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Open Carry Activism

I support open carry, and support using it as a form of activism, as long as people follow the “don’t be an assclown” rule, which I think most activist tend to follow.   But I do have to say, that if a bunch of people got up an announced to the whole restaurant that they, and everyone at the whole table were all gay, I’d be pretty pissy to have my dinner interrupted over someone’s desire to attract my attention with a big steaming plate of “Don’t give a shit”.   Same goes for gun people:

The patrons at Champps, an upscale restaurant and bar chain, were eating ribs and drinking beer on a recent Saturday when customer Bruce Jackson stood up and made an announcement: He was armed, and so were dozens of other patrons.

The armed customers stood up in unison, showing off holstered pistols and revolvers. Jackson said a word or two about the rights of gun owners to carry firearms in Virginia, then thanked everyone for their attention and sat down.

To me, this violates the “Don’t be an assclown” rule, and we shouldn’t do it.  Just sayin’.  This just makes people think gun carriers are kooks.

16 Responses to “Open Carry Activism”

  1. Bitter says:

    I prefer the term ‘attention whore’ personally. If the point really is to just get people used to it, then just show up and wear the guns. It would be only slightly more subtle if he’d gone around to each table shoving his hip is everyone’s faces. I don’t care what side you are on, don’t interrupt others. That’s just rude.

  2. Laughingdog says:

    I don’t know if they felt that it was a special occasion, or if they do that type of thing frequently up there. But I can say that we steer clear of the “attention whore” tactic at the VCDL dinners we have down in Hampton Roads.

    I actually thought the same thing when I read that. What’s next, a “Second Amendment Pride” march in Northern Virginia?

  3. Sebastian says:

    We do the open carry dinners in Pennsylvania too. In fact, I’m going to have a post about an incident that recently occurred at one as soon as good sources are available. I think it’s not a bad idea, but, yeah… open carry dinners = good idea. attention whoring = bad idea.

  4. Ahab says:

    I’ve eaten at that Champps – for whatever reason, Champps chains are really popular for open carry displays. If you read the VCDL’s archives, there was an issue at a Champps in (I think) Fairfax where a patron called the cops and we ended up with a “man w/a gun” call.

    I generally agree that it’s one thing to open carry and just be chill about it, but to call attention to yourselves is little over-the-top. On the flip side, if it works maybe it is worth it.

  5. Ahab says:

    As an afterthought though, I wouldn’t necessarily rule out a little creative embellishment on the part of the reporter.

  6. Bitter says:

    Considering they were promoting this article in their newsletter, I tend to doubt it.

  7. Sailorcurt says:

    As much as I support VCDL and think the dinners themselves are a good idea, I have to agree with you on this one.

    Not a smooth move.

    VCDL member to patrons: “See, we’re armed. Don’t you feel privileged that we didn’t start shooting the place up?”

    The message is supposed to be that we’re just like everyone else…not that we’re unique or special or deserving of unusual attention.

  8. Boyd says:

    I hadn’t thought about that aspect of it when I first read the VA-ALERT email about it. Now that you mention it, it does seem to be more “in-your-face” than I’d like.

  9. flashman says:

    You have to know Bruce…

  10. Mike w. says:

    I completely agree. Open carry if you want, but it’s totally unnecessary to make a scene and proclaim your armed status for all to hear.

  11. JJR says:

    I guess I support open carry in principle, but even if I could in my state, I think I’d still prefer to stick to concealed carry myself, even if it means the added expense of a permit, etc.

  12. Bitter says:

    I don’t think anyone has “to know Bruce” to appreciate a dinner that’s not interrupted by attention whoring. I’m sure some here do know Bruce and consider him a nice guy. But, I’ll be honest, if Sebastian and I had been out to dinner, I would have immediately turned to him and said, “WTF was that about? First of all, attention whore. Second, why did you feel the need to interrupt my conversation so rudely just to announce you’re doing something that’s perfectly lawful?” If I have that kind of reaction, and I’m on your side, you can rest assured those who aren’t leaning pro-gun probably think much worse.

    I think it’s in the best interest of everyone in the movement to try to avoid the asshattery. And if you do know Bruce, be kind to him and let him know that he’s making a bit of a fool of himself and that some consider it impolite to interrupt your fellow diners. Consider it a matter of being a good friend – and a non-assclown gun owners.

  13. countertop says:

    Couple of points

    First, I understand that the owner pressured him to stand up and say something. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know for sure – thats just what I heard.

    Also, this was the culminating dinner – with full press attention (though really, I was hoping for the Washington Times or Post or something substantial) – with a whole crowd gathered.

    Knowing these two fact, it strikes me that there might be more to this story and that, while certainly within the attention whore column, perhaps not as bad as if it was just another one of the VCDL dinners.

  14. jeff says:

    Chammps is upscale?

  15. There were some factual problems with the article.

    BTW, we have posted some of the video from that dinner on the VCDL.org site. You might want to watch it. It includes Bruce’s statement (that he made with the blessings of management because so many other patrons were curious about what was going on.

    All in all, everyone had a good time and the video will be useful come next legislative season.

  16. Sebastian says:

    Thank you for the clarification. I will post an update.

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