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Open Carry March in DC

When I first heard someone was planning an open carry march in DC, in an act of civil disobedience, my first thought was that it would not end well. This blogger does an excellent job pointing out some misconceptions about where the border between Virginia and DC actually is. I tend to think if there aren’t thousands of people willing to do this, the end result is just going to be everyone getting carted off to jail. Even with thousands, the end result might only end up being that the police blockade the bridge, and force everyone to turn back. I’m not against civil disobedience, per se, but it should have some purpose. I tend to think we’ll be able to fix the carry issue in DC at some point, without whatever “help” we’ll get from the media coverage of this event that’s bound to be spun against us.

54 Responses to “Open Carry March in DC”

  1. Robb Allen says:

    Name a single media coverage that isn’t already spun against us.

    I’m not saying good or bad idea, I’m saying waiting for the moment when the media WON’T make it look bad for is is futile.

    You have a hostile media. Learn to deal with it.

    • Sebastian says:

      I’m not sure the visuals of people being carted off to jail, or being confronted by police are going to play well in our favor, even if the coverage is balanced. Especially, in this case, when the law is on their side.

      • Richard says:

        Well, if the law weren’t on their side, it wouldn’t be civil disobedience.

  2. HappyWarrior6 says:

    I tend to agree, Sebastian. What are we trying to show here? That DC is a nanny state? Okay. That gun control in anti-gun DC is stupid? Okay. The only possible way this helps if if there is an arrest and a resulting appeal that looks favorable. Is this the game plan? Is there a game plan? Or is this just an event to walk around with guns?

    Yes, I have absolutely zero problem with OCing at marches. I’ve done it myself to protest in Harrisburg. In DC it’s not legal, however, and there is a greater risk of doing something brazen that doesn’t directly address an issue. First off, in DC, you do need several thousand people to pull it off. Secondly, the police are already prepared since there is publicity, and third it wouldn’t surprise me if the media has already penned the narrative which would not be favorable to us.

  3. Bryan S. says:

    Ive thought of going down and being one to record and document the march, the people, and any law enforcement intervention.

    Good enough reason for a ride down to visit a bud.

    • Bryan S. says:

      Although, it may be prudent to see if I can borrow a vest of sorts… but that may be illegal too. Will have to look it up.

  4. DevsAdvocate says:

    I’m going to counter you and say this is an excellent idea, and I fully support it, regardless of the outcome… why?

    1. If they do it and are arrested, they can easily use it as a challenge to DC’s laws…

    2. The media will spin this whichever way they can. So what? They’re useless anyways these days thanks to the internet and blogs like yours

    3. Its the right thing to do. Our Founding Fathers had quite a bit more balls than we have today…

    • Sebastian says:

      1. You don’t need to violate DC’s laws to challenge them. We already have carry cases that are not criminal cases moving in the courts.

      2. The media are still very powerful. They got a President who didn’t deserve to be re-elected elected.

      3. I won’t argue with this point. But I’m also not sure it’ll do anything to help the cause.

      • DevsAdvocate says:

        Criminal or not, it puts the issue in the spotlight… how can what these people are planning to do, be a crime? In the capital of our very own nation, they are denied the rights outlined in a document stored in the National Archives?

        As for the media, they worked overtime to help Obama get elected, but lets face some hard facts here, it’s not just that Obama was the winner, but that the GOP put up some big Losers to face him.

        Lastly, thus all helps. We have momentum now, we have political clout, so lets freakin use it for once.

      • “1. You don’t need to violate DC’s laws to challenge them. We already have carry cases that are not criminal cases moving in the courts.”

        Which of these open carry cases are in the DC court?

        Even if there is one or more what should their presence or absence change the plans of Adam Kokesh and associates?

  5. Dave says:

    These idiots are already framing themselves as the next brand of pre-revolution Boston patriots. Take a look at this movement and the wingnuts behind it.

