Nobody Get Thrown Off The Lifeboat

I think sometimes it bears reminding, that this is a core tenet of protecting the Second Amendment. What does that mean? It means even though I do not shoot bullseye pistol, I respect people who participate in that sport and their right to do it. I believe their firearms are just as protected as mine. It means even though I do not hunt, I will support hunting and the right for individuals to own firearms for that purpose. And yes, even if I am personally wary of Open Carry as a method of activism, it means I support everyone’s right to do it legally, and will fight tooth and nail any bill to restrict it, and will support bills that repeal those restrictions. This means I will expend energy even fighting restrictions on shotguns in libraries. My appeal to those folks who are pushing that is, please don’t make me expend energy fighting restrictions on shotguns in libraries. We have better things to do than fight battles we don’t have to as a movement.

It’s fine for us to disagree about what is and what isn’t effective, but remember that nobody gets thrown off the lifeboat. As soon as we start advocating for laws that restrain each other, we’ve already lost.

30 thoughts on “Nobody Get Thrown Off The Lifeboat”

  1. Agreed. We shouldn’t advocate for laws that restrain our freedoms. We should be on the side of people that are advancing the cause of firearms freedom. I’ve never said differently. I just think we should use the ‘how to boil a frog’ technique where we get people accustomed to things gradually enough that we don’t harm our own cause. I feel carrying a long gun is the equivalent of tossing the frog into boiling water, it’s going to jump out. There’s places where it’ll cause no harm, there’s places where it could go either way, and there’s places where it’s going to cause a gigantic backlash. We should all be conscious of how our actions will be perceived by the majority of people. NOT the minority that will be frightened or threatened no matter what, but the majority of people.

  2. That is the problem. I have been telling the people who are militantly getting in Suzie Soccermom’s face with gun rights that they are scaring suburbia into restricting our rights. That doesn’t mean that I want to stop fighting the war, just that I think we should be using a wise strategy to win the war by keeping our mind on the real objective.

  3. I’d rather have these OC activists restricted than me. They seem to want to push and push until something gives, so I’d much rather they lose their ability to scare disinterested parties than I lose my ability to defend myself and my loved ones. They remind me of the Libertarians who insist on voting for losing candidates, even if it means the far left candidate wins. They don’t seem to understand the bigger picture. IMHO.

  4. Mike, I have to disagree. I understand your sentiment, but to me the reaction is misguided. You would sacrifice a segment of the gunrights community because it might scare someone. That is just like saying we abandon hunters because they make us lose the animal rights crowd. I would not carry openly, but support open carry rights for anyone, almost anywhere. This is not to say that we support those whose actions are aggressive or violent. But if we are not accepting of those who advocate something we believe is right, why would anyone else?

  5. “You would sacrifice a segment of the gunrights community because it might scare someone.”

    No, I would sacrifice the ability for OC activists to convince people to restrict my ability to defend myself and my family. Nothing more, nothing less. I believe these OC activists will keep pushing until it backfires. Like they did in CA. And like Leonard Embody continues to do – although now he’s moved on to suppressors. In other news, don’t get too comfortable with people not pushing for new suppressor legislation.

    Anyway, the current OC crowd seems to think it’s a good idea to stir up the soccer moms, and somehow also thinks that it will expand gun rights. Can anybody spot the disconnect?

  6. I’ll support hunters until the Fudds support another gun ban. Then I’m sending money to HSUS and calling my congresscritter to protect Bambi and Thumper.

  7. And this is dangerous, Mike. For you, that is.

    Because if you don’t support OC supoprters, why would they support your cause of CC?

    If you don’t support hunters’ right to lead ammunition, why would they support your cause of owning an AR15, after all, you don’t hunt with it, now do you?

  8. I think the best OC negative encounter I saw posted on a popular OC forum went like this:

    Susie Suburbia: Why are you carrying a gun in here?
    OC’er: It’s my right, just like I can tell you to shut the f*ck up.

    I also really like the ones who get in a yelling match with a store owner/manager who is asking them to leave.

