Attention Whoring Rifle OC

You know what my first reaction is going to be if I’m in the store and I see someone come in with an AR-15? Look for cover, and get ready to draw, and try to beat a hasty retreat.

According to police, the man originally entered the store unarmed, then went back to his car and retrieved his rifle. He then walked back into the store briefly before leaving again.

Though he was not arrested, store managers barred him from the property, officials said.

Shopper Monica Green said she fled the store and called 911 after she saw the man. Green said she warned people in the parking lot not to enter the store.

I don’t think Shopper Monica Green did anything I wouldn’t do. Come into the store, go back out, get a gun, come back into the store, walk around, and leave? This kind of behavior is what’s going to ruin things for people who are responsible, and don’t OC for attention whoring purposes. It all comes down to context. If you’re thinking about OCing a long gun at a grocery store, the first question you should ask yourself is whether you’re in Switzerland. No? OK, are you in Israel? No? Then do us all a favor and reconsider.

53 thoughts on “Attention Whoring Rifle OC”

  1. Even as rabid OC as I am, I view handguns as things you carry if you’re not expecting trouble. If you *know* there’s going to be trouble, you should a) not BE there, but otherwise, that’s when you bring a rifle.

    Granted, at one of the first OC fishing events I attended a gentleman brought an AR pistol which he slung across his back. We had quite a bit of *good* discussion on that outing, and only one old lady having a conniption.

    Still, handguns are rare enough, long guns tend to set us back more. *Sometimes* they’re called for, but that’s a rare event.

    1. Exactly. As I think Mel Tappan first explained to me in one of his books, a handgun is like a first aid kit, something you can always have with you, and a tool to your long gun(s), which of course are for most situations your first choice if you’re facing combat.

    2. I think in the context of a political statement, where everyone understands it as a political statement, it’s different. What you want is for people to be able to put it in the correct context.

  2. It is a shame that they do get that reaction though.

    Yes, if you are expecting trouble you should avoid the situation all together, and if it can’t be avoided you should have a rifle not a handgun.

    However, the fact that the sight of a rifle, especially an EBR, anywhere other than a range or on a LEO’s person causes a panic is unfortunate.

    At the very least people need to use common sense, and causing panics at the grocery store is NOT the best way to win over people’s hearts or minds to our cause.

    1. If I saw a cop walk into a supermarket with an AR, my reaction would be to get out of there, because he wouldn’t be bringing an AR in if there wasn’t already trouble. What Robb and others have said… a rifle is what you bring when you’re expecting a gunfight.

      1. Yes but you, me, Robb etc… are all trained to pay attention to that kind of stuff. My only point is that the majority of people have a double standard. If a police officer has an AR on him, many people wouldn’t think twice about it. If a civilian has one people panic.

        I agree that it was stupid to carry an AR into the supermarket, just because it is legal doesn’t make it a good idea.

        1. Really???

          At least around here you never see police wielding ARs outside of exercises and tactical situations, so I’m pretty sure one or more entering a supermarket would get a lot more than a raised eyebrow.

          See the comment I’m about to make above on one reason why.

          1. In many places it isn’t that rare a sight these days. Do you see every LEO carrying one all the time? No, definitely not. But I’ve seen them more than a few times in places you wouldn’t normally expect (outside the Whitehouse or Capitol for example).

              1. Downtown Albuquerque, NM during a highly publicized court case, August 2012.

                Train station in Dallas, TX (no publicized threat), September 2012.

                Park (can’t remember the name) in Austin, TX during a peaceful rally over some sort of local animal rights issue, April 2012.

                In each of these at least one police officer was carrying an AR. Everyone around the officers went about their daily business as if they weren’t even there. (Although the rally might be a little more expected I guess)

                1. If you don’t agree with me that only the train station incident merits a raised eyebrow then we have no basis for discussion.

                  1. You seem to be picking a fight were there is no fight pick.

                    I believe many people wouldn’t blink an eye to a police officer carrying an AR. That doesn’t exist with a civilian.

