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By Will Mitchell

As a rural Alabama civilian I’ve never experienced any type of major crime. Never has my home been burglarized, never have I experienced an armed robbery, and never have I ever felt like my life, or my family’s lives been in danger. But as times change so does my opinion of society. I began thinking, “What if my life was in danger, all because someone wanted to take something that was mine?” So about a year ago I made the decision to visit my local county sheriff’s office and apply for an Alabama pistol permit. The process was quick and hassle free and I became a permit holder in under twenty minutes . . .

Having grown up around guns I feel like I have a sensible amount of knowledge on gun safety, but as much as it shames me to admit, I am in fact not an expert and a pistol was an entirely new tool in my tool belt. I consulted several close friends who I knew carried every day including my boss who I often see put his gun in a drawer in his desk. He informed me that his son had a small pistol for sale.

I contacted him and bought one of the cheapest (both in appearance and price) firearms I’ve ever purchased, a Jimenez Arms J.A. 380 for everyday carry. The slim profile and inside the waistband holster helped me “blend into the crowd” as some people would put it. After three trips to the local firing range I became comfortable with the gun and was ready to carry on a daily basis.

Why the background story? Because as my boss and I entered our local Piggly Wiggly to stock up on spare ribs to cook for the Fourth of July, we turned a corner onto an aisle to see two boys — emphasis on the boys — each carrying revolvers on their hips and I was immediately taken back. There was no way these boys were any older than 19 and I could tell by their demeanor they thought they were, “Billy Badasses” with these revolvers in big leather holsters hanging down their hips.

As we walked by we gave nods and they nodded in return. But as we walked into the next aisle, my boss said, “Boys must think they’re hot stuff carrying those little things around.” “Little things!?” I thought to myself, those pistols ran halfway down their thighs! He proceeded to tell me that both guns were .22 caliber, and that he owned the same ones. These were simple guns, used to shoot snakes in the yard, not something you strap to your belt on a trip to the grocery store.

As we concluded our shopping and made our way to the register, I noticed Billy the Kid and his partner checking out just two registers to the left of us, so naturally I inconspicuously watched them. The owner of the store walked out of his office and stood several feet behind one of the open carriers. The tension in the air could have been cut with a knife. Nothing was said, nothing was done, but every aisle these boys walked down immediately cleared out. Little did anyone in the store know I had more firepower in my waistband than the two combined.

As a strongly conservative Republican I am not the type to put down other people’s beliefs like most left-wing liberals feel the necessity to nowadays, but in my personal opinion, open carry is an irresponsible and unnecessary way to carry that basically screams, “Look at me I have a gun!” As the day went on I couldn’t help but wonder why these two felt the need to strap their guns to their hips on the way to the grocery store.

Suppose these wanna-be cowboys carried their .22s to protect the innocent shoppers of Piggly Wiggly. Any gunman would immediately target them, then be armed with two more weapons. Or what if they wanted to do harm and were scoping out the place? Not sure how well that would have gone seeing as every person in the grocery store was already suspicious of them including the management and at least one armed citizen: me.

I’m not a writer by any means. I failed English Comp 2 at Auburn University my freshman year of college. But if this story caught your attention let the moral of it be twice as attention grabbing: if anyone but you knows that you’re carrying a pistol, you’re doing it wrong.

This is a summer content contest entry. Click here for rule and email your entry before midnight July 31.

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  1. Don’t tell me, let me guess.
    They were too young to get CC permits, so they carried in the only way the law allowed, but that’s not good enough for you.

    EDIT: Well, Alabama does one thing right, you need to be 18 not 21 for a CWP

      • Here in lovely North Carolina, we’re not allowed to own pistols at all until 21, and the peculiar “Pistol Purchase Permit” system is still in place.

        It’s downright irresponsible lawmaking too. We’e got troubles with snakes in the east, bears in the mountains, and coyotes throughout the whole state. Even in the urban areas surrounding Raleigh and Charlotte, there are areas where gun ownership is just a necessary part of dealing with troublesome wildlife.

        • Raise a little hell with your Sheriff and impress upon him that you are tired of his dumbass lobbying the legislature to keep the PPP’s in tact. Then get your friends to do it too.

          Most of the Sheriffs in our state are the reason the pistol purchase permit wasn’t repealed in the last legislative session when so many other positive changes were made to our gun laws.

        • We’re not allowed to buy guns from FFLs until 21 in NC. An 18 year old can buy a handgun in a private sale and carry it openly if so desired.

    • There’s a new mythology afoot that makes concealed carry the default mode, and open carry of a holstered sidearm into something rude or threatening. This is baseless.

      • The SCOTUS says otherwise, that open carry is the constitutional default and that concealed carry can be regulated.

        • Which states have RKBA in their Constitutions with an exception like “but this doesn’t mean you have a right to conceal/hide one on your person”?

        • Damn little that SCOTUS has expelled in the last few decades is actually Constitutional, responsible, or logical.

    • Perhaps these “little things” as your friend so casually derided are the only firearms the young men in question own. Concealed carrying an 8″ revolver is quite a feat. Would you deny them the right to carry because they can’t afford a carry style handgun? Or maybe, they just don’t feel the need to be worried about scaring the “Muggles”. The reason open carry isn’t accepted everywhere anymore is because WE let it get that way.

      • definitly, the shop owner should have been more worried about the concealed carrier. should you be worried about the guy you can see the pistol or the one that is trying to hide they have one?

  2. I see people quite frequently open carry out here in Nevada, especially the more rural areas outside of Vegas. It’s perfectly normal and perfectly fine.

    • ^Exactly. He kinda sounds like a anti-gunner, honestly. To paraphrase, “I am unfamiliar with people (visibly) carrying guns, therefore I think it isn’t right and shouldn’t be allowed!”

      See how it sounds like a liberal’s argument?

    • Let this gentleman hide in the closet, if that’s what makes him comfortable. Because we can see how well that worked for homosexuals, right? Until they stood out and demanded their rights nobody gave a damn what happened to them, now they have Constitutionally protected class status from SCOTUS.

      Sorry, Will. I have a Nevada CCW and I carry openly about half the time, concealed when I just don’t want to risk making a fuss in somebody’s shop. Sometimes it’s just rude to frighten the muggles, other times you have to be willing to get in their face and and SHOUT, “The right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed!”

  3. I agree with you, but I am in the minority on this site. Do yourself a favor, though, an get yourself a better carry pistol. I would not consider a Jimenez safe to carry with a round in the chamber. I got my Kahr 9 mm for $315 used, all in, and new Taurus PT-111’s can be had for under three bills. Just don’t get anything without a firing pin block.

    • Eh I don’t know that I’d put a Taurus on the same plain as a Kahr. At this point used Shields are just north of $300 as well.

      • That particular Taurus seems to be one of “the good ones”. I picked one up on a whim a few months back for $200 (that seems to be the going price at many places now), and it’s been flawless so far. Every review or video I’ve seen about the PT-111 G2 seems to say the same thing, that it’s a a great gun, and even better now that it’s half the price of the competition.

  4. Absolutely wrong Mr. Fudd. Your mistaken opinion would not bother me if we lived a society where the right to bear arms was respected and open carry was perfectly legal everywhere, but we do not. Keep your ignorant mouth shut, please.

    • He expressed a valid opinion, and you responded with rudeness. Perhaps it is you who should keep your mouth shut.

      • “He expressed a valid opinion, and you responded with rudeness. Perhaps it is you who should keep your mouth shut.”

        He expressed an ignorant comment and was put in his place for being a FUDD. The author is a danger to fellow carriers rights because he is afraid of another person, who were thankfully different from him, for not hiding their guns. If you are scared of young boys with guns and you do not live in a ghetto, you may be too stupid to walk around with a firearm.
        The original poster should have said that the articles author was a coward for assuming that another person grocery shopping with a gun is some kind of desperado, when he is doing the same thing, but he is carrying concealed how a criminal would. Threat assess of course but don’t compare them to murderers, like Billy the Kid, for just open carrying.

      • He expressed a valid opinion

        I disagree. One’s opinion is not valid simply because it is his opinion. His opinion was totally devoid of, well, pretty much every form of intelligence on the subject.

        Would you say that a “flat earther’s” opinion was valid simply because he held it? That electricity doesn’t exist? That Hillary isn’t an alien? Okay, the jury is still out on that one.

    • No offense, but I’m not sure you and Mr. Fleas understand what “Fudd” means. A Fudd is a casual gun owner who only owns shotguns or rifles for hunting and thinks that is all the 2nd Amendment is about. They tend to look down on people that own what they consider ‘non-sporting’ guns like handguns or modern semi-auto rifles. Fudds generally don’t care about gun control laws as long as those laws don’t affect their hunting hobby.

      A Fudd is not likely to even own a semi-auto pistol, let alone carry one concealed every day like the author.

      I do think he was a bit presumptuous about the kids. For all he knows, they may have stopped by the grocery store on the way to or from an excursion in the woods or a fishing trip where snakes and other critters would make a .22 pistol handy, and CCW may not have been an option for them. Who knows.

      • And, it’s not an acronym, so quit writing it in all caps. It’s from “Elmer Fudd” a proper name.

        (Part of the problem is it gets confused with FUD, which IS an acronym and stands for “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.”)

        • Actually, FUD is quite apropos to the position the author has taken.

          Also, how is “Billy Badasses” any different from “ammosexuals”? When I can’t tell the POTG apart from the antis, there’s a problem.

        • The person I am thinking of (who isn’t who I was replying to) wrote “a FUDD” so he probably meant Fudd. That’s my guess, since “a” makes little sense before “FUD.”

          Either intended meaning could work, as you made me realize: The OP is certainly suffering from FUD (or is overly concerned that others might), and at the same time, seems to have the Fudd attitude of only certain guns being “proper”

          I agree we can do without this bullshit coming from people pretending to be on our side.

    • A man expresses an opinion and you respond with bile and vitriol. You go straight for the ad-hominem attack in fact, not even bothering with a “I disagree and this is why”. It’s not even “I disagree and I think you’re an idiot”. You just go straight for the jugular. “You’re an idiot. And by the way you’re stupid and your feet smell.”

      Flinging insults is the perfect way to argue your point. Congratulations.

      • You have to be willing to protect the rights of stupid people. Progressives are just gonna keep raising their measuring stick until we all fall below what they consider a person. By that point they won’t even consider it murder when they turn the gas valves.

  5. I am not now a ccw owner nor do I open carry. This is primarily due to the state where I live. Here in NJ, NO ONE can get a ccw permit unless he is politically connected to the right people or a celebrity or wealthy or all three. And I mean no one. That leaves me out.

    As soon as I am able I will move away from this state for that reason among others. I will move to a state where I can carry concealed if I choose. I have no real interest in open carry for several reasons; I think it unnecessarily antagonizes and scares many folks, in a worse case scenario I think an open carrier would be a first target likely ambushed, and it is no ones business if I am carrying or not.

    Those who choose to open carry to make a political point or “because I can”, well OK. If your point is political, I think you may be offending many of the folks we are trying to convert to our way of thinking. Just my opinion, worth about what you paid for it.

    • The issue with the whole “open carry=first target” is that you’re assuming that a spree shooter is going to know that there are open carriers around, know who they are, or are going to look for them before they start shooting. Generally, it seems like they just walk in and start shooting regardless of who’s present.

      • I get so tired of the same old bullshit line about scaring the crap out of all the squeamish folks. HORSE SHIT! Quit making broad assumptions based on little to zero experience. If you live in a free state (like Alabama) dress appropriately, act like a normal – respectable human being, and carry on for god’s sake. Most of them will likely assume you’re a cop anyway. I’ve never had anyone look at me twice and I’ve been consistently OC’ing for years. I don’t understand this mentality that we’ve got to be concerned with everyone’s feelings! Were blacks worried about what whitey thought when they demanded equal rights?!?! Did gays peer out of the closet to see if anyone would be offended or did they break down the door?!?! God people! Act like you’ve got passion for what you believe in! [email protected] people’s feelings!

        • I’m doing it wrong? I’ve OC’d a Glock 30 and a Kimber 1911 for the last seven years. I started mainly because I could OC a loaded weapon without a permit here in NM.

          I initially felt very conspicuous and thought I might end up getting swatted by a fearful subject or harassed by a freedom hating cop that felt intimidated by a citizen practicing the most important right.

          Nada. Not a problem with the citizens or the local constabulary.

          Now I OC to remind people that not only cops can carry a firearm and be the first responder if a predator attacks a fellow citizen, human or animal.

          For a fellow gun owner to be so bigoted and state definitively that gun owners are doing it wrong when they practice the traditional way of carrying a firearm in this country, (Open Carry was the expected norm for most of our country’s history) is simply….”wrong”.

    • You’re not going to “convert” anyone if they don’t know you are carrying. Open carry is the only way to re-normalize the daily carry of handguns in society. Concealed carry won’t do it. Licensed concealed carry even less so. We concealed our firearms in Ohio. Most people I knew concealed. I carried concealed. Around 2000, I noticed that carrying a concealed firearm was increasingly being charged as a primary charge. We had concealed handgun licensing law by 2005. Ohioans had forgotten how many of us were carrying for generations because we all concealed our firearms! Now, the only way to exercise my right to bear a handgun in Ohio is to do so openly. I open carry because it is more convenient, faster to draw, can act as a deterrent, IMHO encourages other to bear arms, and because I prefer to exercise the right instead of a licensed privilege.

      You are in New Jersey and don’t know the difference between the exercise of a right and the exercise of a privilege or even why it is important. If you don’t intend on learning the difference, please do us all a favor and stay in NJ.

      • Hey asswipe…..I don’t need the likes of you telling me where to stay and how to act!

        Piss off with your advice.

        Open carry if you wish. I’ll do as I wish. It’s not my job to save the world.

        There are many versions of support of the 2nd Amendment. We’re not absolutists here like the gun Taliban or whatever where there is only the “accepted” way of doing things.

        Many folks are not able to open carry for reasons you may not know and probably wouldn’t understand given your rant.

        • Newwave: How have you elevated the level of discourse here with your response to John in Ohio? “Hey asswipe…..I don’t need the likes of you . . . ” “Piss off . . . ”

          “It’s not my job to save the world.” OK, memo to other TTAG: Newwave isn’t interested in helping the PotG advance gun rights.

          “There are many versions of support of the 2nd Amendment.” True; how true. Some are clearly productive; others are counter-productive; and still others an ambiguous mixed bag. No thanks to you for contributing to understanding which are which.

          “We’re not absolutists here like the gun Taliban or whatever where there is only the “accepted” way of doing things.” – I didn’t take John in Ohio saying that OC was the absolute ONLY way to do things; only that it was his opinion that to have an impact on the general public, CC didn’t do much (if anything). If we want to make a positive impression of guns-in-civilian-hands we need to promote OC in a dignified manner.

          Your’s is the most substance-free remark criticizing OC that I’ve seen.

        • Many folks are not able to open carry for reasons you may not know and probably wouldn’t understand given your rant.

          Odd, it’s usually the exact opposite for a myriad of reasons including the law and physical limitations. The only reasons I can’t see OC is if you live in IL, FL, or SC.

        • @Newwave: I think that you misunderstood my comment. Yes, my final paragraph was unnecessarily harsh but I also think that is was retroactively justified through your response to it. I agree that the individual isn’t bound to carry, OC or CC. It is the individual’s inalienable right to do so or not in whatever manner they choose for whatever reason or no reason at all. I am grateful that you support the right to keep and bear arms. I hope that if you do not yet understand the differences between exercising a privilege and exercising a right, that you grow to understand them. If you don’t, you might just be a political liability, in the collective sense, when you move into more gun friendly territory. I support your right to carry or not to carry, openly, concealed, licensed or not. I would also support you if you chose to illegally carry in NJ.

          @MarkPA: Thanks. Yep, you understood what I was trying to convey. 🙂

    • Carrying a concealed firearm suggests to a criminal that you are unarmed. Every study says that criminals will avoid an armed person or home when selecting a victim. I do not understand the advantage of appearing to be unarmed. As Ed Levine, founder of Virginia Open Carry, has stated, the probability of me being a victim of a violent crime is completely unchanged by the fact that I have a gun hidden beneath my shirt. My goal is not to be a victim in the first place.

      I don’t want to have to shoot someone. Few people will attack an open carrier. If you feel better concealing, that’s fine. If I can, I prefer to stop the threat before it turns into a physical reality. If you think that it’s better to stop a threat using your surprise tactics once you’re on your back getting your head smashed in, then that’s your decision.

      Read more:

  6. So your knocking a couple of armed teens because they carried the only way the legal system allowed? I kinda thought that we were all about grass roots, raise em young and whatnot.

  7. The point is, open carry is a RIGHT, like it or not. It is not wise to compromise on any RIGHT, because it is a RIGHT. When you deal with a RIGHT you in essence lower it to a privilege. When RIGHTS become privileges, liberty as an American is dissolved. This is why you may have an opinion about open carry, but why your opinion is of the wrong mindset.

