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Over the last couple days the mainstream media has been all over the story about how the NRA is dealing out wrist-slaps to Open Carry Texas. News reporting institutions from Fox News to NPR are running with the story, sparked by an open letter posted online by the NRA. While at first glance this might appear to be a blunder on the part of the NRA and the beginning of some nasty in-fighting among gun rights groups, I think that this latest move is a more calculated and effective step for the NRA than one might expect . . .

But now, the NRA’s Chris Cox has backpedaled. It was all a big mistake, he told Cam and Company. It’s already out there, though, and reversing the NRA’s position now probably won’t appease OCT much.

The NRA has historically positioned itself as the vanguard in the fight for gun rights in the United States. As a result the opposition (Bloomberg and his employees, Democrats in general, the New York Times et al.) have singled them out as the primary target for their anti-gun ire. The effect of that concentrated and repeated Two Minutes Hate against the NRA is a belief among gun control activists that the NRA is pure evil — that it can do no right, and should be immediately and vehemently opposed in anything it says or does without so much as a second thought.

When an enemy believes that you’re the devil incarnate, there’s no possibility of meaningful debate or discussion. Everything you say is immediately discounted, and there’s no potential for progress. While the NRA uses YouTube to try to get around the media to get their message out, they obviously also want to try to break the stranglehold that these groups have on their followers. The best way? Prove them wrong.

If the constant drumbeat is that the NRA is an extremist — “terrorist” in the words of many gun control activists — organization, they need to counter that. What better way than by breaking with a vocal and very visible group engaging in controversial activity? In this case, simply asking Open Carry Texas to simmer down.

The effects of that one open letter have been fairly stunning. The story all over the news that the NRA is breaking ties with “extreme” groups, which by extension makes the NRA a moderate voice of reason. The tone isn’t one of vitriol, but mostly one of support from the mainstream press, and might actually be winning the NRA some points. In short, the strategy is working beautifully.

At the same time, the stance isn’t “radical” enough to get most gun owners riled up, even those who may favor open carry. It’s a drop in the bucket, a small gesture that might open a rift between Open Carry Texas and the NRA, but it isn’t the end of the world. What it does, however, is make those who have been painting the NRA as the devil look like extremists and radicals by comparison. The strategy hasn’t earned any friends in OCT, but it might just dislodge some of those closer to the fence in the opposing camp.

154 Responses to NRA Against Open Carry? It’s Smarter Than You Think.

  1. Well, nice thoughts Nick, but it looks like the NRA just managed to shoot itself in the foot.

    The Chipotle Ninja crowd should be rejected and marginalized by the NRA as the idiots they are.

    • Keep on bitchin’…..it seems the more you bitch, the more momentum the movement gets. Sorry, some of us don’t see rights as needing to be hidden from view. You really should remove that offensive avatar too, open displays of religion are just plain wrong.

      • Just wait until Texas gets open carry next year. All of these naysayers and milquetoast types will share in the celebration as though they were down for the struggle all along.

        • I’m all for open carry, especially in organized demonstrations. But when a couple of nimrods in a fast food joint cross the line into brandishing it becomes wise to recognize that the antis still have a fair amount of sway and it does no good to spook the masses. Spooked masses bias towards the over simplified, emotionally comforting ‘solutions’ and Chipotle Ninja’s run a very real risk of getting others trampled in a stampede.

          If one is going to open carry for the purpose of demonstrating it becomes NECESSARY to the strategy to overwhelm the public with courtesy. In short: KEEP YOUR DAMN HANDS OFF THE GRIP.

          The binary choice presented between to extremes is a false one. Rosa parks had a right to become verbal when asked to leave her seat but as I understand it she had the good sense not to. Demonstrations like this are not about making a point, they are about forcing your opponents to make the point for you when onlookers contrast their whargarbling against your personal conduct.

        • Here’s the problem Marcus,

          Those two “nimrods” were at an organized demonstration. You know, like the kind of one you said you support. Management was contacted ahead of time and gave full support to the attendees. Citizens in attendance were also very supportive. In fact, the manager STILL supports the group.

          Looks like you fell into the trap with the rest of the media and the NRA.

        • Well, you can end up getting open carry, but have no places left where you can actually carry. A bit of finesse in strategy may not be a bad idea.

        • Who cares?! This is still about how the public at large ends up viewing the issue. I did not fall into a trap, I described how it works. The fact that the two in question were part of an organized demonstration. The fact is that they crossed the line into brandishing and they were being nimrods. I’m glad the manager of this Chipotle is as well informed and thoughtful as he is to continue to welcome open carriers.

          Going skating on thin ice doesn’t become a good idea just because the ice cracked but no one fell in and died.

          These demonstrations are to put forth an image and affect public opinion on the issue. The only relevant question that can be asked is “has the specific way we conducted ourselves hurt or helped changed public opinion on this issue?”

          So carry your rifles to lunch, but for Pete’s sake don’t hold the damned things in a ready position!

        • watch the sheep put up thousands of 30.06 signs in response, thus making self-defense CHL that much less valuable.

          You have to limit 30.06 or this devolves to Chicago gunbuster mania and de facto ban.

      • Which of those letters so offends you?
        Unless you’re a troll, you have some nerve spouting about “rights,” then saying “open displays of religion are just plain wrong.”

      • eloquent. something about the colloquial use of the word bitch (both as a noun and a verb) really hit home… not.

        seriously, learn some creative writing – or writing period. perhaps then you can engage in intellectual dialogue without having to resort to vulgarity and insults.

      • This is the type of cowardice we’ve come to expect of the NRA. They never back up their own rhetoric.

        REJOICE, Paul McCain! The gutless cowards have genuflected to to the level of you own gutlessness.

    • I love how the closet carriers continue to criticise the OCer’s. While I would encourage them to be more careful and actually organize events thats on them and people will inevitably do stupid things. What we should be doing is getting Texas which claims to be a progun state to recognize the Open carry of sidearms. If Texas had that tiny piece of legislation we would see people open carrying longarms decrease.

      My home state of New Mexico is a Gold Star open carry state, note that we vote blue every election… I have open carried a sidearm every day for the past 2.5 years and have never had more than a second glance or occasional question. I agree that open carrying longarms isn’t the wisest thing to do, but its what these men and women have available.

      but as these people must feel, with friends like you guys… who needs the anti-gunners.

