Civilians Who Carry Long Guns In Public Should Be Tarred And Feathered

News of the open letter from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, a polite request for gun owners to not bring guns to Starbucks, has set the gun world on fire – or at least my Facebook feed.

A condensed version of events: Starbucks has in years past not taken a stance on firearms in their stores. They’ve said that local, state, and federal laws are enough. Some gun owners took that as a version of support for open carry in their stores, and went so far as to walk into such establishments while carrying AKs, ARs, and shotguns. Because…other people were doing it, and it seemed like a good idea at the time?

This is sheer idiocy.

Understandably, the result is that Starbucks now doesn’t want guns in their stores. It’s not a hard rule, but a polite request. They didn’t want to be involved, some folks dragged them into it, and they felt their only choice was to make a public statement about the topic.

I have heard a few statements repeated by extreme open carry advocates in recent days, and I would like to address them here.

“Because I can! It’s my right and you can’t take away my rights!”

There are a lot of things you “can” do. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should, with great power comes great responsibility, etc etc.

Furthermore, you don’t have a right to carry a firearm onto private property without the permission of the owner. And since the Supreme Court has ruled that the government can place some restrictions on the carry of firearms, I don’t think California’s ban on open carry (which came as a direct result of open carry demonstrations in the state!) will be overturned any time soon. You certainly won’t be granted the ability to carry a firearm onto private property without the permission of the owner.

In other words, you can blather on about what you think should be reality, but actual-reality is different. It doesn’t matter what you think or what I think. Stop participating in Second Amendment circle jerks on the Internet and face the reality that your actions have consequences.

“F*** you, Starbucks!”

First, if you are unable to articulate your position on a sensitive topic without expletives forming a significant portion of your statements, please stop talking. Your words reflect poorly on gun owners as a whole.

Second, every single private business in America is not a battleground for gun rights. Most business owners want to sell a product, employ people, serve people, whatever. Their business is not about us, and it is selfish, immature, and stupid for some gun owners to make everything about them. It is stupid to organize a boycott simply because a company wants to be left out of a heated discussion.

Finally, even if a company takes a stand against firearm ownership, so what? Life is too short to spend time hating people who don’t like guns. I find it delightfully ironic that some of my Kenneth Cole clothing conceals certain firearms very well.

Variations on this theme: “We need to desensitize people to firearms!” or “People need to stop being uncomfortable around firearms!” or “You don’t have a right to not be offended!”

So let me get this straight, long gun open carry advocates want average citizens to get used to firearms, and their plan to achieve this goal is to do something that they know is going to scare/offend/startle people?

Like I said, sheer idiocy.

I am comfortable around firearms. I carry a concealed firearm every day. I have too many guns, including scary black guns. I’m actually not as vehemently opposed to open carry as some others in the gun industry. Open carry has its place – Starbucks not included.

But if I was enjoying a Chai Tea Latte in my local Starbucks and saw a dude walk in carrying a shotgun, I would become very uncomfortable, very fast. I can only imagine how people who don’t trip on five guns when they get out of bed would react. There is no need to make people upset in order to reach them, unless you are an attention whore.

What extreme open carry advocates seem to not understand is that we are winning this particular culture war – and that they are not helping. Politicians love to talk about what percentage of people support this gun control measure or that, but the number of people who own guns, and the number of people who think it’s okay for average citizens to own guns? Those numbers are increasing, not decreasing. We might differ on the details of the type of gun and how they might be acquired, but gun owners are not facing a hostile US population.

That is, we aren’t as long as we don’t do stupid crap like carry AKs into Starbucks. What have massive open carry demonstrations achieved? Restrictions on how firearms may be carried in a major US state and a major US business chain.

We’ll win over far more people if we show them that gun owners are intelligent, thoughtful, and polite.

113 thoughts on “Civilians Who Carry Long Guns In Public Should Be Tarred And Feathered”

  1. If someone enters a store with a long gun in his hand, my first thought wouldn’t be that he’s just open-carrying either.

    I’m not that familiar with US gun laws, is some form of education not required for a license?

    1. Most states do not require a license for gun ownership.

      Most states also do not require a license for some form of open carry(this is so people don’t get arrested hunting, walking to or from the range,plinking on public land, accidentally exposing your concealed carry piece, etc).

      But yeah if some dude came walking into Starbucks with his long gun in hand I’d think it was a hold up.