    • To play devils advocate, I do not think it has been settled that open carry, or any “carry”, has been determined to be stated, or intended, a “right” under the 2A…rather, the most important determination that needs to be settled, is “bear” defined federally (then “arms”). Obviously why it varies so much state to state. I do believe it has been settled that certain rights are not absolute, and can be withdrawn based upon one’s actions/in-actions. Hopefully, the proper cases will come to SCOTUS at the right time, or better yet, defined by amendment to the constitution, and in the favor of the law abiding, good people of this country, who enjoy firearm ownership.

      • Please be advised that a person’s rights do not come from the Constitution or its amendments, nor their interpretation by courts. A person’s rights come from God, and are built into them at creation. The job of the law is to recognize and respect those rights. This is the thinking underpinning our founding documents, and to explain it by way of this example, a person has a right to keep and bear arms, and to openly carry them, because it is the nature of man that he must do so. He can’t do otherwise. If you were to step out of your house naked, you would still be openly carrying lethal weapons. You are a dangerous tool-using ape. You are built by God from the ground up to kill (among other functions, of course) with your brain, body, and any tools you can muster. As such, the law would be disrespectful of God’s will if it tried to limit your ability to do this. If God made man so that he is always openly carrying some tool for killing other men, there must be wisdom in this, and who is man to argue? It must be, by nature’s evidence, that the society is superior in which each man respects his neighbor’s right to express his nature in this respect (and each other respect, such as free thought, property ownership, etc.).

        So these boys open carry weapons because they can’t do otherwise. They open carry guns because guns are the natural weapon of this era. To expect them to do otherwise is to expect mankind to be other than as God made us, and that must be folly. That’s ultimately what the second amendment and the Constitution generally is about.

        The telling element of the story above is that two boys carrying their .22 pistols appear to be acting “macho” and “exhibitionist” to the humans around them, rather than normal and natural. The telling element is that store aisles cleared out. It is in fact these other humans, trying to deny that they are carrying weapons, that they are dangerous, that they are near cousins to chimpanzees, who are behaving unnaturally. Whatever else they accomplished, these boys successfully demonstrated the insanity, for lack of a better term, of their neighbors. A sane response (i.e., the response of a thinking creature connected to the reality of nature) would have observed, “Oh, two humans carrying weapons. That’s… about as unusual as a tiger carrying claws. I know I wouldn’t be caught dead without mine.”

        • Childish nonsense. There is no god from which any rights can derive. If there were, why is it so easy to take them away, and so few places in which they exist? We bestow rights on ourselves as a society. That is why we needed a constitution, and why we need people to defend it.

        • We bestow rights on ourselves as a society

          Each individual possesses natural rights as an existing human. You don’t need to believe in a Creator to understand the unalienable rights of the individual, Vee. An individual would have those natural rights even if alone on a deserted island. Rights require no temporal agency beyond human existence. Governments, societies, and other artificial constructs are not alive and cannot posses rights. They cannot bestow rights upon someone or something unless you are prepared to argue that they are gods. They can only posses privileges which are bestowed upon them by humans, possessors of inalienable rights.

        • Childish nonsense. There is no god from which any rights can derive.

          The Declaration of Independence – our nation’s founding document – says otherwise.

          I’ll take that versus the manner in which atheists view individual rights – as demonstrated by their 100,000,000 murder toll in the 20th century.

        • Still baloney, John. As soon as the second person is on that deserted island, if he is bigger than you, he can choose to respect those “rights”, or not. Rights have to be secured, preferably by an agreement among the people. And governments are made up of people.
          By the way, Chip, just because some old men wrote something down a long time ago, don’t make it so. And I will take the the amount of damage and death was caused by true atheists over that caused by religious people in history any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

        • Vee – pathetic idiotic nonsense. Perhaps you’ll be more comfortable in Britain or Australia. You’ll fit right in.

        • So Vee, you’ll take the mass genocide of confirmed athiests Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot and Hitler among others communists, marxists etc. with over a hundred million dead in the last hundred years over people that believe in a higher power?

          You problem Vee is that those in power will use what ever belief system that is convenient to rally the masses to commit mass death to inflict tyranny.

          So the tyrants used some of the “useful idiots” of the past with their belief in a higher power to be used to rally behind a tyrant to commit mass murder and tyranny.

          Now you are simply of another crop of “useful idiots” that believe in no god to be used by tyrants for the purpose of mass murder and tyranny.

          The issue is not whether there is a higher power or not. (I believe there is), it is whether in your particular belief, you allow yourself to be a “useful idiot”. as per Stalin.

        • As a true believer (in the RKBA) and as a God-fearing man, I believe in the “natural rights” are “endowed by our Creator” axiom.

          Perchance, it’s not true; but if not, then it’s a very useful fiction.

          Notwithstanding the proposition – oft read here – that ALL RIGHTS are from God, I believe that there are both:
          – natural rights
          – civil rights
          and these two categories are not mutually exclusive.

          To illustrate, we may – among us god-fearing men – agree that God has granted each individual the right to believe whatever religion he choses and to practice that religion as he chooses. That is a natural right. A civil government may secure that right as a civil right. It is not a right for government to grant. It may guarantee the right if the government so chooses. In the case of the 1A, the right to believe and practice religion is at once a natural and a civi right.

          One of the first rights guaranteed in our Constitution is the right against conviction for treason but for the testimony of at least 2 witnesses to the same overt act or by confession in open court. I hold that God did not ordain the number 2. Perhaps 1 would have been sufficient in his mind; or, maybe he would have insisted on 3. I don’t know. I just don’t believe that the founding fathers in Philadelphia reached agreement on 2 witnesses by Devine inspiration. And so, I hold this right – 2 witnesses minimum – to be a civil right but not a natural right.

          If something of value – sufficient medical care – is neither a natural right nor a civil right then it seems to me silly to speak of it as a right at all. I hold my right to believe and follow my religion as one which must be honored by all men. I hold that I am entitled to this right against 317 million other Americans though they be in agreement to bar me from doing so. This is my natural right. I hold that I am entitled to the right to KBA against the Federal, State and Municipal governments of the US and PA. I do not hold this right against the government of Mexico. There, I hold only the right to keep arms at my place of domicile, but not to carry.

          Now, then, in our debate over the 2A, it behooves us to keep this distinction in mind – i.e., between civil vs. natural rights. Natural rights are a more profound concept. When a right is both natural and civil it is still more profound.

          The right – for example – to an indictment by a grand jury runs – according to current jurisprudence – only vis a vis the Federal government. We hold no such right against a State (Unless, of course, so prescribed by State constitution, generally not the case). The right to indictment by a grand jury is merely a civil right. We the People could – by Constitutional Amendment – either strip ourselves of this right vis a vis the Federal government; or, we could extend it to ourselves vis a vis our State governments. In such a case (a civil right only) a super-majority (of the States) rules.

          It is in the case of the natural right where even a super-majority (of the States) will not prevail over the interests of a minority. E.g., it was a violation of both natural rights and civil rights to deny the RKBA to anyone, including people of color who were persecuted after the Civil War.

          Now, then, can I prove that the RKBA is a “natural right”. I do not find myself equal to the task. Perhaps, I must admit, that this is not true. And, yet, IF it were NOT true, it would be a useful fiction.

          A super-majority of the States acknowledged the 2A as a sacred natural right after the Civil War. Regardless of whatever misgivings they might have held about allowing freedmen to be armed they ratified the 14A. In so doing, they were driven by a firm belief in a natural right that drove them to secure that right to freedmen as a civil right. If by a useful fiction they did the right thing, I am satisfied that the right thing were done.

          If we do not admit of natural rights (even as a useful fiction) then whatever notion of “rights” we might hold must be admitted to as nothing more than a political whim; it is ephemeral. Today we may have a “right” to expensive medical care that neither the nation nor the individual can afford. Tomorrow, we may have no right to believe or worship as we see fit. That strikes me as a dangerous way to govern.

        • Thomas

          Hitler was NOT an atheist. There are notable passages in Mein Kampf where he professes to be a good Catholic doing God’s work (the fact that he clearly wasn’t, doesn’t change his beliefs and doesn’t make him an atheist). And Germany under him was not an atheist society by any means. Even the uniform buttons read “Gott mit uns.”

        • Hitler was an atheist. He was raised Catholic, but rejected both the church and its teachings. He claimed science (human reason) as true religion, and used religion as a tool for the masses. He knew all the right things to say (because of his upbringing), but they were only words, intended to sway the masses to his cause. In the reich that he implemented, he ruthlessly attacked the church, and sought to eradicate it.

          Learn some history.

        • Perhaps SteveinCo. I’ve heard of what you said. But if you take Hitler being a National Socialist, socialists don’t generally believe in G-d, that the Germans yelled Heil Hitler, not Heil G-d, that the primary symbol flown as the essence of Nazi Germany is a symbol common to eastern philosophy, the Swastika, not a cross, I would say actions speak louder than words.

          But even if he was an actual baptised Christian. Committed to the Christ as the son of G-d, he was a pyker in being a mass murderer, “just” fifteen Million people.

          That still leaves the other athiests with over 50 million murdered by Stalin and the 80 to over a hundred million murdered by Mao with the millions more killed by other athiests.

          So my main point is still the point.

          (As an addendum, I just saw Chip Bennett post, there you go.)

        • So let’s have Vee walk his talk and prove the right of self defense is not inherent…..

          Vee will do this by hiring a thuggsta to beat him, making sure to sign the liability waiver as it is what Vee wants….

          Next you will video tape the beating to prove to the world that you won’t try to escape or fight back…

          Oh and since this is the real world, there won’t be any tap out or time outs given….

          We promise to respect your devotion to your beliefs and will note that on your tombstone after you are beaten to death…..

        • @Vee: Does one have a right to not consent to sexual activity? Just because someone can force themselves upon another (rape) doesn’t mean that the victim didn’t posses the right. Even after the rape, the individual retains that unalienable right. Rights exist and are inalienable to the individual. This is true even when those rights are infringed or ignored. We, as a society, struggle to identify what those rights are and how best to protect them. This is no different than physical properties of the universe. We may incorrectly define them as we struggle to identify them and their interactions. However, regardless of if we misidentify or fail to recognize gravity, something with the properties of gravity exists without and external recognition or understanding of such. Oddly enough, you, dear Vee are a Flat Earther when it comes to individual rights. They exist even though you deny them.

        • @Thomas and @Chip

          That wikipedia article doesn’t help you as much as you might like. It makes a very strong case that Hitler wasn’t really a Christian (though it’s impossible to be certain what was going on in that sewer he called a brain)…but doesn’t show he was an atheist. Rather than being certain of anything, “The religions views of Adolf Hitler are a matter of interest and debate is the very first sentence of the article.

          Nazism was not officially atheist. “His regime did not publicly advocate for state atheism, but it did try to reduce the influence of Christianity on society.” (Which by the way doesn’t make it atheist; it makes it secular. There’s a difference.) Thus whatever it did cannot have been done in the name of atheism.

          Although he was skeptical of religion,[11][12] he did not present himself to the public as an atheist, and spoke of belief in an “almighty creator”

          Gee, that’s about as much as Thomas Jefferson had to say about the matter in the Declaration of Independence, yet many are willing to claim him not only as a theist (which he was), but as a Christian (he wasn’t; Christians don’t generally go through the bible and cut out all the mystical parts, leaving behind all the moral teachings).

          So my conclusion remains: There’s no particular reason to believe that Hitler was an atheist. I’ll grant that his Christian professions were probably a lie despite his being formally a member of the Catholic church, but plenty of people are not Christian and not atheist.

          The larger issue in blaming “atheism” for the mass slaughters of the 20th century is whether atheism, as opposed to utopian socialism that happened to also be atheist, is to blame. Not one of these movements EVER killed in the name of atheism (“I’m stuffing you into the gas chamber because there’s no god”); rather they killed in the name of the proletariat or the class struggle or the Volk or whatever. But there were, in past centuries plenty of people being killed for simply not being Christian, and plenty die today for not being Muslim. Those are undeniably instances of people being killed specifically in the name of religion.

          Is it fair to judge today’s Christians by the actions of Christians over a hundred years ago? No, with the possible exception of Westboro Baptist Church and people of similar level of nuttiness. (Who knows what they’d do to homosexuals if they actually had the levers of political power?) But by the same token it’s silly to retort that people were killed in the name of atheism in the 20th century. If anything, to the extent the Nazis claimed they believed they were doing God’s work, there would have to be more people who died in the name of religion than those that died in the name of atheism, even in the 20th century

          And it’s certainly ridiculously unfair to try to blame “atheists” (as a class) for those mass slaughters. Something like 7 percent of the US population is atheist, yet we don’t have nearly the problems we’d have if those seven percent were all Stalin wannabes. (In point of fact the percentage of atheists in prison is much lower than in the general population.)

        • Oh, I readily concede that Hitler may have been a Deist (i.e. if God exists, he does not involve himself in creation). From a ideological standpoint, however, such a Deist is indistinguishable from an atheist. It is a distinction without a difference.

        • Gee, that’s about as much as Thomas Jefferson had to say about the matter in the Declaration of Independence, yet you are willing to claim him not only as a theist (which he was), but as a Christian (he wasn’t; Christians don’t generally go through the bible and cut out all the mystical parts, leaving behind all the moral teachings).

          Wow, SteveInCO, bad info there. Way bad.

          First of all, Jefferson was a Chrisian, not a Theist or Deist. At least as far as we can tell and by his own admission.

          Second of all, Jefferson did NOT go through the Bible cutting out everything that he disagreed with. You are repeating lies told by atheists and secular humanists. You are referring to the so-called Jefferson Bible, which doesn’t exist. The fact is that Jefferson read and studied the ENTIRE Bible and referred to it often in his writings, of which we have over 19,000 originals. Jefferson was a member of the Virginia Bible Society which distributed full texts of the Bible. Jefferson gave complete Bibles as gifts. He donated generously to the Virginia Bible Society, even when he experienced a personal financial crisis. Jefferson personally helped finance one of America’s groundbreaking editions of the Bible, America’s first hot-pressed Bible. There’s much more I could write about this but I think that’s sufficient.

          So what about this “cutting words out” stuff that we hear about? For years Jefferson promoted Christianity among various Native American Indian tribes. When he was president he signed a law authorizing funds for churches, missionaries, and Christian schools among the Indians. Actually he signed two laws, one in 1802 and another one in 1804 to “propagate the Gospel” among the Indians.

          Edward Dowse, one of Jefferson’s friends, advocated promoting Christianity among the Indians by using the simple teachings of Jesus–simply using only Jesus’ words. This idea came from a preacher in Scotland.

          So, in 1804 Jefferson prepared a work for them using nothing but Jesus’ own words, just as had been recommended in 1799 by the Scottish preacher. Jefferson took two Bibles he had in the White House and cut from them the words of Jesus from the gospels and then pasted those words into a separate book, arranging them so that the Indians could read the teachings of Jesus in a nonstop end-to-end fashion. Basically it was nothing but the “red letters” from today’s Bibles compiled into a short, pithy work to be read by Indians. Jefferson himself said that this was an abridgement of the four Gospels for the use of the Indians. No original copy of that has survived, but we DO have Jefferson’s title page for it, his handwritten notes and lists of the passages, and the two Bibles Jefferson used to make that work for the Indians.

          Since we have the original Bibles, we know exactly what Jefferson cut out, and it did include all the miracles, etc. for the Indians, including healings and resurrections. He didn’t leave any “mystical” stuff out. It included all of Jesus’ talk about Heaven and Hell, angels, and everything else Jesus spoke about.

          In 1820 Jefferson took a different approach. He spent several years planning and preparing something for a specific purpose. He titled it The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. On numerous occasions he said that the sole purpose of this work was to collect and present the major moral teachings of Jesus in one short, simple collection. Jefferson was a scholar who studied a lot and was well-read in the writings of other famous teachers and leaders throughout history. He was a scholar of moral teachings. Jefferson critiqued the moral teachings of secular writers, finding some good in them but also lies and misrepresentations. (Many founding fathers also wrote books on morality and talked about the importance of morality). Morality was a big thing back then, not so much now I guess. Jefferson believed the moral teachings of Jesus needed nothing added from any other philosopher, whether Christian or not. Jefferson wrote, “The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus Himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the teachings of Plato—and for this obvious reason: that nonsense can never be explained.” Anyway, in this second book he arranged the teachings of Jesus according to time or subject. This work also contained all the teachings about healing, Heaven, Hell, angels, eternal life, the Holy Spirit, resurrection, and the Second Coming of Christ. Jefferson’s grandson also talked about this work.

          In 1902 US Rep. John Lacey of Iowa sponsored a resolution to have the government reprint Jefferson’s Morals of Jesus of Nazareth to be used by US senators and representatives. It passed and the federal government printed nine thousand copies at government expense and handed them out for the next fifty years to every senator and representative at his swearing in ceremony.

          Shall I go on?

        • @Chip,

          That sentence is a bit ambiguous. I’m not sure whether you meant the act of creation, or whether you’re referring to our material universe as “creation”

          My understanding of Deism is that it’s some variant of the belief that god was indeed involved in the act of creation, but doesn’t involve himself in the day to day workings of the material universe.

          Since you used the present tense, I’m going to go with the latter choice and figure that my summary is close to what you meant.

