gunschipotle

The recent kerfuffle in the Lone Star State over Open Carry Texas activists and the seminal picture of the “Chipolte ninjas” got me thinking a bit on the OC situation. I’m of the mindset that OC is tactically a bad idea, but I understand that is a heavily debatable topic. I’m fortunate to live in a state where open carry is available to anyone who can legally own a gun. You need a permit to carry concealed, but open carry is unencumbered. That said, I also happen to live near a couple of states that prohibit open carry and, in fact, can prosecute you for brandishing or even assault if one of your fellow citizens so much as sees your gun tucked in its holster. In those states, concealed means concealed and if you accidentally flash someone a view of your holstered gun, you may have problems . . .

With that in mind, I get the importance of reminding our fellow citizens that gun owners are not dangerous whackjobs and a person who carries a gun is no more (and possibly much less) dangerous to their health than your average police officer. In a place like my state, OC activists can walk around with holstered pistols. Sure, people will see them, but the sight of a holstered pistol is really not that alarming to the average person… even if they even do happen to notice it. Rifles, on the other hand, are a lot more divisive.

The problem is that in states like Texas which prohibit the open carry of pistols, but allow open carry of rifles, activists are left in a bind. The purpose of open carry activism is to both exercise a right as well as show ordinary people that gun folks are also, well, ordinary and there’s nothing to be afraid of. That said, irrespective of your position on gun rights, it’s safe to say that most people would agree that a person walking into a local restaurant in a metropolitan area with a rifle slung over their shoulder is an unusual event (in rural areas, such a sight would be more commonplace).

If you’re not a gun rights person, you may be alarmed. Even if you are a gun rights supporter, you don’t immediately know the person’s intentions. He might be an open carry activist or he might be planning to do something unpleasant with that rifle. Granted, the position in which the rifle is carried can be a tip-off, but if you only saw the dude on the right in the photo above with his hands on the grip of a rifle with a magazine, you’d be foolish not to watch him closely for a bit.

As gun rights supporters, one of our goals is to convert more people over to our side, or at the very least move them away from an anti-gun stance. We need to make our presence and numbers known, but ideally do it in as non-threatening a way as possible. So, the question is, are there alternative ways to raise awareness for OC rights without carrying things that will make the average person (voter) rather nervous? Let’s face it, neither of the two Chipolte ninjas necessarily projects the calming, neighborly image that gun owners want to convey.

What if some enterprising folks printed up some brightly colored shirts, maybe a neon orange that carries a respectful pro-2A message on it? Anyplace you want to present the pro-gun message, get 50-100 people wearing these shirts to just show up. Encourage people nationwide to wear them on the second of every month. Show the masses that there are a lot of us out there and we are their friends and neighbors. Imagine 100 or so people showing up to a Mothers Demand Action rally. It would be a great way to silently show our disapproval and disagreement in a way that they couldn’t claim was particularly threatening. No visible weapons, just 100 or so similarly dressed folks bearing silent witness to the stupidity of their position.

We could even go a step further — print out little handbills with the contact info for local shooting clubs. Have members of those clubs schedule some “welcome to the shooting sports” sessions on the weekends, print that info on the cards and offer one to anyone who engages us in conversation. Let’s show the friendly non-threatening, fun side of gun ownership.

Do you think it would work?

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169 Responses to Question of the Day: Is There a Better Way for Open Carry Advocates to Get Their Point Across?

    • Yes, TTAG should get behind this.

      Get two or three designs (with a tasteful listing of the TTAG domain) done on the same color tee. A polo shirt would be nice too, provided it’s not too garish. Put the designs in the public domain and also sell them here. I can see reader submitted photos from around the country and a contest where the Armed Intelligencia tells their stories about raising awareness with the general public.

      Win-win!

  1. I think open carry is best tactically in most situations and that it is one of the most important educational tools we have at our disposal. That said, I’d prefer if people would put their long guns in scabbards in urban areas or carry without a round in the chamber in urban areas.

    • The approach they are using is more likely to get open carry of long guns banned than it is to make handgun open carry legal.
      You have to understand the real motivation of the protesters. Many are losers that are more interested in getting their faces on the news and just use the gun debate as cover for that. So looking at it from that perspective, they have been successful.
      We have a very effective group here in Georgia, http://www.georgiacarry.org that has a successful formula for advancing gun rights and that formula can work in other states. Texas is a state that should be open to this approach if they only use it. But again, that may not be their true motivation.

      • It kinda sounds like you might be projecting there.

        Making broad, sweeping judgment statements like that isn’t exactly the best way to be taken seriously.

  2. 1) Stop carrying your firearms at low ready. Knock it off already
    2) Outreach programs. Engage with people. Show them that you aren’t some crazy sitting in a corner muttering about FEMA death camps and the Rapture (we all know there’ll be a zombie apocalypse instead). Barbecue and tailgate without pushing an agenda down peoples’ throats
    3) Related to 2; Let people get hands on with firearms. Let them hold them and, if they want, fire them. Remove the mystique from them and make them less scary
    4) Rational debate. Don’t get emotional, just stick with the facts. People are more likely to respond positively to grown up discussion. Those that won’t were never going to listen anyway.

    • Regarding #3: That is the single biggest things that has been a game changer for folks that I know that I have been able to actually come out to the range that were previously fencesitters or anti’s. The bare fear of the gun itself was removed (or at least tempered) and with that either made new enthusiasts, or at least created a bit more tolerance from a few anti’s.

      Getting them out is the hard part. At least one truly thought that there would be a bunch of drunk, racists hillbillies out ‘shooting up the desert’ with ‘automatic rifles’. Sigh. Quite the game-changer when they actually saw at least semi-organized (it is an ‘open’ shooting area), safe, respectful goings-on.

      Getting them started with M&P22 pistols and bolt-action 22LR rifles and an M&P15-22 really help with overcoming the ‘fear factor’. After that, transitioning to an AR (or AK if they choose) is pretty easy.

      • I usually have them shoot my marlin .22, then explain how NJ wants to make it illegal as an assault weapon. Wakes them up to the anti’s crap pretty quick

      • If I can get a skeptic to come to the range with me I always start by asking what they want to shoot. I have enough variety in my collection that I can usually accommodate their curiosities. Some people like classic handguns (1911, 92FS), some enjoy the old west appeal of my Ruger Blackhawk, and some prefer rifles or shotguns. For the undecided my go-to is a Sig 522 with an EOTech and G33 magnifier–it has all the scary features of a bannable “assault weapon” in non-offensive rimfire caliber and the magnifier + holo sight make it easy for even a novice to feel like a crack shot at 50yds.

        • I hope you don’t let them try a weapon with a lot of recoil first. It’s always best to start anybody with a 22, and after a few rounds move up to an intermediate caliber, and finally the magnums, if they so desire.

        • No, of course not. Generally the biggest thing I’ll offer up as the first experience is an AR, and only after coaching to be prepared for the noise and the recoil. I’ll usually shoot it once myself to demonstrate, then put it on safe and help them with their hold, etc. FYI, the Ruger is a .357, and I load it with .38 for new shooters.

