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Thread: What do you think?

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    Here in NH, there is a group called the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition (NHFC) http://www.nhfc-ontarget.org/

    We had heard of this organization before, and we are considering joining them, but now we are not too sure. I'd like to get some opinions from the folks here.

    The wife and picked up a couple of their publications at the range the other night and in one of them, there was an article that bothered us a bit. The following exchange is my email to the organization and a response from their treasurer explaining their position. My question is, does the response make sense or does it sound to you like more appeasement of the very people who are hostile toward the 2nd amendment? I look forward to your comments on this one.

    ************************************************** *****************

    Mark A. Krochmal & NHFC,

    My wife and I are considering joining your organization. We both possess NH CCW permits and are avid defenders of the 2nd amendment. We also shoot weekly at the Manchester Firing Line and recently picked up your On Target publications Vol. 2005 – Issue 1 and Vol. 2006 – Fall Issue.

    It is with regard to the Vol. 2005 – Issue 1 that I inquire. In reading your web site, I discovered your list of stated goals. We wholeheartedly agree with and support each and every one. But we are a bit confused. The goal listed second is:

    *expanding New Hampshire residents' right to carry firearms, openly or concealed;

    However, we read the article that appeared in the 2005 On Target entitled “Appearing on a store front near you…?”. Within this article the following is stated:

    “A wise man once said “…carrying concealed means just that – concealed!” Unfortunately, there are some individuals whose concept of “concealed” is to have their “hogleg” jutting out of their belt. Perhaps they get some kind of cheap thrill at showing off their “piece”. Of course, open carry is not illegal in N.H. – but does the kid at Orange Julius at the mall really need to see your custom grips?”

    So the question is, does NHFC support open carry or not? As correctly pointed out in the article, open carry is not illegal in the state of NH, and we are bit offended by the flippant and demeaning remarks associated with those of us who deem it a right as protected under the constitution of the US to do so. In fact, some of us out here think that the State and Federal governments have way overstepped their constitutional boundaries by passing laws which restrict the 2nd amendment in any way, chiefly, laws surrounding concealed carry. While we have obtained CCW permits, we also fight vigorously to see these infringements on the 2nd amendment repealed as unconstitutional. It is our considered opinion that CCW permits have reduced a clear constitutional right to a mere privilege.

    The reasons to open carry have little to do with “cheap thrills” or “showing off our custom grips”. There are numerous positive reasons for carrying in this fashion:

    -more comfortable to carry
    -easier to arm myself
    -crime deterrent
    -easier to draw
    -shows the averagecitizen that gun owners are not criminals
    -openness about firearms can raise positive interest in guns from gun neutral people
    -it is a right that we (at least in NH) can exercisewithout the permission ofthegovernment
    -
    A right exercised is a right retained

    Many will debate the tactical advantages and disadvantages of open vs. concealed carry, and arguments can be made for both. On these things we can agree to disagree, they have no bearing on the larger question of the right itself. And by the way, we both carry concealed the majority of the time, but enjoy the freedom to carry openly at will.

    I sincerely hope that NHFC will continue to support open carry in NH and be a bit more careful in the future as not to divide the RTKBA community. We are all in this together and it seems un-wise for us to be divided on such trivial issues.

    I look forward to your response,

    William and Angela Fitzpatrick

    ************************************************** ****************

    Good Afternoon,

    Thank you for your email message.

    I have forwarded your message to Mark Krochmal. I am sure that he will respond. I will however
    take this opportunity to respond for the Board of Directors.

    We support open carry, period! No exceptions.

    The article you read mentioned the mall. If you carry for personal protection it is wise to keep the gun concealed. Why would a defender wish to telegraph to his attackers which self defense weapons he / she has at their disposal. In fact, concealed carry leaves muggers and rapists not knowing if the intended victim has the means to fend off a violent attack.

    If you are trying to make a political statement, educate the public about open carry it is best for now to practiced in more rural areas. Get some favorable publicity and then move to the malls and downtown areas.This is something that has been well done in other states and something that we are looking into. The solo open carrier at the Mall of New Hampshire will generate far more negative publicity then favorable. Conversely, the solo open carrier in Wolfeboro or Moultonboro will generate the positive interest in guns from gun neutral people. This interest will persuade more folks to carry openly and thus will spread to the more urban areas. And acceptance will grow!

    When we learn of a local business (usually part of a national chain based in an anti gun state) that installs signs prohibiting firearms we advise to carry concealed. Why? There are several reasons, first, the sign means absolutely nothing and boycotts simply do not work. You can carry in that establishment. Even though open carry is perfectly lawful in NH if a business dislikes you or your firearm they will call the police. They can ask you to leave and if you do not leave they can and will charge you with criminal trespass. Please understand, you will not have violated a firearms
    law. You will have violated a trespass law if asked to leave and don't. If the firearm is concealed you can go about your business and the anti gun folks are none the wiser.

    Open carry needs far more publicity and the public needs far more education on the issue. It is common in the more rural areas of the state. The gun is hardly noticed. It is on your body like an article of clothing. In the more urban areas such as Nashua and Manchester the previously mentioned calls to police will occur. To educate the public on open carry we feel that it should be promoted as discused above.

    I hope this answers your question and addresses your concerns.

    Alan Rice
    Treasurer - New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, Inc.

    ************************************************** ***************

    To us this sounds like appeasement. Doesn't it sound as if he is encouraging me to NOT carry open where I have a right to carry open? Why would I shy away from exercising my right? I have no intention of violating any trespass law. If asked to leave an establishment, you can believe I will. And they will not get my business, and I will tell everyone I know not to do business with them either. But I'm not going to alter my lifestyle to appease people.

