In Tacna, Arizona, I saw this fellow openly carrying what appears to be a stainless steel Colt Mustang in .380. He told me he’d served in the Marine Corps, as indicated by the tattoo. He was driving the four-wheeler, which can be licensed for dual use, on and off road, in Arizona, a capability not available in many Eastern states. Notice the folding, lock-back pocket knife clipped in his front right pocket. It’s a snapshot of freedom that has been chipped away in much of America. Only two or three generations ago . . .
Keeping and bearing arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. If Americans don’t need a license to exercise their right to free speech why do they need one for keeping and bearing arms? Because guns! Guns are lethal! The antis assert that your average citizen can’t be trusted with lethal force. Not without vetting. Training. Supervision. Government vetting, training and supervision. Oh, and licensing. After all that, then citizens can keep and bear arms. Maybe. This is the “acceptable” face of American gun rights. And it’s wrong . . .
I first saw this anti-open carry cartoon on the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence’s Facebook page. CSGV jefe Elliott Fineman posted it as a celebration of his hatred of open carriers. Knowing Elliott’s creative limitations, I wondered where he’d sourced this anti-ballistic bile. TTAG reader KC also encountered the strip. “It appeared in my Facebook feed, only to disappear down the memory hole. It took time and google-fu to relocate. Fascinating how he manages to conflate Open Carriers/Bundy/Ferguson all into one incomprehensible meme that only a Slate reader could love.” Slate. Figures.
While searching “gun, today” on YouTube I found this video of a Houston Police officer arresting a member of Open Carry Houston for “failure to show ID” and trying to erase his cell phone video. Given the recent spate of outrage against allegedly overly-aggressive, indeed deadly police, this kind of incident highlights the fact that there are plenty of “rogue” cops on the street, ready to suppress lawful citizens’ rights. As YouTuber Common Sense points out, putting body cams on cops doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be switched on at the appropriate time. Once again, it all comes down to leadership and accountability, or lack thereof.
“When I was in Washington DC, that’s when Virginia first passed its concealed carry into law and we in law enforcement thought, ‘Oh man, it’s going to be terrible, it’s going to be the wild west, agg assaults and murders are going to go up.’ There wasn’t a blip on the radar.” That’s San Antonio Police Chief William McManus explaining [via foxsanantonio.com] his lack of tsuris regarding Texas’ forthcoming move to open carry. But there’s more to open carry than simply nothing bad happening (Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s worst non-nightmare). As huffingtonpost.com writer H. A. Goodman suggested, open carry could act as a deterrent against police “over-zealousness.” I think that’s right. When I opened carried in Rhode Island . . .
An open carry group in Michigan has done a remarkable thing, even if it’s built on the accomplishments of a great many before them. They have made the open carry of long guns in Detroit hip and cool. On an MSNBC video. The video was made for Ronan Farrow’s show, featuring 22-year-old activist James Baker. He’s well spoken, photogenic, and persuasive. He and a couple of other people formed the group, Hell’s Saints, in July. He comes across in a largely positive light, narrating much of the video. He actually reminds me of Cody Wilson, of 3D printed firearms fame.
One of the primary purposes of the Second Amendment is the ability to assemble militias to enforce public order. The formation of informal militias during times of disorder, such as during natural disasters and riots is a completely natural activity in a civil society. Productive people have invested their lives in their property. When they are threatened, neighbors band together to protect themselves and each other . . .
“While rioting by a very small percentage of protestors does a disservice to the memory of Michael Brown and the cause of saving black lives or preventing future Fergusons . . .” Yeah, right. A small percentage of the “protestors” rioted in Ferguson, setting more than 25 buildings ablaze and looting an equal number of stores. In fact, more than 100 cars idled in front of Toys R Us on the night of the non-indictment, waiting for someone to cast the first brick. Ferguson’s destruction was about rioting like surfing for pictures of Barbara Palvin is about researching Hungarian history. Anyway, huffingtonpost.com writer H. A. Goodman is headed in the right direction . . .
Openly dumb? That’s dumb. But then it’s only a headline writer’s idea of pithy. The real stupidity here is the “argument” the San Antonio Express’ Editorial Board uses to condemn open carry – ahead of the Texas legislature’s determination to put a bill on Governor Abbott’s desk. “Say you’re at your local store or on a public street and a guy, obviously not a police officer, is walking toward you with a hoodie over on his head. Feel safe? We suspect not. Nor will the cop who encounters that guy in a traffic stop or tries to give him a ticket while he’s jaywalking.” I’m sorry. Did I say hoodie over his head? I mistyped. It’s “a gun on his hip.” But you see how that works. Here’s more . . .
TTAG reader Zach writes:
“When state and federal courts have considered severe restrictions or bans on open carry they have been struck down. When they have considered restrictions or bans on concealed carry they have been upheld. I wondered why it was 31 states allow the unlicensed open carry of handguns and even more if you include long guns (as in Texas) while concealed carry was illegal (the carry permit providing an exception to the ban on concealed carry). I found out that . . .
“Members of the advocacy group Moms Demand Action delivered more than 72,000 petitions to Harris Teeter’s Matthews-based headquarters Thursday morning, asking the company to ban openly carried guns in its stores,” charlotteobserver.com reports. Why’s that? “You don’t have to have training or a permit to open carry in stores,” North Carolina Advocacy Lead for MDA Christy Clark told the Observer. And? How many open carriers have murdered people while open carrying? None that I can find. And if I could find any, how would that compare to the number of murderous criminals carrying illegally? But that’s not what’s important here. What gun rights advocates need to understand . . .
The impassioned video above didn’t stop the passage of Washington state’s “universal background check” bill. And so an unknown number of gun rights advocates are set to convene at the state capitol to violate the law in plain site. They’ll exchange guns, buy and sell guns and generally play pass the firearm – all in contravention of the newly-approved I-594’s provisions. The cops have yet to declare their intentions for this act of mass (the participants hope) civil disobedience. So it could be a damp squib (hardly anyone shows, the police do nothing and only local media pays attention), an ugly police action (a bit more local media coverage) or something really not good (LOADS of media coverage). Click here for the I Will Not Comply Facebook page. At the time of writing, Resolute for Arms and Liberty has a scant 1650 followers. Still, as Shannon Watts will tell you, the longest journey starts with a single like. [h/t CM]