open-carry-tarrant

The First and Second Amendments of the Bill of Rights are essential in supporting each other. The First bolsters the Second, while the Second provides the means to protect the first. It’s clear that the open carry of firearms is itself a strong political message in and of itself. Openly carrying a gun is protected political speech . . .

In Texas, open carry activists have been pushing hard to have the right to open carry modern handguns restored.   It was lost during reconstruction when the carpet bagger-dominated government rewrote the state constitution. Open carry activists have participated in hundreds of open carry walks or demonstrations throughout the state, educating the public and at the same time being smeared in a media campaign by the Bloomberg machine designed to blunt their success.

Local elites sometimes oppose open carry, even in Texas. In Arlington, the local government started to enforce an ordinance that forbid demonstrators from handing out literature to people in vehicles on the public streets. The ordinance dated from 1994 and had not been enforced before the open carry movement.

Kory Watkins and Open Carry Tarrant County filed suit against the City of Arlington for violation of their First Amendment rights and filed for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order on May 28th, 2014. On July 14, 2014, the United States District Court found for Kory Watkins and Open Carry Tarrant County. The City of Arlington will have to cease enforcement of the ordinance while the lawsuit is in progress. In order to reach this finding, the judge found that it was likely that Watkins and Open Carry Tarrant County would prevail in their lawsuit.

The decision runs to 26 pages of tightly argued case law.   Here is the summation at the beginning of the decision:

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER


Before the Court are Plaintiffs’ Combined Application for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order and Memorandum in Support (ECF Nos. 5-6), filed May 28, 2014;Defendant’s Response and Brief in Opposition (ECF No. 11), filed June 2, 2014; and Plaintiffs’ Reply (ECF No. 13), filed June 5, 2014. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief preventing the enforcement of the City of Arlington’s ordinance prohibiting interactions between pedestrians and occupants of vehicles at particular intersections in Arlington, asserting the ordinance unconstitutionally prohibits Plaintiffs’ free speech rights. Having reviewed the motion, the briefing, and the applicable law, the Court finds that Plaintiffs’ motion should be and is hereby  GRANTED.

The decision makes it clear that the city ordinance violates the First Amendment. I will be surprised if the city doesn’t settle soon. It would likely cut their losses. They have nothing to gain from prolonging this law suit, but then, they are spending other people’s money.

Kory Watkins testified that he has been personally involved in about 200 open carry walks and that the only time that anyone has been cited has been in Arlington.

I have known that Texas open carry activists were, well, active. I didn’t know the extent of the activity. Hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand open carry walks and demonstrations all over the state. No wonder they’re having a positive effect.  With that amount of activity, I am not surprised that the Bloomberg media campaign was able to find a photograph to demonize the open carriers.

Reading the entire decision gives hints as to how broad an interpretation could be given to the Second Amendment in states such as Louisiana and potentially Missouri and Oklahoma, where pending legislation would require that the courts apply strict scrutiny to the right to keep and bear arms.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

79 Responses to First and Second Amendment Win in Arlington, Texas

  1. Yeah, but don’t open carry or someone here might complain.

    Complainers about open carry are like the NRA pre-Heller. They say they’re for gun rights, but don’t want to do anything constructive to regain them. Only the NRA asks for your money while they complain, so I guess there’s that going for the TTAG complainers.

    • You can open carry, just don’t open carry like a jack wagon.
      Sling your long gun across your back, pointed up or down, and don’t touch the damn thing. Across the front and ‘coon fingering the grip and trigger guard jut makes you look like an idiot and scares the crap out of everyone. It’s no different than carrying your handgun… if your hand is coon fingering the grip I’m going to assume you’re about to pull it out and start blasting away, especially if there’s NOT OBVIOUS SIGNS OF TROUBLE ABOUT… except for you.

        • Some of us only condemn what the man did specifically.

          And before you point out he was only posing and no one at the Chipotle’s in fact cared what he was doing, it doesn’t matter. He handed the antis the propaganda ammo they needed, because he just had to look like a badass on facebook.

        • Exactly. I’ve heard even stalwart RKBA people in my neck of the woods griping about OC on the basis of that ONE photo, which the media obviously selected for visual impact. That is NOT the “typical OC” person–but that’s how subtle and effective MSM propaganda is.