          The takeaway from this is that different people require different strategies. There are some people who don’t shy away from recoil and want to step right into 12ga, and I’m happy to oblige, if I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for them. I’m not going to ambush anyone with magnum rounds, but I’m also not going to patronize them. It’s easy enough to start small and work into bigger rounds.

  3. I’d wear a ‘2nd’ shirt every 2nd. Kinda’ like that idea.

    Though I still imagine I’d be in HR before the end of the first day. Smiling and waiting for the explanation for why I can’t wear my shirt. We already had the ‘Your (small) American flag in your office makes some of the workers nervous’ talk. I still have my flag. Thank you very much.

    If TTAG put together a “2nd on the 2nd” shirt thing, I be for a handful.

    • What? Your small American flag made someone nervous? Wow, that’s a weird one. Even in uber-liberal Seattle I have coworkers with American flags in their cubes and nobody bats an eye.

      • Yes, it was shortly after 9/11. We had a number of consultants in our offices that were of foreign origin and some of them approached HR saying they were concerned for their safety.

        It occurred again about 3 years later when another project created an influx of consultants.

        In both cases I was called in to HR and asked if I would take down the flag. I said ‘no’ in both cases and nothing ever came of it.

        I had, in all the time I worked there, worked in what I would consider to be friendly circumstances with all of the consultants that were there. Made no remarks of inpropriety, or incivility, and just acted the professional that my work requires.

        I was more irritated that our corporate HR would even ask that question, than I was with the folks who may have been the initiators. Their fears may have been unfounded, but my experiences when working on projects in some of their home countries gave me reason to somewhat understand the basis under which they might have been formed (treatment of some foreigners and sub-cultures within their own societies). Some of these places get a bit worked up at Americans when bad things happen. And it was not a healthy place to be out on the streets during those times. As with many, they expect from others what they have seen in themselves.

  4. Don’t carry in businesses. Carry signs explaining what you are doing (and giving your hands something to do other than fondle your long gun). Open carry in outdoor public places . Don’t follow anyone, no matter how big an a-hole they might be. Smile, be nice, engage people and explain why you are carrying long guns instead of holstered pistols. The antis are going to lie and cheat to make you look bad, don’t help them by being dumb.

    • The no private businesses is key I think. Some of the oc have only worked to demonstrate the right of a private business to ban guns.

      2a protection doesn’t exist to keep us safe from private businesses, it’s to protect us from local, state, & federal government. That’s who we need to be putting on the spot with open carry.

      • I really feel like the most important thing is to carry a sign explaining why you are protesting. You’ll look like a protester instead of a gun nut. You’ll be able to communicate why you are open carrying to everyone that sees you (I suspect most folks don’t realize OTC is protesting when they open carry). And any pictures of you that make there way into the main stream media will convey your message to the world at large. Something like “I carry this rifle because Texas won’t let me carry a handgun!”

  5. The problem is they are not communicating their message in a way that random photos can show – and it plays directly into the hands of the anti’s. A few (printed) signs explaining that they are pushing for open handgun carry and pointing out that it’s legal to openly carry rifles but not pistols would be a start. Encouraging their members to dress well and look photogenic would help too – decent-looking jeans or other pants, a shirt with a collar on it, no camo…

    And for cripes’ sake, do NOT pose for pictures with your rifle held at low ready! The rifles need to be slung, not fondled.

    • “and it plays directly into the hands of the anti’s. “

      To be totally fair, though, everything plays into the hands of the anti’s because they lie.

      Remember Alan posing with Shannon, both smiling, and she tried to portray it as “stalking?”

      She failed miserably, of course, but she DID try it.

      Now that the media representation of what happened at that Chipotle has been totally discredited as a blatant falsehood, I’m left thinking that even if they did “everything right,” according to the TTAG intelligentsia, MDA/Everytown/gawker/etc would find SOME way to mischaracterize it.

      More power to improving message delivery, but if we think “doing it better” will somehow disarm the anti’s, I fear we are fooling ourselves. Nothing we do will ever be acceptable to them.

      • There is a difference between somehow gaining the “acceptance” of the anti’s and making it harder for them to capitalize on perceptions. If the OC’ers would put more effort into not fitting the stereotype the other side constantly harps on, it’ll at least make their narrative more difficult to promote.

        As it is, far too much material is given to MDA to work with. For every failure to portray one of us as a “stalker” in a smiling photo, there’s three or four Chipotle Ninja photos – and the general public is NOT finding out how fake the anti’ narrative is where those are concerned. We have to stop giving them ammo to use against us.

        • “the general public is NOT finding out how fake the anti’ narrative is where those are concerned.

          That’s something else which we should improve upon, then. We have to wrest some control of the narrative and how it is delivered to the ‘public.’

          “We have to stop giving them ammo to use against us.”

          I can’t argue against that on its face. Certainly minimizing the ammo they have would help.

          My only point is that they will find their ammo where ever they want to find it. Maybe another way to make my point is that we can’t say “done” if OCT and similar groups DO stop giving them the low hanging fruit ammo. They’ll just pick at the next tier and then the next, etc.

        • What about result? OCT has successfully made open carry one of the top legislative issues in Texas. Both candidates for Governor support changing the law and allowing open carry of handguns – which was exactly what OCT protested for.

          MDA and Everytown have a new photograph to make lies up about – and if it wasn’t this one, it would be another. The Chipotle Ninja incident has long passed in the propaganda machine of MDA – but the legislative change for pro-gun is current in the legislature. To make an omelet you have to crack an egg. You lose the egg but you get the omelet – which is what you wanted all along.

        • We need to think a bit more about stretching ourselves outside our comfort zones. Suppose 100 OCs; 99 are dressed in their go-to-meeting best and one yahoo is in camo or some other bizarre – to – out-of-the-ordinary garb. Who do you expect to see pictured in the newspapers? Let’s be realistic; the press is going to photo the image that they need to present the Anti message. Why is it that that 100’th guy can’t see fit to put on a coat and tie for our cause? Because HE can’t leave his comfort zone which happens to be camp or a Hawaiian shirt on the mainland?
          – – – Let’s bring our wives and children. Have our daughters bearing pink 22 bolt-actions. Make it really tough to get a photo that doesn’t include wives, children, grand-parents, Legionare caps, and the like. Make them have to Photoshop-out the women and children to get their image; and, then show that that is what they have done.

  6. Give off the aire that it’s a matter of utility, make it look like you take care of yourself, and carrying a gun around was not the only reason you got out of bed today.

    also, sit-ups

  7. 1. Lose weight.
    2. Clear message.
    3. DON’T Open Carry while advocating.
    4. Dress nicely, you have an audience.
    5. Contribute to charity and perform good works like highway clean up and food drives.

    • I agree. Dress nicely and be outspoken while remaining friendly and polite. Above all, though, do not handle your weapon unless you intend to use it. If you open carry a pistol, are you gonna walk around with your hand on the grip? That is a good way to send the wrong message.

