact based argument. But yeah, gun control advocates usually respond with censure or the rhetorical equivalent of throwing feces. I only debate them for the benefit of the audience.

  2. “…a disingenuous, meandering diatribe based on little more than emotional appeals. You certainly didn’t disappoint ”

    I like that particular line, made me LOL, add “flawed logic” to the sentence to really press home the inabilty for his argument to hold water.

    Taking rights away from good law abiding citizens does nothing to stop criminals from being criminals.

  3. He needs an editor. There were numerous grammatical errors, and those will be used to discredit his opinion. When the message is hard to assail, cheap shots will be taken.

      • To the OP a very nice rebuttal. Bravo Sir.
        rlc2 – I think I can make this into a cliff notes version.
        “What I have read is the most insane, idiotic thing ever posted. At no point in your mindless incoherent ramblings were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on the internet is now dumber for having to read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  4. Excellent. This annihilates practically every anti-gun liberal argument, b/c they are rarely, if ever, based on fact, but rather, as Mortimer so eloquently points out, emotion & feelings.

    • But…

      “Matters of great public interest should be debated with dispassionate facts and reason based argument.”

      This appears to be an unfortunate blind spot for pro-gun advocacy and for conservatives vs Progressives in general. We presume as a starting point that the intention of the debate is to disclose the facts and determine a reasoned and dispassionate outcome based on those facts. This is NOT the intention of our opposition.

      It never was their intention because regardless of what you THINK you are debating, it is a red herring. Their goal is statism, possibly fascism, at the very least more and more socialist type control. Their technique is to use propaganda and emotional appeals to low-information voters in order to win their votes and support for the cause. They are not and have never been interested in rationally discussing gun control or the Second Amendment or coming to any reasonable resolution of the “issue.”

      While they are very serious in their quest for civilian disarmament, since “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…” this is only one small piece of their greater agenda and just another area where they have discovered they can drive a wedge into society and gain supporters through emotional appeals and fear mongering.

      In any debate of this subject with dedicated opponents, even when you think you have trounced them with your statistics and reasoned arguments, THEY WIN because their emotional appeals never address your statistical analysis and their constituency doesn’t understand your statistics, only that children are being killed!

      Every debate where you allow them to set the agenda is a win for them. There should be NO DEBATE. The Second Amendment says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Make them debate THAT. All arguments against the 2A must start with the 2A and end with “Your only option if you do not agree with the Second Amendment is to start the process of amending or repealing the natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

      Otherwise you’re just playing their game by their rules, and you cannot win that game.

  5. I checked the article that is linked and there is a comments section with no comments in it. I would encourage the author of this rebuttal to post it in total in the comments section so people who read the op-ed can get a counterpoint immediately after.

  6. A keeper to copy.
    Second the notion on fast reply in own home town paper. Nothing enrages the typical lazy lefty academic more than to be so thoroughly dismissed with facts. More to the point tho…those facts inform others who might be ready to leave the liberal plantation and appreciate the points to address in their own circle of friends who are shocked when they do.

    • Definitely worthy of copying to file away for reference. This was so well written, that it certainly dispells the myth that we firearm enthusisasts are all dumb nitwits.

  7. Well said, if it wasn’t directed at someone with a head of the same consistency as Howdy Doody’s it might filter in.

  8. This line spoke to me:

    “Matters of great public interest should be debated with dispassionate facts and reason based argument. “

  9. Oh, I dunno Mr. Crisp–if Reeves and Dunn had been carrying openly, maybe the other guys wouldn’t have tried to jack with them. And if they were stupid and aggressive enough to continue to jack with someone openly carrying, then the fears of people like Reeves and Dunn would seem to be eminently reasonable, no? I also note, per the article, that one of those guys was a retired police captain. Maybe cops shouldn’t be carrying either, Mr. Crisp?

  10. There’s that word again “Weapon”, nice way to play into the hands of your enemies.
    When will PPL learn that in the civilian world ‘weapon’ is a legal definition that infers intent?
    A firearm is an inanimate object and not a ‘weapon’ until someone makes it so, it is no different then a tennis racquet in that regard. Despite what this fella said after he used the wrong term this piece is a win for the anti-gunners

  11. Great letter. Sadly, it will likely never see the light of day in the same media that published the original tripe. Nor will you likely receive a personal response from him. He may actually consider responding after reading your letter, but will likely ultimately conclude that “it’s not worth the effort” and he’ll “never change your mind anyway.”