          1A and 2A are the carbon and oxygen of the life of the Constitution. They form the guts, bone, marrow, and DNA of all the rest of our law. I refrain from OC in gun-hatey places for the same reason I don’t hold forth on a few other supposedly protected but de facto punished topics of speech/belief. But when I see someone doing it, I’m glad they are stepping to the plate. Also, a woman like me OCing often draws the wrong kind of attention, in my view; my firearms are tools, not fetish objects, and I no longer feel like putting myself in a position to need to explain that to some superannuated adolescent.

          I have seen younger people OCing in a way I’d consider flawed or posing a danger on exactly two occasions. Both times I talked to them (starting with discussion of their firearms). After seeing they realized I am RKBA positive, I’ve explained my position that barrel discipline is basic. In both cases, they were extremely open to hearing me out, one of them saying that he hadn’t realized he was doing what he was doing, and he wanted to appear strong, not reckless.

          Solidarity goes a long way toward dealing with that sort of thing. Of course the MSM specialize in creating conflict for clickbait.

        • Tama,

          You understand. Glad someone does.

          A friend of mine who is rock steady RKBA won’t open carry now, because he doesn’t want to be associated with the asshattery that has been picked up and echoed by the media. So what happens when we ask people to please, please please stop being such asshats? We get accused of being anti-2A! When they have to attack our motives simply because we ask them to change tactics–that reeks of desperation on their part. They are beginning to sense that most of the 2A community is not with them on this, so the only thing they can do is smear everyone else.

          For the information of everyone around here, I OC a fair amount (handgun, because I can here, but I’ve done a long gun march too). For that LG march, I kept my hand off the grip, and I wore non-ratty clothing. I even ended up with my picture in a local paper (though you can’t see my face). Zero negative impact, even though the rifle I was carrying was double the gun of the “chipotle ninjas.” and ought to have been twice as scary, by leftie logic. But I was not behaving scary, not even for a posed picture. I handed the bad guys no ammunition whatsoever.

        • So your friend won’t OC now, because he doesn’t want the association with the OCT types? Thanks for doing jack squat to help the movement. Sounds like yet another sideline sitter who wants change to come about magically, effortlessly and instantly, without getting off his butt and doing anything to help.

          Why not get out there and show us how it’s done then? Why not spend his nights and weekends and personal funds organizing and demonstrating and working to effect change? Or does that conflict with the summer T.V. rerun schedule? Or nap time? Is your bud backed up on binge watching “Cops” or some other spectator time suck?

        • Well, no he won’t do any of those things, but not for any of the reasons you suggest.

          He’d get fired, by an anti-gun boss, for “conduct unbecoming,” if he couldn’t find some other excuse, as soon as my friend stuck his neck out more than OCing in a different part of town entails. Others have been fired shortly after saying something remotely pro gun in that boss’s presence but of course you can’t prove that’s why. That anti-gun boss, by the way, posted the place of business instantly as soon as he had an excuse–which was provided by a jerk of a carrier visiting it and being obnoxious.

          Kind of like what’s been happening as a result of certain antics going on in Texas.

          The point being that the image of gun carriers has been greatly harmed by OCT. Enough that even pro-2A people are influenced by it.

      • The guy with the garand slung in the last picture is doing it right. That is how an open carry demonstration should look. Some clean, well mannered gentleman rallying while carrying long guns. There is no look at me drawing attention to the gun, they are just carrying them like its no big deal. Well done kind sirs. You are gentlemen and scholars.

        • Yep! Looks like a K31 given that the pull handle is metallic and not rubber as is common with the K11.

        • Not Mosin, not Garand, and technically not a Schmidt-Rubin either.

          It is a Swiss K31. Straight-pull bolt with ring–incredibly complicated assembly–and a gorgeous rifle.

          Neither Schmidt (who designed the straight pull bolt for the M1889 and 1896 rifles) nor Rubin (who developed the 7.55 x 55 round) were alive in 1931, when the K31 was developed.

          The Karbine 1931 design by Eidgenossische Waffenfabrik Bern was significantly rebooted. Remove the bolts from a K31, a K11, or an M96 or 96/11, and in comparing them you’ll immediately see this was a new and revolutionary too design. Also, there are very few parts you can exchange between the S-Rs and K31s, except for the sling, bands, and front sight blade IME.

          I love K31s and have more of them than I care to admit.

          Here’s a guy shooting at 1,000 yards with a K31, open sights.

        • Dagnabbit……thats what i get for skimming the picture….well played Mr. McCain….well played…..

