Another Case of Open Carry Activism Fail

How many kids, teachers, and school administrators were “educated” by this?

The district responded to the flood of complaints it received by revising its policy to require schools to go into immediate lockdown if somebody is openly carrying a gun nearby.

No state or city laws prevent the open carry of legal firearms in Hillsboro. Had the man been on school property, he would’ve been arrested.

Surely the parents of the children are now much more supportive of guns in public and around schools as well. All it took was someone OCing a shotgun near the school to convince them! My favorite part of this?

It turns out, his mother is a teacher at Century High. He said she doesn’t know it was him carrying the gun, and that she’ll likely be upset when she finds out.

No word yet on whether he was grounded.

99 thoughts on “Another Case of Open Carry Activism Fail”

  1. This was 100% unpredictable. I for one am shocked this didn’t work out as planned with all the forethought that must have been put into it.

  2. Enough. I’ve tolerated these clowns in the past, but enough is enough. The clowns pulling this crap jeopardize *my* gun rights, so my position on open carry has officially moved to the “outlaw” column. Congratulations, idiots.

    1. The problem is what’s the actionable part of this?

      Would you support bans on open carry? Or simply not support legalization of OC if it came up in an area?

      There’s also what plan/mechanism is there to deal with reckless (or at least counterproductive) activism. Surely this is an issue that has come up in the gun rights community before.

      Again, having a plan, and goal, for your activism isn’t just a requirement for the OC folks.

      1. If someone came up with a clean bill outlawing all OC, I’d call up my reps and beg them to vote for it. These children can’t seem to be trusted carrying guns openly in public without making the rest of us look like nutjobs. I’m sure we’ll see some of these people comment on this post soon enough.

        There are just too many idiots out there trying to “help” [undermine my gun rights]. Hey, I’ve had enough – time to look out for #1. I’m happy to throw these clowns under the bus so that they can’t do Bloomberg any more favors.

        1. Well.

          We don’t have an OC crank yet but we’ve got an “I’ve got Mine.”

          So the other people that OC responsibly… screw ’em?

          Yes, having people in the gun rights community doing Bloomberg favors. That’s quite bad.

          I can see how this is totally different from a hunter worrying about how those people with their AR’s are drawing unwelcome attention.

          And just like said hunter, a “clean” ban like that will be the end of it.

          But hey, at least you’re only against these children “openly” carrying guns. Apparently you’re just fine with them carrying as long as it doesn’t scare the normals.

          1. I’d be thrilled if there weren’t so many of these idiots out there trying to “normalize” OC, but that requires normal people – and normal people don’t think it’s a good idea to stroll by not one, not two, but four schools with a shotgun. So yeah, CC is fine – and the best part, if these some asshat decides he’s going to “normalize” CC, nobody would be the wiser.

            I’d also be thrilled to see these clowns charged with whatever could be made to stick. Clearly they’re not right in the head, so maybe they need some mental evaluation too. Mentally fit people don’t think that walking past 4 schools with a pistol and a shotgun wouldn’t set off massive alarms. With that said, from now on when I see anyone OCing, I’ll be calling in “Man with a gun”.

            1. Yeah…. I’m not sure I should be giving you advice.

              But if where you live OC is legal and the guy isn’t doing anything, the cops could go after you for false charges.

              Also I’m really digging the irony of how rapidly you’ve gone from one example to painting anyone who OC’s for any reason as mentally unfit and worthy of losing rights.

              But hey, you’re totally right. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies!

              1. But if where you live OC is legal and the guy isn’t doing anything, the cops could go after you for false charges.”

                False. “There’s a man with a gun at ________, I don’t know what he’s up to. You might want to send someone.” What false charges? I’m not trying to sic the police on every OCer, but if so many of these clowns aren’t right in the head, I’d rather have the police check them out than have them shoot someplace up. I would hope you would also notify the police, at a minimum, if you saw some nutjob with a gun.

                Where I live (Philly burbs), if someone is OCing, it’s likely they’re as looney as the guy in the story. Note that there is a very effective way to avoid having the police called on you for OCing like a nutjob in the Philly suburbs. Three guesses what it is..

                1. “I’m not trying to sic the police on every OCer, ”

                  Previous comment of yours: “With that said, from now on when I see anyone OCing, I’ll be calling in “Man with a gun”.”


                  Also nice attempt to turn your “I will work to ban OC and will call the cops on every one I see” into a “Don’t you CARE about the children!”

                  Your tactics seem… familiar.

                  1. Whatever, man. I’m just trying to normalize the reporting of nutcases with guns. For the children.

                  2. Wow that guy sounds mental. He’s going to call 911 and report a legal activity and he knows it’s legal but WAH! I feel threatened by him, maybe he should not be permitted to own firearms?

                2. Uhmmm, making the brainless morons who would ignore you if you were actually killing someone but will run to the phone to report your legal open carrying learn to deal with it? Like they should.

                  Just because some people are terrified of clowns they don’t ban people from dressing up as one. OC should be no different.

