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Thread: OC at Rallies

  1. #1
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    It seems that most on this forum would once have agreed that the way to increase acceptance of openly carried firearms is to encourage responsible, non-threatening carry by reasonable people. As people see that OC is a normal thing and no different that someone carrying a knife in a belt-sheath, OC would increasingly be seen, not as a threat, but as an option for normal, reasonable, law abiding citizens. In effect we should want people to feel that those who choose OC are regular folks, just like them.

    In fact the opencarry.org press center expresses the goal that open carry will become "more common and less controversial as their friends, neighbors and local law enforcement discover that open carry is legal and wholesome."

    Because I start with the assumption above, I believe that carrying at at Tea-Party-type rallies (including the many types of rallies that we see cropping up) does more to hurt the effort than it does to help.

    I fully understand what many of the people attending those rallies are hoping to accomplish. There are many there who believe that an increase in spending by government will necessarily result in a larger more powerful government which in turn places the government in the position of having an easier time should it choose to curtail liberties. Many, if not most, of the people at these events have good intentions of demonstrating to the government that people want limited government and are out in the public square to demand that they get it through the democratic process.

    On the other hand, these rallies have increasingly attracted a radical fringe. This fringe includes birthers, anarchists, militiaphiles, racists, and other assorted nuts. These people tend to make themselves seen and heard disproportionately at these events. We see them with their swatikas, racist signs, militia uniforms etc in the media coverage of these events.

    So far the coverage of almost all of these events shows the extremist signage intersperced with photos of people carrying firearms openly. Some of these people carrying openly are doing so, presumably, to demonstrate that it can be done peacefully and is an example of one of our liberties. I understand how this fits with the message of the reasonable demonstrator. Others, however, carry to put an exclamation point on their message and often that message is threatening or well outiside of the mainstream.

    The problem is that those who are carrying for the reasons I outlined in the first paragraph are drowned out by the images of those carrying to make sure that their offensive or nutty message makes the nightly news. For millions of americans this is their first view of OC, and it is not a positive one.

    The pictures of OC'ers with large groups holding pictures of the President made to look like Hitler or a monkey do not present a "wholesome" image and do not make OC "less controversial".

    My suggestion is that those who agree with the first paragraph would do much better to carry to the hardware store and leave the gun at home when you go to a rally. It is certainly your right to carry there, but it is not helping the overall effort of showing people that it is reasonable and normal to carry.

    I rarely OC. It is too much of a risk in my profession that it would bee off putting and hurt business. I can say without a doubt, I am less likely to OC since the Tea Baggers put their stamp on the public face of OC.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Stryker's Avatar
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    Adding another opinion, I would say that if an individual has made OC part of their daily life, then their decision to do so at a rally should not vary. I wouldsay this is especially true when your sole or primary reason for carryingasidearm is for personal protection. If you are out to shove OC in the face of others, you are at the wrong event. If you are out to shout "Look at me... I have a gun!" then you probably should think about taking up Star Trek conventions instead.

    With that being said, however, when one does choose to OC at a rally, you must be very aware of the scrutiny that will inevitably be made of every aspect of your presence. Everything from your message, to your attire, your grooming, and of course your actions will be noted and retained in addition to the fact that you are carrying a firearm. Am I trying to tell anyone how they should dress or look? No. Just that you must be aware of the overall picture you convey. If the combination is too outlandish, then perhaps the picture will be detrimental when a firearm is added to the equation.

    We have all seen the media attention that OC has garnered at some protests. Hopefully most of us do not attempt to follow suit, but rather opt to be part of the rallyinstead ofa sideshow. Most of us probably don't want to be in the media's spotlight anyways (I know I'm not interested). If that is the case, then you primarily need be concerned with the perceptions of those around you.

    I understand how the average Joe at a protest will have viewed the media's portrayal of OC at previous protests and then connect that to the image of Mr. OC standing next to him. I'm not sure that one can automatically assume that the observation will leave the average Joe with a bad taste in his mouth. I would contend that there is a high likelihood that the average Joe would notice that Mr. OC is not carrying a "Blood of Tyrants" banner, does not have an AR-15 slung on his back, and does not appear any more likely to go on a shooting rampage than the retiree in front of him. If this observation is made, then I say it was a positive encounter.

    SpokaneIrish: Thank you for your well written and thought provoking post.



    "Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem" Ronald Reagan 20 January 1981

    "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington

  3. #3
    Regular Member iyellatmytv's Avatar
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    Irish,

    There will be a Constitution Day Rally at the Convention Center tomorrow, Sept. 17th, from 16:30 to 18:00.

    Why not come and see for yourself the kind of people who attend. You have obviously watched the State Run Media reportage of these events, have drunk the kool-aid, and have bought into the notion we're the 'fringe'.

    It's VERY discouraging to think that being an Original Intent Constitutionalist is equated with being some sort of wingnut, and worthy of your derision.

