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Thread: Going armed to the education of the public

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    I'm not knocking anyone's rights here but I've been very curious about this subject after reading the forum. I'm new to the forum and open carry. It seems that many people carry in order to "educate" others or provoke some kind of response. Everyone here seems like nice law abiding Americans who want to exercise their rights. I don't think many people want a negative response. I'm sure many see it as a civic duty to provoke a positive reaction so that they may educate others.

    My reasons for carrying openly are purely for personal protection, ease of use, and to let any potential attackers know that I'm not the guy they want to target. I dress nicely and behave in a nonthreatening way everywhere I go. When asked about my firearm by someone I simply say I'm not a cop but I'm allowed to carry a firearm as a private citizen. If further explanation is warranted I tell them that that the Sheriff's Dept. and NC Dept. of Justice have resources online or that they may call them with questions about firearms ownership and carry. So...I may do a little education but I surely don't want to. In fact I hate it and just want to exercise my right to carry without question unless it comes from law enforcement(I know that's an impossible dream haha)

    How do you guys and gals feel about comments made on this forum that suggest education as a partial reason for open carry? Does it bother anyone else?

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    lennon336 wrote:
    My reasons for carrying openly are purely for personal protection, ease of use, and to let any potential attackers know that I'm not the guy they want to target.
    Ditto!

    When people ask me why I carry a gun, I ask them "how else would I be able to get to it if I didn't carry it :??"

    I don't mind educating folks, however, that's not my goal when I carry. If someone expresses genuine curiosity, I'm more than happy to answer questions.

    I'm not really annoyed, by people who OC to educate. What really annoy's me is when people say they carry because it's their right but as soon as they're rights are violated by LE, they roll over.

    You only have the rights you're willing to fight for and the right to bear arms is protected for the people to be secure from the government (at least it's supposed to be protected). Why then is it that people only assert their rights i.e. stand up to common citizens but acquiesce to government tyranny?

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    jp49911 wrote:
    lennon336 wrote:
    My reasons for carrying openly are purely for personal protection, ease of use, and to let any potential attackers know that I'm not the guy they want to target.
    Ditto!

    When people ask me why I carry a gun, I ask them "how else would I be able to get to it if I didn't carry it :??"

    I don't mind educating folks, however, that's not my goal when I carry. If someone expresses genuine curiosity, I'm more than happy to answer questions.

    I'm not really annoyed, by people who OC to educate. What really annoy's me is when people say they carry because it's their right but as soon as they're rights are violated by LE, they roll over.

    You only have the rights you're willing to fight for and the right to bear arms is protected for the people to be secure from the government (at least it's supposed to be protected). Why then is it that people only assert their rights i.e. stand up to common citizens but acquiesce to government tyranny?
    +1

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    jp49911 wrote:
    I'm not really annoyed, by people who OC to educate. What really annoy's me is when people say they carry because it's their right but as soon as they're rights are violated by LE, they roll over.

    You only have the rights you're willing to fight for and the right to bear arms is protected for the people to be secure from the government (at least it's supposed to be protected). Why then is it that people only assert their rights i.e. stand up to common citizens but acquiesce to government tyranny?
    I agree 100% I'm not annoyed by people who want to educate. Just curious. Rolling over for LE gets to me big time! I don't like to talk to ordinary citizens much because I'm not accountable to them as long as I'm not "going armed to their terror". But I will politely yet firmly hold my ground with LE if ever confronted. I won't get myself shot but I know a great lawyer and would love to have my weapon seized and put in cuffs over something perfectly legal!

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    This attitude you mention of seeking to educate people is very unfortunate, and it actually hurts 2A rights more than it helps it. It damages the image of gun ownership and pushes it out of the mainstream. There is a lot of wannabe LEO mentality on here, as well as people with the desire to thumb their nose at the "sheeple" who don't have guns. They are just hoping to get in a confrontation or even be arrested so that they can run and post it on the forum for praise and claim rights violations.

    I carry daily and have open carried, but only on occasions where it fit into my activities better than CC. I carry a gun for protection and because it's my right, I'm not seeking to educate anyone or confront police officers, I just want to be left in peace. You know how I do help defend 2A rights and educate the public? I donate to the NRA. They are a lot better equipped to do so than I am.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I think the education aspect of OC is not for everyone. Education--of any sort--be it in the classroom, in a skilled labor workshop, or on the street, is really a "calling". Being a good educator isn't just knowing facts--it's knowing how to present information so that the person asking can understand it, accept it, and be stimulated and motivated by it.

