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“The only problems we get are from people who aren’t expecting to see (guns carried openly) at the Capitol when they come to visit. And so that’s where the tension has been in the past. People not knowing the law and seeing that on a school trip. We kind of like to have a couple extra guys around for a calming effect, in that regard.” – Michigan State Policeman Sgt. Jeffrey Held, Bring your guns, leave your signs: Michigan Capitol rules in spotlight at Second Amendment rally [via]

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  1. Seems reasonable enough to me. I still don’t really get the point of walking around with an AR 15 at a state capital. But then again, I suppose you could stand on your head and spit quarters there as well. But I doubt they would post extra police, probably just haul you away in a looney bin truck.

  2. Hmmm..

    while they good people of MI have every right to this activity under the state laws, this presents a PR conundrum.

    “Until one of the legislators comes up and says let’s make this a weapon-free zone, or they put in some stipulation like you can’t bring long rifles in here but you can wear sidearms, I’ve got to live with it. It’s not a fun thing though. It’s tough.”

    This is where treading lightly with these open carry rallies needs to be heeded.

    Do these rallies give out guidelines to their participants? (i.e. wear the rifle on your back, leave the heavy duty looking stuff at home, dont scare the youngin’s).

    I hate to be nit-picky, but even the difference between having a rifle slung on your back and having it at your front presents two very different images to Johny Suburban.

    • Unfortunately not, most participants are under educated sheeple. Sheeple on our side, but sheeple none the least. I have not attended any myself but the people I have met that attend are usually militia wannabe types.

      • What’s a militia wanabe? Per common law and statutory law in most states, all men capable of bearing arms are members of the militia. That would leave only children, women, and disabled men as potential militia wanabes. The rest are militia in fact.

        • Hey now! We need to include women too! Otherwise we are racist! 😉

          But yes you are correct, the reality is we are all militia.

        • The Second Amendment doesn’t say everyone can form their own private armies.

          It protects the right of the people to individually keep and bear arms (the tools of the militia), and gives the government a mandate to organize and regulate the militia (a “well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…”).

        • Ing,
          Read the Heller decision, a history book, and your state’s laws.
          You are right in that, “[t]he Second Amendment doesn’t say everyone can form their own private armies.” The militia is not a private army. The militia, in English Common Law going back centuries, and in many state codes (Minnesota and North Dakota are the ones I deal with) is defined roughly as all able bodied men capable of fighting.
          You are wrong, dead wrong, when you say that the 2A “gives the government a mandate to organize and regulate the militia” None of the first 10 Amendments (the Bill of Rights) gives the government a mandate or power. They are all specifically intended to be a list of things the government may never do. They are a fire-wall against the all consuming power of government.
          “Well-regulated” in common 18th century English did not mean government regulation. “Well-regulated” meant “well trained” or “well drilled” effectively it meant that the militia should be truly prepared to fight.

          • it’s really sad to see so many people arguing against the rights of gun owners to peaceably assemble using the wording of the MSM and anti-gun people.

        • Duke of Sharon, I know what you’re saying. I know my history, and I know what the Heller decision says. And I know what the Second Amendment says. Neither document says people are meant to form their own paramilitary organizations for whatever purpose they want, with the state having no say in it at all.

          You’re wrong, dead wrong, when you say that that I’m dead wrong about the 2A giving the government a mandate to organize and regulate the militia. The 2A is a unique beast. It’s the only part of the Bill of Rights that mentions a right in the context of its usefulness to the state. If the government is forbidden to have anything to do with the militia, what does the part about a “well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” even mean? The framers put it there for a purpose. They knew their own language better than most of us do now, and the Constitution says what it means and means what it says.

          The people are the militia, and in their capacity as defenders of a free state, the state has a natural interest in regulating them — as we would both agree, this means ensuring discipline and readiness, not just restricting them.

          When it comes to people functioning in armed groups, and where it affects the security and freedom of the state, the state can regulate and discipline the group (or even order it to disband).

          Constitutionally speaking, the government could muster everyone out for mandatory monthly training if it wanted to. Personally, I think it ought to. If you have a suitable weapon, bring it; if not, check one out from the local armory for the weekend. More people being basically familiar with firearms would be a good thing. Heck, it’d probably kill the anti-gun movement in its tracks.

