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The marketing wizard behind Moms Demand Action is working hard to demonize the open carry of long guns, especially in Texas. Shannon Watts, who heads MDA is a longtime professional at creating media campaigns: “She is not just Suzy Homemaker or some low-grade employee at a small company but a heavy Public relations hitter, savvy on the ways of media manipulation and making her clients look good. Basically she ‘grows’ astroturf for a living.” On the other side, open carry activism in Texas has become so effective that both candidates for Governor have endorsed its legalization, the stated objective of the open carry groups in Texas. The media campaign to demonize open carry is a concerted case of pushback . . .

That campaign has backfired, though it has managed to deceive some of those in the gun culture who have been predisposed to denigrate open carry.

The primary tool used by those who want a disarmed population is deception, or more correctly, the creation of a narrative designed to demonize the gun culture without regard to facts. Moms Demand Action demonstrated this with the use of the famous staged photograph in their attempt to portray open carriers as threatening gun bullies.

Here is the angle that the Moms used to claim they were being intimidated:

Note that it’s the same group in the same pose as the photo at the top. They’re facing away from the restaurant where the minuscule MDA group was located. The picture was said to have been staged at the request of one of the Moms.

The attempt to create this narrative was continued with the Jack in the Box hoax, where the incident “reported” by the police, never really happened.

The most successful of these ploys  has been the Chipotle photograph, with the narrative that people in the restaurant were “terrified” and that the open carriers simply walked into the restaurant without any notice. That too was based on falsehoods. As far as I can tell, no one at the restaurant was terrified or concerned. It was all a media campaign promoted by Moms Demand Action to pressure Chipotle.

I talked to Tov Henderson of Open Carry Texas about the incident and the media campaign that has been mounted against the open carry movement in the Lone Star State. It’s clear that the incident has been completely mischaracterized, and that many in the gun culture have been taken in by that.

The narrative promoted by MDA is simple: insane yahoos brandishing assault weapons are terrifying the public in retail establishments around Texas. It simply isn’t true.

In the Chipotle case, the open carriers had asked permission from the establishment to open carry there before they entered.   This was and has been standard practice for the group for a long time. The establishment was glad to have their business. No one showed any sign of being alarmed or complained to the management about the open carriers. Flyers were passed out promoting open carry legislation.

This wasn’t even the first time they had been in the establishment. The picture is deceptive because of what it doesn’t show. Just outside the frame are two uniformed police officers looking on, completely unconcerned.

Another correspondent offers the following information about the “incident”.

OCT planned an OC meal there, so they checked with the management ahead of time and were given the okay to dine there with their rifles. A much larger group than just the two now famous guys were there. Usually there are women and children present at these events, but I don’t know the size or make up of this group, only that it was larger than just these two guys who got their picture taken. The gun-carrying moms and women didn’t fit the “narrative” these anti-gunners are trying to spin. While there, they passed out fliers and talked with the other diners. It was actually a good time. Some took pics and this made the news, but the story was totally wrong.

Even though Chipotle corporate issued that statement, the manager of this Chipotle’s where this took place is 100% behind OCT, as is the community, and OCT is still welcome to come there with their rifles and dine whenever they want.

The entire story of patrons being afraid and not knowing what was going on was a lie told by Demanding Moms to bully this restaurant and others to ban guns. Just like the lie they told about workers locking themselves up in the walk-in freezer of Jack in the Box. Anyone with two brain cells knows you can’t lock yourself in a walk-in. It can only be locked from the outside. And JitB said that story was a lie, too.

Dan Griffin
[email protected]

The picture illustrates that people in the open carry movement have to be diligent in the images that they present to the public, because the images may be used to foster a narrative completely at odds with what actually happened.    Just as important, however, is the necessity of not allowing MDA to control the narrative.   There was no outcry, outrage or complaints until the Bloomberg media campaign created a false narrative from the photograph.

Here is a quote form Pliney Gale, who was at the scene and participated in the walk:

“The Dallas group called ahead get permission from the store manager—OCT was welcomed to come eat at Chipotle, weapons and all. At the restaurant, the staff and other guests were friendly and polite. There were even many handshakes and “thank-yous” were given to both OCT and Chipotle. The DPD detective (as well as 2 DART officers who happened to be there on their lunch break) dined in the restaurant and assured that no laws were broken. Photos were taken at the event, and it was a very positive experience. There was quite simply no controversy at all.”

The battle for Second Amendment rights isn’t being won or lost in these superficial media campaigns. To think so is a false assumption about reality. False narratives promoted by the old media can be harmful, but they are not the key component in this issue.   If they were, handguns would have been outlawed decades ago. The Clinton assault weapon ban would never have sunset.  Private sales would be illegal, and all guns would have to be registered with the federal government.

Those things have not happened because of the strong, grassroots opposition of the gun culture and the new media that has been created to serve its needs.    Concealed carry spread across the nation because of the gun culture and its media, and in spite of the opposition of the old media. An important component of this is how media demonization works to promote long term positive results for the gun culture.

You probably have heard the axiom “There is no such thing as bad publicity”.  In this case it is mostly true. Negative publicity campaigns, such as is being waged by Bloomberg’s proxies, result in very little action by those who know little about the situation, legislation, or the issues. They cause a momentary spike in opposition,  but it is short-lived.   In this case it seems to have been enough to promote uninformed people on social media to email Chipotles national management. There was no practical effect with Chipotle’s statement, that I can tell, except to move some customers to more friendly local venues. There was no legislative effect.  Promoting a transitory and impulsive emotional effect is completely different from becoming politically active.   The campaign has unintended consequences that have much longer lasting effects.

Some people will be interested enough to seek out more information on the Internet. Without question, this results in an increase of support for the gun culture.   People become informed that open carry of rifles in Texas is not illegal. This reduces calls to police, which are already rare and decreasing.   It is part of the normalization process. Finally, it directs interested parties, who did not know of the existence of the open carry movement, how to get in touch with the organization, increasing the size of their membership. Over time, the number of informed people rises, which is why the polls show a consistent long term reduction of support for restrictions on second amendment rights over the last five decades.

The potentially damaging part of the campaign, in Tov Henderson’s view, is when people who are inside the gun culture buy into the false narrative promoted by the MDA, such as what happened with the unnamed NRA staffer. Even this backfired when the NRA quickly retracted the criticism. When someone in the new media, who has credibility with the gun culture, repeats the false narrative, the false narrative gains plausibility. This provides a potential “wedge” that can be used to short circuit reform legislation.   A part of the false narrative that I have seen repeated on gun culture sites is that this media narrative is caused by the open carriers.   Comments such as “they scored a goal on themselves” have been made. This is explicitly contrary to fact.   It is not the fault of open carriers when a false narrative is created about them, just as it is not the fault of concealed carriers when they are portrayed as mad killers about to go off at any time.

I have seen a number of occasions where reforms were set to pass in legislatures, but an apparent “split” in the gun culture was used as an excuse to derail the process.

An interesting point made by Tov Henderson is that in Texas, the vast majority of contacts that the open carry groups have with the public are positive ones.  Most  people approve of what they are doing.   Those who disapprove are a tiny minority, but they have the backing of the old media. Tov estimates that they are less than one percent of the contacts.  This has been my personal experience in other states as well. I have been told the same thing by numerous other open carriers.

The entire purpose of the Bloomberg/Moms Demand Action media campaign is to create the illusion that the tiny, vocal minority is the majority, which is simply false.

Open carry reform will likely pass in the coming Texas legislative session.  If it fails, it will not be the fault of the open carriers.  Their efforts have brought the legislation to the point where it is supported by the candidates for governor of both parties.  It will be the fault of those in the gun culture who uncritically accept the false narrative being pushed by the Bloomberg media campaign.  That could be perceived as a rift in the gun culture that can be used to avoid the political fallout of failing to back the reform.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

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    • Thus proving you comment without reading the articles. I have suspected this for some time.

