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Thread: Open carry is contagious and destroys "gun control" mythology

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    I have had a couple of encounters and discussions with other citizens the last few days that led me to conclude that open carry is the single most effective way for people to kill multi-million dollar advertisement campaigns designed to marginalize and demonize gun owners.

    There are several versions of a story about an elephant that go something like this:


    ELEPHANT AND THE CHAIN: An elephant owner trains a young elephant to not run away by chaining it to a large tree. The elephant pulled against the chain but could not get away. Later on, as the elephant grows larger, the master replaces the chain with a string, and the tree with a wooden stake. The elephant could have easily broken this string, but remembering the chain it doesn't even try. The elephant has a belief that it cannot get away. Because the string feels like the chain, the elephant still thinks it is chained.
    How does this relate to gun owners? Well, a small number of wealthy individuals have conspired with politicians to marginalize and demonize gun owners by running negative advertising campaigns against gun owners, disguised as "health studies". The result is that gun owners seem to think that they are a small minority of the population and that their ownership of guns should be kept a hidden secret, and that if other people knew that they owned and like guns, that they would be reviled by others. As a result, people carry concealed, and hide their gun ownership from others.

    Here's where the elephant story is related. What would happen if there were a bunch of elephants tied up by strings, and they saw another elephant walking around and telling them that their strings are easily broken? Why, the other elephants might just decide to break their strings and start roaming around freely. That's exactly what happens when people openly carry. The open carrier is like a single free-roaming elephant that inspires other gun owners to "break their strings". Other gun owners realize that they aren't the only gun owner in the world and that they don't have to hide their gun ownership.

    I have had two conversations with individuals in the last few days. One was with an individual in a supermarket who came up to me and asked "is that legal". I explained that open carry in WA is perfectly legal without a license. He was quite surprised and asked me a blizzard of questions which I happily answered. He then told me that he was pro-gun and had no idea that there is no requirement to conceal. He then announced to a woman that was accompanying him that open carry is LEGAL. I would not be surprised to see this individual carrying openly in the future.

    Today I had a discussion with an insurance agent while getting my renter's insurance finalized. The discussion of firearms came up and the agent indicated that she carried concealed. I asked her if she was aware that open carry is legal, and she said that she had been informed (directly or indirectly, I do not know)by police officers that it is ILLEGAL. The fact that she had received misiformation tells me that she was at least interested in the subject.

    How many gun owners carry concealed, simply because they think that they "must", and that gun ownership is taboo? I don't know the answer, but I suspect that the numbers are higher than we know.

    This is a whole area that I never thought about when I started carrying openly. I simply engaged in the practice because it is a more comfortable alternative to concealed carry. It wasn't until recently that I relized that open carry is an inexpensive and effective solution to the propaganda wars waged against gun owners.

    Mike Stollenwerk, Lonnie Wilson, VCDL, and all the other propents of open carry should be given an award for promoting open carry.




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    Amen. Good post!

    As I have been saying quite often to people lately: "Why should I hide my gun like I'm doing something wrong?"


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    Very interesting point. Thanks for the info and the analogy.

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Very well-written.

    I like your points and that article actually has me more comfortable with the idea of OC. I haven't done so yet, though I've legally CC'd for a bit now. I think the first time I'm going to OC is with the group that goes to lunch on the 16th. It will just be easier to know that I'll not be the only one there OC'ing and I can't spout off the laws like some here *CoughLonnieCough* can. (that was a compliment, by the way. )
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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    sounds good when we figure out where we're going!

    As far as knowing the laws, that's why I carry the fed. way TB in my back pocket, so I can call on the RCWs quoted there to defend my position.

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    Watch out for this LEO:
    http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?...44#post8355944

    He's in WA and thinks that if you carry a gun and provisions you are simply a "wannabe", "poser" or mall ninja. Bet he'll LOVE open carry



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    I personally don't carry training bulletins for two reasons:

    1) My pockets aren't big enough.

    2) I've never encountered a person who wants to put up an argument.

