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“There is conflict within our ranks. Some feel the real in-your-face open-carry protests are detrimental because they scare middle-ground people.” – The Firearms Coalition’s Jeff Knox in New Push in State to Carry Guns Openly [at]

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  1. No one likes in-your-face activists and protestors. It’s like trying to win an argument by shouting loudest.

    • In all fairness, though, how many OC “activists” are “in your face” and loud at all? Seems like most of the stories are folks walking down the street or something like that and not bothering anybody, THEY get confronted; if they sought confrontation in a way, they are not USUALLY doing much of anything at all besides open carrying.

      The Starbucks thing may have been on the ‘obnoxious’ side, but I believe that was an aberration, not the norm. And, a lot of folks in the pro-gun ranks were/are critical of that particular ‘event.’

      • JR, very true, and for some people, ANY expression of the RKBA is “too scary,” But perception is reality. Black Americans in the 1950s and 1960s had the moral high ground, but most whites didn’t see it that way. If they saw black fists in the air, fear overcame what problems they may have had with Jim Crow. OC is our right, no question (see my comment below), and if it’s the only way to carry in a state, then I say do it. And in organized events, I love it — it shows you can have a peaceful gathering of angry, armed citizens while subtly sending a message to those in power. But just carrying on the street to provoke reactions — let’s just say I don’t care to be the Andres Serrano of the Second Amendment. He worked only for his own glory. Meanwhile other artists suffered on his account. We should think of whether our actions are not only legal but useful.

        • “But just carrying on the street to provoke reactions ”

          I guess my issue with this is how do we separate “carrying on the street to provoke reactions” from just plain jane “carrying on the street.”

          Sometimes it’s clear; others less so. I can see the point of trying to “normalize” it so it’s ALL good…but no doubt attitude can win (or lose) a lot of points in the fight for mindshare.

      • Do a search for ad blocker add-on programs for your browser. Never seen one on here so mine must be working. It will “target” those pesky ads just not on here but most “sights” Tried to be humorous using firearm terms 😉 Only once I think my shirt came up to expose my IWB holstered pistol, a short woman standing on my right had asked if I could get a bottle of hot sauce from a top shelf she could not reach. Without thinking I lifted my arm and shirt exposed my pistol, I handed her the bottle and she thanked me quickly and almost ran off. I realized my shirt was not pulled down over the IWB holster/pistol, she must have noticed it and freaked out. Sad part was I was half expecting to see a manager trot up to me before I was done shopping. Nobody likes an in your face action, there are better ways to convince the other party they are incorrect in their way of thinking. Maybe like a National OPEN CARRY day, where it’s not just one person but shows the non gun owners how many around them own a firearm. They always here about that one person without realizing how many own firearms and never are subject of a news report.

      • Google “Abine Donottrackme” and install it on your box. Works great for sites like this that have tons of tracking sites like google, WordPress Stats, Zedo, Comscore Beacon, Adzerk, New Relic and other tracking software.

      • I’ve NEVER experienced a pop-up at TTAG. Can someone please tell me what I’m doing right?

    • Agree with you, but…

      Quiet, matter of fact open carry, while sacrificing some tactical advantage, helps to normalize guns.

      I grew up in an era when as a ten year old kid, I would walk through town with my .22 rifle thrown over my shoulder on my way to the country for a little plinking or hunting, and not raise an eyebrow. And I could exercise that freedom because no one looked upon guns as anything but a tool. Like an axe or a chainsaw.People did not find a gun scary until you started to use it in a scary manner.

      Until we can return to that attitude in a majority of the population, we will continue to suffer restrictions on our Second Amendment rights. And perhaps when people become accustomed to seeing an armed citizen walk by and miraculously, no violence ensues, we might move a bit more in that direction.

      Most of us agree that the fastest way to change an anti-gun attitude is a trip to the range. Bunch of guns being fired responsibly, and NOBODY DIES. Hey, maybe guns DON’T instantly cause murder and mayhem. Open carry, while not as effect as a range day, IMHO can encourage a similar paradigm shift in the general population.

    • I trot out this example all the time. We used to ride into town on our horses on a fairly regular basis. Go get ice cream, hang out in the park, etc. Just to do it.

      Fast forward a few years and we haven’t done it for a while. Next time we go what happens?

      Stopped by police, advised that we’re not welcome, horse poop not welcome, too dangerous, suggest using a car next time, etc etc.

      Note: It’s Not Illegal.

      A right that is not exercised is a right that is lost.

