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Very Balanced Article on Open Carry

This New York Times article I think covers the issue very well. This reporter took time to understand the issue, and I appreciate that. NRA I expect will never say anything to disparage open carry. It’s a bad idea for the main gun rights group to do such a thing, but Alan Gottlieb of SAF is starting to speak publicly about it:

“I’m all for open-carry laws,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights advocacy organization in Washington State. “But I don’t think flaunting it is very productive for our cause. It just scares people.”

Bob Barr is also advising we exercise caution:

Whether Starbucks will succumb to the mounting pressure by anti-gun groups such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and alter its tolerant policy, remains to be seen.  For their part, however, firearms advocates might be better advised not to press the issue publicly by pointedly visiting Starbucks establishments with firearms openly displayed.  Sometimes quiet advocacy speaks louder than waving a red flag in someone’s face.

I agree it’s probably now time to help Starbucks get past this issue by not open carrying in their establishment in order to make a point. At least not in areas where open carry isn’t common (if you want to open carry in the Starbucks in Sierra Vista, AZ, near Tombstone, knock yourself out, you probably won’t be alone) or accepted. In addition to fearing Starbucks might reverse, I’m worried about having to fight this same battle over and over again with other establishments. Even if they don’t cave to the Brady Campaign, so far they have 28,000 new names they can try to fundraise off of. They win even if they lose, just by being able to make it an issue.

26 Responses to “Very Balanced Article on Open Carry”

  1. David Adams says:

    I agree with Barr. Sometimes we make our point a lot more effectively when we aren’t waving it in someone’s face. Starbucks has made a wise decision to abide by local laws but the more we try to prove our point, they may find the publicity is not worth it. We can best support their current business decision by patronizing their establishment (if one really want’s to buy overpriced coffee) and encourage other gun owners to do the same. For me, concealed carry is just as effective when it comes to protecting my family and I don’t have to be concerned if someone is put off by my having a firearm.

  2. dusty says:

    If you live in a state that allows open carry but not concealed carry, make yourself a T-shirt that says “99% of criminals carry concealed” while not carrying. The anti-freedom protestors will assume the worst about you.

    If you live in a state that allows open carry an concealed carry, go to Starbucks in your roughneck good ole boy work clothes. The anti-freedom protestors will assume the worst about you.

  3. ctdonath says:

    ““But I don’t think flaunting it is very productive”

    Well yeah, FLAUNTING _any_ act for political gain is rarely productive.

    OC should be unstated. Just do it, politely, discretely.

    This seems a mental disconnect for the “no open carry” crowd: the assumption that doing so will be done in an in-your-face manner – which belies pretty much the same mindset as the “antis”. I’m increasingly of the opinion that the split over open/concealed corresponds to high-regulation areas vs. low, with those used to regulation and active discouragement/prohibition of open carry becoming opposed to the practice, while those living where OC is no big deal see OC as, indeed, no big deal. Gottlieb lives where OC is socially (if not legally) discouraged, so he opposes OC out of habit; I’ve OCed in AZ with nary a startled glance from others.

  4. Sebastian says:

    I’m increasingly of the opinion that the split over open/concealed corresponds to high-regulation areas vs. low, with those used to regulation and active discouragement/prohibition of open carry becoming opposed to the practice, while those living where OC is no big deal see OC as, indeed, no big deal. Gottlieb lives where OC is socially (if not legally) discouraged, so he opposes OC out of habit; I’ve OCed in AZ with nary a startled glance from others.

    There’s a lot of truth to that.

  5. B Woodman says:

    NYT?? Write a balanced article??
    Catch me, I think I’m going to faint. . . . . .

  6. Mocha says:

    And how is Starbucks to know that you support their open carry policy if you patronize them with your gun concealed?
    Logical disconnect here.
    Also, I find it hard to believe that Gottlieb used the word “flaunting.”
    If he did–shame on him!

    • Bitter says:

      There are ways to communicate that don’t involve guns. Shocker, I know.

      • Bitter says:

        Email. Phone. Letters. Polite Conversation. Scanned images of a receipt.

        It’s almost as if people figured out to how communicate and organize without using visible guns before now.

  7. Mocha says:

    Go ahead, name some that are relevant/effective in this situation.

  8. ctdonath says:

    There’s also just buying a latte while OCing. Gets the point across that doing it is no big deal precisely by doing it and not making a big deal about it.

    Recently talked to an aging co-worker about his experience growing up with full-bore racism in the “Jim Crow” South. Whole controversial issue came to an abrupt end when kids started growing up with each other sans discrimination: when they learned color was no big deal, it was no big deal. The bigotry wasn’t eliminated by “communications by other means”, it was eliminated by people just eliminating it.

    “Communicating” by oblique means just perpetuates it because it keeps being brought into stark focus in order to communicate about it.
    “Just do it” works by demonstrating that the bigotry is baseless, desensitizing those who really don’t care about it anyway, and leaving the hysteria to the ever-more-marginalized hysterical.

  9. Sebastian says:

    ctdonath:

    I am more in favor of that kind of carrying than doing it just to make a point. But even that can backfire depending on the surrounding culture. In Arizona, no big deal. New Mexico, no big deal. Probably wouldn’t be in many parts of Texas either, if they allowed open carry. But do it in Seattle, the Bay Area, or around where I live, you’re going to probably accomplish the opposite of what you intend. The people in those cultures aren’t to the point where they are even ready to consider that level of acceptance. If they think the right to bear means open carry, they’ll reject the idea outright.