    • DevsAdvocate says:

      Why are they idiots? What they’re doing is ballsy for sure, but why all your negativity towards them? Our Founding Fathers didn’t shy away from the noose when they did what they did… so why should we be scared now?

      These people are righteous in their actions because they’re exercising their rights as intended, in the capital of this country, where our rights should be respected.

      • mike says:

        They’re idiots because they’re trying to make a very public PR stunt that can easily be used as yet another line of attack against our 2nd Amendment rights. The outcome is predictable. They’re not patriots, they’re idiots.

        There’s smart PR, and they’re really, really dumb PR. This is the latter. 1000x over.

      • Dave says:

        There’s a fine line between ballsy and stupid. That line has been crossed with this ill conceived OC walk around DC. These guys come from the sugared up generation of instant satisfaction. They’re playing the short game and no looking at the longer game that can be won. What they’re about to do will set us back years, if not two decades.

        • Robb Allen says:

          I hear that a lot. Never happens, but it’s nice to see people keep trotting out the familiar lines.

          • mike says:

            Have you ever heard of a place called “California” that used to allow open carry?

            • Jim says:

              The liberal bastion of our country was afraid of Huey Newton and his black friends carrying rifles in public. Racist liberals, go figure…

            • lucusloc says:

              California never allowed open carry. Just because there was no law on the books does not mean that it was allowed. People there started exercising what little right they had (carry an unloaded firearm), the state noticed, decided it didn’t like that right, realized that there was no law prohibiting it and made a law against it. The state merely formalized what was already basically enforced. Of course now we have precedent for shall issue, and that may force California to get rid of its no issue “may issue” system, without the ability to opt out by saying that they allow open carry. It is a temporary setback that sets up a a hopefully much larger gain, but since there was no hope of exercising that right anyway it really is not a loss. All it means is now they can arrest you and keep you, instead of arresting you and being forced to let you go.

              • mike says:

                So California never allowed open carry, except that it did. But it doesn’t now because it’s illegal, because it was outlawed. Which it wasn’t before. Thanks to people going out of their way to antagonize and scare people – just like the idiots referenced in this very blog post.

                Got it.

                Tell me, do you think getting OC outlawed in VA will be just as hypothetically somehow positive for VA as it was for CA?

              • Dave says:

                You know, laws don’t make things legal….

                • mike says:

                  But they certainly make things illegal – like when California outlawed open carry because some idiots decided to go out and try to scare soccer moms. Thankfully there aren’t any soccer moms in Virg.. Wait. Nevermind.

          • Dave says:

            Leave it to Robb. Don’t you live in a state where you can’t OC unless you’re on your little fishing stunts? So what bait do you fish with if you’re trolling for attention? 10mm? .40?

            • Robb Allen says:

              Awwww did I hit a wittle nerve with you Davie?

              Go on! Parrot that line again! Maybe THIS time it’ll actually come true!

              • Dave says:

                Okay, you’re an OC attention whore and nothing more. The arguments you use are beyond lame and don’t hold water. The things being written in OC forums are bizarre and pathetic – go to pafoa and see the nonsense in action.

                What’s the problem, what are you lacking in life that you seek out media cameras and have to make a production of your little OC fishing trips? You armed activists are only about the political shock value and nothing more.

                Now run back to your craptastic themed OC blog and write about this thread, you’ve done that in the past. I’m sure you’ll quote me again.

            • Sebastian says:

              Robb has never struck me as the attention whoring type. There are people engaged in the OC fight for reasons that aren’t attention whoring.

              • Robb Allen says:

                I’m not, not by far. In fact, I work really, really hard to ensure our events are low key. We get really good response as most people are supportive of our efforts and I personally feel it’s done better by just showing up and fishing, and not getting in people’s faces.

                And we’ve had some really, really, really awful PR from groups doing things I consider dumb (like walking MILES to go fish).

                But sadly, I’ve learned I can’t do it all and that nothing gets done without someone taking that ‘one step further than anyone else dared’. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. And what works here in Florida doesn’t necessarily carry the same weight in Massachusetts and what gets people’s attention is Wyoming pisses people off in California.

