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Open Carry March on March 12, 2014

By Jacob

Are we as supporters of freedom and specifically firearms freedoms our own worst enemies? Are we so loud, brazen, and in your face about our beliefs that we scare the other side into some serious defensive posturing? A wise man once said that we as humans are nothing more than animals. Animals built upon instinct and emotion. Just like everything else that walks this Earth. So is our posturing activities making the other side posture even more to counter-act what we do? . . .

The planned demonstrations of open-carry, the speeches on the steps of capitol buildings, and flashing face on mass media are all for lack of a better word “peacocking”. We’re here to be loud, proud, and flashy so the people of our country and world recognize who we are and what we are standing up here for. Think for a moment if perhaps everything the other side is doing is nothing more than knee jerk reactions to our activities?

Sure, we’ve had tragedies over the years that the mass media spins into its liberal cycle of tears turned to anger, but are we helping or hurting our own cause by what we do? How can this tug-o-war of beliefs ever end? Perhaps in the end we’ll end up destroying one another or the goodness of men will prevail. At the end of the day, it’s up to us.


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      • Both race and guns. Seems to have been a complex situation; probably worthy of our serious study. The Panthers demonstrated that they would not accept abuse lying down; and, at the same time, some of their prancing bordered on brandishing. They may have hurt their cause as much as they advanced their cause. In any case, they did a half-century+ of damage to gun rights. That is their legacy that we all inherit.

        • Panthers exposed racism and the strength of guns to combat government oppression.

          To claim they set back gun rights instead of recognizing they exposed why gun laws exists in the first place (to make citizens defenseless) shows how poor of a critical thinker you are.

          Black Panthers and California should be cited by all proponents of the 2nd Amendment. The gun laws of california were made to keep blacks defenseless, never let anti-gunners forget that and the origin of most gun laws in the US.

  1. Sometimes, yes. The main problem is that many of these in your face demonstrations are based roughly around the success of the in your face gay pride movement that worked so well over the last 20 to 30 years. The difference is that a bunch of gay guys in speedos and feather boas dancing to Ricky Martin is somewhere between obnoxious and hilarious depending on your inclination, but it is nowhere close to threatening. A bunch of guys walking around with what looks like military grade hardware shouting angry anti government phrases is somewhere between mildly unnerving and flat out call the police terrifying to the average person.

    • Yes, but no. But yes.

      A bunch of gay guys in speedos and feather boas dancing at one time was considered somewhere between mildly unnerving and flat out call the police terrifying to the average person.

      Not so much today.

      It is two steps forward, one step back regarding the open-carry gatherings. Yes, there are many who are going to recoil in fear. While at the same time, the Open-Carry crowd gets to show each and every time that there was a group of people carrying guns around, openly even, yet somehow no one got shot.

      As long as the direction is forwards regarding gun rights then it doesn’t really matter how big or small the steps are, it only matters the steps are being made in the right direction.

    • I’m pretty sure gay pride parades haven’t really been the determining factor in moving gay rights.

      • You are absolutely correct. In college I rented a bedroom in a house full of strangers and two of the four roommates happened to be gay men (not together). The whole discussion on gay rights and having a normal placement in society came up frequently. My main argument to them (and still is) is that the in-your-face parades and drag races make a lot of people uneasy, not welcoming and only harm the cause.
        Over the years shows like Ellen, Modern Family, that guy from CNN, and others have demonstrated that gays can be just like the average person; normality is society and education has helped the gay movement….. not parades. A bunch of guys wearing camo holding AR-15’s making Obama and Hitler comparisons aint gonna do it. The guy walking his daughter at Sonic with the gun on his backside and college kid educating the masses (see one of the previous post) is what is going to change their minds.

        • The trouble is, the example of a father walking his daughter to Sonic while holstering a firearm was considered “disruptive” to the restaurant and was told to leave. My philosophy there is a time and place for everything. Sometimes subtle actions are best, while call to actions must still be reserved.

        • @Yellow Devil
          In the 60s some a woman got the nerve to sit in front of a bus in Montgomery, AL when the law said she had to give up her seat and go to the back of the bus. There are some who said her keeping her seat in protest and getting arrested was bad for the cause, we now know that is ridiculous, because we know the woman’s name today for her bravery, Rosa Parks.

          A right that can not be exercised is not a right, it is a privilege.

          I most of your timid 2nd Amendment supporters need to take heed of the words of William Lloyd Garrison regarding abolition.

          “Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.”

          “Urge immediate abolition as earnestly as we may, it will, alas! be gradual abolition in the end. We have never said that slavery would be overthrown by a single blow; that it ought to be, we shall always contend” (Liberator, August 13, 1831)”

          Apply the same view to gun rights, stop chopping yourself at the knees because you want to frame how people exercise their rights instead of arguing for the ability to exercise their rights.

        • To build a little on Dave_the_Man’s argument, it isn’t against the law to do a licensed open carry in a Sonic in most states. But I suspect that an MDA screech-fest about that would be illegal harassment in the same places. THAT, IMO, would be a direct parallel to Rosa Parks’ action that day.

  2. I wonder if it ever occurs to these people that you can rally in support of gun rights without carrying around rifles looking like a bunch of idiots…

    • But then you wouldn’t be able to act all ‘Murican HSLD Patriot on the Interwebz. And you won’t have ANY chance of getting laid…

    • Read what David wrote. Read it again. Again, if it’s necessary for you to understand that RIGHTS MAY BE FREELY EXERCISED. All you are getting across is that you feel too milquetoast to do it, so no one should be able to.

      I haven’t openly carried, but guess what: the Bill of Rights says he may, and nobody got hurt. Nobody will ever get hurt where there are other citizens with guns.

  3. Here’s the problems.

    The Second Amendment applies to the idiots in equal measure as it does to the intelligent. That means the opposition will always have fodder to parade before the masses .A regulation limiting gun rights to the smart means the antis win.

    Problem two: there’s a subset of gun owners who are stuck in the 1950s and cannot read a freakin calendar. News flash- a lot of gun owners are Democrats. A lot of them are minorities. You don’t hear about them, because every time they speak up someone’s calling them a dirty commie or a traitor. Don’t even get me started about how women are treated. Imagine how you’d feel if you walked into a Chevy dealership and the sales guy said ” pfffift, he can’t handle a Corvette. Show that dude a Cruze compact.”

    That culture of discrimination has to stop. It’s fragmenting our base.if we can’t get the FUDDS to join the 21st century, all those new gen gun owners will vote for the enemy -because unlike their own “brothers”, at least the gun grabbers know what year it is .

    • At first, I thought you were accusing Democrats, minorities, and women of calling pro-2A individuals within their ranks “traitors.” That’s what I see more often. But, then again, I live in Illinois.

      • There is a bad tendency on this very site that when someone identifies themselves as a Democrat and a gun owner there is at least an insinuation they should re-evaluate their politics and it can go downhill from there.

        • @rich grise

          No you being condescending, arrogant, and more importantly turning allies into potential enemies.

        • “turning allies into potential enemies.”

          Allies and enemies of whom? Me? You? The Constitution? The “People of the Gun?”
          I wish you’d have quoted what you were responding to.

      • People need to start seeing the difference between a Democrat and a Progressive, because there’s a big one. A Democrat of thirty years ago would puke at the scum that have taken over their party today. This isn’t a “Republicans vs Democrats” thing. It’s an “Americans vs Progressives” thing.

        While we’re at it, stop calling Progressives liberals. “Liberal” uses the root Latin word “liber,” also shared by “Liberty” and “Libertarian,” which means free or the free one, or the Roman goddess Libertas, if you want to go that route. Calling a Progressive a “liberal” couldn’t be more of a misnomer.

        Leftist, Progressive, Fascist, any of those apply. But stop calling them liberal.

        • DTAL, I have been preaching that for nigh-on 15 years. The difference is immense and people – especially Democrats, it seems – don’t know it. That conflation, combined with progressives flat-out lies, is a big reason they are able to get liberals to vote for them. (If you can pardon a bit of gross over-simplification)

  4. Unwelcome open carry of AR-15s in private business is certainly not helping us. I think that is asinine, in poor taste, and not tactically sound.

    • +1

      The best quote I have seen on these matters: “If every time you demonstrate for your rights we end with a new gun-free zone, it might be time to rethink your game plan.”

    • I agree. A private business has the right to determine the rules within their business on their private property. People strolling in with an AR15 because there isn’t a sign on the window with the no-guns allowed isn’t helping anyone. Humility and politeness are in order here. Just because there isn’t a sign on the window that says “no shirt, no shoes, no service” doesn’t mean someone should walk in wearing nothing but a pair of boxers.

      • Actually, the idea that has been trickling around my mind has been something along the lines of “Welcome folks, we’ll seat you as soon as a table is ready. Feel free to keep your sidearms, but we do ask you to check your long guns. Can we offer you a Coke while you wait?”

        There’s no need to clutter up a busy dining area with a stack of rifles or shotguns on the table or propped against a chair. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

        If you’re sincere about wanting to normalize guns in society, checking them at the counter like a coat, stroller or any other bulky item is about as normal as you get. I’d say have a gun stand like we do at my range’s clubhouse, but I wouldn’t want *my* gun to grow feet…

        As for the Coke? That’s just hospitality. It always annoys me when I have to wait for a table and they suggest I got to the bar and spend *more* money. You shouldn’t be paying *me* for my making you wait.