    • You know, this is a good article. Its actually made me change my position on Open Carry Texas. I used to think they were doing nothing but harming the situation, but Dean makes a really good point that’s made me look at it from a different angle. “Openly carrying a gun is protected political speech . . .” And he’s right. Its more of a First Amendment issue than anything.

      • Uh… yeah. If gay people can do gay pride marches with assless chaps while simulating gay sex on floats rolling down the main drag through a city, throwing glitter and making suggestive comments at passers by, you’d think that someone would be able to (legally) carry a rifle around with friends to a convenience store.

        I’d argue that the former example got people a lot more riled up in the 80s than rifle carry does now, but it never stopped them and these days you can see the effects of normalization.

  2. Geesh, Dean, I mean really? This blatent and pretty low-brow cheerleading for the Chipotle Ninjas is just getting old. You can repeat yourself all you want, doesn’t make it any more true.

    You still have not provided a scintilla of proof to prove your assertion that these activities are responsible for changes in TX laws.

    Merely asserting a cause/effect does not prove it.

    You and those of your ilk in TX are Bloomberg’s finest allies.

    • So people actually practicing their second amendment rights, as envisioned by George Mason, is anti-gun but people saying carrying guns is bad are the good guys? Good grief.

      • Skyler, do you even bother to read anthing anyone posts who protests the OCT stunts, or are you paid to be an online cheerleader for them?

        Open carry of handguns? Great.
        It is not legal now in TX.

        How to change that?
        Doing jackass, stupid moves and stunts that are used easily to dissuade those who might be persuaded toward constitutional carry? NO, precisely not.

        Can I make it any simpler for you?

        Is this hard for you to comprehend?

        Think about it.

        • Paul McCain, you need to apologize for your insults. They are out of place in civil conversation and you should be ashamed of yourself.

          Edit: Apparently the insults have been edited out by someone.

        • Yes, I told you, Sky, to stop being stupid, but then I deleted it, because it was simply a cheap shot and like shooting fish in a barrel.

          Now…how about you do try some thinking and stop the mindless cheerleading.

        • Your arguments would be taken more seriously if you presented them less like Piers Morgan. (keyboard yelling and name calling)

        • S. Crock, wait…are you saying that *how* a point of view is expressed makes any difference in how well the point of view is received and considered? Are you saying that we can express a point of view or advocate for a particular agenda in such a way that proves so offensive and needlessly inflammatory that people won’t bother to consider what we are trying to get them to think about?

          Novel thought there.

          😉

        • Now here’s a shock, Paul is accusing someone else of being a paid shill. Usually its by far the other way around….

        • Uhhh something along those lines. If someone presents themselves as a tool then people will ignore them (like viewer ratings showed about Morgan) and even valid points will be ignored. (Not that Morgan ever had a valid point lol)

        • S. Crock: That is the very point Paul has been trying to make, with regards to some of the actions taken by OCT.

    • True, Texas laws have not been changed. Yet. That kind of is the point, isn’t it? If that is the proof which you require, there is no point in arguing about means then, is there?

      Open carry had not made much headway, until these groups started getting active. Then both governor candidates said they supported open carry for pistols, of some kind.

      There is no chance of open carry of rifles being outlawed in Texas. It would take a constitutional amendment (Texas Constitution).

      Thousands of Texans have become engaged and active in these groups, as best as I can tell. They will be active with their legislators. Those in the groups have “skin in the game” now.

      No one knows how many hundreds of thousands of Texans have been educated about the state of the law. Most of them, I believe, thought open carry of handguns was legal in Texas… that is the perception, so it is not a big jump to *make* it legal, if the legislators feel some pressure to do so.

      The media campaign to demonize open carry will be effervescent and transitory. The effects are not lasting. The longer lasting effects are to mobilize more second amendment supporters to the open carry cause, if only to make the current demonstrators more presentable. Consider reading this source:

      http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2014/07/book-review-rise-of-anti-media-by-brian.html

      • Speculation, no proof, as usual:

        “No one knows how many hundreds of thousands of Texans have been educated about the state of the law. Most of them, I believe thought open carry of handguns was legal in Texas… that is the perception, so it is not a big jump to *make* it legal, if the legislators feel some pressure to do so.”

        • There have been numerous stories on open carry in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The Arlington story is one of them. There have been several stories in Houston, several in San Antonio, and a fair number in smaller cities around the state.

          I have only found one story in El Paso so far. I recall another in Corpus Christie.