    That did wonders for all gun owners I’m not ready or willing to defend the mouths and actions of people doing harm to all gun owners with their foul tongues and armed activist antics.

    I wonder how many of you are defending Westboro Baptist Church in its free speech fights?

    Sometimes the crazy and extreme need to be cut loose to fight on their own.

  9. I never thought I would have to quote myself.

    “This is not to say that that we support those whose actions are aggressive or violent.”.

    While there are members of the open carry movement who act in a stupid manner, they do not represent the entire movement. I remember OC people picking up trash alongside the highway and having barbecues. I think it is naive and dangerous to play into the anti’s by dividing our movement. Where does it end? I already know people who deny being “NRA types”, while they own and use guns.

  10. Nice post and perfect sentiment! Too many of us think like Mike, it is fine to restrict the other guy’s rights as long as I perceive no danger to mine. This is dangerous to all of us who value our right to arms.

    How many hunters don’t care about carry issues? How many hunters are actually against concealed carry? If you are a self defense gun owner and not a hunter, do you know about the issues affecting hunters?

    I have to agree with Franklin… we need to hang together to avoid hanging separately :) One strategy the antis use is to drum up issues that divide us. We can’t let that happen or we will loose.

    I don’t believe these attention whores with shotguns at the library are doing the cause anything but harm, but I’ll be damned if government attempts to put any restrictions on my rights. Not be infringed means exactly that and government better stay the hell away. If the guy with the shotgun points that gun at anybody either on purpose or accidentally then charge him with assault, we don’t need more laws to deal with idiots like this.

  11. Greg David:

    I agree completely with ostracizing extremists and jackasses. Where I have issues is when we hand a victory to our opponents because we fight amongst ourselves.

    You and I may not agree with OC everywhere, all the time, and in any circumstance. But our opponents will ban as much as they can get away with.

    What’s needed is common sense with this issue, and you can’t legislate that.

  12. apparently agrees since they have a strict forum policy of handgun discussion only.

    There are always outliers in a movement unfortunately.

  13. Thanks Sebastian, that’s my overarching point I’m trying to make.

    Mike, I find your position to be hypocritical. You’re claiming that a minor percentage of OC’ers who are jackasses are screwing over your rights for their rights is wrong yet you’re more than happy to do the same. Especially given that you have no proof this is really the case. Like Sebastian said, we are winning, and it’s not because we’re all ready to protect only our turf.

    Ostracizing and criticizing is perfectly acceptable. Applying your resources to the items that most affect you is also another good idea. I wouldn’t expect you to burn a lot of time and energy promoting OC if you’re more concerned about other firearms rights. Idiots who abuse their rights will start finding it harder and harder to get people to join them.

    If the government started making noise about limiting freedom of speech because of Fred Phelps, would you agree to it simply because they promised to only restrict his disgusting ‘church’? I would hope not because you’d realize YOUR speech is next on the table.

    Again, the Internet is a great medium for getting information out quickly. The problem is that 300 people on various blogs and forums writing 1,000 word comments each makes it seem like things are more important than they really are. The OC jerks are rare and only seem bigger than life because we make them out to be more than they are. Go interview 1000 random Michiganites about this event and I guarantee you 999 of them will have no idea what you’re talking about and the 1 that does will be a forum-warrior who actively seeks out these stories.

  14. “You and I may not agree with OC everywhere, all the time, and in any circumstance. But our opponents will ban as much as they can get away with.”

    The antis love to use this – “See? even their bloggers don’t support open carry in libraries. While the position may be more “nuanced” then that (shotguns in libraries) their marketers will will be happy to proclaim “gun bloggers agree: No (open) carry in libraries”.

    Now you have established the “boundaries” of the future discussions because their press cohorts will continue to harp on “Gun bloggers agree: no guns in libraries, called them extremists and jackasses”. They take these assertions to friendly reporters and editors to expand the discussion, and their friendly legislators. Once it gets “buzz” then the movement picks up momentum, like “assault weapons ban”. we have tried for years to shake that moniker but have failed despite numerous attempts. So when you’re at the committee hearings and one of the legislators says “Well Mr. X, surely you don’t think people in libraries should have shotguns? That’s just reasonable and common sense? How do you secure it, you’ll poke someone’s eye out” (etc., etc.).