  12. “In 2005 Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling that received little attention when handed down, but which is extremely pertinent to today’s gun debate, found that police officers are not constitutionally bound to protect citizens.”

    The cold hard truth of the slogan of commitment on Police Units “To serve and to protect” is dangerously false and misleading resulting in serious consequences or death that could’ve been prevented by armed citizens. But our Government continues to maliciously disproportionately target minorities and poor people with less access to legal defense. The fact of the matter is you are on your own, PERIOD……

    I listen to those who oppose concealed carry and open carry including just flat out against having a firearm. What is obvious is about the antigun gun side, their beliefs are not at all based on facts and definitely ill informed. They have no practical experience or they must carry the tune from higher up with malicious intents. But most of all, they believe you must share in their own sickness (hoplophobia, n. Irrational, morbid fear of guns) and beliefs, there is no other way but there way. To own, to carry or not to own or not to carry should be left to one’s own choices. Governments will use the excuse of trying to protect the people from maniacs and crime, but are in reality, it is the bureaucrats protecting their power and position.” As one Luby Massacre Survivor to Senate: “I’m Not a Victim of Guns, But of Lawmakers Who ‘Legislate Me Out of the Right to Protect Myself and My Family’”
    As for myself, I’ve been a victim once, never again!
    -Clay Cooper
    CARRY ON!

    PS, THE FOLLOWING LINK IS A GOOD READ ON HOW GUN CONTROL GOT THE TRACTION IT HAS ON TODAY’S DEBATE. PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS NOT FOR THE SHALLOW MINDED!

    http://www.largo.org/lawSup.html

  13. A fine job overall. It’s a tad harsh in tone and does tend to focus too much in the adversary’s competence and motivations, though. That can backfire and make you look churlish, resulting in dismissal of your position. In fairness, that impression would be more likely taken by those who are already inclined to disagree with your position.

    Then again, such people are the ones you’re targeting for persuasion in the first place. So a more thoughtful posture may serve your purpose. Overall, though, nicely done. Keep fighting the fight, my friend.

  14. “Instead, to the careful reader, it’s readily apparent you crafted a piece of dogma designed to inflame passions and cause panic at the prospect of open carry.”

    I suspect he’s counting on the average reader being one that is not particularly careful, critical, or thoughtful in reading processes. In fact, I’d suggest most consumers don’t read because reading is an active process whereas most people are quite passive when presented with the written word.

  15. Sadly it’s more than a sentence or two long, which means most Libs and anti-gunners won’t finish it, and those who do will have a difficult time comprehending it.

  16. “What state law promotes open or concealed carry?”

    That’s easy. He no doubt is of the ilk that believes we have lax gun laws. If there is no law prohibiting carrying a gun, the law is lax and therefore the law is promoting carrying a gun.

    See how simple that is?

  17. A very well crafted reply … However, with the retardedness exhibited by rabid hoplophobes I am quite sure it will go in one ear and out the other.

    Hoplophobes are not ones to bother reading factually correct replies, since it’s completely at odds with their emotion based lies.

  18. Good piece, though I learned a long time ago that you can’t have an educated, rational discussion with someone that is inherently emotional and irrational. Gun control is an emotional argument based on personal fears. Always has been always will be.

    Most people I have met on the other side of the discussion are that way. It just so happens that they consider themselves part of some kind of intellectual elite that IMHO is very afraid of taking personal responsibility for their own safety and that of their brethren. They much rather live in a fantasy world that most people cannot afford, all behind their gated communities which are patrolled by ARMED guards 24/7.

    And yes, projection is the key. They will never admit it though. Their inner argument is that they believe themselves to be above the sort of violence that results from using guns to defend themselves. They leave that to their defenders. And we wonder why a police state is appealing to them…. Just another cover for their inherent fears.

  19. We’ve long since passed the mark where the pro gun rights comments for an anti gun article are more eloquent, well thought out and dispassionate than the anti article itself.

    Well written Mr. Mortimer, pieces like this make me hopeful for the future of gun rights.

  20. Great letter! Unfortunately he is having a battle of the wits with an unarmed person. Gun control is based on emotion, not logic. Since emotion inflames passions so well it is tough to overcome, even with facts. However, we still need to stay at it.

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