          With all that coverage, I suppose it is possible that less than hundreds of thousands of Texans have heard about the open carry movement. Hard to prove without lots of resources.

    • Exercising your First and Second Amendment rights in a public forum is something we should all support. The reason for not going onto private property even if management is cool with is because it creates negative optics in a PR war. Exercising your rights in a public forum is to our advantage.

      I have always felt uneasy with a when Pastor very publicly participates in the firearms community. Nothing wrong with a Pastor hunting, sport shooting or defending his family but his is not the place to “wield the sword” in a very public way. I am sure the Pastor is well acquainted Luther’s comment on hearing about the death of Huldyrch Zwingli in battle.

      • A pastor has every bit as much right and responsibility to do his civic duty and participate in a forum like this as much as the next guy.

        If you want to pretend you know something about Martin Luther, at least study his understanding and teaching on the two kingdoms.

    • Don’t listen to Paul guys. He’s a hate filled bigot. If you go back and read allot of the things he tells people… good god the guy is straight up rich, white, arrogant, northern, elitist, punk. He absolutely despises the south, and makes incredibly broad sweeping generalizations, accusations, and stereotypes everyone just like MDA and their pals do. He’s incredibly closed minded and just plain ignorant of history and politics. According to him everyone in OCT or any group like them are “ignorant, racist, redneck, hillbillies who want the south to rise again”….. Decide for yourself.

      • Yeah, it’s tiresome to hear him call everyone in open carry texas a “redneck” but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a good point now and again.

      • Maybe, but he’s usually right. If you can counter his arguments with facts and reason, then do so. Telling people to not listen to him because you don’t like his attitude just isn’t going to fly.

      • Note to Brotherhood of Steel:

        I was and raised in the Heart of Dixie, sir, even born early on a frosty morn to establish my Dixie street cred.

        Therefore, I know “redneck” when I see and hear it. Very easy to spot.

        Any group of yahoo white guys who think it is a good idea to parade around a black neighborhood carrying their AKs and ARs, and anyone who supports such behavior, is an insensitive dolt and a tone deaf redneck.

        Deal with it.

  3. I’m pulling for Texas. It would be nice to have the right to open carry restored in New Jersey South (Florida), but with a state senate full of neocons and south florida Demonrats it will never happen. There is a case in the 4th DCA (norman v Fl) pointing out the ban is unconstitutional because concealed carry is a privilege but the courts are so corrupt it won’t matter.

  4. Yeah, I mean, I trust Dean on this one. Finding one picture out of what must be tens of thousands and using it to demonize our own side is just wrong. Most cops here support the demonstrations, as do most of the people,who as far as I have seen are all too happy to honk their horns and cheer for them. Maybe someone living in a non gun friendly state would be right to worry if this were happening there, but from what I’ve seen we just don’t have that problem in TX.

    • Unfortunately on the East Coast the Chipotle Ninja has become the OCT poster boy, especially in the single-party states. Sad situation, that; it shows the power of a negative propaganda blitz.

  5. Hey Dean the groups working to get Open Carry legalized are as follows
    Gun Rights Across America http://www.gunsacrossamerica.org

    Open Carry Texas
    http://www.opencarrytexas.org/

    Come And Take It America
    http://comeandtakeitamerica.com/

    These are the groups getting it done. If you support our cause then become a member and donate to our groups. We’d greatly appreciate it.

    Sincerely,

    Ryan Jones

    National Twitter Coordinator
    Gun Rights Across America

  6. I wish there was a group of citizen journalists that would put time in to dig up dirt on Bloomberg. Because he has resorted to deception and outright lying in his crusade to outlaw gun ownership, no doubt he has committed a violation of the law somewhere in his business dealings

    • The trouble is: Once you have the inevitable dirt, what would you do with it? Even the gossip rags wouldn’t touch it. And the Little Napoleon would put out a hit on you.

  7. Listen. All it takes is one person to man up, strap on a holster and sidearm, get arrested, file suit. This could be settled in under 2 years.

    • Precisely….everyone calling the OCT morons “courageous” — and it is the guys here hiding behind fake names doing so, ironically, need to tell them all to actually man up and if they do want to make a point, tell them to holster up and go for a walk in a crowd of a couple thousand people and make the cops arrest every last one of them.