    Being an effective educator also includes knowing when to impart information and how much. If someone asks a question and you can tell by their tone or body language that they are "anti", then a cursory explanation is all that is needed. If someone is genuinely interested in OC, then maybe a more in-depth conversation over a cup of coffee or lunch is warranted.

    We all just want to carry--unmolested and unassailed--but Open Carry is something that is still not common in many places, and so we may sometimes meet people who don't realize that it's even legal, or that they could carry too.

    I'm a graduate student. I'm pursuing my MFA so that I can teach. I'm sort of a natural when it comes to teaching, talking and storytelling. (I come from a family of Scotch Irish background, and have several generations of teachers on my mothers side). So I actually ENJOY the opportunity to talk to people about their rights, and the law in NC (and a few other states where I have experience and knowledge). Teaching is in my blood, and when people ask me about ANY of the subjects I have knowledge in I will gladly tell them what I know--be it printing, Medieval history, stereo equipment, glass blowing, gourmet cooking, homebrewing beer, or firearms.

    I LOVE passing knowledge on to otheres. I am called to be a teacher in many aspects of my life. When I carry, I do it for personal protection, to protect my family, and to do my part as a law-abiding citizen to ensure that criminals will not prey on me and those around me. I DO NOT carry because I want to have "field seminars" on 2A or OC rights. If I REALLY wanted to do that, I would advertise, and charge a fee...

    But if the opportunity presents itself, and a person is genuinely interested, I will chat with them. I will point them to websites like this one. I willtell them about reputable gun shops in the area, and tell them where the good shooting ranges are, and where they can get quality training.

    But I won't preach, or try to convert an "anti", or put myself in the position to become a "text case" with an LEO. I am always painfully polite when I carry. I respect the private property rights ad opinions of others (even if they are wrong or go against the Constitution). There are PLENTY of grocery stores, restaurants, and other businesses that allow OC to waste my time where I am not wanted.

    But as a law-abiding citizen, gun owner, and someone who has a natural proclivity to teach, I feel it is my duty to help people find the truth on this matter when they ask with an open mind.

    We all had to learn about this somewhere. I actually enjoy helping people understand their rights, and it brings joy to me knowing that I may have brought a new member into our fold. I consider it an honor to educate people, because you can bet that our schools sure as heck aren't doing it...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    At first, especially after joining this forum, I didn't like the whole "Going armed to the education of the public" but now I understand the intention. Sure, those that have it to educate also have it as personal protection, however, in order for it to become more acceptable we don't need a passive approach (not carrying), passive-assertive (obtaining a CCW permit and carrying concealed),or assertative (carrying open solely for personal protection but answering questions when asked); no we need people to do all those things (minus not carrying at all) but we especially need some, not everyone, to be aggressive open carriers, the "people persons of open carry" so to speak.

    They are the ones who test out places, give reports, look actively for the no-gun signs and decide to go where there are none. The ones that get together in groups for meetups but are also not affraid to go at it alone. The people, when confronted by other citizens and/or law enforcement, they are well versed in the laws and stand their ground. It takes a brave person to step out of the norm with the intent to change. And these persons are important for the concealed and open carriers, especially if you carry solely for personal protection and for no other reason. Thesepepoleare important and it took me a little while to realize that. Think of it as a civil rights movement, well it is, these are the pioneers of it. Perhaps, what we don't need, are the extremists; the ones that push the wrong boundaries or breached them. You must be calm and civil about expressing your rights until someone attempts to forcefully take them away. If you're quiet about it, it will eventually slip away from you.

    So I praise those that are Going Armed to the Education of the Public...

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    Dragon, I can appreciate that it may not be something you, or others, wish to do. Keep in mind that the NRA seems to care less about OC. I'm a member, because I want to be counted. But when was the last time you saw them defend or report on OC? One of their recent Armed Citizens articles mentioned a shooting that involved someone OC'ing. I know of another as well. OC was never mentioned. They seem to run from the issue.