        • That’s ideal. Over the years, some of us have floated the gun-check concept. It would be nice to see it in common practice and I’d have zero issues with checking my rifle at a restaurant. At the last OC event, the restaurants placed large garbage cans for us to stow our rifles in if we wanted. It was convenient.

      • “Humility and politeness are in order here”

        “Humility and politeness” have been the order of the day ever since the grabbers started getting their first toehold, and look how far it’s gotten us.

        It’s time to Man Up and quit being lambs led to the slaughter!

        • Rich, it wasn’t humility and politeness that gave grabbers the toehold. It was weakness and lack of conviction.

          Civility has nothing to do with compromising on things that should be non-negotiable. Even when you allow passion to show and your rhetoric to heat up a bit, you can do so in a meek manner.

          And by “meek” I mean in its original form of strength or power under self-control.

          Remember you are unlikely to change the mind of a committed progressive. However the polite application of the Socratic method I have found to be devastating for those listening.

          Besides, when the progressive gets so frustrated that they resort to calling me “unreasonable” I want my demeanor to have been such that I can credibly respond, ” Mo, it is because of Reason that I cannot yield on my position.”

        • A person can be civil without being a whipped puppy or some kind of supplicant. You can be firm without being arrogant.

          But “Please, sir, may I have some more?” has, so far, gotten us nothing but more gun control crammed down our throats, along with the rest of the litany of the Obama Administration’s abuses, and it is time to say, ENOUGH!

          No More Mr. Nice Guy, because Nice Guys End Up Dead.

  5. Seriously,
    Look at the people in the picture. If I saw those people on my property I would be very alarmed. They may be the greatest people on earth, but they LOOK scary. Is it that hard to find a shirt with buttons and a collar. I think people would react much differently if they were wearing slacks, shirt/tie and a sport coat.

    • Yeah well, people see Pitbulls and react the same way. I have about the same reaction to them as I do over firearms which is, (get over it and quit acting stupid)

    • The people in that picture do not fit the mainstream idea of what a “normal” person should look like. You know why? Because the people in that picture are more free than the guy that is shackled to the button up collared shirt. Freedom scares people and free people look scary. A man wears a monkey suit to a 9 to 5 job not because it is more comfortable. He does it because he is a slave to conformity. The question isn’t why do 2nd amendment supporters look like biker gangs. The question is why isn’t the “normal” looking guy out there rallying beside them. The answer is, he might be seen by the wrong person and it may cost him his job. Who are the real free Americans?

      • I wear a monkey suit to a 9 to 5 job because I’d like to make into the 6 figures…

        Because money = freedom.

        It’s /because/ I love freedom that I put the monkey suit on.


        • You’re working for the man and there is nothing wrong with that. That is not my point. The point is, you feel you need to dress for success and you do ,no doubt, but you are compromising comfort for other peoples ideas. The people in the photo above are not required to compromise, so, why should they?

        • Money most assuredly does NOT equal freedom. Just wow.

          The carrot is being dangled before you on the stick…it is your choice to chase it or not.

        • Well, money can buy a lot of stuff, even freedom, actually. If you won, say, 375 million dollars in the lottery, you could do pretty much whatever you wanted to for the rest of your life. But there’s a spectrum. I once heard a guy say, “Money may not buy happiness, but at least you can be miserable with style.”

      • You dress like a slob because it’s “comfortable” and you’re a nonconformist? I suppose a moo moo is supremely comfortable, but I don’t see many “free men” wearing one.
        The point is, when you’re trying to change society’s opinion on a subject, you have to care about how they perceive you. It’s just PR.

        • I’m not all that disagreeable, as long as you’re not trying to trash the Constitution and all that stuff. I don’t even disagree that much with people who would choose to live as herd stock, as long as they don’t try to rope and brand ME!

          Yes, Individual Liberty gives you the right to be a progressive ignoramus, and the RKBA ensures my right to not be stampeded by them.

    • People here may not like to hear this, but appearances do matter. For example, if you go to court, your attorney (if he or she is smart) is going to advise you to dress like you were going to church with Grandma. You would need to show the judge and (if a jury trial) the jury that you are a respectable person, and, well, “clothes make the man (or the woman).” Same thing here. We want to show the public at large that gun owners in general, and open carriers in particular, are normal, respectable people who aren’t going to go on a shooting rampage at the slightest provocation? Dress the part. Not like extras on “Sons of Anarchy.”

        • Oh, well, wah wah. Are you going to throw a tantrum? Do you want to make and start enforcing rules for acceptable protest attire?

          Why not talk about how many people were killed or injured at the rally? Because “ZERO” doesn’t sell air time?

        • They are appearing before the PUBLIC, which is a harsher and shallower judge than any on the bench.

        • Well, go ahead and bitch about their attire and comportment, but the bitching and trying to get them to change their ways to something you’re more comfortable with kind of saps energy from the real fight: to try to stop the flood of infringements on the 2A. Mutt & Jeff might not get a lot of followers, but they’re not aiding and abetting the antis in passing more infringements.

        • Aw RITE!! Thanks, Rich. I”d be fine with hanging around with those people. Yes, PEOPLE. I’d be happy to share a few beers with them. I’d be happier still if they were buying.

  6. I kind of find the frontal carry with the hand on the grip a bit over the top. Personally I’d go with slung over the back. It still shows open carry but in a much less overtly “threatening” manner. People open carrying handguns don’t tend to go around with the hand on the pistol ready to draw.

    • Except that carrying a rifle in such a manner isn’t threatening and there is no articulable way of proving it is — because it isn’t.

  7. When you show up to a protest with a gun, it doesn’t LOOK like a peaceful protest.

    And in the pic with this post.. When you show up to a protest looking like extras from “Sons of Anarchy” while carrying guns.. You ain’t helping nothing.

    • It might not look like a peaceful protest to you. That is projection of your own internal bias and/or fear. Does the mere presence of a gun indicate or precipitate violence? Is it the gun or the shooter that commits a crime?

      • This just in….open carry protest erupts in massive gunfire injuring several innocent bystanders, some critically. Police have called in SWAT teams and have cornered the group responsible at a local Chipotle Grille. Chipotle has issued a statement condemning the group and says it has a “no gun” policy. Film at 10.

        • Really, guys? Really?

          Any time anybody questions the sensibility of taking their M4gery or Mall Ninja Special for a walk, these responses come up. I suggest that maybe somebody could carry a concealed pistol, rather than an AR or Shotgun openly, and people crawl directly up my ass because that kinda talk makes me an anti-gunner, anti-liberty, anti-america, and quite possibly the owner of a vagina.

          But tell me this.
          How exactly does carrying a slung AR to a peaceful protest… help the protest?
          Why should society just accept people walking around a second rate steakhouse with an AR at low ready?

          Oh, sure, they have trigger discipline… but these people are posing at a peaceful protest as if they just personally conquered Baghdad. We mock the Demanding Moms with “LOOK AT THIS BABY!” But then we have our own folks answering it with “LOOK AT THIS FOOKIN GUN!”

          So, yeah. Really? They wave babies, you wave guns. Which message is more likely to get across? We complain about the militarization of government as if it is a bad thing, and then… pretend like we have to militarize ourselves?

          And it makes no sense.

        • “How exactly does carrying a slung AR to a peaceful protest… help the protest?”

          It shows that Liberty isn’t dead yet, and a warning that Liberty is in trouble.

        • @Sean N: We are in the throws of a police state with ever militarising law enforcement and major encroachment on rights. So, yeah, the People (aka militia) better damned sure militarise a little bit more (aka well regulated). It does no good for the rifles to come out right before the militia has to use them. For one, it telegraphs the intention of the militia when government see arms only right before. Keep government always guessing. It’s part of the deterrence of the Second Amendment. For another, one cannot become as well regulated at carrying their rifle without actually doing it.

          A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state

        • Sean N asked: “How exactly does carrying a slung AR to a peaceful protest… help the protest?”
          It is a protest against infringements to the right to keep and bear arms. Arms…arms….rifles? You know?…guns. This isn’t about the right to have a Big Gulp.

  8. I’d just like to note that if the other side of this showed any restraint or willing to have reasonable discussions, most firearms owners likely wouldn’t feel the need to rally for gun rights.

    Also, many of the rallies I hear about have been conflated, either deliberately or spontaneously, with other issues such as immigration and abortion. That doesn’t help either, for several reasons.

    • For my part, if those carrying in the open everyday were no longer harassed in any way by agents of government for merely exercising the RKBA, I wouldn’t be as inclined to carry a long gun at protests. I’m too damned lazy and it is a PITA. When we carried concealed in Ohio before licensing laws, I didn’t see a need to open carry so I rarely did. Since they have split it into the right of open carry and the privilege of concealed carry, I would rather exercise my right over the privilege. I now open carry a sidearm everyday.

