Massad Ayoob on Open Carry: Don’t Scare the Horses


Gun guru Massad Ayoob reckons there are very few times when it’s OK to open carry a long gun. “Experts will tell you that handguns are carried holstered, in case they’re needed for a life-threatening emergency, while long guns are traditionally carried only when their immediate use is anticipated,” Mas writes at “For us, that’s hunting, response to an already identified emergency (think “Rodney King riots”), or a target shooting range.” And . . . that’s it. Open carrying a long gun to make a political point about gun rights? Ayoob’s not down with that . . .

To the general public, that image instantly calls to mind Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Newtown.  When an otherwise obviously smart and articulate poster says the officer confronting such a person with hand on service pistol is the one being provocative, I can only say “Wow…just…wow.” . . .

Doing things that alarm those people in the middle will do nothing to help the pro-gun side.  Fear is the key ingredient that creates hatred.  Doing things that put the general public in fear will cause more people to hate us, and anyone who seriously thinks flaunting rifles around schools in cities and suburbs will somehow acclimate the public to an acceptance of armed citizens is simply delusional.

Please, don’t compare the heavily armed guy who video-records himself confronting police to Rosa Parks on a segregated bus. Ms. Parks did not put anyone in fear of their lives. Don’t tell me that “a right not exercised is a right denied,” when we’ve seen confrontational open carry result in stricter laws in California, and hamper the responsible open carry movement in Texas much more recently.

You can’t argue with that last bit: open carry demonstrators (a.k.a., Chipotle ninjas) triggered the end of long gun open carry in The Golden State and took Constitutional Carry off the legislative table in Texas. “Prancing around” with a long gun in public (as Mas puts it) is politically incorrect on all sorts of levels. And yet . . .

A right is a right. It’s not for me to tell someone how, when, where or why to exercise their gun rights – any more than I should dictate terms to someone exercising their First Amendment right to free speech or religious worship. I’d prefer long gun open carriers to dress in polo shirts and chinos, make sure there are women involved, “march” in small groups, arrange a suitably hospitable place to gather, avoid confrontation with the cops and provide ID when asked, but it’s not my call.

Mr. Ayoob ends his column with a quote from a commentator: “Open carry of long guns to advocate for 2A rights is exactly the same as blowing smoke directly in people’s faces for smoker’s rights.” Not true. Open carry of long guns assaults some people’s sensibilities but it doesn’t harm them in any way. Quite the opposite, if they but knew it. [h/t James]


  1. avatar preston says:

    smart man, we need more like him on our cause and less people who try to force us to think like they do.

    1. avatar Guy says:

      Open carry drops crime rates. Cops don’t like it since it makes them look even more unnecessary. Ayoob is an ex-cop.

      One of his arguments is that you conceal to surprise the bad guy. But if the bad guy sees an open carried gun, he will not even try. Just like a person will pet a friendly dog, and will not pet a dog baring his teeth. So his advice is to encourage the attack on yourself by making yourself look vulnerable.

      I’m not knocking him completely, I think he has some valid advice. This is not one of them, this is a cop trying to keep the crime rate up and protect his craft from obsolescence.

      1. avatar george from fort worth says:

        uuuhhhhmmmm, didn’t we have a posting in the last month or so detailing the disarming of a legislator who was open carrying in a capitol city? maybe the deterrence of open carry is situational rather than assured.

        1. avatar Guy says:

          Assurances….lol. There are no guarantees in life. It’s called “speaking generally”. Do you think if someone says “it’s a nice day” they mean for everyone on Earth?

      2. avatar Clay says:

        Ayoob is one of the biggest pro “everyone” should carry people I have ever seen, so your point about his trade hold no water. His point about the detriment of open carrying a rifle the way a lot of people are doing it is spot on.
        I seriously disagree with his comment about the smoke in the face. Carrying a rifle openly, while unsettling doesn’t hurt anyone.

      3. avatar Nononon says:

        Cops don’t like it because it makes the public they protect feel unsafe – not because it makes them look useless as cops are not just someone with a gun, they’re trained professional peace keepers

      4. avatar JR says:

        Open carry of a holstered handgun MAY discourage a criminal, but it also allows a criminal to circumnavigate and take out the armed individual(s) before going after his intended target. The average citizen who carries does not have the training to retain a handgun in a struggle, thereby giving the criminal access to another gun. Concealed carry allows the armed individual to improve his position before intervening.

        1. avatar Jared says:

          I read that talking point somewhere before. I think it was in a MDA publication right after the paragraph about how CCW results in blood in the streets…

        2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Open carry of a holstered handgun MAY discourage a criminal, but it also allows a criminal to circumnavigate and take out the armed individual(s) before going after his intended target.

          Criminals simply don’t behave in this manner. Sorry, it’s just not realistic. Criminals avoid armed citizens like the plague.

          The average citizen who carries does not have the training to retain a handgun in a struggle, thereby giving the criminal access to another gun.

          Isn’t this the same argument the Bloomberg Brigade use to say that women shouldn’t be armed to defend against rapists?

          Concealed carry allows the armed individual to improve his position before intervening.

          It isn’t the role of armed individuals to “intervene”. It is the role of the armed individual to stop an immediate threat to himself or those with him.

          Armed citizens lawfully going about their day-to-day affairs protecting themselves against criminals is not analogous to CQB tactics or other military situations.

      5. avatar Surly Old Soldier says:

        “Open carry drops crime rates.” That’s a pretty bold claim. We should expect some pretty solid evidence. So, where is it?

        1. avatar chris hall says:

          what,… evidence? right next to blood in the streets and concealed carry provides a solid tactical advantage.

  2. avatar mdc says:

    I agree. At Rallys outside State House’s they should be shown however.

  3. avatar Don says:

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I think he pretty much nailed it.

    1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

      I also agree! RF brings up the 1st amendment. We have the right to walk down the street and yell at someone that they are ugly. At the same time, it is not the right thing to do. Rights without moral balance and self-restraint are narcissistic and self-conceited at best. By walking down the street with an AK slung in front, it basically screams, “THIS IS ABOUT ME!!!” It is not helping the cause, and it just infuriates people.

      1. avatar Rogue_rager says:

        Yet the difference is you can not walk down the same street over and over and continue to yell at the same person because…

        (A.)Harassment consists of knowingly pursuing a pattern of conduct that is intended to annoy, seriously alarm or terrorize another person and that serves no lawful purpose. The conduct must be such that it would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress (most widely used definition in State statutes)

        So at what point does aggressive long gun carry cross this point???… And how does that help??? A right might be a right, up until the point it violates other peoples rights…

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Please define “aggressive long gun carry”. Merely bearings arms is not the same thing as yelling something repeatedly at an individual. Some antis say precisely the same thing about openly carrying a handgun.

        2. avatar Rogue_rager says:

          To “John in Ohio” the threshold of “aggressive long gun carry” I do not believe could be defined by any one definition, but would be an individual perception or belief based upon each persons own tolerance. Just like the definition of Harassment I posted. Everyone wants things in Black and White, but the World is gray. My opinion is -So since the World is gray, and we know this because studies where different juries of peers hand out different results based upon the same exact cases, that a person’s action will be defined or judged based upon their character at the time, the way they conducted themselves, and the effects they had on others.. legal now or not, peoples perception in the court of public opinion can easily make it illegal with a simple pen stroke. With great freedom comes great responsibility if we become viewed or perceived as irresponsible (even if unjustly), then we stand to lose that freedom.

        3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          I do not believe could be defined by any one definition, but would be an individual perception or belief based upon each persons own tolerance.

          That is an untenable standard for “aggression” and “harassment”. That’s why they require proof of the element if intent. What someone merely perceives as aggressive or harassing is not legally aggressive or harassing unless intent of the accused can be proven.

          People cannot be deemed criminal or not based merely on varying levels of tolerance of others.

        4. avatar george from fort worth says:

          until someone files a complaint in a state where they have laws against menacing or brandishing. juries are not made up of gun people. the “reasonable person” test done by morons, ooops – meant to say “the general public..” will result in a decision, “well, i would certainly feel threatened, and i would never do anything to make another person feel threatened so…..guilty”.

          and then, there is the fact that “swatters” are not held accountable for outcomes of their phone calls to police.

        5. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          until someone files a complaint in a state where they have laws against menacing or brandishing.

          Menacing and brandishing (“aggression”, I suppose?) are different from harassment. And there is SCOTUS precedent case law that establishes that mere carrying of a firearm, where lawful, does not constitute menacing/brandishing. The accuser must prove some unlawful action.

        6. avatar george from fort worth says:

          there are places (states, counties, town, cities) where open cary is de facto brandishing. in liberal states one need only declare fear or intimidation at seeing a handgun…intent is not contemplated in law in those jurisdiciton. consider all the concern about “printing” when carrying concealed. the gun is still hidden, not viewable, not even allowing identificaiton as something other than an object beneath a shirt, or revealed as something in a pants pocket.

          the point is, intent is in the minds of the offended party, the DA and the jury. we have recently seen the ATF declare that intent is not a consideration in classifying “armor piercing” ammo; if the ammo can/might be used to overcome police vests, it is “armor piercing”.

          Once accused of brandishing/threatening, the burden of proof is now on the gun owner (really, despite legal theory). the prosecution is playing to sympathetic jury. we are not prudent to depend on our wish as to how law enforcement and the courts should (in our minds, “must”) perform. the carrying of a firearm is almost all responsibility and the reason for carry is no excuse. we should not walk around with the false notion that proclaiming our rights make us immune to idiocy elsewhere.

        7. avatar John in Ohio says:

          You pretty much stated what I was going to Chip Bennett. Thanks. 🙂

          I will add that the whole menacing, disturbing the peace, brandishing, etc was threatened in Ohio. We had our people so charged. It didn’t fly and some departments got sued or had to change their training. 😉 IMHO, these crimes don’t mean what you think they mean Rouge_rager.

      2. avatar Steve says:

        I second, or third, or whatever, that!

  4. avatar TheBear says:

    I am glad some of you guys aren’t in charge of my laws, conduct, or freedom.

    Legal is legal. Just because some of you find something /distasteful/ doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be able to do it.