      “In the Chipotle case, the open carriers had asked permission from the establishment to open carry there before they entered. This was and has been standard practice for the group for a long time. The establishment was glad to have their business. No one showed any sign of being alarmed or complained to the management about the open carriers. Flyers were passed out promoting open carry legislation.”


      “Just outside the frame are two uniformed police officers looking on, completely unconcerned.”

      These are but two salient statements in the article that did not soak through your preconceived, self-righteous notions.

      • That definitely changes very large amount of dynamics in that event. By an extremely large margin. I’m surprised photos havent appeared of the whole overall event.

      • MDA probably does not harbor any expectations of getting their way in Texas. They go to Texas to get photo ops that they can use at the national/federal level. If I were appearing in a family restaurant with a long gun, there is no way I would pose for a photo with the gun anywhere approaching a ready position, it would remain on my back. They come to Texas because they just can’t get these photo’s in their communist states. I support responsible, respectful open carry, but stop letting these “moms” make chumps of you. “Chipotle Ninja” would be a pretty boring shot if the rifles were slung on their back and they were drinking milkshakes. Instead they get what looks like a kid holding an assault rifle at the ready i.e. brandishing, and his buddy with a rifle hanging down below his prodigious gut like an ersatz penis. Shannon is from marketing and public relations, She knows how to chose and crop a photo to incite her demographic don’t give her the source material.

        • “don’t give her the source material.”

          You ever heard that saying about letting a fool speak? Don’t stop them?

          This is one of those times.

          LET her have the source material and misrepresent it. Then discredit the living HELL out of her. Show her to be a liar.

          Sycophants won’t care. But, the more times she’s shown to lie, the more chances there are for the proverbial fence sitters to distrust EVERYTHING she says.

          And, she’s connected to Bloomberg.

          I say let her show her true colors. Don’t stop her from demonstrating how phony she is as a person and how phony her entire movement is.

          Reminds me of the picture with Alan…and how her BS claims of “stalking” blew up in her face PR wise.

        • Any picture of anything firearms related is source material for them. A picture of a kid with a sad face because his ice cream melted could be used by them. They continually take photos of themselves that make their group look larger. Unless someone is actually being an idiot don’t hate on them, and don’t read the MDA articles to conclude they are being idiots.

        • actually, most of the photos are taken from members of the group themselves, and posted to the groups facebook page. no doubt MDA has infiltrated that page and uses the photos.

    • “In the Chipotle case, the open carriers had asked permission from the establishment to open carry there before they entered.”

      “The picture is deceptive because of what it doesn’t show. Just outside the frame are two uniformed police officers looking on, completely unconcerned.”

      Say what one may, these two facts behind that Chipotle photo are interesting.

    • Paul McCain, just because some open carriers delayed you getting your third burrito of the day doesn’t mean you have to be so damn cranky.

    • Thus do you prove that you completely buy into the lie that the above author is warning about in his statement: “The narrative promoted by MDA is simple: insane yahoos brandishing assault weapons are terrifying the public in retail establishments around Texas. It simply isn’t true.”
      He goes on to prove exactly that, but I guess you didn’t bother to read much past the title, or you wouldn’t be now doing exactly what the article warns of.
      How very like the antis to attack viciously that which they don’t even bother to read, much the less understand…

    • Oh so THAT’S what that gun is! Now that you mention it, it totally does look like an SKS. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was … at first I was thinking Ruger 10/22, but the mag is obviously too big … lol … I agree btw, tricking out an AK with AR-type furniture? Sure, why not? But an SKS?? LOL

  1. Well, colour me gullible. It turns out that I, too, was an acquiescent believer of propaganda. Here I was firmly convinced that there might be some validity to ‘Chipotle Ninja.’ even though I don’t like the term, and now I find that the truth is considerably different.

    Thank you for publishing this article. The Truth, it seems, IS out there.

    • Big huge props to you for being willing to adjust your opinion about something when new evidence is presented.

      However this particular issue plays out in the long term, there just are not enough people willing to do that.


    • I knew it was propaganda, but it doesn’t change the facts that the images are being used to ill effect against 2A supporters behind enemy lines. Yes 2A supporters in gun-friendly states don’t care about what MDA says. That’s to be expected. But it does affect those who live in states that are fighting just for the right to keep and bear arms, nevermind CC or OC. I get it, it’s tough to support those that want expanded rights at the same time helping to keep the 2A free for all. I have nothing against OCT fighting for their expanded rights. I just wish people were more respectful of the issues others are facing to keep their 2A rights. Rather than being supportive, a lot of commenters choose to just jump all over us and say we aren’t true 2A supporters. Such is the tone of this blog posting. It’s all our fault the OCT got bad press. Well sorry, that ain’t the case. But you didn’t do us any favors either. Sigh. I’ll just keep working in our community, writing congressman and senators, attending hearings, and voting for gun friendly politicians. Trying to source advocacy from others just isn’t worth the forum politics.

  2. I think you miss the point. MDA is not trying to show the truth. They are successfully creating a false narrative. When you are in an information war being right is good enough. You need to be perceived as being right.

    • I think you meant to say,
      “When you are in an information war, being right is NOT good enough. You need to be perceived as being right.”

    • That’s exactly right. It’s now obvious that MDAAIG/Everytown is waging a hactivism campaign against the Bill of Rights. No facts, just propaganda. Judiciously planted. Classic “Information Warfare.”

  3. Perception = Reality
    OCT got their asses whipped by MDA
    Fence sitters were forced off the fence and landed on the anti side.
    This will hurt our RTKBA.

    • Sorry, but no. Not even close. Reality trumps perception COMPLETELY.

      If I perceive a person to not be a threat and they turn out to be a violent attacker, will my perception save me?

      Only in “Prog World” does perception = reality.

      “OCT got their asses whipped by MDA

      Disagree completely. Probably 99% of the population has never heard of either group. We suffer a bit of selection bias because we are tuned into the issue.

      Plus, I think you vastly overestimate the importance and depth of MDA’s “wins.”

      “Fence sitters were forced off the fence and landed on the anti side.”

      Got some data to back up that statement, or is this just your unsubstantiated opinion fueled by feelings?

      “This will hurt our RTKBA.”

      How so?

      Are there “No Guns” signs up in stores that were not there before? The folks in Texas that have reported here have said they’ve not seen any.

      • Perception IS reality to low information voters who see this and don’t bother to dig into the issue. Perception doesn’t trump reality if people do not take the time to find the truth.

        It very well may likely have pushed fence sitters over into the anti corner. Obviously, can’t prove it, but still…

        • IMO, perception is reality to low information voters for about a day. That’s about the limit of their information retention capacity. That’s the main reason candidates put people with big signs containing small words in front of polling places on election day.

        • “It very well may likely have pushed fence sitters over into the anti corner. Obviously, can’t prove it, but still…”

          MDA’s incessant Harpie-esque bleating very well may likely (love those weasel words, by the way!) have pushed fence sitter over to our side. Obviously, can’t prove it, but still …

          We can play this game all day. {shrug}

        • @JR_in_NC I’m not sure what your point is. I’m not using “weasel words” or “playing games”. I am addressing the perception that was crafted using OC pictures and falsehoods. The reality is that it can, and most likely does, damage our cause when perception is skewed against us. Stating that MDA may have done the same thing by driving folks to our side does nothing to disprove this.

          Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re putting down.

        • “may likely” and non-specific quantitative words are known as “weasel words.” Other examples are “some people say” and “most agree” and stuff like that.

          They are words and phrases that appear to have quantitative meaning but in actuality have none.

          The “game” is using language like “but still…” to imply the truth of your assertion even though you admit you don’t have data and can’t prove it.