          My point is that the militia crowd *does* act like they think they’re a private army. Maybe they’re hoping and preparing to jump into action and protect the populace from rioting or looting in a natural disaster, but I kind of doubt it. If the local sheriff or the state government told them all to gather and prove they’re ready to defend the state or provide security in the wake of a hurricane, would they do it? Or would they just say “the government can’t tell me what to do”?

        • Ing,
          “If the government is forbidden to have anything to do with the militia, what does the part about a “well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” even mean?” It means, that (as evidenced by the immediate experience of the drafters of the amendment) without armed citizens who are ready to effectively employ their arms, a state cannot remain free.

        • And my point remains…if the government was forbidden from having anything to do with the militia, why put the phrase “well regulated” in or mention the security of the state at all? The text commands the state to keep its hands off the individual right, not the group exercise.

        • Ing,
          Hmm. I still don’t agree with your reading of the text but if you’re saying that the govt has the power to “regulate” in the modern sense, the militia as a whole but not individuals, I agree. However, that power comes from Article I, section 8, clause 15 and 16. “The congress shall have the power . . . To provide for calling forth the Militia . . . To provide for organizing, arming, disciplining, the Militia . . . ” etc. I submit that this proves my position correct, that 2A, like all the other 10 in the BOR, is a limitation on govt, not an enabling clause. Keep in mind that the BOR came AFTER the constitution. I submit that in that context–whith Article 1, Section 8, clauses 15 and 16 already in place, your reading of the 2A is incorrect–even if your overall reading of the constitution and the BOR as a whole is correct.

        • Ing,

          The prefatory clause of the 2nd Amendment announces a noble purpose for the operative clause which is “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

          The prefatory clause “A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free State” is not an exhaustive list of purposes for or restrictions on the operative clause. You can see an identical construct in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 (article 4 or something like that) that makes this structure clear beyond a shadow of a doubt.

        • Duke of Sharon and uncommon_sense, I’m still right…and you’re not wrong. 🙂

          This has been a really fun argument. Sharp, but not uncivil — and I know more than I did when I started. Thanks, guys.

    • I agree completely. Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham was arrested in Temple Texas for breaking a local ordinance against rude brandishing (clipping an AR to his chest). If he had simply slung his rifle over his shoulder, the Temple Police would have defended his RTBA.

      • Also, whats with the AR’s? Lets get some OTHER rifles out there. How about some Mosins? Kick it old skool, people!

        Hell, do a commie re-enactment on the capitol.. wait, that’s a terrible idea.

        • Agree! How about a Winter War day (Mosins, both Finnish and Russian, maybe some Suomis), or a Battle of the Bulge kind of thing… Sling up some M1 Carbines, Garands, and k98Ks? Or a Kentucy Rifle day?

          I started silly, but wouldn’t that be sort of interesting? the RTKBA is an OLD thing, even in new times. I think it would be really, really instructive and enlightening to sort of see it through the lens of historical arms, almost all of which are still worthy firearms. We’ve got to get people recognizing and talking about the historical foundation that is still valid all these years later.

          But then, I’m a total old-rifle looney… My go-to rifle for home defense is actually an M1 Carbine. Going for style points if ever the cops have to be called.

        • 505,

          the other reason we should get other guns out there is to show non-POTG that there are literally other guns!

          When everyone shows up with an AR at these open carry rallies, it gives power to the iconography of the AR as the “EVIL BLACK RIFLE” that everyone has. If you get a variety of weapons, it becomes harder to classify gun-owners as “nutjobs who like AR-15’s”.

        • I think that’s a GREAT educational opportunity. Sling an M-1 Garand and carry a sign that says something like “This is the gun your grandfather carried to win WWII.” Short, punchy, and the kind of thing local media would cover out of confusion about how to spin the story. It’s called “PR.” And positive propaganda.

        • That’s actually a cool idea, but I don’t think there’s a lot of overlap in the Venn diagram of Open Carry activists and M1 Garand owners. Most of the OCers seem to be of the gun owner subspecies Tacticus blackplasticus

          Then again, everybody has a Mosin…

        • Actually this is a pretty cool idea. You can have signs with the history of the rifles so folks can be educated to. Sort of like a living museum really. I think you would get more inquiries and questions that frightened stares.