                    I’m not saying it is wrong or right. I’m not saying the guy that carried one into the Kroger should have done so.

                    1. Ah, perhaps I inadvertently have been; I was under the impression that you were defending the Kroger guy at least a little bit.

                      Being 8-9 levels deep in comments is surely a warning sign….

                  1. There could be reasons. If the guy who got himself killed outside of a Tyler Texas courthouse had picked up a rifle instead of his pistol he’d probably be alive today. He didn’t realize he was facing an armored opponent.

                    1. I’ve seen British police with G36s at Manchester Airport, for what it’s worth.

    2. However, the fact that the sight of a rifle, especially an EBR, anywhere other than a range or on a LEO’s person causes a panic is unfortunate.

      Or is it just a sign that we live in a peaceful enough society that handguns are sufficient to deal with almost all day to day threats, and hopefully good enough to get you to your long guns when not?

      1. We are blessed to live in a society that is so safe. And that relative safety causes many people to react with shock and panic when seeing something they perceive to be a threat. Understandable.

        But you don’t normally hear about people panicking when they see someone open carrying a pistol or even having a Remington 700 slung across their back. It is a much more pronounced reaction when it is something perceived as a tool used by crazed maniacs to mow down innocent people.

        1. Context matters; won’t that guy with the 700 likely look like he’s a hunter?

          Or compare the reaction to someone looking like a hunter with a Remington R-15 or R-25 (AR-15 or -10 in Mossy Oak with hunting barrel) vs. a “normally” dressed person with an Evil Black Rifle.

          Even then, I don’t think that wouldn’t be received well inside the city here, I’d only expect it in more rural areas. Then again outside of our declining mall’s parking lots thefts from vehicles aren’t all that common.

          1. I’ll reply here since it won’t go any deeper on the above thread.

            I am most definitely NOT defending what this guy did and think you are an IDIOT for carrying any long arm into a place like a supermarket.

            1. Whereas it would likely be fine in a rural hunting area at a small store labeled “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” ^_^.

              (No Oxford comma expected for such a sign. :-)

  3. How do we bridge the gap between this is OK and this is NOT OK?

    I’d feel a ton better about the safety of my rights if nobody gave a crap about a slung AR because that means everyone is very accustomed to the idea of armed folks.

    1. Same here McThag, but reality is different than what it should be currently.

      I come from a mixed marriage, so to speak. My folks were ‘encouraged’ to not to show their affection in public. Had they made out constantly in shopping malls to show they had the right, it could have slowed the acceptance of mixed couples down (not just them, personally, but as a movement).

      Was it right for them to restrain their affections? No. But, most of life is a bunch of BS that shouldn’t be, but is.

    2. Well, this discussion strongly suggests the first step: acceptance of open carry of handguns.

      Before that’s accepted trying for long guns is worse than silly.

      1. Oh, and before that we need to really increase the numbers of those who carry concealed (only about 8 million licenses nationwide, and only one high population state with Constitutional Carry). My current biggest problem with open carry is that it decreases the herd immunity gained by all those sheepdogs in sheep’s clothing.

        1. Harold, no it doesn’t at all.

          It’s like the M&M analogy. There’s a bowl full of M&Ms. One out of every 20 is filled with dog crap. Will you risk it? No? Does it matter if 1 out of those 1 out of 20 is clearly marked as poop filled but the other 19 aren’t?

          You’ll specifically avoid that one, but the others still may contain a poop filled surprise and thus you’ll still be in the same situation.

    3. I don’t think you’ll normalize long gun carry for a lot of reasons. Handgun carry is doable because there’s comfort and clothing benefits to it. Carrying a long gun is a pain in the ass, and absent a serious change in US domestic security, no one is going to do it except to make a political statement. Absent a major deterioration in the domestic security situation, the only way you’re going to normalize rifle carry is to have a universal militia, like Switzerland and Israel both do, and where rifle carry is normal because militia service is normal, along with keeping of military arms in homes and communities.