          This is rhetorical tautology: “a self-reinforcing pretense of significant truth” or “the proposition as stated is logically irrefutable, while obscuring the lack of evidence or valid reasoning supporting the stated conclusion. “

      • #1 The whole country was told via every national news outlet in the country that Target doesn’t want you carrying guns in their stores. How’s that not a loss?

        #2 Do you think every person without a dog in this fight digs deep enough to understand what we know to be the truth about guns? As far as they know a bunch of gun nuts carrying assault rifles where told to leave. That is the reality of it to them.

        #3 It has hurt our RTKBA, See #1 Your guns aren’t welcome at Target.

        #4 Don’t ask me to give you data to back this up. Just like you this is my opinion expressed on a weblog. You don’t have data to support your OPINION either.

        • “#1 The whole country was told via every national news outlet in the country that Target doesn’t want you carrying guns in their stores. How’s that not a loss?”

          There are differing opinions on this, but here’s my take.

          What Target (and others) said was that they will obey all state and local laws. There is a mechanism for them to forbid you from carrying in their stores LEGALLY. They have NOT taken that step; they have not done the one thing they can legally do to actually restrict carry in their stores.

          Saying they don’t want gun in their stores has no bearing on what I do. That does not even appear to trigger “trespassing,” as they cannot prove you even HEARD their announcement. They have a “notification” problem.

          The statement was a PR move to get MDA off their backs. It may signal an anti-RKBA attitude, but it is, by itself, without teeth.

          They can tell me my gun is unwelcome in a press conference, but (a) I may not have heard it (so no notification exists) and (b) it does not meet the statutory requirements for “no legal carry.”

          So…what exactly has been lost? You still have the right to keep and bear arms in Target stores. You have the right to keep and bear arms in a store that SEEMS to be anti-gun…so, if you think about it, doesn’t that sound more like a WIN than a LOSS? That they can be somewhat anti-RKBA but without limiting your RKBA?

          Choosing to not spend money there (as some are doing) because of the announcement and apparent corporate attitude is a different issue altogether. That’s a personal choice that has little to do with the practicality of actually bearing arms in those stores. Not shopping there is a political statement about their attitude, but no right to keep and bear arms in their store has actually been lost.

    • Not necessarily. My original perception of this series of incidents, due to lack of information to the contrary, was that OCT was off somewhere in the ozone layer, making accurate short-range rifle hits on their own toes and hitting mine as collateral damage; Now that I have had the truth presented to me, I have a completely different perception.

      There is no way to make a dogmatic, wilfully-prejudiced person change their mind about something; Progressives, for example, will always believe that modern ammunition is made from the tears of dying babies and the floppy ears of crushed puppies. However, if you give a REASONABLE person the truth, presented in a matter-of-fact way and without fanfare, a REASONABLE person will understand it as the truth, or at least wonder what IS the truth enough to question their perception.

      I know that it’s preaching to the church choir, but the biggest problem with perception on most national concerns in this country, including RKBA, is that we do not have an unbiased media; Instead of a 4th Estate, we have simply a Propaganda Branch of government that also advertises hemorrhoid cures, ED medication, vaginal-mesh failure litigators, and cars that can only be driven on closed circuits by professional drivers.

    • How so? Did you not read the rest of the article? The whole premise of MDA/Everytown is to make those who would support RTKBA to be a small group of insane violent crazed individuals. The fact that BOTH candidates – GOP and Democrat – support open carry now indicates that the movement has done the opposite of what MDA wanted: it showed the majority of voters are for common sense, and support the 2A. If MDA was successful both candidates – eager to get as many votes as possible – would pander to the anti-gun side, which would be larger.

      OCT/OCTC has grown in size rapidly since MDA got involved. Several chains have held back from agreeing and bowing to their pressure. “MIAG” had to change its name as mayors fled their ranks once their true colors were revealed. If politicians are jumping ship (a very very wealthy one at that) and coming to our side clearly movements like OCT are not harming our rights – but rather drawing groups like the now renamed MIAG (Everytown) to show their colors.

      OCT has done us another favor as well – “grassroots” pro-gun campaigns have erupted in power and strength, something we needed given that for example the NRA has had no dog in this fight and that has disarmed a huge part of the Bloomberg machine. Everytime MDA labels all gun owners as crazy – on the fence sitters think to themselves, “my cousin Bob owns guns, he’s a normal guy and teaches 3rd grade. something smells fishy”.

    • If (huge IF) the fence sitters are being pushed to the left side, then why is Open Carry now supported by BOTH parties in Texas and likely to soon pass? Could it be because that whole idea is not true, as stated and proven here?

  4. Why do open carry people so often dress like slobs?

    Do we need a 300-400+ lb guy with a beard representing us for the only public photo of the event?

    Do we need a guy wearing sunglasses indoors with an SKS?

    I know this is grassroots, but geeze. Try to be more media savvy.

    • I agree…only elite, attractive, fashionably dressed models should be allowed at open carry rallies.

      Fat people should be made fun of, and derided for even thinking they could be a part of our select group.

      And a shorter than average male with a substandard SKS? Please! If you don’t conform to our ideal of a gun owner, immediately proceed to the nearest buyback lest you actually give the public the idea that less than perfect individuals are welcome in the gun owning “community”.

      • People who are short really can’t do anything about it.

        People with their ill-fitting overly casual clothing and camo hats makes us look like the slack-jaw yokels that MDA wants to portray us as. And sunglasses indoors does nothing to help our image either as it is too gangsta.

        This is not about three-piece suits. Normal long pants (not shorts), a long sleeve casual shirt (ideally with a collar), non-athletic shoes, and no ghetto rifles would go a long way.

        Did you know that soldiers in the Army cannot wear short sleeves, cannot wear shorts, and cannot even roll up their sleeves when it is hot? This is keeping with looking professional. Open carry people should self-impose a similar dress code.

      • As a combat veteran – you are way off there. Regulation and reality are two very different animals, shit watch Restrepo and count how many times guys are in their tee-shirts alone (which is not authorized under AR 670-1). Reality is OCT/OCTC release thousands of pictures showing every type of American participating. Just because MDA wants to select one that works for their purposes doesn’t vilify the whole group.

        Your post shows disdain for people who would carry their only fire arm. God forbid the poor practice their right like the rich.

        If you really want I’ll show you pictures of US troops in AFG in shorts, in tee-shirts, not wearing helmets, and breaking all kinds of rules.

        • Yeah, I was going to say something about the dress code thing.

          I have pictures of myself, deployed, wearing a white tee shirt, unshaven, shaggy hair, and with the biggest chew in my lip you have ever seen…

          That military bearing sh^ t goes right out the window pretty quick on deployment.

        • Hopefully you wouldn’t break the rules for a PR/media event for the Army as you are representing the organization.

    • Do we need some internet turd poking fun at everyone to make himself feel better about himself. I say its getting old. Go look in the mirror do you like what you see yet.

    • Sorry, but look around you the next time you go out in public; An awful number of Americans seem to look like this now. Fat, hairy, dull-looking, dressed in tank-tops and baggy shorts with pasty fat white stumpy legs sticking out, shod in raggedy sneakers with no socks–and that’s the women.

      OK, OK–I’m a bastidge. But people are people, and sloppy-fat folks don’t impress. Perception DOES matter, right?

      • Sure, perception matters. And from the photo you’re referring to my perception is that the gun community ranges from the tall and overweight to short and skinny…and that everyone can have a great time together without exclusion. Some may be turned off, such as yourself. Others may think,”Man, I’ve never been athletic…but all these different people look like they’re having FUN!”. Unless you live in a different world than I do, most people don’t fit your “ideal” of a poster boy for OC.

        • You’re absolutely right–they don’t. On the other hand, if perception in the minds of people whose minds you’re trying to change matters, you want to present your best face. If you want to advertise liquor, you don’t choose somebody who’s been ravaged by alcoholism. If you want to advertise beauty creams or cosmetics, you don’t choose Hilary Clinton. If you want to push the positive aspects of gun ownership, you don’t pick some fat dude with a beer in one hand and an EBR in the other, shooting up roadside signs.