        • Tacticus blackplasticus… 🙂

          I was thinking much the same thing as you all — why not have everyone bring the oldest rifle (or oldest design) they own? It’d be cool to see the whole range of guns at one of these events.

          Muzzle loaders, lever-actions, bolt-actions, AK’s, AR’s, everything. I love the idea of signs pinning the guns to historical freedom, too.

          Somebody needs to organize something like this. I’d definitely show up for it.

        • “This is the gun your grandfather carried to win WWII.”

          @Jus Bill, given the number of first and second generation immigrants in America, it’s more likely that their grandfathers only read about the War in a foreign language newspaper.

        • Ralph, even the Common Core Curriculum has at least a mention of WWII. And everybody can relate to Grandpa. But now with a gun, in a good way.

        • I love this idea. LOVE it.

          If open carry demonstrators had been carrying M1 Garands or Winchester 94’s instead of AR15’s, I bet Starbucks wouldn’t have “requested” us to stop carrying guns in their stores.

        • Jus Bill

          I would have to get a BAR and change the sign.

          “This is the gun my grandfather carried to win WWII.”

  3. Regardless of what is said about emotion, people will always see “living children > gun rights”.

    Of course, most here know that disarmament does not lead to fewer dead children, but you will very rarely convince anyone by responding with “rights” to their “dead children”. Regardless of what your views on rights are (an ideological debate related to the state and its Constitution), keeping children alive will always be more important to a lot of people. We can win on both children and rights arguments, but only referencing rights in response to children will do little.

  4. If you hold out your arms in the faces of others, don’t be surprised when they try harder to cut them off. Every time you hold them out is a chance to try to cut them off again. Give them enough chances and they’ll eventually win.

    Ideally yes, rights should trump emotions, but that’s not the way the world actually works, has ever worked, or will ever work. Don’t let ideology delude you from reality. A practical success is still a practical success, an ideological failure is still a practical failure.

    • I don’t know, didn’t seem to work that way for gay marriage. 30 years ago, did you envision legalization of gay marriage? I didn’t. Then all of a sudden (seems like early 90s some time) we had gay shoved in our face 24/7. It may have made some people mad but it got the gays what they wanted.

      • The analogy isn’t accurate because it equates the two entities in terms of “tastefulness to sum, distastefulness to others”, so the logic doesn’t follow. This is not a defining or leading feature of either entity.

        The Gun is a tool, The Gay is a person. The Gun is a symbol of casting off oppression to some and a symbol of the oppressor to others. The Gay is a really more of a symbol of the oppressed.. Most importantly, no matter how many assaults on our rights, The Gun will never be viewed as an underdog. The Gun can’t and won’t ever effectively be oppressed. The Gay however is and always will be a minority, an underdog. These differences, and many others have real bearing on how successful any particular technique will be.

        • It’s not an analogy, it’s a recent historical example. Can you name a recent example of a group sitting on their rights and thereby securing them?

          To be clear, I don’t open carry and I don’t plan to. However, I find open carry less objectionable than I find a bunch of “pro-gun” internet geniuses bickering about the tactics of someone who has the initiative to get out from behind his computer and actually do something for the movement.

        • I’ve given more non-gun people their first day at the range than the number of people whose minds have been changed by seeing an open carry demonstration. That’s real time and real money on a recurring basis. You want to normalize guns, take people to shoot them and see them used in normal circumstances by normal people.


      • This is a really good example of what an organized, committed minority can do. Recent research on the dynamics of social movements and group decision-making indicates that it takes about 30% of the general population to sway the rest toward new ideas and outlooks.

        Gays are a small minority — about 10% of the population — but they got enough people on their side and kept pushing. Opinions may differ on whether their agenda is good or evil, but they have reached the point where society is tipping in their favor.

        We could do it, too. Heck, we’re actually already doing it.

        • !0% my ass. I’m not against gay marriage–no one should have to ask permission from the government to get married However, 10% is utter BS. Be careful where you get your “facts” from.

        • Recent studies have shown that about 3.5% of the population publicly identify as gay. That doesn’t include an estimated equal number that have a primarily homosexual orientation but are either celibate or in a heterosexual relationship. Nor does it include the 15% of people who are primarily heterosexual but have had a same sex experience at one or more points in the past. The percentage depends on the definition.