          1. I mean in theory you can walk in a place dressed as if you were going to rob it, but it’s perfecly legal, because you have the right to open carry.

          2. I disagree, that’d be inducing panic, and it’d be hard to defend in a court case, even if there is no “masked and carry” law.

            While technically legal to yell “FIRE” in a theater, you’d be responsible for causing the panic.

          3. If you are not living in the United States (which you are not), then why do you care? Do these hypothetical scenarios affect you?

          4. It’s a very state-to-state thing.

            IIRC, some states actually do have laws against going masked in public (with exemptions for Halloween and suchlike) specifically for that reason.

            In other places, they could be charged with “going armed to the terror of the public” or similar sorts of laws.

          5. Likewise, under the Reasonable Man doctrine, even if the law in a particular locality doesn’t specifically ban being masked and openly armed (not even with one of the “armed to the terror of the public” laws), if you walk into a place with a ski mask and a shotgun, and you get shot by someone who _reasonably_ (even if mistakenly) thinks you’re committing a hold up, you’ll still be just as shot, and they are likely to be acquitted (if they are even charged).

            If you go around in a fire hydrant costume, you have no one to blame when dogs pee on you.

          6. Tom, why do you have to be impolite? The guy is just asking a question. There is nothing wrong with curiosity, especially from someone who may not have the same right to own firearms as we do.

      1. Wouldn’t actually draw, but would position myself to do so, and watch him VERY closely. OK, under some conditions maybe I would draw and hold out of sight.

  2. I agree with your opinion on long guns, but this issue with Starbucks doesn’t just stop with those that are also scared of people legally carrying handguns on their hips.

    Sure we gun owners can be our own worse enemy at times, and the clowns carrying rifles in hand in a private business that did not have a stand in the issue is one of them, but what are we gun owners doing to help “our” cause?

    Sure, we sometimes run into anti’s that are interested enough on an individual basis and might convert them, but unless I’ve been in a cave, I’ve yet to see any commercials on TV or the radio offering reduced rate classes for these anti’s that would be interested if it were some one offering it and not some individual right wing Bible clinging gun nut.

    Your thoughts?

    1. Although the article is primarily about long guns, I don’t think people’s fears end there. Have you ever been in a place when a uniformed policeman walks in, and notice how many people uncomfortably glance at his holster to see if there is a gun there. Guns scare people, long guns just scare them more.

      I personally carry, but I carry concealed. I do it for tactical reasons, but also for social reasons. When I go the the bank, or gas station, or where ever, people who know me know I have my gun. But they aren’t afraid, because if it isn’t staring them in the face they forget about it.

      No one is ever going to be ‘desensitized’ to guns by seeing other people with them. As you suggest if we can teach them about them, show them that they only go bang when we want them to, and that we are in control of the gun and not the gun controlling us, then they may feel more comfortable.

      1. Strangely enough, with regards to your last paragraph, most the anti-‘s I know, after a dialogue with them, they disclose that they don’t like firearms because they wouldn’t trust themselves to not kill someone in a fit of anger. As such, they can’t see what stops us gun enthusiasts from not killing someone in road rage or similar.

        Maybe it’s us gun enthusiasts who are the calm ones.

        1. It’s interesting that you mention that. I’m a gun-lover but most of my friends are liberals (I should have my own TV show). I end up meeting a lot of anti-gun people who have never fired a gun and they’re always the ones who joke about shootings. Those are the type of people I wouldn’t trust with a gun.

  3. Great article Andrew – as always. This is the problem I have with openly carrying long guns. This act departs from the reason we carry weapons in the first place – which is protect ourselves and our families. Openly carrying a rifle seems to me an act to intimidate others. I see no difference between someone legally carrying an AK than a “gangsta” type wearing gang colors and walking around trying to as scary as they can. It’t their right but I surely won’t be spending any money in the establishments they frequent.

    I will disassociate myself from all these jackass’ carrying rifles “because they can”.

    Thanks for you post. Keep doing what you are doing.

      1. Actually, I think Starbucks took the chicken way out. They made a business decision, not a political one. They sent out their letter because they didn’t want to be a part of the controversy any more, but there is more being written about them from both sides than ever before. Plan failed.