      I would like to see us come together and push for the Expansion of 2A rights, but that means we all need to work together, just like with AWB legislation they will come for you once they get rid of us.

      New Mexico Open Carry is already talking to Texas OC and we are trying to pass on some of our habbits and rules their way.

      • Thanks for your support. I’d like to mention that 26 members of our open carry group here in TX are delegates to the state convention, and are currently at the convention pushing for constitutional carry. they report in to us frequently, and last I heard all things are going well at the convention.

        • I know one of the biggest arguments Oklahoma used for support of OC was that CC-ers wouldn’t get into trouble for either printing or exposing which is what I’m looking forward to in TX. I’ll probably still CC even after we get OC but if I do OC, I’ll have to get a better-looking gun than my current Glock 19 (thinking maybe a Beretta 92A1 with nice wooden grips). 🙂

      • I have open carried here in Arizona as well I conceal carry here to but it depends on where I’m going. I open carry at work and so do 2 other people. I have had one person look at me funny or nervious. Its normal to see people open carry out here. I just polite when open carrying. No issues no cops are called. If I walk by a cop i usually get asked what caliber or nice gun.

    • I think what the NRA did was perfect. They acknowledge that OCT is on the “same team” in that they are fighting for firearms rights, but also publicly showing that they are not officially sponsoring OCT. They have gone to win the war as opposed to a distinct battle mostly just being fought in Texas. I have stumbled across OCT in my area from time to time and for the most part they are decent people. They get a lot fo questions from curious bystanders, especially during their rally’s at SXSW, and for the most part answered questions and werent dickheads. So looking at the whole movement we cant alienate them because of those tools that walk into restaurants with rifles.

      Again, I think Nick is right, NRA played a very good move here, distance themselves from the group by not publicy supporting them, and getting them to fall back in line and tone it down. Similar to the GOP Tea Party interactions we have seen recently. The NRA is a large central organization so they need to stand more or less in the middle of the hunters/fuds, collectors, high speed low drag operators, open carry crow, and concealed carry crowd. As long as they can balance that without sparking an internal war they can work towards a common goal. What they cant do is completely turn their backs on the Open Carry crowd and marginalize them as you suggest because you very quickly get on the slippery slope of selling others out to buy yourself temporary victories… once you throw them completely under the bus you lose them as advocates for the things you care about. So again, NRA did a good job telling the OCT crowd to simmer down, while continuing the broader discussion.

      • Because he doesn’t believe in your tactics, he cannot support the general cause you align yourself with?

        We must have already won the fight over guns if you’re so eager to make enemies of those trying to be allies.

        • There were many who vehemently condemned the Black Panthers while simultaneously working for black empowerment. There is no contradiction there.

    • The Chipotle Ninja crowd should be rejected and marginalized by the NRA as the idiots they are.

      Huh, that’s funny: FUDD mall ninja is the impression I get watching your YouTube vids.

      Seeing as how you went all collectivist commie on a whole group of people, whom you have no way of knowing every member or their capabilities, allow me to offer the same: fact that you share the same name as that neoCon POS RINO John ‘Manchurian Songbird’ McNut, ain’t helping. Suppose, in your world, one should assume the same about you…by broad generalizations, and unsubstantiated correlations, like say…your surname alone. Afterall, if one McCain is a delusional Vietcong brainwashed RINO, every McCain, must be too, right??

      And, this certainly ain’t helping either:

      June 4, 2014 at 10:16
      Matt, the Chipotle Ninjas could not manage a smart game of Candyland, let alone checkers.

      Seriously John, perhaps you should exorcise some of your Fudd Cranky Old Man “Get off my lawn”-ness off your chest elsewhere. Your current series of commentaries on other gunnies are not the first time you talked about other gunnies here on TTAG, in that condescending tone.

      Just WhoTF do you think you are?? WTF makes you so qualified??

      Even Rob Pincus, far more tactically proficient, not to mention more physically fit, and qualified to be commenting on others’ tactical and political strategic pros and cons didn’t go apeshit on Jim Yeager after his “Pack your bags” – vid.

      Just why are you so intent on calling names against any and all gunnies who don’t fit your mold??

      Don’t know if you’re a professional trainer, or just an enthusiast, but if the former, by your collectivist logic of applying “Chipolte Ninja,” in the current renaissance of tactical trainers, just where do you think you fare among them?? There are accomplished tactical trainers all over the place, and may I presume, by the nature of the field alone, you’re someone whom one ‘settles’ for, to fit into their schedule, because you’re nearby.

      Seriously McCain, do people ‘seek you out,’ to train with you?? If I’m a customer with $250-1500 saved for quality day to multi-day training, and I am willing to travel anywhere in the country for it, and if I have the option of training with Pincus, Yeager, Proctor, Suarez, Avery, Graham, Falla, Haley, Costa, Howe, Smith…and ‘McCain,’ just whom do you think I’d want to train with??

      You know, seeing as how we’re broadstroke generalizing here.

      If you run a biz, and you talk dismissively in manner in which you clearly have been here at TTAG comment sections, do you honestly think you’ll garner more respect and customers, or less??

      At the end of the day, for someone like you, who has chosen to make one’s name public, along with on YouTube, that, is the only true currency you have, no?

      And, frankly your currency is crashing McCain. And, I say this as someone who doesn’t OC, but support OC activists, who also feels that too many gunnies lack the nuance in differentiating private, vs. public: Chipolte, StarBucks, etc are all private biz who can lawfully deny open of CC in their place of biz. If such policies offend gunnies, people should exercise the free market act of voluntary disassociation: don’t shop there, don’t patronize those businesses. That said, I would never in a million years malign a gunnie group, as NRA has done ‘strategically’ (so Nick thinks), for the sole purpose of appeasing the anti-gun hoplophobes, who cannot be reasoned with, nor care about an actual fact based discussion.

      Want your ‘currency’ to rise?? May I recommend you take the higher road, with more articulation, and nuance than the one you’ve been deploying here, so far??

      Really, I say this, because I am concerned about you and your ‘standing’ among gunnies. Truly.

        • LOL: Like um like omg like I’m supposed to be ‘offended’ or something? Yes, talk about “She doth protests too much.”