          It’s not atheism, and it’s wrong to lump it in with atheism. Because it’s not functionally identical, a Deist has many significant questions to answer that an atheist would consider moot, such as why god created the universe, why god created us, and does he want something from us? He can want something from us even though he’s unwilling to suspend the laws of physics to perform a miracle.

          The deism of the late 18th century posited a benevolent deity who wanted us to prosper and be happy, yet wouldn’t lift a finger to actually cause us to do so…he had already created a universe in which that was possible, an earth ideally suited for us as a species, etc., but we had to make the right decisions to do so. Back then it was widely assumed he left us with things in their present form; he didn’t just touch off the big bang (that concept was unknown back then, as was the concept of life developing via evolution); so god would pretty much have had to walk the universe through the first couple of chapters in Genesis, and then curtail direct involvement.) As such that god frowned on people doing things to hurt others and frowned on despotism. You can see that sort of attitude in Jefferson’s writings, in fact.

          It’s very different from atheism. But it’s also not the only possible form of Deism.

          Hitler clearly had very different views about what god wanted from us, whether or not he was a deist, or just something else that wasn’t a Christian. If he truly thought he was doing god’s work then there’s simply no way his ideology is “identical” to atheism, because his justification for everything he did was an non-atheistic justification. And (just to be clear about this) one cannot point to atheism and state that it *must* lead to mass murder and genocide anyway (“there is no god” can’t by itself be used to derive “so I must set up gas chambers and gulags and stuff undesirables into them”), so at most all you could claim is that Hitler’s ideology gave the same result as SOME people who were atheists got. But there are large numbers of people in our society, past and present, who were either atheists, or at the very least not Christian, who have benefited us tremendously. Yet somehow, no one wants to credit their atheism for that, only blame it for bad things that other atheists do. We could use more people whose ideologies are “functionally identical” to THAT kind of atheism.

        • @Danny

          You can go on, but if Wikipedia is to be believed, you’ve already demonstrated you’re full of it. It didn’t take long; you discredited yourself rapidly.

          This is from an article on the Jefferson Bible (that you started off by claiming doesn’t exist).

          Jefferson wrote that “Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God.” He called the writers of the New Testament “ignorant, unlettered men” who produced “superstitions, fanaticisms, and fabrications.” He called the Apostle Paul the “first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” He dismissed the concept of the Trinity as “mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”

          Right there, to any Christian whose church descends from those that accept the Nicene Creed, that’s heresy. And I didn’t have to look hard to find it.

          And there’s more, from the article on Thomas Jefferson and Religion.

          Jefferson continued to express his strong objections to the doctrines of the virgin birth, the divinity of Jesus, and the Trinity. In a letter to Adams (April 11, 1823), Jefferson wrote, “And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva, in the brain of Jupiter.”[69]

          Those self-same articles point out that Jefferson never stated his intent to publish the cut-up bible, much less use it for Indian missionary work; he considered it a private project and only talked about it with close friends. One article quotes some historians as claiming he may have had thoughts in that direction before he started the project, but if so, he rapidly abandoned them.

          He may have called himself a Christian, but his version of such is at odds with just about anything I am familiar with. I doubt many people would consider him such today, given his rejection of many central doctrines.

          I wish today’s fundamentalists would quit trying to claim him as one of their own. He wouldn’t last five minutes in a group of them once he started telling people what he thought–unless they knew his identity, then of course, they’d ignore the heresy because he’s too useful to them as an (alleged) fundamentalist Christian.

          He is, by the way, the originator of the phrase “wall of separation between church and state.”

        • Have you read Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists? Do you understand the meaning of “wall of separation between church and state” in the context in which Jefferson wrote the phrase?

          It means exactly the opposite of the way in which it is applied today.

        • it saved me the effort of reading ninety percent of that gigantic wall of text.

          SteveInCO, perhaps you should actually read that “wall of text” and learn a few things, especially about the so-called Jefferson Bible. I don’t blame you very much, though, because secular humanist historians have done all in their power to discredit Jefferson, or at least make him out to be something he wasn’t, something that fit in with their anti-God world view.

          There were definite periods in Jefferson’s life when he did challenge some specific doctrines, but there was NEVER a time when he discounted the value of Christianity, and there was NEVER a time when he was anti-Jesus or when he rejected Christianity.

          As I wrote above (which you did not read) Jefferson was a learned man. He studied philosophy intensely. There was a time in Jefferson’s early life—when he was young–when he devoured David Hume, but later in life wrote about how he had to eradicate its poison from his mind. In 1776 Jefferson wrote his Notes on Religion in which he affirmed that Jesus was the Savior, that the scriptures were inspired, and that the Apostle’s Creed “contained all things necessary for salvation.”

          In Jefferson’s later years he repeatedly wrote that man needed to return to what he called primitive Christianity and restore it to the time of Jesus and the Apostles. (Jefferson lived in the time of the Great Awakenings and there were various leaders who, while they fundamentally agreed on the main tenets of Christianity, differed on certain doctrines and practices such as baptism, church hierarchical structure, the use of the word “trinity” because it doesn’t appear in the Bible, etc.)

          Jefferson wrote, “The genuine and simple religion of Jesus will one day be restored as it was preached and practiced by Himself,” “It is only by…getting back to the plain and unsophisticated precepts of Christ that we become real Christians,” and “Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from His lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian.” I agree with Jefferson. The early church leaders had the same problems that we do today and that Jefferson had in his time.

          Jefferson believed strongly that the teachings of Jesus brought unity but that the teachings of denominations brought disunity and conflict. In 1819 Jefferson wrote to John Adams, “No doctrines of His lead to schism. It is the speculations of crazy theologists which have made a Babel of a religion the most moral and sublime ever preached to man, and calculated to heal and not create differences. These religious animosities I impute to those who call themselves His ministers and who engraft their personal interpretations on the stock of His simple precepts.”

          I will address your first quotes He called the writers of the New Testament “ignorant, unlettered men” who produced “superstitions, fanaticisms, and fabrications.” He called the Apostle Paul the “first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” Jefferson had always made a distinction between the gospels and the rest of the Bible, but during the Restoration Movement that took on a while, new fervor where Jefferson almost rejected those things not found in the gospels, especially the epistles. There are many preachers today who feel the exact same way. I have a friend who became a Presbyterian minister who rejects the teachings of Paul. He said that Paul just got it wrong, that he misinterpreted Jesus and God’s commands. So does the pastor of my sister-in-law’s church in Columbus, Ohio (different denomination). I mention Columbus because my friend was also from Columbus. Maybe there’s something in the water there. 😀 I personally do not hold that view, but many do. Witness homosexual marriage being blessed by the church today.

          Jefferson also did not believe, or at least know what to make of, Revelation. Tough book. But Jefferson did believe in the end times because Jesus spoke of them. He just couldn’t make sense of what John saw. Let’s ask ourselves, did John actually see things exactly as he wrote them, or was it that John tried to describe what he saw using only the limited language and imagery he knew of 2,000 years ago? I suppose we’ll all find out one day exactly what John saw.

          Jefferson talked to his daughter Martha about the end times, telling her to ignore preachers who say that the end is nigh, because “the Almighty has never made known to anybody what time He created it, nor will He tell anybody what time He means to put an end to it. As to preparations for that event, the best way is to always be prepared for it.” That’s the exact same thing that Jesus said.

          Jefferson pointed out that what the Jews did and wrote in the Old Testament seemed in conflict with what Jesus taught. He didn’t like what Moses taught and did, for example. (This is an entire discussion all of its own).

          Jefferson wrote John Adams, “I can never join Calvin in addressing his God. He was indeed an atheist (which I can never be), or rather his religion was demonism [worship of an evil God]. If man ever worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his five points is not the God Whom you and I acknowledge and adore—the Creator and Benevolent Governor of the world.

          Early in Jefferson’s life he embraced some doctrinal beliefs he came later to reject like the virgin birth. This addresses your second set of quotes that talk about “Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” Was Jefferson wrong? Yes, I believe he was. But unfortunately this was actually what was being preached and advocated by the major Christian leaders in central Virginia at that time. Jefferson attended those churches and heard those sermons directly from them.

          There’s MUCH more I could write, but space is limited here. The main point is, though, that Jefferson definitely called himself a Christian, and made no bones about it. He wrote to Charles Thomson, “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” He wrote to Benjamin Rush, “To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus Himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished any one to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.”

        • SteveInCO (and anyone else who is still reading this) I’d like to reiterate one thing. The people who claim that Jefferson was not a Christian and who created his own Bible with all the Jesus stuff left out have it exactly backwards. That’s the part that Jefferson embraced the most. He didn’t cut it out, he emphasized it, he preached it, and almost to the exclusion of all the rest in his later years. He said that man should stop putting their own interpretations on it (which varied wildly) and stick to what Jesus said Himself.

        • @Chip

          I just did. I don’t know what you think I am thinking, but he is quite directly claiming that the first amendment erects such a wall. Entirely too many people…and I do mean people on the right hand side of the political spectrum…seem to think it doesn’t, that it’s the government’s job to promote their religion for them.

        • Whenever my siblings or I fained helplessness my parents would respond: “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”

          The Christian community is not standing up for itself in the face of discrimination and social attacks. Instead, like the sheep, they look to the Good Shepard in Uncle Sam to come to their rescue. He is NOT coming. He has a perfect excuse; Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.

          No right, whether naturally endowed by our Creator nor guaranteed by a Constitution, is worth the parchment its written on unless and until at least a majority of the population is prepared to support and defend that right. The right-to-life of Black people was in no way protected by America UNTIL the majority of Americans had enough of lynching. Then, and only then, did lynching come to a halt.

          The civil rights (e.g., to register and vote, among many others) of Black people were in no way protected by America UNTIL the majority of Americans began to see things differently around the 1960s.

          Far too many of us PotG and People of the Book imagine that our rights will be protected against all insurgents if only the Federal and State governments will stand-up for these rights guaranteed in our Constitutions. We have it backwards. We can’t expect to win hearts and minds in the judiciary nor in legislatures if we haven’t won them among the voters. It is ONLY the voters who really count. It is these voters who elect legislators. It is these legislators who ratify judicial nominees.

          Constitutions serve merely as sign-posts around which we can rally the minds of thinking voters. We can remind them that those rights each of them holds dear are protected only to the extent that we have all agreed to respect all the rights enumerated in our Constitutions. Nevertheless, the forces toward backsliding are ever-present. Each voter would like to believe that his freedom of speech will be protected even if the freedom of something else is denied.

          We must persuade the voters that the erosion of any agreed-upon right threatens all the other rights. And, that each right made sense when it was enumerated in our Constitutions and each right continues to make sense today.

        • @MarkPA: I don’t substantially disagree and there is much good in your post. However, I’m not a believer in the “hearts and minds” approach today. I think that we’ve gone way too far down the slope for that to be an effective long term strategy. When a true minority wants to protect rights, it doesn’t invoke “can’t we just all get along” but rather “Don’t tread on me!” There’s nothing really “hearts and minds” about “Don’t tread on me.” It’s an ultimatum, one with which I agree.

        • “I think that we’ve gone way too far down the slope for that [hearts and minds] to be an effective long term strategy. When a true minority wants to protect rights, it doesn’t invoke “can’t we just all get along” but rather “Don’t tread on me!” ”

          Al Capone was fond of saying: “You can get far more with a kind word and a gun than you can get from a kind word alone”. We, the PotG, are unique in defending our 2A rights. We HAVE guns. Moreover, we are NOT going to give them up.

          Accordingly, consistant with the wisdom conveyed by Al Capone, we are free to use the “kind word” to win hearts and minds using all the arguments with which we are familiar. Moreover, we must also use “kind words” to explain why gun controls generally don’t work (with the arguable exception of incarcerating criminals for felon-in-posession which seems to have some temporary efficacy during the period of incarceration.) In any case, these same kind words are used to explain that we will NOT comply with strict gun controls.

          Of course, some Progressives seem to insist on forcing strict gun controls upon us PotG. If these Progressives insist on starting a 2’nd civil war, then civil war they shall have. The Progressives may bring out the military’s 2.7 million guns and the police’s 1.2 million guns. We, the People, will bring our 300 million guns. GAME ON!!

          Because of our military’s “up-or-out” personnel policy there are far more (pissed-off) veterans trained-to-arms then there are active-duty servicemen. Moreover, the military can field only infantrymen and marines; not desk-jockies. Finally, active-duty servicemen and police have sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, including the 2A. Can the Progressives bent on civil war really count on their men-in-arms to fire on fellow Americans?

          But, all this belligerent talk is really unnecessary. Come – let us reason together! Do peaceable citizens with no particular affection for arms really believe in the Progressives’ goal – a goal by any means including civil war? Or, is there more to be said about the subject of guns in civilian hands then the Progressives have made clear in their sound-bites?

          Shouldn’t we really be discussing how it is that the overwhelming percentage of gun-owners are law-abiding and peaceful? Shouldn’t we really be discussing how to control the small number of repeat offenders who are dis-abled of gun-rights? Shouldn’t we be talking about how to reduce suicides in general rather than discussing a single means of suicide?

          The battle for hearts and minds is not mutually exclusive with “Don’t tread on me!” The battle for hearts and minds is underscored by mentioning – with ever-so kind words – that to tread on PotG is to tread with great peril!

          You can get far more with a kind word and a gun than you can get with a kind word alone.

      • I do not think it has been settled that open carry, or any “carry”, has been determined to be stated, or intended, a “right” under the 2A

        The 7th Circuit in Moore v, Madigan read the Heller decision to say that Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment and that concealed carry is not a right, which is why the 7th Circuit said concealed carry can be banned.

        Both Nunn and Chandler were recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Courts of Georgia, and Chandler to mean exactly what SCOTUS said they mean – that Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment and concealed carry is not a right.

        “[A] right to carry arms openly: “This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations.”” District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008) at 2809

        “In Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243, 251 (1846), the Georgia Supreme Court construed the Second Amendment as protecting the “natural right of self-defence” and therefore struck down a ban on carrying pistols openly.”

        In State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann. 489, 490 (1850), the Louisiana Supreme Court held that citizens had a right to carry arms openly.

      • If one is required to take a license, they are exercising a privilege. Since 2005, the only way to exercise the right to bear a handgun in Ohio is to do so openly.

        Also, please consider (emphasis mine)

        ABSTRACT. In the aftermath of District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, the most important frontier for defining the scope of the Second Amendment is the right to carry weapons outside the home. Lower courts have disagreed on the proper approach for resolving this issue, how to read the Supreme Court precedent, and the extent of the right protected by the Second Amendment. Not surprisingly, they have reached significantly different results. This Note argues that Heller and McDonald leave little doubt that courts should engage in a historical analysis when examining the right to carry. Such a historical examination—guided by the sources, methodology, and logic of Heller—yields two important conclusions: (1) the Second Amendment guarantees a right to carry outside the home, and (2) it guarantees only a right to carry openly. While much of the history examined by the Supreme Court gives little indication of early understandings of the right to carry, the one set of sources consulted by the Court that speaks unequivocally on the right to carry—antebellum state supreme court cases—suggests that only the open carry of weapons is protected. This conclusion, not yet advanced in the scholarship, differs from arguments by many advocates of gun control, which suggest that there should be no right to carry outside the home, and those suggested by many advocates of gun rights, which would allow states to choose between open and concealed carry, as long as one is guaranteed. Either of those results, while perhaps more practical for twenty-first century Americans, would be inconsistent with Heller’s approach and with the sources on which it relies. Instead, a faithful reading of Heller requires constitutionally protected open carry, and, strangely enough, a nineteenth-century conception of the right to carry weapons.

        AUTHOR Yale Law School, J.D. 2013; Law Clerk, J. Harvie Wilkinson III, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. I am particularly indebted to Kate Stith for her thoughtful and patient stewardship of this project for many months. I would also like to thank Aneil Kovvali, Daniel Meltzer, Josh Meltzer, Tracy Nowski, Ellen Semonoff, and Connor Sullivan for helpful insights and suggestions. The editors of the Yale Law Journal offered many important comments and recommendations that improved this Note immensely, and for which I am very grateful. James Dawson in particular was an indispensable partner and Lead Editor throughout. All errors are my own.

      • The 19th century case law stacks up strongly on the proposition that OC is “THE right to bare arms” contemplated by the 2A whereas CC is not protected. States can prohibit CC or regulate it as they see fit. The proposition that the States are obliged to pick either CC or OC as they see fit is much weaker. See the recent posting in TTAG to see this thesis developed.

        • Yes, it’s hard to get a suntan on your arms with those concealed arm holsters on.

          Agreed, with both of you, that the culture of the time the 2A was written was that honest, upstanding people carried their arms openly, concealment was shady, at best. Even in the late 1800s when the gun culture was far stronger than today, it was normal for concealed carry to be banned, or at least not constitutionally protected (see Colorado constitution Article 2 section 13, and I understand many other states have identical passages).

          I don’t believe either mode should be restricted, but the historical fact is, people back then disagreed with me.

  8. There’s been a lot written on these pages, concerning open and concealed carry, and I have contributed my beliefs, a lot of which has been criticized.
    Won’t go into detail, but I have to go along with Mr. Mitchell, I’ll just say this, don’t see much point in scaring folks, the less folks know about your personal gun related beliefs, the better off you are!