      • That doesn’t sound like “real in-your-face open-carry”. It sounds like just regular non-eventful open carry…not what the quote is talking about.

  2. Surprised nobody’s head has exploded . . . a pit bull AND a gun?! How is anyone still alive?!


  3. Never felt the need for a backup gun…till right now!

    That is just an awesome set up, Gots to get me one of those. An armed body guard where ever you go.

    (Just as soon as Illinois passes open carry. Don’t laugh. It could happen. Hell already froze over once – when I actually got my CCL.)

  4. Every American has the right to open carry — it’s the most basic, logical expression of the RKBA. Everyone also has the right to shout profanities at those with whom they disagree. So what is it about? Persuasion or domination? Real, lasting change or an apparent, but temporal victory?

  5. Yes a demonstration like that does scare the sheeple. However, dresed in business cloths and open carrying a sidearm (pistol) on your side scares them a lot less. Walking down the street with an AR or AK or even a shotgun no matter how you are dressed just doesn’t look good for the movement, and is a very bad idea.

    • A man with an ax chopping up fallen trees in the park raises no alarm. That same man walking through a crowded mall carrying his ax will get some immediate attention fro law enforcement.

      It’s all about the right tool in the right place. Carrying long arms where there is no obvious reason to have such a tool with you, while in many cases not (unconstitutionally) illegal, causes a lot of people to wonder what exactly you intend to do with that tool.

      A pistol in a holster, or a hammer in a tool belt sling, on the other hand…

  6. Everybody – even the “pro 2A” organizations are so off base on this…

    First we need to ask ourselves how we got to this point in the first place. Realize that in our history everyone walked around openly armed. There were swords and clubs, muskets, and then later, revolvers, shotguns and lever actions. To be openly unarmed made you a target.

    Then the myth of the “Wild West” was created and everyone was brainwashed into thinking that there were Clint Eastwood style showdowns every day in Dodge City at high noon with two people trying to blow each other away. And there were train and bank bandits everywhere…

    Concealed Carry is a sham. It should be merely a preference and the government should be completely out of the equation. If a private business says “no guns” then that’s their right and everyone else would have the right to either do or not do business there.

    There’s nothing scary about someone with a pistol on their hip or an AR over their shoulder.

    • +1

      Concealed carry is for criminals or those who have a legitimate reason to be covert. However, if you want to open carry you need to set a good example and that means dressing like adult. A well dressed person, by which I mean for the community that you are in, of either sex walking down the street going about their business creates the environment where guns are normalized.

      • I’m not a criminal and I have my own personal reasons for generally preferring concealed (not sure if they would pass muster with your definition of legitimate), but I like having the CHOICE.

        My ideal social environment on the issue of bearing arms is that we should be at a state where we just assume everyone is carrying whether we see it or not.

        • I mostly carry concealed even though I don’t have to because of the environement I live in. My point is that we live in a society where open carrying, even where legal, is not usual or customary. Becasue of this we are forced to carry in what is historically a non traditional way for the law abiding citizen.

      • I agree. I believe slinging an AR while you go about your rounds does more harm than good since modern rifles have gained an evil reputation. However going out with an owb holster and an unbuttoned flannel shirt so that your pistol is still visible when you go for your wallet or answer your phone does more to normalize civilian guns in public.

      • I’m a Concealed Carry advocate. Keep the bad guys guessing.

        But open carry does normalize guns IMO. A great way to educate Joe and Jane Voter.

        How do you treat a phobia (an unreasonable, irrational fear)? By desensitization. A process of escalating exposure to the object of your fear until your fear is reduced to a rational level. Yes, a fall from a great height, an Australian Funnel Spider, and a felon with a firearm can all kill you. But neither a stepladder, a Grandaddy Longlegs, nor an armed citizen should be objects of terror and panic.

        Open carry = desensitization.

    • “There’s nothing scary about someone with a pistol on their hip or an AR over their shoulder.”

      And yet here on this very site’s comment section a few weeks ago, folks went nuts over a photo of a guy OC-ing while going door-to-door in a pre-announced gun rights campaign.

      The pistol was holstered and people here said, “I’d NEVER open my door to a person with a gun.”

      So even among the AI, guns are not “normal.” I’m still trying to get my head around that phenomenon.

      • I think what that thread showed is that there are at least two sides to every discussion. Really nothing more than human nature.