        Let’s look at the reality. Starbucks requested nicely, but will not ask anyone to leave. Open carry peacocks who loved to strut their guns previously were interested in shaking up “the sheeple” and wanted to make a political statement. These same people are obviously going to ignore the request, until Starbucks finally has to start asking people to leave and then ultimately having some arrested for trespassing.

        So instead of ending the controversy by just saying “No guns in the stores” (just like they have said no guns in our corporate offices), they are going to drag it out and cause a lot of heart-ache and fear among all their customers, gun lovers and gun haters alike.

        I admit they have every right to dis-allow guns on their property. That is their right, just like it is my right to take my money elsewhere. Its just the silly way they are going about it is ultimately only going to exacerbate the problem long term.

        1. I think you give up too much. I would agree that a private homeowner can decide he does not want guns on his property, but once you open a business, you are part of the public space we all work and move in.

          Consider the response if Starbucks decided to say, “We won’t make a rule, but we’re asking mixed race couples not to come into our stores together. We like your business just fine, but come in individually, we don’t want to be part of a controversy.”

          That is essentially what they are doing with gun owners. They know people own them, they don’t want to make a rule or post a sign, but they don’t want to see them in public.

      2. I do to.

        Starbucks had a very agreeable position on guns before, and its bullshit like what was pulled with these open carry dingys that caused them to make changes.

        I don’t necessarily blame starbucks. They are not the enemy here.

  4. Excellent post, thank you. Every time I hear about one of these stunts (and thats what they are) I just want to scream at the rifle toters “YOU’RE NOT HELPING!”
    I think more calm, rational, unemotional discussions (on both sides of the issue) like this will bear much more fruit than the current state of discourse on the topic.

  5. Gun owners don’t have to be intelligent nor articulate in order to exercise their inalienable rights. Just food for thought.

    1. While you are correct that gun owners need not be either intelligent or articulate to own a gun, we shouldn’t be allowing those who are neither to lead the charge, as it were.

  6. THANK YOU Andrew. I’ve been hoping somebody would write a logical, thoughtful and intelligent opinion and position on this issue.

  7. Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Just because you can, doesnt mean you should. Etc etc

    Im pretty sure these kind of dopey demonstrations are the reason open carry isnt legal in Texas (or at the very least hurt the argument in favor of it).

  8. If I am in Starbucks and you walk in carrying an AR or a shotgun at port arms, I am NOT going to think, “Hey, look! It’s a fellow responsible gun owner exercising his right to keep and bear arms by open-carrying a rifle!” I am going to think “THREAT!”, and you will find yourself staring at my formerly-concealed pistol of choice. Open carry of longarms into the public is just not a good idea.

  9. My understanding is that we have a long standing cultural norm that the jackwagons toting AR15s and shotguns are blissfully unaware of or just don’t care about. You carry a pistol for the just in case. The long gun comes out when you are fairly certain things are going to get serious, or they already have.

  10. so, if someone with arab clothing on walked into Starbucks with an AR-15, might you leave? What if the person had teardrop tattoos on his face?

    1. I shoot with numerous arab fellows, and a lot of muslim Philipinos, not sure why, but they love IPSC and Sporting Clays. At my local club, Philipinos are the majority. An arab or muslim gun owner has as much of a voice to a Congressman as I do, any legal, responsible gun owner is a friend, potential lifesaver, and one more vote in favor of the 2A. However, if I saw anyone walk into starbucks with an AR-15 in hand, (not slung) I would simply plan on how to keep myself safe, and have a heightened situational awareness, no need to act brashley. I know that open carry advocates are out there and being outlandish.

      WRT the second hypothetical situation though, I may call the local law enforcement folks and tell them I suspect that I have found an armed felon, while formulating a plan to keep myself self.

  11. While I completely agree that lone individuals carrying long guns in public is stupid, I don’t think that open carry of long guns is a bad idea for large political rallies. A rifle or shotgun is a much more visually effective symbol than a sign. Back in februar I participated in one in my state capitol and we actually got a bunch of positive response from people walking by, they were more curious than anything.

    The way the open carry bans were passed in Cali: no loaded pistols -> no unloaded pistols -> long gun ban really just showed the hatred and petty tyranny of the california democrats. And it did rid them of any “just ban the evil guns” cover. Unfortunately it showed that right now they’re strong enough to not need it.

    1. But you organize those, and generally they are in an open area that people can see from a distance and can join or avoid as they wish. Walking in to a store with customers already inside who now feel trapped, or new customers walking in and seeing a half dozen AR rifles walking around is shocking to anyone.