    The majority of my encounters have been "thumbs up" or questions from people who simply accept my explanation of the laws, and seem to be surprised that it is legal. Here's the secret that that took me a long time to learn: a lot of people that I encounter while carrying openly LIKE and OWN guns. Based on my experiences, I have concluded that the number of people who are anti-gun bigots are few and far between.

    Do you remember being in a school classroom or in a business meeting, and wanting to make a statement or ask a question, but being to embarassed to speak up? Then, finally someone speaks up and it turns out that everyone is thinking the same thing?

    The beauty of open carry is that it reveals that a lot of people are thinking the same "thing" about guns and gun owners! That's what I mean when I say that open carry destroys gun control mythology.

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    compmanio365 wrote:
    sounds good when we figure out where we're going!

    As far as knowing the laws, that's why I carry the fed. way TB in my back pocket, so I can call on the RCWs quoted there to defend my position.
    Yup! I have a copy printed out already.
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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    44Brent wrote:
    I personally don't carry training bulletins for two reasons:

    1) My pockets aren't big enough.

    2) I've never encountered a person who wants to put up an argument.
    The reason I will carry it isn't because of the general public, it's because of the LEO's that may want to put up an argument. And as for carrying the training bulletin, I printed the 4 page bulletin from Federal Way like a pamphlet with 2 pages to each side of paper and then folded it over. If I wanted to carry it in my pockets, I'll just fold it in half again.
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    just_a_car, I hope you didn't construe my comments as criticism for carrying bulletins around. I keep a bunch of them in the glove box of my car "just in case" for situations that have yet to materialize. I certainly hope that within a few years people can open carry without having to worry about uneducated/unprofessional police officers.

    If you are new to open carry I can see why you might read some stories about other people having problems and worry about having to defend your position or beliefs. On the other hand, people shouldn't have to be able to quote laws and court cases to defend their lawful activities, anymore than someone should have to be able to quote court cases defending their right to being born from parents who have black skin. The onus is on the police officers to to know the laws and not act like bigots.

    I would like to suggest to you thatnegative encounters while open carrying are very rare and you are unlikely to encounter them. If you dress reasonably well,are well-groomed, and use a professional looking holster, I believe that you chances of ever feeling the need to to whip out a training bulletin while open carrying are pretty close to zero.

    Remember, when you open carry, you are the free-roaming elephant. A few other elephants are going to see you and decide to break off their silly strings and also start roaming wherever they please.

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    44Brent wrote:
    just_a_car, I hope you didn't construe my comments as criticism for carrying bulletins around. I keep a bunch of them in the glove box of my car "just in case" for situations that have yet to materialize. I certainly hope that within a few years people can open carry without having to worry about uneducated/unprofessional police officers.
    No worries, I didn't construe it as such at all. I just wanted to point out why I, and why some may, want to carry them around. It's the same reason we carry guns, I hope I never have to use it, but if I need it, I'll have it.
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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    How does this relate to gun owners? Well, a small number of wealthy individuals have conspired with politicians to marginalize and demonize gun owners by running negative advertising campaigns against gun owners, disguised as "health studies". The result is that gun owners seem to think that they are a small minority of the population and that their ownership of guns should be kept a hidden secret, and that if other people knew that they owned and like guns, that they would be reviled by others. As a result, people carry concealed, and hide their gun ownership from others.
    Similar logic being applied to GLBT persons in a similar fashion. Being a gay man myself, the irony of being openly gay and openly a gun owner too is not lost on me. One's a choice (gun ownership), the other is not, but I could protect myself best by carrying concealed and not ever disclosing what I am, because someone "may cause me problems".

    This is one of the reasons why open carry is so close to my heart, no one should ever be forced to hide what they are or what they represent merely because they're afraid some cop or someone else will arrest them for no reason other than for what they are.