          Robby B says:
          June 4, 2014 at 12:30

          Nelson,
          No offense but you sound nuttier than a fruit cake or battier than congress st. bridge.

          Well, suppose so, if you’re completely illiterate or incapable of conversing at an adult-conversation level, as you clearly seem to be, or is Paul McCain’s 2nd avatar, or simply writing for them.

          RobbyB,

          Offense intended: but you sound nuttier than a fruit cake or battier than congress st. bridge.

          Now, how about that? Apparently, declarations equal reality in your world, like every collectivist. Thanks for letting the world know, that you’re simply projecting.

          xD

        • I meant no offense in case you actually have a real mental disorder as your insane stream-of-consciousnesses conspiracy-laced ramblings imply.

        • It certainly was rambling, though I’m not sure that differentiates it from most posts on the internet enough to make anyone question his sanity…

    • Do you feel that way about all open carriers Paul? Here in Texas, the government doesn’t recognize our right to carry openly a holstered pistol, so if we want to exercise our rights, we have to carry long guns. I’d much rather carry a holstered pistol instead, but we can’t. Hopefully all of this negativity towards these guys carrying long guns will highlight the need for a handgun right, but with the mass media and people like you, Paul, spreading hate, I doubt it will.

      • Yeah the infighting is hurting the cause more than the open carry rallies. Though I dunno… some of those rallies were pretty bad, haha.

        Still. I back them in principle, and I don’t see anything inherently wrong in what was done.

        • These butthurt keyboard commandos are the same guys that bust a guys chops on YouTube for not safety checking his gun on camera before doing the review. Although TAAG did push the narrative in that direction.

    • Yeah or maybe a clusterfark when trying to be “too smart by half”.

      Regardless, Nick may be on to the point that the NRA is just using the leftist/MFM tools against themselves.

      That is to essentially put out a piece of public dis-information that gets out a message to your advantage and then to quietly correct the record to your political base a couple days later when people aren’t looking too hard.

    • Sorry, but going into a private business and forcing them to take sides is tactically unsound and works against their strategy. If it’s a protest, as supporters claim, make it a protest. Go to a public park or somewhere they can’t be ejected and put up a sign stating their purpose, and clarifying to passersby why they’re OCing long guns. Engage the public in conversation. If it’s about standing up for gun rights, you’re a hero. If it’s about you getting to show off your new AR, you’re clueless.

      • This. At a time where there is significant public disgust over inaction on gun control, it seems unwise to be so deliberately and purposelessly inflammatory. When the father of a slain victim comes out and blames the NRA and politicians, it’s powerful, even if it’s completely misinformed. I’m a liberal gun owner and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m most concerned with the rights that I want to exercise. I don’t open carry because I personally don’t find it to be the best option. It also has terrible optics. We need to pick our battles. Look at how the courts argue on 2nd amendment cases and you’ll realize that the 2nd amendment does not absolutely protect our right to keep and bear arms. That’s just reality, even if you disagree with it. Even if that isn’t “what the founders intended.” They DID intend to give the supreme court the power to interpret the constitution. I’m not an NRA member precisely because I don’t support many of the more extreme things they lobby for, so I applaud the original position here.

        • “the courts argue on 2nd amendment cases and you’ll realize that the 2nd amendment does not absolutely protect our right to keep and bear arms.”

          That’s the problem, because “absolutely protect our right to keep and bear arms”
          is precisely what the 2nd Amendment is supposed to do!

          That’s why we’re fighting to get back what is rightfully ours. Apologia or appeasement does NOTHING to advance the cause of Liberty, and only aids and abets the grabbers.

  2. I never understood open carry of a rifle like they are doing in Texas, a pistol on the hip, yes.

    • From what I understand, OCT carries rifles in demonstration because the open carry of handguns by private citizens is illegal in TX.

        • If you have a CC you can open carry in philly, but in the rest of the state you can open carry without one.

        • @Dave

          My advice, grab a cheese steak, hit up an Italian bakery in South Philly, pose with the Liberty Bell then GTFO. 🙂

        • Nah, James Miller, I wouldn’t want any of that Philly-ness to linger. Too many criminals there anyway. And I’ll pass on that cheez whiz drenched abomination you people call a cheesesteak.

        • PA does have the Castle Doctrine, amended by the fine people of PA a few years back. That is the reason that the business owner and father living with his son above his jewelry store, being awakened a few hours after midnight by two armed home invaders breaking through the window and heading toward his son. He called out told the men to stop, that he was armed. They did not stop. He fired a warning shot. The miscreants did not stop as they were now dangerous close to his young son. He fired at the invaders. They turned and fled through the window they came in. One died quickly. The other escaped. Both had long records with the police.

          The local Philly DA was preparing to advance prosecution against the father, but was reminded of the state law of Castle Doctrine which was strengthened just a few years prior. The DA seemed crestfallen that he was unable to prosecute the father. The father and son are alive and prospering today.

      • Then carry a empty holster or cap and ball revolver to draw attention to that fact. It’s a mental leap for the average citizen to make from a ar-15 all kitted out to pistol on my hip. But a much shorter leap if you are advocating that “All we want to do is carry a gun, just like this one, only newer” and people will think “Oh like cowboys and lawmen? I don’t see a problem with that”

        • They tried cap and ball revolvers and wound up with people getting falsely arrested because the cops were not aware of that exception.

        • @ pwrserge – Then you have lawsuits & you force the police to learn the laws they’re actually supposed to be upholding. No reason to give up doing the smart thing just because lazy cops are too busy oppressing people to learn something.

        • Did Mr. Grisham ever get his conviction overturned? How much money has he spent to date trying to get his false conviction overturned? I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to do anything that I think may cause me to end up in handcuffs. I don’t want that type of interaction with the government, regardless of whether or not I’m “in the right.”

    • Because you never bothered to educate yourself about what it is that they want. You will be amazed to discover that they are protesting in order to gain the right to openly carry pistols on their hip. And I thought that only anti-gunners express opinions without knowing the facts.

    • “I’ve found some men were faster than me with a pistol”
      -John Wayne in Rio Bravo

      Mostly people open (rather than concealed lol) carry a rifle because they have the right, and they want people to stop soaking their shorts every time they see an EBR. It’s the same face-your-fears philosophy that has psychologists talking nyctophobes into dark closets. The open carry crowd is hoping that eventually people will become inured to firearms being commonly visible.