    1. avatar Kstan says:

      Some people need more government in their lives I guess

    2. avatar Retired Para says:


      1A isn’t about “acceptable” speech and the 2A isn’t about “acceptable” carry. I like Ayoob but his opinions do not equate to the word of God when it comes to the 2A.

    3. avatar Don says:

      Nobody said you couldn’t do it, just that it’s not the smartest thing o do.

    4. avatar Patrick says:

      Your first amendment protects freedom of speech. That doesn’t mean you should stand across the street from an elementary school screaming expletives at the top of your lungs. Open carry makes sense. Flaunting it to make a political point doesn’t. Are people really so naïve to think that this will bring more people on our side?

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        I’ve noticed that in order to make these ridiculous arguments, people must add some inflammatory words such as “aggressive” and “flaunting”. The antis have this same problem.

        1. avatar Jjmmyjonga says:

          I think those on both sides of this argument (believing it is appropriate to carry a long gun in and amongst a public not-doing so, versus those who do not believe doing so is appropriate) are guilty of being inflammatory (calling a person a name – “fudd”… that’s adult). On this very site, during the Ferguson episode, many many posters criticized LEO for doing the very same thing, as it inflamed and “militarized” the situation. Let’s work for stronger gun rights together, and in the process, we will likely have a better definition of what is “Arms”, what is “infringed”, etc.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          No, it’s not just inflammatory rhetoric. Some of what they are stating doesn’t make as much sense without ginning it up. If they were to type, “carrying a gun” rather than “flaunting a gun”, then their point wouldn’t be made at all. Antis do this because they wouldn’t have a point without the inflammatory qualifiers.

        3. avatar Jjmmyjonga says:

          It is reasonable for me to deduce, by your statement, that those that disagree with your stance of long guns being carried openly in a peaceful urban/suburban setting, such as defensive gun expert Mr. Ayoob alludes to, are somehow “anti” 2A. Being militant in ones stance has never proven to succeed long term, and like it or not, no type, model, or magazine capacity was noted in the brief 2A, including exactly what “arms”, “bear” or “infringed” means (try open carry demonstration on an airplane- society has imposed limits, good or bad). I agree with Mr. Ayoob, you do not, which is OK, but we are not sure where this all will go yet. How to get “there” is the question.

        4. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @Jjmmyjonga: Not at all. I simply think that those who are against freely bearing of arms are mistaken. I also think that they sometimes fall into the same trap that antis do in that they use inflammatory descriptors that makes their fears and admonitions appear more rational. I also think that some of you, deep down, are very frightened of a truly free society.

        5. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          …are guilty of being inflammatory (calling a person a name – “fudd”… that’s adult)

          Did you mis-read, or do you not know the difference between “FUD” (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and “Fudd” (i.e. Elmer Fudd)?

    5. avatar Remasculated says:

      Since the incident in the video, there has been additional information that has come to light. At this point, I’m convinced that it was a coordinated effort between the lefty, anti-gun school administrators and the local PD to get this guy to “go off” on them and put it on YouTube. I don’t think they expected it to garner the national attention that it has, but nonetheless, I think it was their objective to use it as a launch-point for getting guns away from schools in their area. (There have been a few incidents in the southeast part of lower Michigan of late regarding open-carry of guns in and around schools — lawful for someone who possesses a CCW).

      From this and other recent incidents involving OC in and around schools, it seems the local school administrators are starting to fight back. And they’re doing so using the usual lefty tactic of “OMG! Think of the children!” locking down the schools when they know that no actual threat to anyone exists.

      In this incident, how did the local cops and the school admins know he would become upset and upload it to YouTube?

      I’m glad you asked.

      The guy records all of his 2A strolls through the community, has so for years, and puts them up on YouTube, usually showing him being confronted by the local cops. The cops don’t like his 2A walks through the community. They never have. That is obvious from his previous YouTube videos. Also proven by his previous videos is that he’s a hot-head and easily-baited, often “going off” on cops who confront him.
      Once he began to include strolling past the local high school on his 2A walks, I think the school admins and local cops saw their opportunity and used his hot-headedness and propensity to be easily-baited against him.

      Again, I don’t think they expected the video to go viral, but with the perhaps unsolicited help from Moms Demand Action (and some selective editing done by the demanding moms), it did.

    6. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      Ayood’s point is that people who hate us have already gotten laws passed and enforced illegally, and if we scare undecided people, they are likely to side with the people who hate us and give them more power, not any legitimate authority, but power nonetheless.

      This is much like the civil rights protests in certain ways, but very different in one very important way: The thing open carriers are doing is not something onlookers can relate to or want to do themselves. Blacks in the old south wanted to be able to sit in any restaurant, speak their minds or date a woman who was mutually interested, without being murdered for it. Anyone can relate to wanting to do those things. Even if someone thought blacks should be denied those rights, they wouldn’t wan’t themselves to be denied those rights. Because everyone would want those rights for themselves, only the most hardened ideologues could remain blind to the unfairness of that double standard.

      Those who are undecided don’t want the right to carry guns openly, they don’t mind being denied that right themselves so have no problem with us being denied that right. Because of this, there is no double standard, at least none that most can recognize.

      Yes, your statements are true. But while you recognize an absolute truth, you are missing practical reality: Those that hate us can get laws passed illegally, enforced illegally, and everyone accepts it as legal when exercising the right becomes a crime that legitimizes stripping us of that right.

      You’ve recognized an absolute truth, but the practical reality is that there has to be a strategy in place to make sure that exercising our rights has the proper effect on public opinion.

  5. avatar george from fort worth says:

    the “don’t scare” theory seems to read, “i will only exercise my rights in situations where no one else would be offended, frightened, or surprised.” that’s about as good a definition of infringement i can think of.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:


      Also, what is the difference really between a guy that brought his MSR into a Starbucks on his way home after his vehicle broke down and a open carry demonstrator? To the fence sitter and freedom hating statist – they are the same.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        This is a good point. I’ve carried at protests and just going about my every day business. There really isn’t that much of a difference. By pushing people to be disarmed when they would otherwise be carrying seems like some are ashamed of bearing arms and somehow it’s a bad thing.

        During earlier RKBA protests in Ohio, some of our own were really pushing that people ought to be completely disarmed at the protests. Later, some of the same people could be seen openly carrying handguns but were once again back at it by insisting that people not carry long guns at protests. Eventually, even they could be observed carrying long guns at protests. I’m so glad that a vocal core minority of us did not give in to the chicken littles.

  6. avatar Friendly Neighborhood Gunsmith says:

    That’s a fun analogy. I’ve been boarding horses for quite a few years and coincidentally have my own shooting range at the bottom of the property beyond the pastures. You know what happens when you touch off a few shots a hundred yards or so from a pasture full of horses? For the uninitiated equine, a couple seconds of fear and nervously trotting in circles. After a couple of range trips the horses no longer even bat an eyelash, because horses aren’t stupid; they know that the loud bangs beyond the treeline aren’t going to hurt them. I’ve had horse owners tell me they’re glad I go shooting, because it makes their horses much harder to spook.

    Maybe there’s a message in that. Or not, you decide.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      I’ve open carried hunting rifles around horses, they didn’t seem to mind…

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        I can fire a rifle from my horse……………Once!

    2. avatar mike reed says:

      Take a non-gunner shooting w you. Outdoors if possible. Light loads or maybe a 10-22. Have fun and keep it simple, emphasizing safety. Best way to convert a non to a pro.

      1. avatar Friendly Neighborhood Gunsmith says:

        I’ve made a lot of fence sitters, anti-gun relatives and friends/relatives of frequent customers into gunnies with a range trip. I’ve also helped with the local fish and game association’s women’s league planning and I take every opportunity I can to teach people more about guns from the inside out!

    3. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Speaking of shooting around horses, my daughter has a retired race horse that upon hearing gun shots, thinks it is time to race.

      1. avatar Friendly Neighborhood Gunsmith says:

        Oddly enough we had a retired race horse here for several years, but he was fat and lazy so he just shrugged off the gun shots. The big ol’ guy was a real sweetheart and we hated to see him go when his owner had to sell him.

    4. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      Not talking about Horses, but at the range where I usually shoot, almost everyday around 1600, a buck with his harem of does will make their way to a watering hole within hearing distance. They will literally walk several feet behind our covered lanes, through the parking lot, even when we are firing our rifles. They are used to the noise and will only stop occasionally out of curiosity.

  7. avatar Remasculated says:

    Mas is a good man and has done a lot for gun rights, but he’s prone to injecting hyperbole in his writing at times.

    “…anyone who seriously thinks flaunting rifles around schools in cities and suburbs will somehow acclimate the public to an acceptance of armed citizens is simply delusional.”

    The guy in the video to which Mas refers was not “flaunting” anything (except maybe his mouth). He was carrying his bolt action rifle slung across his back — something he has done numerous times in that community over the years.

    “This blog post, like the most recent one, grew from a fellow prancing around a school with a visible rifle and handgun.”

    Oh, for crying out loud. He wasn’t “prancing,” he was simply walking down the public sidewalk — again, something he’s done numerous times over the years.

  8. avatar Remasculated says:

    *calling it “flaunting” is akin to the anti-gunners calling open-carrying in a holster “brandishing.”

  9. avatar Aerindel says:

    Well, screw him. Its sad to see such a big name bite the dust.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:


      That’s going a little far yea?

      1. avatar Aerindel says:

        Nope, I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to open carry. Either you support it or your a Feinstein. Ayoob is dead to me now.

        1. avatar Paelorian says:

          I think he supports your right. I’d be shocked if he said open carry should be illegal. He is simply advising against some forms of open carry that he feels will influence the population against the right to keep and bear arms. He doesn’t discourage open carry of long arms when you intend to use them, and he says he is not talking about discreet open carry of handguns. Since it’s generally a political form of open carry he’s talking about, it’s relevant for him to discourage it if it is ineffective. It’s counter-productive to open carry for the purpose of supporting gun rights in a way that turns people against gun rights.

        2. avatar DownrangeFuture says:

          I support your right to say whatever you want without fear of reprisal from the government. You have the right to free speech. However I don’t think it wise to go to your boss and tell him his wife was a good ride last night and begin describing the acts in detail. True or not.

          You have the right to walk down the street openly with a rifle. Should you? Well use some common sense. That’s all he’s saying.