      Then we can talk about “courage”

  8. I see that the canard about the ‘guy with his finger on the trigger’ has come up again. Gents, that was a LIE. It was PROPAGANDA. Go back a couple of weeks to the thread with the photo in it: His finger is STRAIGHT. He is POSING for the camera. At first, we, including me, believed that this was a true example of OCT conduct; It turned out that OCT had permission to stage their protest, that there were police officer standing by calmly, that no uninvolved people were ‘shocked and terrified,’ and the whole thing was as calm and well-conducted as one could ask.

    We were ‘had.’ Some of us, such as PTM, are still flailing this untruth as if it was Gospel. At this point, as it has been thoroughly debunked, to continue to flaunt it is about as low as one can get.

    Either show us an undoctored photograph of an OCT person doing terrible unsafe things, or let the lie die.

    Our enemies count on us, or some of us, believing lies about each other. It makes us easier to Divide and Conquer.

    I see that at least one of us, who should’ve known better, saw a K-31 Schmidt-Rubin straight-pull rifle as a Garand. One saw it as a Mosin-Nagant. I do not wish to embarass them, but if a Gun Nut can make that kind of mistake, with one of the most distinctive rifles of all time, do you really think that we can believe an anti-gunner when they state a gun ‘fact’ without checking into it?

    The answer is ‘No.’

    • And I see that you continue to refuse even to consider the point we are making about strategy and tactics. Utter and complete foolishness abounds.

      IT DOES NOT MATTER WHY OR HOW THE PHOTO WAS TAKEN.

      The fact is two goofy doofs are standing there like a couple of morons with long guns around their necks one holding it low ready.

      What part of this do you find so terribly hard to understand? Are you really so daft?

    • John,

      It simply doesn’t matter if they had the permission of the property owner, that police were standing by and unconcerned, or that it was a posed photo. That means that the guy can’t be convicted in a court of law.

      But this isn’t a court of law. It’s the court of public opinion. And there, what’s in the photograph is all that matters. All the extenuating factors you mention are invisible. So they might as well not exist. That’s not fair but that’s the way it is. He had his hand on the grip of a rifle–I would catch nothing but crap if I did that with my handgun as I OC. I certainly won’t do it when I OC my rifle (which I have done). Adding to this was the use of a front sling.

      You’ll note I’ve made no claim about a finger being on the trigger. It doesn’t have to be. What did happen is more than bad enough.

      Dean’s expose of how this has been distorted by the media has done nothing to my attitude other than convince me that instead of being a habitual assclown, this guy was just a one-time sucker. OK.

      So why must OCT continue to make the same mistakes? A march of mostly white men armed with deadly weapons through a black neighborhood? Really? Legal, sure, but can you say “we are tone deaf” any fricking louder?

      And why must those of us who are urging people to stop making these mistakes continue to endure being accused of being against the 2A?

      • “It’s the court of public opinion. And there, what’s in the photograph is all that matters.”

        I think that is where we make a large mistake. I used to think “The court of public opinion” mattered a great deal. I have become convinced that it matters far less than you think it does. The perception that it matters a great deal is pushed, hard, by the old media, because that is their stock in trade, creating these effervescent images and attitudes in the public.

        But if that were true, if “The court of public opinion”, as promoted by the old media were the driving force for legislation, we would never have passed shall issue concealed carry in 30 states over the last 26 years. The media did everything they could to demonize it. They lost, the concealed carry movement won.

        It is far more important to have a significant number of activists that can and will persistently push for what they want. The temporary moods of the “The court of public opinion” are short lived and have little long term effect. The open carry movement is creating these persistent activists. They do not exist on the other side in any significant numbers. The pro-second amendment activists outnumber them by a hundred to one. Look at the MDA “rallies”. They are lucky to break single digits, and that is with significant, outside, financing.

        • The temporary moods of the “The court of public opinion” are short lived and have little long term effect. The open carry movement is creating these persistent activists. They do not exist on the other side in any significant numbers.

          Bingo!

          I’ve seen it myself… the important first step is for people to realize that they can carry too. I’ve seen so many people asking questions the first time that they witness an open carry event and then see them carrying at another event shortly after. It seems like that their eyes are opened when they first see it and talk to OCers. There is a period of a couple of weeks or even months in which they investigate on their own and make up their own minds. Finally, they can be seen carrying at events answering questions similar to what they were asking at the first event. The cycle repeats with new people. Sometimes, the new people didn’t even own a firearm before witnessing an OC event. Of course, those usually take longer because they often attend some firearm safety courses and research what firearm to purchase. I haven’t yet seen one go from uninformed to OCer to against it. I’ve also not seen one person go from unaware of OC to being an anti from any event. The antis are antis when they arrive. We don’t create them.