    Why is he so worried about the police being called? How dare they challenge my right to open carry!!In the Mall, in the restaurant, in the street...this is my right! Appeasement rarely works. Our founding fathers tried appeasing King George, but in the end, the exercise of their God given rights was needed to secure freedom.

    (I must give credit to a forum member here from whom I borrowedmuch of the list of reasons to carry open)

    PO'd in NH,

    Fitz





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    I think your letter to NHFC was very well written. It sounds like Mr. Rice is a little confused. He presented the NHFC's policy in one sentence ("We support open carry, period! No exceptions.") and then went on to give what sounded like his own opinion in the following four paragraphs. From his letter I would say he is one of the MANY pro-gunners that is just scared of the idea of open carry. It didn't sound like appeasement as must as just plain ignorance. We fear the things we don't understand and it sounds like Mr. Rice, while he may support the 2nd Amendment, doesn't understand open carry.

    I would wait and see what Mr. Krochmal has to say when he replies to your letter. From what I have seen they seem to be a good pro 2A grassroots organization. If there is anything you can do to help furthereducate the people in this organization about OC, I would strongly recommend taking that path. You could see if they will let you write a letter about open carry for their newsletter, or just show up to one of their meeting while OC'ing and then answer any question that people ask you. This could be a great opportunity to educate people that are already leaning in your direction.

    That's just my .02. Let us know how it goes.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Sounds like Mr. Rice is a moron. After claiming they support OC he goes on to tell you why you shouldn't. We all know there will be mayhem in the streets if the public see's an OC'er.:shock: I am with you, I don't know why he is so worried about the police being called on someone doing NOTHING illegal. It appears they want to be gun rights group but are afraid to ruffle any feathers.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis!


    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    The response is not terrible - the mall advice is probably good as malls are a weird place - the store owner is not in charge - usually, nobody is in charge!

    Where the response errs is in disuading OC in urban areas - the opposite should be the case, even if you avoid troublesome malls - especially public meetings etc.

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    The only thing that I would add is, if you write again, reference them to OCDO. If they read somethe OC experiences in the forum threads they may come away with a better view of open carry and how the public (in urban and ruralareas) reacts to it. Once they realize that most of the time OCing is a nonevent, they may have better things to say about thetactical and comfort advantages of open carry.

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    Alan's opinion on OC is just that: his opinion. And while I may not agree with it, he is certainly entitled to it, as is everyone who reads this board. Each of us has our own ideas of the best ways to advance gun rights and to promote gun ownership, and while we may disagree with someone else's thoughts on the best way, we owe it to ourselves to respect other's opinions, and discuss them rationally. Reasonable people can disagree on the best methods to move ahead, and still be civil. Last time I looked, there is no universal ONE TRUE WAY to move ahead.

    One thing I can tell you is, Alan Rice--a founding directorof Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO)--is neither a "moron" nor an appeaser. He's done more to aggressively promote gun rights than most on this board whose only contribution to the cause is to log on to forums and snipe. While I disagree with him here, and agree with Mike's comment re: urban "education," I respect the work he does for NH and the US.

    I thought this board was above this kind of commentary.

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    Scott, I would agree there is no one way. However, I do not understand how Mr. Rice can say he supports OC then tell the guy not to. How does one 'move ahead' without exercising the rights we already have? Maybe I got a little carried away calling him a moron but it sounds lke he is talking out of both sides of his mouth.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    I think he's saying he supports open carry, but worries that doing it in the wrong place will set the "movement" back vice advance it. (I disagree. I think we desensitize more than anything else.) We've heard that opinion lots of times, from people who don't want to "rock the boat," and that's their right. For what it's worth, I think that's what some Civil Rights supporters said in the '60's. At least he supports it, and explains his thoughts rationally, unlike those who we've heard that say "Concealed means concealed" (man, I hate that one), and the "open carry is tactically stupid, it gives up the element of surprise" crowd.

    I can understand his concern, even if I don't agree with it. He's worried open carry in the wrong place will energize an otherwise dormant opposition, and we'll end up losing more in the endgame.

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    ScottNH wrote:
    I think he's saying he supports open carry, but worries that doing it in the wrong place will set the "movement" back vice advance it. (I disagree. I think we desensitize more than anything else.) We've heard that opinion lots of times, from people who don't want to "rock the boat," and that's their right. For what it's worth, I think that's what some Civil Rights supporters said in the '60's. At least he supports it, and explains his thoughts rationally, unlike those who we've heard that say "Concealed means concealed" (man, I hate that one), and the "open carry is tactically stupid, it gives up the element of surprise" crowd.

    I can understand his concern, even if I don't agree with it. He's worried open carry in the wrong place will energize an otherwise dormant opposition, and we'll end up losing more in the endgame.
    Scott, I'm with you. Being a supporter of both means of carrying, I also hate Concealed means concealed. I think that the people of NH must not let Anti-2A sentiment from MA permeate north. Being familiar with the areas he mentioned, I would not expect someone to bat an eye in lake country. On the other hand, we should try to educate/convert those near the border. Hoping I make it up there again sometime soon,

    ProguninTN.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Scott, thanks for your interpretation, I think you are probably right and I overreacted. oops!. My apologies to Mr. Rice. I hate it when I leap before I look.....
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Just to follow up on this...we've joined NHFC as of last summer. Heck, I think I belong to every pro-gun org in existence at this point.

    We figure they are local, and they are helping in the bigger effort, whether or not we agree on all the fine points.

    Fitz

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    You never know its easier to change some organizations from within.

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    fitz wrote:
    SNIP...We figure they are local, and they are helping in the bigger effort,...
    The very best reasons.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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