          And yes, horses will get used to gun shots. But if someone slapped the horse every time a gun shot went off, they’d get shy of it. And the antis slap the undecided every time some idiot does something like this.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    Yea, I don’t care what Ayoob thinks. Open carry rights for long rifles are necessary:

    –> Person gets lost in forest – steps out into public park with MSR – should they be arrested for open carry?

    –> Person’s vehicle breaks down for any reason, they don’t want to leave their MSR inside the vehicle but at the same time they don’t want to call the police for assistance because they cops will search their vehicle and ask them lots of questions instead of helping. Should they be arrested for taking it with them?

    –> Person lives close by the gun range. Why drive when you can walk. Should they be arrested?

    A right is a right. Now maybe you don’t want to exercise it because you might upset and pucker up the ins and outs from some fear mongering freedom hating statists who love laws more than living, but I would rather pass. Maybe fence sitters don’t like a guy with a rifle in the coffee shop “just because.” But if they don’t like that – then they probably wouldn’t like the examples I provided above. This is cultural battlefield people. Pick a side and explain to the fence sitters why it matters.

    Mr. Ayoob ends his column with a quote from a commentator: “Open carry of long guns to advocate for 2A rights is exactly the same as blowing smoke directly in people’s faces for smoker’s rights.” Not true. Open carry of long guns assaults some people’s sensibilities but it doesn’t harm them in any way. Quite the opposite, if they but knew it.

    Yea, I don’t agree. If a guy is outside minding his own business smoking a cigarette that does not bother me. Of course – some libtards it will bother. They will think – look at that disgusting man smoking over disgusting cigarettes. We should ban cigarettes. And that is the opinion they have extended to guns as well. If a guy walks into a store armed with cigarettes that he isn’t smoking that isn’t my business.

    1. avatar Kyle in CT says:

      I don’t think he was arguing that it shouldn’t be a right, just that using that right to make a political statement is counter-productive. In any of the scenarios you described, if a cop pulls up and asks what you’re doing, just politely explain and if the cop is doing his job correctly, that should be the end of it. Maybe they’ll even give you a ride if they’re nice. The point is that openly-carrying rifles in the manner of the earlier post (i.e. lone guy walking near a school with no other apparent reason to be there) to make a political point is more likely to backfire than it is to convert people to our side.

    2. avatar Don says:

      I guess you didn’t read what he said.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Yep, read it.

  11. avatar lupe says:

    Think the author lacks understanding of exactly how viscerally some white folks disliked and feared black folk. I certainly wouldn’t say civil rights movement = open carry gun rights movement but there are some fairly clear parallels in the arguments for and against.

  12. avatar ThomasR says:

    Mas has an opinion, he’s free to share it. I don’t agree with it. The way to get over being scared about something that you shouldn’t fear is to be exposed to it.

    Simply the OC’ing of a long gun is one of those things. It’s when someone is using a long gun, or any other tool to commit murder and mayhem that we should be concerned. And you don’t need a long gun for this purpose.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      |^| This!!

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Exactly. Mr. Ayoob’s quote, “To the general public, that image instantly calls to mind Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Newtown.” … then we need to provide images of people with long guns who are NOT attacking anyone.

  13. avatar Mark N. says:

    Actually, it was open carry of (unloaded–as required by law) handguns that lead to the elimination of open carry. The long gun ban came a year later as a tag a long ban merely on the threat that someone might “open carry” (actually under Cal law there is no way to conceal carry) unloaded long guns. Why were they banned? Because doing so scared the sheeple. Mas is absolutely right about that.

  14. avatar Remasculated says:

    I posted this a while ago in the thread below in response to a Canadian gent. I’ll copy and paste it here:

    You watched the video in a vacuum having no knowledge of the history of this particular guy and the history he’s had with the local police departments, both in the community where the video was shot, and the neighboring community of Royal Oak.

    The guy is a well-known 2A rights activist. He’s gone on dozens of these type walks over the last several years. All the cops know who he is, by name and address. What got the panties of the local public school administrators in a twist is that he had walked past the high school — not onto school property, but past it on the public sidewalk — several times over the last few weeks. The school administrators decided they didn’t like him doing that, even though what he was doing was completely lawful. The school administrators decided that the next time he did it, they would go into lock-down mode. And they did. The incident you watched in the video is of the cops first confronting him on the street before he reached the high school, and later staking him out from the school parking lot as he walked by.

    Again, keep in mind that this guy has gone on dozens of 2A walks in that and neighboring communities over the last several years, always with his bolt-action rifle slung across his back. Every cop in that community and neighboring communities know who he is and that he has never harmed anyone. It was only because the local public school administrators decided they didn’t like him walking past “their school” — even though he had never stepped onto school property — that they sought the assistance of the local PD in harassing him.

    Watch the video again when he’s talking with the cop. The OCer points out that four cops are following him and staking him out. The cop’s response is, “Well, then, don’t come around here.” Get that? That’s what it was all about. Not any concern for “the children” in that he’s suddenly going to go all ‘Adam Lanza’ on them. It’s about control — local, politically-liberal school administrators deciding they didn’t like the fact that someone could lawfully walk past “their school” carrying a rifle.

  15. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    Wise words, as always, from Mr. Ayoob. I’ve read his writings for over 25 years. He definitely is my “go-to gun guru”. His book, “In the Gravest Extreme”, is a must read for anyone who has a firearm as part of their self defense plan. Had Joe Biden read the book, he wouldn’t given that stupid advice about shooting into the air.

  16. avatar Another Robert says:

    Rosa Parks put a lot of people in fear I expect. Mostly, as is the case with the people who are put “in fear” by open carry, it was people who were not actually there to see her who feared the most. Shannon might wet her drawers in Indiana over an open-carry march in Dallas. The people in Dallas see the marchers walk by, see that blood doesn’t spring up out of the ground and fill the streets, and eventually go on about their business. I see Ayoob’s point, I don’t go with provocation for its own sake, but I think he is a bit off the mark with some of his arguments.

  17. avatar John in Ohio says:

    Utter bullshit. This is more scapegoating. The people charged with not violating the rights of the People through legislation and enforcement are the public servants. Proper blame lies squarely on the shoulders of those whose sworn duty is to protect the rights of the People.

    Ms. Parks did not put anyone in fear of their lives.

    What a strawman that is! Surely Ms. Parks didn’t but it wasn’t because she was a female and perceived as less of a threat that was the issue… it was because she was black. Many white people were pissing their pants in fear at the thought of BLACK people being free. That was the point. Just because Ms. Parks wasn’t a typical “scary negro” to racist whites doesn’t mean that the idea of everyone being able to sit where they wanted wasn’t “scary” to them.

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    The deterrent effect of the People being armed is significantly diminished if they only bear long guns during times of strife. That would telegraph to the enemy, foreign or domestic, that there is some resistance actively about to occur. By bearing long guns here and there, everyday, the deterrent effect of Second Amendment protections is strengthened.

    BTW: I agree with your comments, RF.

    1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

      Yet another delusional rant from the predictable Buckeye. I guess this means that Massad will wind up on the list when you and the other .001% of society who share your delusions finally get around to that revolution you’re always threatening.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        More unsubstantiated lies. Prove what you state. Bless your little heart, Teddy. ;0

      2. avatar Deew says:

        Revolution is possible and has been done countless times, it has been done with a far less armed populace as well. It would take less than 1% of the U.S. population to put a serious hurt on any governmental body including our own armed forces. It is no joke or threat, it is a very real possibility that exists entirely separate from our enumerated rights. It’s a possibility in the most heavily restricted nations of the modern world. The greater point of the 2nd is not to enable revolution but to protect against the need for revolution. A public that is a real and visible power compared to its own government is a powerful incentive for behaving. No less than the branches of government are intended to balance each other’s power for the greater good of the Union the armed public is intended to balance the entire body of government for the greater good of the Union.

        There is absolutely no plausible threat of the government disarming the people that they may over power the people, revolution never depends on legal arms.

        Maintaining our rights dose more to prevent revolution than anything else, as a public as well armed as we are now is the least tempting enemy there can be.

        The problem is the tactics being used by the opposition, the slow whittling away of rights and freedom. People will give for a long time under those conditions and rather than correct the injustice early and peacefully the course must inevitably lead to violent conflict.

        1. avatar Chrispy says:

          “The greater point of the 2nd is not to enable revolution but to protect against the need for revolution.”

          This x10000000

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Yep and I assert that people being visibly armed, handgun or long gun, going about their lawful, everyday business is an important part of that deterrent.

  18. avatar Remasculated says:

    Also, it should be noted, that when this video first started making the rounds on the intertubes, Moms Demand Action used some selective editing to make it appear as though the OCer had walked up to the front door of the school. Not true. The OCer was invited by the cop at the scene to go register his complaint at officer conduct at the local PD HQ. The building in the video to which the OCer approached was the police station, not the school.

    Moms Demand Action got a lot of other news sites and bloggers to take their bait — including Mas at Backwoods Home — by posting their edited video suggesting that the OCer had approached the front of the school.

    (Mas eventually caught his mistake — pointed out by a commentator on his blog, I think — and took it down).

  19. avatar Robin says:

    You know the old saying, “An armed society is a polite society”? Well, that is what this is all about. If you are being polite, you don’t flaunt your firearms in someone elses face. It is rude and impolite. If you continue to do so, someone may have to teach you and that won’t go well for anybody. Even in the old west, people did not carry around rifles and shotguns while in town unless it was their only firearm.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      If someone assaults another simply because they are armed then they are committing a criminal act. So, people should be disarmed because a criminal might commit a crime? Where else do we hear that illogic?

      Even in the old west, people did not carry around rifles and shotguns while in town unless it was their only firearm.

      Myth or fact? Citations? Were the colonists only carrying pistols in town? 😉

    2. avatar Remasculated says:

      “Well, that is what this is all about.”

      No it’s not. Read my post above. This is about control. The local, liberal, public school administrators didn’t like the fact that someone could lawfully walk past the school open-carrying a rifle. So, they went into “OMG WE HAVE TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN mode” and locked the school down the next time he did it. The school administrators sought and received the assistance of the local PD — who also don’t like the fact that someone can walk down a public street lawfully OCing a rifle.