    • You can’t win a cultural war when you’ve already given up the war and conceded that guns are too scary to wear around. Over time, as the gun grabbers complain about open carriers and their dangers, and level headed people point out open carriers don’t cause problems, the irrational fears will subside.

      If you’re a gun guy and you’re predisposed to knock open carriers because you think they embarrass gun rights….. YOU’RE THE PROBLEM. You’re the one that needs to change. Considering that open carriers NEVER cause actual trouble its irrational to fear or distrust their intentions which means it’s a purely cultural taboo. If we’re trying to change culture, then shunning the open carriers is what’s setting us back.

      • “You can’t win a cultural war when you’ve already given up the war and conceded that guns are too scary to wear around. ”

        This resonates with me. I believe we really DO have to push the envelope with OC; yet, we need to do so deliberately, carefully and gradually. The first OC’iers we put forth in any given community shouldn’t be the scariest-looking people we can find. Instead, they should be the LEAST scary. Once OC by the least scary people is established, then ramp-up.

        The tough part is going to be finding the least scary people intrepid enough to OC. Even so, we can do better or we can do worse. Maybe the best we can do is some OFWGs. Fine. Then a mixer OC parade/demonstration where we have some young men in the mix. After the young men OCing in groups are digested, having them appear OCing with just one other non-threatening adult (father-type, mother-type) will be fine. Then alone and then in pairs/trios.

        The objective is NOT to introduce OC in a manner guaranteed to appease every hoplophobe. That’s not realistic. Rather, the objective should be to begin with a gradualist approach so that our first efforts are not overwhelmingly counter-productive. Then ramp-up. Be FLAMBOYANT as-in a demonstration or political statement; just be FLAMBOYANT in a NON-threatening way.

      • Roy,

        Do you have any success stories from your personal experience with open carry? My limited experience with OC has lead to exactly zero high brow conversations where I was able to change someone’s mind through my skilled rhetoric and reasoning. I have moved several people in my sphere of influence from the “hell no” camp to the “Well maybe” or better column by not engaging them when they felt threatened but when they felt safe.

        I understand the reasoning of your point and I wish it were that simple. The fact is you’re basically asking folks to disconnect their feelings and engage their heads. There are a lot of folks who lead with how they feel about something.

        A lot of the conversations I have with anti-gun people I’m working on require explaining mall ninjas and tasteless OC’ers. The reality of changing someone’s opinion on an issue such as gun rights which many hold with near dogmatic fervor is a process that is a lot more sensitive than you are making it sound. It’s “normal” to you and I, but it is a far cry from normal to society at large. If all of your close personal acquaintances are shooting buddies, that’s probably painting a skewed picture of reality at large.

        • It just now occurs to me that our goal might better be to inoculate children against hoplophobia.

          Imagine OC practiced by the occasional grandmother or OFWG in cowboy boots. It becomes a regular experience by small children being towed about by busy mothers. It’s not so upsetting that the busy mothers bother to stop and comment about the OC. In a generation, OC by civilians wouldn’t be remarkable to these children at the point they have become grown-up.

          Now, imagine the hoplophobes striking: “LOOK! He’s got a GUN!!!!!” These immunized children-cum-adults would look at the hoplophobes and wonder if they are OK out-and-about by themselves.

          If you can imagine this scenario, then we ought to think about how to implement it is a somewhat accelerated form. I’m NOT suggesting that we ought to wait a generation (30 years) to normalize guns in polite company; rather, that what we ought to do is find ways to introduce OC in such a way as to gain acceptability in those places and among those people who have yet to develop a predisposition against it.

          As an illustration, in Mexico OC is absolutely forbidden by any civilian (apart from armored-car couriers). There is, nevertheless, one amusing exception. If one is dressed in a “charro” outfit (a traditional dress-cowboy outfit much like a mariachi) then it is permitted to OC an (unloaded) large-bore revolver (notwithstanding that the large-bore recover is absolutely illegal). It’s accepted that this is just part of the costume, and that tradition is incorporated into the anti-carry law.

          In the South-west there are plenty of places where cowboy-type attire is entirely appropriate (whereas it would seem quite out-of-place in the Midwest, East or South-East). TX and OK come to mind. OC will soon become legal in TX and I believe it’s now legal in OK. One gentle way of gradually introducing OC in such precincts would be for people who ware cowboy attire to begin practicing OK.

          Obviously, the hard-core hoplophobes will still cry: “LOOK! He’s got a GUN!!!!!” But, for such a cry to have an effect, the onlooker would have to become alarmed. When the OC revolver appears to be an accessory to the cowboy attire the alarm is unlikely to “catch”; as in, using wet tinder, a lit match is unlikely to get a fire to “catch”.

        • Mark,

          You’re basically acknowledging that if your goal is to “normalize” guns they need to be worn in such a way that makes them less menacing, which conflicts a lot with “I’ll wear it any way I please, it’s my right!” stance a lot of pro-OC folks take. I don’t disagree with you, but I know many will. I would also argue general appearance needs to be weighed in the equation, not whatever crap you roll out of bed in or you would otherwise lay around watching TV in.

          It’s great justification for a quality gun leather holster and any sort of aesthetically pleasing gun that can have pretty grips attached.

        • I don’t know if or how many converts I’ve won. I didn’t even have in mind that the discussions would take place with hoplophobes WHILE open carrying.

          The common tactic of dialogue I bring up with gun grabber minded folks is that when they’re discussing open carry, usually as the result of seeing an open carrier, and their disdain for it, just simply pointing out that open carriers have never caused any real problems. It’s hard for them to retort that. You just gotta know at least a small handful of folks can see the logic there and can gradually be persuaded.

          But…. these types of conversations will not happen if folks aren’t open carrying.

        • I have had plenty of positive encounters.

          The one that really stands out was just a couple of months ago. I was in a store with my wife. While my wife was looking at something, an older lady, I’d put her at about 75, came down the same aisle. She noticed my sidearm and asked “Is that a real gun?” I told her that yes, it was. She asked the usual questions – was I an off-duty cop, etc. I explained to her that I was just a concerned citizen and that I carry for my protection and to protect my wife and children. That started a conversation about self defense laws. She thought that if someone were to rob the store I could/would shoot them. I explained that unless my life or the life of my family was in danger, I would not be justified in shooting. I also explained, using her as an example, that if I saw someone else being attacked, I can legally put myself in their shoes and defend them. After a long conversation, probably 10 minutes or so, she thanked me and told me that she learned a lot, and that she felt safer with people like me around.

          By coincidence, when we were leaving I saw the same lady getting into her car – with NJ plates.

        • RenegadeDave: I have experienced many times where OC brought a positive change. At every event I’ve attended, people who have never carried before have joined us within about six months. In my experiences, once people see enough people OCing regularly, the general result has been acceptance. More importantly, it tends to open their minds to other aspects of individual liberty. Being free is contagious.

  9. OK, let’s all take a deep breath, and try to approach the OC issue calmly.

    What’s our objective in OC?
    – To normalize guns in polite society?
    – To show-off?
    – Tactical advantage?
    – something else?

    In my mind, the most important thing for all of us is to normalize guns in polite society. We have to support and defend the 2A. OC serves a really important purpose to this end – regardless of every other consideration. As long as any segment of our society (e.g., Manhattan Island, Washington DC) can exclude civilian OC by law or by social pressure there will remain an enclave where the 2A remains under siege.

    Showing off is way down on my list. In fact, it’s not on my list at all. If you OC because you have any need to show-off you are doing a disservice to the cause of supporting and defending the 2A. Whatever other claims you make to noble purposes, showing off is counter-productive.

    Let me try to give the benefit of the doubt to these young men. Suppose they are convinced of the tactical advantage of OC. Let’s further suppose that they are absolutely correct in their beliefs. Suppose they want more than anything else to support and defend the 2A. Suppose they really are vulnerable to being attacked by rivals whose existence isn’t in evidence. Notwithstanding all of the foregoing, they are probably causing discomfort among voters we need on our side. It is hardly likely that they are winning any converts to support guns in polite society.

    If these young men OC’ed at an OC picnic or parade, that would be great. If they carried signs, great. If they carried empty holsters or blue-guns in their holsters, fine.

    If these young men were accompanied by their mothers or fathers or other older person it would be fine. Even if they were out with their girlfriends or sisters, it would be better.

    People will tolerate OC by OFWG much better than by middle-aged guys. Better middle-aged guys than by 20-somethings. Teenagers?

    We need intrepid OCiers willing to OC alone or in pairs or trios. But we need the “right kind” of people OCing outside of obviously political demonstrations. We need grandmothers; young mothers with children; OFWGs, grandfathers, parents with children, 20-something single women. These people can make the statement we need made (guns in polite society) without getting anyone’s boxers-in-a-bunch.

    To these young men, I’d ask: Please wait until you grow-up. The rest of us trying to support and defend the 2A in the court of public opinion don’t need you and the Antis to overcome.

      • Define “minorities” and provide a logical basis for why we “need” such. Marxist progressive claptrap.

        If you’re in the US “we” need lawabidding productive employeed Americans.

        • I don’t think we are desperately in need of a definition of “minorities”.

          Let’s be realistic. Imagine a couple of people we might recruit from the range.

          One is an OFBG, somebody’s grandfather. Maybe Otis McDonald’s younger brother.
          Another is a teen, or nearly 21-year-old black guy built like Michael Brown waring gold chains and his pants a bit low-hung.

          Who do we want at our OC rally? My hypothetical teen may very well be a member of the choir. There is no fault that he might be 19 vs. 91; let’s hope he makes it. There is no fault that he’s built like a line-backer. So his fashion-style and accessorizing isn’t mature; we were all young once. If we can’t get this young man dressed up in his go-to-meeting best we might be better off asking him not to OC in the demonstration. Maybe he can hand-out brochures or answer questions.

          We need some outreach to the several minorities: Blacks; Hispanics; Hindus. These communities are – or ought to be – concerned for their personal security. We ought to be pointing-out the obvious: When seconds count . . . If we don’t make some effort to be inclusive then we leave ourselves open to being disparaged as being exclusively composed of racist conservative reactionary types.

          Let’s try to imagine what guns look like from a minority’s viewpoint. GunZ! Pictures of guns in the hands of southern police hassling the Civil Rights demonstrators. Pictures of guns in the hands of KKK-men. Contemporary images of guns on policemen’s belts. Mugshots of minority teens charged with gun crimes. And, OFWG hunting, target-practicing and OC’ing in the streets and malls of cities where they live. No wonder they don’t identify with us.

          What we ought to do is try to resurrect the images of the Deacons for Defense and Justice and the stories from the Black tradition of arms. Part of doing that is outreach to these minority communities. A demonstration including a portrait of Otis McDonald would be a step in the right direction.

        • Are you saying that blacks are too stupid to understand the legalities and benefits of carrying firearms?

        • Danny, Sorry for the delay in responding. No, I’m NOT saying that minorities are “too stupid” to recognize the benefits of arming for self-defense. I don’t think I said anything to denigrate minorities.

          We all tend to be a bit insular; e.g., we hang-out with other people who share our interests. All I’m advocating here is a little outreach. I.e., invite and welcome minorities into the community of PotG.

          Particularly politically, we are type-cast as a community of OFWGs. Why should we find it desirable to allow ourselves to continue to be so type-cast?

          For a variety of reasons peculiar to each minority group, they haven’t inherited a tradition of keeping or bearing arms. It’s not their fault; it’s simply the way things have been.

          The Hindus were disarmed by the Brits; the Hispanics by their own governments; the Blacks by urbanization in the migration from the rural South to the manufacturing jobs in the North. In these communities the only people with guns are cops and criminals. And the connection between guns and criminals isn’t a positive association laden with family values.

          Any individual is subject to either push or pull forces toward a novel idea. Blacks are being “pushed” into considering guns because of crime creating a force calling for a self-defense response. But to whom will these folks turn? Naturally, to their LGS and local NRA trainers. Perhaps we can add a “pull” force by advertising to this community.

      • That one threw me for a loop, too. Hell, we send young men (MEN, who ARE grown up), their age and younger abroad to defend this country.

        Such 18 and 19 years olds are good enough to trek across deserts, through swamps, and up and down mountains, armed to the teeth and visiting violence upon our enemies on our behalf. Yet, the instant one of these guys wants to enjoy those rights himself by open carrying a .22 down at the Piggly Wiggly, then all of a sudden he’s “Billy Badass” who needs to sit down, grow up and submit to the tribal elders??? FFFFFFFF………THAT!!!!

        • Agreed! Maybe we should send their mothers with them to war while American 18/19 year olds are toting weapons of war. This has started to upset me more and more over the years, we send young men overseas to fight wars for us and when they come home we treat them like second class citizens with 21 drinking age, 21 to CC in many states, and new terms like adult children that is pretty much demeaning and encourages young men to not act like men and be coddled/restricted until they’re 30…

    • Who cares if people don’t tolerate it! It’s a right! Why shouldn’t carry, in a responsible manner? You sound like the FedGov-if people are offended, let’s regulate it! What happened to “Shall not be infringed”? It should be left up to the parents to decide when their children can OC, not the state. Sorry, rant over. Have a good day.

    • “Because I want to and it harms no-one” is all the reason I need to do ANYTHING.

      That’s how Freedom and Liberty work.

    • What’s our objective in OC?

      I’ve been OCing for five years. My main objective is self-defense. Even though I am an OC advocate, have published a newsletter, and have written many nationally published articles, everything else is secondary. Open carry allows me to defend myself best. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it.

  10. “As a strongly conservative Republican I am not the type to put down other people’s beliefs like most left-wing liberals feel the necessity to nowadays, but …”

    “I’ll go ahead and put down people’s personal choices anyway.”

    Thanks for demonstrating…”strongly conservative” != liberty minded at all.

    Here’s a clue: How I carry is none of your business. And, you are no better than the left wing liberals (as you call them) because you are broad-stroking all open carriers into a single basket…the so-called “oh look at me I have a gun” crowd.

    I’d guess very few actual OC-ers fit that description. But, hey, if projection of your own sh1t onto those around you floats your boat, keep on.

    (In other words, I’m seriously doubting this was written by a pro-liberty POTG…sounds more like something we’d have for QOTD from hufpo).

    • I copied the EXACT same words to point out the hypocrisy of the author … and JR_in_NC beat me to it.

      Those two young men in the store were not harming anyone. They were friendly and jovial and had not threatened anyone. Where does the author get off demanding that those two young men change their behavior? Who does the author think he is to declare their choice/behavior to be “uncool”?

      For the love of all that is good people, stop attacking OTHER people when other people choose something that YOU don’t like. If someone else was wearing a red polo shirt and you really despised red polo shirts, would you go on a rant and write an open letter telling people how despicable they are for wearing red polo shirts? Would you follow them around the store? Give them the evil eye? Mind your own
      %@#$!& business!

      Does the author want to talk about rude and improper social behavior? How about the author stops criticizing other people’s choices that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the author.

  11. There is less than zero evidence, empirical or otherwise, to support the obviously spurious and asinine assumption that open-carry makes one a target. Keep your Fudd talk to yourself, please and thank you.

      • I don’t know if you realized this, but he was saying there wasn’t any evidence that OC was bad (‘makes you a target’), not that there wasn’t any evidence that it deterred crime. (Maybe I read too much into what you wrote, but I got the impression you thought you were countering what he said.)

    • Wasn’t that MIT officer murdered by the Boston Marathon bombers specifically to obtain his firearm?

  12. No offense intended, but…the guy who’s carrying a Jimenez .380 is criticizing other people’s carry choices?

    Glass houses, bro.

      • + infinity.

        Like OP says, he’s new.

        Open carry is a lot more comfortable and doesn’t require a hall pass from the nanny’s, those are two things going for it.

        In my experience open carriers are personable and aware of norms and customs.

        Like your boss said, don’t be alarmed, those tools have a purpose and cc of them is not practical.

        And get something a lil better than a Jimenez if you’re going to use it to defend yourself. Many Small 380s are expensive. Keltec, kahr, bersa, sw bodyguard would all be better cheap options.

        This is just constructive criticism. You have a right just as these young men in your story do. As you become more accustomed with firearms ownership and the responsibilities that come with it, you may come to find that it is imperative that we all stick together and not nitpick people’s preferences or restrictions they may be dealing with.

  13. These peaceful men were carrying two target pistols and you were carrying a .380 subcompact pistol of questionable quality and you think you outgunned them?

    I think you need to learn even more about weapons. A .22LR may not have a big impact but it doesn’t kick and with those long barrels tends to be much more accurate than your mouse gun.

    I think I won’t listen to a gun bigot rant from someone so cavalier about the potential of a very deadly firearm.

    • A 22LR can penetrate 16 even 24 inches. Also, those revolvers won’t jam like that Jimenez. I’d chose a 22LR revolver over a 380 Saturday night special anyday.

    • I don’t normal bust on others choice of firearms, but I was thinking I would have rather had one of those .22lr revolvers in a self defense situation than a Jimenez. At least I could be reasonably certain it would fire without jamming.