    • I assume they hope that by open carrying rifles they can somehow get legislation that will allow them to OC pistols which for some odd reason isn’t in fact legal in Texas. But all they’re doing is pissing off business owners and causing more gun free zones. Hurting those of us who CC or OC pistols.

      • we don’t enter establishments without the approval of the owner here in TX, when we open carry rifles. if they don’t want us in, we don’t go in. granted, posing for a pic in the restaurant with a rifle at the ready was not a wise thing to do, and we got the heat from that – but only when Moms Demand Action got hold of that picture. OCT has been going to Chipotle since Feb 2014, to my earliest memory. CATI-Austin has a coffee shop that we frequent – every time, and a pizza vendor who gives us free slices when we pass by. there is no intimidation, we don’t enter without permission, and even when we are in, we answer questions and hand out literature to those who engage us in conversation.

        • Just please encourage your members not to hold the damned things at a low ready. Ask yourselves if someone who was there to see you in person later read MDA shrieking about it, would they think “you know, those MDA folks have a point.” Or would they think “those broads are B-A-N-A-N-A-S bananas.” If you can make it obvious that their complains are way off base, you win. If they get to the point where they know they can’t whip people up by talking about your demonstrations, you win even more.

          You’re not up against a PR professional and Bloomberg’s money, you’re up against a century of strategy and psychology distilled down into bullet points.

          I want you guys to succeed, but it’s not enough to simply show up and not shoot people. The small things matter.

    • Even if open handgun carry was legal in Tayhas, the uninitiated would still fear the gun. We have to end the phobia. That won’t happen by hiding your guns or living in shame of being a “gun nut”. And the etiquette Nazis would still complain about the “raid on Chipotle” by the “inbred bottom feeding douche bag Bloomberg false flag scum sucking white trash fuktards” that I like to refer to as Patriots.

  3. The “Open Carry Texas” is the equivalent of walking down a busy street yelling the N-word. Are you LEGALLY allowed to do it? Sure. Is it a good idea? HELL no. And now they have gotten ALL openly carried firearms banned nationwide from several food chains. And anyone who claims we need to “normalize” ar-15’s this way is an idiot. It’s NOT normal to open carry an AR when you are getting lunch, and I would probably leave if I saw one of these open carry demonstrations.

    • Not really. Most open carry demonstrations are more akin to the peaceful protest tactics employed by the civil rights movement. There is a fundamental right, in this case the ability to lawfully open carry a handgun in Texas, that is not being allowed. Thus groups such as OCT are organizing and performing peaceful protests to not only raise awareness of the issue with lawmakers but also with police and the public. There are undoubtedly some bad apples in the bunch and the two fools at Chipotle who posed for photos with their rifles at battle ready are certainly bad apples. I liken that specific act to public unholstering of a hip holstered handgun, which is unacceptable unless there is an clear and present threat.

      Certainly OCT and other open carry rights groups should do a better job of properly educating their members in regards to keeping their long arms slung on back or in scabbard at all times. They should also be adamant about how important it is to keep up appearances while demonstrating. Unkempt hair, untrimmed beards, baggy and/or dirty clothing, tacticool clothing, hunting wear, etc are not acceptable. Get a haircut, shave your neck beard, wear a neat and clean polo shirt along with jeans or khaki pants. Go one better and wear a sportcoat. I doubt you would have seen Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marching in the streets wearing anything other than a suit and tie. Looking respectable and acting respectable goes a long way towards being respected. It’s also important that these organizations and their members stop trying to force the hand of private businesses.

      • You’ve nailed it, Jim. Think of it as interviewing for a job, would one show up in ratty clothes and act like they were lounging around their house on a Saturday afternoon, or would they dress neatly and present themselves in a respectful and responsible manner?

    • “It’s NOT normal to open carry an AR when you are getting lunch,”

      Depends on where you eat lunch civilian.

      And why can not citizens OC, cops do. Are they better citizens? Do they have patents of nobility that make them above the law us little people must obey?

      • Your response is dishonest. Cops do not carry long guns to lunch, and the OP did NOT say people should not open carry. He questioned the specific strategy being employed.

        MDA is sharing and commenting on the pictures taking in Chipotle, ask yourself this: if a fence sitter sees those pictures and hears MDA’s comments, will they think MDA has a point or will it be obvious to them that MDA are being irrational and blowing things out of proportion?

        This is not a black and white “you support it or you don’t” situation and you are lying to yourself if you deny this.

    • Wow! Open carry of scary guns is the equivalent of shouting Nigger?
      What if you don’t have a car? How will you travel to the range or to your mother’s house? Or to Synagogue that has been receiving threats? You might need to stop for lunch along the way. Maybe they should have a lock up rack outside like a bike rack for your black rifle.

        • If you are walking, it is a lot easier to sling it over your back than to have it in a case, and harder for someone to run off with it.

          So what is the point of legal open carry then?

        • My case slings over my shoulder.

          As for the point of legal open carry: you tell me, it’s your cause. From what I gather there are two reasons, one is to have a firearm on your person for the purpose of self defense. The other is to demonstrate that open carriers, and by extension other gun owners, are normal people who are not dangerous or reckless. Holding the rifle in a ready position fails on both counts (unless of course you are facing someone who is an apparent threat to your life and limb). The holding of the rifle as in the now infamous picture is the only aspect I disagree with.

  4. With all the”good” they are doing, I’ve been wondering if they’re on Bloomberg’s payroll.

    • BINGO!!!!!

      This is like the Confederate Flags at Tea Party rally’s. Those flag carriers are plants to discredit the Tea Party. Same thing here, plants to stir up the media and the low information crowd.

  5. I remember this line from the comic strip “Shoe”:

    “The people most capable of running the country are smart enough not to get into politics. “

  6. There are two sides to the open carry Texas movement.

    One is the side where bringing the long guns, especially the AR platform, into businesses as a statement only makes matters worse. I will be honest this is mostly my side. But lets be fair.