      This is politics — the anti-gun left (school administrators in this case) vs. a proponent of individual liberty.

  20. avatar MeRp says:

    I think there are several competing interests at work. First off, the assertion that “Experts will tell you that handguns are carried holstered, in case they’re needed for a life-threatening emergency, while long guns are traditionally carried only when their immediate use is anticipated,” just tells me that these ‘experts’ are focused more on optics than on tactics. THE (undeniable) best weapon to have in just about any gun fight is a long gun. Statistics prove it, anecdotes support it; if having the best tool for the emergency were the only factor, then everyone should carry long guns. So, tactics is definitely one of the interests at work. Optics are also a factor; both for, and against, carrying long guns openly. Currently, in our society, there is a relatively large portion of the population who get (at very least) nervous if they see someone carrying a long gun. Only a proper subset of those get nervous at the sight of an open carried handgun; as far as I know, no one has bothered to figure out how much smaller this subset is, however. Without knowing how much nervousness is saved by carrying handguns openly, as opposed to long guns, it is impossible to know, for sure, if the ‘scare em’ effect of carrying long guns outweighs the ‘see it didn’t kill anyone’/normalization effect. And, of course, that is the opposing part of optics; the more people see long guns carried around in every day life (or even during special events), the more they will come to accept it as normal, or, at least, acceptable.

  21. avatar Fox says:

    The way I read the quote above, Mas isn’t arguing for taking away anyone’s rights. Instead, he is merely addressing reality and calling for wisdom in the exercising of rights. Do you want to win the battle or do you want to win the war? I really doubt the increase of viewing exposure to long guns is going to change public perception. I think taking an anti to the gun range and letting them shoot the thing is much more effective.

    I liken it somewhat to what the gay rights community often tries to do in an attempt to normalize the gay lifestyle by shoving it down everyone’s throats. You may or may not be for gay rights, but personally i don’t want it slammed in my face at every opportunity. At some point you need to respect the views of others and maybe take a softer approach at advancing your agenda.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I really doubt the increase of viewing exposure to long guns is going to change public perception.

      When we concealed our handguns for generations in an open carry state, many apparently forgot how many were safely carrying concealed every day for a very, very, very long time and we got concealed carry licensing in 2005. When we then began openly carrying handguns, officers harassed us, some politicians fomented new laws, and some people schlepped out their fainting couches. When we eventually carried long guns, officers harassed us, some politicians fomented new laws, and some people schlepped out their fainting couches. Now, we are left alone when we open carry handguns. We are left alone when we carry long guns. We are hopefully on track for constitutional concealed carry. We were told that exposure to openly carried handguns wouldn’t sway public opinion in a positive direction. We were told the same about long gun carry. Any yet, here we are.

  22. avatar Gtdad says:

    Not sure why some posts are quick to judge the optics of LEO in all black rather than more non threatening military garb but don’t understand the optics of middle aged white men carring single point slung ar-15s into a movie theater or the local burger joint. Just doesn’t seem to fit the bill of normalizing the masses to 2nd amendment liberties. Just sayin’

  23. avatar Robert says:

    I disagree with the long term consequences of the open carry ban in CA. It has forced the district court for that area to tell the state that if they aren’t going to allow open carry, and they are going to be a may issue state, that they have to provide some manner for the citizens to exercise their second amendment rights. I think that overall it was a win.

    While I personally wouldn’t OC a long gun, it would be hypocritical of me in the extreme to vilify those people who choose to do so. The second amendment is the right to keep and bear arms, not keep and conceal.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Yeah, by sheer weird good fortune it turned out getting OC banned in CA was part of a court’s rationale for overturning the “may” part of “may issue.”

      I don’t give the people who OCed in CA any credit for this, though, since they surely didn’t plan this consequence. It wasn’t any part of their strategy. They open carried in a state where the anti-gun laws hadn’t caught up to the anti-gun general culture and because they made the difference visible, the two were brought into alignment and not in a good way. (Texas, the opposite situation applied/applies–the anti gun laws are slowly being aligned with the pro-gun culture.) And besides, Peruta isn’t final yet; so it may turn out it was all for naught.

      To clarify: I don’t vilify people for OCing rifles–I’ve done it myself. But I will vilify people for gratuitously acting like jerks when they happen to be OCing a rifle in a demonstration.

  24. avatar Justin says:

    I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Ayoob. Yes, it’s a right. Yes, you should be able to carry a long gun any time anywhere. I wouldn’t have a problem offending or scaring people by exercising my right… If those people didn’t vote. But they do. You don’t live in a bubble, and by freaking people out with scary looking rifles isn’t the best way to protect your rights. It just isn’t. To think otherwise is honestly naive.

  25. avatar Custodian says:

    It’s okay to run off at the mouth in person or on the net.

    Heaven forbid if you offend some one with your right to keep and bear arms.

    I believe, if it wasn’t for the the long gun open carry in Texas, the carry, regulated or not, of handguns wouldn’t even be on the table before the so called freedom loving Texans.

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      Hear hear!

  26. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    This sounds like BS sensitivity training… If it offends someone, it’s wrong.

    Have mercy, why don’t we just give the anti folk what they and disarm, as to not offend. New flash people, they’re scared of “civilian” owned guns, whether they’re seen or not.

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      Hear hear here as well!

  27. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

    Ayoob is right on this, as he had been right on guns since the seventies. Most of you here who want to criticize including the author, better man up and recognize that part of the reason you can carry is because people like him and organizations like the NRA carried us through the lean years. Just because you have the legal right to do something doesn’t mean it’s a wise idea. I think some guys are so caught up in gun rights they forget that a little politeness goes along way. Be armed, everyday all the time. But marching long guns past schools is just stupid. Looks like you’re crying for attention using the tactics of the left to make your point. How about gaining some maturity and vote every election while throwing a couple bucks to the NRA.

    1. avatar TmDaddy says:


  28. avatar TmDaddy says:

    I don’t believe in denying anyone their rights, and I don’t think Mr Ayoob advocated that. He was stating his own personal opinion, and I tend to agree with him.

    I’m not totally against open carry as long as I can divine the purpose, intent and appearance.

    1. Purpose: Are you carrying from a car into a house or hotel, a quick stop, a political rally? I can accept that purpose because it is benign and is not just for shock value (like protesters throwing blood on fur).
    2. Intent: Do you look like you intend to cause harm? Humans are programmed to look for threats, some of us are just readier for it. If you don’t have a purpose, then I assume you don’t have a good intent.
    3. Appearance: Do you responsibly represent the gun community? Do you even look competent enough to safely handle a gun? Guy I saw in WY this weekend wearing flip flops and a drop leg Uncle Mikes holster that almost reached his knee, missing the retention straps was a clown.

    We all have the right, lets just look cool doing it.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      I’m not totally against open carry as long as I can divine the purpose, intent and appearance.

      Why is someone else’s prerogative to exercise a right in the lawful manner of his own choosing subjected to your ability to divine his purpose, intent, and appearance?

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        I agree. He made a good point in paragraph 1–then jumped the shark in paragraph 2.

  29. avatar Ralph says:

    If it wasn’t for the so-called “Chipotle Ninjas,” open carry with a permit would never have been passed in Texas, period. And anyone who thinks that no-permit open carry was ever on the table has never seen a table.

    Open carry of long guns in Texas was the only open carry option that the masters in Austin would permit the plebes to have. Well, when the rulers give you lemons, you make lemonade. That’s what oc-ing long guns did.

    I love Mas as a writer and teacher, but let’s face it — Mas isn’t in Texas and he’s not on the front lines anywhere. Anywhere. And it’s all too easy to be a bullfight critic when you’re in the stands.

  30. avatar Tom W. says:

    Built an AR for my adult son and drove it to NC (open carry legal state), for New Years;
    He asked his friend (a youngish Iraq War vet with his own AR and sidearm), and me with a 12g and open carried sidearm, proceeded to walk in a semi rural area to public land outside city limits that is used for hunting/target shooting. To get there we strolled with AR’s slung and evil black and camo backpacks through the neighborhood, through to the trail, and about a mile hike to the shooting area. Looking like operators operating operationally hoofing it down the road, guess what happened?
    Nothing, children playing with dogs waved, a man working on his truck smiled, an old woman sitting on the front porch said “Ya’ll be careful”. 3 semi heavily armed folks walking on a public road to a wilderness area to shoot. OMG!!!!!! And nothing happened. I know mileage may vary from state to state and town to town, but sorry Mas, I respect Ya’, but if OC is legal, than I exercise it with a smile. I had a BUG concealed but NC has CC reciprocity with my state. Another good thing.
    It was a great day with both of them.

  31. avatar Accur81 says:

    I think Jerry Miculek nails it:

    Open carry? FIne. Just don’t be an idiot about it. Keep it slung with your hands off the gun and your finger off the trigger. Easy on the camo. A tactical vest isn’t necessary for a Wal Mart run. Don’t take idiotic photos posing with a lack of muzzle discipline, trigger control, and common sense. When those get posted on social media, they get used to demonize all gun owners. Don’t look like you’re patrolling the streets of Afghanistan. Dress decently, be polite, be an ambassador for gun rights. I’ll chew someone out for being over the top with open carry – and let’s face it, we have those people – just like I’d chew someone out for flagging their muzzle over someone. We are fighting a culture war, and part of the way we do that is with truth, class, and style.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I’ll chew someone out for being over the top with open carry – and let’s face it, we have those people – just like I’d chew someone out for flagging their muzzle over someone.

      False equivalence. You missed with this one. One is a personal preference and the other is considered a legitimate safety issue. I agree with most of what you post but disagree with you on this subject. If you were to “chew me out” for how I dressed and what I carried, I would tell you where to stuff your opinion.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Rules of safety and etiquette don’t vanish with open carry. Thats my current opinion on the matter and I don’t see it changing much.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Safety and etiquette are two different things… that was the point. Yell at me for truly muzzle sweeping someone and I’ll thank you for it. Yell at me because you don’t like my choices in attire or firearm and I’ll tell you how to get over yourself.

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          Walk buy a school in full camo, Kevlar helmet, knee pads, full AR gear, and a Tac vest with 360 rounds and I will in fact call you out on an epic lack of sense.