  14. Or they could’ve been (going on the “rural” description in your first sentence) spending the day outdoors, having fun, with firearms. Or they could’ve driven to the store in a vehicle that didn’t lock (open jeep springs to mind) – could be any number of reasons one would carry their .22 into Piggly Wiggly on their hip. I’ve strapped my Dissy over my back when I had to stop at the store on the way home from the range, and stupidly I’d taken the jeep that day – it was (and is) a seriously scary black rifle, but the only interactions I noticed were some folks turning green, and the asst manager doing his best not to drool on it when he wanted to look at it (ended up building an upper for him, btw)

    So try not to judge the actions of others based on your own admittedly neophyte-like view. Could be you were absolutely correct in your assessment, and it was a couple of boys being baaaaddddd… but given our surroundings, it could also be some of the things I outlined above.

  15. “Any gunman would immediately target them, then be armed with two more weapons.”

    Sorry Will, but you sound like the hoplophobes who say a woman shouldn’t use a gun to defend herself because the rapist would just take it away from them. Lots of states allow open carry. Lots of people in those states open carry, daily. And stories of open carriers being disarmed by the bad guy are damned hard to find.

    And one thing we’ll never know is how many thugs see the gun, turn around and decide this isn’t the time/place to practice their thuggery.

    Maybe these guys were walking around armed for the wrong reasons (status, attention, political statement). Maybe the guns they had weren’t ideal for the task. But your blanket indictment of open carriers is without merit.

  16. Me to Alabama citizens: Grow some balls and suck it up. Either that or just submit yourself to the next puma or bobcat that wants to eat you. That is all.

    • Hey Lee, don’t paint us all with the Will’s brush here – although neither of those threats are likely – you’re much more likely to run afoul of feral hog – perhaps a gator down in the far southern reaches around the bay – and the whole gamut of poisonous snakes, of course. The woods in Alabama are beautiful, but there are things in here that don’t appreciate you! 😉

  17. So, your assumption is that the think they’re Billy badass.

    Is it possible they were heading out camping or fishing, carrying for snakes, and just stopped for some snacks? Maybe they didn’t want to leave them in the car?

  18. I have mixed feelings about OC as a form of political protest.

    The Mulford act that started California’s downhill roll into this state’s current, er, state of idiocy with respect to firearms laws was passed in no small part due to the decision of the Black Panthers to OC into the capitol.

    On the other hand, OCT *may* have been beneficial in getting OC passed in TX.

    I tend to suspect that it comes down to “there’s a time and a place for everything”, and some consideration should be given to the local political climate before turning out en masse for an OC demonstration. I would hypothesize that (even if we could), doing so in CA at this point would end up being a net negative. Doing so in a more gun-friendly state may not be.

    As far as personal defense goes, I find OC tactically unsound, myself, but it’s none of my business how (or if, for that matter) other people choose to carry and I see no reason why it should be illegal.

    You couldn’t pay me enough to carry a Jimenez anything, though. Concealed or otherwise. Hell, you couldn’t pay me to shoot one either. Not without some nice, thick lexan between myself and that POS.

    • Yes, please blame the scary black people for the gun control foisted upon California by scared racist politicians and not the underlying racist causes.

      • Nice red herring, Vhyrus. I wasn’t blaming the Black Panthers; you and John both need to work on your reading comprehension.

        The statement that “the Mulford act (…) was passed in no small part due to the decision of the Black Panthers to OC into the capitol” does not assign blame. It assigns (partial) causation. And-though this may come as a surprise to you-causation and blame are not synonymous.

        To wit, blame, used as a verb, means, roughly, “to assign responsibility for a wrong”, whereas causation is simply “the action of causing something,” where cause means, basically, “to give rise to an action.” The action which gives rise to another action, if you will. Here; I’ll even use forms of both words in a sentence so you can better understand the difference. Try to follow along:

        “Although the Black Panthers’ open carry protest at the state capitol in California was one of the causes of the state’s subseqent ban on open carry, it is the politicians who are to blame for the passage of the Mulford act.”

        See how easy that was? I knew you could do it! Give yourselves a gold star.

        It is patently obvious that the Black Panthers’ actions are not to blame for the subsequent ban on OC in CA. It should also be patently obvious that even though they were absolutely within their rights, those racist, anti-gun politicians were already looking for an excuse to ban OC, and we basically handed them one on a silver platter. That doesn’t mean the Black Panthers are to blame, it’s just a statement of what happened. The whole incident is a case study in the law of unintended consequences.

        Look, the second amendment is on life support, and it has been for longer than most people reading this website have been alive. At the very least since the NFA of 1934. Sure, some states are better than others, but “shall not be infringed” has been basically meaningless for more than 80 years.

        I would like to think that most of the people reading and commenting on this website would like to see a return to a point where “shall not be infringed” actually carries some weight, some meaning, and the force of law.

        The problem that we’re faced with is that politicians rarely let minor inconveniences like personal liberty, natural rights or the constitution get in the way of passing laws; odds are that if they want to pass something, they’re going to pass it irrespective of what their constituents have to say about it (see: NY SAFE act), and we can’t depend on the court system to overturn blatantly unconstitutional legislation.

        To that end, unless you want to advocate for starting another revolutionary war, it does not do us any favors to make this easier for them by handing them excuses to pass more anti-gun legislation.

        That does not mean that nobody should OC. It does not mean that OC protests should not be a thing. It means that a positive outcome to ANY action we choose to undertake, either as a group or as individuals, is not guaranteed, and that in the interest of stacking the odds in our favor, we need to apply a little bit of critical thinking when deciding when, where, and how to best advocate for the restoration of our rights, lest we inadvertently give the other side the boost they need to pass another Mulford act.

        • So, question then: Does two young men OC-ing in a grocery store pass muster as “positive” or not?

          The author of this piece jumped to ALL MANNERS of conclusions about the two lads he describes, yet not once included an actual observation that they were DOING anything wrong, illegal, offending (other than the evil OC, I guess) or inappropriate.

          So, where’s the line? My question is very pointed. Do we ascribe “okayness” to a particular OC occurrence based on some third party neutral observer’s OPINION about OC in general, or do we look at the actions of the OC-er in question?

          All the time here, I read stuff about the “right way to OC.” Dress nice, act cordial, be a good ambassador are things that come to mind.

          As far as we know from the author’s submission, the two ‘boys’ were doing nothing whatsoever to be BAD ambassadors…yet they got the hammer anyway.

          So, is there hypocrisy at work on our side? Is the argument “If you OC, do it ‘right'” just a red herring trap opening any/all OC-ers to criticism?

          The bottom line is that we are not responsible for others’ feelings. I can’t help how you believe or react to ANYTHING I do. So, as a free man, a sovereign individual, I will choose MY actions by my own reason, and if you (rhetorical you here) have a problem with it, that’s YOUR (rhetorical your) problem.

          In other words…this article tells me FAR FAR FAR more about the author that wrote it than it says about the two OC boys or OC in general.

        • So, where’s the line? My question is very pointed. Do we ascribe “okayness” to a particular OC occurrence based on some third party neutral observer’s OPINION about OC in general, or do we look at the actions of the OC-er in question?

          All the time here, I read stuff about the “right way to OC.” Dress nice, act cordial, be a good ambassador are things that come to mind.

          As far as we know from the author’s submission, the two ‘boys’ were doing nothing whatsoever to be BAD ambassadors…yet they got the hammer anyway.

          I’ll just leave this here for those of a curious mind. Something I wrote a while back. It’s pretty short if you want to check it out.

        • A wonderful read. I encourage others to click the link. Thank you for sharing that.

          I think the analogue is useful to us PotG. While no analogue is ever perfect – certainly not guns and race, nonetheless, there is a strong message here. Blacks were shunned because they were deemed mysteriously dangerous per-se. Oh, alright. If a servant you knew well was in your house that was OK. Just like it’s OK for Officer Friendly to carry a gun. But, a Blackman walking on your street during evening hours? Where are my pearls? I feel a desperate need to clutch. Sounds an awful lot like an OFWG walking his dog OCing on your street; doesn’t it. Per-se dangerous.

          There are lessons to be learned from prior struggles as to how to break down barriers.

          I remember, from my youth, black-and-white newsreel images of freedom marchers. White shirts neatly pressed. Dark trousers/skirts neatly pressed. Hats and ties on the gentlemen. Orderly behavior. Not the least bit frightening; and yet, very compelling.

          I can also remember newsreel images of riots and the Black Panthers’ OC marches. Behavior seemed less orderly. Burning buildings were frightening. The guns didn’t bother me as a kid but the Black Panthers’ dress code coupled with the guns was unsettling.

        • Thanks JR.

          (Here’s a secret, I’ve sent stuff to TTAG but they refuse to print it. RF would rather print stuff like this Open Letter To Open Carriers I guess. Sad.)

        • Actually, I WAS wondering why that did not appear on TTAG.

          RF’s editorial choices are his to make, and I respect that. With that said, that article is well worth the read, is relevant to gun discussions/debates and seems…to me like it’d be a good fit here.

        • @Siorus: The Panthers didn’t cause it. They were used as scapegoats because they were black. Cause and blame are both on the shoulders of the legislators who passed such law. The Panthers were exercising their right to bear arms while black. The lawmakers used their skin color as an excuse to infringe. Lawmakers were the cause and blame, Herr Professor.

        • “Cause and blame are both on the shoulders of the legislators who passed such law. The Panthers were exercising their right to bear arms while black. The lawmakers used their skin color as an excuse to infringe.”

          Your point is very well taken. CA’s legislature passed the law and Gov. Reagan signed it. That conceded, there are political tactical lessons which should inform us today.

          The Deacons for Defense and Justice tempered their keeping and bearing arms. Mostly in their homes. Somewhat in their own Black precincts. Least of all in public places policed by the white establishment. In so doing they revealed just barely enough fang to make their point. Southern whites backed-down. Washington had to recognize the risk of inaction. If Federal authorities continued to refuse to enforce the law there was a real chance of a two-way shooting war breaking out in the South.

          The Panthers’ demonstration of willingness to use force was barely tempered at all. We must concede that the Panthers’ leaders were careful to confine their actual use of violence to very narrow cases. Yet, by marching up-in-arms to Sacramento’s capital they flaunted their willingness to resort to arms. The CA legislature was only too happy to call their bluff.

          Two different groups. Two radically different tactics. One was tempered; the other was saber-rattling. Which succeeded in the field of politics? Are we, the PotG, able to learn anything from our recent history?

          Perhaps not.

  19. Depending on what they were coming from or going to (fishing, trapping, hunting…) they could have been doing the safer thing than stashing them in the glove box where they could have been stolen from without a fight.

    Maybe they were teens, maybe they were just young guys that had more pistol experience than you. They also could have been trying to show off. Who knows nobody asked them.

    • Exactly! The author has no way of knowing why they were carrying openly, so his disapproval is a FAIL.

      I’ve open carried into grocery stores, convenience stores, sporting goods stores, even a fabric store, because the other option — leaving my weapon unattended, however well secured — did not meet with my approval.

      Sometimes it’s been because I was going to, or coming back from, some shooting. Sometimes it’s been because I was on my way to or from camping, or backpacking, or other back-country activity. A few times it’s been because I was on my way to or from visiting my favorite gunsmith about an issue with the piece.

      But at root it’s because I really don’t approve of submitting myself to being treated like a criminal in order to get permission to exercise a constitutional right, and in effect registering as a gun owner in the process.

    • “Who knows nobody asked them.”


      There was an awful lot of assumption in that piece. If it came from the side that claims it prefers to stick to logic, fact and actual observation, that article was a TOTAL fail.

  20. It wasn’t so long ago that gentlemen like my grandfather were carrying their firearms openly and often, and concealed carry was just the practice of only those who knew they weren’t supposed to be seen and caught with a firearm in their possession: “… A statute prohibiting the carrying of concealed deadly weapons would be a proper exercise of the police power of the state. But the statute in question does not prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed, which is of itself a pernicious practice, but prohibits the carrying of them in any manner in cities, towns, and villages. …” — In re BRICKEY.(Supreme Court of Idaho. Nov. 15, 1902.)

  21. Don’t be d**s, guys. I think the key here is the “billy badass” bit. It was the young guys’ demeanor, not the presence of their guns, that sketched people out. Remember, he said every aisle cleared out. It wasn’t just his personal reaction.

    I’ve seen plenty of open carriers, and none who acted like douchebags. But I have no doubt that kind exists. They don’t do us any favors, and don’t deserve our support just because they own firearms. Mindless wagon-circling will do more than all Bloomberg’s money to lose our rights.

    • As far as we can tell from the story, the only place there was anything “billy badass” was in the author’s mind.

      • I said I’ve never seen an OC-er act like a jerk in public. I see, all the time, groups of teenage males (of any race, before someone drags that in) who cause people to move away from them wherever they go. I live in a nice area, and even teens who are obviously from good backgrounds cause this reaction. I believe our contributor when he says these guys sketched everyone out, not just him. But as I said, their guns likely had little/nothing to do with it.

  22. Thank you for the article Mr Mitchell.

    I take issue with two specific points of your story.

    First… “…As the day went on I couldn’t help but wonder why these two felt the **need** to strap their guns to their hips on the way to the grocery store.”

    Why do you feel your assessment of what they *need* applies to them? You only know you saw two young men at the Piggly Wiggly openly carrying firearms. You know nothing else about them so why would you think it appropriate at any level or in any way to asses their needs?

    Which leads nicely into my second issue with your story. “…Suppose these wanna-be cowboys…”

    You not only feel the need to apply your life experiences onto these two young men whome you don’t know, you also feel the need to call them names for doing something you disagree with. For all you know they really are wanna-be cowboys and were on their way to or from a movie set or something.

    All of us here in the comment section of this wonderful site have very strong opinions about Open Carry versus Concealed Carry. Almost everyone will happily tell you their opinion and then follow it up with why they feel that way.

    The one part we ALL get wrong on the issue of how you carry is the suppositions of what could go wrong.

    The open carriers MIGHT be the target of the bad guys, the first casualties in an incident. And I MIGHT get my wife to invite some of the Israeli Models into the bedroom for a threesome. The MIGHT in the open carry argument can be tossed right out the widow by looking at Police or examining the statistics in the other states that have open carry and see how many targets are called firearm owners.

  23. Would you have reacted the same way if a well dressed grey haired gentleman walked in with a 1911 strapped to his hip? I suspect not. I think it was the age and appearance of the open carriers that upset you.

    I also assure you that if someone walked into the store with the intent to rob it they would walked right back out if they saw two armed people. Bonnie and Clyde don’t knock off the local Piggy Wiggly.

    • Something’s really fishy about that story. Everyone knows the bad guy always takes a careful survey of his victims, takes out all the open carriers first, then commences his crime spree. So how could the good guy have shot back, when he must have been already dead because his openly-carried pistol made him a bullet magnet?

  24. The next time you see them, give them a US Army recruiting pamphlet and suggest that they “be all they can be”.

  25. OP, you sound like a Fudd. Furthermore, you sound like the hand-wringing, pearl-clutching progressives.

    I would hope that, having observed their actions and seen that they bore no ill will, that you would conclude there’s nothing to see and gone about your business. Instead, you came here to complain to us that they scared you. You projected your own personal beliefs and biases onto them, and stalked them looking for confirmation. Ew.

    I guess you missed how the long-gun open carry movement in Texas convinced both party candidates to voice their support for handgun open carry. Open Carry is a useful method of political expression. A Right not exercised is a Right lost.

  26. “I had more firepower in my waistband than the two combined.” Good laugh from this, thank you.

    As was said above, get a new carry gun, and personally, one without a heel mag release. But summarizing the entirety of people who OC based on the actions of two kids who may or may not have been acting funny, lets not play the same game the antis do.

  27. I think the open carry argument depends on where you are. In WA State, on the West side of the state, especially around Seattle, probably not a good idea. Frightened people that think you are going to shoot them or people who probably think you are an undercover cop, a gangster or a PI. The further you get from that Liberal Nest the less alarmed people tend to be. On the East Side of the mountains, cowboy country, I doubt that anyone would notice or care much if they did. Well, maybe in Spokane. But away from there, I doubt it. Frightened people tend NOT to become converts. The ones that are not frightened are probably already in the 2A camp. So, I would not open carry in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane or the suburbs of those places. But on a hot day, it sure would be nice to be able to do that and not have people freak out.

    • Yeah, if I didn’t live in the middle of Seattle, open carry would have a fair amount of appeal for me. As it is, it sounds like a great way to have a ton of conversations with highly opinionated idiots.

  28. To the author: we have people like you in SC. These people are the reason that we do not have open carry or constitutional carry in my state. You remind me of a politician here named Larry Martin (RHINO- Pickens). He is famous for saying about the last open carry bill “You can carry a weapon openly if this bill is adopted and I’m offended by that.”

    You being offended does not outweigh my constitutional rights. You writing this offends me, but I am not trying to take away your right to say it.

    You should take some advice from Mark Twain: “Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

  29. Unimpressive writing. I give the author credit for freely admitting that he assumed the intentions and mindset of the individuals open carrying. I give the author credit for freely admitting his prejudice toward young adults. I give the author license to have an opinion just like the rest of us.

    That said, this is FUDDism by another name. “Me carrying my gun my way is OK, you carrying your your way isn’t. Because my opinion.”