                So, I’m always cautious about applying my particular lens to others’ optics. I’ve learned that sometimes, people closer to the source know a bit more about their actions than I do.

                Sometimes… no.

                Honestly, I don’t see much of an advantage to this even unless they can get *thousands* of people to do it and helping run a state level gun rights organization, I can tell you one thing for sure – It’s hard enough to get people to shell out $25 for a membership much less show up and do things.

                A lot of them like to yell and scream in comments though.

  6. mike says:

    Remind me. What happened when well-meaning idiots tried similar stunts in California (which for some reason recently banned open carry)?

    • DevsAdvocate says:

      Didn’t this actually help them out in the long run? When California banned OC, they actually weakened their potential case in front of SCOTUS by removing the one instance where Californians can, in fact, bear arms.

      • mike says:

        It helped to take away their ability to openly carry a firearm. Only.

        After shooting themselves in the foot, some tried to spin it as a good thing. Like you did. With friends like these..

        • Patrick H says:

          No it didn’t shoot themselves in the foot. If the had the right, but couldn’t exercise it because then it would be banned, did they they ever really have the right? No, so they just made them codify the law.

          Not sure why that’s hard to understand. I right that can’t be exercised isn’t any different than a right banned.

          Look at the right to public photography and videography- they were banned de facto or de jure in many jurisdictions. Guess what they did- civil disobedience. And guess what happened? The right was recognized.

          • mike says:

            They could do those things and not violate the law. Now they will be breaking the law if they do those things. That’s a huge difference.

            The idiots in CA who pulled these stunts clearly weren’t responsible enough to be trusted with OC. They merely convinced the state to codify that into law. It’s unfortunate for all the people who weren’t idiots yet were also affected.

            I wonder how VA’s non-idiots will feel about the VA idiots’ plans to pursue the CA idiots’ footsteps.

            • Arnie says:

              Ok, now I’m sincerely confused. I think I understand what both of you are trying to say, but my conclusion from your discussion is:

              Californians had the right to Open Carry as long as they never exercised it; as soon as someone “idiot enough” to exercise it did so, the “right” was eliminated by law.

              Sincerely now, what kind of a “right” was that in the first place???

              If I apply that scenario to any other right (speech, assembly, property, Habeus Corpus, life), I suspect we wouldn’t be having this discussion; we’d all be crowding the State Legislative Assembly with our guns drawn!

              Didn’t some famous lady try to vote before suffrage (for although the law allowed some men to vote, it was silent about women, as in, it didn’t positively say they couldn’t), and she got arrested, but it ultimately led to the 19A? Same with African-American suffrage? You reckon some, if not most, folks at the time called them “idiots,” too? They’re heroes now. Just a little perspective.

              Respectfully, Arnie

              • mike says:

                CA folks did have the ability to open carry. Now they don’t, thanks to idiots going out of their way to do everything they could to scare and antagonize people who were just trying to drink coffee.

                If you want to say that they didn’t have the RIGHT to open carry because they couldn’t go in groups of 30 to the local Starbucks and shove their guns in peoples’ faces while saying “What are you gonna do, ARREST ME?”, then I’d say that they never had that right. This is what some people complain about when they say that people couldn’t OC in California.

                But now non-idiots can’t even OC while minding their own business and not actively trying to cause a panic.

                Coming to VA soon, it seems. You read it here first.

                • Arnie says:

                  OK, that helps! Thank you!

                  It’s not so much that they were exercising a right, but that they were doing so irresponsibly (and obnoxiously), and so California, instead of illegalizing particularly irresponsible behavior (such as disturbance of the peace, making terroristic threats, or perhaps “reckless carry,” took a broad approach and illegalized all open carry.

                  Since that was California, that outcome should probably have been predictable, so I can see your point, Mike. And D.C. may be of the same sentiment, so this planned march could backfire.