          It’s simple Advertising 101–make your product attractive, make it seem like it’s used by attractive people, and it’ll sell.

    • Actually, the reality is there are thousands of people in Texas that are doing this. However, Mom’s Demand Action specifically picks out the photos that work best for their purposes. In this case, a fat guy with a beard. They would not dare show pictures of attractive women carrying rifles. That shows the wrong image for their purposes. I’ve been to several such events and there are always some hot girls with rifles, and plenty of men that are dressed very nicely. But you’ll never see MDA publishing pictures of those people.

    • When I look, I only see two overweight men, one on either side of the flag(only one of which is bearded), and one perhaps slightly over on the far left side.I also count seventeen(17) more of small to normal stature. 3 (giving you the questionable guy on the far left) out of 20 is 15%, which is less than the national average for obesity.
      Could it be that you are a shill desperate to attack SOMETHING just to “earn” your paycheck from Bloomy, or are you just mathematically and factually challenged?

    • So what I’m getting from you “media savvy” types is that clothes matter but people don’t.

      Thanks for letting me know where you stand.

      • When you don’t know the specific people, you judge them by the only things that you can see.

        • But the more intelligent, realizing that the surface is not valid info at all, will withhold any judgement entirely, waiting instead for the facts and evidence. Unfortunately, real intelligence is almost as rare as hen’s teeth.

  5. There’s still room to analyze, criticize and improve strategies based on incidents like the Chipotle photo. Despite their prior permission I think the “low ready” pose was poor taste. Keeping rifles slung on the back would go a long way toward preventing the mischaracterization of that event as “threatening.”

    On a related note, I’ve been thinking that it would be interesting to organize an “open-carry” event using blue guns or stripped lowers as a way to provoke curiosity and completely neuter fear-based attacks on the event and it’s participants.

    • “organize an “open-carry” event using blue guns or stripped lowers as a way to provoke curiosity and completely neuter fear-based attacks on the event and it’s participants.”

      To the MDA types, that won’t matter one whit. To assume that it will is to misunderstand who they are and what they are trying to accomplish, as well as what they are willing to do and say to accomplish it.

      Think about it this way…these are the same people that think it’s proper to expel 2 graders for using their fingers as a gun or eating a pop tart into the shape of a gun.

      • Well, of course they’re going to oppose, spin and vigorously express consternation. That’s what they do. However, it would be a hell of a lot more difficult for them to sell a narrative about fearing for their safety when the “guns” at the event are inert training tools or incomplete serialized parts.

        Besides, I don’t care about “the MDA types.” Anyone capable of getting worked up over pop tart guns is irrational and debating them is a lost cause. The target of these events, to successfully bring about changes, should be the mildly apathetic and curious.

        Blue guns and stripped lowers are non-threatening and unusual-looking. Add in matching event shirts that loudly proclaim this to be an open-carry demonstration and you have a recipe to draw in the curious, including those who have never been around guns and might feel uneasy walking up to a stranger with an AR.

        About the only drawback I can think of is that by not actually carrying firearms you’re not actually promoting open carry or demonstrating how safe it is. But to the larger end of promoting interest and awareness I think the most important ingredient is actually speaking to people, not simply being seen, so I see this as a good trade.

        • Blue guns and stripped lowers are non-threatening to GUN people. You have to be knowledgable about guns to know that “blue guns” are for training. ANY GUN is threatening to NON-GUN people.

          Thats why open carry protests in a lot of areas are done with empty holsters, except, no one notices because the reality of open carry when its not a rifle is most people don’t notice.

    • It depends on why one open carries at an event. I’m personally not there to sway the People politically. I’m doing it to educate people that they can also carry. I’m doing it to educate officers that we can do it so please stop harassing one of us when you see us bearing arms. I’m doing it to remind politicians that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. To carry anything other than an actual firearm says to all three groups that we can’t really believe what we say because if we actually could carry real firearms then we would. Where we cannot carry real firearms, we bear empty holsters and signs. Where we can carry real firearms, we bear them.

      • Well stated. I expressed some reservations earlier about the blue guns not being “real carry,” but you did a much better job of listing specific target audiences and goals for which actually exercising the right to carry is better than carrying props and talking about it. Thanks for that.

        I still think there’s a place for educational outreach, but not to the exclusion of real carry, of course. There are a lot of battlegrounds for 2A rights and a lot of tactics that can help.

        I’m fortunate to live in AZ where the situation is relatively good (still not perfect), but I’m not resting on my laurels. I’ve undertaken a personal crusade to educate and take as many new shooters to the range as I can to make sure we don’t lose ground here, to help spread awareness of guns and gun laws and to nurture skepticism of attempts to curb our RKBA in the name of “reasonableness” and “common sense.”

        I’ve seen my efforts pay off, even among some fairly anti-gun friends and colleagues. Education is a one way ticket–once you wake somebody up to what’s going on and get them interested enough to pay attention they’re not going to forget what they’ve learned. And despite the divisiveness of gun politics, I’ve found that the ideals of freedom and standing up for good are pretty much universal. You just need to help people become familiar with guns and their utility for good to get them to stop thinking (and voting) based on a superficial understanding of them (and I’ve found that’s easiest with gentle coaxing).

        Sorry for the long-winded monologue. Just thought I’d lend some more context to my personal interest in pushing education. Keep fighting the good fight.

  6. Perception is reality. A picture of a giant sloppy obese guy & a young guy whose rifle is bigger than he is? Sure that’s great. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

  7. Great to see someone put a better light on the folks of OCT. I am sick of people taking jabs at OC folks because they are not dressed in a 3 pice suite, or do not have an approved hi price holster. As long as it is legal and you are being safe carry how you wish, what you wish, and dress how you are comfortable dressing.

    I have not trimmed my beard in 8 mo ( its getting almost epic ) does this me that I should stop OCing? Do I have to stop OCing because I don’t where button up shirts and dockers? Get bent!

    It’s time that we stand strong as a group and support each others rights. I’s time to stop attacking each other and unite. If you have a problem with someone OCing i jean shorts and cut off tee shirt than that problem is yours and yours only. Get over it.

    Thanks again for the support of the folks in Texas.

    • So you think that someone who looks like they’re from Mountain Monsters would make a good “poster boy” in the media to help normalize OC and influence legislators and voters? Especially in metropolitan areas where the bulk of voters live? Get over yourself.

      • Well, you didn’t ask me and I have to confess I have not really given this a lot of thought, but since you posed the question…I’ll take a stab.

        What I would like to see in OC demonstration pictures (and at any rally that I might personally attend some day) is a cross section of our society. Not all in 3 piece suits, but some. Not all clean shaven, but some. Men, women, overweight and trim, different races, etc.

        I’d like to see a real cross section of society because that should be the MOST representative of “gun owners.”

      • Not sure what a Mountain Monster is.But yes I believe that every single person that takes the time to exercise there rights and shows there support makes a good poster boy for what ever right they are fighting for. I also believe that a fella or gal in very nice shape and dressed to the T also make good poster boys and poster gals.

        I also believe that the person tearing these people down are hurting the cause more than the Mountain Monsters are, And I think your an ass.

    • “I am sick of people taking jabs at OC folks because they are not dressed in a 3 pice suite.”
      I am sick of straw man statements, who the hell said anything about a three piece suit? NOBODY!
      There is a lot of navigation room between Mr. Jungle Hat and a three piece. How about a simple pair of jeans and a T-shirt that fits?
      You sound exactly like like those antis when asked about the 2A, they start talking about tanks and bazookas.