    • That analogy to gay marriage is actually pretty much dead on. I’m the executive director of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, Michigan’s largest gun group. I’m also in a 10 year same sex relationship. I support both open carry and legalized same sex marriage. The president of Michigan Open Carry, also a supporter of legalized same sex marriage, frequently uses it in comparison to open carry. I would encourage any of you who have never open carried before to try it just once. You’ll find that rather than the shock you might expect from people, most people won’t even notice. And most of those that do will just assume you’re an undercover or off duty police officer.

      • Just so I can be completely argumentative with everybody today:

        There is some difference between the right to carry and gay marriage. When I carry, I ask nothing from my fellow citizens. When I marry, I demand (from a government functionary) and am given, a stamp of society’s approval of my marriage. If in fact, I don’t have that approval, then my obtaining the stamp is an act of violence and/or dishonesty.

        I think the parallels would only be complete if, on the 2A issue, every citizen were required to sign a pledge that they supported 2A rights, even when they don’t

        This of course doesn’t apply to being gay, or living with, or loving whoever you want, but I think that the legalization of gay marriage is not as pro-freedom as it is sometimes understood to be. My solution: no civil marriage and no governmental discrimination based on marital status.

        • I’d be fine with no civil marriage provided it applied to everyone. But while civil marriage exists, it shouldn’t discriminate between two consenting adults due to their gender anymore than it should due to their race or religion. And civil marriage isn’t going away in the United States. Consequently, this is an “I’m a libertarian, but…” argument.

        • Brady,
          Thanks for your perspective. Our freedom depends on us all giving up on our “buts.” I lament that gay marriage was a perfect, and missed, teaching opportunity for Liberty. Here in MN we had each party telling the populace that their happiness depended on voting for them. Suckers.

  5. Frankly, some of these open carry protestors give the best possible fuel to the anti-gun agenda that I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty hardcore gun rights, but taking an AR to the local Starbucks is ridiculous. Police get a free pass on OC, but they carry holstered handguns unless they are responding to a felony call.
    If long rifles are OC’d, then protestors should make a realistic effort to look normal. OC in a suit, nice clotures, etc. If this is a PR campaign, then make it so. These gentlemen look pretty good and have smiles on their faces. The super paramilitary “operator” look plays into the negative stereotypes that the antis love to perpetuate.

    • Some of the open carry photos that were posted showing people at Starbucks made me angry with how stupidly gun-owners were portraying themselves.

      It was as if anti’s sat down and thought up “the image of the gun-nut” and then had actors portray these people in real-life.

      *edit* upon doing some google image searching it looks like there were a few RARE bad apples in the open-carry starbucks fiasco.

      • The bad apples may have been rare, but they get the press. And there really is no reason to have your AR slung in low ready across your chest at Starbucks.

        • Unless, Matt, there is a Zombie invasion going on. Then, it is very wise to get your coffee with your support hand and keep the shooting hand in ready position at all times.


    • Think about it this way:

      If I was an anti-gun propagandist, what kinds of propaganda demonstrations would I put into effect to A) increase fear in the public of gun owners, B) make gun owners look extreme and atypical, and C) Instigate a “debate” concurrent with A and B in the public eye, thus increasing my chances of winning.

      I’d hire some people to do open carry demonstrations within the bounds of the laws I want to change, I’d have them do it in really obtuse (Starbucks) and really politically tense (State capitals) venues, I’d tell them to act like we see most open carry activists acting, and I’d film it and put it on the internet and be gleeful about any media coverage I got. And I’d win, because I’ve seen these things create a win for my side before when the gun rights activists did it themselves.

      So the people doing these demonstrations need to ask themselves, if their tactics look identical to what an anti-gun propaganda operation would do, and historically achieve the same results, then WTF do you think you are helping?

      These kinds of demonstrations are either innocent and stupidly counterproductive or malicious and ingeniously effective.

      • Absolutely true! If Hitler had Youtube he’s have posted video of the Reichstag burning. And then had all the party members view it 100 times.

        It’s all about Perception Management.