    When that happens it’s not the fault of the guy/gal who brought the shotgun into the library LEGALLY, despite the ILLEGAL attempts of the library staff to expel them. It’s the fault of OUR side who criticized the guys/gals carrying the shotguns into the libraries legally.

  15. I’m on the fence about OC, so help me understand. You’re saying that the right to OC long arms must be supported and defended, but actually carrying long arms openly should be avoided.

    I gather the actual act of long arm OC (which you don’t care to do) should be avoided because it leads to a legal backlash against CC of handguns (something you care to do).

    That the same as mike’s view in effect, although not in law. The other guys who want to OC don’t and you get to CC as you want, either way.

  16. johnnysquire, the difference is in legal support.

    I loathe Fred Phelps, the KKK, and reruns of Full House. But I support their ability to freely broadcast their message. I have to, otherwise my freedom of speech will eventually be taken away because those in the majority all of a sudden find what I’m saying distasteful.

    A better way of putting it is “The other guys who want to OC don’t and because nobody stood up for them, we lost our ability to CC when it was decided we didn’t need to carry any weapon at all.”

  17. @Robb Allen-

    I think I see – you don’t support the 1A because you’re against laws suppressing any speech, you’re wary of the slippery slope reaching your interests or conscious that you want the abiility to express your own minority views.

    Not the first time my libertarian leanings got in the way of understanding tactics.

  18. Carrying a rifle or a shotgun on a regular basis in an urban setting is going to be perceived, not just by the soccer moms, but even by most gun owners, as an aggressive action because long guns in such a setting are not defensive arms, but arms of offense. This will “desensitize” about as well as guys having sex in the middle of Main Street will “desensitize” straight people about homosexuality.

    Those who insist on these public and often frightening displays need to spend a bit less time on OC forums, and a bit more time talking to ordinary Americans–the ones that you need to persuade.

    I don’t have a problem with repeal of laws such as Florida’s ban on open carry. I do have a problem with tone-deaf efforts to normalize open carry.

  19. We have constitutional carry in Arizona because of open carry. Enough of our elected representatives understood that there is no difference between a person carrying a gun openly and a person carrying a gun discretely, at least on a macro, state-wide level.

    On a personal level, this is not the case, as what may be true for all Arizona is not true for some individuals in this state, including, quite frankly, me.


    While I may see no benefit to open carry me for as a person, I do see the benefits for our culture, and that’s why I support it.

  20. Thank you, Sebastian, for this post. As I said before, in the beginnings of the CCW movement in Florida, we had some gun owners hurling exactly the same accusations at us–“You want to carry concealed guns everywhere? What’s wrong with you people?” Well, we won.

    As a person who has actually handled crisis communications for the industry, you know I don’t subscribe to the “persuade the middle” theory…we have been far more successful confronting our enemies–and they are not only our enemies but the enemies of the very things that make America exceptional–than in trying to middle about anything.

    All rights have to be protected on the fringes of those rights…we have seen that in free speech, in religion, in search and seizure…and, of course, in RKBA.

    I agree, however, with Robb…if you’re going to OC, show some intelligence. Did you see our open carry episode on The Best Defense? I’ve spoken with a lot of cops who said that we nailed it ( and they’re actually using TBD to train their officers in how they need to interact with us).

    Michael Bane

  21. Dave Y., equating those of us, with the opinion of a less confrontational tactic, with Chuck Schumer shows me that you are not about convincing people.

    That makes you the problem.

  22. “equating those of us, with the opinion of a less confrontational tactic, with Chuck Schumer shows me that you are not about convincing people.

    That makes you the problem.”

    You can’t accurately define “less confrontational” or reasonable for everyone. You can define those terms as they apply to you. Our community suffers too much from “That’s the other guys problem, not mine”

    If pointing that out makes me the problem, ok then.

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