    You'll find we're not the fringe, we're your neighbors.

    I'll be there. I'll be OC'ing.



  4. #4
    Regular Member kwiebe's Avatar
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    I think that it ultimately will help and is a necessary component in advancing the objectives of the OC cause. The fact that the OP acknowledges (I think) that there are "responsible" OC'ers (OC'ing for the right reasons?) - at these events is proof that it's the right thing to do.

    Whether you want to admit it or not, once you start worrying about portrayals in the media it's all over. You're letting yourself, and what you believe, be dictated to you. My opinion of course, but that is the way I see it. There will always be whackos and those "OC'ing for the wrong reasons" and in the current media environment you'll see those types highlighted. But that is only all the more reason to get out there and OC at these events!

    The fringe media (formerly the mainstream media) is on the way down. They are increasingly viewed with contempt and ridicule. As this accelerates, their attempt to spin the majority of OC'ers as kooks at these events will go down with them.

    If the activity is normal, and you believe it is normal, then don't worry about others or how you may be lumped in with kooks. If you do, you only prolong the ability of critics to portray it that way. Imagine what will happen if there is a HUGE increase in responsible OC'ers at these events, to the point that they easily overshadow the kooks. Even the fringe media would lose interest. Then imagine if all the responsible OC'ers opted to stay home from these events.

    My point is, we need to take responsibility for how we're portrayed and not let someone else make that decision for us, just like all other activities. Don't let others have so much power over you, which is what you do when you become overly concerned with what others think and how they might spin something. That just perpetuates the situation you're trying to change.

  5. #5
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    SpokaneIrish wrote:
    It seems that most on this forum would once have agreed that the way to increase acceptance of openly carried firearms is to encourage responsible, non-threatening carry by reasonable people. As people see that OC is a normal thing and no different that someone carrying a knife in a belt-sheath, OC would increasingly be seen, not as a threat, but as an option for normal, reasonable, law abiding citizens. In effect we should want people to feel that those who choose OC are regular folks, just like them.

    In fact the opencarry.org press center expresses the goal that open carry will become "more common and less controversial as their friends, neighbors and local law enforcement discover that open carry is legal and wholesome."

    Because I start with the assumption above, I believe that carrying at at Tea-Party-type rallies (including the many types of rallies that we see cropping up) does more to hurt the effort than it does to help.

    I fully understand what many of the people attending those rallies are hoping to accomplish. There are many there who believe that an increase in spending by government will necessarily result in a larger more powerful government which in turn places the government in the position of having an easier time should it choose to curtail liberties. Many, if not most, of the people at these events have good intentions of demonstrating to the government that people want limited government and are out in the public square to demand that they get it through the democratic process.

    On the other hand, these rallies have increasingly attracted a radical fringe. This fringe includes birthers, anarchists, militiaphiles, racists, and other assorted nuts. These people tend to make themselves seen and heard disproportionately at these events. We see them with their swatikas, racist signs, militia uniforms etc in the media coverage of these events.

    So far the coverage of almost all of these events shows the extremist signage intersperced with photos of people carrying firearms openly. Some of these people carrying openly are doing so, presumably, to demonstrate that it can be done peacefully and is an example of one of our liberties. I understand how this fits with the message of the reasonable demonstrator. Others, however, carry to put an exclamation point on their message and often that message is threatening or well outiside of the mainstream.

    The problem is that those who are carrying for the reasons I outlined in the first paragraph are drowned out by the images of those carrying to make sure that their offensive or nutty message makes the nightly news. For millions of americans this is their first view of OC, and it is not a positive one.

    The pictures of OC'ers with large groups holding pictures of the President made to look like Hitler or a monkey do not present a "wholesome" image and do not make OC "less controversial".

    My suggestion is that those who agree with the first paragraph would do much better to carry to the hardware store and leave the gun at home when you go to a rally. It is certainly your right to carry there, but it is not helping the overall effort of showing people that it is reasonable and normal to carry.

    I rarely OC. It is too much of a risk in my profession that it would bee off putting and hurt business. I can say without a doubt, I am less likely to OC since the Tea Baggers put their stamp on the public face of OC.
    I think that your post here "would bee off putting and hurt business."

    How many of your clients would enjoy being called a "tea bagger"? Do you really know what that means? http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=teabag

    And you add anarchists to you list of undesirables. Do you actually understand the philosophy of anarchism? Try this . . . http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/cnp66m

    So the person who wants OCers to lose the stereotype is just fine with perpetuating offensive stereotypes.

    Cool. <leaves off any reference to Spokane stereotypes>

  6. #6
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    Hey, that group named themselves, apparently unaware of the original meaning. You even had local republican parties sending out emails encouraging people to come "teabag DC"

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

    http://shop.cafepress.com/design/33564450

    http://shop.cafepress.com/design/33657802

    I think it is hilariously ironic that the group protested waste by purchasing 1 million teabags and dumping them in a square and naming themselves the teabaggers. They also encouraged folks to send bags to the President telling them to "teabag Obama". I am sure some understood the double entendre but others who did not picked up on it and an ran with it. If you are suggesting that I not laugh at them for their ignorance, I am afraid that I cannot help myself.