                3. if you saw some nutjob with a gun

                  Can you gives us a quick lesson how to tell if someone is a nutjob. It seems to me that you think you can tell this just be appearance or actions?

                  I’ve seen what I thought was a nutjob only to discover that it was a person talking on a bluetooth headset.

        2. If someone came up with a clean bill outlawing all OC, I’d call up my reps and beg them to vote for it.

          No. I couldn’t more strongly disagree. OC doesn’t get preemptively thrown off the life boat. More restrictions on carry is what we should be trying to prevent by speaking out against the boorish behavior.

        3. Oh yes, so you’re willing to completely screw people like me who live in states with expensive and restrictive CCW laws and therefore OC by simply strapping on a pistol and going about my usual business because a small minority of OC’ers are attention whores?


      2. The actionable part is pointing out where this shit goes off the rails, try to use reason, and hope some of them might see the light. This may be a poor tactic , as it seems many of them do not want to accept their tactics are detrimental. The other side of that coin is shame, if they have any.

  3. At what point does this ass clowning come to par with yelling fire in a crowded theater? The gun is D ring’d to a back pack. It’s has nearly no defensive use at that point. It would seem the only reason he went on the ass clown parade around the school was to cause public alarm.

    Then again, was this just a false flag stunt to get a school to change policy and grab attention? Some of his comment were odd, even for and OC ass clown. You know, I do a lot of running and I’ve never seen someone out running with a shotgun or wearing a heavy non hydration Swiss Army backpack.

    1. A false flag would be very easy. Course a clueless gommer works just as well.

      As for the “fire in a crowded theater” it’s not quite that level but is nearing it, as he is admiring his intention was to incite a reaction.

      There’s some relation to people being openly armed adjacent to a polling station. (Difference in degree of course).

      1. Yeah, the OC guys we had hanging around the polls in May, in Berks County, were there for two reason. First to support a candidate for judge – he lost. Second was to try and entice a confrontation with a constable that could lead to a lawsuit.

        1. Did they say that they were trying to incite a confrontation for the purposes of a lawsuit? Or is that your interpretation? It seems like you are very judgemental and critical of others behaving in a way that you do not like.

  4. Americans are only allowed to exercise their rights in a manner approved by other Americans.

    We have fallen too far and deserve the government we have.

    1. Americans are only allowed to exercise their rights in a manner approved by other Americans.

      Yes. Whether you like it or not, this is practical reality. A right not supported by a majority of people won’t do well over the long term. Eventually they’ll keep voting for legislatures that will circumscribe it, administrators who will promise strict enforcement and who will appoint judges that will agree to go along with the whole scheme. So it is very very important to have the people either supporting you, or at least be willing to not oppose you.

  5. And 20 years ago I was riding my bicycle with a rifle slung across my back right past a (k-6)grade school on my way to the local (county run no less) rifle range for some plinking. The sheriff who passed me on the road…waved.

    The range was within walking distance, but it was just faster to get there by bicycle.

    Today that would be a federal crime.

    1. But you had a purpose for carrying the rifle other than to shock people, and get a reaction. If this kid had just been on his way to the range, the story that resulted from it would have come off differently.

      1. So if this guys reason had been “I was preparing for a hunting trip, and just hiked the same path I normally run”, that it still wouldn’t have caused problems?

        While I’m not a big fan of OC, I tend to agree with the thought that this was a false flag situation to give the schools a reason to change policy.

        1. Again, be precise, let’s not lump non-contextual -rifle- OC in with -handgun- OC, where handgun carry for defense is legal and at least partly accepted. They are distinctly different things in practice.

          Lumping them together hides important historical and perception differences.

          We need to use some logic and be precise.

          It’s not that his carry “wouldn’t have caused problems”, but IF there was actually legal hunting or target shooting to be done at the end of his route, AND he was carrying a weapon appropriate for that hunting or target shooting (which might be an AR), AND he was transporting that appropriate rifle to that legal and appropriate hunting or shooting location unloaded (and probably cased) as is -usual- when transporting hunting or target rifles when not actively hunting or shooting, THEN, when he was approached about it, if he was, he would be able to give that logical explanation, one that would satisfy the police and more importantly the undecided middle voters that what he was doing was “reasonable.”

          By default if the anti-gun nuts then over-reacted to such a reasonably explained activity they would then -lose- the support of the undecided public.

          That is effective activism while exercising rights.

          That’s what the OC attention whores don’t get, rights exist absent of popular opinion, but in the real world the free exercise thereof is contingent on public acquiescence in the long-term. We -have- to “sell” our position, make it mainstream enough that ma and pa kettle don’t actively work against us at the ballot box.

          Getting “in your face” and screaming about “shallnotbeinfringed” loses those undecided middle folks we have to have. Morally we shouldn’t need reasons and justifications to simply peaceably exercise rights, but in the real world they are mandatory if those rights are to be retained in actual practice.

  6. I’m confused, probably just as much so as this guy. He claims to the news he wants his anonymity, but goes bragging around the internet and posting on youtube. Sheesh.