          Like I said: truth, class, and style. I shake my head at grow men who wear their pants under their a$$ with their underwear showing. That’s perfectly legal, but it’s just gross. Similarly, the full-on tactical look is pretty creepy. It’s legal also, just in poor taste in some situations.

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          But do you, in person, “chew them out” for it?

        4. avatar Accur81 says:

          Alright, maybe “chew them out” wouldn’t be the best choice of words. But I would mention being a role model for the 2nd Amendment, and that some folks will judge all gun owners by the actions of a few. So it’s important to put your best foot forward, so to speak.

    2. avatar Tom W. says:

      Bullseye!!! Thank you. Couldn’t agree more.

    3. avatar ropingdown says:

      I agree with Jerry’s view. Those who live by his injunctions will not always be free of harassment, but they will be doing the right thing for the cause.

  32. Massad Ayoob is a boob and no doubt carries his handgun in his purse or beneath his skirt.

    “{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

    Concealed carry is of no use to me, I don’t carry a purse. Besides, Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the Constitution, concealed carry can be banned.

    “[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms (art. 2) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons…” Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 US 275 – Supreme Court (1897) at 282.

    “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. Its opinion perfectly captured the way in which the operative clause of the Second Amendment furthers the purpose announced in the prefatory clause, in continuity with the English right…Likewise, in State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann. 489, 490 (1850), the Louisiana Supreme Court held that citizens had 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

    “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152-153; Abbott 333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489-490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251…” District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008) at 2816

  33. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    What long guns were open carried prior to the Columbine, Virginia Tech, or Newtown incidents? Didn’t Columbine and Virginia Tech involve handguns, to begin with?

    I normally agree with Mas Ayoob, but there’s so much FUD here.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      FUD, or Fudd? I think you mean Elmer Fudd, not Fear Uncertainty and Doubt. but correct me if I am wrong.

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        I am a grammatical pedant. I wrote and meant FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. I believe it applies to what Mas wrote here.

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Cool. I thought you had intended to call him a Fudd. OK, with that out of the way, carry on.

  34. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

    At columbine they also used a shotgun. Look, Engage the argument, don’t call him names, he has done more for gun rights then all of us keyboard commandos on this self ordained website of gun defense.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      At columbine they also used a shotgun.

      Was that shotgun open carried before the attack?

      1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

        As someone that lives in Co I am pretty sure they carried there stuff openly including bombs (the rigged propane tanks) but honestly don’t remember exactly. That being said, Ayoob”s point is not “fud.” I don’t remember ww2 vets Marching with there garands by schools and most of them supported the right to bear arms without carting them everywhere they went. Carry your pistol, and a rifle in the car if you want. Just have some sense about proprietary.

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Actually, they had their firearms in their cars, and rather famously concealed them beneath their long trench coats when they started their attacks. so, no: Columbine did not involve openly carried long guns.

        2. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

          You responded to one of my points. (Although I highly doubt even with trench coats they could conceal twin rigged propane bottles but that’s another days argument.)What about the question of proprietary?

  35. avatar stateisevil says:

    RF, you say that long gun OC took constitutional carry off the table with zero evidence. Shame on you. The neocons in Austin never had it on the table because Texas is not very pro gun. Unbelievable coming from you.

  36. avatar Noah says:

    It is totally your right to wear a shirt that says “F— the Police.” But don’t expect to receive any manner of courtesy if you happen to run a red light. The world works better if unnecessary confrontation is kept to a minimum.

    Similarly, with long guns, it’s your right, but why do it? If you’re demonstrating, wouldn’t a holster on the hip and a sign in the hand get the message across just as well?

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Running a red light would be violating a traffic law. Is anyone asking for a pass if they break the law?

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        That’s an easy one! Most of the people I stop are asking for a pass in breaking the law. Y’know, the light was *that* red, I’m not that drunk, I wasn’t going that fast, I’m not that unlicensed, this car isn’t that stolen, etc.

        Of course the state I work in doesn’t care about some laws, like illegal immigration. But if you have a solid job and a 15 round mag, then you are a criminal. I, on the other hand, do care about illegal immigration. And if someone has 15 round mag and has a legitimate job, I might just possibly mistake their magazine for the completely legal grandfathered one. Gun laws can be so confusing. Especially when they keep adding new ones.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          That’s a red herring, not a red light. Nobody that I’ve been involved with at protests where we OC are asking for ANY pass for violating ANY laws. They have been extremely careful about that.

      2. avatar SteveInCO says:

        What if the light is pink instead of red?

  37. avatar Bill in Texas says:

    1. I believe very strongly in concealed carry rights and I have worked very hard to clarify and advance those rights at every useful opportunity. In my opinion, open carry absolutists are hurting our cause, not helping.
    2. For those of you who have chosen to stoop to personal attacks on Mr. Ayoob, my guess is a man of his stature isn’t going to lose any sleep over your sophomoric jibes.
    3. All of us who value gun rights are hurt, and our cause is not advanced, when a small, vocal group of purists decides it is wise to publicaly attack members of their own community who dare to disagree with them on even the smallest point.
    4. Let’s work together to protect our rights.

  38. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I respect Mr. Ayoob for his opinions-just not on this. Those white folks certainly WERE afraid of an “uppity’ colored gal defying jim crow BS. I think we need to be on the offensive and while I doubt I’ll ever open-carry a rifle I’d like to(in Illinois). I already wrote on another post about getting CC inIllinois by court order-NOT by being “nice”…never let the enemy define what you do.

  39. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Who gives s rat’s rear end what Ayoob thinks about firearms politics?! Oh, some people do? How nice. Why? Because he’s a gun guru, whatever that is? So what?

    I’m so sick of people dressing up their personal opinions and preferences as some kind of official pronouncement or professional judgment. Supreme Court Justices do that every day. That’s how we’ve had a century+ of anti-firearms biases, bigotry and ulterior motives masquerading as constitutional law.

    Similarly, I’ve had it with people who trade on legitimate expertise in one field, to pontificate authoritatively in a different field. I don’t care about your Nobel Prize in Literature. It doesn’t make you an expert on so-called global warming.

    As for open carrying a long gun, a handgun is generally more practical for EDC, I’d agree. However, declaring long guns utterly unsuitable for other than hunting, plinking, or an imminent DGU, strikes me as gun snobbery. Lots of hikers carry a rifle, just in case, for example. Plenty of people only own a shotgun, which in many cases tend to be less expensive than handguns. That may be their only option at this point for a self-defense firearm. So they carry that in the car (yes, that’s OC, too, if it isn’t concealed) and perhaps on their person, too.

    Regardless, that’s its own topic and views on it are varied. No one’s view is any more valid or interesting for being a guru.

    1. avatar J. Zoss says:

      Agreed. Ayoob has a wealth of both practical and legal knowledge related to firearms but he is still not correct 100% of the time even in his fields of specialty. Even if he was his opinion would still be just that and disagreeing with his views on rights should not cause outrage. His view on a wide spectrum of rights is not so good. He is a pretty big fan of the police work in the New Mexico multiple cavity search incident for example.

  40. avatar David says:

    Let me just say I respect Ayoob (Job) as a shooter & his years in law enforcement . . . outside of that I do not know where the guy is coming from. He gives up so much ground on important issues that it is ridiculous.

    If you see his reasoning (all over the internet) on hand loaded ammo its easy to see that this guy is no philosopher. He borders on being in the slander & pander variety of firearms apologetics. Open carry is here to stay; deal w/ it old people.

    * You ever notice how cops talk differently to a couple of guys w/ rifles slung over their shoulders? Open carry works!

  41. avatar JWM says:

    We POTG eat our own for expressing their opinions. It’s a shame, but if you’re not in lockstep with all the others you’re the enemy. Don’t be different, don’t express an honest opinion. Big Brother is watching.

    And we fear the tyranny of the state. Right.

  42. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    The Bang Switch had a very good article on open carry and sometimes it does send the wrong message to the proletariat, but I do think that open carry is a right, and just because I am out and about with a long gun, does not mean I should be a criminal.

  43. avatar maynard b says:

    Yes, open carry protests in California resulted in further restrictions on rights. However, as far as I know, they followed the law at the time — unloaded, holstered handguns.

  44. avatar Howdy says:

    It’s pretty much a dichotomy. Either you have the right or you don’t. Not varying degrees. Not conditional. Not dependent on government approval. Not limited to the preferences of others or what is politically fashionable or expedient. I gladly have and will accept the burden of choice without government interference. Doesn’t the Constitution restrict government, not citizens?

    OK, you don’t like the way OCT is running this. I don’t see anyone else organizing, collaborating or seeking to take over leadership in that organization with a “better way”. They are the only ones for gun rights, in this instance, that are getting any press, good or bad.

    How many people were ushered to the ER or required immediate medical attention due to a discharge of a firearm at any of these events? Has there been a single shot fired at any pro 2A rally anywhere in the US?

    Please step up if you have a “better way” to achieve the restoration of our rights with a win in the media. Show us. I would gladly donate money in a venue that achieves these goals.

  45. avatar H says:

    If you shock the fence sitters we lose. It is your right but you, you, don’t have to exercise it. You freak out ma & pa then they vote for gun restrictions. You showed them. They show you in the voting booth. You won a battle the antis won the war.

    Yet you are right. You have rights. Just be mature and see the long view.

  46. avatar Aaron says:

    Mas is right on this issue.

    There are thousands, maybe millions of things that you may have a right to do, but which are stupid things to do.

  47. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    To paraphrase what Tam wrote recently; there’s a whole lot of difference between carrying a gun for personal protection and carrying a gun AT people. Sure, I get the whole “civil rights” thing. Yes, self defense is the first law of nature. That said, and in the interest of furthering the debate, I think that most rationalists can agree that even the most obnoxious and counterproductive behavior is “protected”, however, and there are certainly a lot of contenders for this, the 11th Commandment should read; Thou shalt not be a jerk.

    If, for instance, my family and I have sat down to dinner at a restaurant, and sum dude walks in with a rifle at low ready, I really don’t care if he’s wearing a Brooks Brother suit, Chinos and a Izod polo shirt, or if he’s dressed up as Charles Manson or Bozo the Clown, I’m going to get ready to drop him in his tracks before he can even get his sights up to eye level.