  12. Agree completely with your comments. Starbucks unwittingly became the epicenter of the open carry debate – they just wanted to sell coffee to a broad range of people and persuasions. There are just those people who will look at a good thing and ask themselves “How can i take it a little too far?”

  13. Been reading your blog for awhile now. I have to say I love your technical content. I also have to say that I don’t like how much time you spend looking down your nose at other gun owners. If we’re not in this together, we’ve already lost. Elitism is for liberal politicians. Here’s a quote from MrColionNoir that I feel hits the nail on the head: “Anti-Gunners say, “who needs to carry a gun and own an AR-15 just use a shotgun”. The Hunters said, “yeah, you don’t an AR-15 to hunt, get rid of them”. The Concealed Carriers say, “why would anyone open carry they should stop”. The Anti-Gunners sit back and watch it all collapse. Of course there are jackasses in every group, but letting the exception swallow the rule is a mistake. They’ll ban open carry because the conceal carriers will support it, and then they’ll come for the those too. Lowest hanging fruit my friends, lowest hanging fruit. They’re playing chess and we’re playing checkers.” You seem like more of a chess guy anyway, Andrew!

    1. Perhaps you missed the part of the article where I said that I believe open carry has its place. I don’t see a reason to carry an AR15 in public other than to freak people out.

      I look down at some gun owners because I find them to be contemptible. The people who shoot up park entrance signs. The people who haul trash into the desert, shoot it, and then leave it there. The people who shoot protected plant and animal life without a thought.

      In this same group deserving of contempt I place people who openly carry long guns in order to attract attention to themselves. I don’t feel the need to defend extreme and irrational behavior simply because someone happens to be a gun owner.

      As for the assertion that “we have already lost if we’re not in this together” – that is laughable. As stated in the article, the extreme open carry folks have only achieved negative things. The results of their actions are in direct contradiction to what has been achieved at the local, state, and national level in terms of opening up opportunities for carry, defeating anti-gun measures, and unseating anti-gun politicians. This is a long battle which we can win if we fight smartly. Brandishing a shotgun at Starbucks is not fighting smartly.

      1. I saw someone riding on the freeway with an unloaded rifle secured on his back (I think it was a VZ-58), after thinking about it, it seems like options for going to a range with long arms on a motorcycle (or anything besides a car) are pretty limited, especially because the closest range in this situation required going through the parking lots of a gas station and grocery store to park.

        I can see a few valid reasons to carry in public, but none are political.

        1. I throw my vz or a broken down AR in a decent sized backpack and head to the range. In fact the blog header photo of me on my motorcycle – there is a vz58 in my bag.

          1. I do that with my O/U all the time on the way to the range. If my VZ wasn’t an 18.6″ barrel I’d probably consider it with that as well. I try to keep the whole gun covered by the bag though.

      2. Thank goodness somebody sensible is on our side. I really appreciate your perspective Andrew. There is a reason why I left another deliberately unmentioned gun blog: its because they encouraged behavior such as this.

  14. As far as I am concerned open carry of a long gun is so hunters can cross roads and get breakfast at an accommodating diner.

  15. I generally agree with this article. I’d have to say though that when you said “Open carry has its place – Starbucks not included” … I think that what you meant is correct but how you’ve stated it is wrong.

    Open carry is fine for a coffee shop, as much as it is fine for a grocery store, or drug store, or restaurant, or any other typical business location. The problem is not open carry. The problem is wildly misguided political activism.

    Open carry is NOT waltzing around town and proudly showing off a long gun. It’s NOT unholstering and/or brandishing weapons in stores. It’s NOT gathering en masse with other gun owners to “support” a business.

    Open carry, REAL open carry, is boring. It’s doing almost exactly the same thing that concealed carriers do, which is to simply go about one’s business during the day and to be armed while doing so. The difference is that CC means covering the weapon up, and OC means not covering the weapon up. That’s about it, other than the fact that someone who is OCing arguably has to have better situational awareness than someone who is CCing.

    Sadly, these misguided pro-gun political activists have really screwed things up for everyone. I know that some states prohibit all handgun carry and only allow unloaded long gun carry, but the solution is not to carry unloaded long guns and scare everyone … the solution is to find other methods to change the minds of the legislators. IMO, long guns don’t make any sense for open carry at all, unless you’re in a rural area where the risk of a large wild animal attack is high.