    1. He doesn’t want to face the consequences of what he’s doing with the people he knows in real life, but wants to impress all his friends on the Internet. That should be the first clue that what he’s doing is a bad idea.

    2. It’s the same reason I doubt most of the OC activists are carrying their AKs to job Interviews or to work. Hey, you want to normalize it right? Why doesn’t carrying to work or job interviews achieve that?

  7. In my Shotgun News column a few years ago, I compared open carry under similar conditions to the intentionally vigorous public displays of affection that used to be quite popular among same-sex couples in the Bay Area. Yes, there is nothing unlawful about it (and it might not even have been unlawful in the 1950s, except for some vague “disturbing the peace” charge), but it sure does not make you friends.

    Open carry in many circumstances makes sense, especially if you are in a state where you can’t get a carry permit (they don’t issue to non-residents, for example), or perhaps you are 18 or 19 in a state that only issues concealed carry permits to 21 year olds. But use a little sense, please! A long gun in an urban area immediately rings the “lunatic on rampage” signal.

    1. “But use a little sense, please! A long gun in an urban area immediately rings the `lunatic on rampage` signal.”


      I think open carry is a viable option in many situations, particularly if you’re out in rural areas (e.g. working, hiking, etc.). While far from universal, it’s certainly well-accepted in many areas — in Tucson and Phoenix, for example, it’s not uncommon for someone to openly carry a holstered handgun to the grocery store or other shops. Pretty much nobody cares.

      However, seeing someone walking around with a slung long gun in a shop in those same cities would be cause for some degree of alarm. It’s a bit different if you’re in a local shop in a rural area where people routinely carry rifles — that’s fine and accepted, but walking around with a slung shotgun by a school in an urban area not accustomed to such things? That’s going a bit far.

  8. The really annoying thing about this story, and the school district reaction, is that under Oregon law school districts are not Gun Free Zones! There’s absolutely nothing preventing school districts from allowing qualified employees from carrying, and being part of the first line of defense before the police arrive. What’s wrong with the district in Hillsboro that they don’t avail themselves of this protection?

    1. Hillsboro isn’t just some podunk-backwoods Oregon town. They are everything that Portland is, just with degrees, money, and a little more professional. Also there’s no shortage of California refugees who think the best way to greener pastures is to repeat what they fled.

    2. If he didn’t have an Oregon carry permit, he was technically violating federal law by being within 1000 feet of a school.

      1. True, but irrelevant to my point, which was solely about the district’s reaction. They pretty much have to go into “panic” mode because, solely at their own discretion, and not forced to by any state law, they’ve ensured they have no onsite, distributed defense against a shooter.

  9. Open carry is not the problem in this instance. The reaction of the school district is calculated, not legitimate. The purpose of the “panic” is to create anti-rights voters. They know the law and they know they have police protection. They revised their POLICY, which removes any discretion on the part of administrators. The problem is the behavior of officials.

    Remember to take this all in the context of the anti-rights teachings of public schools. The recent textbook scandal is a perfect example where the author summarized the Bill of Rights and added incorrect notes.

    Open carry has occurred around these schools before. Perhaps hundreds of pro-rights people need to converge on school board meetings and talk to the district administration about lawful carry and what it means.

    1. RE: “The purpose of the “panic” is to create anti-rights voters”

      I forgot to add how an example of how schools create fear in children for political purposes. We know that temperature data in climate studies has been massaged for political purposes. Loudoun County schools are still teaching global warming, despite the contaminated science. They present apocalyptic scenarios to the children. This affects them over time–my manager reported his four and six year old children were having nightmares about the end of the world due to global warming. The behavior of the school should not be tolerated.

      1. “sigh”

        No, NOT “sigh”! We know that schools are teaching a modified version of the Bill of Rights for political purposes. I was able to take a shotgun to high school in 1988 to give a gun safety speech for class; that is not possible now.

        I agree with you that long gun carry in this context is not appropriate. We should normalize handgun carry and worry about long guns later. But, the main problem is the school, not the OCer, because their political agenda is supplanting actual education.

        I disagree with many posters here with the way they have responded to the blog post. They choose to attempt to shame the OCer rather than address the fundamental problem of politicization of education.

    2. The purpose of the “panic” is to create anti-rights voters

      The question is, are they succeeding. And if the answer is yes, the next question should be is this a wise and well-considered tactic to use? He’s not doing this just because. He’s doing this to get a reaction. If it’s a bad one, why should I support his efforts?

      1. (NOTE: I almost never OC and certainly never with a rifle, unless carrying one to the range counts. My very infrequent OC activities are done in a group for political purposes at a rally or meeting.)

        Yes, they are succeeding. Review what schools are teaching, which is that the 2A is a privilege tied to militia service (see the recent Texas AP review text). They spread the anti-rights message in a variety of ways including “Zero Tolerance”, wearing an NRA shirt, suspending children for pointing their fingers like a gun and chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun (to name a few). They’re using school “lockdowns” to create fear that a mass murderer will invade the school when the reality is some goof was walking around with a rifle slung on his back.