    • You’re spot-on, Greg. If they really want to change minds, approach the issue in a way that advances it — don’t be the sort of person that annoys even those who support your goal.

      If you want someone to support a cause that matters to you, you need to create a situation where they identify with you and then as a result identify with your cause. If you show up looking like a schmuck and freaking people out, they’re going to identify your cause with you, and that isn’t going to help. Look normal, sound normal, and convey the impression that normal people do what you want people to support.

  8. I don’t think you need groups of 50+, just grab a buddy or 2 and get matching shirts with your logo (e.g. Texas Open Carry) and print up hand bills, sling your rifles on your back and hand out the flyers on the street corner. The Chipotle Ninjas are there to provoke people, not to swing fence sitters over to our side.

      • Indeed, we do. Part of that means not playing into that narrative, which exactly what most of these “demonstrators” (idiots pictured above included) are doing.

      • I think the Chipotle Ninjas are really there to put their pix up on the Internet in the vain hope of getting lucky. Just my opinion – flame away.

        BT

      • Sorry, but that TTAG article doesn’t prove anything. It’s the opinion of the writer, along with quotes from OC supporters. No evidence of “police being just off camera” or “friendly managers” was presented; only unsubstantiated claims were made.

        Rifle OCers who enter private businesses are severely tarnishing the entire pro-2A movement.

        • “Rifle OCers who enter private businesses are severely tarnishing the entire pro-2A movement.”

          Opinion.

          Care to bet that if a survey of 10,000 or more random US citizens were done, more than 1% would have ever even heard of OCT, much less formed an opinion on the issue based on their actions?

        • Of course it’s an opinion.

          As far as the hypothetical 10,000 random polling subjects, I’d bet a fair number of them would have seen MSM reports about OCers in Chipotle, or read HuffPo, Slate, Mother Jones or The Daily Beast, or would have seen pictures on social media. Would they know OCT by name? Probably not. Would they know a group of OCers in Texas are walking into private businesses with military rifles held at the combat ready? I’d bet many of them would.

          By the way, as a comment to a quote in the essay itself, I’ve lived in big Texas cities and small ones. I’ve lived in a rural, unincorporated area and spent a lot of time in farming communities. In none of those places would it have been considered normal to walk into a restaurant with an AK or AR.

        • Agreed. Carrying those big weapons around in public just screams “I have a really small penis”. There’s zero need to carry guns like that around in public. They are hurting more than helping IMHO.

    • This. A buddy or two. I’d say teams of two. Three if one of is a female. Like it or not- if I see three guys holding rifles I’m thinking worst case scenario. If I see women and children- I’m far less concerned.

      Outreach, passing out pamphlets- non confrontational shirts, etc. Easier done with a couple of people than with 20.

      And for if you want to marches- might we at least put chamber flags in? Seriously. I get that you want to normalize guns- great. But for people who don’t understand guns, giving the public just a little indication that the gun is incapable of firing at that moment might be good.

  9. Just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you should do it. But if you just gotta do it: use common sense, follow the safety rules, and show some etiquette.

  10. I think large, coordinated pro-2nd-amendment rallies would work, at least on a local level. They might not get the state or national media coverage of some open carry demonstrations, but that’s not a bad thing. In this political and PR battle, our side owns the grassroots, while their side owns the big media. We are unlikely to win many people over through national media reports, but we can (and do) have great success at the personal and local level.

    I am not opposed to open-carry rallies per se (and certainly not to open carry being legal) but I think it can be done in a much more effective way than it has. My tips for open carry protests:
    1. Dress nicely and otherwise present yourself well.
    2. Keep the gun slung. No low ready, even for pictures. Keep in on your back, with no mag and the bolt locked. You’re at a protest, not the range.
    3. Carry a non-threatening rifle. The visuals of mall-ninja black rifles scare people, and since this is a PR fight, you don’t want to scare people (whether in person or when they see the photos posted on the internet).

  11. They way lots of folks in places like Wisconsin did it was (I think) great. They had picnics, and dinners. Outtings. Without the dumb-DH#$ guys carrying AKs at the low ready.

    Now, granted, most of these were with pistols. which were left in holsters and people just ate lunch, played some Frisbee, had conversations, etc. Easy to do with a pistol.

    Rifles on the other hand… hard to do with rifles, so those in Texas have a harder time with that. Maybe if they had get togethers, with SLUNG rifles, picknics, not protests. And dont take photos holding the rifle like you are at the range. leave them slung.

    normalization happens by seeing guns in normal situations and nothing happening. in your face, holding a pistol while eating a chicken leg would not have had the impact that just simply holstered pistols did.

    Lots of those guys in Texas need to calm down.

    • You’re correct. Wisconsin rocks…and it’s amazing how quickly things changed considering it’s only been 4 years since they got any concealed or open rights. I’m thinking Illinois could use this approach. I won’t hold my breath.Carrying a rifle in public is WAY down my list of importance,..and living in Illinois I’m getting tired of hearing about the poor down-trodden Texans. Try living here. Flame away.

      • I was born on the Westside of Chicago, grew up in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, I went to school in Urbana-Champaign. I left the state when I finished graduate school.. See the progression there?

      • There is still the OC problem in Wisconsin with 1,000 ft rule for schools if you don’t have CCW permit. Even a swivel head can’t know what is with a 1K radius of where they stand. In urban areas there are places that do not have a clear non violating path out of them
        Before my CCW, I had a 6-8 ft strip from the curb in my yard that was the felon zone because I had school property on three sides within 1k ft.

        • There is still the OC problem in Wisconsin every State in the Union with 1,000 ft rule for schools if you don’t have CCW permit.

          18 USC 922(q)

    • ^ This!

      Want to protest lack of handgun open carry?

      How about empty holster protests. Raise people’s curiosity, engage in conversation.

      We want to win people over, not drive them into the arms of Demanding Moms.

      Stop with the rifles!

    • What, in itself, is wrong with OC of rifles, though?

      We really want people not attach mystical powers to guns, but here we do it ourselves: handgun ok, rifle not. It is a bit puzzling.

      • There’s nothing wrong with open carrying a rifle, in and of itself. The manner in which you do it, though, goes a long way toward how it’s perceived. Toting an AR on a single-point sling with your hand on the grip is not the way to OC a rifle. That would be analogous to carrying a handgun, not in a holster, but in your hand. You see a guy doing that, you have to assume he’s planning to use it, since there are much more convenient ways to carry.

        Sling that rifle over your shoulder, and it’s a lot less aggressive and threatening, just as a holstered pistol is less threatening than one being held in the hand.

        Perception is important. We didn’t get into this hoplophobic mess overnight, and we’re not going to get out of it quickly, either. We need to be playing a long game, because that’s what our opponents are doing.

        • “There’s nothing wrong with open carrying a rifle, in and of itself. The manner in which you do it, though, goes a long way toward how it’s perceived. “

          Fair enough. No argument. Safety first, and all that.

          That’s a very, very different statement than

          “How about don’t open carry rifles at all!!”

          which is what prompted my question.

