Clayton’s at it again

Fearfully berating open carriers, that is. This time in Pajamas Media and in terms of defending his column on the same subject in Shotgun News.

His thesis statement:

Open carry in a number of states is not just legal, but protected by the state constitution. But just because something is legal, even constitutionally protected, doesn’t mean that it is wise.

Apparently, Mr. Cramer is a statist who believes that everyone should register with the government, undergo a background check, pay a fee and receive the permission of the government before exercising their rights lest we scare the sheeple.

Here’s the comment I left in response.

“We shouldn’t allow mere untrained civilians to carry guns, there will be firefights over parking spaces and shootouts at the mall.”

“We shouldn’t carry openly because we’ll scare the general population and they’ll be motivated to make the laws stricter, not more lax.”

Those two statements have two things in common: They’re both based on emotion driven prejudices rather than objective fact and neither has come to pass anywhere that they’ve taken place.

Do a few very vocal GFW’s cry out in agony over the sight of a person lawfully carrying a firearm? Does the press lambaste the practice, try to paint it in the most unflattering light possible and draw comparisons to “the wild west”? Of course.

Do either of those things affect public opinion in the way they hope? Nope.

The non-hoplophobes sit back and wonder what all the hubbub was about, while realizing the real significance: Lawfully armed citizens openly carried firearms in a public place and NOTHING BAD HAPPENED.

The hoplophobes and media (but I repeat myself) are exposed (again) as harboring irrational fears and those unafflicted with unreasonable fears are again reminded that the vast majority of their peers are stable, law abiding people who pose no danger to anyone.

Evidence? Someone already mentioned Virginia, VCDL and the open carry dinners.

Yup, the media went nuts, the hoplophobes wet their panties in fear, we had a few high profile incidents where the police were called…and in all of those incidents the one thing that the general public noted is that the only ones remaining calm and unflustered were the open carriers. The general public realized that the citizens were harming no one and the over-the-top reaction was the problem, not the citizens exercising their rights.

And what’s been the result? Open carry is MUCH more accepted in Virginia than it was ten years ago when I first began doing it regularly…in one of the most anti-gun urban areas in the state.

The past two legislative sessions in a row, we’ve gotten laws passed overturning the “restaurant ban”, that have been vetoed by the governor and both of the incoming Gubernatorial candidates are pro-gun and have promised to sign the bill into law if it reaches their desks again.

In short…all the hissy fit doom-saying scaredy cats like Clayton Cramer are flat out wrong.

The only place that their fears are played out are in the media (which virtually no one trusts any more anyway) and the halls of the Brady Campaign.

Open carry is a great outreach tool for getting the “squshy middle” to think about the issue in terms that WE determine…in terms of law abiding citizens peacefully bearing arms and harming no one…rather than only thinking about it when the Brady Campaign and the Media sensationalize another crime and paint gun ownership in the light that THEY prefer.

Open carry CANNOT be demonstrated to harm public opinion about gun ownership and carry. And there is strong evidence in the State of Virginia and others that it PROMOTES general societal acceptance of defensive firearms carry.

Prognostications of doom and despair from Clayton and others are no more prescient than the the inevitable claims that blood will run in the streets every time another bill is proposed that would relax a restriction on civilian gun use and ownership.

To both Clayton and all the commenters who agreed with him, I have one thing to say:

Thank you for the suggestion. You are entitled to your opinion but I respectfully decline to follow your suggestion.

And what I find offensive is that some people think it’s perfectly acceptable to self-righteously proclaim which constitutional rights are “wise” to exercise and where. My rights aren’t subject to your opinion. Thank God.

5 thoughts on “Clayton’s at it again

  1. I'm having pretty much the same conversation over at Sebastian's Snowflakes.

    What I don't get is the "we might lose" if we Open Carry mentality.

    I look at it as "What do we gain if we don't Open Carry".

    The answer: NOTHING.

    If we don't keep getting people comfortable with the free exercise of our rights, we will never have free exercise of our rights.

    What many people fail to realize is the benefit for those of us who can not Open Carry.

    I'm in Texas and have talked to more people about our rights because of the recent publicized Open Carry news. If there isn't news on this issue, people won't think about it here in Texas.

    Great post

  2. Clayton is the most frustrating of all the anti-OC folks, mostly because he is otherwise a tremendous boon to the 2A cause.

    It pains me to see him so demonstrably wrong on this issue.

  3. Robb: I agree.

    Bob S: I don't often visit Sebastian's place any more.

    I got tired of his "the NRA can do no wrong and no other organization can do it right" attitude.

    I support the NRA…I'm a life member and an NRA certified instructor…but that doesn't mean I harbor any fantasies about them being all-knowing and all-wise.

  4. Definitely not trying to agree with Clayton. I just remember a radio call-in segment called "ask a cop" where they have a state trooper answer listeners' questions. One guy asked if it was legal to drive barefoot.

    The cop's answer?

    "Something can be legal and stupid at the same time."

    Personally, I think that we need more "normal" people to carry openly in order to promote it as something that "normal" people do. Having people wearing radical shirts (including "funny" pro-gun shirts) or looking like criminals or your stereotypical rednecks or even just walking around in camo (except during hunting season in states where that's a common thing) does nothing to help the non gunny folks feel any sympathy toward our position.

    Someone that looks like your typical upright citizen openly carrying a gun is a good thing, IMHO.

  5. I'm not sure what irked me more, the stating of an opinion as unassailable fact or that he thought that basing his SGN article on "ZOMG, Teh Ghey Cooties", and then removing that part for the PJM piece.

    Bad enough that the antis smear us with those sorts of slurs, but it's intolerable if we have to put up with that from our own side.

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