Open carry gun rights protest
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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One of the latest angles gun control groups have taken against the right to keep and bear arms is the argument that the presence of openly carried firearms “chills” or somehow inhibits free speech during peaceful (or otherwise) protests. They present an infringement on First Amendment rights.

There’s literally no proof of this at all, but that won’t stop them from continuing to try to sell it and push that angle of attack through their stenographers in the media. All is fair on the war on the Second Amendment.

Pro-gun rights scholars and activists have long argued that the presence of weapons at protests does not intimidate free speech, but assures protection for voices that could be violently repressed if they were not armed.

They say that armed volunteers protected non-violent Civil Rights era leaders and point out that Martin Luther King Jr. in 1956 applied for a concealed carry gun permit in Alabama, shortly after his house was bombed. His request was rejected.

Black Lives Matter protesters also deserve the right to bear arms for protection, argues Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor whose writings defend gun rights.

“Some may feel they can’t count on the police, the police might retreat at any time and that they need to defend themselves,” he said.

[Willian & Mary law professor Timothy] Zick and [Washington University law professor Gregory] Magarian acknowledge it is difficult to measure exactly how free speech is being chilled by public gun carriers. Firearms at contentious public political rallies may “inhibit people from coming out and speaking and participating and making their voices heard” in the first place, Magarian said.

There is no First Amendment right to attend a gun-free protest, the legal experts said. Only under narrow, specific circumstances can guns be prohibited, such as on the grounds of some government buildings.

– Brad Brooks in Free speech, gun rights on collision course in United States, some legal experts say

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    • One person bearing arms while in a two-sided conversation *might* be construed as having an influence over the other person, but the field is leveled if both are armed. Therefore, let all be armed.

      It’s like the issue of knives. Pretty much every guy (at least here in SoCal) carries a folding knife, with the clip visible on his pocket or belt. Yet because so many carry, nobody cares about a supposed “danger”, and certainly nobody ever thinks that someone who has a knife on his hip is somehow having an undue influence on others through intimidation. Translate that logic to guns.

  1. Are they thinking of the first amendment right to attend make sure no one else has free speech, which is right next to the third amendment right to be exempt from property laws if you’re a “soldier” for the right cause, the fourth amendment right to cancel the livelihoods of people you don’t like, the fifth amendment right to declare someone is a racist because they’re not on-board with looting, and the six amendment right to be judged solely by people who already agree with you because everyone else is obviously a racist?

  2. I didn’t read the linked article; I imagine it is safe to assume that the author had no digital ink to spare to discuss the New Black Panther Party “monitoring” polling places in Philadelphia.

    As for the underlying premise: I support, and encourage the exercise of, the right of all law-abiding people to bear arms, regardless of color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or any other way that the left try to segregate us. Those who intend harm and violence upon others will be armed, regardless of laws or norms of civility. The peaceful and law-abiding should not be disadvantaged.

    • The Leftist Cancel Culture is doing more to inhibit, curtail and even delete the First Amendment rights of average Americans by doxing and other shaming/scare tactics via online social media and MSM print and broadcast sources than anyone exercising their Second Amendment rights. We’re seeing this once again in the 2020 election cycle in the polling info.

      As in 2016, where Hillary was assured a 1,000,000 to 1 victory over Trump by various “news sources”, a large number of Americans are simply lying to pollsters rather than risk public ridicule or further harassment.

      It’ll be another tough one for the Left to swallow this time as well, likely more so than in 2016 considering 4 years of assurances that Trump will be eliminated one way or another. I only hope DJT will then exercise the Insurrection Act options should the cities start to burn again with the tacit approval of the elected state and municipal officials.

      • “The Leftist Cancel Culture is doing more to inhibit, curtail and even delete the First Amendment rights of average Americans by doxing and other shaming/scare tactics via online social media and MSM print and broadcast sources than anyone exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

        This exactly. Most people are just trying to live their lives and support their families. The Left is out there trying to ruin people and companies they disagree with. The level of intolerance these days is truly sad.

        • “….other shaming/scare tactics via online social media and MSM print and broadcast sources ….”

          What’s sad is that people/businesses are so beholden to social media that its enough to ruin them. Only 2% of the population is active on social media (most users are just cassual or passive consumers), but 99% of people seem to be terrified of a negative portrayal on social media. Its like the whole LGBT thing. Only 1% – 3% (max) of the population falls in to this alphabet soup, but we think they have so much power. Why?