      • Although I open carry regularly, it’s just a pistol, not a rifle. However, a month or so ago, we had a rally in Olympia (our state capitol) and most folks had rifles. I carried an AR-10. My wife kept chuckling at me and saying “you’re having fun, aren’t you!” I admit I was. I especailly got a kick out of toting my AR-10 into the capitol building and into the chambers.

        There were a few state troopers at the rally. They didn’t bat an eye. In fact one of them sarcastically pointed out that it’s forbidden to take signs mounted on sticks into the capitol building, but I can stick a sign on my rifle and walk right in.


        See some photos of the rally

    • With the antis it’s all presentation and marketing of rhetoric to propagandize and brainwash. “Reasonable discussions” require verbal intercourse between parties. When the antis press their agenda there are no opposing voices allowed in the room. If any voices *are* there in opposition, they are shouted down and shut out.

    • Agreed; gun rights and protections should not be conflated or merged into ANY other issue. Doing so is even MORE divisive and further muddies up the issues. Besides, being an enumerated constitutional protection, Second Amendment gun rights should be presented at a much higher status than certain other issues like immigration when protesting encroachments on the 2A by government.

  9. Which open carry demonstrations spurred legislationin 1934 or in the 60’s? What I think we’re seeing now is the culmination of 80 years of our rights being “reasonably” assassinated. Every inch we gave, they took a mile. Now people are standing up and refusing to give another inch. Dag-nabbit, we’re gonna take back a few miles as well.

    • What “rights” have you lost? Seriously? You have to register to buy a rifle or a handgun? The PITA that is is to acquire a fully automatic weapon? Hell you can have any gun in the world, it just takes work to get it.

      A peaceful protest is defined as a protest without violence. Guns have very few uses- 1) Hunting and varmint control. 2) Recreational shooting, and 3) Self-defense/offensive capabilities. The weapons in the group shown above are all designed for category 3), regardless if you use them for 1 or 2. These guns have no role in a peaceful protest rally.

      A moderate gun owner who wouldn’t dream of walking around with his AR and scaring people shitless

      • In general I think most open carry protests are over the top, but…

        As to “rights lost” –

        Every hoop someone has to jump through is additional time and money, thus increasing the barrier to entry. Nothing is ever entirely illegal. There are legal ways to acquire cocaine if you know the right people, follow the right rules, and can pay the fees for whatever lab or whatever equipment you need to justify having to possess cocaine. Someone somewhere can show a legitimate and legal reason they may need it (A study or whatnot) and there are rules that will allow them to get it.

        This is exactly what we DON’T want for firearms ownership. Fees, licensing, time spent trying to get the right sign-offs, classes, whatever. The more gun control you introduce, the more expensive it becomes. Notice the rich have plenty of ARMED bodyguards. No one is going to pay for bodyguards for every citizen of a Chicago slum.

        Gun control is discriminatory and, frankly, racist. It says “You must be this well off to own a firearm”.

        The progs don’t want poor people to be able to defend themselves. It makes them less dependent. Gun control is always more about control than it is about crime prevention.

        • I’m glad we can agree on the open carry-

          I’m a med student and I can assure you that as an average citizen (legally) getting cocaine is next to impossible, and more to the point even if you did some how legally acquire it if you used it for self use it would be illegal.

          I live in NE and didn’t have much difficulty acquiring a handgun and my AR. The handgun was a bigger pain in the butt but I still got all of the paperwork filled out and purchased in a day. The rifle was much easier and only took an hour or so, and that only because the store was very busy.

          I can see where you are coming with gun ownership being racist as a higher % of minorities are convicted felons and as such can’t own guns…but then again I’d argue the issue there is more with, why are more minorities convicted felons and work on addressing that as the bigger issue.

          Either way, I’d say that right now I don’t feel like my rights are being infringed on and society is very tolerant. I don’t need crazy dudes like the (to quote another poster) the Sons-Of-Anarchy clown “helping” my cause. I do much better converting people to being gun-tolerant by taking them down to the shooting range for an afternoon of safe fun where they don’t feel afraid/threatened.

        • “I’m a med student and I can assure you that as an average citizen (legally) getting cocaine is next to impossible, and more to the point even if you did some how legally acquire it if you used it for self use it would be illegal.”

          Up until about the Reefer Madness, cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and whatever were available over-the-counter, like virtually any other product. There were no problems from them.

        • @Alex: Either way, I’d say that right now I don’t feel like my rights are being infringed on and society is very tolerant.

          Your feelings have nothing to do with it. We’re dealing in facts here.

        • Alex: “why are more minorities convicted felons”

          If a person doesn’t commit a felony, they are less likely to be arrested and convicted of a felony.

        • “Either way, I’d say that right now I don’t feel like my rights are being infringed on”

          Then the systematic whittling away of rights is working just as the antis intended. The younger generations are born into more tyranny than the last and become used to it. The next generation will not feel like their rights are being infringed upon when all they’re “allowed” to buy is a .22 bolt action.

          I pity you.

      • @ Alex When a Constitutional Amendment in the Bill of Rights says “Shall not be infringed”, I figured “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”. But than again, you would probable accuse me of being an extremist. Guns indeed have their place, but don’t be deluded into thinking it’s off limits when it comes to politics. As long as they are not depriving anyone of their right (there is no right to feeling safe) or doing anything illegal, I say rock on. As Goldwater once said “The extreme defense of Liberty is no vice.”

      • @Alex: You’ve just revealed your grabber mentality, by somehow claiming that there can’t be guns at a peaceful protest.

        Tell me exactly how many people have been shot at those armed protests, and at gun shows?

        • I’m only going to respond to you once-

          Because I don’t support the most hard-core expression of guns, I am, by default, a gun grabber, which is bullshit.

          The world is so much more vibrant than being black and white.

      • “What “rights” have you lost? ”

        If I can’t just walk up to the counter, give the man my money, and walk away with a new gun, then my right to keep and bear arms has already been infringed.

        • Not to put too fine a point on it, but I would add that “walk up to the counter and give the man my money” should include any counter or no counter, and any guy.

          That means no federal firearms license required to be a dealer in firearms, and no restriction on private, non-commercial firearms transactions, either.

        • After clicking “Post” and dismissing the tab, I remembered I wanted to say: I should be able to go in and get a gun as easily as I could walk three blocks to the local Home Depot and be back in 20 minutes with a chainsaw. If I wanted a chainsaw.

      • *Ahem* None of the three that you listed cover the actual reason given in the Second Amendment for the Second Amendment…

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

        The People (militia) being adept at fighting using arms (well regulated) is necessary. It’s not about ordinary crime, hunting, target shooting, or collecting. Those would’ve been common enough as to have been unnecessary to enumerate. The biggest threat was and is tyranny from government. The 2A was written as a bulwark against tyranny. As long as the militia is un-infringed, those same arms and abilities can be used by the individual to thwart ordinary crime. However, that’s clearly not the purpose of the Second Amendment.

      • Hunting, varmint control, and recreational shooting are not protected freedoms. In general, you have no right to hunt (although there are a few exceptions). You do have a right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

        • Individual defense against ordinary crime isn’t even mentioned in the Second Amendment. While I agree that the individual has a right to keep and bear arms for defense of himself and others against ordinary crime, it is more of a common sense right that’s not specifically protected by the 2A unless one wishes to really stretch what constitutes self defense, IMHO. Yes, when one fights a tyrannical government or an invading army it is a form of self defense but it’s not the individual self defense against ordinary crime. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state. The free state of the nation and the individual is that for which a well regulated militia is necessary.

        • Only by stretching the term self-defense. SELF-defense is generally about defense against ordinary crime. DEFENSE is what the 2A is about. If you re-read what I wrote, you may see what I mean. NRA, et al arguments have so focused on defense against ordinary crime that too many forget the main reason for the Second Amendment. One can push SELF-defense to the detriment of the militia and plain meaning of the 2A. However, the plain meaning of the 2A and strong support of the militia means that SELF-defense naturally will be protected. The right will not be infringed and the individual will have the means to provide for self-defense and defense.

          We have a natural right to self-defense but only the defense of the free state (individual and nation) is explicitly protected by the 2A.

          If increased firearms was shown to increase ordinary crime, would that invalidate the 2A? So, why is defense of the 2A so predicated on crime statistics?

        • With proper SELF defense, the need for NATIONAL defense diminishes because a rifle behind every blade of grass. This terrifies the government and their minions, because when 51% of the people realize that they are an UNnecessary evil, they will finally be ejected from Creation and Love will run Free!

        • I believe that our statements agree in meaning, Rich. Did you catch my point that in defending the plain reading of the 2A (and the militia), self-defense is automatically protected. The tools that the militia (the People) use in their capacity of defense are also useful for the individual self-defense against ordinary crime. The inverse is not true. By trying to defend protections of the tools for self-defense based upon crime rates, the militia can be weakened. I believe that all of this focus on ordinary crime and confounding the natural right to self-defense with the constitutionally protected right to militia defense is dangerous to the latter and ultimately to the former down the road. I wasn’t speaking to national defense. I was speaking to defense of the free state**.

          ** It was you who reminded me about other meanings of “free state”. 😉 My intention is all free states; individual, family, group, local, state, and national.

        • Yeah! The Free State! I believe we’re at a place in evolution where it is time to recognize that the Individual Will is sovereign, and where you go from there is entirely your own choice. Part of this realization is the belief that the existence of government is a crime against Nature.