        • I like the idea of carrying a muzzle loader or a lever action. Rifles associated with the early days of the Republic and the winning of the west. Add an empty holster to a Texas open carry demonstration to protest the lack of pistol open carry. Point made, nobody would feel threatened.

    • I agree. As an OC proponent I wish I could tell people “if OC were legal ond more common it’s not like some idiots are going to go carrying AKs or ARs into Home Depot or Chipotle. No one is that stupid.”

      WRONG!

  12. Well, we have beat to death this topic in other threads. Looks like we are going hit on it some more though, so here goes.
    I believe open carry does more harm than good, even though others have expressed their thoughts against me. But this is America, and we have a right to express any and all thoughts.
    Not to go into this whole debate again, but I will just say that in a lot of places, open carry is not the norm. If we expect folks to except OC, then we much approach it with caution. It takes time for folks to get used to somebody coming into a place of business with an AK-47 slung over their shoulder.
    And finally, why not carry your long gun in a case?

  13. OCT needs to take a note from Campus Carry crowd and use the ’empty holster’ method + pro-open carry t-shirts. Sure, it isn’t as obvious as the AR-15 over the shoulder; but it is less likely to have major corporations coming out against the RKBA.

    I just got back from Texas (vacation) and let me say, that’s a very unfriendly place to have a CCW. Glad to be back in Virginia where I can actually carry my concealed (or open) sidearm into gas stations and restaurants without facing 10 years in prison.

  14. First and foremost, teach each of the supporters that open carry doesn’t mean “in the hands” as this clown in the image above is doing.
    That said, I have lived with guns since I was 8 and hunted since I was 11 (now 52), so that is a long time of being around guns. It doesn’t bother me in the least to see someone carrying a gun on their back or in a holster, but when I see someone with a gun in their hands, it makes me wonder “ok what is this person hunting” “Who is he/she after?”, and makes me grab my own gun and start looking for possible targets.
    A T-shirt is often overlooked especially if the print is small. If you can come up with a a symbol that means open carry without a lot of words to it that would be a good idea.

      • Very true. If we could come up with a good symbol that got the point across at a glance, say for instance an AR15 crossed over an AK47 with RKBA strategically placed, that might just do the trick.

  15. How about carrying antique-looking muzzleloaders instead of the EVIL black rifles? Muzzleloaders are not nearly as threatening looking, but the open carrying protesters would still be able to get their point across.

    • I’ll have to take issue about muzzle loaders not looking so threatening looking. A 58 caliber bore looks awfully big when it gets accidentally pointed at you.

    • I was open carrying yesterday while hiking, mostly for bear/cougar protection for me/my family. Took a Mosin Nagant slung on my back, saw lots of people didn’t really get any weird looks. It was just a family of 4 out hiking in the woods and one of them has a rifle. I agree with the sentiment. If this is a PR campaign, don’t scare people.

      Carry something with a wooden stock. If I had been carrying my AR-15 I am sure someone would have called the cops.

      • I don’t think anything would have been different with AR in that situation. I carry in the woods and it is one the few places where, with exception of rapid anti gunner like Shannon, most people don’t take issue with it because carrying has a clear purpose.

  16. The only time I open carry is when I am on my acreage, away from my home in the city, scoping out the land. I only open carry there because I’m in the middle of the woods, closest neighbor is a mile away, and my firearm is easy to get to.

    I don’t open carry because I don’t want to be bum-rushed by a bunch of drugged up idiots/thugs/hooligans (even though I live in an upscale area and I’m just shy of 200 pounds), nor do I want to frighten the law-abiding citizens who may fear the gun.

    Wearing a badge is all fine and well with open carry for obvious reasons. I’m not a LEO, so I don’t open carry.

    Certainly not knocking those who do.

    As far as making a statement for open carry? Let the world keep going to hell in a hand basket, then (some) people will get the picture.

    • “I don’t open carry because I don’t want to be bum-rushed by a bunch of drugged up idiots/thugs/hooligans “

      Got some case studies that show this actually happens…or that OC-ers get attacked more often than CC-ers?

      It’s an oft-repeated meme, but there does not appear to be a body of actual evident supporting it.

      And, as a single counter example (benefit of OC), there was a case, a Waffle House in Kennesaw, GA, where robbery was deterred by OC of handguns by patrons inside.

      http://www.examiner.com/article/open-carry-deters-armed-robbery-kennesaw

    • Let’s face it, that is not what some of these guys are primed to want to do by action movies, games and culture in general. They want to look and act like operators, that is the root of this for some of them.

      It is hard to call someone a poseur without insulting them, but I mean it in the nicest way possible when I say that is what activists like the guys in the picture are even if they mean well. There are these types and then there are mostly older guys and ladies who are just what I would call “out of touch.”

      Personally I think these demonstrations should focus more on projecting that gun owners have class, that they are intelligent and responsible. If you are morbidly obese, stay home. If you have nothing sharp to wear, stay home. If you can’t help but cradle your rifle at the low ready, stay home. Because liberals will use your activism against you if you don’t and that is indisputable.

  17. By the way- I don’t think scaring the bejesus out of people is the way to accomplish your objectives.

    If a mother is having lunch with her toddler(s), and a fat kid walks in with a stupid grin and the finger on the trigger of his AR-15, that seems counter-intuitive to the cause.

    Not reinventing the wheel or anything, just really hoping they can take their methods of spreading their message back to the drawing board.

  18. Leave the Gadsden flags at home. When there’s a rally against gun control legislation bring them out, but if you’re trying to win hearts and minds a big-ass snake and the “don’t F with me bro” attitude probably isn’t helping. Leave the desert boots and 5.11 gear at home too. It’s not about going out and flexing your badassness, it’s about going out of our way to show that we really aren’t the mouth-breathing conspiracy theorists we are portrayed as. Unfortunately,most open carry events just end up being organized power-tripping, ego-flexing excursions.

    Cliff Notes version: Don’t be like Leonard Embody.

  19. Straight-up civil disobedience. See if the cops will arrest 30 people just going about their business while openly carrying their pistols. It’s easy for the plebes to see folks openly carrying AR’s as hostile or threatening. It’s much different when it’s just some guy who has a 1911 in a holster.

    Funny how doing what’s legal leads to more laws as in CA’s unloaded open carry fiasco. So do what’s against the law and take that seat on the bus.

    Get the hundreds of people who show in ban states to protest their state laws to wave around prohibited magazines. Get 500 people to march down the street with homemade and (gasp!) off-form silencers.

    Playing the game is defacto consent. Go directly against the game and they lose their power over you.

    • “See if the cops will arrest 30 people just going about their business while openly carrying their pistols.

      In Texas, the cops WOULD arrest them and rightfully so…OC of handgun is against the law there. They are protesting that law. I’m not sure openly breaking the law is the right way to do that.

      That would throw out claims of “law abiding citizens exercising their rights.”

      ” It’s easy for the plebes to see folks openly carrying AR’s as hostile or threatening. It’s much different when it’s just some guy who has a 1911 in a holster.”