    These people are not helpful. Quite the contrary. Irrational, egotistical, narcissistic and immature zealots rarely further that which they espouse. Usually, they mess it all up and little or no good come from their actions. I really wish that they’d knock it the Hell off.

  48. avatar DickDanger says:

    While I really don’t give a damn either way about open carry, I take what ayoob says with a grain of salt, because I’ve read a lot of his stuff, and he always comes off as a bit of a “good ol’ boy”.

  49. avatar Dan in Ohio says:

    I respectfully disagree with Mr. Ayoob.
    If open carry of long arms is legal, anyone who wants to should do it, and we should support them.

    The “horses” NEED to be frightened once in a while.

    I recall Ayoob writing , years ago, (before nation wide CCW laws passed), that if you want to carry a handgun: become an auxillary cop. I read Ayoob’s books, and have learned a lot from him. HOWEVER he always takes the “safe” (politically) path. He is NOT an “1776 type Patriot”,in my opinion.

  50. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    The predictable rabid knee jerk comments from the nutty Buckeye and others on the fringe in response to a rational measured common sense opinion from a moderate conservative firearms expert like Massad Ayoob should serve as a wakeup call for the rest of us.

    The only chance future anti 2nd amendment efforts have for success is if the radical anti gun left somehow finds a way to convince folks in the middle that all 2nd amendment advocates are as crazy as the dozen or less disturbed regulars at TTAG who are ever vigilant for an excuse to threaten sedition and revolution which they do with predictable regularity.

    1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      Some of these people need to get out more.

  51. avatar Diamondback says:

    Personally, I don’t give a shiot if Ayoob or anyone else is “down with it” or not and that includes the State government, the federal government, the ATF or anyfknbodyelse.

    It’s none of their business and it’s a guaranteed, fundamental, individual, INCORPORATED civil right.

    Compromise got us to the sorry state of 2A rights exercise in this country as it is.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Exactly. Compromise got us here. Compromise won’t get us back because governments play a hell of alot longer games than any of us ever could. With our government in charge of compulsory education, a long game is a sure loser for individual Liberty.

  52. avatar Jared says:

    Ayoob was also against open carry for handguns, he was in fact vocal about it for a period of time a long time ago. While there is truth in some of what he is saying, he has stuck his finger in the air to see which way the wind blows in the past.

    He is most likely going to do the same thing here.

  53. avatar teebonicus says:

    In an interview to promote his book, Justice Scalia clarified his Heller dicta that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect bearing just “any weapon, any place at any time”.

    He referred to the common law infraction of “affrightment”, as exemplified by the carrying of a weapon as uncommon and threatening as a “head axe” down the street calculated to “affright” the people, which law was historically common both in England and in the colonies.

    Given that the majority of people nowadays are indeed “affrighted” by the sight of ARs being toted around in public, it is not unreasonable to deduce that knowing that, carrying military-pattern semi-auto rifles around would most likely be seen as calculated to “affright” the people.

    Mas’s characterization of the difference of purpose in the carrying of rifles as opposed to holstered handguns is hard to argue with.

    Our rights are sacrosanct only as long as they are exercised without breaching the peace. Mas’s assessment of which arms carried how and when determine whether or not the peace is breached is both logical, and reasonable.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      If you’re talking about walking down the street with a rifle held at low ready, I would agree with you. That action could construe “affrightment” analogous to carrying a head axe.

      Otherwise, the second amendment doesn’t say “shall not be infringed – unless some people are affrightened”, and the courts have held that mere lawful exercise of a constitutional right does not constitute unlawful activity.

      Further, the principle of “affrightment” cannot infringe upon rights. People could be sincerely “affrightened” by the slight of a group of Sikhs walking down the street – but that sincere fear cannot be used to infringe upon the rights of those law-abiding Sikhs merely walking down the street. (I say this for a very good friend who is Sikh, who has been the subject of much ignorant, bigoted harassment.)

      As for the reason for carrying a rifle being relevant: how does the person holding an irrational fear divine that reason, in order for that reason to be a factor in determining if the fearful person has reached the legal standard of being “affrightened”? And does that basis satisfy strict scrutiny for otherwise violating the constitutionally protected rights of the law-abiding person walking down the street with a rifle? A person on his way to the range is within the law, but a person merely walking down the street for the purpose of taking a walk is not? Absurd.

    2. avatar Ted Unlis says:

      The predictable nutty Buckeye along with the few others on the fringe who are drawn to this forum will have none of that logic or reason talk, it’s just not compatible with their shallow Sovereign Citizen type approach to the 2nd amendment. That’s why when confronted with the complexity of gun laws that vary from State to State, as well as legal precedents and case law that always have and always will be relevant in any Court interpretation of the 2nd amendment, the nutty Buckeye and crew are incapable of logic or reason and are forced to rely on the simple minded group chant of “shall not be infringed”. Supreme Court Opinions? They don’t need no stinking Supreme Court Opinions!

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Who are you referring to as the “nutty Buckeye” there Teddy? Got any proof of your claims?

        1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Proof as in something other than incessant and predictable nutty comments and ranting nutty opinions. Why no John, nothing at all.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Again, I ask: Who are you referring to as the “nutty Buckeye”?

        3. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Ooh John, bold fonts, looks like I hit a nerve there. I’ll just leave it to you to figure out who the “Nutty Buckeye” might be. Too funny!

        4. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @Ted Unlis: I usually use bold and italics for quotes and to set text apart from the rest.

          You are wise not to answer the question directly for it would clearly document the fact that you have been pouring through comments here to attack me directly in a form that likely violates TTAG’s comment policy. 😉

          As I’ve stated before, I hope you aren’t going to show up at my doorstep on Valentine’s day to wear my skin as a suit. 😀 Goodnight, Teddy.

        5. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Good night John. Oh, by the way, what happened to your pledge to never respond and ignore my comments? Did you forget?

  54. avatar Jans says:

    If I were on trial, I would definitely want Mas Ayoob in my corner. But I remember Mas (way back in the day) pushing for laws to be passed to enable retired or active members of law enforcement to be able to carry anywhere. All good for him and his law-enforcement associates, but not for the general public. This was before the proliferation of shall-issue concealed carry laws.
    I want to encourage those who are willing, to carry rifles openly. The reason there is an uproar is because people are unused to seeing open carry, and have been conditioned by the media to fear the sight of weapons. If enough people open carry, it will no longer “frighten the horses” as was mentioned above. I would also like to encourage those who open carry rifles and handguns to be polite and maintain a calm demeanor. Their behavior reflects on all of us.

    1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      That’s the problem. Instead of normal looking folk, we end up with idiots like the Chipotle duo confirming the average uniformed citizen’s worst suspicion.

  55. avatar GenghisQuan says:

    I keep saying that empty holster is superior to open carry of long gun to demonstrate that gun owners exist, are not threatening, and only want to be left alone.

  56. avatar AJ187 says:

    Mas is 100 percent right!

  57. avatar The Believer says:

    Actually, comparing open carry advocates to Rosa Parks is a very interesting comparison to make.

    Parks was not ‘just a tired woman just wanting to sit down’ as we are constantly told. She was the secretary of the local NAACP cadre. She simply happened to be a useful sympathetic character for the media to focus their narrative on.

    Obvious differences:
    * the media is not controlled by advocates of normal rights (those a yeoman farmer would have had in better times, we need a really, really good story
    * the modern media loves stories of people who ‘need’ to do something they are prevented from doing

    Burly men wandering around in broad daylight in areas where they are unlikely to get attacked are demonstrating for their rights in a responsible, adult manner, but of course they don’t fit the narrative.

    The best ’cause’ I could think of would be a volunteer armed guard for the likes of supermarket and convenience store employees walking home down dangerous streets late at night. Think armed Guardian Angels. Even then, I would be surprised if you could avoid accusations of racism and suchlike nonsense.. you’d have to be protecting black employees walking through a Hispanic neighborhood or something.

  58. avatar Jim G says:

    Just cause you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD! I’ve never seen a more perfect example of why the words “Common” and “Sense” should never be used together. About half of you here, along with the Einsteins who recently showed up in Austin TX, make that point painfully obvious.
    The Anti-Gun Libertards don’t have to do a thing to further their cause. Luckily for them, there are plenty of mental midgets on “Our Side” that do more to threaten our gun rights than the Anti’s could ever possibly do. You’ll just never get it though, you aren’t capable. As for the geniuses in Austin recently and similar types in other parts of the nation, I have to scratch my head and wonder if the 20 years I spent defending our freedoms was really worth it. Thank you to the other half of the good folks commenting here for reminding me that indeed, it was worth it. It’s good to know that there are some on “Our Side” who do get it.

  59. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    So how would you open carry obsessed react if all law enforcement officers began routinely carrying black rifles slung at low ready everywhere they went including the local diner and on every single call including routine calls for service, specifically a routine call for service at YOUR HOUSE? We all know the answer to that rhetorical question; you’d lose your #[email protected]%ing minds and trash the police for their jack booted thug tyranny the next time you logged on at TTAG. Too funny!

    1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      + 1000

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        ‘Fraid I must have missed the big picture here. Have not heard or seen any open carry people calling for or demonstrating low or high readiness with their weapons. Are we not talking about handguns in holsters, and rifles slung over shoulders?

        1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Yep, apparently you did miss it Bubba, many of the imbeciles stirring it up here in the Lone Star State carry their rifles slung in front with a single point sling, which, if you’ve ever carried a rifle that way means that to keep it form bouncing around as you move, your hand goes to the grip or hand guard to steady it, and that my friend is for all practical purposes, slung in low ready. That’s exactly how C.J. Grisham’s [email protected]$$ was carrying a M4 when he was arrested in Bell County TX.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Thanks. Old training/exerpience. “Low Ready” was two-handed carry (sling or not). The current “stock above elbow joint” was not something fashionable with M-1/14, M-2 or “tommygun”. Even in the early days of the M-14, “low ready” was not a means to keep the weapon from bouncing off the mid-section.

    2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      What’s the matter? Does the point lose some of its luster if you don’t include the inflammatory “low ready”? Use of such logical fallacy is a tacit admission of a losing argument.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        Obviously you don’t have a clue what “low ready” means, so here’s a little info that will at least be a start in remedying your low information status.