        Government officials are inventing intent rather than evaluating intent. The school district policy now removes any discretion from the local administration. Furthermore, we see this in OC confrontations with police. The cops sometimes overstep their authority and take actions that are illegal. This is why *most* OC’ers carry cameras. If the cops would obey their oath to the constitution, this wouldn’t be a problem. But it’s not happening frequently enough to look like the OC’ers are shopping for a lawsuit. While I’m sure someone has done so, the vast majority of OC’ers have no desire to see the inside of a courtroom for any reason.

        Open carry is the actual expression of the right to keep and bear arms. Concealed carry, with the exception of the constitutional carry states, is a state controlled PRIVILEGE. The “PERMIT” means the holder asked for permission from the state and got it. This is unconstitutional in most state constitutions, but the blurring of the phrase “concealed weapon” makes it possible.*

        Another problem I see is extremely judgmental gun owners. They demand others carry as they do. They claim the OC’ers “want a confrontation” or “want a lawsuit”. This is poor thinking since nobody wants a confrontation with the police. We have seen before that the police are very dangerous (apparently they’re worse in New York City since they’re generating a large body count of uninvolved citizens). The problem is that these demands can lead to political pressure that restricts the right to keep and bear arms. It is passive support for the conversion of the right to keep and bear arms into the privilege to keep and bear arms as it exists today with most concealed carry permit systems in place today.

        I think that at this time, long guns should not be openly carried. The current generation is not ready for it. However, if it is done, it should be done properly and limited to political rallies with a group of activists. I think we should focus our public open carry effort on handguns only. We should then push long gun open carry after a few decades of exposure.

        * A “concealed weapon” in the past was a weapon disguised to look like something else, such as a wallet, book or briefcase. It did not mean “hidden from common observation under a shirt” or similar.

        1. UPDATE:

          I forgot part:

          One reason to open carry is due to quirks in the law. Some people may be too young to get a concealed carry permit. In Virginia, the law used to demand that nobody carry concealed in a restaurant that serves alcohol. The “Virginia Tuck” came into being where a restaurant patron carrying concealed tucked their shirt behind the holster in order to comply with the law.

          1. FWIW, when “normals” see folks carrying guns at rallies, they think they’re fringe nutjobs. Because they are.

            IMHO, the best way to paint a rally or demonstration as a bunch of nutjobs is to get a bunch of clowns to carry guns to one. Which, btw, is exactly why the media takes pictures of THOSE people at rallies drawing conservatives. Because it paints everyone there as a nutjob.

            Of course, nutjobs will disagree (in 3.. 2.. 1..)

          2. ALSO, why are my comments being moderated? I thought Reasoned Discourse was only for them.

              1. Sometimes I try to post and it accepts the comments, but nothing shows up and the comment count doesn’t increment. I try again and it says it’s a duplicate. I switch to another IP address, and it also says it’s a duplicate. I change the wording a bit from another IP address (and use another email address) and it goes through. It’s happened a number of times lately.

                1. You’re getting caught in the spam filter. Let me know when that happens, because when I say “not spam” it trains it. I did that to one of your previous comments so hopefully it learned you’re not spam.

  10. Good point above comparing OC today to in-your-face gay PDA 20 years ago. The difference, and this is important, is that the media was (rightly of course) on the side of the gays. Had there been a flood of concern-trolling “news” stories attending every single-sex kiss in public, our laws might today might resemble Iran’s on that issue.

  11. Enough with the circular firing squad on this issue. Let’s save our criticism for those who would deny rights, not those on our side whose tactics we disagree with.

    1. This is necessary, because at this point we are actively losing ground because of people’s poor choices in this area. Whether they realize it or not, or want to accept it or not, the people toting long guns around for a “shock and awe” effect are working with the anti-gunners. That may not be their intention, but that is the practical effect.

      1. There’s also the difference between going:

        “OC activism if done without a goal and just for shock and awe is counterproductive and hurting our cause.” Which is what you’re doing.

        And going:

        “I will lobby to support a ban on OC and will personally call the cops on any person I see carrying openly for any reason” Which is what at least one commenter is saying.

        The former is not circular firing squad, the latter, at best, is.

        The if Poorly thought out OC protest are helping the anti’s cause, well… so is lobbying to ban OC.

        That said I think you’re right that education and shame are a key part.

        It’s like gun safety. Do we do better to lobby to make safety training mandator or do we do better to build a culture of gun safety and to ostrisize those that are unsafe with guns?

  12. The other problem with OC activists is that they are operating in an echo chamber. After spending hours on forums they are convinced that there are enough of them out there who believe this that corporations and governments will bow to their pressure.

    Instead they come off as a few loons with no political or economic power.

  13. I’m in my early 50’s, I eat right and exercise and I dress like everyone else. I don’t own any tactical or gun-related clothing. I do happen to open carry a handgun everywhere it’s legal to do so. Not an AR, an AK or a shotgun, just a handgun.