      Except they didn’t see it as hostile or threatening. That part of the Chipotle story was a made-up lie by the media.

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/07/dean-weingarten/media-campaign-against-open-carry-doomed-to-fail/

      • If we’re afraid to break the law sooner or later no one “law abiding” will be left as more and more laws are passed. It’s long past time to stop abiding by pre-crime, bureaucratic crime victimless crime laws.

        • “If we’re afraid to break the law sooner or later no one “law abiding” will be left as more and more laws are passed. It’s long past time to stop abiding by pre-crime, bureaucratic crime victimless crime laws.”

          Okay, this can be its own topic of conversation and towers even above the RKBA. I don’t disagree with a word you said.

          HOWEVER … let’s dissect this particular instance logically.

          Look at all the flack the OCT guys are getting for the way they dress and posing for pictures. The common thread in most of the complaints is “poor representation of gun owners” and “easy ammo for the anti’s.”

          I can only imagine the criticism they would get if they were walking around $TOWN_IN_TEXAS open carrying handguns and one, some or all got arrested on the specific statute as it exists.

          I would be comfortable on the bet that the anti’s would have a field day with that.

          It could jeopardize them legally carrying again with a permit, and perhaps even actual ownership / purchasing of guns. Right NOW it may not…but the way they go back 30 years use stuff before laws were based to tweak away gun rights is alarming.

          I think the TTAG cries of “They had it coming, they were breaking the law” would be, figuratively, deafening. Some might defend them.

          So, as a matter of protesting this particular law (OC handguns illegal, OC rifles legal), I would not think that strategy would be any better received than what they have been doing.

          Just a guess, though.

        • Can’t disagree with JR here.

          Part of the problem is the phrase “law abiding.” It sounds virtuous, but some of the laws are bad. (This is why I can’t stand it when the NRA prates that we should enforce the laws we already have. Then a new gun control law gets passed… and they apparently are suddenly in favor of it, now that it’s a law.)

    • The problem with civil disobedience and openly carrying contrary to the law is that an arrest doesn’t just land you in the slammer for a day or two like other protests. The end result would be the loss of all rights to firearms for the rest of your life. That’s too steep a price to pay.

  20. Want to promote open carry?

    Stop labelling people who open carry with fvcking idiotic names like “chipotle ninja” etc. It only exposes those who label as the quasi rights supporter they claim to be.

    It’s about the right, not the method. The only common denominator is that they are both reserved to the individual. Support the right by not criticizing the method.

    • Right on 100%.

      Having rules on how a right should be exercised is not exercising a right; it’s asking for approval.

      This is even more pointed when it comes to light that the actual facts of the event differ quite dramatically from the reported version that earned the nicknames and criticisms.

  21. Dressing well would help too. I wouldn’t suggest a 3-piece suit in the Texas weather, but what the Chipotle ninjas are wearing doesn’t cut it.

    Also

    • No “low ready” – sling it, don’t have a mag inserted, hell, leave the bolt open if possible.

    • The shirt idea is good. If you have a bright “Texas Open Carry” shirt – that gets the message across.

    • The open range day idea is excellent. Get some cash together to sponsor the ammo/range time/rental guns and so on, and pass out flyers/vouchers to the general public. That actually should be done everywhere. I’d love to have an open range day here. I’ve got a lot of friends who don’t carry/own and have never fired a gun. I’d love to round them all up, take them to the range, and show them how it’s done.

  22. There is a difference between observing your rights and observing your rights with the intent to further them. One might involve a little more effort than the other, as it deals with making people who might be predisposed against what you are doing comfortable with the idea of it.

    Hygiene, dress, manners, and knowledge are all important (like it or not) when you are trying to change people’s minds. If you go into a job interview wearing sweatpants and a wifebeater “because you can”, you’re probably not going to get the job.

  23. Dress look and act like you are a business person. Then open carry a pistol only. Get them used to that first, then the rest will be a lot easier.

    • “Then open carry a pistol only.”

      OCT can’t do that legally because OC of handguns is illegal there, but rifle OC is legal.

      That is PRECISELY the law they are trying to change because it is silly.

      • That’s why I rather liked the suggestion someone made upthread to use to wear Tshirts that say “I’d rather be carrying a pistol.” That makes the point very clearly. The answer to the question “why is that guy carrying a freaking rifle around!?!?” is written on his (or her) chest, and any “inopportune” photographs showing the front side of the guy will have that statement in them.

  24. Empty holster protest (with OWB holsters)! Students for Concealed Carry have been doing this and it sends the message they want even more so than what SCC uses it for. SCC is lobbying for concealed carry but the empty holster elicits the questions we want: “Why do you have a holster?” “Well, sir/mam I’m allowed to carry concealed but barred by law from carrying openly.”

    The presence of a gun is gone, taking out the “OMG, it’s a gun” reaction away.

  25. I like the picnics, pamphlets & range day invitations ideas. We don’t need angry confrontational morons in camos. In Texas, where you can’t OC pistols, sling the rifles (w/o mags, bolts back, chamber flags are nice too, walnut and blued steel is good PR) and lock them in the car at lunch. Don’t put businesses in the middle of this, they generally don’t see a problem with whatever the local laws are until we get them on the 6:00 news. I’ll still shop at Target and carry concealed, if anyone ever notices, it will be obvious why.

  26. ” Imagine 100 or so people showing up to a Mothers Demand Action rally. It would be a great way to silently show our disapproval and disagreement in a way that they couldn’t claim was particularly threatening.”

    Yes, they could and would claim they were being threatened. They are propagandists, they lie as a matter of course. They crop photographs, take things out of context and they make things up (like terrified Chipotle customers). We can not counter their agenda by appeasement or by searching for some mythical, foolproof way to be inoffensive. They are implacable, they will lie about anything we do or don’t do. We can only counter them with the truth, with facts. Open Carry Texas is doing just this.

    Long after the criticisms about the physical appearance, dress and bearing of these demonstrators are forgotten, their demonstrations will be remembered for what they are. Law abiding, peaceful Americans exercising their natural/civil/constitutional rights.

      • Shannon DID try to make the claim online (though not report it to the police) that Alan was a stalker.

        We underestimate their lack of integrity and their willingness to lie and sensationalize at our peril.

  27. I agree that the Texas model of open carry campaign is counter productive and a bad choice in the cause of 2ed amendment support.

    The root of a much of the problem is a basic split between country people and city people. This has a history that goes back thousands of years to the first cities and it can be seen in the code of laws from the ancient Middle East.

    Trying to impose country ways on a city mindset is never going to be easy and antagonizing the city folks nod scareing them with your low ready long guns in tactical camo mall ninja gear is just not a smart move… Do your demos further out in small towns and carry shouldered lever action rifles or better yet do it on horseback with your lever action Winchester in a saddle scabbard. And you will do far more for the cause.

    • It so happens I don’t *have* a lever action rifle. I am sure many others don’t, also. Do you propose to cut the number of demonstrators in half? Will a bolt gun meet your criteria?