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    WOW! 44Brent I think the way you put that is spot on. I love the analogy and the points you made. Very well put. As I read read through this page I like what I read. I to feel like Pa. Patriot, Why should we hide the fact that we cary like we are the one in the wrong? Although I seem to see a debate arising over whether or not people carry the TB with them for the RCW's that are attached. Personally I don't think this is a real issue, If someone doesn't want to carry the paperwork around with them that is fine. I would just hope and ask they not only know there rights but know the law. Working in private security I talk with LEO's on almost a nightly basis, and most of the officers i know, if they were to stop you for carrying a gun after getting your ID and a CPL they're propbably not going to let you start reaching through you pockets. It becomes an officer saftey issue. That being said the officers I know aren't really going to say anything as long as your being responsible and leagal. As for me I carry the TB with me but I also have a book of RCW's in my truck. While I was taking criminal law we had to study the RCW's it has all of title 9, 9A, 46 and I forget what else it has. Anyone intrested should be able to find it at any colledge bookstore.


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    Great comparison!

    Maybe we can help the others to not feel they have to hide their firearm in shame. To show them that the tactical advantage is someone who doesn't have to fumble with clothing. To show that the BG's leave those who they *KNOW* are carrying a firearm because they can see it are the ones they leave alone.

    One at a time. That's all it takes to make a difference.

    Thanks!
    Greg

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    I have CC'd since 2000 and I discovered and joined the Open Carry forum on Wed Dec 20th, 2006. I started OCing that day. I have been OCing all the time when not at work. My work has a firearms policy that bans firearms completely, even in your personal vehicle when in company parking facilities and since there are no public parking facilities it is not possible to have a firearm from the time I leave home until the time I get home from work and comply with the policy.



    I carry concealed and take my chances. No job is worth my life. Once I get home I switch from concealed to OC and go about my normal activities. I have been shopping numerous times at Costco, Fred Meyers, Home Depot and many local businesses. When I travel, I OC at restaurants, gas stations, and any place I might be.



    Initially I open carried a Makarov in a Black OWB holster that people never noticed; it might as well have been concealed. I really wanted a 1911, so I bought a 1911 and a Blackhawk Serpa level II retention holster for OC. After a couple of weeks I could see that more people spotted the larger more obvious gun on my hip and a couple of people approached me to ask about OC, both positive.



    One person (who was carrying concealed in a fanny pack) asked if I was a LEO and we talked for a while about OC. Very positive contact. Although more people spotted the gun is was a small percentage of the people I was around.



    Becoming less concerned about public reaction and actually wanting to initiate more positive contact I replaced the black grips with phony ivory grips (my wife laughed when she saw the grips, saying you want everyone to see your gun!). The 1911 looks like a beacon now. Most people see it and a lot of people comment about it and initiate conversations.



    The only negative comment was from an employee at Fred Myers that I was asking a question about a product. She spotted the gun, looked shocked, and asked if the gun was real, I answered “Of course” and she said “You can’t have that in here!” I asked why and she thought for a second and then answered my original question about the product. I told her I would be happy to leave if she thought it was a problem and she just looked at me. I told her I was going to check out and she turned and walked away.



    At Costco a man walked up to me very purposefully and said “do you get hassled much for displaying?” I said open carry is legal (I thought he was on an attack course) and he said very forcefully “that’s not what I asked; do you get hassled much for the display?” I answered “NO, I have not been hassled much” He and I then had a conversation about carry, guns and it turns out that he was interested in OC and was curious about peoples reaction. His initial presentation had me concerned but it turned out good.



    Another person at Costco (an employee) asked if the gun was real and when told yes said “that’s great, what is it, a Colt?” He asked if I was a LEO or if the gun was for self-defense, I said self-defense and he responded, “That’s great, you need that today.”



    All in all the experience has been extremely good. Most people see the gun and then go about their business without freaking out. I carry all the time and travel a lot around Washington and Oregon. Most of the carry time is in the Duvall, Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland area with trips to Tonasket, WA and Lincoln City, OR.