    • I think something that may be missed in the historical context of open carry is that if you are seen to be carrying a particular tool in public and a situation comes up where that tool would be necessary, people are going to expect you to take that tool and get the job done.

      In times and places where men (mostly) openly carried weapons it was understood that such a tool was commonly necessary and should the need arise their neighbors could look to them to use that weapon/tool to take care of business.

      Gradually people became accustomed to the illusion that their hired servant LEOs could fulfill that function, along with the increased legal hazards of using potentially deadly force to solve problems due to lawsuits and/or over zealous prosecutors. Since it became very dangerous to you, personally, to use your tool, and people expected law enforcement to do the job anyway, more and more people either stopped carrying or took to concealing their pistols in order to leave the choice of use/no use to themselves, not to public pressure.

      It must be noted that the authorities who made their livings as law enforcement and prosecutors (and legislators) had a vested interest in causing this sea change so that their authority and their jobs would not be challenged.


  7. “Some feel the real in-your-face open-carry protests are detrimental because they scare middle-ground people.”

    Unfortunately, as we saw in California, that’s exactly what openly carrying firearms will do in a population which favors disarmament. The tactic is akin to treating a gunshot wound with a band-aid ; if you try to impose a policy against the prevailing cultural will of the locals, said policy will be overthrown or ignored. A good example is the Sears Tower/”Willis Tower” event- Chicagoans still call it the Sears Tower today, despite the name being officially different and Sears not having occupied it for decades.

    In urban Califorina,the locals , for whatever reasons, think guns should be kept in a safe , and preferably behind a solid lock. Any exception to that is cause for public concern, including when LEOs drop a bad guy in the ghetto. Until that cultural tradition is changed from within, any attempt to force the RKBA on folks will fail.

    The anti’s didn’t convert the place by starting with bans. They did it by making guns a social stigma, after which the laws soon followed. We must do the same in order to permanently undo the damage.

    • (Unloaded) open carry in CA led to a ban on unloaded open carry in CA. Which was a good thing because in the Peruta case decision the 9th circuit panel could say that with open carry banned, and with concealed carry may issue, there’s a ban on any carry for most adults. Whereas before, the State could point to some sort open carry being technically legal.

      So, CA is, at the moment, the last example of open carry activism being a bad idea.

  8. i think those few cats who do it legally and courteously are doing the world a service. while the other side parades tragic high profile murders to “demonize” guns, we have our guys who carry guns openly, every day, and somehow manage to NEVER MURDER ANYONE, and i think that “normalizes” them. to those of you guys out there doing it right, i say thanks, God bless you, and carry on.

  9. Huh right to keep and bare arms->right to arm bears->right to keep armed dogs-> I’d hate to be the vet who tries to neuter that dog

  10. +1000 BruceB. Normalized concealed carry. Personally if I see someone open carrying I assume they’re a cop or a guard. Illinois might freeze over.

    • +1

      I bet back in the day seeing black folks where they did not belong scared a lot of middle-ground people as well.

  11. Are there really these swamming masses of middle ground people out there on this particular issue?

    I hear them referenced, but I never actually meet any of them. If you’re scared by the mere of sight guns then I submitted you’re not in the middle, you’re decidedly to one side.

    Its like saying, “Frank is undecided about spiders, but the sight of spiders frightens Frank.”

    There are people that can be persuaded to change their minds to change their minds, but that doesn’t mean an opinion wasn’t there.

  12. I will sling my Remington 700, holster my Remington R51, put on my Chinese sneakers and my Malaysian 100% cotton Camoflage Pattern khakis, and head to the Starbucks to convince others that OC is OK.

  13. Seeing it every day and everywhere is the only way they’ll get used to it. Are they afraid of armed police officers?

  14. I hate that scaring morons is even a thing. It means the morons have too much power. Whether it’s arresting negroes for sitting at the wrong lunch counter, burning women for witchcraft or tattooing HIV positive people we all spend far too much time and energy carefully tip-toeing around the asylum lest we upset the patients.

    Why do lunatics, psychos and the habitually dependent have all the power in the “freest” nation on earth?

    Shhhhh…… Use your inside voice. Don’t want to wake the paranoid idiot who runs all of our lives.

  15. Its the exercising of the right that keeps the right relevant….any right.

    Regardless of how uncomfortable a certain person/group/method exercises that right, its still their right. It’s not about how your feel….these are people rights.

    There are a lot of hypocrites here. If you have anything to say negative about someone exercising their rights, legally and lawfully it should always be positive. All rights.