    Ideally, what Starbucks could have done would have been to say “no long guns in our stores and no political demonstrations in our stores.” That would have then told the misguided activists they were stepping over the line, but also continued to welcome the open/concealed carriers of handguns.

    Political action is great, but there’s a time and place for it. Such as … at the legislative houses to make your opinions known …. on the phone or online while a bill is under discussion, so you can politely notify your legislator to vote for or against the bill … during election season, when you can support or oppose candidates, initiatives, and referendums. Political statements should not be made at businesses who are just trying to sell stuff, and who have explicitly tried to stay out of a debate.

  16. The group think here is amazing.

    Perhaps I should cover up my BMW while I am driving in it, so people don’t reminded of the evil top 1% so much.

    Not too long ago, same sex couples would hold hands or kiss in public to make a point or statement. Now they are getting married.

    I’d say carry away.

    1. And somehow you’re more deserving of showing off your gun to everyone than same-sex couples deserve to show affection for one-another publicly?

      1. Did you have a point?

        That I-know-better-than-you and there-is-time-and-place line of thinking has no limiting principle. It’s a dangerous slippery slope.

        If you are OK with the there-is-time-and-place argument, soon you will see amendments like no carry within city limits. And before you know it, the city limit will be expanded, and then you will have to drive 3 hours to even use your guns. And then you will have to check your guns into a precinct station. You see where this is going?

        While the gun debate was taking place here in the US, UK PM David Cameron was talking about knife regulation because there was a mass stabbing in Manchester area. You can fact check this on C-Span. Do a search around March 2013.

        Your constitutional gun right has been challenged and has become political. You either react or watch your right being slowly chipped away and watch yourself being constantly forced to adjust to a new normal.

        Where do you suppose those should go to make a political statement? Some place where the nearest toilet is 100 miles away, so no one would see it and thus no one would get scared?

        It is worthwhile, at least in my opinion, for some people to open carry their long guns just to make a point (as opposed to that’s what they do all the time), at least once in a while. There are a number of youtube videos showing people did that. In the comment section, there would inevitably be many group thinking hall monitors bashing what they did. However, there would also be people asking about whether or not it is legal, and someone would jump in explain what it was all about. Just like the very first question posted for this topic.

        Sometimes people need to be reminded of or made aware of their rights.

        In my view, what many of us are dong here is help stigmatize gun ownership. Are you saying that I have to be hush about that fact I have a gun? And that I have to take my gun apart and put the pieces into a box or a bag when transporting it, otherwise I would be politically incorrect?

        I am all for being responsible, considerate and being polite, but it is something else entirely to attempt to draw a line where there was none.

        The fact is statistically half of us are below average and most of us are mediocre at best. Stupid things like people shot themselves or someone else accidentally or drove a car into a wall while being distracted are bound to happen. It is the price of your liberty.

        1. Our rights are increasing, not decreasing. We aren’t watching our rights erode, we’re watching carry rights expand – with the notable exception of whenever a bunch of people decide to get together and brandish long guns in public. Your argument in that regard has no merit.

          1. I happen to believe it is quite effective politically. You wanted to make a point and you might as well make a splash. But I can agree to disagree there. As far as the right expand part is concern, it depends where you start your regressional analysis.

          2. You seem to have gotten used to a version of new normal already.

            So far your quick responses really haven’t responded to my points. In any case, saying that our rights have not been negatively impacted, if that is even true, therefore no need to worry about it shows utter complacency.

            To be clear, Starbucks can actually ban guns from their stores. It is within their property right to do so. Starbucks’ headquarter is in Seattle, if that gives you a clue.

            This evil top one percenter has got to go and do some real work, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to continue to fancy off on you folks’ broken backs. 🙂

            I will rest my case with a quote from a strong and decent man and a fellow American.

            “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well-taught lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”

            — Ronald Reagan

            I hope that the view and complacency on display here do not reflect the majority of the people in this republic. Otherwise, it is not if but when that the only times that we will see guns are in parades, and the guns are probably not going to be in our hands.

          3. That’s because you write a lot without actually saying anything backed up by facts. Just a lot of hyperbole.

            Edit: Are we supposed to be impressed with your wealth? You keep mentioning it as if it is relevant.