    I'm a people person. I can, and enjoy, talking to nearly anyone. So I am willing to go out and answer questions. I'm tired of feeling like the "silent majority". I OC because I don't care who knows I carry, and I do want folks to ask questions. I will gladly let them know that NC is an OC state, and why.

    Just tonight I was pumping gas about midnight coming home from work. I had a jacket on, but it did not cover my G19. So the guy at another pump says, "I thought concealed means concealed, your's isn't very concealed." I could have gotten all ticked off. Instead I told him I don't have to since NC is an OC state. Ended up having to jump off his old van and found out he has his CC permit. No long drawn out conversation, but one more person out there that knows OC is legal. That's a win for the 2A in my book.

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    I understand the reasons for education a little better now although I don't totally agree with them. Some very reasonable answers were just posted. As a Boy Scout master I do a great deal of education and feel it is a calling of mine as well. I just don't like to explain why I'm carrying or the state laws because WE are not accountable to the general public.

    I truly believe that a right unexercised is a right lost, but I also believe that a right constantly defended is not a right exercised. It is a civil war to exercise that right. By not answering questions and simply directing them towards LE or the state Dept. of Justicewe can end the conversation ands still get the message out.I would rather save my energy for law enforcement instead of the ignorant souls we're not accountable to. I do not however want to provoke police action so I'm always very polite. If they call LE that's just another cop to politely speak to that will end up going back and telling other LE about how there was nothing he could do to this guy open carrying. Maybe the LE administration will issue orders or instructions on the situations. Those are the people that need the education.

    Education is normally mentioned on the sight ina "mall ninjaish" way and I guess that's what bothers me.

    I think the most effective way to educate is to preach to the choir on this one. Non gun owners, those who are freaked out or surprised by the sight of a gun,orthe antis are not going to convert over night. They won't buy a gun tomorrow and then make thebig leap to open carry.In terms of gun owners Open Carriers are rather evolved(although it was a historical norm...)

    I think we need to stop dealing with them on a one on one basis and quietly live our lives with easy access to our guns.

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    lennon336 wrote:
    I just don't like to explain why I'm carrying or the state laws because WE are not accountable to the general public.
    In a sense we are accountable. They vote. When issues arise during the voting process we do need them on our side. To realize that the 2A is important enough to stand up for. On the other hand, a lot of damage can be done to the cause when someone is irresponsible or rude with how they deal with a situation. You are right in the sense that we should not have to defend our choice, since it is not illegal. Although I accept the fact that it is not nearly as widely accepted as it used to be, so people misunderstand it.

    If I realize someone is very anti. I would try to give them a few things to think about. But I would not talk to that type of person as long as I would someone who shows real interest in OC. Anti's are not a good use of my time. Unless I'm feeling particularly spunky and want the verbal sparring that would ensue.

    To each his own though. I will not tell someone they should focus on educating the public any more than telling them they should OC vs CC,

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    To me it is a preference OC or CC what makes you the most comfortable. I have the choice to CC or OC and my preference is to CC. I like a lot of others here just am not comfortable OC'ing. It has nothing to do with educating or having to explain things.

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    Personally I have no idea how to go about it but I think the FIRST people that need to be educated about OC are the people who answer 911 calls.

    For example:

    Hello 911

    There's a man here with a GUN!!!

    Is he being threatening ? Is he waving it around? Is he pointing it at anyone?

    No but HE"S GOT A GUN !!!!

    That's legal in NC. I suggest thatif you aren't comfortable where you are then you should leave. Thank you for calling 911. Goodbye

    LMAO


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    REX681959 wrote:
    Personally I have no idea how to go about it but I think the FIRST people that need to be educated about OC are the people who answer 911 calls.

    For example:

    Hello 911

    There's a man here with a GUN!!!

    Is he being threatening ? Is he waving it around? Is he pointing it at anyone?

    No but HE"S GOT A GUN !!!!

    That's legal in NC. I suggest thatif you aren't comfortable where you are then you should leave. Thank you for calling 911. Goodbye

    LMAO
    Good Call +1

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    REX681959 wrote:
    Personally I have no idea how to go about it but I think the FIRST people that need to be educated about OC are the people who answer 911 calls.
    My mom does dispatch for a local PD. I was in dispatch one day with a MWAG call came in. I made a point to mention that it was legal, etc. Honestly, they did not seem to take it incredibly seriously. The caller just saw a guy walking around his truck on the side of the road and he was armed. The comment she gave me way, "probably an off duty cop." My mom mentioned that they had to send someone to check it out. I don't think he was there when they got around to going by.