          I think that even Anarchists would be OK with a map room – what we need to wake people up to is that it is criminally insane to hand the Registrar of Deeds the power to incarcerate people who don’t toe the party line.

      • Alex,

        Please tell me how the average good responsible person can walk into a store, put cash on the table, and walk out with a suppressor, short barreled rifle, or a newly manufactured full auto firearm. Make sure you explain how they don’t pay several hundred dollars to the government and wait almost a year.

        • Alex is confused as to what’s a right and what’s a privilege; why they are different and why the distinction is important to a free people.

      • Hoody-Hoo! Thanks Alex. This is the first time I’ve been trolled. I feel so accomplished now. I don’t walk around with my AR either, but not because I don’t want to startle the sheeple. I don’t wear it, because I haven’t worn it around enough to be comfortable in my ability to keep it from banging into stuff, and hanging up on door knobs and such.
        People are scared of guns? Does anyone else remember when kids were taught to be brave and face their irrational fears, so we weren’t raising a generation of wimps? Now we try to legislate away everything that might hurt someone’s feelings, or startle them.
        I propose we pass a law mandating night-lights. It’s for the “man”-children.

  10. I feel that it can be too “in your face” at times. The MDA/Everytown/Bloomberg group use people’s fear of “scary weapons” to drum up support, and what do we do? March around with said weapons, possibly reinforcing that fear. We also do not do well to counter the “right-wing extremist” stereotype. Look at the picture on top of the article. Don’t look at it as a 2A supporter, but as a liberal living in an anti-2A area. It is horribly easy to stereotype these people, which dehumanizes. The more we look like an everyday guy you could see at the store, the bank, the school, and present ourselves as such, the better.

    Most supporters have the right attitude and mindset when it comes to these demonstrations. Their intentions are good, their message is clear. The image is what needs to be addressed. This is very much a PR battle, and that cannot be forgotten. When you get Youtube videos of some jackass being extremely confrontational with police about open-carry, it hurts us. In addition to coming off as very aggressive to viewers, it also has a chance of becoming a bad headline (“Man with gun killed after confrontation with police”). That behavior reinforces the “right-wing extremist” image.

    We all know that 2A supporters are the media’s punchline. Let’s at least try to make it more difficult and give the anti groups something to worry about (since facts do not concern them at all). In the arena of public opinion, we are kind of getting our asses kicked.

    • If these bold long gun open carry gatherings were to stop, you would soon witness the individual carrying in the open, going about his or her daily business, become the new target. These large gatherings act as a lightning rod for now and they inform those who wanted to carry but did not know that it was legal. If these large gatherings stop then the individual OCing a handgun will be demonized and harassed even more.

      • So are we our own worst enemy? Hardly. The left is and will always be the enemy and we need to focus on what their agenda is and fight it without compromise. Does that make me a right wing extreamist? If it does then I have a lot of friends on my side.

        • +1

          (I hope you realize that I mean the opposite of “worst enemy”. The large gatherings help insulate the smaller groups and individuals from harassment. If the large gatherings stopped, law enforcement and antis would turn focus to them.)

          If we could reduce the infighting amongst freedom loving gun owners then it would help tremendously. By reducing it, I don’t mean give in to the antis. Hopefully, gun owners will realize that slinging insults at those open carrying and giving dramatic instance or projecting their own fears doesn’t do anyone any good.

          One hurdle to overcome, IMHO, that would help crystallize the movement is to put to bed this “rights v. privileges” misinformation. Those who claim that we should all carry concealed (licensed) and educate one person at a time apparently don’t realize that they are advocating the abandonment of the right. They are giving up that for which they purport to fight. My guess is that they only perceive the ordinary crime part of the issue and dismiss the much larger tyranny part.

        • You keep consistently missing the point that Freedom means that everybody doesn’t have to conform to your personal standards of behavior. We know you don’t like it, but they’re not going to stop on your behalf, so quit your bellyaching.

        • I was replying to the original post and coat tailing on your comment that I thought was a good answer to the question: Are we our own worst enemy?

      • I think of it in the reverse way. Imagine a group of guys meet for lunch bringing their long-guns cased and stacked in a corner. After a few weeks of this, everybody gets used to their faces and their cased guns. Then, one brings his long-gun uncased and stacked in a corner. What has changed to the casual observer? Nothing much; everything that had been stacked in the corder is still there; except 1 case is missing. Then drop a 2’nd case; and a 3’rd case. People get used to seeing these same guys having lunch as usual but now their guns are displayed openly. Gradual conditioning. People get used to gradual conditioning and eventually accept it – whatever it is – as normal.
        If the first impression is markedly alarming the observer may never be willing to endure the conditioning process.

        • “Imagine a group of guys meet for lunch bringing their long-guns cased and stacked in a corner.”

          Yes, then I imagine the neighborhood choir boy to simply walk off with one, or grab one and run. Or several choir boys grab all of them and run in different directions.

          Yeah. Real sound idea.

        • When we OC long guns, it’s been more often than not at restaurants that know we are going to be there and have no problem with rifle OC. The restaurant at the last big OC gathering I attended had large trashcans for anyone who wanted to store their rifles. It was optional and a nice convenience by the owners. When we OC handguns, we just go on in a restaurant if there are no signs. We have gone in restaurants with long guns and no foreknowledge but that’s rare.

        • Then imagine one person visiting the restaurant for the first time offended by the sight of just one rifle in the corner calls 911. Imagine the police showing up and detaining everyone in possession of a firearm. That is where we are today and this is not any imagination. The tyrannical police forces are being flushed out into the open and one of two things are exposed; ignorance of the law or blatant disregard for citizen’s rights. On the other hand, rallies like the one pictured in the article usually have support by local police even though the protesters may look “dangerous”.

  11. Dan a bit of advise: Do not quote a Progressive in support of an opinion piece in which Progressives are the enemy.
    Now, as to your query. It’s BS.
    Do you think that being submissive helped the Jews, or any other non-Aryan group, who fell into the clutches of the National Socialists?
    Please do not argue that Americans in general and gun owners in particular are in a different situation, we are not. The only reason the ovens have not been built is because of gun owners who are steadfast and willing to be seen and heard, not herded, like the animals you seem to think they are.
    Otherwise Dan it was a nice try at sneaking some Progressive Socialist philosophy into a freedom oriented debate

  12. Yes, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Think about all the other groups that are loud and proud; why are we singled out?
    But I get it and tend to agree. If I ever attended an open carry rally, I’d avoid the “scary” black rifle and opt for a shotty or target/hunting style rifle instead. And I’d NEVER hold it in front. I’d sling it across the back. No matter what, a shouldered or front carried rifle is a veiled threat. Not against the law… for now. And that’s what our goal is, to push those laws our way, not have pushed back against us.
    Our enemies will categorize us as dangerous wild cards in order to legislate us into criminals. We should avoid helping them with Chipotle-ninja style tactics.
    I tend to focus on the concealed carry movement, with the great reveal being on a person by person basis. “Bob, I’ve concealed for years in your presence. I never threatened or stole from anyone. We’re the good guys.”

  13. The “other side” isn’t pushing a gun control agenda because of open carry. They quite readily claim victim status because of it but don’t delude yourselves into believing that open carry demonstrations have caused them to change. A leopard doesn’t change his spots. It might give opportunity for a few more insults but that’s it. We’ve had very successful open carry demonstrations at the Capitol here in Ohio. Before organized open carry rallies and protests happened with regularity, individual OCers and small groups were harassed by law enforcement. Since the success of large gatherings, individuals and small groups have seen a dramatic reduction in harassment. The purpose in these large gatherings in Ohio is to remind the lawmakers that open carry is a right to be exercised and inform the uninformed that open carry is a right that can be exercised. Our numbers have grown because of the large gatherings and our legislative situation has improved. The only real way that Ohio can ban it is either through amending the State Constitution or allowing concealed carry to happen without license and restricting open carry.

    It’s not a right if the individual cannot freely exercise it. The antis will continue to push for infringement on the right to keep and bear arms regardless. IMHO, government would love it if the People were too timid to exercise their right to keep and bear arms openly; afraid of public backlash, infighting, and legislative retaliation. This allows government to continue brainwashing against the right and the antis to continue making false argument unimpeded by the plain facts that open carriers demonstrate when they carry. To not be able to assemble with our firearms in the open means that the Constitution is without effect and the free state is an illusion. The ability to openly bear arms in public everyday is necessary.

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

    Only belligerents have rights and a militia is ineffective if it must hide its arms until absolutely needed.

  14. Yep, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, Washington were just to dang provocative. Needlessly stirring up ole George. Dang insensitive of them. Most of their neighbors didn’t even agree or participate with their scheme. If only the Girl Scouts and Kumbaya had been around in 1775.

  15. The presence of both a vertical grip and an AFG on that AR says more about the owner than anything else in that photo.

    Really though, this guy and that brace of idiots from the Chipotle in Texas don’t seem to understand that they’re causing our side to lose valuable PR battles. If it wasn’t so distressing and obnoxious I might laugh at how little these people comprehend. This could have been a picture of that blonde woman toting the AK, but instead the media and fence-sitters see this fool who went out in public dressed like a Sons of Anarchy extra.