      • These type of rallies have been increasing in recent years with an increasing percentage of gun owners open carrying at them. Is it counter-productive? The non-speculative answer would be are gun laws generally becoming more or less restrictive in the United States over the past 20 years? In 2000 we had a federal assault rifle ban, no Heller or McDonald decisions, almost no one openly carrying in Michigan and may-issue concealed carry with about 50,000 Michiganders with concealed pistol licenses. Today, we have 420,000 people with concealed pistol licenses and the percentage of gun owners openly carrying outside the home is booming. Have Michigan’s gun laws become more restrictive in counter-reaction? Have gay rights gone backward because the media prefers to show drag queens at Gay Pride events rather than some college kid in jeans and his frat sweatshirt?

        • Well, the devil is in the details of whether or not a visibility campaign is effective.

          If gay people went into starbucks and exercised their rights with a dick sucking demonstration and then went into state capitals and exercised their first amendment rights with a butt-f*cking demonstration, then I bet they’d have set back their movement, not advanced normalization.

          In fact, in the Castro in San Francisco (famous gay mecca) public nudity was an occasional display. Recently however activists started doing it ALL OF THE TIME and people got sick of it and enough support to pass legislation banning it outright was passed. We see the same societal and legislative response to open carry demonstrations. There’s a time and place and way to be in your face, and there’s a time and place an way of doing it will screw you more than it helps.

          • Don is obviously not a gun owner. Not to mention the fact that his analogy is completely absurd. The gay acts would be more along the lines of firing a gun in public rather than just possessing a gun in public.

        • Yeah, I’m not a gun owner. I’ve got more money in guns, ammo, and shooting accessories than most people have in their sports cars.

          • well, then i guess that puts you into the “safe queen” fudd category. nothing worse than a self-loathing, closeted gun owner.

        • smellslikemichigan,

          Smells like a troll. I’m a shooter. It’s not myself I loathe, it’s you. With friends of the 2A like you, who needs enemies? You are revealing yourself by your own antagonistic comments here that you are very likely the typical narrowly-focused blustering and confrontational open carry activist that we have to keep repairing our image because of. You love a fight and love spotlight and damned the bigger picture, you’re in it for sport. Either that or you are a propaganda operative on the anti-side, but I’ll defer to Hanlon’s Razor for now.

          • antagonistic comments? you compared open carry to homosexual acts in public. my history of pro-gun activism is long and public. what have you done to further gun rights? or do you just sit and take pot-shots at those who actually do?

        • An attempt at deflection. I’m not disparaging carrying guns openly by equating them to sex acts. I’m saying the idea that normalizing guns by carrying rifles in Starbucks or state capitals is not the same as the awareness campaigns which have benefited gay people. The argument was made that “being in your face worked for gay people so it will work for us”. They were not explicitly “in your face” with their awareness campaign with the thing they were fighting for the right to do. They weren’t out in the streets demonstrating homosexual acts. You are explicitly “in your face” with awareness campaign and that’s going to turn people off just as much as if the gay people did it during their campaign.

          As for my personal contributions to the cause, as I have said before, I spend real time and real money getting people who haven’t shot before out to the range for their first experience. I have an active role in my sportsman’s club. My personal goal is get 4 non-gun-owners per month to the range and I’ve been accomplishing this for years. I’m “out” about my pro gun sentiments and am often referenced by people I interact with as “the gun nut that changed their minds about gun nuts” or “made them think about gun rights”. If you want to normalize gun rights, be normal and be an example that attracts people, not one that scares them, pisses them off, or repels them.

  6. Dressed like your neighbor = dangerous and scary
    Dressed like a lunatic with PTSD looking to bust heads = safe cop to snuggle

    I’ll never understand.

  7. I’m the guy on the right in the photo. By Michigan law every male between 17 and 60 is in the militia. And as far as the reasoning for carrying rifles on that particular day? It’s a first amendment expression of our second amendment rights. Holstered handguns go largely unnoticed because they are commonplace in Michigan. It has nothing to do with attention-whoring any more than carrying a sign while protesting. Sad to see so many Fudds on this website.

    • Did you accomplish anything good? That’s the bottom line. And if you call me a Fudd, you’d better be pointing a loaded AR at me.