    Most don’t even notice and those who do have never once said or done anything negative. Reactions have always been overwhelmingly positive.

    I think walking into a grocery store or a coffee shop with a long rifle just because you can is arrogant and hurts our cause. I can see why others find it scary and offensive and want it outlawed.

    1. This ^^^^

      Long guns by their nature are more bulky and out of the normal.

      And if one wants to normalize their carrying. Okay, that’s great. But you need to have a plan. Specifically you have to make sure you’re not making things worse.

      (There’s also the logistical problems where given the size and mass long guns are not normally toted around. There’s a reason hanguns are “handy”.)

      I’m also seeing anti-OC oprotunsits rising up who are equating handgun OC with long-gun OC and political OC with non political OC and of course effective politicla OC with ineffective politcal OC.

      Anyone here want to blame Robb Allen for this stuff or say he shouldn’t carry openly? (That said the people carrying longguns ineptly *are* hurting Robb’s cause.)

  14. So if this guy was on his way to a local hunting field, and was arrested for doing nothing wrong, other than being somewhere in the vicinity of a few schools (you know, within a few miles, as the article states) and had a rifle case, or even just had a rifle attached to a pack, as shown in the image, would everyone still be all up in arms?

    The antis have got the “I’m a hunter BUT” and “I’m a gun owner BUT” guys circling the culture drain… just waiting for another flush. There wont be a need to fight for rights for the next generation, they wont know or care that they are there, as we insist it all to be hidden and drop the hammer on anything outside the norm.

    1. Not as much no.

      People who get scared any time a gun shows up would still be scared.

      But if the proximity to the school were incidential to what he was doing the horror would be reduced.

      Saying “I’m going to the range.” gets a different reaction than “I was walking around to raise awareness.”

      Even if you approve of the latter one has to agree that it is different than the former, from a marketing persepctive.

      1. I disagree that the “horror would be reduced”. We have a nation that has been conditioned, especially over the last 5-10 years, that the sight of a gun = bad guy (or cop). Movies, news, political groups, they have all pushed it while a large group of the 2A movement stood there and said.. “I support gun rights BUT”.

  15. Hmmm. Let’s think about this. Up until the last 20-30 years, a person walking down the street in 80% of America with a long Gun was ASSUMED to a Law-Abiding, Sane Citizen, provided they were in Gun Cases, or Kids heading to the Dump for some Plinking. And in Rural Areas, Long Guns in Racks in the Pick-Up Truck where fairly Common.

    But then came Northridge, broadcast all across the Globe, and the fallout from that has tainted our Gun Rights. Followed up with other “Mass Shootings”, the perception is NOT Good for Long Guns. Heck, even after the Shooting, LAPD had to fight to get permission to have semi-auto Carbines in Cruisers!

    Then came 9/11, and for most Americans, seeing Officer Joe Friday Armored Up with ARs and Helmets was VERY Disturbing. After all, weren’t Most Cops carrying a Pistol ONLY as a “Last Resort?” After all, this wasn’t Europe, where one saw a Cops with Subguns all over the Continent. These Long Guns in Cops Hands just weren’t part of the current culture.

    So know it’s 2013, and some of the OCers are those 18-21 year old Citizens who can ONLY Legally carry Long Guns in Public in most States that allow it. Fine and Dandy. Time to change the Law so that 18 year olds can Legally carry Handguns, outside of such wonderful places like Iraq and Afghanistan. But as one who sometimes OC where legal, I refuse to carry a Long Gun in my normal routine. It just stands out too much in a World where a Person with a Long Gun seems to say “There’s DANGER nearby!” After all, Police don’t swing their ARs out of the way when they pull you over for speeding do they? So it’s just not a Common Sight.

    Now the OCers WANT it to be a Common Occurrence, but I think they need to realize the Public Perception out there: Long Guns means Trouble. And let’s face it, most of the Public doesn’t have anything to do with Guns, and they don’t WANT to deal with them.

    Heck, most States that have Concealed Carry have an Interesting Fact: only about 3-5% of the Eligible Population take the time and effort to get their CHPs. They just don’t seem to “Feel” that they need a Gun at all.

    So those who want to OC and are over the age of 21, please just carry a Handgun. You get to use your Right, but you don’t tend to induce as much “Panic” on the Streets. We don’t live in 1958 America anymore. Besides, they don’t tend to knock things off the Shelves at the Grocery store when you are in there!

    1. There’s also this: “provided they were in Gun Cases, or Kids heading to the Dump for some Plinking. And in Rural Areas, Long Guns in Racks in the Pick-Up Truck where fairly Common.”

      None of which were applicable in this case anyway.

      Very good point on the perception angle of long gun versus handgun.
      (For many that don’t want to think of guns, an OC handgun is either 1) ignored or 2) assumed cop or 3) not seen in ther first place. A longarm is harder to fit into the above 3)

      Also it’s interesting that we’re in a place where handguns are better off legally and in public perception.

