Sebastian has been one of the gun bloggers discussing open carry a great deal in recent days.
Earlier today I wrote a bit more about my own thoughts on open carry and how I’m just not into it for myself because I don’t carry to make a political statement. Now Sebastian writes on a critical question that comes up in this discussion:
Ride Fast has a question:
What I would like to hear from Mr. Cramer and others who support not openly carrying, is just how do we acclimate people to open carry without actually open carrying? Or is Mr. Cramer advocating we give up on open carry altogether? I can’t support that and never will.
I would ask why acclimating people to open carry is an important goal for the gun rights movement? Because doing that really only benefits the small number of people who want to openly carry. To me that’s a step 36 thing, when we’re on step 12.
Now you have to back up and look at Ride Fast’s post. But frankly he answers his own question and Sebastian furthers it.
Dramatic change is not going to work. People just don’t like change, or perhaps better is to say that most people don’t like big changes really quickly — especially a change that could invoke negative feelings (like seeing a gun on someone’s hip). Recent years have been very big on anti-gun, but it is slowly changing. Heck, in the past year a lot has changed in that regard and many more people are warming up to guns and gun owners. But taking giant leaps into open carry just may not work for the masses. Again, it’s well likely to scare the sheep.
Case in point, as soon as I posted my earlier bit, a buddy of mine posted an experience he had at a local bank. And he wasn’t open carrying at all. Heck, it sounds like it was possible they went purely on the knowledge that he had a concealed handgun license. And folks, this is in Texas.
I just don’t think the sheep, on the whole, are ready for us to jump into open carry.
So this is how you do it. Like Ride Fast said, it was a slow haul through advertising and other avenues. Honda started an ad campaign. Kinda like Bushmaster with Maxim, eh? It’s a slow process of allowing the mainstream to see us and think nothing of it all.
Sebastian continues along the lines I also feel, that if you’re open carrying to make a political point, it’s a passive show and the message received by the viewer may not be the message you wish to convey. I know Ron’s a good guy, but the man at the bank did not and assumed the worst. It’s better to be able to engage people actively, so you can explain, so they can ask questions and you can answer and ensure they are receiving the message you’re trying to send.
So should we not open carry at all in the meantime? No. To some degree you still have to have it out in the open. Just realize that that avenue is going to be a rough road and cannot be the only road. I’m happy to discuss things with people. When I go to the gun range, I have to walk outside with my guns and range bag to load them into my car and I’m sure neighbors have seen me. You shouldn’t hide what or who you are, but on the same token, like anything else, we have to be mindful about flaunting it in front of others. You don’t win people to your way of thinking by rubbing their noses in something they have a problem with.
Updated: OK. Yeah… Linoge gets the win here. 🙂 I’ve been swayed, at least enough to go back and think about it more, as it pertains to open carry as a political statement and then how I personally wish to conduct myself with regards to carrying openly.