    The Other side is that since open carry of pistols is not allowed in Texas(as it really should be) then this group is out to prove a point, that if you wont allow pistols but will allow long guns, then by god they are going to carry long guns until pistols are allowed to be openly carried. I support this intent!

    Ok so honestly, I am all for long gun open carry demonstrations. However they should not enter national chains and cause us all pain that CAN open carry. They should also stick to Non-AR for the most part, first of all it is not as ‘scarry’ and would allow for honest conversation if your toting your grandfathers 30-30 rather than an AR.

    The anti-gun crowd needs to be desensitized, and the most effective way to do that is in slow steady steps. Twenty people with a Winchester is less intimidating than two with an AR, its a matter of building trust and comfort more than it is SHOCKING them into submission.

  7. There’s a difference between being a proponent of open carry, or gun rights in general…and being a douche canoe.

    Advocating for open carry is a fine and noble pursuit. Carrying a rifle into a private establishment and thereby forcing them to choose between the large number of nervous customers and vocal gun control opponents who use scare tactics and the press to create a problem for that business owner…and the small number of people who really advocate for open carry…is being a douche canoe. You aren’t helping. The business owner doesn’t give a damn if a few gun owners stop buying their wares when a no guns policy will appease the far larger percentage of their business. It’s a no brainer from a business standpoint.

    Carrying your handgun openly will achieve the same recognition of the law and has far less chance of scaring the bejesus out of most of the clientele, who worry that the idiot with the long gun is choosing their lunch spot for the next mass shooting because they’ve been told by the press and the Bloombergs of the world for 20 years that this is what’s likely to happen.

    What these groups are doing is achieving gun control without laws being passed, especially in those states where a “no gun” sign carries the force of law. They’ve bypassed the legislation and made profit motive the decision maker about a right, and thereby narrowed the places you can legitimately carry.

    It’s shooting yourself in the foot.

    • In Texas, carrying your handgun openly will achieve nothing but a pair of matching bracelets and a stay-cation in a government-run hotel.

    • “Carrying your handgun openly will achieve the same recognition of the law …”

      That’s illegal in TX. The whole point of the OCT demonstrations is to get legislation allowing open carry of handguns in TX.

  8. If you want to OC a rifle, go for it. That’s what scabbards are for. But if you walk around at patrol-ready you’re presenting a threat. One of these OCT guys is going to get shot one day, whether its by a cop or by someone who carries responsibly.

    • That’s what I don’t get with the morons standing for photo ops in low-ready with what appears to be a loaded rifle. Try doing that crap with a handgun and see how quickly you’d get either arrested and/or shot by someone else. Slung over a shoulder, no mag, I’m not concerned. Hell I’d like to know more about the beautiful rifle you’re carrying. Stand low-ready with a weapon of unknown operational status and my spidey-senses are tingling.

    • The hoplophobs don’t know low ready from low rider. Imagine how many asked this:
      “What are all these people doing here with assault weapons?”
      “It is legal in Texas and most of the country to openly carry a rifle.”
      “Oh wow! I didn’t know that. So why are they doing it? Are they expecting trouble?”
      “No. They would rather carry handguns but oddly enough, that is against the law even though we have Constitutional protection.”
      “Well if it is protected by the Constitution then how can it be outlawed?”
      “Great question.”

  9. If you think attacking an more extreme member of your own camp will win you points with the opposition, I implore you to read what is said about John McCain. Unless the NRA does a total 180 and goes full gun control, anti gun groups will never support them on anything, nor stop calling them babykillers, nor stop trying to tie them to mass shootings. To think otherwise is an irrational fantasy.

    • I have to disagree, because I know of at least one vocal NRA-is-babykillers blogger who DID retract their position that the NRA is pure evil. In their mind it’s the OCT people who are pure evil, and the NRA has pissed them off, therefor the NRA is on THEIR SIDE, and THEIR SIDE is goodness and puppies and rainbows.

      I’m not saying it makes any sense whatsoever, but it totally did work.

      • Do you honestly expect them to hold that position the next time the NRA goes against their ideals? As I said, read what is written about John McCain. When he agrees with liberals, he’s the best Republican money can buy. As soon as he goes against them, he’s just as horrible as every other conservative. Any “goodwill”, real or perceived, is gone the moment that the NRA does anything pro 2A. And while you can argue that any repreive of attacks from the anti gun groups will improve public opinion of the NRA, if public opinion is so easily swayed as to bouy the NRA for this reprieve, it will just as quickly and easily be erased the next time the NRA is attacked for being the NRA. There is nothing to be gained by trying to appease the anti-gun media.

  10. Open carry makes you a target, and if I am looking to do harm or mayhem I am simply going to adjust course and continue. OC is like those people who drive down the road half way onto the shoulder visually screaming out their incompetence. With OC you loose any advantage and become a target.

    • You have data to back up this, or it just more Internet hot air.

      Really…I read this all the time, but it’s not like I hear a lot of news stories about OC-ers being selectively attacked.

      So, can we somehow get to the bottom of this ‘tactical’ question? To wit:

      (Part a): What percentage of DGU’s by CC-ers begin with an attack by an assailant that does not know the victim was armed?

      (Part b): What percentage of violent assaults occur on OC victims?

      (Part c): How many times has an OC-er had their weapon taken or attempt to be taken?

      We may never know the true answer, but SOME data would be nice.

  11. I understand the desire to carry into a business after a rally. You were just seen, publicly, with a firearm. The firearm is large and makes you very easy to follow to your vehicle. Leaving a gun in your vehicle is a bad idea in this situation.

    However, I have a solution: Fundraising to get a standard-size range bag with the OCT logo. I think AR’s would be great for this, as they can be disassembled to fit in smaller containers than some (such as some AK’, Mosins, etc). Also, Ruger 10/22 takedowns. Everyone should own a 10/22 or something similar, and this is a great excuse to buy one.

    I’m posting this on my Facebook page, and again on Salty Dad’s timeline. He has recently used his reach and writing skills to call OCT “tactards” and describe their actions as “douchenozzlery.” If he were interested in helping, then he should offer alternative solutions.

    On a similar thought, I’d like to thank The Truth About Guns for reporting news on the topic and largely leaving opinion out of the articles. At least, the ones that I’ve seen.