        • Dude, what pisses me off is that the media and hollywood are contantly trying to shove down everyone’s throats minorities’ (ethnic and/or sexual orientation) views under the guise of diversity. BTW I am Asian.

        • Pursuing “diversity” is by definition “divisiveness”. The rage for diversity is a continuing attempt by the left to separate all of us into an “us versus them” can of worms. I inquired a few days ago as to where all this information about the race and gender of new firearm purchasers came from, why would anyone even be interested in compiling such data? American citizen, state of residence, etc, could at least be argued, but why race? Who cares? I think “who cares?” is an extremely important question.

        • Pursuing “diversity” is by definition “divisiveness”.

          Not true in HOLLYWOOD, new rules for Oscars say candidates must be at least 25% minorities in lead roles and 30% in supporting roles for consideration all in the name of “inclusion”…..

  3. We can translate the “guns present inhibits free speech” into plain English.

    “The presence of firearm may prevent Biden’s Army of misfits, rapists and pedophiles from exercise their right to burn, loot, assault or murder.’

    • >”We can translate the “guns present inhibits free speech” into plain English.

      “The presence of firearm may prevent Biden’s Army of misfits, rapists and pedophiles from exercise their right to burn, loot, assault or murder.’”

      You mean, “The presence of firearm may prevent Biden’s Army of misfits, rapists and pedophiles from exercise their right to burn, loot, assault, murder or intimidating others from voting or exercising free speech.”


  4. Since Gun Control is rooted in racism and genocide it certainly deserves no standing. As long as we play games with Gun Control Zealots we surround ourselves with the ghosts of racists and nazis who used it to enslave, torture and murder countless numbers of defenseless people. Gun Control? No matter how you dress it up it is what it is.

    • Debbie, do you have like 10 pre written sentences/phrases saved somewhere. It seems like every comment I have read of yours is really just a reordering and rearranging of a previous comment you have already posted. Almost like you are using a random number generator to arrange a select number of prewritten sentences in a new order.

      This is not me disagreeing with your post. I just feel I have read it 100 times already.

      On a side note, for those of you that read about the Franklin Armory binary triggers for the 10/22, I just got my hands on one. Install took a little longer than I thought it would….but it is a blast!

  5. ……..”Until recently, open carrying was mostly done by hunters, far from population centers, said Allison Anderman, senior counsel at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence .

    “People were not going around with handguns on their hips to make a point,” she said…..”

    And the point she fails to mention would be that a handgun on the hip beats a skateboard to the head every time.

    • Bullshit. 60 years ago, when I was 15, I used to carry my (loaded) .22 semi over my shoulder while I walked thru housing areas and over school grounds for several miles until I reached a safe area to do some plinking. At the time I had never seen or heard of a range. But I knew, beyond a doubt, that I couldn’t get in any trouble for it because we had studied 2A in Civics classes in high school. And I did not get in any trouble, nobody even commented. WTF has gone wrong with our nation since then?

      • 45 years ago We went to school with loaded firearms hanging in the back window of our unlocked trucks. Pistols, Rifles and Shotguns. Same for teachers and administrators. No one thought anything about it, No Mass shootings, No Karens screaming about scary guns or the poor children. We had respect for Law Enforcement. Hell the county Sheriff rarely carried a gun or needed one. Not one murder in the county the whole time I was growing up. There’s only been 3 since the 70’s. Of course it’s not in an Ultra Sophisticated Modern Liberal area. Where most all of the violence We are seeing exists. Could be because Values and Morals are still taught and expected in the schools and parents discipline their children when they get out of line. Of course that could be all speculation on my part as “Everyone” now a days doesn’t believe those are as important as how the children fell about themselves.

  6. Personally I support any law abiding person regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or whatever labels they want to attract to themselves the right to speak their mind (even if i disagree with their position) and to keep and bare arms. I have nothing to fear from either activity so long as they are not infringing on my rights to do the same.

    As far as the police being caught in the middle that is more on the elected officials who write these stupid laws and then expect people to bow down. From what I can tell the left has absolutely no problem with firearms so long as they control the people who have and use them.

  7. I am thinking stenographers should be pissed being compared to the media. The difference is stenographers attempt to to be accurate, media embellishes to sell more without regard to accuracy.