      I will again second the suggestion of wearing T-shirts reading “I’d rather be carrying a pistol” to instantly explain why one is doing this (in states where you are LG carrying because you can’t carry a handgun openly).

  28. Sure. Stop open carrying long arms, and develop a point you can actually get across. Or just admit you’re actually working with Bloomberg. Either one.

  29. Here’s my answer to this whole “Chipotle ninja” controversy.

    If you’re going to OC, get a haircut and a nice styling (something blow-dried), go on a diet, wear a snappy tuxedo like Bond, James Bond (none of that rented crap) and shiny patent leather shoes, carry a $10,000 Beretta trap gun, speak with a slight British accent, look really, really (really) metrosexual and you’re GTG.

    Because you don’t want to offend the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.

  30. I have a CCP. I may be wrong but I feel protecting my firearm to be among the highest priorities for responsible carry. Open carry, to me, is a liability for more than one reason. The fact that a criminal does not know for sure if a person is armed is the main crime deterring factor. Open carry in urban environments, though your right to exercise, to me makes you a target for a sucker punch type attack for the purpose of stealing you gun. With that said, to each their own.

  31. Oh, you mean do a “Reverse Shannon” (to coin a phrase) on the chains? I think that’s a STELLAR idea. And the materials would cost little to next-to-nothing.

  32. OC activists gain ground like any other movement. Much of it is public relations.
    They use tools such as surveys, studies, and fictional crisis. Marijuana users are doing this right now. As a whole, marijuana consumers have managed to get their product to move from unthinkable to policy (state level) in a matter of about twelve years. This traversing the Overton Window was done incrementally. OC activists could probably benefit from the lessons of the marijuana consumer movement.

  33. “That said, irrespective of your position on gun rights, it’s safe to say that most people would agree that a person walking into a local restaurant in a metropolitan area with a rifle slung over their shoulder is an unusual event (in rural areas, such a sight would be more commonplace).”

    In my experience, growing up in rural Texas, not even in deer season, did I ever see anyone take a rifle or shotgun in a store or restaurant – they’d be left in the truck. It is just not normal or expected and makes bad PR with probable loss, at best zero gain, for advancing gun rights.

    In Texas, their best bet would be an empty holster with a flyer to pass out on the stated position of both gubernatorial candidates (both for open carry, btw).

    • The only good reason to open carry is to intimidate politicians and police. And that’s why we need to do it frequently and very publicly. Scared politicians are good politicians.

  34. “Is There a Better Way for Open Carry Advocates to Get Their Point Across?”….

    Yeah, start by not looking like these 2 guys.

  35. I know I’ll likely get some flak for this but here goes.
    1> One recurring theme I hear from those against OC is telling the carriers to dress nicely. While I get what you’re saying, I also see that the point is to normalize OC. Being that these are everyday normal people ostensibly going about normally, then it would seem to me that dressing as you typically do would be normal. That said since attention is an important facet of a protest, I would be in favor of marchers wearing similar shirts with the groups message.
    2> For those that are telling people to lose weight all I can say is STFU. This goes back to the preceding point. Normal every day people doing normal everyday things. Sorry that not everyone has a Bruce Lee physique. Again, normal everyday people. As I look around at the people at the park I am sitting at I see fat, skinny, tall, short and a number of combinations of these. Deal with it, seriously.
    3> About the flags… Well I’m in the middle on this one. Considering that its a protest and you are attempting to bring attention to your cause then yeah I can see how a flag would help with that. Gadson, American, Gonzalez flags are all pertinent to the message.
    4> How you carry I would say is much more important than any of the above. I would imagine that anyone that complains that carrying a rifle for hours in a sling is not comfortable has either never served in the military or are doing it wrong. I have humped many miles at sling arms with various weapons with no issues. If you think that you can’t go about your day normally including eating without surrendering control of your weapon I would argue you’re doing it wrong. As for scabbards, great idea just not everyones cup of tea so to speak and not everyone can afford one. (before you start saying that if you can’t afford it crap, let me just say again: everyday normal people. That means varying incomes, the moment you say that you’re in the wrong as I would say that those in economically challenged positions are the ones that would need a firearm the most since they typically live in higher risk areas)
    5> Safety First. Always. No seriously Safety Mother Effers. Unless you happen to be on patrol than there is no need to have your rifle in low ready. I don’t care if you have a mag in and a round chambered since well hello an unloaded firearm is just a paperweight. However if its at sling arms why would you need to handle it so much, you have a sling, learn how to use it for all its purposes which while it includes helping to steady your weapon while firing, its also for carrying to keep your hands free. If you can’t keep your hands off it, I would suggest you sell/trade said sling towards the aforementioned scabbard as you’re to responsible enough to use a sling.
    6> Stores, restaurants and other places of business… Pretty sure I already covered the everyday normal people doing everyday normal things. That said, it is always a good idea to call an eatery ahead of time to warn of the size of the group. Tends to be a good idea for large groups regardless of being armed. Be polite spend money and tip well, it’s called common courtesy, look it up.
    7> If you can’t express yourself very well then STFU. Let someone else in the group possibly a spokeshole speak instead, this allows a single uniform message to be put out. Remember that thats what its all about the message you are trying to send.
    8> For everyone that has said something to the effect of “if I ever saw someone with their weapon at the low ready I would blankety blank blank.” Really? Just think about what a keyboard commando statement that is. You’re not gonna do shit and you’re not impressing anyone with such language.
    I’ll finish with this. Yes I intentionally tried to be an ass, but that does not negate what I’ve typed. The biggest problem I see amongst POTG vs antis is the same I see with Dems vs GOP. One side is basically united in message no matter how misguided it may be while the other is constantly bickering amongst themselves about how best to do what they all agree must be done.
    Thats all folks. (I have served in the Army And Marines. I am an Independent as none of the parties represent this spics views completely. Yes opinions are like assholes and they all stink except for mine.)

    • Excellent post. Thanks.

      “it is always a good idea to call an eatery ahead of time to warn of the size of the group.”

      Which they did, just for the record. They were there with the blessing of the manager.

  36. When you open carry and protest, why not try, wear a sport coat , tie and Docker? You know, as if you want to make a good impression and get hired?

    Seems most of the open carry participants always seem to dress for the antis stereotypes. Are we sure open carry isn’t being funded by Bloomberg?

    • If you showed up wearing a tie, Dockers and a sport jacket for a programmer’s job in some places, you’d be laughed at. If you showed up with a tie at Ben and Jerry’s HQ, somebody would cut off the tie with a scissor.

      Don’t let your own clothing prejudices blind you, or somebody else might decide that your attire makes you some kind of menace or some kind of fool.

      • Ralph…..

        You are having a very hard time understanding this key point.

        We are trying to win popular opinion over to our side. It DOES matter how we present ourselves.

        Get over it.