  12. I think there is no need to carry any long guns. Leave them in the back window and carry your sidearm while you still can. To me this is and attention grabbing move for people that need attention. All this is doing is giving the anti gun rights people ammo (pun intended).

    • Texans cannot openly carry their sidearms, which is the issue they’re trying to draw attention to.

  13. “In short, the strategy is working beautifully.”

    How so, exactly? Is MDA coming out and saying that if we’ll forget about OC in Texas, they’ll drop their push for universal background checks and banning AR-15s? Did Giffords come out and say that she thinks 30 round magazines are OK and will now focus on stopping open carry? No. And they won’t. Ever.

    The open carry movement in Texas is underneath the big umbrella of the gun rights movement. What they’re doing isn’t “idiotic” or “weird”. Maybe it’s ineffective. Maybe it’s politically damaging (though I haven’t seen evidence of that yet in Texas). In my opinion, OCT is politically naive. NRA never should have published the first press release, and they were right to retract it. What they should have done is dispatched a team of operatives to Texas to work with OCT to harness their enthusiasm and commitment and direct them on how to get legislation passed.

    • “Is MDA coming out and saying that if we’ll forget about OC in Texas, they’ll drop their push for universal background checks and banning AR-15s?”

      If they did, would you believe them?

      Anyone that thinks discourse and compromise are at ALL on the table are deluded. They want to destroy us…complete, and total disarmament is their end game.

      And they are VERY patient to achieve that goal. They’ve been at this decades, and will continue.

      • Indeed. And that’s why I think Leghorn’s piece is off the mark. The people who are opposed to armed civilians — and the media that accommodate them — don’t care a bit about NRA’s squeamishness on open carry. This does not “un-demonize” the NRA. It will continue to be a corporate-looking whipping boy for the anti-gun rights faction.

  14. Unless I’m mistaken, OTC and others have been open carrying in chains that have publicly said that they won’t ban guns in their locations. Wasn’t this a show of support for Chipotle (and Starbucks fairly recently) that backfired and had both chains reverse their statements?

  15. Just because you can open carry a rifle doesn’t mean you should do it everywhere.
    IMO they are doing more harm than good.

    • It’s a D E M O N S T R A T I O N. You think after this fight these people are going to lug 13 pounds of weaponry around every day?
      This is all much ado about nuthin.

  16. Open carry rally, everybody carry a .22 pink cricket! Accomplish education while making nay Sayers who see it as scary look like utter hysterical buffoons! Two birds, meet mister stone.

    • Hell if all the guns were pink, toss in support for breast cancer awareness. Get more women to pull for your cause.

    • Go the other route. Carry the scariest, blackest, zombie shredding piece of hell on earth that you can lift. Then maybe they won’t think that AK looks all that intimidating.
      Or maybe put daisies in the barrels.

  17. I have always wondered why people would want to open carry but I do not reject the Idea. I will try to give some food for thought I mostly do not trust cops anymore and I try to avoid them whenever I can, I do not become bothered when I see cops open carrying handguns. It is another thing if they are open carrying long guns either rifles or shotguns,it makes me think of the Third World where the military are standing around with rifles. Right after 9/11 I saw film clips showing troops walking around airports will full auto rifles and it made me nervous I am 61 years old I have been around and owned and used guns all of my life very little about guns bother me but this open carrying of rifles in the crowded public is doing us no good.If you are on a back road or somewhere the population is sparse by all means have at it. I know you have RIGHTS, but with RIGHTS COMES RESPONSIBILITY. We in the Gun Culture have brought the guns out of the house and put them on our hips in all 50 states and I think that we will continue winning if we will do things the right way. We never win by using force or intimidation. So I guess what I am saying to all of you good people of Open Carry Texas is if you can,t carry a handgun in the open in Texas get the law changed. I think you are hurting yourselves doing this thing with rifles.

  18. The most effective Open Carry Texas video I saw was two guys passing out pamphlets with smiles on their faces trying to engage the public. Yes they had an AR but they also had shirts about Open Carry and had a respectful exchange with the cops that showed up.

    That is what will win smart people to this cause. Shirts that say “Ask me about open carry” in small numbers so the curious will come and ask questions. Polite and engaging with the public.

    Good to desensitize people. But like it or not 2 guys with an AR trying to raise awareness is in NO WAY the same as 5 armed guys walking into a store with AR’s strapped to their backs.

    All of us would go on high alert if a group of people- talking mainly among themselves- walked in with long guns. We’d have a different reaction if 2 guys approached us with a pamphlet about open carry while carrying an AR. You can say that this shouldn’t be, but it is.

  19. When an enemy believes that you’re the devil incarnate, there’s no possibility of meaningful debate or discussion. Everything you say is immediately discounted, and there’s no potential for progress.

    That would be funny if the lack of self-awareness weren’t so glaring. This is EXACTLY how almost every person here characterizes anyone who fails to toe the NRA line on everything from background checks to appointing a head for the ATF. Deviate and you’re a “grabber”, a traitor, insane and probably a communist

  20. Mother Hysteria must be grinning from ear to ear. She does not care who gets hysterical or why. Such details matter not if rational thought defers to hyperbole.
    Please, take a deep breath and consider this, open carry demonstrations are becoming common place, they no longer trigger media frenzy. The idiots are soon forgotten and what the public remembers is groups of people using long guns for props demonstrating in support of their civil rights.

  21. Note: I posted this in the othe NRA Rifle OC story
    Anti’s?????????????
    How many times on this blog has someone taken a post about RIFLE OC’ers going into a private business, having pictures taken with the AR/AK’s at the low ready , which express that it is a bad PR idea and then having their opinion flamed for being anti OC.
    Here we are pro 2A and some people will not read what was opined for giving a negative opinion regarding a very specific weapon, manner and place of carry and take it as a general condemnation of OC.
    So I am not surprised at all when Anti’s are able to do the same.

    My opinion is:
    During this delicate time of establishing (not protecting) our RKBA, we should not carry rifles into commercial establishments.
    Public demonstrations in public space, Maybe OK. Texas kinda forces that approach.
    Holstered side arms while respectably dressed, absolutely. That is normalization.

    After all, what would this blog say about regular police officers always carrying rifles on the street?
    We would say the government was trying to normalize us to the face of tyranny.
    Rifles on the street outside of a demonstration is not normal. We don’t carry the demonstration placards on sticks into Chipotle, so if your rifle is part of the demonstration why carry them in there unless invited.
    No matter what I say here, someone will think I am anti OC.