    At least it was not an, "ARGGGH, the sky is falling, the world is ending" call. They acted like there were more important things to do. But I don know that one of the magistrates is not quite up to speed on OC. Wanted to set up a meeting with her, she is a friend of my mom's too.

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    REX681959 wrote:
    Personally I have no idea how to go about it but I think the FIRST people that need to be educated about OC are the people who answer 911 calls.
    I was in a local silkscreen and printing shop yesterday to check on a job (OCing my Para in my Serpa, of course) and a woman walked in wearing a black polo shirt with "WPD Communications" on it and her name badge (which I recognized). I asked her if she was a dispatcher, an she said "yes". I then said, "well then we already know each other. I'm the night auditor at the local "XYZ" hotel, and we've had a few conversations over the last few months." She smiled and said yes she remembered me. We chatted a bit about how I appreciated her telephone demeanor, and the quick response time of WPD. Then I conducted my business and went on my way. Never once did this dispatcher (or any of the other customers or staff) bring attention to my firearm.

    A good encounter all around, I thought. In some cities, that dispatcher would have been whipping out her cell phone and calling me in, I imagine. I think we've got a pretty good PD here in Washington as far as OC goes...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    REX681959 wrote:
    Personally I have no idea how to go about it but I think the FIRST people that need to be educated about OC are the people who answer 911 calls.

    For example:

    Hello 911

    There's a man here with a GUN!!!

    Is he being threatening ? Is he waving it around? Is he pointing it at anyone?

    No but HE"S GOT A GUN !!!!

    That's legal in NC. I suggest thatif you aren't comfortable where you are then you should leave. Thank you for calling 911. Goodbye

    LMAO

    100% agree Rex. I'm less concerned about legislation and the general public. I'm more concerned about the guy with a badge and a gun! They are the ones who need to be educated. Plus, in a perfect world they would educate people who call in rather than send an officer. In extreme cases of "firearm freakouts" they would cite people who create a public panic with the ignorance fueledscenes they create

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    chiefjason wrote:
    If I realize someone is very anti. I would try to give them a few things to think about. But I would not talk to that type of person as long as I would someone who shows real interest in OC. Anti's are not a good use of my time. Unless I'm feeling particularly spunky and want the verbal sparring that would ensue.
    I find it funny that any encounter I've had with an anti is frought with irony. If they find guns threatening...why are they speaking to me? They obviously don't believe we're a threat..

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    lennon336 wrote:
    REX681959 wrote:
    Personally I have no idea how to go about it but I think the FIRST people that need to be educated about OC are the people who answer 911 calls.

    For example:

    Hello 911

    There's a man here with a GUN!!!

    Is he being threatening ? Is he waving it around? Is he pointing it at anyone?

    No but HE"S GOT A GUN !!!!

    That's legal in NC. I suggest thatif you aren't comfortable where you are then you should leave. Thank you for calling 911. Goodbye

    LMAO

    100% agree Rex. I'm less concerned about legislation and the general public. I'm more concerned about the guy with a badge and a gun! They are the ones who need to be educated. Plus, in a perfect world they would educate people who call in rather than send an officer. In extreme cases of "firearm freakouts" they would cite people who create a public panic with the ignorance fueledscenes they create
    +1

    Sometimes I think a lot of the dispatchers fuel the situation. If they would ask a few simple questions instead of "freaking out" they would know very quickly what was going on.

    Here goes my version:

    Operator:911, what is your emergency

    GunFreak:There's a man with a gun

    Operator:Where is the gun

    GunFreak:On his side

    Operatoroes he haveit out waiving it around

    GunFreak:No

    Operator:Is he threatening you verbally or physically with it

    GunFreak:No

    Operator:Could you put him on the phone

    OC'er: Yes ma'am, can I help you

    Operator: You might want to eep an eye on that idiot and make sure they don't run over themselves with the buggy. You might also want to talk to the store manager before this whackjob gets to them. Have a nice day.

    Only in a perfect world

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