      • I’m right in the middle of Ralph and Icabod,
        There’s no need to wear a sport coat or tie, or even shined shoes.
        However, you don’t need to look like a “Bum” either. Jeans are fine as long as they don’t look like you have been wearing them since 1945. Those ragged holes the teeny boppers like in their jeans look like crap too! Remember, your not going to a punk rock blowout!
        No need for a dress shirt, just a plain short or long sleeve sport shirt, and I like the idea of a slogan, or message on a sweater or shirt.
        If you go in a group, you should all look similar, by that I mean, if one person looks like he’s been homeless for 10 years, that’s the person they will notice and remember.

  37. Are we advocating the carry of fire arms openly for protest or for protection? Take for example the statement: “That said, I’d prefer if people would put their long guns in scabbards in urban areas or carry without a round in the chamber in urban areas.” First, a scabbard could be construed as a method of concealment. Most open carry laws are very clear on long guns about specifically what can and cannot be done. More so however what is the point of carrying a fire arm unloaded? I know the safety nazis are going to jump all over this – but why not “open carry” rifles in locked hard cases with the ammunition in a backpack? That way its not threatening at all. Not that it serves ANY defensive point, and at that point, what really are we protesting for? The right to look cool?

    Sure, shirts are a great idea – lets look like every church or tourism group. How many of you stop and read the pro-life or pro-choice signs protesters hold on the side of the road? I don’t.

    Welcome to shooting day at the range is great, it doesn’t support open carry or even self defense, just lets have some fun with guns. Isn’t that somewhat the image we are trying to avoid? A bunch of lunatics who want to keep dangerous objects because they “have fun”. That isn’t part of the 2A. I am overtly over simplifying I know, but protest messages have to be simple.

    The BEST “protest” for open carry is simply to open carry. We are not campaigning for the inclusion of an amendment to the Constitution. We already have the right. It is then a matter of exercising the right and in doing so demonstrating to the public that is unaware that we are in fact sane, safe and intelligent.

    Places with restriction: carry as allowed – and with it reform will come. OCT has done just that – and succeeded.

    • An addendum:

      Saying these protests should be held away from metropolitan areas because the population there wont like it is exactly what is wrong with this discussion. People are already fine with fire arms in rural areas. The people IN THE CITY are who need to see the message. Look at Illinios or NY as an example of the metropolitan population being the decision maker. Or do we only want to open carry in rural areas. If you think fire arms have no place in a city – then you are with Bloomberg.

      Additionally – you are looking at a photograph of two individuals who posed for a photograph – standing next to four police officers. They are posing. Saying they shouldn’t pose for pictures or take them because they can become ammunition for the anti-gun crowd would go both ways – you shouldn’t take pictures with hunted trophies, at the range or with your guns either for that reason. “Oh, but its different because I …” bullshit. This is the USA – no one is above anyone else in this matter. If you are see below:

      Lastly, telling people to dress a certain way or “be presentable” because it suits YOUR opinion of responsibility or success puts you on par with people like Bloomberg – there are the sane rational good upstanding (and wealthy) who deserve to live one way, and the rest of the [unwashed, poor and stupid] masses can live another. IF we argue that the 2A is a natural right, then anyone can have it, and therefor ANYONE can come as they are. If you don’t believe that, seriously rethink your position on “liberty” and what it means.

      • KOTA…..read this slowly, twice.

        The point is that we are trying to win over people to our point of view. To do that we must do everything to make them consider our point of view, including not looking like freakin’ idiots who might be candidates for the loonie bin.

        If you don’t understand this, there is nothing that can be done for you.

        Invincible ignorance is so sad to see.

  38. Chris Hernandez put out a similar article a few days back. He pretty much said that the manner in which they are carrying is similar to how soldiers carried and people are right to be alarmed. He suggested that people sling rifles across their backs

  39. I see 2 major crippling problems with OCT that could easily be fixed.

    1) Why is it legal to open carry a long gun in TX? Because long guns occasionally need to go places. Places like a shooting range or a hunting lease. So instead of randomly dragging a gun into chipotle for no reason other than “it’s legal”, organize a shooting competition at a range or other appropriate place, and situate the parking an appropriate distance away to provide ample opportunity to be noticed. You might even stop for lunch on the way. THEN what you’re doing is actually somewhat legitimate. Showing off a loaded gun that you aren’t about to use is not.

    2) What was the whole point again? To garner support LOCALLY and to normalize open carry LOCALLY, right? So what POSSIBLE good could come from taking photos at all, and especially displaying them nationally? NONE! Guess who you won’t find anywhere near the legitimate demonstration I defined above? Shannon, Bloomberg, or any of the others. By posting the pictures online, you’re practically gift wrapping the fuel they need for their fire. Stop it!

    • 1)It is legal to open carry in Texas for the same reason its legal to open carry anywhere else in the country (that it is legal). It has NOTHING to do with going to the range. OCT protests are for reform – to get state legislators to legalize the open carry of handguns and not just long guns (because long guns were obvious and therefor would allow the public to know who was armed).

      2) They DID garner support locally. Not only do both candidates for Governor now support reform for open carry now, but no where they went had a problem with them. These protests MADE open carry one of the top issues in the Texas Legislature this year – to reform and allow pistol carry, a pro-gun win. Why did they take photos? Why do hunters take photos or parents of their kids? Just because MDA stole the photos and promoted them nationally does not mean OCTC/OCT did. The two gentlemen you see here were posing next to 4 uniformed police officers. They don’t normally walk around at the low ready – but taking photos with and without the cops: they posed, just like anyone else would.

      They called ahead and got permission from store owners – who still support them. Chipotle nationally may ask gun owners not to come – but the local owner still allows open carry in his establishment. Their movement has grown and has received a great deal of positive press and support at the local level – which was their target. We can sit back all day at our keyboards and defend that “this is the wrong way to do this” but lets face a real fact – of all the protest methods we have used, this one has worked.

  40. I think that the OCT guys should really consider carrying a bluegun in a holster. If anyone is upset with a piece of plastic in a holster they can be easily shown to be crazy. Combined with the shirt idea it would send a very powerful message.

    • You realize that only gun people know that a blue-gun is not real right? To non-gun people its a gun painted blue, still deadly, still a gun. Not to mention, as I asked before – is the purpose of open carry to protest or to protect ourselves? Walking around with fake guns just proves “we don’t actually need to carry guns to protect ourselves, we just want to be cool”

  41. When you have the body of george rr martin and your 24, nobody will take you seriously. These guys here are void of masculinity and theyre complete clowns. Since nobody ever taught these guys how to be men, here goes…

    1. Dont be a fat slob. Loose weight and look like you know what the word hygiene means. As a libertarian im pissed seeing this guy cause I know my taxes will pay for his mobility scooter in 20 years.

    2. Dress nice. Skip the 511 pants and try dockers. Maybe a polo shirt. Look like a respectable person.

    3. Your not in iraq fighting a war…your making a protest…low ready isnt needed here. It hurts our cause.

    4. Be a man. Dont take selfies.

    5. Where I come from, a man with a gun will ask for permission to enter another mans home. At my game ranch, even my clients ask. Its just a courtesy. Ask the business. If they say no,be respectful and take your business elsewhere or protest in the street.