        • @John,

          I’ve had nothing but positive results too, from my daily “normal” carry (the sort of thing Texans are denied at present), but they reinforce my point, not negate it. I behave like a normal person. The Chipotle duo were not behaving normally for that one brief moment, and took pictures of themselves to immortalize that one instant, then posted them. Well they wanted to look like badasses, and now plenty of people have seen them. Your actions have no doubt done OC credit; I’d like to think mine have too. Many, hell most, OCT actions probably have done good as well.

          But that doesn’t mean all of them have, and this one little mistake has cost us the ability to carry into a very popular chain without violating the express wishes of its owners. Which, personally, I believe in abiding by. (I don’t pull that “concealed is concealed” dodge; if some private entity doesn’t want me to do something on their property, I won’t sneakily do it anyway; that’s just d!ckish and utterly lacking in integrity. And they don’t need my money either.)

      • When I hear solidly pro-2A people refusing to OC now, because they don’t want to be associated with what has been going on in Texas (and don’t anyone dare try to claim these people aren’t really 2A then–I know them, and you don’t, and you’d be full of $#!+ if you did), when I hear businesses who previously had no stance whatsoever on guns tell the world they’d rather people left their guns–ANY guns, not just LGOC ones–at home, that means we are losing the propaganda war here and it is affecting people outside of Texas.

        They want to be able to handgun OC. Great. I certainly understand that! But kindly accomplish that goal in a way that doesn’t subtract from the rights of people elsewhere.

        Oh, wait, you are about to remind us all that the requests don’t carry the force of law. So I’ll ask, is it your custom to ignore property owners’ stated wishes while on their property? Would you do that at a friend’s house? It isn’t mine, so when a business tells me “no guns, please,” I comply. When they tell me “no guns, please” as a result of a stupid move by some people in Texas, I get annoyed with both the store and those particular stupid people in Texas. And when those people repeat the action at a different place and another store does the same thing with the predictability of 2-body orbital mechanics, they become culpable and I become furious with them. They are screwing ME over with their actions.

        • I believe you are confusing a media campaign financed by Bloomberg with the actions of the people who are open carrying in Texas. You can argue that open carry of long guns created the media campaign, but you would be wrong. The only thing that the open carriers in Texas did was exist. The media campaign would have found some way to demonize them. You cannot have a widespread public movement without there existing some pictures that can be used against you. I recall some pretty scruffy looking people that campaigned for concealed carry too, and the old media smeared their pictures in the papers.

          Mostly, that was before the social media had taken of with twitter and facebook. The anti-second amendment folks have a lot more money to play with now, but pro second amendment activists will not win by playing defense. There are only six states that ban open carry now. Texas will be a huge win. I believe open carry reform can win in Florida and in South Carolina as well, but it will take persistent effort.

          You are asking the people who open carry in Texas to control the actions of those who oppose the second amendment in general and people in your local area. They do not have that control.

        • “You are asking the people who open carry in Texas to control the actions of those who oppose the second amendment in general and people in your local area.”

          No. I am asking them to control their own actions. They’ve behaved–well, a subset of them has behaved; as far as I know the dufus moves have mostly been coming out of Tarrant county–in such a way as to hand the enemy easy ammunition. OCT itself has, I understand, asked its people to stay out of businesses; they understand the harm this is doing. Tarrant county’s organization, the story goes, has refused to agree to this. (Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on these particulars, they’re really tangential in any case.)

          The thing is, they are demonstrating for restoration of a right. Demonstrating. Surely if you are demonstrating, you want to do so effectively, right? Well here’s how to be effective: Wear the gun on your back. Keep your hand off the grip. Look as presentable as feasible, since you are expecting people to look at you and make a judgement about what you are doing. I am not asking for a three piece suit here, but wear your best. I’ve seen plenty of perfectly good pictures of OCT marches; they KNOW how to do this. If you give them actual cause for making a negative judgment YOU are to blame. (If they do so without cause–and ONLY if they do so–are you blameless.) It’s even better if you can wear a t-shirt or carry a sign that says “I’d rather be carrying a handgun” since that explains in about 0.5 seconds why you are doing what you are doing–which is the point of demonstrating, right?