          4. Andrew, you write editorials. Kind of hypocritical to attack hyperbole with snark, isn’t it? I’d expect that of ENDO-Mike or Robert Farago…not of you…

    1. Well, that depends on the Minutemen you refer to – as to the Israelis, those are at least reservists carrying rifles, and they have an ever-present terrorist threat that we do not. If we had to deal with their problems, it might be a lot more appropriate to carry a rifle around in public. Thankfully, we do not.

  17. Strongly agree. If you’re carrying it slung on your back, then you lack positive control of a (presumably) condition 1 weapon. Seen enough people with an AR get the trigger hooked on something and ND that I believe it should be carried at the alert or cased. And if you’re carrying an AR at the alert in public, not only are you an enormous tool, but there is no convenient way to identify you as not-a-threat. An openly-carried pistol in a holster? If you were a threat, you’d be touching it. No touch, no threat. AR with hands on it? Big problem.

    I just want to reiterate the toolishness of these guys. The only people who carry lots of gear (like long guns) when they don’t need it are the worst fobbits and those who like to play pretend.

    1. Tool is a great description for these asshats.

      And a Utah SWAT officer was shot recently when his slung AR discharged. Reportedly the selector shifted off safe and a round discharged when the trigger was activated.

  18. No, you know who SHOULD be tarred and feathered?

    All the management of Goldman Sachs.

    98% of Congress.

    The CEOs of most of the top 10 corporations.

  19. Andrew, I agree with you 100%. To the others that say open carry has it’s place in political rallies…I don’t think so.
    I have had the opportunity to live in a few countries other than the United States and have watched while other political issues have been at the top of mind for the citizens of those counties. All I will say is that tactics, like carrying long guns in political rallies, only SCARE the fence sitters and strengthen the resolve of those against things like second amendment rights.
    As a member of the “gun culture” I feel actions like the open carry demonstrations are stupid, short sided and just plain irresponsible.

  20. Andrew, thank you so much for this write-up. I don’t need to regurgitate what you’ve already written, but I agree wholly with your “simply because you ‘can’ does not mean you ‘should’.” So true. Thank you again.

    1. Yes! thank you for proving the point 😀

      Somehow people viewed starbucks’ decision as pro-gun, open carry all the way with Starbucks supporting the NRA, etc.

      This couldn’t be further from the truth. If these open carriers, who are pissed at starbucks now, want to blame somebody for the shift in thinking, then need they only look in the mirror.

      1. “If these open carriers, who are pissed at starbucks now, want to blame somebody for the shift in thinking, then need they only look in the mirror.”

        Exactly.

      2. “Somehow people viewed starbucks’ decision as pro-gun, open carry all the way with Starbucks supporting the NRA, etc.”

        That was a common misconception on both sides.

        I tried to argue that Starbucks was not pro-gun, but merely politically neutral. One woman actually argued that Starbucks bans guns in their headquarters but not their stores, and therefore they must be pro-gun. I tried to tell her they were just didn’t want to exclude any percentage of customers, but she wouldn’t listen. To her, anywhere that doesn’t ban guns must be “pro-gun”.

  21. I find it interesting how many pro-gunners were okay with this when people started doing it and now that Starbucks reacted, you all immediately start playing the blame game. Why didn’t you suggest they be tarred and feathered before Starbucks made a statement?

    1. I was unaware that people were carrying long guns into Starbucks prior to this week.

      I had already planned an article opposing the YouTube phenomenon of confronting police while open carrying, and had interviewed a police officer at length on the topic several months ago.

  22. I think the place for a LOC protest is the local Independance Day parade. With proper sling usage, matching shirts, signage, and kids.

  23. Just going to toss this out there… in regard to California, those poor sods only had open carry as a means to carry. They had no other legal means to carry a firearm for self defense.

    Interestingly enough, the reason that carry of a loaded firearm over there was shut down was because of a demonstration where Malcom X and his guys showed up legally armed with (IIRC) M1 carbines.

  24. You are so correct…

    Its certain fuckwits like these that already complicate the unstead ground between pro-gun and anti-gun crowds. The sane and rational gun owners get lumped in with those who use weapons to prove a political point.

    You should be a different person when you put on or carry that gun. Gone are petty things like arguments, involvement in controversies, and anything else that compromises you and those around you.

  25. Being that you and I have almost identical backgrounds, aside from age and American geography, I usually agree with what you have to say. It’s your blog, and your right to express your opinion.