    The 2nd Amendment was created to protect the articles subjects from people like the articles author.

  30. I live in middle GA, it is nothing to see someone open carrying a pistol on thier side. I CC just because carrying my LC9 IWB in the middle of my back doesn’t get in my way like my Beretta 92FS, but I have many times before. I am fine with people open carrying that’s thier choice. I don’t care for those that think they need to open carry a long arm around everywhere, they are the ones begging for attention and make us 2A supporters look bad in my opinion, but again that is thier right and thier choice to do so.(Look I disagree with something but am still ok with it because it’s a person’s right to do so, wish some liberals could learn that!)

  31. His opinion on this is fine but add this to the pile of open carry stories where the problem was ‘feelings’.

    When do we get to hear a story about open carry demonstrators getting ‘taken out first’ by a criminal or even a story about their unsafe behavior actually resulting in an accident?

  32. TTAG, how did such a poorly written anti gun article get published here? Please focus more on the quality of posts, you seem to be slipping lately.

    • It’s a contest entry man. TTAG staff didn’t write it. And I don’t see TTAG censoring submittals because they “didn’t like it.” TTAG is “whatever, here it is” kind of place.

      • From the entry post: “We’ll run some of the best of what we get for your reading pleasure.”

        If they posted every entry but threw this one out it would be censorship. This entry was chosen to be posted for multiple obvious reasons. I don’t have a problem with any of them but I also have a hard time believing that anyone at TTAG actually believes this is one “of the best”. Of course I haven’t seen the rest and it’s a lot of opinion.

        I also agree with the other poster that this writing is below average for a TTAG post but I disagree that it is because TTAG is slipping. It’s a calculated move. There must be a better 2A But’r/Fudd entry available to post and I think it is lost on many why this odd entry was chosen.

  33. Once again… Open carry has been around in many states for many years and being targeted by criminals because you open carry is not a thing; not in any statistical significance.
    By assuming these young men were bolstering their ego by open-carrying you’re no different than the antis that would accuse you of having an inadequate penis for even owning a gun… Don’t project your feelings of inadequacies on others while judging them to be less than you.
    If only in my personal opinion, I would take a .22 revolver over the semi-auto Saturday night special you chose to gamble your life on.

  34. The argument that a .22 is better than harsh words or a sharp stick does not apply to Jimenez firearms of any caliber. Do yourself a favor and carry a sling shot and five smooth stones… or a better firearm.

  35. Dang! You used almost all the same arguments as the Antis we are actually trying to fight! Pick a side, bud.

  36. One hundred twenty five years ago, almost every able bodied man and most boys over the age of sixteen carried a firearm in the rural parts of the Southern and Western United States from sun up till sun down, every day (except while attending church on Sunday mornings). Most civilized folks found this display of “open carry” normal, expected and mundane. Civilized folks were polite, well mannered and respectful. Criminals were dealt with swiftly and decisively and then largely forgotten. Travel through the rural areas of Arizona and New Mexico today and you’ll find that little has changed. Folks still carry a firearm openly, are generally polite and respectful. Criminals are dealt with a bit less swiftly but no less decisively and are almost always forgotten.

    Next January, folks here in Texas hope to revive those traditions which were stolen from us after the War Between the States and within a few years, we should become much more like Arizona and New Mexico (at least in the rural areas). Folks will once again become accustomed to seeing respectable men and women carrying their firearms openly. Oh, there will be some folks like yourself that feel uncomfortable seeing someone open carry but I suspect after a few years, they’ll get used to it also.

    As for being a criminal’s “target” by carrying openly, I think you miss the point entirely. If you were a criminal intent upon robbing a store and saw five or six men and women carrying firearms openly, would you pull out your gun and attempt to rob the store? Most criminals are opportunistic predators and will turn tail and run rather than face a determined opposition. Even the most crazy murderer will think twice about facing a room full of armed citizens. That’s why they target schools, churches and other “gun free” zones. The facts already point to how well concealed and open carry deters crime. The FBI statistics are quite clear; those areas with the most restrictions on firearms have the highest crime rates and those with the least restrictions, the lowest crime rates. Criminals are not stupid. They go where there’s no potential opposition.

    • That dang cow college on the other side of the state messing things up again.
      Sounds like a typical barner, just can’t quite seem to get it.

  37. …open carry is an irresponsible and unnecessary way to carry that basically screams, “Look at me I have a gun!”

    So…if I go hunting or to the range and it’s a long walk back to my car and I want a beverage, is it ok with you if I enter a convenient store to conveniently purchase a beverage while carrying my rifle and be on my way? I mean … Is that ok with you guys?? Or should I bow my head in firearms shame because I may be seen with a firearm in a place you guys perceive I don’t belong?

    So some very young men were carrying firearms for their age and abilities (22LR) and you guys and all those people didn’t like it? Did anyone get hurt? Was anyone threatened? Maybe they went plinking at their relatives place or at the range and stopped by the grocery store on their way home? Should they bow their head in firearms shame because they were in a place that you guys (gun guys of all people) didn’t like the manner in which they were carrying. It’s readily apparent they offend the delicate sensibilities of you guys and the other shoppers.

    Suppose these wanna-be cowboys carried their .22s to protect the innocent shoppers of Piggly Wiggly. Any gunman would immediately target them, then be armed with two more weapons.

    Or a gunman might think…”hmm two guys with guns vs me with a gun.. Maybe I can go pick a different store?”

    Or what if they wanted to do harm and were scoping out the place? Not sure how well that would have gone seeing as every person in the grocery store was already suspicious of them including the management and at least one armed citizen: me.

    If they wanted to scope out the place why would they go in and draw a lot of attention to themselves?

    So… Opinions and zero tolerance. That’s what I got out of this. It’s ok for you guys to sneak around in the store with your concealed hidden weapons – but it’s not ok for others to openly and honestly show theirs. And you guys should fear them?

  38. Hmmm, all I heard was “be vehhhwyy vehhhwyy kwieht, we’re hunting wabbitz….”

    There was more panty twisting in this article than an MDA convention in a gun store.

  39. I’ve open carried . A quality firearm, in a quality holster, while well dressed appropriate to the activity. Never have been questioned, or looked down at, or caused fear in people around me. We, the people of the gun, started a retreat from “polite society” too long ago. Normalizing guns is a necessity. We as gun owners need to be the “MOST” open minded towards those people who are open carrying. The best way to ambassador shooting is to take as many non shooters to the range as you can. Pay their range fees, buy them ammo and convert them. There still remains the need to “normalize” guns in society, and open carry is the only way to do that.

  40. War Eagle, buddy!!! I feel you, open carry comes off as abrasive and unnecessary to me. Especially in AL where you can get a CCP at 18. While I don’t personally find it offensive or threatening, many people do. In the continuous fight for gun rights we can’t afford to have people scared off because their first encounter with a gun was two dumb kids who think carrying a gun makes them cool. While it seems like these two kids didn’t do anything wrong or offensive, there are plenty of other Chipotle ninjas to make bad impressions for us.

    • The worst impressions are being made by these idiotic statements from anti-OCers. I’m not a “hearts and mind” believer but if I were I would say that y’all are giving the antis far more ammunition parading out this feelings laden, unsubstantiated, projection-fest tripe. Ubiquitous daily carry will never be re-normalized in society by concealed carry. It requires open carry.

  41. On my third read of the article, I kept thinking, “Why do you hate the First Amendment?”

    SCOTUS has determined that wearing shirts from bands or sports teams or anything else is free speech. Well, if wearing the image of a thing is free speech, then so is wearing the thing itself. So these two freedom-loving lads were engaged in free speech — and since SCOTUS has also noted that the free speech doesn’t even have to be deliberately intended, it doesn’t matter if they were wearing their items to make a statement or not, it was still free speech.
    Yes, the cases I refer to involved shirts and accessories that schools decided were offensive, but it still applies.

  42. We are going to normalize guns in society by taking newbies out to the range. I thought was doing a lot to normalize guns in society by taking youngsters out hunting. But those kids have an desire to learn to handle firearms. They would get exposed to firearms on their own if I didn’t take them hunting. All I am doing is reinforcing what they learned in hunters safety and teaching them the ins and outs of becoming a good hunter.

    On the other hand my wife does far more to expose people to firearms. She throws a couple parties for her friends at work every year. We have a back yard range and a Hi Point 995TS. She has got more adults to shoot a gun for the first time than most people. Moreover, she sees it through by taking the new shooters to firearms safety courses. She even helps people buy their first gun. She encourages them to do the legwork to buy a good gun the first time.

    We need to be more subtle in our efforts to normalize guns in society. Scaring the shit out of soccer moms is not helping our cause. People that say they feel naked leaving the house without a gun need to find a better neighborhood. I carry a gun when I walk my dog because coyotes see an old feeble dog as an easy meal, not because I think I am going to be physically attacked.

  43. ” . . .Not sure how well that would have gone seeing as every person in the grocery store was already suspicious of them including the management and at least one armed citizen: me. . . ”

    It seems to me that this is the whole point of the whole armed-citizen-in-a-free society rationale. Guns, their appearance or, better still, their potential appearance, are potent crime deterrents. We haven’t gotten there yet, but the social impact of citizens routinely carrying personal weapons will undoubtedly cause people intent on committing crimes to change their tactics. It’s one thing to rob a store at gunpoint but it’s something else again to rob a store when there’s a good chance that a half-dozen people will be armed. I thought about this very thing when watching the Charlie Hebdo attack on the corner grocery store play itself out.

    Open carry has a role to play in this but I think it’s more of a symbolic gesture than a material benefit. It is such a novelty that we’re going to be beset by half-assed ninjas showing off their SKS’s and .22’s until OCing becomes so mundane that nobody pays much attention. While there’s no accounting for the bad taste of 19 year olds, what really counts—what will really effect change and save lives—is the commonplace presence of an armed citizenry. Of OCing contributes to that then I’m all for it, instances of egregious bad taste and all.

  44. I’m not exactly sure what the message of the open letter was. Now, I may not be a renowned literary critic, but I speak four languages and have written a great number of essays in my time. It took me three readings to get the message of the author. It is pretty much “‘I saw two stupid guys open carrying so therefore all open carriers are stupid.'”
    I find it very hard to believe that a rural southerner never saw open carry. Never seen a deputy with a sidearm? Never seen a hunter with a backup gun? Never seen someone strolling around their property and taking care of varmints? That sounds very unlikely.
    Now, as for the carriers, given the description given, they most likely were
    A. Going about their business carrying in the only way they legally could.
    B. Either going to or from a range.
    C. On a very tight budget.
    Now imagine the dynamic introduced by the two guys carrying openly. If someone came in with ill intentions and saw the two armed guys, it would doubtlessly give much more pause than an unnoticed concealed pistol. Nobody wants to get shot, and if a weapon averts a situation where it has to be used just by being present, that’s a win.
    Now, the guys could have been very well acting like fools, which will clear out an aisle regardless of whether or not one is obviously armed. The author’s complaint seems to lie more with the attitude of the carrier than with what they were doing; if they hadn’t been obnoxious, it’s quite possible that nobody would’ve cared or taken notice. I support carry, whether concealed or open. Of course, however, if one cannot exhibit the maturity needed to properly assume the responsibility of carrying a weapon, then one should be unarmed for the good of everyone, themselves included.

  45. You might want to look into the history of carry laws in this country. In particular, the fact that concealed carry was banned outright in most places by the end of 19th century, while open carry was perfectly legal and accepted in practice. Then ask yourself why, and you’ll see why it actually makes more sense.

    • +1 To conceal ones firearm was once considered dastardly and cowardly. Now one on the hip and one in the vest, perfectly normal. In my humble opinion, to each his own. Society nowadays seems content to mull about in ignorant bliss. It’s all fine, I just don’t want to know. Kind of like homosexuality a few years ago. It’s all fine, as long as “those people” keep it to themselves. Perhaps, one day, our closet door will open too.

      • Excellent point; and point of comparison.

        The more we bring into the discussion that OC/CC is a fashion-statement, nothing more, the more calm we will have around the topic.

  46. Strange how a few layers of cloth determines if one is an upstanding, model gun owner or a cowboy-wannabe.. Even though they did absolutely NOTHING (other than having a holstered gun on their hip visible to you [THINK OF THE CHILDREN! LOOK AT THAT BABY!]) to prove your ignorant thoughts correctly. A non-event yet you still have a problem with it. Thanks for the read, Fudd.

  47. I found the article very interesting and I must say that I have seen people carry in a similar manner here in North Carolina.
    I have a CCW permit but there are times when I do open carry. I think that my age, my bearing, and my interaction with the people that I encounter when I open carry.
    While I do not do it to be openly antagonistic or off my chest out to show the world that I’m carrying, I have found that there are circumstances when it could possibly have been a deterrent when it is seen visibly by someone who carries confidently and projects and air of possessing the ability to use sound judgment and use it effectively if needed.
    I cannot say for sure if it did serve that purpose, however sometimes I just have a gut instinct that says carry it this way, and it’s not often, normally I like to carry concealed. Call it my combat instinct, which I do have as I am a two tour, combat infantryman veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, but there are a few times where I have felt that it might be prudent to open carry, now I do have a shoulder holster which I prefer over a hip holster. In my personal opinion, and based on some experience with it in combat, it keeps the weapon in a position where I cannot be compromised, but it is still easily accessible, the ideal poster in my opinion is a leg drop, but I believe that may be a little over-the-top for open carry.
    At any rate, that’s just my less than two cents worth. I found the article interesting and brought up many valid points. And it is nice to see that there are responsible gun owners who take notice of such things and bring it to light. While the author and I may have some slight differences of opinion on open carry, I found the article interesting and brought up many valid points. And it is nice to see that there are responsible gun owners who take notice of such things and bring it to light. While the author and I may have some slight differences of opinion on open carry, I think that we can both agree that if a gun owner is legal, safe, and executes sound judgment and is confident then we are all likely much safer,I think that we can both agree that if a gun owner is legal, safe, and executes sound judgment and is confident maintains good situational awareness, then we are all likely safer all around.

  48. Did they have “rebel flag” buckles?? Sorry couldn’t resist.

    As for ripping the guy for carrying a jimz-whatever pistol so what? I’ve carried a “Crappy Charter Arms” 38 for years and sometimes I carry a kel-tec .380 (gasp!) and a davis derrenger in my vest pocket while riding. I guess I should spend my morgage and car payment money on a “cooler” gun…….talk about “mall ninjas” lol.

    • It seems Mr. Mitchell is somewhat new to the gun world, and has much to learn. The lowly Jennings might be the only gun he has access to. Sooner or later he will realize that he needs a more reliable firearm, and in the meantime he can save up the necessary shekels to purchase something more suitable for concealed carry.
      Not everyone can purchase a top of the line Sig, or other weapons.

    • If you can afford to ride (either a hay burner of a motor____ ) and multiple POS handgun you can afford to step up for at least one reliable, safe, handgun.

  49. Not an open carry fan, and never have been. I don’t believe you need to visually “exercise” a right. And I don’t believe it normalizes anything for anybody.

    But on the occasion that I do notice somebody carrying, it doesn’t bother me unless they are doing so stupidly. I’m in Georgia, so that jackwagon taking an AR with a betamag into the airport dominated the new outlets for a week, and all it did was piss me off. Why? Because he could have carried a holstered handgun for the exact same purpose. It’s GEORGIA. We have a “Weapon” license.. concealed, open, doesn’t matter. Gun, Knife, Katana, Claymore Mine… doesn’t matter. Permit is a permit.

    Now, I see a biker with a Combat Commander tucked into a well worn, 30 year old Yaqui Slide… THAT is normalizing, because he’s not being an attention whore. If you carry a gun to make a statement, you’re doing it for the wrong reason.

    • Not an open carry fan…I don’t believe it normalizes anything for anybody.

      Now, I see a biker with a Combat Commander tucked into a well worn, 30 year old Yaqui Slide… THAT is normalizing

      Make up your f’in mind. Judging by your post you do not know the first thing about open carry.

      • Harden up snowflake, people can disagree with you and it doesn’t make them wrong or ill informed. In the Atlanta Metro OC goes over like a lead balloon, generally. There are contexts when it’s OK, but attention seeking behavior executed poorly achieves bad results.

        • Read critically, he was making a point about the guy at the ATL airport parading around with an AR contrasting it to a biker who wears a gun that makes it look normal. Learn to nuance.

        • Perhaps it is you who need to reread his post. He makes a generalization about ALL open carriers–and he is against it. Then he notes that he rarely even notices, except for the one guy at the ATL airport. Then he goes back to saying that a biker open carrying in a yaqui holster (terrible idea) is good.

          I reiterate my point: the poster doesn’t know the first thing about open carry. Maybe you and he could find some quiet time together.

        • Danny if the point is lost on you because you just want to discard his opinion out of hand that’s fine, but lets call a spade a spade. You did the same thing to my post down below because I spelled a word with a spelling that is correct but not the way you want it spelled. His point is not hard to follow, at all.

          Your opinion is simply that, you aren’t a champion of some objective truth and everyone who doesn’t see it your way is flat wrong. You really need to get comfortable with that.