  42. Rather than tossing a rifle over your shoulder and inciting those of ignorance to outrage, focus your attention on the levers you are pulling in the voting booth Yeah, that would be a great idea

  43. Rather than tossing a rifle over your shoulder and inciting those of ignorance to outrage, focus your attention on the levers you are pulling in the voting booth (Bill Lumbergh) Yeah, that would be a great idea

  44. It is legal in Texas to open carry a black powder pistol. I would also imagine that toy cowboy style cap pistols would be legal as well. So why don’t these guys open carry those in holsters instead. OCT could do their thing with a “weapon” that isn’t going to get people so nervous. Plus if they use the matching shirt idea that would promote the open carry idea much more positively than their AR-15 at low ready. I am going to check into the Every 2nd Matters group. Plus put a link on the Facebook page.

    • “It is legal in Texas to open carry a black powder pistol. “

      Wait, I thought that has been disputed.

      Can someone provide a definitive answer on this one? It comes up a lot.

  45. It’s been said, but I think being presentable is the first thing that needs to change. that doesn’t mean you have to wear a suit, but at the very least a pair of khakis and a polo.

    Secondly, the people who protest need to be more approachable to the fence sitters. No “come and take it” no Gadsden flags. I agree with those sentiments, but fence sitters can be scared away by them.

    I actually think it would be better in places like Texas for them to carry big fake guns on there hips. Brightly colored toy guns might be a good idea. It brings attention to what we want which is handgun open carry, and maybe softens people to having discussions about guns. Being fun, and approachable is important to fence sitters. It destroys the anti’s narrative. That, and life is too short to let the control freaks make us mad all the time. Better to laugh at them and how ridiculous they are, which they hate more than anything anyway. Normalization is also an issue, but I think that will come about over time just in general as more people can open carry handguns in places like Texas.

    • At the TX GOP convention, a group walked around with carrots in holsters–Open Carrot. I heard people got a kick out of that.

  46. I open carry daily, but I’m also usually dressed in semi to professional clothes. Slacks, button up shirt/polo tucked in, I often have a neck tie on and dress shoes. Bottom line, if I’m open carrying, my shirt is tucked in and I look semi-professional. It gives the impression to people that I’m not a threat and easily approachable, while at the same time advocating/sharing our 2nd amendment rights. If you’re getting asked often if whether or not you’re a LEO because of the way you’re dressed, I think that’s the best approach.

  47. This’ll get buried, but I don’t care.

    How do I put this…

    The guy on the right, his fashion-statement… It really isn’t doing anything for him. Ugly cowboy boots, jeans, and a t-shirt that just looks bad…

    The guy on the left… He needs a shave, walk out of the restaurant, and hit the treadmill.

    If you’re going to open carry for a political statement, the least you could do would be to put on a clean suit and tie, and look like you’re a civilized human being, and not someone who just walked away from playing the world series of world of warcraft…

    • You characterize their appearance correctly,

      But it’s not necessary to go all the way to wearing a suit to look presentable or, as you put it, “civilized”. Even a clean Tshirt and non-holey jeans would work better than this. (A shirt with actual buttons would work even better. A tie and jacket? Overkill.)

  48. My favorite thing about this post is how it refutes those who kept telling me that nobody uses the phrase “Chipotle Ninja” and that it would never catch on.

    Hah.

    Sweet vindication.

  49. I’ve said it before, training pistols in holsters. They are bright blue or red and will be noticed above an empty holster. I’m fairly certain they sell rifle versions as well if that’s how you want to roll. Meanwhile, you can still CC your real pistol.

  50. If I were them, I’d take my upper off and throw the lower on a single point. Not very threatening, easy to see, lower counts as a rifle 🙂 throw a mag in if you like..

  51. Way late to the thread and didn’t read the comments yet, so this may have been mentioned–

    At the recent Texas GOP convention, long gun carry was not allowed, so four cheerful, neatly dressed men did an “Open Carrot” walk around inside the hall. They wore holsters with carrots in them. Sounds silly, but it was a non-threatening way to interact with party officials and officeholders and get the point across.

  52. Just do what I do,and that is to wear a blackhawk paddle holster for my favorite handgun but I WEAR IT EMPTY…. a lot of people ask me “what kind of gun is that for?” and a conversation starts with my answer, “A 1911 Colt handgun designed by John Browning”….and then we are off to the races wether they are for or against. Best of all, NO ONE CAN FEEL THREATENED, RIGHT? But I get the point across.
    Robert Seddon
    Mineral, Va

  53. Let me make a point that a lot of people overlook, even you failed to mention it in your article.
    I’m a 20 year old (from Texas and a college student, though that’s off topic and I’m not here to argue for campus carry, though I am an advocate for it.) and as is, you must be 21 years of age to take a concealed carry course or even purchase a pistol through a licensed FFL holder. Now, as a 20 year old, because I do not have the right to carry a concealed pistol (and because it’s, as far as I know, not possible to conceal carry a long gun) I have absolutely no possible way to defend myself while I’m out and about, other than having the right to carry my rifle with me. This, I think, is the biggest problem I can see as someone who falls under this demographic, many of you gun owners whom think open carriers are idiots, (even though most of you probably won’t change your mind and will probably advocate for me to just go unarmed and hope for the best) I hope that this will shed some light on your obsessive fear mongering over organizations like Open Carry Texas that advocate for the freedom to open carry pistols.
    My hope is that, even though it will be long after I am over age 21, that this country will come to its senses and understand that the only way to prevent crime, is for Everyone being able to defend themselves.
    (And before I get snide comments on children under 18 carrying firearms, I would like to suggest the fact that it is their parents duty, and hopefully their obligation to protect their child’s life. Therefore children don’t need to be able to carry; but age 18 and older should have the right to.)
    Thanks for reading and hopefully this will have shed some light on the situation that some Americans face with your aggressive attitude towards us. ^_^

  54. Question of the Day: Is There a Better Way for Open Carry Advocates to Get Their Point Across?

    Yes for starters.

    Sling your Rifles across your back.
    Keep your damn hands off them until you are met with deadly force.
    If you handle your rifle or pistol in front of me that could be considered a Deadly Threat.
    In my state if a cop sees me handling my pistol in OC, he can consider it a Deadly threat and will probably shoot me.
    The same should go for rifles.

    I don’t dispute your right to bear arms (including and especially rifles) but
    I question your judgement to bring them into Restaurants and Stores.

    You should be working more directly on getting OC for your pistols and don’t think Parading Around with OC Rifles is the way to do it.

    Talk to your legislatures.
    Do you have a list to send email and phone calls?

    Your laws are not going to get changed unless you lobby your state legislature yourself.

  55. If you want a cool pro-2A T-Shirt, talk to Russki Kyle about it. He knows a guy.
    On a more serious note, I agree with the shooting sports beginner’s classes. Rent out some .22s, preach the four rules like Moses preached the 10, and most of all, LET THEM SHOOT. There’s no point in a boring theory class, that will stop people from coming back. Make it fun, have some reactive targets and use targets without a human silhouette.

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