I arrived at the 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference on Friday afternoon. I was openly carrying my old GLOCK 17, as I usually do. It was an unseasonably warm late September day, with the temperature at a balmy 103 here in Phoenix. There had been some Internet rumors about the Sheraton Crescent banning open carry, but I hadn’t seen anything in my contract with them or any sign on the door. When I was there a few years ago at the Arizona Citizen Defense League annual meeting, the room had been full of open carriers . . .
I had an evening meeting with Alan Korwin and assorted notables at the “inner circle” of the JPFO. Over the course of the evening, I noticed two or three other people openly carrying, and a couple of people complimented me on my willingness to do so.
It this is Arizona, open carry isn’t uncommon and there were no signs to tell anyone otherwise. The hotel staff was courteous and helpful. Numerous staff passed me and I can say that I don’t recall so much as a curious glance or inquiry from the staff about my open carry.
The next morning was the main event, and with people lining up at the registration table, there were open carriers everywhere. It was simply Arizonans living their daily life, a spontaneous act of normalcy.
An SAF staffer told me that some emails had been sent asking people not to open carry, so as not to offend the hotel; but I never read one, an neither, apparently did many other people.
Here was a fellow with a 1911 type.
This attendee favored a bit smaller pistol.
The extended beavertail safety on this rig makes it distinctive.
Blue Jeans and a 1911 were a popular combination.
This attractive couple carried a fancy 1911. She said it was her pistol, but he was carrying it. He wanted to carry something a bit fancier than his everyday carry. It was obvious from talking to them, that they both carried on a regular basis. A good time was had by all.
A source told me that the normalization reminded him of what he had seen with the gay pride movement in the 70’s and 80’s. At some point, open carry ceases to be controversial, and exercise of the Second Amendment returns to its proper place in American society.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.