  16. Is the guy with the AR out front, a three gun sportsman or maybe someone who just likes to blow shit up?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  17. Or have you ever seen the guy who likes to fight in bars? It’s not important what he fights about, he likes to fight. He doesn’t care if he gets arrested or screws up the good time everyone else might be having.
    He just needs the fight and “f*ck everything else”. To him the gun rights issue is just another bar he can go into to get into someone elses face?
    This guy may or may not be, but I sure know the type.

  18. I’m just going to go ahead and answer, nope. There are a few yahoos out there to be sure. Show me one class of people that doesn’t have a few yahoos. By and large, though, the gun people I’ve encountered are highly motivated and they stay educated on every facet of the issues we face. If we were conducting ourselves in a clumsy, inefficient way, we would have lost already. I’m optimistic because of the way we’ve faced the opposition, not in spite of it.

  19. “Think for a moment if perhaps everything the other side is doing is nothing more than knee jerk reactions to our activities?”
    If only that were true…your points are well-taken, but with or without the more visible demonstrations like the picture above, the other side’s goal is still civilian disarmament. I’ve commented here before and will again that if you have the VP two days after Newtown actually saying the words “civilian disarmament” to the media, this is bigger than open carry demonstrations, and has been in the works and on their “grocery list” for quite a while.

  20. The success of gay rights didn’t come from the in-your-face demonstrations. It came from realizations that “this guy is an extremely normal person, he loves his family, he works hard, he likes a beer every now and again, and he also is attracted to members of the same sex.” That is what gun-owners should strive for. And it’s what I like about the “I’m a gun owner” series. Many “experts” have written that the gay pride parades have probably actually hurt the cause by portraying gays as wild-man “others”. Carrying your AR-15 to Chipotle, or walking around the mall with it, portrays you and gun owners like you as an “other” to neutral voters.

    • The success of the gay rights movement has more to do with a succesful PR campaign aimed at generating sympathy for contracting a fatal disease through specfic patterns of behavior buy piggy backing on the plight of children who contract the disease from donated blood.

  21. Speaking not from a 2A perspective but as marketing appearance instead, the open carry cause would be better served with men and women dressed in colonial garb or with a professional clothing style such as slacks, suits, dress shirts and iPhones. Long guns should be something an undecided’s grandfather would have had instead of…well, whats in the picture. (remember, I’m not talking about everyone’s rights to carry, only what it looks like to an undecided voter). Professionals, moms and lovable father and grandparent types is what sells. The Sons of Anarchy, rednecks and fat spandex need to stay home.
    I’m not saying Clay doesn’t have the right to carry the Irish guns; my comments are only about appearance.
    Nevertheless, I’m getting into my firesafe, so flame away.

    • What undecided? Undecided on 2nd? RKBA?. Little different that abortion there are no undecided. Perhaps some idiots but you can’t fight stupid.

      Sounds like you think the Obuma theory is right? Everything is about “messaging”, “crafting” and PR, not about reality or substance? BS.

      • There are tens of millions of people who are undecided about how much regulation should be placed on firearm ownership and use. There is also a wide-range of opinions on when abortion should be legal — never, always, first trimester, rape, incest, life of the mother, health of the mother, etc. — with lots of folks undecided about exactly where they sit.

        • Why is it such a difficult thing to grasp: According to quite clear language in the Constitution, “how much regulation should be placed on firearm ownership and use” is zero.

      • When it comes to politics and voting, “Everything is about “messaging”, “crafting” and PR”. Governing on the other hand is about the Constitution, rights and limitations on government and the people.
        In politics, messaging can be about the Constitution, rights, common sense or anything that sells the idea. BTW, messaging and PR came along way before Obuma. Every political victory has been won with effective PR which got people to the polls except where the victor was able to carry the majority of dead voters (that’s voter fraud for those in blue counties with 133% eligible voter turnout.)

        The 2A does say “shall not be infringed”, but you deceive yourself if you think the message doesn’t matter.

        • I think that both (and shades in between) are important to the cause. We need those who refuse to go quietly into the night and we need those who are capable and willing to fight the PR campaign. When I OC at gatherings, I wear the best I can muster and wear comfortably. However, we really don’t need the infighting. That’s the real Achilles Heel, IMHO.

    • Never ever underestimate the enemy’s ability to demonize you, even when you think you are acting according to what society expects of you. Left-wing totalitarian nations in the 20th century have a good record of exploiting that.

    • Very well put. Most voters are not especially interested in the 2A or guns. They aren’t going to invest a lot of effort in getting educated. The more we can do to represent gun-owners as mom, her 2 young kids, grandpa in his Legionnaire’s hat, uncle Ralph, etc. the more we will make guns seem to be a NORMAL part of society. We want to minimize our appearance as the Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Egypt.
      I don’t think we have to worry a lot about being too subtle. Politicians can read a crowd. Do they look like they vote in his district? If yes, then it’s time to pay attention to the clues as to where they stand on which issue. They are all carrying guns? Oh, yes, that’s probably the 2A. But are they really serious? Perhaps so, they are all carrying guns. Is it safe to ignore them? Did you notice the guns?
      I think politicians are capable of picking up on these clues.
      Our real audience is the low-information voter. We have a choice: scare them into the Anti camp; or, do as much as possible to help them to feel comfortable in our presence.

  22. Good points about pro-gun activists behaving too loud in some cases. However, the anti-gun loonies do not operate in only a “knee-jerk” response to the RKBA side of public activism. There are a number of political movements (you know which) that have made traction by being loud, flashy, and in peoples faces. They can go too far over time and build resentment resulting in an oppose reaction by many people.

  23. An open carry demonstration in public space to petition the government yes: even it annoys people. But then going to private space just because you can: no because you will unerve some people. When you want to influence optics matter. Going to Starbucks with your black rifle is not the same as a lunch counter sit in. You are already free to do it but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    Dress is indeed very important when you want to make a good impression. I have said many times if you carry gun dress like an adult under all circumstances. What that means varies with location. Feel free to dress like Phil Robertson in the country but when you come to town dress for town. This is especially true if you open carry. A guy in. LL Beans carrying a Model 29 will meet with less hostilty than someone in shorts, teeshirt and flip flops with an LCP.

    • Really? Carrying, and dressing like a yuppie would draw less hostility than someone in flip flops, shorts, and a t-shirt? How do you figure?

    • I think you mark-out an important distinction as to FORUM. An open carry rally on the capital/court-house steps is obviously a political protest. Any observer can see that there are cops all over and the protesters have no intention of starting a gun-fight at the seat of government. If a few people are dressed and armed in an eccentric manner, their impression will be diluted by lots of grandfathers, grandmothers, teen-agers, children, babies. It’s going to appear pretty much politics-as-usual.
      Quite a different matter for a dozen 20-somethings in cammo at a restaraunt. No wives; no children; no grandparents. Just scary-looking young men in scary-looking paramilitary dress carrying scary-looking rifles.

      • “a dozen 20-somethings in cammo at a restaraunt. No wives; no children; no grandparents. Just scary-looking young men in scary-looking paramilitary dress carrying scary-looking rifles.”

        Do you have any non-photoshopped pictures to show that such an event has ever actually happened?

        Or do you have the kind of mind that, when two goof-balls are clowning around, you see a dozen scary-looking young men in paramilitary dress? I know, to you antis, all rifles are scary-looking. Fuck, according to reports, to you antis Fucking Pop Tarts are scary!

        I want to hear all the reports of all the people shot at those rallies! There must have been some victim, because otherwise, why do they terrify you so badly? Could it be the programming?

  24. I would rather have an ugly fight, than put up no fight at all.

    No one can seriously claim that the antis would cease or even let up on their agenda, if we but remained less boisterous about our rights.

    • Who are we fighting with? Until we have an answer that question we don’t know how to present our “arms”.
      Are we fighting with the Anti’s? Do we think we will persuade the Anti’s? Do we think we will intimidate the Anti’s? Do we think we will discourage the Anti’s? I don’t think any of these are plausible.

      Are we fighting with politicians? If so, with what are we intimidating them? There are only 2 things that motivate a politician: votes; and, money.

      Are we fighting with the not-yet-committed voters? Is “fight” the operative word? Arn’t we trying to get the voter’s attention? To get her to consider looking at guns from our viewpoint? Are we trying to win-her-over or defeat her? To destroy her?

      As the politicians recognize that gun-control is not a winning position with voters they will change their behavior. We want to get voters to ask their legislators: “How does taking my husband’s gun from him make me and my children safer?” “How does the proposed gun registration bill make me and my children safer?”. “How does prohibiting my husband from having large magazines protect my family?” “How does preventing me from carrying a concealed weapon help to protect my children?” I can’t imagine more intimidating questions.

    • And I would rather have a successful sales campaign than a fight. As I read once: Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.

      • And yet, violence is sometimes necessary… even for the competent. IMHO, the quote would make more sense as Violence is the first resort of the incompetent. As the quote actually reads, violence is never the answer, which doesn’t square with reality.