    Seriously, loud groups of angry people without social morals scare me a whole lot more than someone open carrying. I forgot who said it first, but the average IQ of a group of people declines in proportion to its size. Anyway, saying something politically disagreeable so someone open carrying may get you a stare or a lively conversation or maybe yelled at worst case. Saying something politically disagreeable at one of these “mostly peaceful” progressive events will get you a brick to the head, a beat down, your car or business burned, or death.

    I still think CC is better than OC in most cases, but OC is like any right, it needs to be exercised on occasion or it will wither and die.

    • Grumpy Old Guy
      “I still think CC is better than OC in most cases, but OC is like any right, it needs to be exercised on occasion or it will wither and die.”
      I agree, but that an handgun statement, and many of the open carry is long guns.
      The gun control advocates are trying to remove the AR-15, then all weapons used in war,
      .38,.45 & so. Then all hunting weapons, any other weapons, including knives over six inches or any have a point tip.

      • Yeah…. doesn’t matter ONE BIT what they want….


        • I hate to break it, but if they come for it you will lose. And die, unless you surrender at the appropriate moment. Then shut up and wait for attorneys.

      • The gun control advocates are trying to remove the AR-15, then all weapons used in war,

        USMC officers carry .357 magnum, snipers used 30.06. .308 and .303, I carried an issued 12 gauge double barrel a 1911 and an M14 in Vietnam, others carried 10 and 12 gauge pumps ALL firearms (including 9mm, .380, 38 special, 40, 45 .357 revolvers AND semi-auto) have been used as “weapons of war” at one time or another so by the Liberals definition ALL firearms (yes, even the lowly .22 single shot) MUST be banned… Give them one and they WILL take them all..

        • Well, of course. We all know that .22 single shot is a weapon of war, specifically designed to kill the maximum amount of helpless souls in the shortest time possible. These people are determined to be morons.

        • LarryinTX
          Well, of course. We all know that .22 single shot is a weapon of war, specifically designed to kill the maximum amount of helpless souls in the shortest time possible.

          The Mauser KKW cadet rifle is a single shot, .22 caliber rifle that was introduced in 1938. It is virtually identical to the Karabiner 98k . These cadet rifles were used by all German military, paramilitary and police organizations, especially the Hitler Youth.. (took me 15 seconds to find that, try it you’ll learn something)

  8. Openly carried arms only inhibits free speech if you believe that free speech includes the throwing of rocks and incendiaries along with looting, and a fair bit of the ultra violence.

    • Well said. With a slight reference to “A Clockwork Orange” for good measure.
      Need to include those “unarmed” protestors who bash armed citizens over the head with skateboards.
      You know, skateboard violence. Ban skateboards…… If it can save just ONE child it’s worth it……

    • Open carry is an 1A expression. Here in VA, we have localities banning weapons at protests and gatherings. 1A and 2A are not mutually exclusive and nowhere does the constitution say you can’t exercise one right while exercising another. You don’t lose your 4A rights while expressing 1A rights. But not 2A for you, because guns! Of course for these people, the constitution does not factor into any of their decisions. If the majority wills it, it should be so. Damn, anyone who thinks otherwise.

      • I’ve got two acres on a mountain in SW Va. w/cabin, water and “defensive” stuff all for sale because of “Blackface” Northam and his gun grabbers, I don’t see things getting any better in Va. anytime soon, OBTW my wife is a native Virginian… I’m born and raised Kentucky..

        • You think Coonman is coming after your property?

          No I think the cocksucker is coming for my guns and after that they will start on any other rights that offend them… Why do I want to live in a state that gets deeper blue every year and jeopardize my freedom? Did you just wake up from a long winters nap?

      • Recent Trump rallies have pointed the way, it is a “peaceful protest”, after which you can do any damn thing, these idiots have defined it, let’s use it.

  9. Yeah I don’t care if antifa anarchists,rapists and BlackLootersMurder have guns. As well as Commies & Maoists. Silly me…the bible sez to love your enemies-not arm them!

  10. The kid in Kenosha did not inhibit free speech, he only inhibited actions of murderous armed “peaceful protestors” who did not appear intimidated at all.