    • I think if you carry a gun to make a statement, you might just piss more folks off, than making friends. Some places it’s OK, others, not so OK.
      As far as bringing a rifle into a store, because you had been out hunting, and you didn’t want to leave it in the car, doesn’t hold water. You should have had a soft case to slip it into, and gone in the store with it in the case.
      Of course, there are many areas, especially during hunting season, where an open rifle probably wouldn’t bring a batted eye.
      Remember, old ladies vote too!

      • I think if you carry a gun to make a statement, you might just piss more folks off, than making friends.

        So if you have two people walking side-by-side into a Home Depot, one open carrying for self-defense and the other open-carrying to make a political point, one is going to anger shoppers while the other doesn’t? You are an idiot.

        As far as bringing a rifle into a store, because you had been out hunting, and you didn’t want to leave it in the car, doesn’t hold water.

        Point to one single time in America’s history when this has happened. If you can’t, you’re just a troll.

        • I have disagreed with many posters on this site, but I have never called anyone an “Idiot” for expressing their opinion.
          maybe you have a two inch pecker, and to insult someone makes you feel more manly!

        • I’m not sure why you are concerned with my size. Perhaps you have some latent tendencies that need to be dealt with.

          In the meantime work on making a cogent argument. We all thank you.

  50. Yet another person who knows absolutely nothing about open carry but takes it upon himself to lecture others about open carry. And carries a Jimenez 380 besides.


  51. I live in Alabama as well, and while OP has it right about the ccw process,
    not all of us are anti open carry.

    I open carried my Rugers on July the 4th, to go grocery shopping for our families
    cook out. Two great big, shiny, .45 caliber, stainless revolvers. Did I need them to buy
    ribs and soda ? Nope. But what a way to celebrate independence day.

    I heard no negative comments.Got a few compliments. Had a good conversation with
    a Methodist ( from the cross and flame pendant) about my guns and weapons in general,
    pointed him to a local range to sight in one of his own pistols, so I might have made a new friend.

    One of the cashiers asked what kind they were, so I told him, and that was about it.

    No managers following me, no one running in panic, no interactions with officers of the law at all.

    I think open carry is an important factor in normalizing firearms in our society, or
    renormalizing, really. While I think pistols may be more “polite” I see no reason not to carry longarms
    appropriately, except for weight and bulk.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing firearms become an item of gentlemanly dress, heck, why don’t we try to
    bring back swords ?

    The what and how of a persons carry should be up to them, within the realms of responsibility.
    Let people decide for themselves.

    • I think your success is probably attributable to living in a pretty homogenous town/suburb/whatever. If folks are already generally friendly in the stores in the area you live in and will make good eye contact and small talk then you’ve probably got a receptive crowd. If you live in a mega suburb of a major metro where nobody wants to look another in the eye, let alone smile, you’re more likely to have a negative experience with OC. At least, that’s been my experience in my mega suburb outside of Atlanta.

      • If you live in a mega suburb of a major metro where nobody wants to look another in the eye, let alone smile, you’re more likely to have a negative experience with OC.

        Those are the environments where people are less likely to even notice that you OCing a handgun, IMHO. Our biggest gains have been in the cities. My experiences have been that acceptance of OC has been slower in the small rural SW Ohio towns than in the SW Ohio cities. Even though I carry without a second thought in Cincinnati, Dayton, or Columbus, it hasn’t been until recently that I can comfortably do so in the small country towns around our farm.

        • Excellent point. I grew up in a very small town and have lived as an adult in major metro areas. My take is that in a:
          – small town what you do is everyone-else’s business;
          – major metro area what you do in public is more-so your own business.

          Cohesion in a small town creates forces for everyone to conform to what is regarded to be a norm. There are countervailing forces to be sure. E.g., if your daughter has a child out of wed-lock your neighbors are apt to remain silent about it. However, if her slip is showing they will say something to her.

          There is no such thing as cohesion in a major metro area. If everyone paid attention to whatever it is that everyone else is doing he would have no time left in his day to make a living. There would be too much turmoil in society. So, people get habituated to observing a live-and-let-live attitude. That live-and-let-live attitude is apt to be a strong influence even if they observe someone who is behaving in a really peculiar manner; even to the extent of appearing to be a danger to others. Urban dwellers tolerate schizophrenic homeless people acting dangerously.

          This phenomena might account for the fact that urban dwellers don’t appear to clutch their pearls when observing an open carrier. First, they don’t notice much of what’s going on around them: low situational awareness. And, second, they are habituated to mind-their-own-business. Only an ardent hoplophobe will see-something-call-911 screaming “He’s gotta GUN!!!!”.

        • @MarkPA: I agree with your comment and observations. Good post. I grew up in the city and moved my family to the country in the early 1990s. To me, the differences and circumstances seem just as you have described.

  52. Jeez, so much disdain for “cowboys” and .22LR firearms..

    How ironic that he’s trying to win a cowboy rifle chambered in .22LR with his pathetic prose….

  53. This posting has to be a troll. Or someone clueless and a hypocrite. And since when in this country is being a cowboy a bad thing?

  54. Thousands of Open Carry “interactions” later, I can say that I have never had a negative experience. No rude or negative comments, no police calls, no “please leave”s, and no glares that I’ve seen (and I am looking constantly). Anytime someone does mention it, it’s either positive, or, more often, a neutral question. “Do you have to have a permit here to carry?” “Is that a .22/.45/9mm?” “Is that a Glock? (it’s not)”

    Now, I dress decently (not cop-ish because one goal is to let people know that non-cops can have a gun & be ok), I smile alot, and I have 1 or more cute and well groomed kids under the age of 2 with me 75% of the time, so the odds may be swung in my favor. But, even if you translate every negative interaction I’ve had into 100, with the assumption that the other 99 just didn’t say anything, I’m still at 0.

    My anecdotes beat your anecdote.

    • You do open carry right.

      It also helps if you’ve got a show piece you don’t mind carrying. A stainless 1911 with interesting grips, or a revolver with handsome wood grips somehow are less threatening than the scary black guns.

  55. If the guy who wrote this wins anything, it should be a year’s membership with MDA. He’ll fit right in.

  56. Never has my home been burglarized, never have I experienced an armed robbery, and never have I ever felt like my life, or my family’s lives been in danger.
    I am in fact not an expert and a pistol was an entirely new tool in my tool belt.

    That says it all. I was taught in my early youth to use a handgun by my great uncle. He was a true backwoodsman and an exceptionally good man. These days I openly carry a 3 3/4″ barreled New Vaquero in .45ACP; everyday, everywhere. Before that, it was a full sized 1911. I’ve carried all of my adult life (and some before, on and off). I have faced criminal violence many times, sometimes using my firearm and sometimes not. You haven’t and are speaking from ignorance. You might be older or younger than me but in this realm I can consider you a junior. Bear arms like a grown man for some more years because, sonny, you don’t yet know what the hell you’re talking about.

    Here’s some free advice. Unless you can’t afford better, ditch that Jimenez POS. There are far more reliable firearms that will hide just as well. I have carried a Jennings J-22, Jimenez J-25, and Raven 380 at some point or another. I’ve got a relative’s NIB Jimenez 22 sitting in a drawer with severe feed problems. He purchased it out of ignorance. Your boss’ son didn’t do you any favors selling you that as your first EDC. Whatever you do, don’t slightly limp wrist that worthless pimp gun or it will jam for sure.That Jimenez of yours might just get you killed.

  57. OP needs to come to Talladega County, AL. We even have 5 Pigs here. I’ve open carried in 3 of them. Oh the horror! Plus both Wal-Mart’s. Now I’ve got to find some high capacity clipazines for my Jennings, Jimenez and High Points. What a joke………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….WTH RF? Give them enough rope?

    • Exactly. This reeks of a troll piece, this either A. All made up or B. All made up. Look at the terms used “Billy Badass” “Strapped to their hips” THis is right out of the antis styl book. Plus this beauty:

      “Suppose these wanna-be cowboys carried their .22s to protect the innocent shoppers of Piggly Wiggly. Any gunman would immediately target them, then be armed with two more weapons” Again, straight out of the anti style book, just a reworded version of “its more dangerous to have a gun cause the bad guy can take…blah blah” Cause every robber immediately looks for armed folks to have a shoot out with, take their guns so they have “extra” guns.

      This is silly, trolling nonsense. I don’t believe any of this, esp. “As a strongly conservative Republican”

      . Or what if they wanted to do harm and were scoping out the place? Not sure how well that would have gone seeing as every person in the grocery store was already suspicious of them including the management and at least one armed citizen: me.

      • “I don’t believe any of this, esp. ‘As a strongly conservative Republican’.”

        Funny, having known many people who identify themselves as “conservative Republicans”, that’s the most believable part to me. More often than not, such people are just as concerned as the “liberal Democrats” are with telling other people how to live.

        • Certainly, there are busybodies on both sides of the political aisle. The difference is that the conservative busybody will tell you what he believes you should do, and the progressive busybody will use the power of the state to force you to do what he believes you should do.

  58. Billy the Kid and his partner

    No bias here. I can see that we’re in for unvarnished, objective truth,

    Little did anyone in the store know I had more firepower in my waistband than the two combined.

    Wrong, they outgunned you, only you were too stupid to realize it.

    As a strongly conservative Republican


    I am not the type to put down other people’s beliefs


    I couldn’t help but wonder why these two felt the need to strap their guns to their hips on the way to the grocery store.

    I currently have a 350 HP sports car. I’m selling that to buy a 550 HP sports car. I don’t have to justify that to you or anyone else. I don’t have to demonstrate a “need.” That’s what is great about America, something which you clearly do NOT understand. Republican indeed.

    Suppose these wanna-be cowboys carried their .22s to protect the innocent shoppers of Piggly Wiggly.

    I don’t open carry to protect those around me. I carry to protect myself and my loved ones. If you are too stupid to carry a gun, then you will likely suffer the consequences should a bad encounter arise. I simply OC because that works best.

    Any gunman would immediately target them, then be armed with two more weapons.

    Please cite even ONCE in American history when that has happened.

  59. I don’t know that I necessarily agree with the author, but I certainly don’t agree with the folks who rail road him for suggesting that OC hurts the cause. Creating experiences of dread amongst gun muggles who rarely, if ever, encounter armed civilians is not a way to win hearts and minds. That’s going to be done through someone actually taking the time to make them feel comfortable not just “Well I saw a dude with a blaster on his hip at the Piggly Wiggly, at first I wasn’t sure but then nobody got shot and now I’ve totally changed my mind and am an ardent gun rights supporter!” said no one ever. OC makes sense in some contexts, but it also does not in most others. The reality is we’re not quite there yet for OC to be normal and not make anybody uncomfortable. You’ve got a right to be armed, and how you do that is a personal choice. You’ve also got a right to be a giant phallus, but I question that slant when it comes to forming stronger interpersonal relationships. I wish OC was the norm and wasn’t polarizing, there’s nothing finer than nice gun leather and purdy shooting iron on display, but we’re not there yet. The effect is made worse when the blaster in question is a scary black gun in a high speed low drag holster of some stripe, especially drop leg.

    That all said, I do think this is a troll piece. No self respecting person of the gun would admit owning a Jiminez as their EDC. Have some pride, man!

    • Creating experiences of dread amongst gun muggles

      WTH is a “gun muggle?” And since you use “amongst” I can only assume you are from the UK, so why do you care what we do in America?

      • Attack grammar and assume I’m from the UK? Read a book bro.

        “Gun muggle” is a term that’s used on this very website from time to time, if you need help understanding a pop culture reference, I’ll kindly point you to google and let you take it from there. Here’s a hint, you understand the first part of the phrase, so focus on the second.

        • Among = America, amongst = UK. That’s why I said you were from the UK. Really, who in the U.S. uses amongst? As for the rest, never heard of a gun muggle. Some UK term I suspect.

        • Yet and still it’s not inappropriate in standard English.

          If you can’t engage the argument you zero in on the method of delivery of said argument.

          “I can’t argue the point, but I can shoot the messenger”… sounds like a very familiar political tactic especially by one American political party. Have fun with that 🙂

        • Holy crap are you ever a moron. I never even said I disagreed with you, but you are too stupid to understand. I simply asked you one question, “What is a gun muggle?” I surmised it might be some British term since you used British language.

        • Ironically, muggle is, indeed, a term from British literature; to wit, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. In that series, a muggle is a person born with no magical powers. Muggles aware of the existence of magic are presented as generally afraid of, and biased against, magic and its use, because they are unfamiliar with those who have it and how they use it.

          Thus, a “gun muggle” is someone who is unfamiliar with gun culture, and therefore scared of and biased against both guns and gun culture.

        • Danny,

          Nice ad hominems.

          If the term still eludes you, google is your friend. it’s not painful and it’s not my shortcoming that you are detached from pop culture references. If anything, it undermines your position.

        • RD, so it’s just something you read on the internet and have no clue what it means? You seem to have a hard time defining it.

        • Nevermind, Chip was able to define it, whereas you didn’t seem to have a clue. Another British term, not a surprise. So you’re a Brit? If so, you have no say in our policies. Go away.

        • Danny,

          I don’t use words unless I know what they mean.

          You still have not been able to take me to task on any of my points, merely whining about my word craft and insisting that I dispel your ignorance, which from that outset I refused to do, and maintain.

          I’m a Georgia native, so I’ll let you continue to mouth breathe in comments in your good jean shorts 😉

        • Taking you to task on what points? I never said I disagreed with anything you said. Damn, man, you are giving Southerners a bad name. I love the South dearly (I honestly do and I think God played a cruel trick on me having me born in Indiana), but you are playing into the stereotypes of them being stupid. Grow a brain, at least for this thread.

        • Really, who in the U.S. uses amongst?

          (*Raises hand*) I use words like amongst, whilst, and such. I’ve learned to reduce my frequency of usage but it still slips in from time to time in my speech and writing. Born and raised in the USA but I pronounce advertisement and schedule as “Add-vert-iss-ment” & “Shed-u-ll”. 😀 My kids do it sometimes too.

          Odd? Yes. Unheard of? Nope. Rare? Perhaps.

          On one particular undergraduate biology paper, the only point I had deducted was because I wrote “Far apart were set the eyes of the frog.” instead of “The frog’s eyes were wide apart.” The American professor said that my sentence was “too poetic” for a scientific paper. (If you’re reading TTAG Professor… Hi Don! 🙂 )

    • Fear of guns and fear of open carry is a cultural thing, not a rational thought process. Gun rights is a culture war where we have to change the culture, and you’re not changing culture if you’re not changing culture.

      • Yeah, but to change culture, you need to have charisma and style to the point people want to emulate you. Wearing your freshly laundered jean shorts, old school white Reebok’s with mid calf tube socks, and your M&P in a kydex OWB makes exactly zero people want to be like you and more than likely makes you an object of ridicule, potentially entrenching people in their existing negative opinions of guns and gun owners. There’s a reason Colion Noir is an effective spokesman for the NRA and gun culture at large.

        Put a different way, you can evangelize standing on a street corner in traffic with a “You’re going to hell!” bill board or you can go among the crowd, attempt to connect on a personal level and share your experience with the Lord. One is far more likely to be effective than the other.

        • Wearing your freshly laundered jean shorts, old school white Reebok’s with mid calf tube socks,

          Don’t think anyone has worn that since the 1970’s. For my part I OC in dress casual most every day. I do see some OCing in shorts, but never like you describe.

        • Danny,

          It’s hyperbole but the point is applicable: If you look like a fuddy duddy FOWG and fit into a stereotype before you even open your mouth then folks aren’t really going to listen to what it is you’re going to say because they’ve got you figured out.

          Even if you’re not wearing Reebok’s and tube socks, if you own a pair of jean shorts and think that it’s not hideously out of style, then the point still stands.

        • Sorry RD. I ain’t feeling yuh, as some say.

          You have not convinced me I am being a “huge phallus” for OC’ing for the last seven years. ( The more common anti-freedom phrase is compensating for a small phallus, just in case you haven’t heard this RD.)

          Since I have been OC’ing in a large metro area of Albuquerque NM, I have had none of the “muggles” be frightened by my practicing a civil right, and I have seen more people in the last year OC’ing as well.

          The acceptance of OC’ing is spreading. Maybe because people are OC’ing.

          What a concept.

        • Thomas,

          You’re in New Mexico, that’s got a much more gun friendly cultural fabric than many other major metros. I don’t doubt it’s NBD when you go strapped with gats (openly), I can tell you first hand that’s not the situation on the ground in ATL and surrounding areas or Miami and it’s suburbs. It’s tough to generalize your experience in Albuquerque to any other major metros where it’s a less than savory practice. I can’t speak with authority to other SE major cities than I’ve just listed, but they weren’t radically different from Atlanta, and I didn’t see anybody open carry, and I’m all the time looking for kindred spirits I assure you.

        • Living in Michigan I rarely get down to Georgia. I’ve never OCed in Atlanta, but I recently OCed in Alpine Helen which is near Atlanta.

        • I can’t really comment on Helen because the only times I’ve been up to it were to drink lots of beer during Octoberfest or go tubing in the summer, neither activity supported me having my heater with me. Helen is ” rural” compared to ATL, although it’s a tourist trap, so I have no idea how it factors in on the spectrum. If I had to guess they’re probably generally OK with it.