      • In case you failed to notice, almost the entire cast IS dressed in your suggested “uniform” of T-shirts and blue jeans. I note a few ball caps and a panama hat, but not ONE jungle hat, nor set of camo! Making a point of calling a man who is “dressed up”, a three piece suite(sic) is no more a straw man argument than you calling a guy “Mr Jungle Hat”, when such is not even in the photo, nor did ANYONE bring that up but YOU.
        Perhaps some time looking up “straw man logic” on your favorite search engine and reading a little might help your writing (and factual) skills out.
        Good luck with that…

        • If I had to guess–and yes I do have to guess–he’s probably not thinking of the top picture (and you are right about it), but of other ones he’s seen with considerably poorer choice in clothing–the most famous being the Chipotle Duo picture.

          Regardless of what he was thinking of, his point is valid. It’s not a choice between either a three piece suit or something that looks like it could serve as pajamas, and that crowd shot is proof of it. Yet people caricature him (and others) as demanding a tux.

          • My whole point was more about the use of the term “straw man arguments” being false. That is defined as the misrepresentation of what the other side actually said or did. To call another who is dressed up a “suit”, or to call another who is perceived as a military wannabe a “jungle hatter”, or a “GI Joe” is NOT a misrepresentation of fact. Its simply a misnomer, or a mistake, or at worst, a veiled insult. Not a straw man issue.
            As for the rest, I agree. I said much the same under “Cashland’s” post above, where I stated; “while there are always two sides to everything, there are always many shades of grey between black and white…..”

          • And about the Chipotle photo, I havent researched it, but do we know for sure that those two are actually members of OCT, and not agent provocateurs using bloomberg funds to create a false flag issue? This is no fantasy for they have been caught red handed at such tactics before….

        • KCK was bringing up the fact that the three “pice” suit is a strawman argument that no one is seriously suggesting and you go and construct another strawman. Good job.

          • You are in error sir.
            NONE of this is a “straw man”, which is the misrepresentation of what the other guy actually said. The rewording of what was actually said to make it into what is desired so that it will be easier to attack.
            For example, IF I was to call someone “ignorant”, and then I was to be attacked for calling them stupid and unintelligent, THAT would be a straw man argument. Ignorant simply means “does not know” a thing, and does NOT imply a lack of intelligence, but just a lack of information.

        • So now, in order to show that KCK’s accusation of a straw man is baseless, you have to find someone who advocated for three piece suits or nothing else.

          • Not exactly. One is allowed to reword the other sides argument for reasons of clarity, questions, brevity, etc. It is not the creation of a strawman to question whether ignorant is similar to stupidity, etc. It is even OK to assume(but in error) that it DOES mean stupid. But if, after having the definitions of both read aloud, and proven that they are not the same, and that the meaning, as used, was information based, and not intelligence based, and yet that side continues to berate the other for calling it stupid, THEN it becomes obvious that the straw man fallacy was the intent from the beginning.
            It is the intent of the one doing the misquoting that is at issue. If a side was misquoted, so be it. Correct the record and move on. IF, however, that side will not accept correction and move on, they must either be using it as a “strawman”(because they can find no other way to discredit the ORIGINAL statement), or they must be fundamentally unable to understand the basic definitions as read(which does, at the least, border on stupidity).
            By the context of the original post to this thread, I think it is obvious that the intent is not to suggest that the words “three piece suite(sic)”, verbatim, is what the author is actually so tired of, but that it is the basic attitude of those who always complain about the OCTers not being dressed up enough for their tastes. The post really makes that quite clear by the follow on paragraph.
            So it is clear that it is the attitude that he objects to, not the mere use of the word “suit”. If the strawman was about the word usage, then no debate could ever use similes, allegories, analogies, parables, metaphors, rewording in order to question whether the point was understood properly, etc, That is patently ridiculous, as all of those are valuable.
            But to reword the opponent in order to change the fundamental meaning… that is not! That is despicable, and the antis do it as SOP.

    • Regardless of whether you want to look and dress like an slob, how about you stop open carrying just because it labels you as an insecure attention-seeking lowlife?

      • A label that YOU assign, at least in your mind, I note. But I also note that many others do NOT feel the need to assign such ridicule….

  8. Reality does NOT trump perception and this is precisely the point the feckless fanatical supporters of the Chipotle Ninja OC nuts just can not understand or do not want to understand.

    They have proven themselves to be unwitting allies of the Dark Lord Bloomberg and his forces.

    If OC is approved in TX it will be in spite of the Chipotle Ninja tactics.

    • Says an uniformed anti-Open Carry opinionated knee jerker who can’t even read the articles he’s posting on.

      Sorry, man. You have lost ALL credibility. From now, I will quietly file your posts away as “troll” and simply not read them.

      You have precisely ZERO evidence for what you claim. You have done nothing but coin cutesy derogatory terms for people that disagree with you and since that’s all you have to offer the conversation, you come off sounding like the people at gawker or crooksandlies. Good job.

    • PTM, reality CAN trump perception. Again, you didn’t read the article, or you are too wilfully prejudiced to understand that the truth matters.

      Many of the people who are responding to this article were previously convinced that the pejorative (that YOU may have invented) of ‘Chipotle Ninja’ might have just enough truth to stick; That has been emphatically refuted here, and the previously convinced are now willing to concede that they were fooled.

      Why not you?

  9. I am ashamed that I also bought into the false narrative of the mass media. Thanks for this post and setting the facts out there. I am now smarter than I was 15 minutes ago.

    • We ALL get taken in by this stuff at some times or others.

      Let’s chalk it up to that fact that they are VERY good at what they do…manipulation.

      What we can learn from this is just how vigilant we have to be with information, even in condemning our own.

  10. To be a perfect representative of the gun rights movement you must be a loudmouthed divisive know-it-all overweight sarcastic homophobic preacher that’s as venomous as Lucifer himself.

    Otherwise you might as well be with MDA and Bloomberg.

    • WOW! What a load of hate to spew. I’ll bet you are just the pride of your dept., whatever it is…..

      • Whoa. Dude. Are you off your meds? Or do you just not get out much?

        That is a humorous quote, a meme if you will, commonly used by a FoxNews personality known to possess a dry wit. He is quoting a Simpsons cartoon character. It is called ‘sarcasm.’ Also, ‘hyperbole.’ It pokes fun at dogmatists who invoke the ‘Nazi’ card when they are contradicted.

        No, really.

        • Well OK then. If by “get out much” you actually mean; “watch a lot of TV” then you are correct. I don’t “get out much” in THAT context. The last TV show I watched was Star Trek, TNG. I get all my information either first hand or off the net. I left google long ago, in favor of sites like that DONT censor the real info. I’ve barely heard of FOXNEWS, and only use them as examples of how NOT to behave. So yes, TV based sarcasm is largely foreign to me.

        • to: John in AK
          Wait just a minute. That post about spewing hate was a reply to the original post. HE was the one that I thought was spewing hate. I mean “loudmouthed divisive know-it-all overweight sarcastic homophobic preacher that’s as venomous as Lucifer himself.”? How much more hateful is it possible to get?
          I hadn’t even read your post about Hitler. That one I think is spot on, and a good comeback to the hatred in the original post. Even if I didn’t know it was from a FOXNEWS talking head….

        • You know, that’s what’s dangerous about The InterWebs: You can’t precisely tell what somebody means by just printed words–there’s no inflection, no warmth, no way to pick up the big grin on somebody’s face when they’re poking fun at a Pecksniff. I was wrong about you, and I apologize.

          However, you were DEFINITELY wrong about Michael B.; He was being sarcastic, and I knew it because I know him from his past posts and conversations. He was saying, in his own way, that people who think that THEIR way of supporting the 2nd Amendment is the One True Path to Gun Righteousness are bigots.

          Which, of course, they are. The RKBA is meant to be a right for all, not for a select few.

          Michael B., Sir, is NOT worse than Hitler.

          • So then he was the one calling to mind the Foxnews anchor? I would never have gotten that, but as i said I’m not into TV. At least not any more. I thought he was being serious. I hereby apologize to him. Without the context of the TV personality, it seemed so to me. We all make mistakes. Time to correct the record and move on
            Sorry to Micheal B….