  11. Libertarians Liberals and the Left don’t believe in the 1st amendment. Instead they use the term “Free Speech”. That does not include right of Christian people to speak as they choose. And where they choose to speak. The three L’s don’t believe in the right of the Reason of Conscience. For a person to refuse to speak to or refuse to serve another person for reasons of conscience. The Gay Wedding cake???? But they do support a person refusing military service of reasons of conscience.

    To the three L’s you can burn an American flag. But you can’t burn a gay flag. You can block a military recruiting center. But you can’t block an abortion clinic. That is why I call them the “Freedom of Speech Freaks”. They are hypocrites. But this sounds better.

    The three L’s have supported rude and obnoxious speech for the KKK and the National Socialists. All of whom carry guns. But when the regular citizen does, all of a sudden its “dangerous”???
    The three L’s have promoted rude and obnoxious speech as a virtue for decades now. But now when open carrying a gun, we are told to be polite???

    When I’m carrying a gun concealed is it ok, to be rude and obnoxious now???

    As a black kid in the 1970’s and a gun owner now, I have never support the “right” of the KKK to march through black neighborhoods. But the ACLU has. And they have never supported the right of blacks to carry guns. In fact the ACLU co-wrote the Mulford Act in California.
    Now all of a sudden, the Mob is now marching in the white neighborhoods. And the “Freedom of Speech Freaks” don’t like it???
    I personally would like to go back to the time when back people got their machine guns thru the mail. Since no white gun store owner would sell them one. Which according to the “Freedom of Speech Freaks, the owner has a Constitution right to refuse service.

    In other words the freedom to not associate with someone. Years ago before the gay wedding cake issue people on TTAG supported the right of an owner to refuse service to blacks. But its now different with white gays and their wedding cake???

    We are in this situation now because the right to refuse has been erased. And the social requirement to be polite, and not be rude or obnoxious, has been revoked.

    The only reason the 2A is not the first, is because the Founders wanted us to talk and try
    to work it out. Instead of going to guns first. But the only thing that protects your human rights in the end is individual Arms ownership.

      • Your candidates for public office disagree with you. You google it yourself. The world is more than butt sex and marijuana intoxication. I haven’t read of any criticism of the House of Representatives by a Libertarian publication in years. Which is were federal budges are written. Perhaps its because the House is run by Democrats???

        “Libertarian Party Chair Tweets That Armed Lawyers Defending Their Property Are Criminals”

        I’m much better at finding facts than you are.

        • “In a stunning and brave example of top-tier Twittering, Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark has shown us, once again, how to analyze a complex situation and get it completely wrong from even a basic understanding of libertarianism.”

        • Careful, Chris, the House has been run by Dems for about 18 months, before that it is our favorite back-stabbers you’re referring to.

        • Careful, Chris, the House has been run by Dems for about 18 months, before that it is our favorite back-stabbers you’re referring to.

          And before that it was theirs and before that………. It doesn’t matter who’s in charge they are all basically interchangeable….

    • Damn, you sound exactly like what you are complaining about.. Also since I’m a relative newcomer to TTAG maybe you can point out those racist assholes that condoned refusal to serve blacks… I’m assuming by your description that you are a person of color, what I can’t determine is if you are “WOKE” or just one of those black racists that don’t exist….

      • I’ve been on TTAG since 2010, I think? I might have some articles archived. Where folks who support “freedom” say its ok to racially discriminate. And discriminate based on sex if you wanted to. The libertarians used to openly say this back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. They said it was a “freedom of Choice” issue. And to them you had a right to NOT serve someone.

        Some people have accused me of cherry picking history. I do not. But I don’t see them challenging me with facts to counter when I say. I don’t know much about guns. That why I’m here at TTAG. Its a great source for information on firearms, gun laws, and related history.

        And history is my area of expertise. I know how we got to this point. Where most of the country doesn’t know what the hell the 2A is for. And they don’t even know what the rest of the BOR is about either. Its not an accident that the riots are occurring only in Democrat controlled states. But If your democrat state allows the open carry of long guns. You are in a much better place than a state that makes it illegal.

        I’m not trying to make everyone uncomfortable. Only those who supported dumb sh*t. And now it has boomeranged on them, to where they live and work. As long as I could have gotten my machine guns thru the mail. I don’t care if I’m refused service. There are plenty of others who want my money. I have the power to spend my money where I please.

