Defense Open Carriers – Stop “Defending My Rights” David Reeder July 24, 2014 Join the Conversation That's what one author out of Texas (whom I can attest is pro-gun and pro-2A) said recently. He is expressing his dismay at the overt and seemingly intentionally adversarial stance “open carriers” take towards demonstrating their rights. Sometimes it's as innocuous (a relative term) as visiting a restaurant. Other times it's as overt as trolling and challenging responding LEOs, who are often put in an unenviable position. There are many arguments pro and con to open carry. The primary question doesn't seem to be whether it's a right to do so; rather it appears to be a question of presentation (a civil, decorous discourse by open carriers with handguns holstered in plain view) vs. what many to see as unnecessarily aggressive and counter-productive attention seeking (as in a mob of open carriers carting rifles around the patio of a coffee shop like they're just about to go hunting Muj outside the wire). The primary concern as many see it (and I'm intentionally not addressing practical/tactical concerns here) comes down to this: is the juice worth the squeeze? Because, you know, carrying your weapon at the port arms, the low ready or slung muzzle down across your chest will almost certainly make ordering your taco a much more pleasant experience – and is only marginally less threatening than walking up the counter with your handgun out of the holster at your side. “At last count several large corporations including Starbucks, Sonic, Chipotle and now Target have at least asked OCers to stop open carrying at their businesses. I’d guess they did this because OCers were driving customers away. The businesses’ request, of course, drove some pro-2A people nuts. These businesses have all been accused of being “anti-gun”. In reality, they just want to sell stuff. On their private property. You know, in accordance with their right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Hernandez I've expressed my opinion before. I think there's a time and a place for open carry (particularly if there's no other option). I think much of what we're seeing on the news and social media is unnecessary foolery (feel free to substitute a different f word ending in -ery there) that does no one any good whatsoever.I'll be accused of being anti-Second Amendment and elitist and worst, but that's bullshit. I'm not against OC. I'm against OC if you're going to act like a dumbass, and I'll be much more biased if you're dragging a rifle around vs. carrying a holstered handgun. I'm not afraid of something like the “misunderstanding” in Valdosta GA becoming commonplace. I'm not denying it is a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I certainly don't think all those guns are going to leap off of shoulders or hurl themselves free of holsters and start randomly slaughtering people (even if they're ghost guns loaded with high capacity assault massacre magazines and vorpal bayonet lugs). I just think if you are pro-gun and look like/act like a dumbass, then you make all of us who are pro-gun look like dumbasses and cause more harm than good. To clarify – not everyone who open carries is foolish or represents the gun community poorly. Unfortunately they are not the ones who garner the most attention or turn otherwise neutral restauranteurs against us – and that's probably not an accident. I trust OCers like Doug Holloway, Rick Ector and John Pierce not to walk up to the counter with a pistol in the SUL position or temple indexed while ordering a latte. Unfortunately they and the many other reasonable open carriers are not the ones who repeatedly capture the spotlight. There may also be a philosophical difference between handgun open carriers and rifle open carriers, I don't know. But now I've gone off on a tangent. I'll direct you now to Chris Hernandez, who is far more eloquent than I. In the interests of full disclosure I will admit to being friends with this writer and to being a fan of his books. Though he and I frequently disagree on things, I have always found him to present challenging, cogent arguments. I urge you to read his article before suffering from pants-wetting, brain-bursting apoplexy. “…let’s say I’m in Home Depot. I carry a concealed pistol every day. I’m with my wife and kids looking at appliances. We turn the corner to another aisle. And I see this guy, carrying an AK with his hand on the grip and finger just outside the trigger guard. Photo credit nationalmemo.com I now have a decision to make. Is this an open carrier demonstrating in support of a right, that we already have, by walking around Home Depot completely oblivious to the fact that he’s carrying his weapon ready for action? Or is it an aspiring active shooter who just ditched his trenchcoat to expose his weapon? Might I be forgiven for not realizing that he (supposedly) doesn’t intend to appear threatening, and that he’s just clueless? Many of us pro-2A people carry a gun just in case we run into some murderous nutcase wandering around a business with an AK ready to open fire. Then we encounter “gun rights activists” wandering around businesses carrying AKs ready to open fire. But the gun rights activists are supposedly on our side. And we’re supposed to be able to quickly tell the difference between the two.” Hernandez You can read the article in its entirety here on the Chris Hernandez Author blog. #CCW #opencarry #gunsense #nra #2A #concealedcarry For more, read Handgun Open Carry; just because you can doesn't mean you should and Handgun Open Carry; open carriers respond. Note also that theHossUSMC addressed this topic just a couple of days ago. He is one who will vehemently disagree with me, but he does articulate some good points. I don't agree with them, but that's the whole point of a debate isn't it? If you're interested in what Ian has to say, check out Are You Helping or Hurting the Second Amendment. About Chris Hernandez: Chris a Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran with deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a veteran Texas police officer of nearly two decades and a former member of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the the author of The Military Within the Military, White Flags & Dropped Rifles – the Real Truth About Working With the French Army as well as the modern military fiction novels Line in the Valley and Proof of Our Resolve. He writes on his own blog, Iron Mike Magazine, Kit Up!, Breach Bang Clear, Under the Radar and other places. You can find his author page here on Tactical 16. 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