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Quote of the Day

From Scott in Phoenix AZ:

Despite that I think Clayton is GENERALLY wrong about this issue, I am sad to see him attacked with such viotrol. Frankly if I saw some of these posters openly carrying I would be afraid based upon their willingness to assault people verbally for no reason. Gun owners should not be attacking each other over disagreements as minor as this.

Disagreeing with Claytons opinion is anybody’s right, but calling him names, or “stupid”, is bad manners and STUPID. Clayton is a well-published historian, as noted he is cited in HELLER, he was also instrumental in bringing down the guy (forget his name) [Michael Bellesiles -Seb] that wrote the fraudulent book about how guns weren’t commonly owned at the time of the revolution. So arguing with him about history is a dubious proposition.

And no, Cramer is not like “Zumbo”. Clayton has not made remarks that call into question his devotion to the cause of gun-rights like Zumbo did. No, Clayton just stated his opinion that he thinks the open-carry movement may not be the best way to advance the cause of gun-rights. He doesn’t say open carry should be illegal, or not to do it, just that in his opinion “in-your-face” tactics like those of the PA open carry movement may alienate non-gun owning citizens.

I think he’s wrong (and exchanged some pleasant emails with him about it) and that the benefits of the movement outweight the potential alienation of anybody (and I doubt that will happen much anyway). The benefit of course is that we get the average citizen used to seeing arms in the hands of ordinary citizens – not just the cops and crooks. I think Claytons liking the movement to that of the Gay Pride movement is a stretch.

That said, the movement should not be stupid about it – plan their actions carefully and make sure the people doing the open carry don’t include some of the posters on this thread.

I couldn’t agree more. It is a relatively minor tactical disagreement. Until someone comes out and declares that open carry should be illegal, or calls open carriers terrorists, there’s no need for people to get all bent out of shape that not everyone thinks it’s the best face to put forward.

21 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

  1. Pete says:

    Circular firing squad.

    We’re all on the same side here people!

  2. RAH says:

    What I disiike about Clayton is that he is pushing the idea that it is wrong to OC in urban settings. The way to make laws is to get a consensus that a behavior is wrong, like OC so he is setting up for a mindset that can change the laws. Gun rights people should not be too public about disagreements and how to carry . This leads to diminish gun rights not an expansion.

  3. Sebastian says:

    I think that’s a good point, but one of our concerns is that the act itself will jump start a movement to restrict it.

  4. MicroBalrog says:

    Hey. I wanted to make a detailed post on this for a few days, but I see a guy made a very decent depiction of what I already think. I would ask you to read this:

    http://ridenshoot.blogspot.com/2009/10/open-carry-good-for-cause.html

  5. MicroBalrog says:

    >I think that’s a good point, but one of our concerns is that the act >itself will jump start a movement to restrict it.

    So we should not carry guns openly in fear the antis will ban open-carry if we do? But if we stop carrying guns openly, don’t the antis… win?

  6. Cramer has a point in that bringing guns to political rallies can backfire (and cites evidence), but doesn’t differentiate between carry for political goals or carry for personal defense. That’s a problem for me because I live in a may-issue state where carry licenses are costly and sometimes difficult to acquire, but open carry is legal. People in my state depend on OC for their protection. It is ignorant to say they shouldn’t because of politics and political perceptions.

    There’s also the issue of public acceptance being a test for OC. If OC is permissable only in areas where it has historically been acceptable, you’re tethering your rights to local community culture. If the culture slowly changes for the negative (say with urbanization of rural areas), you lose the ability. Without being able to carry openly and stand up for your rights affirmatively, you can never grow those areas back. That is setting up the death of open carry by a thousand cuts.

    I have a state constitution that defends my right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home, etc. If concealed carry is may issue, then shouldn’t open carry be considered the constitutionally protected form? Otherwise “bear” loses all meaning because large groups of people can’t “bear” anything anywhere.

  7. Wolfwood says:

    So we should not carry guns openly in fear the antis will ban open-carry if we do? But if we stop carrying guns openly, don’t the antis… win?

    This is where the two groups (we’ll call them the Expansionists and the Discretionists) are talking past each other.

    The Expansionists seem to be of the view that acclimatizing the public to expressions of the RKBA will eventually desensitize them and get rid of the “shocks the conscience” nature of much of anti-gun sentiment. Their motto could be “We shouldn’t be ashamed of our rights.”

    The Discretionists seem to think that the tide is in the favor of gun rights and that the risk of backlash isn’t worth the potential reward of sooner recognition of all rights. Their motto could be “Sure and steady wins the race.”

    A Discretionist answer to MicroBalrog‘s very good question might be: You could say they win…for the moment. It’s only an apparent victory, though. Open Carry allows RKBA activists to be diverted. Intermediate steps, such as greater public awareness of CC (by CC’ers talking to their friends), like slowly raising the lights in a room instead of simply flipping the switch, is more effective at removing the shock value of OC.