  10. Rwilson452 says:

    It seems to me the best way to beat the Brady bunch is to patronize Starbucks and let them know why. Money talks. It’s about the bottom line.

    I would but the nearest Starbucks is an hour away in that state to the north of PA. As you all know carry there for an out of state person is a no-no.

    Maybe someday that will change.

  11. Mocha says:

    S.
    If you think that “if they think the right to bear means open carry, they’ll reject the idea outright,” then you misread the current political situation, at least in Pa. where you live.
    Snowflakes’ chance in hell is the term that comes to mind…

  12. Sebastian says:

    I’ve yet to see anyone open carry in Southeast, PA. It’s not common. People aren’t really aware of it. Even gun owners are not aware it’s legal, as I had several club members this weekend express surprise the practice was legal without an LTC.

    I don’t think the local reaction here to what’s going on in the Bay Area would be all that different if it were happening here. I have no doubt folks can open carry here and not get too many bad reactions. Most people tend to assume someone open carrying a gun is someone who’s allowed to do it for some reason (either being a cop, security guard, etc). But I think I’m pretty confident Philadelphians aren’t any more tolerant of this than most other people living in a large urban area.

  13. Mocha says:

    ctdonath nails it.

  14. Mocha says:

    Ignorant Philadelphians may not be more tolerant of open carry, just as they are ignorantly intolerant of all gun rights, but even trying as hard as they could, and for years on end, they have not been able to restrict our gun rights.
    You worry too much. The closest they ever came was back in the time of Bob Casey and it has been all downhill for them since them.

  15. Sebastian says:

    And they came awful close back then, and we had to accept a great expansion of state gun laws in order to get an assault weapons ban off the table. There are still people out there sore about Act 17.

    We have a lot of retirements this election cycle. A lot of A+ and A rated retirements. Some of those seats have been Democratic for years, and their replacements are, in some cases, MAIG mayors. Don’t ever believe PA is safely pro-gun. It’s not. That’s the biggest mistake we could make.

  16. Mocha says:

    Anyone sore about Act 17 is an idiot. Among other things, this law brought mandatory carry permit issuance to Philadelphia and murders dropped drastically.
    Additionally, Act 17 did not magically appear in a vacuum. Too much history to go into here–trust me, Sen. Fumo’s defeated anti-gun alternative, the other item on the table, was far worse.

  17. Sebastian says:

    I agree with you on that. I’ve done a little research on Act 17, and found a brief history of it online somewhere. It’s one of those topics I’d like more information on, however.

  18. Mocha says:

    It all depends who wrote the history.
    If you ever want to see proof of Prof. Lott’s thesis, look at these numbers:

    Murders in Philadelphia

    (Act 17 – the legislative gift that keeps on giving)

    1990 – 503 1996 – 420
    1991 – 440 1997 – 418
    1992 – 425 1998 – 338
    1993 – 439 1999 – 292
    1994 – 404 2000 – 319
    1995 – 432 2001 – 309
    2643 pre-Act 17 murders 2096 post-Act 17 murders

    2643–2096=547 less murders since the enactment of Act 17

    2643/6 = 440 murders per year (pre-Act 17 gun permits)
    2096/6 = 349 murders per year (post-Act 17 gun permits)
    91 less murders per year since the enactment of Act 17

  19. Mocha says:

    Sorry:

    1997 – 418
    1998 – 338
    1999 – 292
    2000 – 319
    2001 – 309
    2096 post-Act 17 murders

  20. Mocha says:

    Too bad we can’t edit our posts.

    1996 – 420 murders

  21. Mocha says:

    ARRRGHHH–I still can’t get the formatting right!
    Bottom line: 547 less murders in the six years that followed passage compared to the prior six years.
    The decline is even greater if you would go back farther.

  22. Sonora says:

    Open carry has been observed in any Arizona Starbucks since they first opened their doors for business. Any entity not posted ‘No Weapons’ is good to go. The company follows state laws… or moreover, honors the state Constitutions recognizing the right to bear arms. That’s been ‘the norm’ in Arizona since 1912 and Territorial days prior.

    Starbucks has been singled out since a bunch of Kommiefornians got their panties inna wad over Californians carrying ULOC (Unloaded Open Carry) as a demonstration of the right to bear arms. Much ado about nothing at all.

    If those Starbucks employees in Georgetown had been able to defend themselves, they wouldn’t have been murdered back when either… would they?

  23. .45acp says:

    Open Carry is not an in your face mode, it is simply unconcealed carry. I Open Carry everyday, I suspect that most people don’t even notice, especially at Starbucks. Most folks don’t understand that a firearm is simply another one of lifes tools, like a Leatherman tool, it fixes different problems than a screwdriver.

    I do find it interesting that the areas with the most restrictive gun laws have the highest crime rates.

  24. Sonora says:

    Quote .45acp “I do find it interesting that the areas with the most restrictive gun laws have the highest crime rates.”

    Crimes against persons anyway… not crimes overall. We have a high incidence of burglary and car theft that guns will not prevent (usually). Also a high rate of rape and kidnapping. The rapes can be attributed to the fact that fewer women carry guns (here) and the relative age of the victims. You must be 21 to carry concealed and 18 to openly carry firearms in AZ.

    Openly carried firearms are an active deterrent against being victimized.

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