  11. “…This wasn’t even the first time they had been in the establishment. The picture is deceptive because of what it doesn’t show. Just outside the frame are two uniformed police officers looking on, completely unconcerned.”

    Any chance of getting that photo added to this article?

    Or at least a link to the (a) photo?

  12. regardless of level of permission OC Ninjas had, I just find it counter productive and ultimately self defeating to open carry a long rifle and especially slung in the front in battle ready position. Stupid stuff.

    • “I just find it counter productive and ultimately self defeating to open carry a long rifle”

      Another variant of “I support the Second Amendment, but…”

      Guns scary. Got it.

      • another variation of you are either with us or against us.. good luck with that hole your helping dig.

        • Put up some evidence for your claim that they are digging a hole.

          Lots of folks that live there have said it looks like OC of handguns is going to pass. Or quite likely to.

          Until that issue passes or fails, we don’t know that they are digging a hole.

          You are uncomfortable with out they carry…no different than Watts being uncomfortable with any carry.

          Or, do you misunderstand what the word “Right” means?

        • Only the Sith talk in absolutes. For example; “you are either with us or against us”.
          That is incorrect(and kind of sad), because it is quite obvious that while there are always two sides to everything, there are always many shades of grey between black and white…..

      • We support the 2A without buts.
        I know for sure that the guys in the photos are straight up supporters. We are on the same team.
        Just Like Jim Marshall of the Vikings that ran 70 yards for a safety for the other team. If we think “Jim” is carrying the ball for us, we may want to tap him on the shoulder and advise him on the best direction to run.
        These are our opinions and since our rights are under attack, we all advocate strategies that we think are best.
        This is just the 1A.
        I don’t see these only as condemnations, but communal strategy sessions.
        We’re just workin’ it all out.

        • Interesting.

          If we are ‘just working it out’ then no beef with you.

          But the constant ragging by some on OC-ers … how they carry, what they carry, what they wear, how their hair is cut…etc, in the absence verifiable correlative data that rights are being restricted because of their actions goes a step further than just working it out.

          Freedom is not pretty, and it does not mean that everyone “agrees with me.” Some of the anti-OCT comments I’ve read on TTAG were nothing more than “He is doing something different than I would” or “I don’t like what he’s doing.”

          Can we agree there is too much of that?

      • And you are back to assuming people who are saying “this is dumb” are saying “this should be forbidden.”

        • Well, no, I’m not really making that assumption.

          I do wonder, though, why people have the compulsion to report “this is dumb,” even if that is an assumption based on improper context.

          To a point, its a fair statement, I suppose. But, truthfully, isn’t this the exact same thing the anti’s say? Don’t they say it’s dumb to have a gun in the home, or to feel the need to (gasp!) carry one?

          There’s no doubt there is room for rational discussion on the approach the OCT folks have taken. We can agree or disagree with their methods.

          My concern is the level of vehemence thrown at them, especially when it is done in ways that depict a complete lack of understanding of the issue…such as all the ‘carry a pistol, not a rifle’ comments that come out every time one of these stories comes up.

          Or, said more succinctly, why does it matter HOW a person is exercising his right to bear arms to such a degree that people come out of the woodwork to heap on the hate?

          It’s “control issues” and “authoritarianism” from our side that kind of irks. Carry as I approve, or you are dumb? Is that what we want to be?

          (I know you and I disagree about the extent of meaning to place on Target’s announcement…)

        • …And if and when you post like this in response to “carry a pistol not a rifle,” or “you should NEVER carry rifles you boneads” posts I don’t complain.

          But this is another case of someone saying these people are doing it stupidly and you *equate* it with them saying they shouldn’t be doing it at all. If your response were something like “it’s not stupid” or “well how the heck should they do it?” it’d be appropriate but instead you came right out the gate and accused this guy of being anti 2A. That irritates me; you are assigning an ill motive to this individual for no apparent reason other than the vehemence of his attack on a tactic he thinks is ineffective or worse downright harmful.

          “Or, said more succinctly, why does it matter HOW a person is exercising his right to bear arms to such a degree that people come out of the woodwork to heap on the hate?”

          It matters in this context because this is a demonstration; we are asking people to Look At Us! and as such its probably a sound idea to look as good as we reasonably can. The crowd in the picture at the very top look OK; the pair in Chipotle, I think, could have presented themselves better, especially the guy in the sunglasses. I realize that was a posed picture at an event; hand picked because it looked bad. So really, is it too much to ask someone engaging in a demonstration i.e., putting themselves on display as ambassadors for our side, to not make us look bad unnecessarily? Especially keeping the mitts off the grip and/or trigger for a picture that MDA can and will exploit?

        • “But this is another case of someone saying these people are doing it stupidly and you *equate* it with them saying they shouldn’t be doing it at all. “

          Welll, no, not really. Or, well, sort of. Sometimes.

          There is some percentage of these comments that are “you should not be doing it at all.” How does one NOT draw that conclusions from “OC of rifles is dumb”? OC of a rifle is a form of bearing arms. It happens to be a form of bearing arms that is controversial at this point in history.

          2A does not say “shall not be infringed unless some fraction of the gun owning population disapproves.” And, it does not say, “bear only those arms that people think are not stupid.”

          What I am not saying is that those that make the “we support 2A, but” style comments don’t support ANY RKBA. I’m not accusing them of being anti-gun across the board. I’m saying that they are not seeing just how far natural rights extend and how hard it is to apply that concept in daily life.

          What I am saying is this is what I ‘hear’ when I read these comments: “I only support YOUR right to keep and bear arms in a manner that I approve.” Otherwise, why criticize it? Why call it dumb? Why get on the ‘Net every single time and refer to the people that are doing it, how they dress, their body type, etc, and make derogatory remarks? Some of the comments over the past few weeks have been decidedly ugly and, quite frankly, quite immature.

          We do have a broad brush issue here. Not all such comments fit my interpretation, and not all of them fit yours. There are some adamantly anti-OC that make these statements. There are some that are only saying, “I sure wish they’d clean up their act.”

          Tricky business, this concept of letting others be as free as we ourselves want to be.

    • You ARE aware that the definition of “brandishing” is; (wave or flourish (something, especially a weapon) as a threat or in anger or excitement.), and that the way the weapon is slung is irrelevant aren’t you?

      • Ken, i cannot disagree with you more on this.

        The closes equivalent to a holstered side arm I can see with a long gun is a weapon in either a carry case strapped on your back or at least having the rifle strapped on your back. A weapon on a 3 point sling carried on the front is poised for engagement. Having you hand anywhere near the trigger even with your bugger hooker off the trigger creates pause outside of the context of an active defensive engagement or being at the range.

        I stand my my initial statements. This is plain stupid behavior.

        • I stand by my opinions as well. The “low ready”, just like the single point sling, is merely a chosen method of carry. Brandishing, or waving about in a threatening manner it is NOT! Not unless one is actually DOING that, ofc. The finger off the trigger until ready to fire is always correct. It is one of the basic four laws, to ALWAYS be observed at all times.
          If you were taught otherwise in the military, then so be it. They are not always correct, either. Much as the Boy Scouts rule one is NEVER load your gun until at the firing line. How much more at odds with the REAL rule one; “all guns are always loaded at all times”, could they be? Yes, I know they are the Scouts, our most cherished….. and blah, blah, blah.
          That still doesn’t make them always correct, and at least in this one case, they are NOT. And when they aren’t it is our duty to point that out, no matter how many “cherished” toes get stepped on. Incorrect is still incorrect.
          You are still entitled to your own opinions of course. Even if they do disagree with mine… 🙂

  13. It ain’t about asking permission and it ain’t about whether people in one instance or another were scared. Many of these OCT activists look like slobs or “eccentrics”, they are carrying guns at low ready and posing for provocative photos just because they can. They are easily mocked and misrepresented in this state and it is disgraceful. I don’t want to be associated with these people but the fact they have “gone viral” forces all those who openly support the 2A to answer for these clowns.