  22. Open carry of pistols should be legal in Texas. As a CHL holder, I can go to Oklahoma, where licensed open carry is legal and Texas licenses are recognized, and open carry there. Yet, I cannot open carry a self defense sidearm in Texas. It’s absurd in the extreme that I, as a Texan, have more firearms freedom in Oklahoma than I do in my own home state of Texas.

    It’ll be great next year when Governor Good Hair is gone and makes another quixotic run at the White House, while our new Governor Greg Abbott signs open carry into law.

  23. The NRAs first response was the correct response, without question. It’s retraction while understandable is unacceptable in an organization dedicated to the responsible ownership of firearms. Shame on them!

  24. What a sad day and thread for gun rights. The supposed gun rights supporters who are either against open carry or a version not to their liking not only insulting these open carry advocates but basically wanting tho deny them the right to carry, and the rest of us who are on the right side of this fight who support these open carry groups no matter how crazy or obnoxious their actions and behavior may seem to some. It’s the open carry issue that allows us to see who the real gun rights supporters are and are not. Shame on the are not’s.

    • “but basically wanting tho deny them the right to carry”
      Look at my comments acouple of post above.
      See what I mean!

  25. The NRA screwed up big.. How often have they compromised our rights away? There is no way to have civil discourse with antigunners.. It’s been tried. Antigunners rage against self defense, ignore facts, and threaten violence against gun owners.. The point of these demonstrations is to prove that an armed citizen is no threat to the general public.. Concealed carry will never drive that point home. However the OCT movement should utilize public spaces and places where they were specifically invited.. Until open carry is fully normalized again in Texas.

  26. I can’t wait till we get OC handgun in Texas. I’m sure that a holstered pistol will get an Action Demanding Mother’s panties in less of a bunch than a sporting rifle. I’m not going to haul my AR around, but I’ll OC some of my favorite handguns that are to large for CC. I hope we get it.

  27. If you want to open carry a long gun as a political statement don’t go wandering into national chains. Bring a bag lunch and eat in a public park. And for god’s sake, wear a rifle scabbard and don’t brandish your ****ing firearm.

    • Jee Paul, why don’t you just come out of the closet and say what you really want to:

      The only “narrative” the Gun Nut crowd is feeding is the one in which they come off as nut jobs.

      You come off no better than a commenter on Huff Po or Mother Jones.

  28. I’ve said it here and other places online two years ago — the current NRA leadership does not represent the NRA member aggregate. It represents the gun manufacturers’ lobby. At least the NSSF is honest about it. The GOA is another story — their membership appears to me at least half hard core hardliners. The NRA leadership HAD to draw a line somewhere, and yes, they ARE getting a lot of crap from other gunowners who say the NRA leadership does not represent them. Every month I’m seeing a new version of “gunowners against the NRA” FB page emerging. I hear it in my own conversations. Most informed, educated gunowners see through the NRA’s self-serving attempts to scare and alarm us every day, treating us like retarded children who believe everything their parents tell them. I’ve been a Life Member for many years, and member for much longer. I urge NRA members and gunowners to wake up to the fact that if we don’t participate in the conversation, if we only draw the line in the sand and say “no” to every gun regulation attempt, we will be pushed aside and find ourselves on the wrong side of history. The “old NRA” knew this, and helped shaped gun regulation in a sensible manner that everyone could live with. The current refusenik NRA leadership will screw us until NRA members will be equated with the Tea Party. For those who don’t understand, that’s a bad thing.

  29. Did the orderlies let you out past your bedtime again??

    Robby B says:
    June 4, 2014 at 12:55

    I meant no offense in case you actually have a real mental disorder as your insane stream-of-consciousnesses conspiracy-laced ramblings imply.

    Are you so insensate, that you actually delude that people outside your bipolar self actually accept that when someone begins with “no offense…” that it’s actually not meant to be rhetorical??

    “…conspiracy-laced ramblings imply”

    LOL: Talk about a conspiracy theorist. Look up “she doth protests too much,” monkey.

    Robby, it’s clear you’re not too bright, and you’re seeking attention and need friends (if you even have any offline). We can do this all day, but with sockpuppets like you, it’s really more of an issue of patience on the counter-party’s part, because nothing you say is relevant, or for the sake of bemusement, even ‘biting’ enough to get a rise, nor are you even bright enough to understand that you’re not bright enough.

    xD

    So keep yapping McNut; I’ll just literally just copy and paste everything you rant, and swap whom you’re directing it to: yeah, it’s that imbecilic. It’s the only fitting act of reflected-glory for you. xD

  30. It’s my belief that if we as part of this movement to preserve our RKBA do not show strong support for OC, we will more and more become (if we aren’t already) a group that only lives on blogs, internet forums, and social media.

    We need more than that, we need people who support gun rights to get out of the closet and be COUNTED. The first step is VOTE. If any single one of those OC activists isn’t a voter, he’s forgetting his number one responsibility and his number one weapon against the ANTIs, so we can’t forget that voting is paramount.

    At the same time these protests show the groundswell of support for 2A and we need that. Every time the media covers an anti-gun protest or ally, their message reaches thousands of people. And if we continue to ONLY fight for our rights from the privacy of the ballot box or our computer screens we will always be slowly but surely losing ground.

    Seeing this article has made me seriously consider what I am doing (but more importantly what I’m NOT doing and SHOULD BE doing) to preserve our rights. If you are like me and haven’t been to a rally or protest or counter-protest, maybe you should.

  31. Perhaps a few of the chosen words in the NRA’s open letter should have been edited but I think the general firearms community agrees with the overall intent.

  32. If the idea is to change public opinion (and thus change the laws), these guys ARE chipotle mall ninjas yelling the n-word running down the street. They are doing more harm then good and anyone with a moderate sense of logic would see this.

    One can be in the right yet still lose…badly.

  33. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. There is a war for public perception and education going on, and OCT is making us lose ground. I don’t care about one group of Texans who want to be grandstanders because they have to CC. Oh, the horror! Meanwhile, the rest of us are trying to get good laws passed in the rest of the country, and this makes gun owners look nuts. Win the war, don’t sacrifice everything for one hill.