      • yes. we went and spoke face to face with our state senators and representatives. told them about upcoming legislation and how we expected them to vote. we also got a lot of good press.
        as far as your violent comment, great job giving anti-gun folks all the reason they need to peg gun owners as crazed violent wackos. i didn’t mention you specifically, but you know what they say about throwing a stone into a pack of dogs…

        • You’re on a roll. Is there anyone you *haven’t* argued with on TTAG yet today?
          No more Fudds…and I mean it! (Anybody want a peanut?)

        • It’s exactly an Elmer Fudd reference. covers it pretty well:

          Slang term for a “casual” gun owner; eg; a person who typically only owns guns for hunting or shotgun sports and does not truly believe in the true premise of the second amendment. These people also generally treat owners/users of so called “non sporting” firearms like handguns or semiautomatic rifles with unwarranted scorn or contempt.

          It originated (I think) back when AR’s and the like were first coming on the scene, as a derisive term for the “wood & steel gun” guys who were only so happy to throw the new kids under the bus as long as it meant they could keep “mah daddy’s shootin’ arn.” The echoes are still felt today every time a member of the Civilian Disarmament Movement reassures folks that “we’re not gonna take your huntin’ rifle.”

        • Thanks.

          Ya know, the distinction I’ve seen today is that some of us come to value guns because we value freedom while others value guns for other reasons. I think that might me a more meaningful distinction than tacticool v. fudd.

  8. To address the comments regarding the method of transport of rifles in crowds:
    1. one does not “clip” a rifle to one’s chest. i’m not sure there is a clip large enough
    2. slinging a rifle over your back in a crowd like this (or anywhere) would present a challenge. maintaining control of your weapon and of the trigger is difficult when it’s behind you. it’s also difficult to walk in a crowd with a rifle on your back and not have the muzzle pointing at someone’s head. that’s why the preferred method at our gatherings is in front, muzzle down.

    • Living in the Formerly Free state, I know what you’re trying to say. HOWEVER:

      2a. maintaining control of your weapon and of the trigger is difficult when it’s behind you.

      So what, as long as it’s unloaded and nothing is in the chamber.

      2b. it’s also difficult to walk in a crowd with a rifle on your back and not have the muzzle pointing at someone’s head.

      If you slung it over your back with the muzzle pointed down it’s not an issue at all.

      * And pictures like this “going national” give the likes MDA, MAIG, the Brady Bunch, and the Space Cadet and his Meat Puppet a TON of fodder to frighten the dim with. You may think you don’t look threatening, but you so to someone somewhere.

      Remember, because of the Internet all news is local.

      • where did you get the impression that any of these rifles did not have a round in the chamber? not to mention that the FIRST safety rule is to treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

      • i am not going to change myself or my appearance to try and soothe the irrational fears of others. and no one else should have to do that either. there are people who fear crowds. should we stop gathering so they can feel at ease?

        • “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God” Ben Franklin. Thanks for doing something smellslikemichigan. Don’t let the Monday morning quarterbacks get to you.

        • I’m not suggesting that at all. All I’m saying is that you should stop dressing and acting like you’re trick or treating. First impressions last.

        • Michigan,

          I don’t think anybody here is saying you don’t have the right to gather in an open-carry demonstration. When you do it though, you become the face of gun-owners by default.

          The discord is because these events seem to usually backfire on the open-carry crowd.

          The quote below is from the facilities manager there at the capital:

          “We just worry about damaging the walls, because on the decorative paint, a sign turning the wrong way or even a rifle can gouge the thing,” Benkovsky said. “Until one of the legislators comes up and says let’s make this a weapon-free zone, or they put in some stipulation like you can’t bring long rifles in here but you can wear sidearms, I’ve got to live with it. It’s not a fun thing though. It’s tough.”

          It sounds likes he’s already looking for a reason to not have signs or guns in the place.

          • interesting theory. identify one backfire please. i have yet to see anyone post tangible evidence. michigan’s firearms laws have been consistently improving over the years.

        • I would posit the Starbucks fiasco as the Canary in the coal mine for the open-carry movement.

          Yes, open carry is expanding. I agree with you on that – but if you are literally excluded from carrying in any business, school, or government building, does it become open carry or “open carry where its allowed”?