    As an act of protest it is foolish and they are tone deaf. Texas law prohibiting open carry of handguns is outdated and it should be changed… but it is a long standing law. There should be legislative activism and HUMBLE protest taking place, not the brandishing of expensive range toys at fast food establishments, which only leaves the public confused.

    If anything OCT tactics encourage the State of Texas to view the issue from the opposite perspective – that the open carry of long guns should be banned on top of handguns. What exactly is the intent of OCT if not to intimidate the State by its actions? It seems obvious that is exactly what they are doing. You really expect Texas legislators to respond to intimidation by enacting change?

    OCT in my estimation are trolls exploiting the juxtaposition between Texas and other states when it comes to carrying handguns openly. Their protests have backfired and become fodder for propaganda by those they claim to oppose. There is nothing to be gained by open carrying long guns out of their normal context and 2A advocates associate themselves with this group at their own risk. I demand discretion from those I would associate with and OCT is lacking in that regard. But hey, at least they call ahead before showing up and making fools of us all!

    • As mentioned elsewhere.. It is important to understand that Moms Demand Action carefully picks the photos they want to show. If there are 10 cute girls with rifles, and 10 guys dressed nicely, and 2 fat slobs with rifles… Which photos will they show? Obviously the slobs with the rifles works best for their propaganda.

    • I am confused about your comment referring to intimidation. I don’t see any intimidation as a goal. The goal is to normalize the sight of guns in public. Homosexuals did the same thing with gay-pride parades and refusing to hide, and it worked for them.

  14. Thanks Dean, for the clarifications and insight. A lot of good info there that helped me realize OCT is doing a better job than I thought.

  15. “Carry” whether concealed or open means carry, not at the low ready.
    Provide a truth that is a positive reflection on the 2A, no matter what the frame includes or excludes.

    • So, maybe that particular photograph is ‘posed’? And, just maybe, somebody ASKED the shorter guy to hold the gun that way for the photo, and the ‘Antis’ immediately seized upon that one photo? So, like, just maybe this was a setup? And, just maybe, that’s how Propaganda works?

      I would not now be surprised that a video of the same incident would show something completely different than the single selected photograph–just as the two photographs of the larger group taken from different angles show completely different perceptions.

      • if nothing else it would appear that no matter how benign the event–and yes it appears that this was completely benign–one really needs to be careful posing for pictures, lest you find your mug all over the anti-gun sites.

        • A very true statement, and one that can be generalized outside the gun rights issue.

          I’m sure Kendall Jones’ life would have been just fine without posting her pictures on that cesspool social media site. I’m wondering now if she’s rethinking “living her life online.”

  16. I’ve never liked the argument of how a person looked while carrying. You shouldn’t have to dress in your Sunday best to protect yourself. I’m as guilty as anyone for not looking senior prom ready whilst carrying. If I’m in a rush to get out the door, I’m not going to take the time to put on a socially acceptable shirt, slacks, and wingtips to carry. Even if I’m OC’g. Sorry. But I’m not going to appease the anti’s, the leftists, the 1911 purists, the armchair commandos, or any-damn-body else just to protect myself and family when out and about.
    Polite? Check. Courteous? Check.
    Retention? Check.
    But lets get real. No one on the opposing side is going to warm up to guns being carried just because you put on a nice sweater and left the flip flops at home during your open carry walk.

    • Are these guys out to protect themselves on this particular day or are they presenting themselves for observation, inspection and representing others that will be grouped in with them? Your attributes while walking about by yourself will not be associated with me nor other gun rights advocates. These chacters will be, because they are particpating in a demonstration, thus they have a greater responsibility beyond themselves to be presentable. Let them ask others, “How do I look?”
      I don’t live in TX but I am rooting for passage of legislation for open carry of hand guns in TX.

      • I’m not advocating for their means.
        Carrying a rifle around loaded and hot isn’t a particularly effective way to defend yourself. And yes, personal defense wasn’t their priority that day.
        But it’s my opinion, that of all the things they may have done poorly that day, the manner of dress should be dead last in the list.
        Open carry is convenient. It can instigate positive conversation. It’s an effective way to demonstrate that the presence of guns is not in itself a sign of impending disaster.

        Now I agree these ultra tactical elite operational operators operating operationally do put a haze over the rest of us who just want to exercise our rights. But we all fight for the same goal.

    • Yeah; up to point. But I think about how I would see pictures of people out in public forty or fifty years ago; they generally looked like they took some to dress nice before going out in public.

      Think about it: we are at the height of civilization; we’re in outer space; electronics that are out of a science fiction movie and many people look like they dressed out of a charity clothes free box. People going out wearing pajama bottoms and a torn tee shirts unshaven, uncombed and just generally unkempt.

      I think of it as just another example of people; like civilizations, getting too lazy to do the work of keeping up the mechanisms and the social norms of what it takes to be civilized.

      There is a reason every civilization has collapsed into a dark age; getting to tired to keep up appearances is one of them.

      • Thomas, you sound as if you just *might* be spending a little too much time at WalMart… [grin] I’ve never seen any one dressed that way in my town, let alone someone openly armed, and it is quite rare even in the WalMart 80 miles away.

        I do think about what I’m wearing when I decide whether to carry openly or concealed. My favorite purple shirt looks silly with my OC gunbelt, so I tuck my .357 into the CC holster when I want to wear that outfit. 🙂 I confess, I once forgot and went out OC in my ratty old tennis shoes, but I try not to make that a habit. 🙂

        But then, I don’t do “demonstrations.” I just carry all the time, everywhere, live and let live, minding my own business – with the non-aggression principle as my primary law. Seems to me that people are more apt to see armed folks as “normal” if their whole life is a demonstration of a reasonable, responsible person going about their everyday life, whether they are armed at the moment or not.

        My life isn’t centered around the gun or trying to prove some point. My guns are simply just a tool I use. And I think that’s the best way to “normalize” their acceptance. Your mileage may vary, of course.

        • i tend to agree. Most times, in most places, my goal isn’t to demonstrate, it’s to go about my daily business safely.

          Even an out-and-out demonstration for this is pointless in most jurisdictions (yours and mine included) because people already have a recognized right to open carry (which is to say, one not infringed on). For the folks in Texas the situation is quite different, and they have to demonstrate.

          The context changes as soon as one is demonstrating. I made sure to put on a nicer shirt for the Westcliffe July 4th parade, and ditch the falling-apart sneakers. (I have got to get myself to Walmart soon.)

      • Yes, every generation looks at those that come after and wonders how they can dress like that. . . however, when I start to think like that, I visualize myself saying “Now, get off my lawn!” while waving my Hurrycane at somebody.

        That helps bring me back to reality.

        What difference, at this point, does it make?

  17. This divide and conquer tactic being played upon the POTG by Bloomberg and his PR illusionists must be magnified and repeated regularly so all amongst us having an interest in this long term gun rights war can be kept abreast of the true nature of open carry events.

    Though I have been consistently aware of the BS factor relating to the miniscule level of commitment and popular support surrounding the anti-gun movement, I am now questioning ALL previous stories decrying OC events and wondering how much of the media outrage was simply staged. It seems many more of the OC people have been acting prudently than I previously thought. And prudent they must continue to be BECAUSE of the misleading lies of the anti-gunners.

    Uninformed I am no longer.

    Thank you Dean!

  18. If everything that is said in this post is true where are the video/pictures proving it?

    It would be wise to document everything that occurs at an open carry event. Hell if I was running it, I would have two folks armed with cameras for every person carrying a gun.

    • Concur.

      Nothing like unedited video evidence to portray truth and expose lies and half truths.