        1. It doesn’t -need- changing in this context. If you are open carrying a rifle, that means you are in a place where open carry is already a Right.

          So what are you trying to gain? More Rightiness?

          People who have actually had to carry a rifle for a living know that doing so properly is a pain in the ass. You can’t set it down, it’s slow to get into action if slung, and you can’t carry it at port arms all day, particularly without looking like an utter tool.

          The few occasions where bothering to have it in hand are about as common as lightning strikes in your immediate vicinity.

          There’s zero realistic upsides and almost infinite downs. These AW’s need to stop.

          1. I carried a rifle in the military. It’s not THAT slow to get into action. I’d do so again if I’d had the chance.

            1. All day, every day, in crowded stores and streets, in and out of a car, sitting in restaurants, in public bathrooms, restaurants, at the office up and down from your desk, in lieu of a nice convenient pistol?


                1. Yes, Micro. Yes you owe me an excuse. And an apology for challenging me. ;)

                  Nah, its just that thinking of hauling a rifle around all day while maintaining positive control, in the real world, here in the states, even in an urban area like Anchorage, seems like a recipe for not having a normal day and certainly more trouble than it could possibly be worth.

                  And I like rifles a lot too.

          2. “it’s slow to get into action if slung,”

            I’m thinking you were doing it wrong.
            Offhand shoulder, muzzle down. Grab the forearm, lift slightly and rotate your wrist. Start bringing the muzzle up, push forward, and swing the butt toward your shoulder as you grip the stock with your shooting hand. Seat the butt, safety off, trigger on. Bang!

            With a bit of practice, and a light gun, you can beat the average person drawing a handgun from concealment. Or a level III duty holster, if they haven’t done a lot of practice.

            1. Indeed, I’ve tried this with my lightweight Scout rifle and it’s very very fast.

            2. Yes, in my 13 years in Marine Recon I never figured out the fastest way to deploy a slung rifle, thank you. =/

              I’d point out doing it in an open well lit area under no stress for fun is not “real world.”

              In any event, maybe you can beat my draw from my normal concealment holster with a slung rifle, in a crowded store, with unknown people all around you, probably panicking if you have reason to deploy the rifle, with narrow aisles, but I can’t beat my draw under the same conditions, and unless you don’t practice your pistol draw as much as your slung rifle deployment I’d bet you’re faster with the handgun than the long gun too.

              Given the other situaltional factors almost certain to b involved, and the likelihood of actual need, which isn’t a rifle-armed mass shooter at mid-range in a mall but a close range confrontation with one or more robbers at arm’s length, I think the long gun gives up a lot of practical utility to the handgun in the really real world.

              And, outside of “I want immediate change right now” fantasies, rifle carry frightens people who might be fine with pistol CCW and the occassional OC but will never be inoculated by seeing OC rifles and will instead respond emotionally and go from “neutral on normal carry” to seeking to ban carry altogether to control what they see as scary yahoos with rifles in urban stores.

    1. Heh. That was my first thought too.

      I can remember being a kid out with my grandfather when a bunch of guys with slung rifles would descend on a little diner where we were eating.

      And you know what happened next?

      They had breakfast. Apparently early morning hunting is hungry work.

      Sheesh, what a bunch of sissies we’ve become if the sight of a rifle in the hands of a citizen is cause for PSH.

        1. So the only difference is because the carrying of rifles in suburban Virginia is not common?

          Thanks for making my case.

          There is nothing inherently more dangerous about carrying a rifle in suburban VA than in another place except in the minds of the people that are throwing a fit about it.

          This is *EXACTLY* the kind of thing we are trying to accomplish, the perception in the minds of Americans that carrying a weapon is not inherently a problem. Because it’s a small step from being afraid of seeing someone with a firearm to wanting it banned.

          Yes, there will be a few uneducated hysterical types that will object. Those with more knowledge are supposed to be educating them, NOT JOINING THEM IN THEIR HYSTERIA.

          1. As I said, it’s context that matters. If people have no context to put your act in, they are going to naturally panic, because it is out of the ordinary for someone to tote an AR-15 in a grocery store.