        • Is Starbucks actually banning open carry from its stores? Or did Starbucks simply make a statement to depoliticize itself and which it isn’t doing anything to enforce? Walk in to a Starbuck while open carrying and I guarantee you’ll get served an no one will mention anything to you. Starbuck’s problem is that some open carry guys foolishly forced the corporation into a political position it never invited. It simply said it would go along with state gun laws, a corporate policy that hasn’t changed.

  9. Half the comments to this article seem to be based around the idea “I’m pro-gun but if people open carry long guns at political rallies, it’s going to result in our rights being taken away.” Really? So where is this happening? It ranks up there with “Open carry will make you to first victim in a robbery.” and “I support concealed carry but people don’t need to carry in schools/churches/bars.”

    I think people become so focused on a specific event or image that they’re inclined to make speculative arguments forgetting we live in a much bigger world where those arguments can be tested with factual evidence.

    • Brady,

      I think a lot of readers here would point to California as an example where they believe open carry led to bans and massive infringements of rights. In the late 1960s I believe the Black Panthers carried long guns into the California Assembly building (or whatever they call their elected representatives). This scared the representatives and started the trend of progressively banning open carry and ultimately guns in general. I imagine the same thing happened in the Northeast states who have draconian gun laws. Thus many readers here will claim that open carry led to widespread bans and that open carry will lead to restrictions on rights.

      Personally, I think California, Hawaii, and the Northeastern states have draconian gun laws because most of the people there want those laws. The fact that those laws violate the U.S. and various state constitutions doesn’t matter to them. Open carry in those states didn’t make average people afraid of guns. They were already afraid. Banning guns in just about any manner possible was an inevitability in those states. The only thing that open carry may have done was speed up the process.

      That being the case, I argue that open carry does not create bans; rather open carry speeds up bans that would have happened sooner or later. I argue that because we all know that civilian disarmament proponents want total disarmament. Banning open carry is just one stepping stone that has to happen on the way to total disarmament.

      • I understand your point and would have to look into the reasons open carry was banned in the 7 states that continue to have bans on the practice. My understanding is that at least four of the 7 implemented their bans in the post-Reconstruction South primarily to keep black men from carrying outside the home. California implemented their ban in the late 1960s in response to radical groups carrying guns in public as a symbol of resistance to the state and law enforcement. That Black Panther protest was in response to that proposed law which the Black Panthers argued was racist. Four of the 7 states with open carry bans are expected to legalize it by the end of next year in response to the increasing popularity of the practice among gun owners.

        I’ll admit that until very recently I opposed open carry. At the March 2013 gun rally we hosted, I asked people not to open carry long guns -which I realize now was a mistake. After considering the issues surrounding open carry for several years, I’ve switched to doing it myself. I feel that open carry has a much stronger deterrent effect on crime than concealed carry and assists with our efforts to open dialogue with people who don’t carry outside the home. Hopefully people who open carry remember to be polite and diplomatic. Like with anything, there are always a few hotheads focused more on their rights than their responsibilities.

  10. “I think people become so focused on a specific event or image…”

    Bingo! Pro- and Anti-, OC and CCW all have their “poster” events, and exploit them to the max. At the risk of starting YAFlameWar, I feel like common ground has slipped away.

    Now we have Pro-s calling other Pro-s “Fudds.” This advances the RKBA how exactly? We keep this up and the MADs and Bloomies have clearly won.

    • There Can Be No Middle Ground in the War Between Tacticool and Fudds! Choose glorious sides or Perish!

      Yeah, You’re right.

      Enjoy your weekends people.

    • I disagree.

      The next time any of us has to argue with an outsider, our skills will have been honed by today’s sparring.

    • It’s illustrative that open carry activists, full of disdain for hunters and shooters, can’t help but to piss off and alienate themselves from these pro-s by being their charming selves, yet think they have the temperament or ability to to win over fence sitters and anti-s. It’s not actually about the rights for them, it’s about feeding their egos.

  11. I like that guy’s sign. True and simple. I think another good sign to carry with that one would say, “Fear of guns ≠ danger”.

  12. Slinging a long gun over the shoulder in certain environments (while perfectly legal) can still have adverse consequences in regards to the goal desired. Smart and effective should be the standard tactic used against the filthy, commie, statist, gun (freedom) grabbers.

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