    If your gut reaction is to post something negative, then I suggest you do some self examination. It is you who is the problem in fight for the preservation of freedom.

  16. So I’ve never read any of the Harry potter books or seen the movies, is this a bad thing?

    • Not bad, per se, but you may be missing out – they were quite entertaining and although the “Good Guys” were morally opposed to using deadly force every single one of them went armed with their magic wands at all times for the defense of themselves and others (even Muggles) against evil. Kind of like if we all carried Tasers or Bear Spray even when we know the criminals have .45 1911’s.

      I was annoyed by the non-lethal force rule, even when faced with opponents who were purely evil and had no such limitation, but I resolved it as a “British” thing.

      Oh, and the fact that the good wizards formed a militia to fight evil when the authorities either could not or were corrupted, is an interesting plot line.

  17. This is great! Next time I have to talk with an animal rights protester I’ll ask what their position is on an animals right to open carry. My dog has big paws, therefore I will keep her tripper pull weight at 5 pounds. Since my dog hates cats, when she sees a cat she gets very verbal (barking), Would this now be a hate crime if she was armed? Hilarious!

  18. I live in an open carry State, that is also a shall issue cpl State. I support peoples’ right to carry openly, but I can’t see myself ever doing so, unless I’m hiking or in some other out of the way place.

    I carry a gun to protect my and my family’s safety, not to make any sort of statement. I see zero benefit to letting anyone outside of my family know if I have a pistol on me.

    If bringing people that are truly in the “middle ground” on the gun issue to be more comfortable with firearms is the goal, inviting them to come out and shoot is a much more effective means than open carrying. I’ve even had friends and acquaintances that were firmly in the “we have to ban the evil assault rifles for the kids” camp come out and learn that not only aren’t gun owners evil, but that shooting these very firearms can be an enjoyable experience. I just offer an invititation…I keep politics out of it, give a safety lesson and explain the function of the gun, and spend the afternoon watching someone that had only days earlier tell me how the very rifle they were now shooting “sprayed bullets” and “was only good for war”, smiling everytime they hit the target.

    To me, for someone that wasn’t exposed to shooting, outside of movies and news reports, seeing a stranger with a firearm in public may not be comforting, let alone something that will illicit a positive response. (It might from someone that is genuinely curious, and familiar with the law), but take that same person and get them exposed to firearms in a safe, non confrontational, low stress environment, even if it’s just plinking with a .22, will do much good.

    Not everyone I’ve taken shooting has rushed out and made a hobby out of marksmanship, but everyone has said that it was “a lot different than they’d thought it would be.”

    Think about it, I’m guessing that most everyone hear was exposed to shooting at a relatively young age, and guns weren’t a taboo subject. I started shooting at 8 or so. Not everyone had that experience. A lot of people that didn’t might have differing political beliefs than myself for any number of reasons….arguing for gun rights in an in your face manner, like any political topic isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, but letting them have a positive hands on experience might make them rethink their position.

  19. I do not get it. I work night shift in a small truck-stop where customers OC nightly. Personally I open carry on occasion and in Bowling Green, KY have never been confronted by citizens or LEOs. It is the familiarity in the community that defuses the fear of firearms. OC is a tactical disadvantage but aids in ending irrational fear of firearms.

    • That’s because in Kentucky, even the doctors and lawyers at least grew up around guns.

      That institutional knowledge does not exist in places like Los Angeles. The only time residents of that place are exposed to firearms is when Something Bad Is Happening.

      So what happens when one Tuesday they see a guy casually walking about with a gun? They assume Something Bad is Happening, and phone the constable accordingly.

  20. I agree with Jeff Knox. You gun nuts should just STFU, do what you’re told and take what the government, in its infinite brilliance, gives you out of the goodness of its heart.

    If you must exercise your so-called 1st Amendment rights, do so quietly among yourselves. Yes, I said 1st Amendment rights, such as the right to peaceably assemble, with signs, guns or whatever else you can legally carry.

    • That is not what Jeff Knox said. The clipped quote from him is accurate, but it gives that impression. If you read it carefully, he simply states that there is divided opinion on the subject. The quote does not say which side he is on.

  21. My pup couldn’t carry that weapon, so I carry it for my pooch, hee, hee. P.s. mine looks bigger! Be safe out there.

  22. How old is the dog in this picture? Doesn’t he need to be 21 to open carry a handgun? What is that in dog years?

  23. Open carry is important for political protests and in operation of militias – such as thoses formed at the bundy ranch.

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