            1. “I don’t think Shopper Monica Green did anything I wouldn’t do.”

              That’s the context that matters. It’s not “people who have no context” that are the problem. They are uneducated and it’s up to us to educate them.

              But when you join them in their PSH, you become part of the problem.

              1. So what I am I supposed to do? Carry a bullhorn around so when some jackass shows up at the grocery store with an AR I can shout out:

                “Do not panic! This man is merely exercising his constitutional rights?”

                I mean, because that’s about the only education I can think of that would help. And that’s assuming the person engaging this highly unusual practice isn’t actually there for a mass shooting, in which case my lesson would end quickly.

                Sorry, I don’t think there’s much educational value in seeing a long gun carried in the suburbs. In fact, I wonder what kind of world some of you live in that you don’t see why this is a huge problem.

                1. Well, you could start by not demonizing the guy for exercising his gun rights.

                  I’m starting to get the impression that you would have had the same reaction in that diner I mentioned.

                  “In fact, I wonder what kind of world some of you live in that you don’t see why this is a huge problem.”

                  I know, I know. Why would a guy NEED to carry a rifle to get groceries, right?

                  Where have we heard that line of reasoning before?

                1. Well, it did screw up California’s legal strategy for maintaining their may issue regime … but that wasn’t what the long gun OC types were aiming for. The handgun OC types were getting somewhere as I recall due to the silliness of the overreactions, although I expect the legislature is a lost cause prior to effective bankruptcy and whatever state of nature the descend to and perhaps climb out of.

                  As you note, it’s hard to imagine what they’re thinking of, but to continue the California theme, I’m pretty sure it’s related to the reason San Francisco banned nudity in public places last month.

                  (Don’t worry, Clayton: “Nudity will still be permitted for street fairs, parades and other permitted public events and does not apply to children under 5 years old.)

                  1. California currently has elected officials who are gun banners. So we need to convince the public, who elected them, that they are wrong.

                    We do that by taking the sensibilities of the public into consideration and move slowly to get them on our side. Then they will oppose the current elected officials and get new ones, who are not gun-banners, into office to change the laws.

                    Alternately, in California they can legislate by public referenda. If we get enough of the public who vote to remove bad gun laws by referenda we can win.

                    Both of those involve being smart in how we approach the public, which is tactics, not “kowtowing.” Absolutism has won exactly nothing in terms of gun rights in this country, smart, incremental legislation and court cases have.

  4. I still think an interesting way to make this “normal” is to dress up in special ways.

    We had a similar open-carry incident in the Salt Lake area recently, where a man carried an unloaded AR-15 slung behind his back into a JC Penny without incident. The comments in the local news stories were about 50/50 for and against. But this is Utah, so it’s probably easier to get away with this (even in urban areas).

    Having said this, it sortof bothered me that the man carrying the rifle had an orange shirt with a somewhat scary-looking bird covering it, and a tatoo or two if I recall correctly. In other words, he was just barely a “he looks kindof scary” type of person. I can’t help but think that he would have been even less conspicuous if he had chosen to wear a suit that day–that is, if he had chosen to look “extra-normal”.

    I would still like to try to paint an AR-15 to look like a classic hunting rifle–everything painted to look like wood, except for the upper, the barrel, and the magazine (which would be black) and any accessory that normally won’t look like wood (bayonet lugs, scopes, etc). Then dress up in Colonial American style, and carry the gun around during the week of Independence Day, and see what kinds of reactions we get.

    I suspect that there are interesting ways we could ease public acceptance of open carry of rifles, but we need to be creative in thinking them up!

    (I would also add that there are perfectly reasonable reasons for wanting to carry a rifle without expecting trouble, such as you are going to the range, or going outdoors to hunt, but you need to stop by in a store of some sort to buy something, and you don’t want to leave your rifle in the car, where it might get stolen….such carrying probably won’t be daily practice, though, but there’s no reason why it can’t become common enough that it won’t raise ire when it happens!)

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