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An open carry group in Michigan has done a remarkable thing, even if it’s built on the accomplishments of a great many before them.  They have made the open carry of long guns in Detroit hip and cool. On an MSNBC video. The video was made for Ronan Farrow’s show, featuring 22-year-old activist James Baker. He’s well spoken, photogenic, and persuasive. He and a couple of other people formed the group, Hell’s Saints, in July. He comes across in a largely positive light, narrating much of the video. He actually reminds me of Cody Wilson, of 3D printed firearms fame.



They’re know as the Hell’s Saints, a Detroit-area-based group who travel the state and make planned walks displaying handguns on their hips and rifles slung over their shoulders.

The stated goal: to educate citizens about their Second Amendment right to openly carry firearms.

The “optics” are good. The open carriers come across as safe, dedicated, informed and outside the “establishment”.   At one point, a DPD cruiser stops to investigate the open carriers as they walk along. A police officer states that they know of the open carriers, and understand their rights. The group is unmolested, and continues their walk. The police never drew their weapons, and didn’t require anyone to disarm. The message is clear: You have the right, and the police cannot take it from you. A female member of the group remarks that police time could be spent in better ways.

The group is multi-racial. It practically screams urban, cool, and hip.

The statements that flash on the screen are largely positive and informative. The last message is that open carry of handguns is legal in 44 states, 13 of which require a permit. Combined with Police Chief Craig‘s endorsement of using firearms for self defense, this is a potent message to the people of Detroit.

This video will be a powerful tool for open carry groups across the nation. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were shown to all the legislators in Texas, Florida, and South Carolina, who are on the front line of the open carry movement.  Texas is expected to pass an open carry bill in 2015. This video could make a difference in what kind of laws they pass. When Texas becomes an open carry state, there will be more states with “constitutional carry” than there will be that ban open carry.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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  1. Well you know the Detroit Wasteland IS a good place for OC. In case people didn’t catch the news stories about it certain parts of that city are decaying so much that nature is starting to take it over. There’s even been reports of BEARS being sighed roaming within the city limits.

  2. Wow, That pic looks like the cover art for “Band of the Hand.”

    More classy OC like this will absolutely drive MDA out of their little, nonfunctioning minds. I love it!

  3. Two thumbs up to anything that helps to normalize carry of any type, and that encourages more law-abiding citizens to avail themselves of their second-amendment-protected rights.

    • The MSM, except for Fox, is losing their shirts. After a few more layoffs at the New York Times and CNN, I expect they’ll both be paying dues to the NRA.

    • How long will it be since he’s stopped posting (or whatever happened) that people will stop bringing him up?

  4. A very long time ago, NY City kids who were members of their school shooting club would carry their rifles slung across their backs on the subway or the bus. No one batted an eye. Today, the SWAT team would be called in for a student caught with a pocket knife.

    • For eating a poptart in the shape of a knife, but the real offense would be the big gulp he had to wash it down with.

  5. Pfft. Guns are ALWAYS cool. Even to gun grabbers, that’s why action movies and first person shooters rule the world.
    Hip is a little tougher to nail, I’m thinkin. In the gun world, I don’t see near enough 5.11 on those kids to be hip, but their mileage may vary.

    • Do you think it’s possible to carry ironically? Like, maybe get a lever action .22? Or take it the other way, and have a horse-drawn cannon?

    • 5.11 gear? That isn’t hip. That’s cop and OFWG. It’s because these people are not wearing 5.11 that they bring a bit of hip to it. Now Five Ten Guide Tennies, some high-end jeans, maybe a non-LEAF Dead Bird soft shell? More hip.

      Detroit (like most cities) never had enough cops to stop crime without the quietly armed citizen doing their part. It’s a case of trying to maintain a union monopoly. “We don’t need you carriers, because despite rampant violent crime, we’ve got it under control!” I can only laugh. And carry.

  6. “When Texas becomes an open carry state, there will be more states with ‘constitutional carry’ than there will be that ban open carry.”

    Last I heard, the proposal on the table in Texas is to graciously allow open carry only for people who have a concealed carry license. That is not constitutional carry.

  7. I like the optics, but I wish they’d dress up a little more. If you’re going to OC to make a statement, could you at least look well-dressed enough to be let into the country club? Slacks and a polo shirt aren’t a very high bar, and it goes a long way toward making people feel comfortable.

    • “Country Club” isn’t hip. And the people in slacks and a polo on weekends haven’t been doing much to make urban cores safer. I have to dress Club all too often, and I’m pretty sure I’m not hip when so dressed.

    • Fuck the Dockers & polos. Its not like they look like skinheads or tweakers, either. They actually look like they went for a walk because the Dungeon Master forgot his dice so they couldn’t play, and there are no new Harry Potter books. The whole point is that this is for *everyone*.

  8. I am sure the Chief of Police appreciated their presence. Armed law abiding citizens walking the streets of Detroit creates a bubble of security that the usual criminal element is going avoid.

  9. I support the right of black Americans to open carry as a deterrent to being harassed by racist cops.

  10. I like the video, I like the message. They are dressed in their every day duds, not trying to be someone they are not. Good for them.

  11. They kinda look like a post-apocalyptic class photo kind of thing. The picture they take right before they start dying one by one by the zombie hordes.

  12. “A group of activists in Detroit walks openly through the city, carrying large automatic weapons and handguns, to demonstrate their individual rights to ‘Open Carry.’ This eye-opening look from our partners at Vocativ follows the group as they parade through town.”

    You think after spending some quality time with this group they would have learned that they aren’t carrying “automatic” weapons.

    The derp…it hurts.

    • Yeah — I was going to point out that none of those weapons are actually large, and certainly aren’t automatic. I can’t believe it took this far down the comments for someone to pounce on that!

      It seems to fit a trend I’ve noticed lately for journalists to not do their homework, they just take someone’s word for it and go to print. Shameful.

  13. Kinda like Colion Noir has been doing, but it’s good to see more young people learning about their rights, and passing on that knowledge. And I loved that woman that said, “I wish I knew it was open carry day, I woulda brought my gun”

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