        • Wow! This is why I am a Conservative. I see both sides of an argument and the only one that makes any logical sense comes from the right. John, you make it easy to choose the right side.

      • So all those people caught in the middle of a robbery or mugged or had their home invaded and had to shoot the assaulter, they were incompetent? Wow, never knew meeting violence with violence in preservation of life was incompetent.

        I’d word that “Violence is the last resort of the prepared.”

  25. It’s a foolish activist that allows themselves to garner attention at a scale they do not yet have the ability to control. To let their message go farther than they can protect its fidelity. THIS is the lesson of all past civil rights movements that any real pro-gun activist would realize.

    If these guys were for real they’d know they have no control over the perception crafted around them at the national scale, so any attention at that level will be easily exploited as propaganda against their cause. They’d realize that at this time they should work locally and quietly and win over people at a scale where they can maintain control of the message they portray, and FOR NOW avoid national attention. Only after winning significant swaths of the public behind the scenes is the movement ready for a national moment.

    Read anything about the civil rights movement or gay rights and you’ll see that (not-counter-productive) marches, rallies, parades, all happened ONLY after significant quiet ground work behind the scenes. Decades of engaging those who are closest, one at a time. Decades of simply “being out”. National attention was only allowed by the activist networks when they knew that it would benefit. National attention was a tactical decision after mechanisms where put in place to control it and protect it from being re-spun as propaganda.

    Looking at Open Carry Texas’ FB page they blame the media for critical gun owners reactions to their activist strategy:

    Begin Quote:
    Open Carry Texas: I realize you are in YOURSTATE, so you don’t know the full story. However, you of all people should understand that the media lies or doesn’t tell the whole story. They are 100% in the camp of gun control extremists. It’s a fact and as a gun owner you should know that. That being said, they are not telling the story of our efforts on the ground. They are working HERE in Texas. We do NOT go into businesses unwelcome. You are probably talking about the recent Chili’s and Sonic issue. The FACT is that Sonic has been VERY supportive and welcoming. Because of this, our San Antonio group assumed ALL Sonic’s were like this and didn’t clear it ahead of time when they went to different Sonic and asked to leave. If anything, the video proves that when we are asked to leave, we respect property rights and will leave without issue. Those videos were deleted within an hour of being posted. The Chili’s thing was an issue when members again not calling ahead or sending in an unarmed person FIRST to make sure it’s ok.

    As for Chipotle, this was also a local issue. It wasn’t a problem at all. what the media and gun control extremists won’t tell about the Chipotle thing is that not only were we enthusiastically welcomed by the manager, but there were four SAPD officer with us – two outside and two inside. No one was alarmed. No one was scared. No one called the police. It was a very positive event. We went in, we ate, we paid, and we left without issue. THEN, the gun control extremists stole a photo from our private group that they’ve obviously infiltrated (which is fine, we have nothing to hide) and CREATED a manufactured controvery. They pulled a photo we took of two members on their very first walk. Ever wonder why they chose THAT photo instead of this one?
    :End Quote.

    So they understand that they can’t control the message or their image when it reaches the national forum and that national attention of their movement is used as anti-gun propaganda to create a negative image of gun owners.

    So does not one of them have half a wit to take a step back and question why on earth they’d continue to allow themselves to get national attention (at this time) when they know full well they can’t control their message or image in that domain? Their tactics are ignorant enough that they may as well be an enemy.

      • We do the ground work. We send letters notifying pertinent parties. We still have a few (and only a few, thankfully) gun owners scoffing. But, the antis are ever present with insults and claiming victim status. Go figure! 😉

        • I think every time the obnoxious open carriers show up and throw everyone’s panties into a bunch, we should be calling the networks and reporting “See? Nobody got shot! See? Told ya so!”

        • If you’re talking about gun owners scoffing at open carry being only a few, you couldn’t be more wrong. The vast majority of comments on most gun sites about the issue are from gun owners who disagree with the tactic. The general opinion seems to be that a few attention-whores are giving the gun rights movement a black eye.

        • Interestingly enough, Rich, not really a lot of panties in a bunch when we gather. The online gun owners are more likely to suffer from pantius bunchae. Often, people who see us during an actual gathering join us at subsequent events.

        • Thank you! I was hoping I wasn’t the only one who feels the way I do. I can’t help but think of that MDA meeting in some restaurant when in the next-door parking lot, some open carriers were posing for a group photo. It was all over Twitter; I wish I’d thought back then to tweet “And ZERO people were shot!”

        • Sorry, lizzrd, I was referring to locals and didn’t make that clear. There are a vocal few but they are still few.

          Besides, you missed the point… the antis continue no matter how much groundwork we do. 😉

    • Dinkum_Thinkum,

      Thank you for clearly and intelligently stating a very important facet of our plight.

      The real question in my mind is what strategy should we pursue moving forward? I do not yet have an answer.

      At this point I can only offer a couple thoughts …

      At the local level:
      Good responsible people who dress nicely and carry a handgun openly while shopping with family or playing with family at a park presents an outstanding image. Only the most strident gun grabbers will cry foul about such activity. All others will simply begin to realize that guns are not automatically bad and that people who have firearms are not automatically crazy homicidal nuts. And many will even start to see that good responsible people with firearms makes them safer. As for gun grabbers taking pictures of this and trying to exploit it for propaganda on a national level, that is beyond our control and I believe the benefit outweighs the risk.

      At the national level:
      We don’t need peer-reviewed studies which prove that 51% of the people are professed 2nd Amendment supporters or NRA members. Many people already fall under that category by default. More importantly, many elections are won on very thin margins of a just a 1% to 4% of the vote. All we need to do is get an 1 to 4% of voters to vote favorably at the polls to change election outcomes. And that additional 1% to 4% of voters could either be “converts” or people who previously didn’t bother to vote. That is anything but an impossible task. It just means we have to choose seats and tactics wisely.

      Why do I point out these two thoughts? Because they don’t require us to control our “image” on a national scale. In fact they don’t require hardly any image at all.

      • Thanks for pointing election factoid that out. It’s important.

        POTG here in “single party” states have a much worse time of it. Not only is the press firmly against us; they actively misrepresent what we do and say. We really have no electoral choice, as we can only vote for “bad”, “worse,” or “batsh1t crazy.” The “DINO Initiative” is alive here; its success remains to be seen.

        All we can do is keep chipping away, year by year.

        • More people should vote “batshit crazy.” It certainly couldn’t do worse than Tweedledee and Tweedledumb have done.

          But I really wonder what impels people to call believers in Liberty “batshit crazy.” Is it merely the fear of responsibility?

  26. In sort, the answer is no. We have been under attack at least since 1968. The other side has been doing the attacking, and making all the gains, at least since then. To suggest that to stand up for what we believe now, is deingenuous and foolish, at best. And outright lies at worst.

    • To suggest that to stand up for what we believe now, is deingenuous and foolish, at best. And outright lies at worst.
      This is called a twist. Don’t rearrange what was said.
      Is the suggestion that we not stand up or is it how we stand up,

  27. Perception may be reality. I get a bit tired of stereotyping OFWG. The happy folk are getting “rights” because of relentless in your face BS. I’m not a fan of open carry demonstrations like in the picture but believe it may help in the long run. Personnaly I would love to open carry in Illinois. My 2cents.

    • The “happy” folk don’t as a rule appear dangerous. Except for the masochist crowd.

      Note that being LGBT is officially now “in” and “hip” in Manhattan. BUT the annual Leather Festival at one of the LGBT movement “historic” sites is no more because it disturbed the Tourists on the High Line and the owners of the VERY pricey condos in the Meat Packing District.

      Be careful what you wish for…

  28. Why shouldn’t gun groups have loud in you face protests? Isn’t that way the LGBTQ crowd does with Gay Pride Parades? People don’t bat an eye to those but freak out when there’s an open carry rally. If you had the Pink Pistols at a few more gay rallies then maybe we’d get better attention?

    • The in your face radical queer activists, their self description, had the support of the MSM and ruling elites. We don’t.

      • MSM will follow the trends or risk becoming even more irrelevant. MSM won’t change before societal trends and norms drive it. So, we’re working to change that and MSM will follow along or shrivel.

      • And the MSM or rather, the StateRunMedia(tm) have doubled down on gay rights and gun control, in order to be part of the collective of the politically correct, for power and influence, and in doing so, have done more harm than good to those lobbies, which include good people who believe in something important to them. And mind you, I am NOT conflating gay rights with gun control- thats a fallacy of composition used against 2A rights believers, in the negative, by those who seek to divide us.

        Whats amazing, is that its not working, the StateRunMedia is faltering, nay, cratering- witness CNN, MSNBC, Time/Newsweek, NYT/Boston Globe, etc.

        Advertising revenue, subscriptions, and page views are falling off the cliff, and the Grey Lady (formerly known as the New York Times) is practically a parody of the effect- flyover country never really cared what the New York Elites thought, and the innertubes have revealed just how ingrown, and fascist, have the pc nazi’s become in tone and actions, and the disintermediation of information from those who still delude themselves as being in control of it, ie – via the wires, is happening faster than they can imagine, due to their delusion. Proof statement number one – Pinch and the big fight over that crazy lady he fired- neither got the real point, as it was all about them, and always will be.

