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Hullabaloo


Friday, May 23, 2014

 
Open Carry Epic Fail

by digby

Well, well, well. I wonder if the open carry yahoos will go along with this. If their online attitude is any clue, they're going to keep doing it. And probably be belligerent about it:
A Texas gun rights group has notified members that they are to "immediately cease" taking shotguns and rifles into private businesses unless invited to do so, backing down from a controversial strategy that has led several large restaurant chains to ask patrons to leave their guns at home.

The organization, Open Carry Texas, is one of many groups nationwide that advocate for the right of gun owners to wear and carry firearms openly in public. Photos from a rally by supporters of the group at a Dallas-area Chipotle restaurant went viral this week, prompting the burrito chain to declare that firearms are unwelcome in its restaurants.

On Friday, The Huffington Post reported that Chili's was also reconsidering its policy after a similar rally at one of its San Antonio restaurants. Video apparently taken by a participant in the rally shows a confrontation with a woman, apparently a patron, who scolds the men for bringing large guns into a restaurant where children are eating.

In the statement, also posted on its Facebook page, Open Carry Texas acknowledged that its tactics, which are intended to encourage broader acceptance of firearms in public, were having the opposite effect. Carrying rifles and shotguns into businesses is the approach that has "gotten the most resistance and suffered the largest setbacks," the group said.
You didn't have to be a genius to realize that a group of people packing heat in public --- any people besides police or military --- are going to make normal people nervous and chase them out of an establishment where these people are gathered. That tends to be bad for business.

On the other hand,there are some lovely open carry folks who have concluded that they're scaring people --- which is really really stupid on the part of the "sheeple", of course, but it's probably unwise to do it:
I’ve been to at least a couple of classes sponsored by Sheriff Ken Campbell of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

I can’t say enough nice things about Sheriff Ken. You won’t find a nicer, more down to earth guy. He’s truly the salt of the earth and every bit as pro-gun as yours truly.

But at the first class, he cautioned us against wearing our “cool guy gear” out in public. “Sure it’s legal,” he said. “But you’re going to cause my guys to respond when someone calls about a guy wearing ‘scary stuff’ where the sheeple are unaccustomed to seeing it. So do me a favor and leave your cool guy stuff in your car, okay?”One day, after training, I was tired. I stepped out of the car at the hotel, sans my rifle, but wearing the rest of my gear including my sidearm as I was absolutely cold, wet and filthy from training in the rain and mud.

An employee was outside smoking a cigarette nearby. He just about gave birth to a modest sized cow when he saw me. He was literally shaking as he held his coffin nail and his eyes were big as saucers.

I gave him a warm and friendly “Hi there. How are you?” as I collected a few things, including my uncased, mud-caked rifle from the car before going inside.

He didn’t say anything and didn’t move, but he watched me very closely and was clearly ready to call the police if I had so much as sneezed. It was then that I recognized exactly what the sheriff was talking about.

Today, I see it as reasonable and prudent not to wear my AR in public unless I’ve got a darn good reason. The same goes for a chest rig, and all of the cool guy stuff Sheriff Ken warned me about.

Pro-gun activism isn’t one of those “darn good reasons” to carry your rifle in public.

It just scares the sheeple. It makes some of them piddle themselves, in fact.

More importantly, it drives them away from our cause.

Make no mistake, while I’m not opposed to making anti-gun pols piddle themselves, soccer moms and dads are another story.

Why alienate people who have a neutral opinion on guns? It doesn’t make sense.

Do people have a "neutral" opinion about yahoos carrying guns around them and around their kids? I kind of doubt it. Does this look responsible to you?


At least the gun's pointed at the ground while he's texting  Although if you're going to carry these things around in public places the least you can do it point them at your own head. Just in case you forget to follow the safety procedures --- like thousands of "responsible gun owners" in this country do  every year.

Unfortunately, stopping this demonstration madness isn't going to solve our problems. Same guy discussing the experience that led him away from Open Carry:
Establishments were serving alcohol and people were drinking and watching some fairly notable performers on stage while in varying degrees of intoxication. It was butt-to-gut and I was carrying my Beretta 92 in an inside the waistband holster.

It was not an enjoyable time for me as there were a lot of intoxicated people. I was very “concerned” that some drunk was going to have a “Hey Billy, hold my beer and watch this!” moment and try to snatch my pistola from its holster to show off to his buddies.

While this never happened, I still chose to walk a few blocks back to the car and put a cover garment on. Discretion being the better part of valor, of course.

Open carry has its place, I suppose. It requires an elevated awareness of your surroundings, especially if you’re not wearing a retention rig which will resist snatching grabs at your sidearm.
Jesus --- imagine what the regular, sober people in that bar felt --- before they got the hell out of there. Here's our man's solution:
Since that time, I’ve generally decided that concealed is the way to go. The peace of mind knowing that others don’t know I’m armed leaves me able to let my guard down half a notch.
Great, we need armed yahoos feeling relaxed and letting down their guard.

I guess the good news is that they can't conceal AR-15s.  That's probably  the best we can hope for.


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