Since MOST of the problem is unlicensed carry, I hope the unlicensed carry of long guns continues until the licenses are no longer required, at least for open carry of all firearms.
OK to the north got open carry, but only for licensees. I really hope you guys don't settle for that. Because, as you say, you know that is all they are going to want to concede unless absolutely necessary.
You're not fighting for open carry as much as you are fighting for unlicensed carry.
I'm in Texas several times a year. I'll join you on the front lines.