    Again, I only expressing a sincere concern that the message getting out from these events is that OC is a characteristic of angry, threatening, radical groups. I fully understand that that is a minority, but they are loud. It is a good thing when people protest peacefully to demonstrate their views. That is engaged democracy and is to be commended. I am not saying "don't go". I am saying, think about whether your choice to OC is going to help the stated goal of this organization. You might decide that the demonstration of liberty at the event trumps the issue of making an impression on the public. Fine. This organization is supposed to be about the public image of OC and I am making an observation about a current trend in that perception. Nothing more.

    Someone above mentioned that those who OC for personal protection should continue to do so at the rallies. Often when I am in a large crowd, I move my wallet from my back pocket to my front. I suggest that a large boisterous rally might be a better place to CC from a purely tactical point of view.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Because CC worked so well for that guy in Seattle who got assaulted by a liberal crazy and then got massacred when during the scuffle his gun went off. OC probably would have prevented the incident in the first place.

    You don't want to go, don't go. But your attitude towards those that do is very telling.

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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    I Open carried at the rally in Olympia.Simply because I open carry everyday all day.I hada couple of folksshake my hand and thank me for standing up for the second ammendment. I told one guy that OC is a regular part of my everyday life .I didn't put it on just for this rally.

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    DEROS72 wrote:
    I Open carried at the rally in Olympia.Simply because I open carry everyday all day.I hada couple of folksshake my hand and thank me for standing up for the second ammendment. I told one guy that OC is a regular part of my everyday life .I didn't put it on just for this rally.
    There are two audiences involved. One are the people that you saw and talked to there. The other is the people who will see the pictures of the event remotely. I doubt that you had to convince many people there that OC is a good thing. There you are preaching to the converted.

    The other group is larger America who see most of this from afar. They have no chance to talk to you. They are not converted and may well be on the fence. They are the people we are supposedly out to convice that this activity is not "controversial". They see the gun and the signs. Perhaps this is just a call to be wary of who you stand next to while OCing. I presume that you are reading this because you agree with the goals of the group. Just remember that any picture of you next to the goofball can and will be used against us.

    Most of us saw the harball interview with the "Tree of Liberty" guy and saw that he was reasonable. He made a stupid choice for a sign, however, if he was interested in convincing people that carrying a gun is not a threatening act. The image of him with his leg holster and that sign has and will continue to hurt this effort for a long time.

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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Well I carry at all times and will not change my habit just to attend a rally.

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    Regular Member Stryker's Avatar
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    DEROS72 wrote:
    Well I carry at all times and will not change my habit just to attend a rally.
    +1

    I'm 100% in agreement. Especially since I don't think you are the type to display radical slogans or act irrationally. Your demeanor/presence was beyond reproach.

    Besides, I think SpokaneIrish has backed upsignificantly when he said:"Perhaps this is just a call to be wary of who you stand next to while OCing." We have all seen how the media can visually associate two unrelated people.
    "Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem" Ronald Reagan 20 January 1981

    "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington

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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Thanks Stryker.....I think all of us there that OC'ed bahaved in an exemplary manner.Because I OC every day it's been part of my routine now for a little over a year.Why would we change our routine because the press might be there. The mainstream liberal blatently liberal media are going to make up what everthey want anyway .I believe we all represented Open carry quite well.

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    Stryker wrote:
    If you are out to shout "Look at me... I have a gun!" then you probably should think about taking up Star Trek conventions instead.
    Hey I resent that statement. :P

    (look at my avatar )

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    SpokaneIrish

    I can not agree with you, although I can see your point. Your Tea Bagger comment says a lot. You should OC some, just a little at a time and maybe even go to a rally just to see who is there and what they are really saying instead of reading about it in the news paper. Lets meet for lunch sometime OCing of course and discuss this further.

    BTW Shad0wfax his dad had a older gentleman come up tothem at the 4th of July Spokane Tea Party and thank them for OC said he felt a lot safer. A lot of flyers were passed out and a lot of people got educated on OC that day, I gave out 20 or so flyers myself. So I think OC at these rallys is a very good idea because I have been there to see the results.



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    On the other hand, these rallies have increasingly attracted a radical fringe. This fringe includes birthers, anarchists, militiaphiles, racists, and other assorted nuts. These people tend to make themselves seen and heard disproportionately at these events. We see them with their swatikas, racist signs, militia uniforms etc in the media coverage of these events.
    Let's see, I'm supposed to not OC when surrounded by "anarchists, militiaphiles, racists, and other assorted nuts" If OC isn't justified when surrounded by such dangerous individuals, when would it be justified?

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