        So a whole new generation has lost its trust in a once revered profession, the free press, and the Fourth Estate no longer fulfills its constitutionally protected role as a semi-formalized force for balance of powers, but instead, has tilted into what is close to irrelevance, if not outright distrust by many, due to the blatant propagandizing, and bias, that is painfully obvious, across the board.

    • See my comment just above concerning the Leather Festival. And the only tangible thing that’s left of the Stonewall Inn Riot is a plaque on the wall.

      That movement is now totally gentrified and commercialized. It’s gone from a cause to a commodity.

      • A little OT but that last bit is what I was concerned would happen in Ohio when the push to license conceal carry started. IMHO, license concealed carry is turning the RKBA from a cause to a commodity.

  29. Old rule of conquest is “divide and conquer”.
    We as firearms enthusiast’s may be considered a group but; we tend to be individuals with our own opinions and likes. That makes us a great target for the anti-gun crowd since what they have done is pick and choose separating us and slowly taking away our rights.
    I do not approve of Billy Bob and the survivalist crowd making a big show and scaring the kids either but I will support them and make an effort to work with any of them towards reason.
    They are really no worse than the false statements and sham news the MDA promotes. Difference is Shannon Watts has tits and lots of money backing. Maybe we should sue the MDA for Hate Crimes since many of the false statements are in actuality just that.

    • Her shining star may be dulling somewhat. The last pic of her in a propaganda hit piece not too long ago was of her in her early twenties. And of course, she was holding a small child. Maybe hers, maybe a prop; I don’t know.

  30. Considering WHO are enemies are, their ruthless lack of morals and ethics, and their ultimate goals; then no, we are not our own worst enemies.
    But we make mistakes b/c we’re human. Hopefully, we learn from our mistakes and get better at spreading our message of freedom.

  31. Pretty much, yes. I cannot see how men and women toting threatening ARs and AKs in Chipotles helps gun rights. This just plain out scares the holy bajeezus outta non-gun people, and this is not good. If a mum in Chipotle has a daughter who sees a gun and gets scared this will be the outcome: “GUNS ARE SCARING OUR CHILDREN! LOOK AT THIS BABY!”
    We need to tone it down. Before showing off our terrifying evil assault rifles, we should teach them. We should show them the way of the gun slowly, not rushing headfirst into the process. I will refer back to one of the previous P320 Entries, the one about the college student teaching about his guns. That is how we should do it, gently, treading softly. Interest them, make them want to see more, like the M44 Mosin, appealing to history buffs, and techno-folk the AR. Entice them to learn more, and get them in a non-threatening situation. Just calmly showing them your guns, and teaching them, could lead to a range trip, and then even possibly to a conversion. Teaching them the real, honest Truth About Guns will help them more than any open-carry demo will ever do. And that is a fact.
    Teaching them not to believe in the misinformed ad hominem and the so-called ‘facts’ the MDA, Everytown and Bloomberg spreads is paramount. So preach, People of the Gun, preach to the masses, tell them the real Truth About Guns.

    • Calling it a fact doesn’t make it one. It’s not either-or. A broad spectrum approach can reach more people. Your method and others are needed. You may reach one type and some may reach another type.

      • Very true, but what other suggestions for methods do you have? I can’t see where open-carry marches and ‘assault weapons’ in restaurants can help spread a positive message.

        • Every time one occurs, and no one is shot, the fact that no one was shot needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

          “OOh! Fifty People with SCARY GUNS!!! EEEK!!!”

          “So, how many people did those scary guns kill?”


        • In Ohio, it has improved the everyday exercise of our individual RKBA. Our nation was founded upon individual Liberty and fighting against tyranny. We don’t hide the lamp of Liberty under a basket… we place it high upon a hill where it can be a beacon to all who long for freedom. For the most part, those who will be at a target range are at least already interested. We won’t re-establish the everyday individual right to keep and bear arms in America with these small numbers. We’ve tried that in decades past and we were losing. No, if the antis really want to kill the individual RKBA, they had better try for a constitutional amendment. Too many of us refuse to hide our firearms any longer.

        • I think it’d be kinda kewl to see them go through all the rigamarole and hullaballoo of a Concon in the name of gutting the 2nd, and have a bunch of Libertarians and Tea Partiers and GunzNutz™ show up and modify the 2nd by dropping the Militia clause, leaving, “The Right of Each Person To Keep And Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed,” and then repealing the 16th.

          That’d show ’em!

        • Thank you, I can see why they help now. It actually makes sense to me now, showing that no-one was killed. But then, occasionally there are mass killings that kind of muddy the non-killing waters.And the antis will focus more on a grumpy virgin killing lots of people with a gun than a period of no deaths. Correct?

  32. Gun owners have remained in the closet over previous decades and it didn’t satisfy the blood lust of the antis. We lost ground. For the most part, the only people you will reach in the closet are others in the closet. Get out of the closet and live your lives; armed, free, and proud!

  33. So the people in the photo will not be successful in accomplishing change anymore than the gay guy in the parade who was wearing his tighty whiteys and a feather boa. Bottom line, legal or not, these people aren’t bringing anything to the party. Ultimately they will go away. They have no long term objective except a vague concept to try to get their home built AR to work reliably. Short term it’s important to
    1. Get there photo’s in the paper, on tv and on-line.
    2. Recant stories of how the cops came but could not do anything.
    3. Recant stories of the people who saw them and immediately left the area.

    You want a better image? Give them obscurity. I believe in open carry only because I believe the right to bear arms should not be infringed but an idiot who is openly carrying is harder for me to ignore, and a much more significant potential threat, than a man dancing in his underwear.

    • You have completely mis-characterized individuals involved in open carry gatherings. I am involved and have met many others who openly carry long guns at demonstrations. Of the people that I know personally, most do have long term plans and very, very few like the attention. For example, I prefer to be left alone but have been engaged in Liberty activism for many decades because I perceived that it was necessary. I appreciate that you believe in open carry but please don’t throw others to the dogs because you incorrectly assume their intent.

        • Not quite. He was referring to me (though the last name is one “b” – Ybarra) with the timestamp. Not that I mind being mistaken for Ron Paul in the least… 😀

        • Lol. Someone, in another thread, replied with a comment about Ron Paul and it was something I had never heard before. He wrote Ron Paul’s name backwards, letters out of sequence, or something. With my dyslexia, I thought he might’ve been that same commenter with something else. When I realized my confusion, I edited to correct.

          So, anyone have a link to this comment that Full Cleveland is talking about? Nevermind, I found it at

        • Okay, Full Cleveland… I’ve now read his post. AFAIK, the article was referring to open carry in public places like the steps of a capitol. My post was referring to demonstrations in places like at the state capitol. Your post referred back to Jacob’s article so it too was rightly assumed to be about places like at state capitols. Raul Ybarra’s post appeared to me as ending talking about private restaurants and such.

          NOTHING in my post was about private restaurants! Given what the main article was about, how you didn’t specify, and how I didn’t even allude to private property; would you like to try again? I fail to see how Raul Ybarra’s response in the other comment directly addresses what I wrote in response to your comment here.

        • Actually I was making the distinction between the two. There’s been a tendency to lump the two together. The kind of demonstrations to which you refer can help when done right. The problem is, we’ve been seeing too many cases where some yahoo thinks it’s OK taking it onto private property in order to agitate a reaction.

        • I got that, Raul Ybarra, and I appreciate the clarification. However, my reply didn’t have anything to do with that. Full Cleveland made some blanket statements about intent of open carriers and I related my own experiences. If he would’ve replied with the comment he alluded to, I would’ve asked him how it relates to what I wrote. He needs to show relevance and make connections because I don’t see it.

          BTW: I mostly agree with what you wrote. 😉

  34. Yes, by all means hide in the closet and don’t let anyone see the guns. Because, after all, the low brain voters don’t know that the guy they should fear isn’t their brother with a gun. It’s the gray men in suits who are listening to their phone calls, reading their emails, auditing their tax returns and sending their children off to die in some sh1tty desert halfway around the world.

    So go hide in a corner and let the soccer moms rule the world.

  35. The goal of OC events is to normalize OC. The hysterical media reactions get toadying responses from e.g. Chipotle in the short term, but in the long term they help the goal of normalization. Eventually, and I don’t think it’s even that far off now, people will shrug off just another picture of some guys walking around with ARs. They may still think it’s silly, but they will no longer respond to the fear-mongering that comes with the images. Especially since it will be easy to say to anyone who does, “look, how long has this been going on, and nobody’s gotten shot?”

    That’s where pride parades helped the gay rights movement. It got the pearl-clutching out of everyone’s system over time, and also got people talking about it, at which point everyone learned that several completely normal individuals of their acquaintance were gay, and the sky wasn’t falling.

    • What toady response from Chipotle? Read it like a lawyer and it says:

      “We don’t care either way if it’s not illegal. We assume no liability. Leave us alone. And buy our product.”

      Pretty much like all the other corporate statements.

  36. These rallies aren’t for the benefit of the non-gun owning.

    They are a display of opposition to the anti-gun crowd. It’s a form of psywar.