  8. Peter says:

    “It is a relatively minor tactical disagreement.”

    I believe that “This is an example of yet another self-inflicted wound in the gun rights community.” would be a lot more accurate.

    And if you were to go through Clayton’s old postings, you would quickly realize that
    A) Mr. Cramer has a serious problem with homosexuality, which leads you to the conclusion that
    B) Any of his work product that so much as mentions Teh Ghey needs to be read with a large grain of salt.

    If you go and read the original SGN piece and contrast it with the PJ one, the self-editing should tell you everything you need to know.

    Mr. Cramer has done important work for us, from conclusively debunking Belisiles/Kellerman to his contribution to the Heller decision, but he’s more wrong than right here. As I said in my comment (#210), if this was some local or even regional piece, no comment would be necessary since many places have no option or tradition of OC, but as a national-level observation it falls flat.

    And despite the temptation to make comparisons to both the gay and civil rights movement, gun rights are not the same. We have an unambiguously enumerated Right, and while I agree that waving around an AR shouting SNBI is not terribly helpful, we have the advantage of an Amendment written out in some of the Founder’s own handwriting.

    Showing folks that we’re just like them is certainly useful in the northeast and other currently gun-hostile areas, but overall the strategy should be about pointing out the Constitution and asking the other side how they plan to comply with that.

    We already have the 2A and we already have the guns. This makes the discussion fundamentally different than either civil or gay rights.

  9. Sebastian says:

    That would accurately describe my position, Wolfwood.

  10. I still haven’t gotten and answer to my question: How does concealed carry help our cause?

    In case no one realizes, folks carry concealed so that it’s, like, a secret or something.

    Telling your friends kinda defeats that purpose, doesn’t it?

    Unless the friend you’re talking to is already onboard with our cause. Because otherwise, your ‘friend’ might just go shrieking to management to let them know that ‘Johnny’s got a gun! !!!! eleventy !!11!’ and might just light her own hair on fire for effect.

    At the very least, you can be assured that the whispering will commence, and everyone will find out, whether you’ve talked to them or not. And this may or may not be a good thing.

    But what if you, Mr CC, are at work and you overhear some ‘friends’ talking about the latest news ‘Did you hear about that awful man who was carrying a gun at the Stop-n-Rob yesterday?! Dreadful!’ and you calmly mention that you’ve been carrying around them for over a year, and nothing’s happened?

    Seems to me that maybe CC can compliment OC.

  11. Wolfwood says:

    we have the advantage of an Amendment written out in some of the Founder’s own handwriting

    To what extent, though? I think an argument could be made that the 2A doesn’t actually mandate that OC be legal.

    Let’s say you had a hypothetical law saying that anyone carrying a gun and not actively using it to defend himself from imminent harm must keep it covered, be it by plastic case, flap holster, or tightly-fitting spandex. Call it the Bikini Holster Law.

    A bikini leaves very, very little to the imagination. It’s arguably a hindrance to the enjoyment of swimming or of simply living in a warm climate. Nonetheless, we have laws against not wearing at least a bikini, 1A Freedom of Expression or no.

    We certainly do have the RKBA, but its limits have yet to be tested. Advancing from a position where CC has strong judicial protection and popular support everywhere is a lot better than rolling the dice that you won’t get an intransigent judge.

  12. Sebastian says:

    You’re presuming I think that Concealed Carry’s strategic value to the movement as a whole is the same that you believe open carry is. That is not the case. It has strategic value, but if you said it doesn’t help get people used to people carrying guns, I would agree.

    Unless the friend you’re talking to is already onboard with our cause. Because otherwise, your ‘friend’ might just go shrieking to management to let them know that ‘Johnny’s got a gun! !!!! eleventy !!11!’ and might just light her own hair on fire for effect.

    At the very least, you can be assured that the whispering will commence, and everyone will find out, whether you’ve talked to them or not. And this may or may not be a good thing.

    I’m not telling you to tell your coworkers that you have a concealed handgun on your person. Why do open carry people want to automatically go with people needing to know you have a gun? You presumably shoot as a hobby? Talk about that. It’s relatively non-threatning.

    Just about everyone at work knows I shoot. This means they know I own guns. A few people who I know pretty well know I have a license to carry a firearm and sometimes carry a firearm for personal protection. I even found a coworker who also has one.

    When and where I carry is none of their business, and I don’t intend to make it so.

  13. “To what extent, though? I think an argument could be made that the 2A doesn’t actually mandate that OC be legal. ”

    The argument could be made that since a right to “bear arms” is protected, some form of carry must be legal. Concealed carry is only applicable to a small subset of firearms, especially after the NFA regulated rifle and shotgun lengths. Open carry is the viable alternative and the only one capable of carrying weapons of military significance like long arms.