    I do agree with all your comments about irresponsible yahoos shooting signs, leaving crap in the wilderness, destroying things for the sake of it. I find open carry of longs simply for the reason of eliciting a response is counterproductive. Each side has their opinion, and antagonizing the other will only galvanize their viewpoint, so I am with you there.

    However, when you state our rights are INCREASING, you are taking a very narrow viewpoint. Come move to my home state of New York and tell me that MY rights are increasing. Legally purchased G-3 magazines made and stamped in the 1960’s will have to be sold or destroyed come January. Those of us who jumped through hoops to “comply” with the 1994 AWB that sun-setted federally, but was made permanent by law in New York, are also required to “register” what firearms politicians have decided are assault weapons. Confiscation is not a theory, but a probability in my lifetime and a certainty in my childrens’.

    Yes, I don’t like asshats who use stupid, antogonistic methods simply “to make a point”. By the same token, please look outside of your locale before making blanket statements about the increase in freedoms. I am not feeling the love.

    Vote with my feet?
    1. I’d love to, but my wife of 26+ years is not interested.
    2. Why should I have to leave a place I have spent my entire life, excepting my five-year stint as a Corpsman (extended for an extra year “at the convenience of the government” because I dared to marry)?

    1. I was referring specifically to increases in carry rights, although you are correct that a number of states have imposed magazine restrictions, which is certainly not an increase in freedom. I should have specified better.

      1. That’s one reason I moved to Texas. Before I die I want to own some guns and have fun shooting. I might even get a CHL here in Texas. I lived through Sandy and felt naked in NYC. I figured the criminals were too busy and scared to do anything and were taking care of their family. Next time and there will be a next time they will figure out we were all fair game. They will have a field day and sack the city. I waited for days and nobody came, no police, no firemen, no FEMA, nothing until CNN and Wolf Blitzer did a report on Staten Island. We were hit with a tidal surge that is like a small Tsunami. I tied a small knife to a wood dowel just in case. The total lack of response by the government was eye opening. I hope it never happens there but if it does they will realize their mistake about gun ownership in New York. A very good, well thought out and intelligent article.

  26. Well said, Andrew.

    The big problem was that Starbucks was neutral. They were being pushed to become our enemy by other of our enemies. And a lot of people did things to tell Starbucks that they shouldn’t be our enemy – Starbucks appreciation day was about going to Starbucks and having a nice interaction with them. Buy their product and say “Thanks for not being our enemy”.

    Others had to blow that up by being offensive. Starbucks is no longer neutral although they’ve not really become our enemy. That isn’t victory for us.

    Open carry as statement usually makes sense in public spaces where the law of the state or locale said we had that right but the local institution was illegally banning it. It does not make sense to annoy someone who wasn’t our enemy.

  27. Granted that some OC proponents have behaved stupidly, we must look strategically at the current situation. The facts are, as I see it: 1. Starbucks has publicly dissed us; 2. Starbucks spent significant money to publicize the dissing in national newspapers; 3. these events have given aid, comfort, and a president to our enemies, notably MDA. In short, Starbucks has sided with our enemies.

    My policy is never to patronize my enemies. Starbucks will never see another dime of mine. Were a friend to say “Meet me at Starbucks, and I’ll buy you a gigantic mocha latte,” I would insist on going elsewhere. Exception: if the friend is Brooklynn Decker, I’ll go anyplace.

    1. I have a similar mindset. I understand that Starbucks got drawn into a controversial debate they never wanted, but I still disapprove of how they handled it. They chose to solve their problem with an anti-gun answer rather than a politically balanced solution.

      I don’t drink coffee but I started drinking their hot chocolate heavily in February 2012. I also started eating the pastries until they change to “La Boulanger”. I made a point to buy some hot chocolate every time I visited the grocery store each week and again on the 2-3 days each month when I volunteer for animal rescue.

      But no more. I’m done with them. I know my wife won’t stop drinking their stuff no matter what I say, but I’m completely finished. (She’s sure I’m crazy for caring about this stuff.)

      (And no, I don’t carry openly or concealed. Santa Clara county in California gives me NO legal way to carry at all.)

  28. I didn’t read each comment, so it may have been said already, but I would encourage extremme open carry types to read the sign next to the door at their local gun store. I’ve never been to a gun store that would allow you to walk in openly with a mag inserted.

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