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.
They’re know as the Hell’s Saints, a Detroit-area-based group who travel the state and make planned walks displaying handguns on their hips and rifles slung over their shoulders.
The stated goal: to educate citizens about their Second Amendment right to openly carry firearms.
The “optics” are good. The open carriers come across as safe, dedicated, informed and outside the “establishment”. At one point, a DPD cruiser stops to investigate the open carriers as they walk along. A police officer states that they know of the open carriers, and understand their rights. The group is unmolested, and continues their walk. The police never drew their weapons, and didn’t require anyone to disarm. The message is clear: You have the right, and the police cannot take it from you. A female member of the group remarks that police time could be spent in better ways.
The group is multi-racial. It practically screams urban, cool, and hip.
The statements that flash on the screen are largely positive and informative. The last message is that open carry of handguns is legal in 44 states, 13 of which require a permit. Combined with Police Chief Craig‘s endorsement of using firearms for self defense, this is a potent message to the people of Detroit.
This video will be a powerful tool for open carry groups across the nation. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were shown to all the legislators in Texas, Florida, and South Carolina, who are on the front line of the open carry movement. Texas is expected to pass an open carry bill in 2015. This video could make a difference in what kind of laws they pass. When Texas becomes an open carry state, there will be more states with “constitutional carry” than there will be that ban open carry.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.