  14. RAH says:

    Cocealed carry success in those states and the fact that all the hysterical predictions failed to come true did lead many to conclude that it was safe to trust normal people with concealed carry. Of course in order to pacify the scared folks concealed carry made quite a few concessions such as a permit, fingerprinting, criminal background check, money, training etc. That all CCW agreed that we are to be permitted not that it was a right.

    I do believe that the success of CCW did help the Heller case since that was a success of the argument that people can be trusted.

    But CCW does appeased the scared non carry population so if they do not see they do not know.

    The tactical arguments on self defense do not really apply since that is very minor.

    OC is open, many do not notice but there are those that do. Since OC is legal in more states and does not requires permission from the state it is more consistent with the RKBA and the 2A.

    I have to agree that the emotional prediction that it may produce a backlash has not been documented. It may be a valid as the hysterical fears of the antis about concealed carry.

    I do not agree that practicing your rights of OC in states that allow it is detrimental. Those that think practicing rights of legal behavior are allowing a anti gun mindset to influence them and that can lead to a movement to ban OC. After all the argument could be made that if gun owners are against OC then it must be bad.

    Gun owners should not throw anyone under the bus and that should include the OC folks. Clayton arguing that at Pajama Media is more dangerous to a national argument that the unknown event he objected to. I read as much about gun rights and I did not know about the OC at the Boise Idaho zoo.

    In the comments Clayton has been arguing over picky points of history and seems very thin skinned. This is an emotional issue and I agree with the Expansionists and the Discretionists theory. We are winning the gun rights at the moment so this is probably the best time to push for acceptance and trust at OC.

    It is really unhelpful for Clayton to keep pushing his opinion about manners on OC in a more public forum . That plays into the antis hands.

    At least Sebastian you have been keeping it with in the gunnies community. Plus you may not think it is the best tactic but you support OC. Clayton sounds like he would be amenable to banning it. I know he does not but he has not emphasized that.

    Lets adopt the idea that we support all carry methods and each other rather than condemning it. Target shooter support hunters and vice versa. OC support CC and vice versa.

  15. Boat Guy says:

    I’m with RAH. The salient point is “Since OC is legal in more states and does not requires permission from the state it is more consistent with the RKBA and the 2A.”
    In both Virginia and Colorado I need a PERMIT – as in “permission from the STATE” – to Carry Concealed. I need no such “permission” to exercise RKBA (with the exception of the City/County of Denver in a court decision that has yet to be effectively challenged). Which is the freer expression of my 2A liberties?
    I participated in several OC events in Virginia that were specifically intended to “comment” on a state legislator’s remark that “No” restaurant in his district would permit patrons to Open Carry. We’ve yet to prevail against the “Restaurant Ban”, but we certainly disproved the Delegate’s notion.
    I wonder what Caleb (and/or others) would think of VCDL’s “Lobby Day” effort last winter?
    Again, I commend you to http://www.vcdl.org for some pretty good exposition from one of the truly pioneering Gun Rights organizations.

  16. Boat Guy says:

    Sorry I meant ot write “Clayton” instead of “Caleb”. Musta been that extra cup of coffee ;-)

  17. It has strategic value, but if you said it doesn’t help get people used to people carrying guns, I would agree.

    I’ll disagree whether something essentially kept secret has strategic value, but I’m glad that you’re at least conceding my point that CC does not advance the cause.

    So now I’m down to only one question: How much and what kind of context do you think is required to OC?

  18. Sebastian says:

    We’ve been passing concealed carry in secret? The license process is secret? All the news articles of people defending themselves? The mad histrionics of the gun control groups? There’s a whole big world of gun rights activism out there that doesn’t involve people having to see your gun.

  19. Bob S. says:

    Sebastian,

    Consider the statement in ‘context’

    It has strategic value, but if you said it doesn’t help get people used to people carrying guns, I would agree.

    I’ll disagree whether something essentially kept secret has strategic value

    The Concealed Carry, as opposed to Open Carry, is what is secret.

    Me walking the streets with a concealed firearm has no strategic value in gain acceptance of our rights. If I’m doing it right no one knows I’m doing it.

    On the other hand, while some people may freak out, Open Carry does have strategic value, right?

    We are just disagreeing if that value has a net positive or negative effect.

    I’ll refer back to RideFast’s question:

    What I would like to hear from Mr. Cramer and others who support not openly carrying, is just how do we acclimate people to open carry without actually open carrying?

  20. There’s a whole big world of gun rights activism out there that doesn’t involve people having to see your gun.

    I know that, but that’s not what we’re discussing. We’re discussing Cramer’s and your assertion that OC hurts our cause.

    Open carry. And you’ve conceded the point that concealed carry by itself does nothing to advance our cause (I’m beginning to wonder what you think ‘our’ cause is).

    Now you speak of passing laws in secret? That there are no media reports of citizens using firearms to defend themselves? And when have gun control groups NOT been hystrionic?!

    Sebastian, you claimed that OC doesn’t provide enough context.

    So how much context IS enough?

  21. Sebastian says:

    I have answered that question on the newer thread here

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