        “Low ready” in the case of a rifle means having the weapon positioned in front muzzle down in such a manner that the weapon can immediately be brought to bear and aimed at the target.

        Big difference in having a rifle slung over the shoulder or behind the back and having it slung in front using a single point sling in low ready position.

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          I know what low ready means. Save your condescension for someone else. Since you’ve also devolved into ad hominem, I assume you have nothing beneficial to contribute, either.

        2. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Oh, so you DO understand. Then tell us Chip how would it grab you if the Police showed up at your front door with a M4 slung at low ready while answering a routine call for service, let’s say something as mundane as a barking dog complaint, or what if you’re standing in line at Dunkin Donuts when your friendly neighborhood POPO joins you in line with black rifle slung at low ready. Are you good with that? Just wondering.

        3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          You’re still arguing the exception. The few people who choose to carry in that manner do not represent the vast majority who carry long guns slung over the shoulder.

          Do you have anything other than logical fallacy to support your inane bigotry of long gun open carriers?

        4. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          No Chip, nothing other than it a fact that there are many settings and locations where it is idiotic to carry a rifle knowing that it is likely to alarm the majority of the public, and the people who are alarmed don’t give a $#it whether its shoulder slung or slung at low ready.

          Additionally, the imbeciles toting AR’s & AK’s at Kroger or Chipotles are doing so to satisfy some strange need to be the center of attention and some misguided notion that it is an assertion of their 1st and 2nd amendment rights.

          Fortunately, the percentage of the population that accounts for these rifle toting imbeciles in extremely small, so an incident here and there hasn’t been a problem. But even in a pro gun State like Texas, if suddenly there are widespread incidents of rifle toting imbeciles alarming the public, it will become a problem that has the potential to trigger a legislative dial back the permissive gun laws we enjoy here in the Lone Star State.

          Just because it is legal to tote your rifle everywhere you go doesn’t make it smart. Just as law enforcement leaves their rifles secured in their vehicles to access when warranted, civilians who aren’t imbeciles leave their rifles in secured in their vehicle for access when needed, hence the common Texas term “truck gun”.

        5. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          No Chip, nothing other than it a fact that there are many settings and locations where it is idiotic to carry a rifle knowing that it is likely to alarm the majority of the public, and the people who are alarmed don’t give a $#it whether its shoulder slung or slung at low ready.

          I support the right of law-abiding people to carry concealed or openly, hand guns or long guns, at their own discretion and for their own purposes, unconditionally. Even so, I’m willing to concede that low-ready carry of a rifle is inappropriate, because it is reasonably analogous to having a handgun unholstered. Otherwise, inherent public fear of a long gun carried unthreateningly (e g. shoulder-slung) is irrational and unreasonable, and should not constrain the freedom of law-abiding people.

        6. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          “and should not constrain the freedom of law-abiding people”, maybe it shouldn’t, but you can bet your ass that if the insignificant percentage of imbeciles in society obsessed with toting a black rifle while doing their grocery shopping suddenly increases and enough regular folks in the middle get riled up, even States like Texas will impose restrictions sooner or later. The idiocy of open carrying rifles in places knowing full well it will alarm folks will be detrimental to the pro-gun cause in the long run.

        7. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Perhaps we have a lose-lose situation here. If we do not exercise our open carry right, the other side will point to that lack as proof it is not needed. If we use our right and enough people are ‘alarmed’, the other side will push fear as a reason to constrain (as in not allowed) that right. We should always remember that the vast majority of Americans were content to be British subjects. POTG are in the definite minority.

        8. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          “If we do not exercise our open carry right, the other side will point to that lack as proof it is not needed.” Seriously? If we all don’t carrying a black rifle in Kroger they’ll pass a law against it because we’re not doing it enough? Is that lame and weak argument the best you got? Absolutely hilarious!

        9. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Your ability to demolish straw men is rivaled only by MDA sycophants. I don’t believe that he said what types of long guns had to be carried, or where. In general, though, the principle is true: a right not exercised is a right soon lost.

        10. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          If not for the fact that the open carry obsessed fringe make up an insignificant percentage of society, I’d be concerned.

        11. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          If not for the fact that the open carry obsessed fringe make up an insignificant percentage of society, I’d be concerned.

          Personally, I’m obsessed with freedom. As for open carry: based on my observations, the people most obsessed with it are those who have an intensely vitriolic bias against it. And I truly hope you people do represent a fringe minority. On the whole, I’d cast my lot with people who choose to open carry, and by and large leave others alone and want to be treated with the same respect.

        12. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Good luck with that Chip!

  60. avatar LarryArnold says:

    [Open carry of long guns assaults some people’s sensibilities but it doesn’t harm them in any way.]

    When Texas open carry advocates carry long guns into restaurants with alcohol licenses they threaten the owner with loss of the license unless he demands they leave. Then they call him a traitor and demand a boycott. That’s “harm.”

    These people are so into “confrontation” and “holding people’s feet to the fire” and “demanding rights” they think punching friends in the face is how you get them to buy lunch.

  61. avatar judg724 says:

    I do agree with Massad in practice, but not in principle. While it’s very true we don’t want to scare people and hurt our cause, I still believe that the end goal should be to get the public to accept open carry of long guns. After all, if they can’t get used to it before a catastrophic event, government will surely confiscate yours or shoot you, if you have one on the streets during a disaster. That being said, now certainly isn’t the time to bring this to the forefront, in such intrusive public view. First let’s increase the acceptance of guns in general, increase concealed carry, and THEN we can bring long guns into the public square, maybe even in a case at first, just to gradually gain public acceptance. Even back in biblical times, swords were carried by most travelers for protection from robbers on the road, so I don’t think just the fact that it’s bigger than a handgun makes a lot of difference. What matters is gaining public acceptance gradually, which we are still a long way from.

  62. avatar Alielbaryeshua says:

    I would remind Mr. Ayoob that most of the people Moms Demand Action takes photos of openly carrying rifles are from Texas.

    I would also remind him that it’s currently a FELONY to carry a pistol at all without an expensive government permission slip, and there currently is no open carry at all.

    So if you are opposed to Texans open carrying rifles, but not handguns, then quite bitching about them carrying rifles, and help them fight for the right to openly carry handguns.

    1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

      You don’t know what your talking about, unlawful carrying weapon in Texas is a MISDEMEANOR, and it is completely legal to carry a pistol in your vehicle without any piece of paper, it doesn’t cost you a dime. The CHL requirement in Texas only applies if you carry while not at your own home, office or property; or while in a vehicle. One of the few ways that carrying a firearm is a FELONY in Texas is if your are a FELON!

  63. avatar Merle says:

    Why, do any of you think, open carry of a long gun is so controversial? Because it is not practiced any more, period, either by reason of vilification or because of possible legal ramifications. In a word, we have been bullied into not openly carrying our arms, and I suggest is exactly why we are the place we are in the gun control debate today and why we have lost so much ground on our 2A rights in the past. I am not advocating anyone purposely go out with the intent of causing havoc in public so they video it and put it on You Tube, but I am not so quick to condemn them for it either. Say what you will about them and their antics, they have garnered a lot of attention to the gun control debate. I suppose the argument could be made if it is good or bad attention, but their a whole lot of people now interested in the debate now that were not previously. I also disagree with Ayoob that there is no good reason for openly carrying a long gun. He cites other then for hunting or shooting at the range,there is no good reason for it. I was under the assumption that 2A was not for hunting and target practicing, that is the argument all of us have been making all along is it not? Having your long gun with you and at the ready is what it is all about. It can be used for self defense just as well as a side arm. A bit more cumbersome, yes. More noticeable, sure. Well within our rights, you bet.

    1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

      And not very smart.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Spot on, Merle, and I agree. Well stated.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:


  64. avatar Sam I Am says:

    GUYS ! Guys !

    Is it really necessary to get into flame wars amongst ourselves. Is it just a blogosphere thing to just insult anyone because we can hide behind the browser, knowing no one can find us and give us a smack in the mouth. This blog is sorta, kinda supposed to be a hang-out where people share interests and experiences. There is no perfect gun, no perfect ammo, no perfect tactic, no perfect way to carry….We should be pooling our knowledge and supporting each other in the never-ending war on 2A. Providing fodder for grabber news releases and blog content should be our last intention/goal. If anyone believes/feel/opines that everyone else is a cursed idiot, please just enter a ranting screed then move on to some other outlet.

    Thank you all

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Are they ambassadors for the First Amendment? But, yeah, I personally don’t like the venom dripping comments. Then again, it’s their right to express an opinion, regardless of how rude or low brow, as long as the intellectual property owner, TTAG, allows it.

      I’m not particularly a believer in the “hearts and minds” schtick.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:


        Not a 1A issue/object here. Just a reminder that we are supposed to all be on the same side of The Truth About Guns…all of us pro-2A. We have plenty of detractors. Why would someone who wants protection for their 2A rights use their 1A rights to hurl hate at other 2A supporters. Not asking censorship, just reminding people of the fact that strong opinions do not require venomous rants.


        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Understood. No worries.

  65. avatar Robert Green says:

    If we are lic. to carry, that is a good thing as we know some people do not get one there are towns and cities that make it a problem. Aside from that I do not like open carry of long guns , but I do believe in the right to do so. some people feel uneasy at seeing the open carry. these same people vote and we do not need the grief .so common sense , just saying.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I appreciate that you believe in the right to open carry. Thank you for that.

      As to being overly concerned about voters… Some food for thought. If we are to agree that ultimately government can continue to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms (excepting a constitutional amendment) based upon popular opinion, aka voting; then we are admitting that the Constitution is a dead letter.

      A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      If, in the end, shall not be infringed does not limit government then nothing in the Constitution does and our nation is lost; something else has replaced it along the way.

      A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      The deterrent value is in the exercise of keeping and bearing arms. If the People do not regularly bear arms in public then no enemy, foreign or domestic, is strongly deterred. Without the visible effect of people bearing arms openly, here and there, day to day, the Second Amendment is practically neutered for serious deterrent purposes.