                  In my Red State, it depends on the city: the most populous would ban open carry; the next most populous would (and has) arrest for disturbing the peace (depending on the situation); the rest of the State would leave you alone unless you were indeed acting obnoxiously and/or dangerously.

                  So I guess that this planned march is probably a bad idea, especially if there is any chance that someone might do something alarming. But I confess to having some admiration for their determination. I’m a drag on gun-rights for the opposite reason. I’ve just gotten so lazy in my later years that I haven’t marched on anyone. It’s a struggle just to fill out the “required fields” to email my representatives! I need five-hour energy or something.

                  Anyway. Thanks again, Mike!

                  Arnie

                • Patrick H says:

                  A right isn’t a right if there are such limits on it. Just like speech, you can say what ever you want and be an idiot, that doesn’t mean we restrict speech except in VERY particular cases (actual, imminent threat).

                  Sounds like you’re the idiot.

                  • Arnie says:

                    Remember, gentlemen, ultimately, we’re on the same side. I think the truly witless ones (I’m just not comfortable with the word “idiot”) are the lawmakers of California, who punished everyone, including the innocent, for the irresponsible acts of a few. I remember that being done to us in the military. I loathed it then, and I despise it now. If I may entreat, let us save our venom for the real enemies of our rights and of the Constitution, and exhort each other with gentleness and respect. If we are at each other’s throats, they win without firing a shot (pardon the pun).

                    To be honest, I see a lot of truth on both sides of this issue. I think there is a time, manner, and place for marching with open carry, I’m just wary of whether D.C., like California, is the place. I am wary of this march’s prospects, but deep inside, I confess I can’t help but hope they succeed.

                    Respectfully, Arnie

  7. beatbox says:

    This is just dumb. It won’t help. The two dozen or so that show up will be portrayed as a bunch of nuts. God forbid a shot is fired (by either side) and open carry will be banned.

  8. Andy B. says:

    “3. Its the right thing to do. Our Founding Fathers had quite a bit more balls than we have today…”

    With regard to the Founding Fathers, possibly. But, not to take anything away from the Bedford Militia, who stood their ground against the legitimate forces of the crown, who were actually on their way to confiscate colonists’ guns, what happened at Lexington/Concord was largely an unplanned accident. After the night-soil had already hit the revolving blade at Lexington, the word spread and men from the countryside swarmed Concord and harassed the British troops all the way back to Boston. Not many had taken a bus to Concord, itching for the fight.

    Part of what made that the “Shot Heard Round the World” was that those who sympathized with the Revolution had the moral high ground from the circumstances when the shooting started. No one went with a chip on their collective shoulders demanding that the king’s forces either knuckle under or knock their chip off. If they had, their level of popular support — tentative as it was, even while holding the moral high ground — would have been reduced. When you consider the many examples of how the Revolution survived against all odds, you have to believe that reducing those odds in any way might have been fatal to the cause.

    Just one way to think about things today, if you want to make Revolutionary analogies. :-)

  9. Steve says:

    Remember in Rob Roy, when they’re all hiding in the mist from the redcoats, and Aleister (Rob’s little brother) can’t help but shoot one of the Englishmen, thus giving away their location and leading to the death of many in the Gregorich? Yeah, you’re THAT guy, Kokesh.
    Provocation with a chip on the shoulder does not do our cause any good, especially when we’re arguably winning. The last thing we need is a bunch of knuckleheads parading around like idiots on the bridge while the opposition is literally trying to paint the NRA as a paramilitary group. This is called playing into the hands of their propaganda. Quitit!

  10. Instinct says:

    Adam Kokesh is a fucking scumbag and always will be. This is more about his ego than anything else, add that to the fact that he is a liar about his service, isn’t a vet the way he claims, and is very big on claiming all kinds of shit that never happened except in his head.

    Hopefully, he will do this stupid march of his, get arrested and have his ass thrown in jail. He would deserve it.