          And given that when you go into a national chain, it WILL be used against us all: Don’t go into national chains. Even with permission of the management. Even with cops accompanying you and encouraging you. Yeah it may be morally wrong of the antis to do it, but it’s still stupid to give them the means to do it. Remember, these are demonstrations. Why would you demonstrate without considering the PR angle?

          And re the march in the fifth ward: Please, please, consider a different plan. No matter what actually happens, it will be exploited by the opposition.

          I’d love nothing better than to hear of people being asked to leave an OCT demonstration because they were acting or looking as seen in the famous Chipotle picture. We had an open carry march here in Colorado July 4th, with hundreds showing up, and not ONE single point sling was in evidence and not ONE person had their hand on their pistol grip nor did anything with a old style stocked rifle that put their finger anywhere NEAR the trigger. There was one guy dressed up like he was expecting WWIII and he got his picture in the paper of course (so did I) but even he kept his hand off the blinkin’ gun! The organizers asked for that; they knew what they were doing. (I don’t know what would have happened if someone were to violate the request; the claim was they’d be asked not to participate.)

        • I am impressed with your July 4th march and the discipline that was shown! You are correct, of course in that showing good discipline and images helps second amendment activists a considerable amount. Fortunately, people in the gun culture tend to be very good about discipline. Images we can work on, but we are pretty good about that.

          Would you have a link to images of the 4th of July march in Colorado? I would like to write up an article about it. If a good article has already been done, maybe you could send me a link.

        • http://gazette.com/gun-toting-marchers-draw-cheer-from-westcliffe-parade-crowd/article/1522479. Westcliffe is a town of a few thousand people south and a bit west of Colorado Springs; it’s fairly far west of Pueblo. For some reason there’s a string of eight pictures in the slide show that are duplicates. The guy set up for world war three was carrying both a shotgun and an AR. (I think the camo look tends to be a bad idea, as well as the other things I mentioned.)

          The protocol was long guns slung and unloaded, handguns could be loaded but had to remain in their holsters. It got relaxed somewhat for people riding in the floats and other vehicles; they could hold their rifles vertically (where possible) and kept their hands away from the triggers. But you almost couldn’t see their rifles from outside the floats anyway. I don’t know what reactions would have been if the rifles had been loaded.

          There is a slide show, and as I looked over it just now there’s one guy who’s over the line with his hand on the pistol grip, though his fingers aren’t wrapped around it…with the mildly extenuating circumstance that he is seated. I had to take my rifle off in the restaurant I went to afterwards, too.

          The biggest surprise to me is that it wasn’t 80% ARs. One guy (or perhaps more) did have an AR-10, which is always a joy to see.

        • And on a (not really) side note I think you and I have reached some common ground here; we appear to be in agreement on the desirability of appearance and safety. Where we seem to diverge is on how much harm was done by such things as the infamous Chipotle picture.

  9. Dean, it might be useful to some of the readers to point out that Kory Watkins was also one of the guys who carried rifles into Target. Maybe provide a link to his website and Moms Demand Action’s website highlighting the event, followed by Target’s new gun policy which resulted from that event. Kory was the guy in the goofy hat. Thanks Kory! What’s next on the agenda? Open carrying rifles to a playground?

  10. I like having Paul around. I like his stir-the-pot approach to most every topic posted on TTAG. And not solely for entertainment either, well yeh, solely for the entertainment.

    • I love it when he gets mad too. He starts throwing in all kinds of unrelated offensive material. Its like watching an emotional teenager, who just had a really in-depth conversation with a college professor, argue about politics.

  11. The First and Second Amendments of the Bill of Rights are essential in supporting each other. My sentiments exactly. See Bloomberg’s Bolshevik Buddies when it comes to curtailing speech with kids and guns.

  12. Dean, what I don’t understand is why the OCT people won’t carry an empty holster or a blue gun or a rifle with a flag? Doesn’t that convey the message about open carry while taking the wind out of the sails of Bloomberg et al.?

    • I believe it is being done where it is appropriate. I have seen open holsters done on campus, it can be very effective. I have not seen blue guns. They are not common, and I am not sure that people who are not in the gun culture would understand the significance. Carrying rifles with chamber flags is very common, even though I doubt that the uninformed understand them. I see a lot of open bolts.

      I think dress and grooming count for more than blue guns or chamber flags.

      • I tend to agree, here. (Though it might be worth trying someday, under the right circumstances, to see how it goes. If it goes poorly–then don’t do that any more!) I don’t think most non-gunnies know the significance of a chamber flag, I suspect more would realize a blue gun is fake but probably not most of them.