        American is a far superior place than it was back in the 1930’s. But gun control is still very racist in the 21st century. We use to have equality under the law everywhere. But now not in Portland. Not in Seattle. Not in Minnesota. Not in Kenosha.

        “Wealthier whites get 90 percent of licenses in Illinois”

        If folks would just follow Col. Jeff Cooper’s advice. And give access to guns for blacks in the inner cities. “They would solve their own problems.” By themselves. There would be a great deal of gunfire for about 90 days. After that things would be much nicer for everyone.

        Jane Byrne. The first woman elected mayor of Chiraq. She is responsible for making it harder to get a gun in the city.

        • “give access to guns for blacks in inner cities” is a RACIST comment! What the flaming FUCK is wrong with you? How about access to guns for Americans in inner cities? You are seriously advocating for only blacks to be armed in inner cities? WAKE THE FUCK UP!!

        • Got me beat, I’ve only been here since 2012 but I don’t recall reading anyone saying it’s okay to racially discriminate for any reason.. I do believe I have aright to throw your ass off of my property AND I will exercise that right regardless of what color your skin might or might not be.. As far as Illinois is concerned the only reason wealthy WHITES get more approvals is because there are MORE wealthy whites than wealthy minorities… Seems to me like folks in the inner cities already have access to all the guns they need, body counts continue to rise everywhere (but Chicago), problem is they don’t discern between current gangbangers and future (i.e. three year olds) gangbangers… Gun control stopped being racially motivated years ago, they want ALL of our guns and until we can get over this everybody’s a “racist” bullshit we are fighting from an extremely weakened position… Get over the past or watch it repeat over and over again…

        • to LarryinTX
          Please come down Larry. I don’t want you to have some kind of medical crisis. I want you around to here on TTAG, to hear your stories about flying FAC in an air force 02.

          Don’t fall for the “racist” trap. Its true the worst crime in the country is in the inner city. Where blacks and Hispanics live. Its also where honest people are denied their gun rights.

        • to MADDMAXX

          “Get over the past or watch it repeat over and over again…”
          I learn from the past. So I don’t repeat the mistake of others. Also why are Jewish people still complaining about something that happened 75 years ago in Germany??? That didn’t happen in the USA.

  12. Free Speech is great. It has allowed lots of Americans to conclude the democRat Party is nothing but a bunch of slanderous, libelous, self serving lowlifes. Hopefully in November America will send a loud and clear message that they are not buying what the democRat Party is selling or intending to shove down the throat of America.

    TRUMP/PENCE 2020.

    • That’s what the 2016 election was supposed to be….. but yes, hopefully Trump wins again….. it will be epic….I CAN’T WAIT to see what the left does then….. hopefully they want all out war….. hopefully

  13. The only thing that will save your business, home and your neighborhood, is the open carrying of long guns. You must be prepared to shoot to kill. Because the Left “has no filter”, No “off switch”. They just might rush a person who is carrying a rifle. They have done it already.

    The police have been ordered to stand down. Just like in the 1950’s. During the civil rights battles. And there is no Equal Justice. You will be prosecuted. Just like southern blacks were. Who “got out of line”. The looters and arsonists are set free. Not charged. Just like in the 1950’s when black churches and black businesses were burned. And no one was every held accountable.

    You are indeed on your own. And this time they will come looking for you.

  14. Ok, no problem. Have encountered guys at the dog park and elsewhere practicing open carry and being excessively decent and civil. I’ll continue to carry concealed as (so far) silent back up for the verbal smacking around I give the few nut jobs who’ve gotten too excitedly in my face over some dog owner related b.s. One or two of them I strongly suspect were newbie CCWs with newly purchased 9mm balls (and they kept patting them).

    Someone or persons show up at a protest of any type with no skin in the game, no folks of the opposing viewpoint likely carrying, no signs of their own, no counter exercise of free speech, but just a gun, just being there as junior mall cop (sort of like the real ones that didn’t like anti-war or civil rights gatherings). Well ok again.

    But bet even with Trump’s second term SCOTUS nominations, in the long run the 1st will hands down win over the 2nd on this issue. RICO shut down the KKK and every skin head group in the 90’s. Won’t be a stretch to extend it if Rittenhouses get cheered on. Sorry for ruining the love fest. Throw your best s*&t at me if need be, just sayin.
    Do as you please. I’m waiting for the outcome of this case as much as anyone else exercising the right to own and carry or not to carry.


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