      And that the argument here is not as much about OC itself but what type of gun you OC.

    2. Just so. You can’t legally plink at the dump in most urban areas anymore, nor is there hunting just outside town, nor do most schools have rifle teams and most of those leave the air guns on-site. Gun ranges for rifles are few and far between anymore and are seldom in town and most people don’t walk that far anymore anyway.

      There is -zero- contect for long gun carry anymore, even “back in the day” the person open carrying a long gun not on their way to one of the above contexts would have been questioned as no one OC’d long guns “for defense” or “because they could.” There was always a reason that made sense to the general public.

    3. Yup. If I have a long gun on my person in an urban area, it is because something REALLY BAD is about to happen. Carrying one the rest of the time is roughly equivalent to a cop wearing a helmet and a flak jacket, or a doctor wearing a haz-mat suit. It scares people because it means the situation is now vastly more dangerous than normal.

      If I open carried my Colt Mustang, I suspect that many people would not even notice it. And even here in Boise, it would probably not generate enormous fear. (It would almost certainly lead to a discussion with a police officer, however.) But carrying a long gun screams trouble. Don’t do it. I am not saying that it should be illegal, but use your brain and recognize that not everything that is legal is necessarily wise.

      1. If I have a long gun on my person in an urban area, it is because something REALLY BAD is about to happen.

        You mean like Westgate Mall, or Mumbai? Those things don’t seem to come with warnings (unlike the “Rodney King” riots.)

        1. These things are common enough to warrant carrying a long gun around? You’re more likely to die in a fire, but you don’t see people toting fire extinguishers over their backs “just in case.”

          Also, if carrying a pistol, I have the option to reholster and stop presenting what may look like a threat when the calvary arrives. What do you do with your openly carried long gun?

          1. Put it back up on your shoulder, pointing up or down?

            Just like you would any time out in the field.

          2. Please don’t think I’m *advocating* for open carry of long guns, just pointing out some considerations. As far as the fire-extinguisher aspect… you are aware that every mall already has plenty of fire-fighting equipment pre-positioned, right? Whereas we’ve heard the claim (though I certainly won’t assume it’s *true*, rather than just possible) that security at Westgate was restricted from carrying firearms.

            1. It’s admittedly an imperfect analogy. There’s also the fact that someone carrying a fire extinguisher would only be perceived as weird, rather than as a potential threat. Though some people might wonder “Is there a fire?”

  16. I will admit some go over the top on open carry. I live in a small town in flyover country. I open carry a pistol. I open carry a long gun when hunting. Going to outlaw that? In these parts hunting area starts at the edge of town within easy walking distance. Are you going to outlaw that? City slickers and suburbia all think that open carry of a long gun is always over the top. I don’t think so. I do think schools have in many instances have gone over the top. My nephew cut across school grounds on his way to the local range. the local law gave him a strong talking to. The trouble is you need to go right by the school to reach the range. there is no other route except to venture into NYS. That can lead to some real difficulty. Yes, the range borders NYS.

    1. The point is that, because of tools like this guy your nephew could end up getting arrested instead of just a “talking to.” If this guy was just walking to the range, it would have been one thing, but he was intentionally walking around schools.

    2. What exactly do your local statutes say about crossing school grounds with a firearm?

      For example, in Alaska there is an exception to the crime of misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree for having a firearm on school grounds if the the possession involves:

      (C) an unloaded firearm if the person is traversing school premises in a rural area for the purpose of entering public or private land that is open to hunting and the school board with jurisdiction over the school premises has elected to have this exemption apply to the school premises; in this subparagraph, “rural” means a community with a population of 5,500 or less that is not connected by road or rail to Anchorage or Fairbanks or with a population of 1,500 or less that is connected by road or rail to Anchorage or Fairbanks;

      Your state and local laws probably have something similar. So, anyone doing so is open carrying “normally”, in an accepted context that is defensible to the question “why would you want to do that?”; which question we -have- to be able to answer politely and reasonably (because I can is neither) to keep the majority of voters neutral or on our side.

      The OC attention-whores who drive to places to walk around with loaded rifles “because they can” for a couple hours then drive home feeling self-satisfied refuse or are unable to grasp that and are doing damage because of it.

  17. Matthew Carberry says:
    Sep 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    What exactly do your local statutes say about crossing school grounds with a firearm?

    Nothing local this is PA state law forbids it unless you have a license. My butt head nephew didn’t no have a drivers lic. as he had too many DUI busts. He could have been arrested but the LEO choose not to. Walking about town in an urban area or high density suburb is not the right thing to do but, should it be made illegal? I think. not it would be too complicated a law. Do I think these knot heads that flaunt their AR and Kalashnikov style rifles shouldn’t do it. But make another law? I think not.

    1. I agree.

      The way to prevent the undecided, uncaring middle from supporting such a law is to not do anything stupid to provoke one.

      If the anti’s propose one, fight it, but if you have the right, and there’s no good reason to overtly exercise it at any given time, why on earth pick a fight that at best will end up status quo ante and more likely ends up with that right diminished?