        Besides, blue guns are surprisingly expensive, they run about fifty bucks (unless something has changed since I last looked). I wouldn’t mind having one to match my guns, but I won’t pay fifty bucks for it. That’s a bit much to ask people to spend on what is essentially nothing but a prop for a demonstration.

        It’s also hard to get one for a Glock; Glock for some reason insists on their being sold only to instructors. That doesn’t impact me but it would impact a lot of people in Texas who aspire to carry a Glock someday; it’s probably the most common single brand on the “I wish I could open carry my ____” list. You can probably talk an OCTer who doesn’t have his holster yet into buying the holster now, rather than waiting until they have a use for it, but I can’t imagine someone who wants to carry his Glock buying a non-Glock holster just so he can fit a non-Glock blue gun parade prop in it.

        (Of course a leather holster can often accommodate other models–I can put a CZ-75 into my IWB G19/23 holster (which means I can carry either my one Glock or any of an array of my CZs in it), but my OWB holsters are all kydex.)

        • Steve – you seem to be one of the more rational, non-fanatical commenters that prefers to open carry. Being relatively new to the topic, my question is why. It’s not an option in my state, but my friends and I can’t really understand why anyone would want to – at least not in an urban setting. Is this mainly an issue in rural areas?

        • I believe that as a society we were much better off when people carried weapons routinely. Back then that tended to be open carry. (Concealed was considered a sign of sneakiness and being up to no good, which is why a number of state constitutions actually put in their gun rights section a statement stating that the previous strong language couldn’t be construed as supporting the practice of concealed carry. Missouri and Colorado are both examples of this.) Ideally we’d live in a society where it was considered “normal” to carry a gun. It really isn’t, not even in places (like here in Colorado Springs) where there is a strong presence of CC permits. (Apparently about one in ten adults here have a permit. How many of them use it, is another question.) People are encouraged to hide the gun. And of course CC requires a permit. A thug can still go into a semi-gun-free-zone (i.e., places that won’t let their employees be armed) in a bad neighborhood with some confidence that even the customers won’t be armed because they are probably a bunch of people who can’t afford and/or cannot qualify for a permit. OC is generally legal without a permit (most places) and presumably legal for anyone who can legally have the gun in the first place. It gives these folks an option they can actually exercise–if they could just see that they can do it. The number of people here who are surprised that OC is totally legal here (except in the City and Cesspit of Denver) is astonishing to me. I’ve also run into the occasional ignoramus who believes that once issued a CHP you are now forbidden from OCing. Huh.

          Another reason in some places to support OC is that you can be busted for doing a poor job of concealment because they will claim the gun is really being open carried.

          (Of course it should go without saying that you shouldn’t fricking need a permit to CC.)

          I know there are tactical arguments both for and against either open or concealed carry. I think most of the tactical arguments against OC are a bit overblown. The thug who shoots the obvious carrier first generally is shooting at the uniform, not the gun… or he just decides to go elsewhere that’s easier. But even if it’s true–if enough people–more than one in ten–open carried, such a tactic would become infeasible. I am trying to be the “early adopter” who shows people that it’s acceptable to do it, in the hopes that others will as well. As such I will only do it where I’d be a credit to carriers, and I am certainly not one of those who seemingly half-hopes to get to educate the police. If I were ever asked to leave (hasn’t happened yet) I don’t make any fuss about it at all, and I won’t go where I know it’s not welcome just to try to make a point.

          To my way of thinking though, CARRY is more important than Open Carry. The main difference for me is, I cover in winter when it gets cold here. Same holster, same gun, and i don’t give much of a damn if I “flash” or “print”

  13. Did Mother Hysteria and her cat loving minion know how much mileage they were going to get out of that Chipotle picture? Dean’s article chronicles a legal victory for Open Carry Torrent County and many of the preceding comments are focused on denigrating the open carry movement and it’s participants. These hysterical overreactions to open carry demonstrations and the baseless speculation about negative effects on public opinion are precisely what Shannon’s Sugar Daddy pays for.

    The NRA’s influence and power is derived from it’s 5 million members united in their support for the Second Ammendment. The intensity gap between those who defend the RKBA and those who would like to see the 2nd repealed is the greatest impediment to Shannon’s Sugar Daddy’s agenda. The antis will exploit any opportunity to fracture our unity, to sow discord among our ranks, to generate some hysteria.

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