SayUncle probably does a better job of laying out what I was trying to say than I did, which wasn’t really that people should “stop open carrying, right now, all of you!” but more making the point that it doesn’t seem to me to be remarkably effective at carrying the pro-gun message. My style is more aggressive and confrontational than Uncle’s, which is probably why I get more hate coming my way when I post this stuff. But I do think having the debate is important for the community.
This is one of those cases where we all just have an opinion. No one has ever focus grouped open carry to see how people perceive it, and I don’t know if anyone ever will, so that means we’re not arguing based on hard facts and data.Â Since this movement has started in a period where gun control is on the decline, and public opinions about guns are drastically improving, I believe we will very likely be proven wrong if we predict dire legislative consequences arising out of this issue. To some degree, I should just be happy we’re in such a favorable environment that we don’t have to worry as much about a backlash.
But the pro-gun movement was flying pretty well from the passage of FOPA, until the assault weapons issue hit like the hammer of Thor in the late 80s and early 90s, and we weren’t really prepared to deal with it. Sometimes it can be hard to predict what the other side will get traction on, and that’s something I spend a good deal of time worrying about.