    • And then cue all the remarks about “they are just attention whores doing it to get video!”

      I’m kinda glad they did not do that, actually. It would have lent an air of falsehood to what they were doing.

      If you doubt it happened the way Dean described, maybe try something like write a “Letter to the Editor” in the local paper asking people who were there to offer their perspective?

      Were any police reports filed? Did anyone there observe a crime and report it?

      For as much of a stink as these incidents SUPPOSEDLY cause…there sure is little actual anything DONE about it. Just like Shannon’s “stalker” claims…no report, just bleating on the Internet, just as a good PR shill should do.

      • “For as much of a stink as these incidents SUPPOSEDLY cause…there sure is little actual anything DONE about it” …and unedited video would have proven just that.

        • No doubt, and it would be awesome to be able to shut them all up like that.

          I was just wondering if there are unintended consequences with purposefully video recording such an event. After all, as we have seen, they are expert at manipulating the ‘data’ to fit their narrative.

    • “where are the video/pictures proving it?”

      This wasn’t a photo-op. This was an event where they interacted with citizens eating in the restaurant, talked with them about open carry, and passed out fliers. There were–if memory serves–about a dozen open carriers there, including women. As JR_in_NC stated, if they were in there with still and video cameras recording everything to put on youtube, they’d be getting called attention whores, just like the Fudds do to all the others who post OC videos to youtube.

      Some people would bitch if they were hung with a new rope. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  19. “the old media”. I like that. Certainly more than “lame stream media”, or “liberal media bias”.

    It brings up images of old wrinkly men and women wearing 1/2″ think bifocals and wearing moth-balled sweaters while reading the news recorded from a VHS tape, slowly whispering out their view on events of the day.

    • I like it so much that it is now my go to term for the LSM! The one advantage that still has is it now understood as an acronym, thus easier to type.

  20. OK Good… I’m glad its not as bad as it seems. However… I stick with Jerry Miculek on these guys. Keep your hands off the gun and stop posing for picture at low ready in a fighting stance like you are about to f’ing go to war or something.

  21. We support the 2A without buts.
    I know for sure that the guys in the photos are straight up supporters. We are on the same team.
    Just Like Jim Marshall of the Vikings that ran 70 yards for a safety for the other team. If we think “Jim” is carrying the ball for us, we may want to tap him on the shoulder and advise him on the best direction to run.
    These are our opinions and since our rights are under attack, we all advocate strategies that we think are best.
    This is just the 1A.
    I don’t see these only as condemnations, but communal strategy sessions.
    We’re just workin’ it all out.

  22. I tend more to the heathen side of Christianity, but I took the pocket Bible out of my briefcase just for this post:

    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

    How about we all practice the little bit of faith we have. I’d much rather see a fat, skinny, homely, poorly dressed, etc. gun-owner practicing his right to carry out in plain sight, than a hundred hiders sniping from the sidelines.

  23. Also, can any of the graphically inclined on here whip up an image of the OCT picture the Mom’s took from inside the restaurant side by side with the actual shot in the same vein as the one’s shannon posted with all her righteous indignation when the TTAG writer took a photo with her while cc’ing or the slide fire guy?

    Its a two way street, make the image with some witty caption about Shannon and Co being deliberately deceptive to malign a group of people peacefully exercising their freedoms then get any POTG with twitter account to blast it all over the net calling Shannon out for her double standard.

  24. Good article.

    However, it has been a decade since I have worked in a restaurant, but every walk in freezer that I have been in can be completely locked and unlocked from the INSIDE. For two different reasons. If there is a robbery, gunman, etc in the store you can lock yourself in there, and the culprit can’t get in. The other is, if a person is working in there, and a forgetful employee shuts/locks the door, the trapped employee can get out easily.

    The restaurant that I worked in that had silent panic alarms that contacted the police, also had one inside the walk in freezer so that if the situation warranted you locking yourself in the freezer, you could contact police.

    Other than that, I enjoyed the read.

  25. I knew from the get-go that the OCT images were taken out of context. I knew immediately that MDA was pushing a false campaign. I knew exactly what OCT’s agenda was. And I know that every single one of the people in those images is a 2A supporter. I question NONE of that.

    But none of it matters. WE’RE NOT THE TARGET AUDIENCE. I don’t give a damn if it was Steve Ells himself standing nearby holding a Barrett. I’m sure articles saying so would make the rounds in the gunsphere, but what possible different could that make? It’s all preaching to the choir. In fact, how many non-gunnies are reading this blog?

    But for an outsider (the target audience), all they see is two clowns, one at low-ready (idiot), posing with rifles.

    Context is important, and the lack of it allows people to fill in their own. Again, we’re not the target audience. So what context will the average non-gunnie decide to fill in? My guess is that they think gunnies are poorly-dressed slobs with no tact. And based on what I’ve seen, they’d be justified in thinking that.

    You know why homosexuality has gained such acceptance in society in recent decades? It wasn’t via Pride Parades and guys waving their g-strung junk in everyone’s face. If you think it is, choke yourself right now. No… it was through –normalization–. TV shows like Will & Grace and Modern Family are an example; they show gay people are normal people just like everyone else. Things like that.

    I’d like to see how many of the RAH-RAH’ers would like to see two dudes in pink hotpants and tank tops making out in the corner of Starbucks and then prancing around saying “We’re gay and here to stay!!”. Show me your live-and-let-live attitude then. *rolleyes*

    I loooove open carry. Please… more people do that! But what I hate is in-your-face activism, no matter where it comes from. That’s what “OC dinners” and these jackass parades are.

    For Christ sake… Open carry and/or be gay and go about your daily lives. Take your g-strings, and your GUNS, and go mind your own business. Don’t rub your agenda in other people’s faces.

  26. I’ve been aware for a couple of weeks that the Chipotle incident wasn’t as bad as selectively portrayed.

    Nonetheless that doesn’t reduce the damage of the selective portrayal–we now have several national chains requesting that no one ever carry any gun in any carry mode into their establishments. Even if you take the stance that you will just conceal and go on about your business (I disagree with that, but that’s a different topic), it’s still another bit of social suasion towards the proposition and attitude that guns are a contaminant; a step towards “normalizing” *that* attitude. And if and where that attitude becomes normalized, it’s a very bad thing.

    What the facts as now known do are to shift the responsibility for the damage, but not the effect–unless we are able to produce something that goes viral demonstrating that MDA and associates are a bunch of lying sacks of solid exhaust. (Someone suggested such–a before and after cropping picture of the Chipotle Duo to point out the lie of omission.)

    We’ve been warned though; an innocently intended picture can blow up in our faces; especially after MDA glues it to the front of the media claymore.

    What can we do to reduce future damage? What I am about to suggest applies to demonstrations and protests NOT every day open carry. There the general priinciple/rationale is that you are deliberately doing this to put yourself and your hardware on display. 1) If at all possible wear rifles on your back. (A low-rent sling that will let you do so can be had for almost nothing at wallyworld.) 2) keep your hands off the gun, ESPECIALLY for picture time! 3) Try to dress in your better clothing. It doesn’t have to be a tux, but surely you have some clothing that’s better than the other clothing? Especially, try hard to avoid camo.

    Some may recall that I was considering going to the Westcliffe Independence Day parade; I did. probably about 200 people open carried their rifles (unloaded) and sidearms (loaded). I did end up photographed by news media (facing away from the camera; my semi-auto rifle and sidearm quite visible). So did the guy who showed up looking like he was about to march off to battle; he was much more commonly seen in photographs. Camo, body armor carrier, TWO long arms, etc. I don’t know if MDA is going to pick up on that but he did keep his mitts off the gun during the march so they have a lot less to use.

    BTW there was exactly one counter-protest, a woman holding a cardboard sign stating that not everyone there supported gun-toting lunatics. I never knew that “lunatic” meant “fine upstanding citizen.”