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the ‘in your face’ approach

Clayton Cramer isn’t a fan of a lot of open carry activism:

Open carry in an urban setting, when you have some realistic alternative available (such as concealed carry), is rather like a homosexual “kiss-in.” The supporters are convinced that doing so makes Americans more tolerant and open-minded to the subject. I’m convinced that for every person who gets used to it, there are two who are repelled.

I don’t think it’s an effective way of getting converts. That doesn’t mean that I oppose open carry. But if you’re open carrying trying to get people to turn pro-gun, it’s probably not a good marketing technique.

11 Responses to “the ‘in your face’ approach”

  1. Weer'd Beard Says:

    I think the best way to get this across is to have people open carry when they personally want to. No group games or such things. If it’s 120 degrees out, and you don’t want to wear a cover garment, open carry when you take your kids to the zoo. But don’t do it expressly to draw attention to yourself.

    A proper analogy is swing by Logan Airport and watch arrivals and departures. You’ll see plenty of same-sex kissing. Usually nothing over-the-top, it’s just two loved ones greeting and saying goodbye. Heck you’ll probably see a few of them wearing wedding bands.

    The trick is not to allow yourself to be pegged as “Different”. People don’t gather in a public place just to make out. People don’t gather together and march down the street. People don’t gather together in huge rafts of open carry.

    If you do these things you can easily be dismissed as “not normal”.

    Nothing does more good for the cause when somebody like my wife (hardly a gun nut, or an ultra-conservative) mentions she carries.

    Their eyes open. I talk about guns all the time, so when people learn I carry they aren’t surprised. I’m a gun nut, of course I carry.

    Meanwhile my wife is just a “Normal person”….woah! Eyes open!

  2. Chas Says:

    Markie Marxist sez: “Clayton Cramer, who is usually wrong about everything, gets this correct. We only want people getting used to our Marxist/warrior/hero/government agents carrying openly. Private gun owners carrying openly is highly offensive to our Marxist totalitarian sensibilities! Private gun owners should never be allowed to carry openly, or people might get the idea that private gun ownership is normal and natural. How’s that supposed to help advance our Marxist gun ban agenda? Private gun owners should be forced to carry concealed until we can ban their guns. It’s just common communist sense.”

  3. Chas Says:

    How come it’s not like a “homosexual ‘kiss-in'” when government agents carry openly? Somebody needs to recalibrate his sensibilities.

  4. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    I wouldn’t expect this to convert anti-gunners to pro-gunners. On the other hand even non-gunners can be very supportive when they’re made aware of it. It’s also a very important political fight in states with may-issue ccw laws, but protected or unregulated open carry.

  5. Mikee Says:

    In-your-face open carry is exactly like the homosexual “kiss-in” actions, in that it demonstrates to a large number of the uninformed public that the activity is legal, and not a threat to the public.

    The press and anti-gun bigots will of course try to demonize the activity of open carry. They will also try to demonize concealed carry, and firearms outside the home, and firearms in the home, and firearms produced domestically and firearms produced in other countries, and guns that are so small they are dangerous and should be banned and guns that are so big they are dangerous and should be banned and guns that shoot only one bullet at a time but hold many in a magazine, and guns that shoot a lot of pellets from one shotshell and therefore are murderous and so on ad infinitum. Screw them and their illogical, non-factual arguments.

    Let the public be conditioned to safe, legal open carry of firearms by any and all means possible. I am now OK with homosexual couples in public, especially if they are not painted fluorescent orange and nude on a parade float. Perhaps in 20 years everyone in the country will be unperturbed by a passenger on a subway openly carrying a 1911, especially because she is a normal human being and not an Islamic terrorist shooting up the train.

  6. The Packetman Says:

    You know, this subject really does interest me, not so much because I disagree with Mr Cramer, but because I may come to the open carry situation honest.

    I have multiple sclerosis, and a carry permit. I currently carry a Hi-power in a Smartcarry holster, which is deep concealment. Because of one of my physical deficiencies, it is not the best solution, but it’s what I do now.

    But open carry would be ideal for me, because I would have few worries about weapon presentation.

    But Cramer says I shouldn’t because I might scare somebody. To me, that’s a pretty shitty pinch to be put in: defend myself effectively ….. or not scare anyone.

    And to think, there are gunnies arguing against me.

  7. Sean Sorrentino Says:

    Packetman, screw them. no one will even notice. you do what you need to do to keep yourself safe. get in touch with OpenCarry.org and get someone to teach you the ins and outs of OC in your area. once you do it a while, you’ll learn that almost no one notices, and fewer even care.

    as for the “Kiss In” crap. it’s one thing to hold a kiss in on public property. it’s quite another to interrupt a church service. basically that same thing applies to guns. don’t interrupt people in the course of their day by being a jerk. there are many ways to be a jerk. interrupting the pastor by waving a gun or your private parts is certainly being a jerk. sitting respectfully next to your gay partner while OCing is not.

  8. Shootin' Buddy Says:

    And what is wrong with emulating the tactics of the homosexuals? Just look, a tiny percentage of the population (2 to 3%) is now making policy and setting the cultural standard for the entire country.

    The entire homosexual population is now reaping the benefits of those who held kiss ins, marched in gay pride parades, or just walked up and down Castro Street. These pioneers made “being gay” more inside the cultural norm.

    We’re here! We’re armed! You better get used to it!

  9. Linoge Says:

    Let the public be conditioned to safe, legal open carry of firearms by any and all means possible.

    And Mikee beat me to it – once my holster gets here (must be nice, to work for the USPS, and take all manner of days off), I will start occasionally open-carrying, not because it is more convenient, and not because I have to, but rather because I firmly believe in leading by example. The more law-abiding, responsible, average, every-day citizens that other citizens see walking around, doing their daily business while just happening to carry a firearm, the less they will care about it.

    Yeah, there will be the occasional nutcase who will be driven further over the edge by the sight of a safe, holstered firearm… but… honestly, I do not care. They are already too far lost to be useful to us anywise, so what is the difference?

  10. georgeh Says:

    Open carry is something to be eased onto the stage so that anti-gunners can’t use it as a rallying point for panic.
    Most of the cities in the Southwest have a western or pioneer days when everyone dresses like a cowboy/’49er/sodbuster. Houston, for instance, has a “Go Texan” day on the opening day of the rodeo. Everyone dresses in their SASS or whatever costumes, and then sticks the kids toy six shooters in their holsters and conceals their real piece under their clothes. People are used to seeing guns in the open on those days, even if not real ones. Everyone has to know how silly and hypocritical that is. Let’s try pushing open carry on those occasions and then spreading gradually to take in the rest of the calendar.

  11. Shrimp Says:

    I don’t understand how gunnies can fight over such a simple subject with such animosity towards their brethren. We’re all gunnies, we all like guns. But we’re gonna fight over the RIGHT WAY to carry them. The anti-gunners must be laughing themselves silly.

    I don’t care how someone chooses to carry, openly or concealed, so long as it is legal–just carry!