      IMHO, the only way to preserve the intent and utility of the Second Amendment is regular open carry; long guns and handguns. Those who fear it or don’t understand it will have to become accustomed to it or they will push for something major like a constitutional amendment. I think the latter is highly unlikely. The former, normalization, is far more likely. If we do not regularly open carry then those who fear guns and fail to understand the nature and dangers of tyranny will not become accustomed to the visible presence of firearms in our society. Hopefully, with ubiquitous open carry those same people will grow to understand the real dangers of tyranny and the true utility of an armed people. Likewise, enemies foreign or domestic will not be strongly deterred without the regular open bearing of arms. To bear arms only during times of strife would be to telegraph the People’s intentions. This would be hazardous and foolish. To continue along the present course of being overly concerned with how people might or might not vote will only reinforce their mistaken notions about the right to keep and bear arms. It will serve to weaken the resolve of the People in the eyes of both our government and potential foreign invaders.

      IMHO, the only logical and substantial way to restore our nation and deter tyranny is through the regular open bearing of arms.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:


      2. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        If the number of folks comprising the nutty open carry obsessed fringe were not such an insignificant percentage of society it would be scary, they’re completely oblivious that their brand of radicalism equals or exceeds the threat to liberty from the nutty radicals on the far left anti-gun fringe.

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          If the number of folks comprising the nutty open carry obsessed fringe were not such an insignificant percentage of society it would be scary, they’re completely oblivious that their brand of radicalism equals or exceeds the threat to liberty from the nutty radicals on the far left anti-gun fringe.

          In what way is open carry radical? What “threat to liberty” does open carry, or do those who choose to open carry, pose?

        2. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          The inability to exercise common sense about when and where open carry is appropriate is radical. Toting a M4 while doing your grocery shopping is radical (and nutty). Open carry of rifle in a location knowing full well it is likely to alarm the general public is radical (and detrimental to the pro-gun agenda). Open carry of long guns to fulfill some strange desire and need to be the center of attention is radical (and demented).

          If enough nuts open carry regularly and in locations that alarms the public and leads to the imposition of new or additional restrictions, those restrictions triggered by the irresponsible actions of a few affect the liberty of everyone else.

          Chip I’m sorry you’re hopelessly oblivious that over time, a few open carry obsessed nuts can do just as much if not more damage to negatively impact 2nd amendment rights and restrict liberty as any anti-gun zealot.

        3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          How can the mere, lawful exercise of a natural right be radical? A hunk of metal strapped to the back of a law-abiding person threatens no one’s liberty.

          Let’s do a thought exercise. Allow me to modify your last comment:

          The inability to exercise common sense about when and where interracial dating is appropriate is radical. A white and black couple arm-in-arm while doing your grocery shopping is radical (and nutty). An interracial couple in a location knowing full well it is likely to alarm the general public is radical (and detrimental to the pro-interracial-marriage agenda). Publicly flaunting interracial relationships to fulfill some strange desire and need to be the center of attention is radical (and demented).

          If enough nuts marry inter-racially regularly and in locations that alarms the public and leads to the imposition of new or additional restrictions, those restrictions triggered by the irresponsible actions of a few affect the liberty of everyone else.

          Ted I’m sorry your [sic] hopelessly oblivious that over time, a few interracial marriage obsessed nuts can do just as much if not more damage to negatively impact 14th amendment rights and restrict liberty as any anti-interracial marriage zealot.

          Did I get that about right? Would the point be more analogous using homosexual relationships? Religious expression? Political speech?

        4. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Interesting how each of those issues you mentioned were won and are supported by changes to State and Federal law supported by well defined Court decisions and case law, yet the open carry obsessed reject analogous application when it comes to Court decisions interpreting the 2nd amendment. There are no State or Federal laws, Court decisions or case law that interpret the 2nd amendment to mean citizens have a right to carry firearms when, where, and how they want without restriction and to pretend otherwise is delusional. The “shall not be infringed” group chant is simply all that is left for open carry obsessed to retreat to in their denial of reality.

        5. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          There are no State or Federal laws, Court decisions or case law that interpret the 2nd amendment to mean citizens have a right to carry firearms when, where, and how they want without restriction and to pretend otherwise is delusional. The “shall not be infringed” group chant is simply all that is left for open carry obsessed to retreat to in their denial of reality.

          So, what does “shall not be infringed” mean to you, if not, you know, shall not be infringed?

          What compelling government interest is served by restricting open carry of long guns? What crime is prevented? What harm is prevented?

        6. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Thanks for making my point about ignoring analogous Court decisions and case law when it doesn’t suit you. The list of interpretations and definitions of what “shall not be infringed” doesn’t mean is voluminous, and refusing to acknowledge legal authority doesn’t void it anywhere except the delusional world you exist in.

        7. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          So, no compelling government interest? No crime or harm prevented? Nothing at all? If there’s relevant, analogous or direct case law, present it. It’s not my job to cite your sources for you.

          Given that you repeatedly fail to answer any sort of question, and do nothing but continually change the question, move the goal posts, and resort to ad hominem, you’re clearly not interested in any actual discourse.

          One thing – one thing alone – was deemed so completely sacrosanct in the constitution that it was explicitly protected from being infringed (limit, encroach, restrict, weaken, interfere with): the right to keep and bear arms. Nothing else is analogous, because nothing else is similarly afforded such explicit protection.

          Perhaps the issue is that you personally are afraid of long guns, and you are projecting your own fear? That would at least explain your similarity to the gun grabbers with respect to long guns.

        8. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          More of the same shallow delusional talking points that are your reality. You need to save your compelling interest argument for the criminal trial should you ever opt to open carry a rifle in a state like New Jersey, let us know how chanting “shall not be infringed” over and over works out for you in a state where open carry is against the law.

        9. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          More of the same shallow delusional talking points that are your reality. You need to save your compelling interest argument…

          So in other words: you’re tacitly admitting that you have no logical response. Thanks for playing.

        10. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Logical? There’s not a hint of anything resembling logic or reason by pretending the 2nd amendment prohibits restriction on the carrying of firearms, that’s why you can’t offer a legal precedent to the contrary, there aren’t any.

        11. avatar Chip Bennett says:


          …pretending the 2nd amendment prohibits restriction on the carrying of firearms…


          …the right of the people to…bear arms shall not be infringed.

          The language is plain. The meaning is plain. Perhaps remedial reading comprehension is in order – or perhaps you’re really no different from the disarmament crowd, with a bit of scratching beneath the surface.

        12. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Given that you repeatedly fail to answer any sort of question, and do nothing but continually change the question, move the goal posts, and resort to ad hominem, you’re clearly not interested in any actual discourse.

          Which is precisely why I tend to refrain from engaging Officer Ted. IDK if it’s because he’s an agent of government, just trolling, really doesn’t understand the 2A, or any combination thereof. He asserted in the Glock 43 thread that he’s a law enforcement officer. He seems to stalk me across threads and engages in these tactics. He has even made the ridiculous claim that Anonymous and others are all really just me using sock puppets. If he’s really concerned about public opinion then he ought to be more concerned with how he is representing law enforcement in a public venue. After all, being an agent of government isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. Whereas, the right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil, and constitutionally protected right. He’s demonstrating some real cognitive dissonance. However, being an agent of government, he does have a vested interest in undermining the open bearing of arms.

          Good points, Chip Bennett. Officer Ted is gnashing his teeth against the Second Amendment and the very RKBA. That’s painfully clear.

        13. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          John, I think you’re on to something. I’ve not been following the Glock 43 thread, so I missed that little tidbit.

          Given that Ted likes to make the ridiculous claim that you’re also the commenter known as “Anonymous”, perhaps ol’ Ted is engaging in typical, progressive projection. Maybe Ted is the alter ego of El Mac, projecting on you his own double identity?

        14. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          There you go again Chip, pretending and denying. If that’s what it takes for you to make it through the day, stick with it. Good luck!

        15. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          So, what’s your game, Ted? Troll? Astroturf? Agent Provocateur? You “argue” essentially like every left-winger I’ve ever encountered online. You make no points. You provide no evidentiary support for your assertions. You make no counter arguments, save for logical fallacies.

          Let’s cut to the chase, then, shall we? In your opinion, what actual, practical right(s) does the second amendment protect, and what authority does the second amendment enumerate for the government with regard to those rights?

  66. avatar Mike says:

    While I largely agree with Mr. Ayoob (as I admittedly usually do), I would point out that in the case of Texas, they do not have an open carry law for handguns, hence, their only option for open carry IS a rifle. That being said, the fact is that open carrying a rifle as a daily exercise is a bit ludicrous. They are bulky, unwieldy, and even in the hands of someone trained to use it, still not terribly useful in daily life. As for confronting the police WHILE ARMED? With not too many exceptions, not a bright move. I still believe that most cops are on our side, that being the public and even us 2A loonies. Antagonizing them helps no one, not you, not us, and certainly not the officer who may have to do something he’d rather not. Prosecute the bad cops, help the good ones…

  67. avatar jack says:

    The OC demonstrators did NOT cost us Constitutional Carry (CC) in TX this session. Frankly, I doubt if they did much harm. There was never a chance that we’d get CC this session. Baby steps folks. Let’s get OC first. Next session (or the next or the next) we can try for CC.
    We might could have gotten CCC (Constitutional CONCEALED Carry) OR OC, this session but there was no was to go from CHL to CC in one step/session.

  68. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    Kory Watkins and his merry band of open carry obsessed imbeciles provided a huge OMG wake up call to many members of the Legislature and their constituents who hadn’t given much thought of how much damage a few nuts with zero common sense could do to permissive attitudes on guns in Texas. If open carry in Oklahoma is any indication, most Texans will err on the side of common sense on when and where openly displaying a firearm is appropriate. If large numbers of folks lacking common sense commence open carry en masse, businesses and locations that never felt the need to post 30.06 signs will start putting up those signs. Not a lot has changed in Texas. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a shift to constitutional carry in future sessions of the Texas Legislature.

  69. avatar JohnH says:

    The only thing I’ve ever thought of anyone open carrying a long gun… Where is the muzzle pointing. So long as it aint pointed at a person, on the next thing.

    1. avatar george from fort worth says:

      thought this string had drifted off to sleep. glad you popped it up.

      masoud is great with being and expert witness, but not so great with horses.

      you don’t get horses accustomed to working near gunfire and explosions (hollywood) by keeping the horses away from, well, gunfire and explosions. you don’t get public acceptance of an item until the public see it often enough that the item becomes acceptable.

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