    When I carried concealed my concern was like many people who CC and that is concern for accidental display. It seems that the majority of training for CC implies that a display is brandishing and bad. I just took a basic course at The Firearms Institute and although the instructor knows OC is legal she suggests that people not do it. Her reasoning is that it is a tactical disadvantage. I disagree on her reasoning but it is typical and adds to the belief that display will cause all kinds of problems.



    If not for this forum I would be stuck carrying a mouse gun (Keltec P32) and being uncomfortable about it. I personally feel that OC is most liberating and highly recommend those still in the closet, so to speak, to step out and experience OC.


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    I'd like to open carry but the wording of the laws in my city are unreasonable. I don't feel like having to go on trial everytime. Especially since I really can't afford it right now.


    Quote:
    549.12 CARRYING WEAPONS.




    (a) No person shall carry on or about his person a pistol, a knife having a blade two and one-half inches in length or longer, knuckles, a billy or other dangerous weapon. However, upon the trial of this charge, the defendant shall be acquitted if it appears that he was at the time engaged in a lawful business, calling, employment or occupation, and that the circumstances in which he was placed justified a prudent man in possessing such a weapon for the defense of his person or family

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    BIG SHAFE wrote:
    I'd like to open carry but the wording of the laws in my city...
    What city?

    Some states have (recently passed) preemption that effectively make local ordinances like the one you cite null and void...


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    BIG SHAFE wrote:
    I'd like to open carry but the wording of the laws in my city are unreasonable. I don't feel like having to go on trial everytime. Especially since I really can't afford it right now.


    Quote:
    549.12 CARRYING WEAPONS.




    (a) No person shall carry on or about his person a pistol, a knife having a blade two and one-half inches in length or longer, knuckles, a billy or other dangerous weapon. However, upon the trial of this charge, the defendant shall be acquitted if it appears that he was at the time engaged in a lawful business, calling, employment or occupation, and that the circumstances in which he was placed justified a prudent man in possessing such a weapon for the defense of his person or family
    What city? Because if it is Washington State, that statute is illegal and can not be enforced. WA RCW 9.41.290 http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.290 states:

    "Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality."

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    Massillon, Ohio. They acknowledge concealed carry in their laws, but what I posted would leave me to believe every time I open carry I would be arrested.

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    BIG SHAFE wrote:
    Massillon, Ohio. They acknowledge concealed carry in their laws, but what I posted would leave me to believe every time I open carry I would be arrested.
    I'm not in Ohio, but according to opencarry.org:

    Ohio

    Summary
    Ohio is a traditional open carry state. Recently, the Ohio legislature passed HB-12 over Governor Taft's veto, thus preempting all local open carry bans even in Ohio's "home rule" localities. Unfortunately, despite passage of HB-12, a permit to conceal is still required to openly carry a handgun in a vehicle.

    There is also a state preemption on firearm laws, so no city, county, district can enact laws that are more restrictive than the state laws. Just like WA State. See this link for more info on Ohio's preemption law (which is recent). http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum43/2994.html



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    And there you have it. Looks like that local law is clearly preempted.

    Now whether the po-lice know this is another matter but in the end you should not be able to be dragged into court for a law that is pre-empted (void).

    PS: Welcom to the forums

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    Ah ok I thought it was only pertaining to CC. Well then, open carry it is.

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    Pa. Patriot wrote:
    And there you have it. Looks like that local law is clearly preempted.

    Now whether the po-lice know this is another matter but in the end you should not be able to be dragged into court for a law that is pre-empted (void).

    PS: Welcom to the forums
    Thats my biggest fear.



    Thanks.:celebrate

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Pa. Patriot wrote:
    And there you have it. Looks like that local law is clearly preempted.

    Now whether the po-lice know this is another matter but in the end you should not be able to be dragged into court for a law that is pre-empted (void).

    PS: Welcom to the forums
    Also, if he does, since the law is on the books, it would give him grounds for a tidy harrassment lawsuit, as the cops can't claim ignorance of the law, just like citizens aren't allowed to do the same.
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