  60. These Fudd’s are like segregationists claiming they arent racist. Maybe they honestly don’t believe they are but there’s truly no such thing as keeping people down for their own good.

  61. Next we’ll be seeing instances of panic-stricken people calling 911 because they saw a gun (or Confederate flag) – oh wait, it already happens. Or even worse, called the police on someone (me) because they saw someone aiming a “gun” at cars driving by. Except it was a Canon SLR with a telephoto lens.
    Because how someone ‘feels’ is more important than reality, facts or truth.

  62. I am all for open carry being legal. I am also for the idea that with rights come responsibility and one responsibility is to follow unwritten, but apparent, community standards. An example is that you don’t walk into a even a middling restaurant without shoes and a shirt, whether there is a sign or not.

    This is my choice and only applies to me: I will not OC a gun where it might scare or offend people, unless it is part of an organized effort to make a political point. If I am in a rural area I may OC if other people do. In an urban area, I will not. To me it is common courtesy to not do things that offend people who have done nothing to deserve being offended.

    As a practical matter, I don’t OC in urban areas because I don’t want to be a target, either of a BG who wants my gun, or a “swatter” who wants to call the police and ruin my day, if not get me shot.

    • “As a practical matter, I don’t OC in urban areas because I don’t want to be a target, either of a BG who wants my gun, or a “swatter” who wants to call the police and ruin my day, if not get me shot.”

      Your carry choice is your carry choice, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put this “target for the bad guy” myth to rest.

      I’ll admit some concern over being a target of swatting may be warranted. That at least HAS HAPPENED and with enough frequency and recently to merit consideration.

      But, the ‘bad guy will target me’ is not supported by data. POTG need to stop trotting out memes as if they are facts.

      • As any competent statistician should tell you, there is not enough data out there prove or disprove much about single elements of street crime one way or another. So that allows lies, damn lies and statistics on the subject. As I said, my post was my opinion and only applies to me. If I feel OC makes me a target, that is my right to factor it into my decision making. The idea makes sense to me. Nothing more to be said about it.

        • Don’t confuse sufficient statistics to have low error bars in prediction with having no data whatsoever.

          Can you name 5 instances of an OC-er being “targeted” by a bad buy? Three?

          It’s a myth.

          Please don’t trot such myths out in a way that sounds like they are FACTS as that’s how the hell Geezer Science is perpetuated. Someone will read it, and repeat it thinking it’s true JUST because they “read it on the Internet” on a site called…get this…”The Truth About Guns.”

          In fact, I’d venture to say that’s probably why YOU think there’s truth to the assertion. Someone said it, offering ZERO DATA in the process, and you believed them. One thing is clear, though…it’s not a RATIONAL (that means “based on observable data”) belief.

          On the other hand, there ARE cases, documented cases, where OC-ers have stopped crimes and even deterred them.

          As I said…your carry, your choice. No skin off my nose. I really don’t care how you carry or WHY you choose to carry a certain way. Really. Really really.

          But the minute you publicly post BS as ‘assumed to be fact’ you are going to get called on it.

          So, this reply is not for you, per se. It’s for the people that will read this sub-thread on the comment page and might give more credence to the claim “OC makes you a target.”

        • Did you read the second one Danny? Where a guy got hit with a baseball bat in Walmart as some shiftless hobo went for his gat?

          A 226 in 357 sig, who does that?

  63. What is it exactly that you don’t like about open carry, Mr Mitchell? You mention broadcasting you have a gun is bad, but how did you get there? Statistics? Belief? There’s a lot of people who say that it’s bad to open carry because it makes you a target, but I am not sure where this conclusion is coming from. Cops would be the obvious targets basically all the time, and it’s true they are occasionally targeted for their guns, but how much more often are they protected by the open show of arms? I’d argue much more often. Like literally every day. Kind of like how you believe a gun can protect you where a lot of people would say you are much more likely to harm yourself with it than ever need it.

    I don’t disagree with your assessment of these boys. Open carry for false bravado or vanity is unseemly. But as long as it is done safely it’s no big deal. I feel like poor concealed carriers injure more people than open carriers, though this could just be because there are less of them.

    I’d advise open carrying yourself a little. Walk a mile in the other guys shoes. For the most part people don’t notice open carriers when it’s done right. So don’t condemn the whole practice for the sins of the few.

    Thanks for the article! Your writing is cogent and to the point. Don’t knock your skills.

  64. I’ve read all the endless variations on, “Open carry needlessly offends and alarms people. It does our cause no good. It does not normalize guns, instead we must avoid upsetting the hoplophobes at all costs.”

    At one point Rosa Parks offended and alarmed people. As did black people at a Walgreens lunch counter, or walking up the steps of a school. They did it anyway. And they kept doing it until it became the norm.

    The gun grabbers hate and fear you already. OC will not change that. But those who fear guns from lack of exposure will become less alarmed each time they see an OCer and NOTHING HAPPENS. They might even have the thought, “But he seemed so normal!” Or even, “He seemed like such a nice person, even with that gun on his hip.”

    There were many blacks. perhaps the vast majority of them. who counselled against any violation of the Jim Crow laws. They did not want to stir up more conflict and animosity. But without the principled agitators, they might be humbly sitting in the back of the bus today.

    In many locations today that is who the open carriers remind me of. Sometimes I disagree with their methods, but they are enduring the friction and the hassle of normalizing OC and guns in general – so you don’t have to. We are NOT going to win the culture war by not offending anyone. We will win it when we insist that your feelings do not trump my rights.

    (Yes, I realize my analogy is flawed on several counts. No slavery, Bull Connor, or fire hoses. But anyone who thinks the fight for the 2nd Amendment is not of equal importance to the Civil Rights movement is not watching current events very closely. And people have been jailed for the 2nd Amendment fight. Serious forces want us to loose this fight too.)

  65. Dear Will Mitchell,

    You are a hypocrite of the highest order. Please fix yourself.

    Those two boys forced you to confront your irrational fears and that makes you mad. Tough s***. If you can’t get over the fact that other people want to carry guns too, without asking for your permission or your worthless advice on how many millimeters of clothing should protect your gentle eyes from its magical forces, then please move to Venezuela or New York City. My freedom does not begin where your fears end.

    You are not a good guy because you finally got around to picking up your concealed carry permit. Nor are you entitled to spout your ignorance about self defense tactics or what other people “need” or don’t need. Save your two cents. The fact that you and your loser boss managed to turn virtually every element of your innocent encounter with these boys, from their age to the adequacy of their “firepower” and even the size of their firearms, into a d***-measuring contest suggests that you have deep-seated insecurities that can only be handled on a therapist’s couch. Your ability to project your insecurities onto others and create drama and tension out of thin air is truly breathtaking.

    We have enough summer soldiers.

  66. Freedom isn’t free. It also isn’t always orderly, or clean or even safe. Freedom for you and me means freedom for other people as well.

  67. One thing is for certain. If generating reader response is a criteria for the contest, this guy is certainly in the running.

    • That, my friend is a true fact!!!

      Been a while since I’ve heard this much diatribe. Did I use that word correctly Dannyboy? Just kidding. It’s all good, as we say in the hood.

  68. “These were simple guns, used to shoot snakes in the yard, not something you strap to your belt on a trip to the grocery store.”

    The same can be said about anything made by Jimenez Arms.

  69. Ah yes, since getting permission was quick and painless it wasn’t like getting permission to exercise a right. But it was.
    And those foolish “boys” really exercising a right really need to grow up and get their permission slips.

  70. Did they shoot the place up like Yosemite Sam while whoopin’ it up? No? Well then….I don’t see what the problem is.

  71. Forgive me if I don’t take seriously someone who carries a Jimenez .380 for protection his opinion on someone else choice of carry weapon.

  72. LOL. Contest Winner right here. Contest winner! Give him a Henry Rifle! Make him sign an agreement he may take possession of the Henry rifle as long as he open carries it in a grocery store. Take a photo of him open carrying it in a grocery store posing with the manager and the clerk and send it to TTAG.


  73. If the TTAG contest awarding criteria hinges upon number replies or strength of heated and passionate counter views, me thinks, ding, ding, we have a winner. Me hopes the author satirically intended to invite spirited debate, rather than sees OC in such an unfavorable light. But who are we to judge?

  74. I do not agree with the author on his views of open carry. I live out in the sticks and I carry a gun every day for snakes and varmints. It depends on the day but I CC and open carry. when I go to the cities here in Colorado while open carrying I almost never receive a second look from the public. If I open carry my XDs .45 the average person never even notices the pistol on my hip and those that do ask about it we have an intelligent conversation about firearms and the right to own them. As for being a target because I am open carrying I am fine with that. I am ex military and very competent in my abilities with firearms, edged weapons and hand to hand combat. I would rather the criminal target me rather than the untrained civilian or concealed carrier that has shot his little .380 a total of 10 times. There is a chance that my firearm being visible will deter the criminal due to most of them being cowards and opportunists.

  75. WOW! Now, we definitely know how to stir the pot and get everyone to exercise those finger muscles (for more than regular gun use).

    Write an article criticizing open carry (but praising conceal carry), while besmirching the open carriers choice of caliber as well as their gun brand of choice.

    Throw in a dash of round chambered (or not), with another dash of hammer cocked or not…maybe some Ford Vs, Chevy, grab the popcorn and a soda and watch the thread get longer and longer.

    Pros: Increased heart rate with better blood flow to areas that may need it,

    Cons: Increased blood pressure which could result in stroke for some. Requests to turn in your “Man/Gun Card” because of any of the subjects included in proposed diatribe/post.

  76. They may have not wanted to waste money on the permitting process. As carrying it openly is free where you have to pay anywhere from $10-$200 for a CCW permit depending on paper or plastic and length of time the permit is valid for.

  77. Wow this took on a life of it’s own…Oh and I’d take my Pepper Blaster over your Jimenez zamak(zamack,zymack?) Las Vegas masterpiece…

  78. Booooooooooooo. No prize for you.

    Speaking of Open carry…

    I’ve been doing it for the past two days with my XD. I’ve never used anything other than an IWB until now. God, is it comfortable!

    At home, of course. Illinois doesn’t have OC (unless at home or private business) or else I totally would do it all the time.

  79. It sounds like the youths were nothing but polite, well mannered, young shoppers who carried their sidearms responsibly. It gives some credence to the old saying that An Armed Society is a Polite Society. I think more people should be carrying their weapons openly. Not many criminals do. I carry concealed but often feel that it is secretive, like I’m hiding it just as a criminal would. But not all States allow open carry as my State no longer does.


  80. Those who choose submission don’t know the feeling of a boot on their neck. They never see the problem…

    One’s decision to view someone as “Billy Badass” is no different than one’s decision to see someone as “Nigger.” It’s an internal choise based on internal beliefs and perceptions which may be neurotic, deranged, or merely social conditioning (which may still lead to such extremes when society goes clean off the chain itself).

    If people want to be afraid, it is no different from being offended. Nothing causes you to be offended. You CHOOSE TO TAKE OFFENSE. It’s another internal function.

    Me and my gun do not MAKE you feel, think, or do anything.

    Is it true that social conditioning has made it stand out? Yes. And what’s going to put it back to sane again? Hiding in the closet? Succumbing to it?

    This is how class warfare is won and lost, and the writer is giving up without a fight by giving in to the false arguments. Condition the whole of society to a norm, defame all who do not conform to that norm. Make rights into not-the-norm and it’s easy to eliminate them.

    If you’re not willing to stand out a little and maybe put up with some unwanted attention in the name of the bill of rights, no wonder it’s being lost… We have people supposedly on our own team who have fallen for it and tear us down even as we fight for the rights they’re happy to throw away… With PotG like that, who needs enemies?

    You’re right. It’s not the norm to see people OCing… You gonna let the people who pressed that into reality win? You’re right, it rocks the boat a bit; because it’s no longer the norm. Is giving into it going to change that?

    Until YOU start OCing too, it won’t be… It’s not about attention, or being macho, or any of the names you call out when you know you’re wrong but can’t admit it or don’t even realize why. You’re programmed. Brainwashed. You’re fighting for the enemy and you don’t even realize it.

    Some even go to the ultimate extreme of self-contradiction. “When I draw my gun from cover, that’ll show ’em! I probably won’t even hsve to shoot just just seeing my gun will scare them off!”

    So, uh, why not just let it be seen in the first place, so as to avoid the whole altercation?

    “Cuz if I OC, I’ll be the first target!”

    OK, so, in one sentence you argue that just seeing the gun will scare off the bad guys, and then you turn right around and say the opposite? That it’ll be a bad guy magnet? Which is it? It can’t be both… This sort of obvious self-contradiction is proof of emotionally clinging to an agenda that defies fact.

    Why should I have to hide it? Why is it a big deal? Do black people have to cover up their skin so that people programmed to fear or hate them don’t have a bad reaction to seeing black skin?

    Having a problem with OC is a conditioned response that defies logic and reason. When entering into an environment in which most people have been thus brainwashed, so you just go along with it, or do you do your part to set things right? When we’re having a one-sided “national conversation,” doesn’t seeing a gun NOT doing the bad things that the media says they all do, go a long way towards a voice in that censored, one-sided wad of propaganda? Actions speak louder than words, no?

    That’s the saddest part of the anti-OC person who CCs… These vapid arguments are all so obvious they’re become cliche, but the social conditioning is so strong it overrides common-sense.

    Out of Sight, Out of Mind: If bad guys can’t see it, it isn’t PREVENTING anything. I’d much rather simply let my gun be seen than have to draw and possibly fire it because it was concealed.

    An Ounce of Prevention is worth 9 Rounds of Cure: Again, ties into the above. Why put yourself in a position of having to draw and maybe fire by hiding the gun and bainting an attack where you have to defend yourself, when you could simply prevent it ever happening and the world is a better place for everyone?

    Actions Speak louder than Words: The hate-mongers can SAY whatever they want. But we can be seeing DOING the opposite. Actions cannot be lies. This is why they speak louder. Words can be lies. And we can prove that they are lies by taking actions that cannot be denied. If we fail in this, then the words stand no matter if they are lies or not. We censor ourselves. We allow them to have the one-sided debate. We fail to answer. All because we’re afraid of what someone might think?

    Of course it’s going to stand out a bit. It’s been marginalized. You can’t un-do that by allowing it to stand. DUH!

  81. open carry is alot like guys with big monster trucks; attention whores that are compensating. open carry to me is alot like the analogy of running from a bear, i just have to be faster than YOU. so when the gunman is focused on the open carry dolt, i’ll take my shot, if possible. and if no open carrier is around, guess what? the badguy still doesn’t know what i have.

  82. Mr Zimmerman, it may have been wise to google “Dick Metcalf” before you shared your opinion here. If inciting an angry mob was on your bucket list then you can certainly scratch that one off the list

  83. So two people legally carried their guns into the food store and nothing happened. Seems the only problem here is the author’s heartburn. I hope you picked up some Maalox while you were there.

  84. The last several years of my life seem to refute the author’s opinions. I refuse to pay the government for the privilege of placing a piece of fabric over my sidearm. Here in Virginia I can carry pretty much everywhere OC. I make frequent trips to several different grocery stores and other retail establishents, as well as several doctor’s offices, pharmacies, gas stations, and other incidental places. I have had exactly ZERO negative issues; quite to the contrary, I’ve had a few positive conversations. Most people don’t even notice the firearm. Just last week I was standing in a Veterinarian’s office when another gentleman came in and stood right next to me and my OC firearm for several minutes before he noticed and commented. These facts may not conform to your worldview, just carry on.

  85. Author here. Let me clear some things up for the keyboard warriors who want to tear my article apart word by word. Jiminez Arms, yeah its a cheap piece of junk but some of us have bills to pay and when a gun comes along that doesn’t take a months pay out of my pocket I buy it and try it out. I’ve since upgraded to a Taurus Millineum G2. Secondly, I’m the only one who saw these boys and I’m a pretty good judge of character and maybe, just maybe I didn’t want to put “they looked like methheads” in my article. They were carrying to look cool and intimidating. And I think I saw someone call my story fake? Ha, I don’t even know what to say to that one. Why would sit down and create a story like that where I carry a flippin Jiminez Arms 380.
    Sincerely Yours, “Fudd”

    PS: anyone who wrote more than 5 sentences about my article, let’s read yours.

    • I am certain you would avoid me and bad mouth me behind my back as well, being scooter trash and all.
      Writing an article and publicizing it comes with no immunities from criticism. Nobody needs to publish an article of their own to offer up criticism.
      I guess it just sucks to be you.

      • Scooter trash? That’s a new one. I really don’t care about what any keyboard warriors has to say about me. Contest ended 3 hours ago and I have 3 times as many comments as anyone else. I’ll be thinking about my next article as soon as I get that Henry rifle.

    • They were carrying to look cool and intimidating.

      We get it already. You thought they were cool and you were intimidated. It’s all about your feelings. If you win the rifle, make sure that you stick it somewhere so you don’t accidentally open carry. I suggest a place lacking in sunshine.

      • I will stick it somewhere lacking in sunshine… Urban Meyers ass. War Damn and please don’t ever come to the south.


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