  34. When people start saying that these open carriers aren’t doing ‘us’ any favors, it sets up some real dishonest groupings. Who are ‘us’?

    I carry a pistol, concealed, daily. I have no drive whatsoever to open carry a firearm, regardless of type, whatsoever. My personal feelings are that we carry weapons to defend ourselves and protect the innocents around us. In this sense, open carry advocates that push the envelope consistently may not be doing ‘me’ a favor, if it provides enough public fear and backlash to inflict further restrictions on the carrying of a pistol concealed for self defense.

    It’s a toss up: people who openly carry weapons aren’t breaking the law, but they are shaking up a societal norm. It’s not very frequent. We can debate that ‘ER GUNS SHOOULRD BE NERMALIZED!” all day, and that might very well be true. But the bottom line is that many people are frightened by a weapon. A scary combat rifle that a lot of people have only seen in videos from afghanistan is really going to scare the shit out of people. when people are afraid, they get angry. Angry people tend to vote what makes them afraid and angry away.

    Personally, although I can see where someone is trying to go, and what point they are trying to make by OC’ing, I’ve never met anyone who open carried a pistol that was the quiet, confident, polite member of society all these OC advocates claim they want to be. They tend to be loud and obnoxious about their rights, and almost begging for a confrontation with a member of the public or a law enforcement officer. And there will be hell to pay if we all lose our right to protect ourselves so people can stroke their egos and take a good selfie in a restaurant.

    • Based on what exactly? MDA is against all forms of carry and firearms ownership. Tell me how the discrete carrying of your 1911 is not something MDA will go after? What makes their job easier are divisive “gun owners” like you denigrating and marginalizing open carry because there is no “need” as you see it, for them to open carry their scary long guns. You don’t *need* to conceal carry when people are open carrying… see how it goes? Quite irrational. You don’t seem to get how the NEED argument is the one MDA and Gun Control advocates will use to strip all rights away. You say there is no “need” to open carry an AR-15, MDA says “see this gun owner says there’s no need to open carry an AR-15 which means there’s no need to ever own one” and so goes the argument. You’re being a Fudd, happily picking which gun rights you want to have and denying others their rights. Need i remind you in MOST places Conceal Carry is a *privilege*.

    • Except that the only “narrative” here is you delibaretly deriding people on our side based on absolutely nothing but your own completely unsubstantiated, thoroughly unqualified, and wholly indefensible opinion. What so-called “friends” like you, who needs the MDA? Frenemies. That’s what FUDDs like you really well and truly are.

      And who says they won’t go after your concealed carry next, for that matter?

      • But from where I am sitting, the ONLY reason they would go after my concealed carry in TEXAS is BECAUSE of the Chipotle Ninjas, not in spite of them.

  35. The only reason to open carry a rifle or a shotgun in Texas is that it is unlawful to open carry a handgun. Open carry should be lawful for all firearms, and frankly open carrying a rifle where a handgun should be the weapon of choice, just looks unnecessarily confrontational, and yes…. downright retarded.

    If Texas wants to appear to be at the forefront of 2nd amendment rights, the first thing Texas needs to do is repeal the completely retarded blue state style ban on the open carry of handguns.

    No Texan should be forced to open carry a rifle, where a 1911 on the hip is a more practical choice.

    • yep. the anti OC people seem to have forgotten that the whole “rifle carry” protest is in direct response to the restriction and suppression of pistol OC. Proving that it didn’t matter about restaurants or “ninjas” in the past, the rights were already going away and there was little outrage because not enough people were affected.

      Rights: use em or lose em.

  36. yeah it was great for the NRA…
    I Shredded my card and mailed it back.

    as for those highlighting “the Chipotle Crowd” you really need to stop drinking the mainstream Kool-aide.

    There is SOOOO much more to that story you are not being told.
    Be a big boy, find the truth for yourself.

    • Or you could just tell us (or at least provide a pointer), and not be all secret squirrel about it. “The truth is out there if you just look” is usually how most conspiracy theories start.

    • “find the truth for yourself.”

      I already know the truth well enough. If you want to change my mind, do your own damn homework, then show me!!

  37. people being “reasonable” and avoiding open carry for decades is WHY there is controversy now.

    Look at all major social changes in the last 50 years. Look how “reasonable” they were. they didn’t hide or stay on the back of the bus.

    the fact so many so called 2a advocates are in opposition, shows that the OC movement is working. Slowly getting in everyone’s face that it is LEGAL…and soon, if everyone stays the course, “normal”.

    Giving up because the afeared and the opposition don’t like it, would have kept women and minorities from voting.

  38. “The NRA has historically positioned itself as the vanguard in the fight for gun rights in the United States.”

    Through words they may have positioned themselves as such in their own minds and the minds of the sheeple but in their actions they are pretty much anti-2A.

  39. For those of you who clearly don’t know the real story, the event did NOT happen in Chipotle. The event was over and they were going to eat where the were INVITED by the management. No police were called and nobody in the restaurant was afraid or made any statements. This guy was on his first OC walk and was excited so he posed for a picture. Only one of the two is there a question about his pose. MDA stole the photo off of a private Facebook page they trolled and then blasted it out to the public to make an issue out of a non event and try to force Chipotle to ban guns. Well they didn’t. And as soon as they came out with a statement asking to keep guns out they immediately modified it and left it to local managers. However, again for those who haven’t been playing along, OCT and the other OC groups in Texas, have changed the policy on OC events and no longer will we OC in restaurants and establishments as part of an official OC event. However, some individuals may choose to continue to do so as individuals. God bless and CARRY ON!

  40. Groups like Florida Carry, Georgia Carry and, yes, Open Carry Texas exist only because of dissatisfaction with the NRA/NRA-ILA’s performance in their states. The ILA’s most recent misstep reveals, if one is to believe NRA-ILA Director Chris Cox, poor organizational structure and supervision as well as personnel problems if an individual were to believe that policy allowed him to attack other gun rights/Second Amendment advocates or groups peaceably exercising their legal rights. Also revealed was poor, poor journalism. No one bothered to contact the organization for comment or they would have learned the factual errors of the premise.

    It is simply a poor performance by the NRA-ILA, not a grand strategy.

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