      1. Matthew,

        You do not get it. The secondary purpose of open carry is to educate the public. The primary purpose is to keep the police in line.

        Google up the “Manassas 7” for an example of bad behavior on the part of the police. The department needed to be reminded that open carry is constitutional in Virginia (I think the AG stepped in at one point with a notice).

        1. No, I’m not missing any part of the point.

          I have not said anywhere that “OC is bad” nor even “-rifle- OC is bad.”

          I have consistently said there needs to be a publicly-explainable and acceptable -context- for OC or else it can only be counter-productive in the eyes of thvoting public we need neutral or on our side.

          In the case in Virginia you cite, where OC is legal and more or less accepted, and the law in fact required that the gentlemen carrying -handguns- do so openly in that restaurant, the police were ignoring the law -and- that public acceptance.

          In that particular situation limited time, limited goal, OC activism would be a good tactic, if polite requests for corrective action failed, due to that particular context.

          If undecided people asked “Why are you doing that?” the answer would not be “because we can” but “The police were -illegally- hassling law-abiding gun owners who were simply carrying handguns for a lawful purpose in compliance with the law.”

          That example has -nothing- to do with carrying loaded ARs into a Starbucks and posting pictures on the internet when no entity, Starbucks nor law enforcement, was doing -anything- to curtail normal OC there.

          Again, you can’t lump all OC together in an attempt to defend actual “assclowns” and maintain intellectual integrity and credibility.

  18. I think we’re missing a more productive angle on this debate. If I were involved, I’d start raising questions about why the school “jumped the gun” in this way. I talk about how they don’t seem to have a good grasp of what is and isn’t dangerous.

    I’d talk about how if we’re entrusting our kids to these people, then why don’t they seem to be up to the task of ensuring their safety when they erroneously created unnecessary panic and disruption over such a “false alarm”. I’d raise questions over the competency and judgment of the people we trust our children to.

    We can talk all we want behind the scenes about OC vs. non-OC, but we need to be more united in putting forth a better message that deflects from the fact that we’ve done nothing wrong, and focusses on their overreaction in a way that most people can relate to – as a measure of their incompetence.

    Deflect, deflect, deflect. Mr. Alinsky would smile. It’s time we used a few of his lessons to put the opposition on the back foot.

    If anyone plans to comment on the article over there, I’d advise taking this path.

    1. and focusses on their overreaction in a way that most people can relate to

      The problem with open carrying a shotgun near a school, is that almost no one can imagine why anyone would do this. It looks doubly bad once it becomes apparent the person doing it was looking for attention, or looking to cause a stir.

      In order for this to work, the behavior has to be one that people can relate to. That’s why if he was on his way to the range, or his school had a trap team and he was on his way to practice, this could be pitched as an overreaction on the part of the school. The way it is now, people aren’t going to relate to it, no matter how hard you try, and it’ll just make gun owners look like the kind of people who support boorish behavior.

      1. If no one was hurt, then they can dislike it all they want. We turn the issue to the overreaction of the school. No explanations, no justifications. Deflect to what is in fact the bigger issue. Not that it was a reaction; not that it was a reaction people might agree with; but that it was an OVERREACTION. Turn the blame back to them.

        This isn’t about who’s right or wrong, it’s about what it’s always been about. Who gets the blame. Time to push it back their way, but using their concern for the kids against the antis.

        1. What is the bigger issue is in the eye of the beholder, and if they dislike it enough to start acting on the issue politically against us, it’s a bad idea. I don’t get this attitude that we can just do whatever the hell we want and people don’t have a choice except to suck it up. They do have a choice. They can start voting for politicians that promise gun control, so you never have to worry about some guy attention whoring with a shotgun in front of little Johnny’s school again.

          1. I’m not arguing that he shouldn’t have been doing it for the reasons he was. You misunderstand me. What I DON’T favor is gun rights advocates publicly excoriating every single instance of our side doing something they shouldn’t have when it doesn’t GAIN us anything. When we start doing that, we start to get dangerously close to the “Well, I’m a gun owner, but..” line of thinking that the antis lap up.

            It does a great disservice to OC specifically and gun rights generally, as it emboldens them by seeming that even the gun nuts think it’s crazy. A perfect motivator to push forward with restrictions.

            We’d be far better served if we did the excoriating privately (as much as that’s possible), and presented a stronger face to the antis in public. Deal with the idiot behind the scenes, deflect the issue in the public sphere.

            Exactly how you would deal with a kid brother who did something dumb. Minimize his stupidity in public, but slap him upside the head when you get him home.

            I’d rather re-educate our redeemable fools than isolate them into another faction that the antis can use to tar us all with.

            And if it advances gun rights, I’m not averse to throwing a little blame back their way to keep the heat off ALL of us.

            1. “We’d be far better served if we did the excoriating privately (as much as that’s possible), and presented a stronger face to the antis in public.”