  11. Publicola says:

    I always found it particularly disgusting when folks who claim to be pro gun owner, like some commentors here, deride someone for exercising a Right. So some folks aren’t perfect, or their motivations aren’t as pure as we’d hope – doesn’t change the fact that they’re simply practicing an activity that is protected, not only by constitutional law but by natural law.

    That folks exercising a Right in Cali was an excuse for Cali to further impose upon that Right isn’t a rationale for demeaning folks elsewhere who exercise a Right. It’s not too different in concept from trying to harass your sister or platonic girlfriend into not wearing a skirt cause another women got raped when her attacker saw her in a skirt. The only person that should be restricted in the latter example is the rapist, just as the only focus of indignation in the former example should be Cali.

    The larger point though is that gun owners shouldn’t worry about media coverage. Nor should gun owners not be supportive of the exercise of a Right because it seems to lack a political purpose. DC law, like laws in other places forbid carrying weapons. Some prohibit open carry, some concealed, some any carry without a permit, and some any carry at all. These laws are invalid – damn the courts, the constitution makes no exceptions for local or federal regulation of the Right to own and carry weapons. We, you and I, not 9 idiots in robes are the final arbitrators of what the constitution says (unless you wish to condemn yourself to an oligarchy). So if gun owners got together in sufficient numbers and carried openly to flout these unconstitutional laws methinks we’d be a lot better off. And if force was used to interfere with someone’s Right to carry, then force should be used to protect that Right.

    In this case, the law ain’t on DC’s side. The law contradicts the constitution. It’s void & should be treated as such. So it’s not really civil disobedience. It’s just folks enjoying their pre-existing, enumerated Right.

    Yes the mainstream media is powerful. And your point? They’ve always been powerful, & they’ve rarely been on our side. This won’t change that one way or the other.

    If ya don’t want to help them, that’s fine. I’m not planning on driving to Va. for this to show my support either. But since they are exercising a Right that is yours as well as mine, couldn’t we at least try not to hurt them?

    If we don’t stand on principle then all the clever political strategies bandied about are for naught. & the basic principle is that any person has a natural, fundamental Right that predates government to carry a weapon, openly or concealed, without a permit,license, background check or any other governmental pat on the head, on any property they own, that the public owns or that they have permission from the owner to be on. Bitch about their shoes not matching their cartridge belts all ya want, but at least support that basic premise.

    • Andy B. says:

      Your points are all well taken. I don’t think anyone would suggest just abandoning fellow gun owners whose rights were being violated, no matter how ill-considered their actions that brought them to The Authorities’ attention.

      However, I would point out that even Martin Luther King strategized and picked his/their battles in the Civil Rights Movement. His factions didn’t rush blindly at every challenge, even if every challenge seemed to deserve it. And, there was considerable dissent within the broader movement, between factions of various levels of militancy. They didn’t necessarily support each other all that much.

      To this day there remains debate about the efficacy of the various factions’ approaches. Understandably, there is a cultural tendency to give full credit to the pacifist, civil disobedience approach, and let it be forgotten that cities were burned down along the way.

  12. beatbox says:

    Here is the other thing about open carry actions that drive me nuts. It is one thing to have a meeting a starbucks, but there is always one dingaling who feels the need to bring his AR.

  13. Dave says:

    Maybe if they could get David Gregory to walk point…

  14. I’ve watched Adam Kokesh on the vid screen. I’ve seen him be arrested by the US Park Police (again, on the vid screen). He seems to be calm and reasonable person who wishes to engage in otherwise peaceful behavior within the District of Columbia. Given that nobody can know what will happen on the ground, in the news or in court afterwards assuming that he is going to loose (in any of the above realms) in advance is IMO assuming a bit much. Personally I wish him a wonderful #OpenCarry130704 Day (some people call it Independence Day).

    http://www.adamvstheman.com/open-carry-march-on-washington-opencarry130704/
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%23OpenCarry130704

  15. Adam C. says:

    The 4th of July open carry march on D.C. Was cancelled by Adam Kokesh.

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