    We face anti-gun bills after anti-gun bills. Constantly and serially. Most go nowhere are aren’t intended to be successful. They are designed to impose costs and break our will. Pro-gun rallies are the response. They are a demonstration of will.

    But mostly it’s for the benefit of other gun owners. We know, if gun owners vote, generally, we win and win big. People who feel they are in an oppressed minority with no chance to win, often stay home. These rallies let them know they aren’t alone, CAN win, and SHOULD cast that vote.

  37. “Are we so loud, brazen, and in your face about our beliefs that we scare the other side into some serious defensive posturing?”

    At this time yes for the most part. The picture above speaks volumes to the ant-crowd. The military looking weapons, the tattoo’s, the clothing, the nothing but white faces that are 98% male. The ant-crowd has no lack of free media to choose from when making their point.

    Now stage that same event outside a public government building, with guns on tables, like deer hunting rifles, skeet shooting shotguns, pistols in NON-tactical holsters, people wearing business casual clothing, lots of soccer mom types, many NON white people, with NRA and other organization type signage and paper work. Smiles, friendly welcomes, showing off shooting sport related stuff……etc….etc. You know you catch more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar.

    Jack Asses going into Starbucks or malls or whatever with an AR stopped to their body and some kind of camera so they can post on you tube, while they scare the crap out of Mom’s with small kids in tow does nothing be pour nitro into the ant-gun legislation engine.

    • “Jack Asses going into Starbucks or malls or whatever with an AR stopped to their body and some kind of camera so they can post on you tube, while they scare the crap out of Mom’s with small kids in tow does nothing be pour nitro into the ant-gun legislation engine.

      So, how many people were shot?

  38. If I ever attend an open-carry rally, I plan on taking my Mosin Nagant. I’ll dress well, maybe even wear a tie, and have it slung on my back, not in my hands.

    I don’t think camo, a chest rig, and an AK held at low ready is the best choice to win people over lol.

  39. Every firearm I own is a WEAPON first, that can be used for recreation.
    The extreme anti gunners and pro gunners as the extreme left and extreme right are the bane of reason on any issue.
    Being in a city carrying around weapons openly does not comfort most people those same people will be happy if the police or a law abiding citizen use a weapon to protect them. Other than the police they do not want to know who is carrying.
    I carry at times and make certain that most except those with a trained eye (usually law enforcement) know I am not. That whole concealed carry thing. I don’t want anyone to know.
    It seems to me that some of the open carry people may be unbalanced and of questionable character.
    Creating unnecessary fear in society does not help us keep our rights.
    An anti-gunner screaming in the stream you can ignore someone carrying a weapon while screaming in the street cannot be ignored. The screaming the weapon cannot. N

    • Liberty is downright scary for some and that will never change. One who is carrying on a license is exercising a privilege and is certainly not exercising a right.

      (Those who live in a state where they can conceal without a license do have an argument that they are exercising their RKBA but OC is still important for the normalization of firearm carry in public. It’s pretty difficult to conceal a long gun everyday and unless one is ready to concede the first half of the 2A then OC of rifles is also necessary.)

    • “The extreme anti gunners and pro gunners as the extreme left and extreme right are the bane of reason on any issue.”

      You are absolutely wrong about this. The extreme left and extreme right are both about absolutely control, with the only dispute being whether the throne has a swastika or hammer & sickle. The anti-gunners are against freedom and want to confiscate your guns, but the “extreme pro-gunners” are the only ones who take the Constitution at its face value, i.e. Zero infringement.

      When people start calling Constitutionalists “extreme,” then you know we’re all in a lot more trouble than we thought.

  40. Why then doesn’t one or two of the open carry people rally in Maryland? Or DC? Or NJ? Or MA?

    That would be closer to a “Rosa Parks” action.

    Is it possibly because they’re worried that they’ll be shot by the Police? Regardless of how they’re dressed?


    • Well, one was planned in DC not too long ago and it got called off because so many gun owners were screeching their lungs out against it. Some even threatened to show up and fire upon marchers to help the government put down the “insurrection” and show how “law abiding” most gun owners are. I personally, IRL, know one of those gun owners who yelled the loudest. He meant every word and I was disgusted.

  41. I think yes. There are millions of undecided people who are put off by the Chipotle Ninjas and open carry demonstrations. Alienating the general public makes it MORE likely that restrictions we don’t agree to. It’s not a direct comparison to LGBT rights where open protest contributes to the cause. We don’t have Will and Grace, Ellen, Ellen Page, Michael Sam- types conditioning the general public for our cause.

    All of the talking points are useless. For BOTH sides. There’s an image floating around now called “Gun Fetish Bingo” where every time we use one, they fill in the square. Yelling “Shall Not Be Infringed” is meaningless when the legislators and courts have already infringed our rights so far. No one is listening. The grabbers hear it and laugh. “Molon Labe” and “I’ll give my bullets back one at a time at very high speed” show that you’re angry, sure but it only reinforces the grabber’s view that we are delusional gun fanatics who are not the “law abiding gun owners” that we tout ourselves to be.

    What I’ve seen work is level-headed discussion. The vast majority of the country could be called “moderates” and I’ve found a lot of people receptive if you explain things rationally. TTAG is a good place for that but the overwhelming majority here is pro-2A and the moderates get put off by it. Places like Justfacts or even citing directly to credible sources (I like to use FBI, USBJS, CDC stats) seems to get attention.

  42. People need to keep in mind the difference between protesting and agitating. A well done protest can certainly help the cause. If not educating or calling attention to the cause, then in applying the political message and pressure to balance – or preferably overwhelm – the anti-2A position. The key word, being well done. That means timing, location, numbers and showmanship. And yes, the latter is a part of it. A protest is a war of words and there are certainly some theatrics involved.

    On the other hand, a bunch of guys giggling about how “we gonna do some open carry…” barging into a restaurant, posturing and intimidating with the clear intent of making a scene while someone videotapes is not a protest regardless of its legality. It’s grandstanding at best and disturbing the peace at worse. It’s your choice to decide in the face of the latter whether the fine is worth it. These people are on par with the idiots chaining themselves to trees to “save the owls” and serve their respective causes equally well – which is to say, not at all.

    It’s not about what you have a right to do. It is about the responsibility with which you exercise those rights.

  43. I couldn’t give two craps if panty-wetting, dull-eyed suburbanites whose greatest accomplishment in life is voting in American Idol get freaked out at the sight of decent people doing legal things. It’s about time someone shook them up.

    Call me crazy, but judging just from recent history, the Sons of Anarchy there wouldn’t scare me. You know who should scare you? A short white Obama voter. A handful of them have killed more innocents than gun rights advocates have or ever will.

    I admit, still, that stunts like this don’t do much for us when the MSM is essentially state run media and the state is solidly on the side of tyranny. I recognize the tactical folly and that perhaps an organized demonstration at a more controlled venue, with controlled media, would have been better. But I’m certainly never going to fault anyone for exercising their ever diminishing freedoms. Enjoy them while you have them.

  44. I agree with the original author. To many people trying to provoke a response by showing off. Sure it is legal to open carry but doing so as a protest or showing off just is lame. If you don’t open carry everyday then why do it at some event? Do you think the media is going to interview you and your witty one liner will make it on the headline news? Chances are some knuckle dragger who recently purchased a firearm will say something you just can’t believe.

    I also think if you go to your range and practice you think about safety right. How often are you practicing open carry, or concealed carry for that matter. It just takes one negligent discharge and the media to paint a 2A march into a smear campaign for Bloomberg and company.

    • “If you don’t open carry everyday then why do it at some event?”

      I tend to agree with you. But then again I wonder why, when I go to a gun show, so many people who don’t OC in their daily lives are open carrying there.

  45. I’m only here for a short and I don’t have time to give those gun grabbers any of my time. They can piss up a rope as far As I care. My children can handle those shits. Give me my liberty or get the fvck out of my life.

  46. Josh, to answer your question- are “we” our own worst enemy- simply, no.

    Here is why- there is no We that describes all gun owners, just as OFWG used self-deprecatingly, or FUDD, used scathingly, or Gamer Boy, used with a gentle nudge, by myself or others, applies, to the lesser tribes of all gun owners.

    We are all colors, all sexes, young and old, preferences many, and the proof is right here on TTAG if you read it awhile, and the diversity is stunning compared to the slights and generalizations used and abused (on purpose by anti-gunners), that attempt to “polarize, freeze, and demonize” (Alinsky, Rules of Radicals) us or anyone else who dares to disagree with Those Who Think They Know What Is Best For The Little People ™.

    Now, you know I am being slightly snarky here, but I hope you get the point. Democracy is the worst form of government known to man, until compared to all others, and I would no more wish all of “us” to fall under some sort of blanket PR policy, than I would for the progtards to do so….(wait, actually …its fine- let them all believe Shannon Watts, as we know how well thats working…).

    The point being- yes, there are a couple things I would like to see some of my fellow POTG do differently- but are we are own worst enemy? No, not at all. We are all Americans, and we simply disagree with some of our fellow Americans on some simple basic concepts, like natural god given rights to self defense, and the value of honoring a document and a body of laws, rather than the mob rule, or tyrrany of one Dear Leader, that has proven to be the downfall, in other countries and societies, when free men gave up their rights.


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