              I strongly disagree with this. I think we need to show regular folks that not all of us are nutjobs who think it’s OK to stroll by a bunch of schools OCing a shotgun. Sally Soccermom is going to think gun owners are a lot more reasonable if she sees us telling these OC clowns to chill out, than if she hears nothing from us (which she’ll equate with us condoning it). This behavior isn’t to be condoned – it’s to be condemned in the clearest terms possible. And yes, regular gun owners need to distance ourselves from the fringe groups that go out of their way to strut in front of schools with guns, too.

              When Sally Soccermom hears that some clown had a gun in front of her kid’s school, the ONLY thing she cares about is her kid’s safety. That’s when banning all guns, completely, looks appealing to her – because “We should DO something!” Like Starbucks, she wants to be left out of the debate. But when she thinks you’ve brought her child’s safety into question, you’ve lost her. THIS is what these OC activists don’t get. People in the middle just don’t want to be shot, and they don’t want their loved ones shot. Yet that’s the first thing they think when they see idiots with guns. OC activists think they’re “normalizing”, but they’re just freaking regular folks out. And those folks vote.

              1. Sally Soccermom does not vote for guns. She votes for any of 100 issues from free-expensive government healthcare to anytheng else you can think of. She may send a check to Mommies For Socialist Stupidity on Guns. Sally is already distracted and guns will not be high on the list presented to the public in 2014.

            2. The expand a bit on what mike said, the bigger is that we don’t really have a choice to do it privately. I agree that would be best if we could do it, but unlike their side, there’s too many people for that to be an option. Like it or not, to a large degree our side has to air it’s dirty laundry publicly in order to have a discussion about it.

              And to the extent the anti-gunners squawk with delight about it, they wish they had this problem, because it would mean they have more than a small handful of people behind them.

              1. We have DOZENS of pro-gun forums that rarely, if ever, see the presence of an anti. I’ve little doubt this individual is a member of one. I’ve little doubt that he can be knocked back in line “in private” – If it hasn’t in fact happened already.

                And as for Sally Soccermom, she’s exactly the type we need to distract by ensuring her focus is on the fact that nothing actually went wrong, and directing her to the school’s incompetence on jumping the gun like they did. Give them something else to focus on instead of festering on the OC issue.

                1. “And as for Sally Soccermom, she’s exactly the type we need to distract by ensuring her focus is on the fact that nothing actually went wrong, and directing her to the school’s incompetence on jumping the gun like they did.”

                  In your fantasy land where people who think their kids are going to be shot are also completely rational at the same time, that might work. In the real world, you don’t pull disinterested 3rd parties into your debate and make them think you’re going to harm their children. It’s absurd to think this is an effective strategy, and naive to think this can be twisted into demonstrating “the school’s incompetence” because their kid didn’t get shot, this time.

                  If you don’t get this, you’re too far down the OC activism nutcase rabbit hole, and the rest of us would appreciate you not tarnishing our good name with your crazy. Thanks mmmmok.

                  1. I don’t OC. If you re-read what I’ve written in light of that, you’ll understand what I’m trying to accomplish.

                    Sally Soccermom will have exactly two parts to her reaction;

                    1) Are my kids ok???

                    2) Who’s to blame for this???

                    Whether at fault or no, I want to do whatever’s possible to shift the “blame” away from OC specifically and gun owners in general.

                    *Of course* Sally will be irrational, that’s exactly the time to do that shifting. Get them talking about (and even having to defend!) the school’s decision, and less time is spent complaining about how much they hate OC and gun owners generally.

                    Distract your opponent. I’m sure Sun Tzu said something about it. I’m sure he would have approved.

                    When you wash your dirty laundry, do it in private.

                    When it’s clean, present it as your public face.

                    When your laundry isn’t so clean as it should be? Point out the stains on your opponents sheets.

                    1. “2) Who’s to blame for this???”

                      Anyone who thinks Sally Soccermom will see anyone but the clown with the gun to blame is dangerously naive.

  19. Here’s another OCer conducting an education program:

    This is an education program if you consider that he is educating lawmakers on holes in gun laws that they might want to close. Almost the same education the Black Panthers offered California in the 1960’s.

  20. Anyone who thinks Sally Soccermom will see anyone but the clown with the gun to blame is dangerously naive.



    And THAT’S why we need to steer her that way. And not just her, but the expressed general consensus, as was expressed on the Comments section of the original link article.

    The Dems have been very good at doing that. Time to learn that lesson. It’s not naivety, it’s opportunity.

      1. I was interested in looking at ways of protecting our community as best as possible while still learning the lessons we as a community need to take onboard.

        I’m really not sure I can articulate that point in another way that might help you understand that. Not based on your response.

    1. The Dems have indeed been very successful at doing that, but how they did it is vastly different than open carry, or any reasonable analogous behavior. They drive that kind of consensus by dominating important and influential cultural institutions, like the media, academia, education, and Hollywood.

      1. Agreed – It’ll probably be more effective at a local level, since we don’t have any real control of the national media.

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