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quotes of the day – sean sorrentino and gay cynic

I support carry. Regular readers are probably aware of that by now, but just to provide a brief recap of the situation, so long as you are carrying your firearm in a safe, responsible fashion, I genuinely do not care if you do so concealed, openly, or some strange amalgamation of the two. Do as you like, leave me to do as I like, and we will get along smashingly.

Unsurprisingly, given my support of freedom and choice, I have on occasion locked horns with those – on both sides of the pro- / anti-rights fence, sadly – with those who would deny all Americans the option to bear their arms openly, whether it is through legislation, public shaming, or whatever warped tactic they might choose to use. One such supposedly-pro-rights but oddly anti-open-carry individual I have glanced off of in the past is a firearm trainer by the name of Rob Pincus, who may or may not be familiar to you; his new best friend, however, almost certainly will be known to you, given it is none other than "I put photographers downrange of live fire drills for the gos-se and giggles of it!" James Yeager.

Yeah. Those idiots.

Anywise, Rob and James are… shall we say "vociferously" anti-open-carry, up to and including calling people who open carry for political reasons – like, say, actually getting open carry legalized in your state – "ass-clowns", to use Rob’s own eloquent words. Classy fellows, are they not? So with the positions well and truly entrenched, imagine my shock when I saw good ol’ Rob lecturing the gun-owning community on acceptance and tolerance (link goes to Monderno, which I still find to be a redeeming site, despite the new author).

*blink* Uhm, wat?

Here this nitwit has the gall to tell me I am "damaging the cause" by lawfully exercising my rights in a peaceful and responsible manner, but then turns around and presumes to scold the community as a whole for supposedly being as intolerant and bigoted as he is to open carriers?* Irony that rich is just too good to pass up, so I did not:

I just can’t take Rob Pincus seriously when he preaches for tolerance and acceptance in the gun-owning community.

Today, Rob asked me why I felt that way, and I asked him to refresh me on his position regarding open carry. His response was:

Image(26)

@linoge_wotc OC’s a bad idea tactically and open carry activists jeopardize our RKBA.

(Reminder: @[username] are the people to whom the tweet is addressed, "RT" means "retweet", and "MT" means "modified tweet" (you changed an RT in some fashion).)

robpincusachievement[4]

Hoo-boy; this award is for you, Rob:

My reply that such a position was the very paragon of tolerance and open-mindedness was not exactly witty, I will admit, but Sean Sorrentino went and stole the show with the first quote of the day, so I never really stood a chance:

If rights are jeopardized by exercising them then they don’t actually exist MT @PincusRob open carry activists jeopardize our RKBA

Got it in one! In the end, the only one who can deprive yourself of your rights is you – you always have a choice to disobey the laws / restrictions / regulations you are living under, and while the penalty for that disobedience may be death, that is a choice some people are willing to make (see: Spartacus, whomever he might have really been). Now, most of us are not willing to to up and commit "suicide by cop" to stand up for our rights, and I cannot hardly blame anyone – after all, you will not see me openly carrying on the streets of Washington D.C. – but when no one is threatening punishment for the exercise of your rights, and you are still fearful / ashamed / etc. of actually exercising them… well, why bother having them to begin with?

A lot of folks in the open carry community really like the byline of "an right unexercised is a right lost", and while I understand the sentiment and the reason behind the statement, I find it to be inaccurate… or at least not wholly accurate; my wife may never openly carry a firearm, but you can bet your ass that she would fight a politician or political movement trying to deny that choice to her. Rather, I would rephrase the statement, "A right unrecognized is a right lost." If you never really conceived of carrying a firearm, you surrendered that right with or without actual legislation barring you from doing so.

Likewise, if you are afraid of exercising a right due to the nebulous, functionally unfounded fears of losing that right, you have already surrendered it without anyone illegitimizing it or banning it. And, worse, you did it of your own free will, by your own individual choice.

Rob is certainly welcome to surrender whatever rights he feels he "needs" to for whatever reasons motivate him, but I will be damned if I allow his specious fearmongering to coerce me to his narrow frame of thinking.

However, not to be outdone by Sean, Gay Cynic injected some probably-much-needed levity into the discussion:

@linoge_wotc @PincusRob OC = Ambassadorial Opportunity. OCr’s are the Drag Queens of the 2A community; out, proud, and spokespersons. #2a

Well, I do wear a dress kilt now

I cannot say as though I am a huge fan of the "Be Loud, Be Proud" parades (or whatever they are called) that occasionally crop up in random cities (they are simply not my schtick, which comes as no great surprise to you, I am sure), but their existence has never caused me to support legislation restricting the rights of homosexual folks. Hell, if nothing else, my stances on firearm- and self-defense-related rights caused me to severely re-evaluate my previously-held positions on gay-related rights, and I am certainly not alone in that regard. But looking farther abroad than just me, consider the advances the homosexual community has made in getting legal protections for the same rights I enjoy today – it seems like every year another state legalizes homosexual marriage or somesuch other major step (though I do still wish the government would get out of the "marriage" business altogether), and while there are still holdouts, the firearm community still has places like Kalifornistan and Illinois as well.

The simple truth is that normalization is one of the most powerful tools – arguably the most powerful tool – for enacting political change or entrenching the gains you have already made, and open carry is unquestionably a tool for normalization, not only of open carry itself, but also of firearms as a whole concept. Discarding the tool out of hand simply because some people misuse/abuse it is no different, logically speaking, than discarding firearms as a whole simply because criminals misuse them. In other words, it is crappy logic.

No, getting out there and being loud about your support of certain rights certainly is not for everyone, and I would never presume to tell another person that they should open carry (only that you consider it), but that is what is wonderful about life: we can all take our own separate paths and help, or ignore, each other along the way. But when you go out of your way to obstruct and obfuscate someone else’s path simply because you do not like the cut of their jib, well, then I start getting a little annoyed, and when you lie about what those people are doing, I get very annoyed… but then I get downright entertained when you have the nerve to lecture other people about doing the exact same thing you did yourself, just in regards to something you personally were involved in.

Narcissism, especially coupled with hypocrisy, is an ugly thing, Rob; you might want to work on that.

(* – I do believe losing your gos-se over the Kardashians learning how to shoot is pretty damned stupid, and does not do any good at all; I have no particular enjoyment for anything created by those women, but they have every right and reason to enjoy the shooting sports as much as we do. I simply think the message was delivered by a positively high-larious messenger.)

19 comments to quotes of the day – sean sorrentino and gay cynic

  • You pretty much hit it in one – I was limited by the 160 character restrictions of Twitter in my comment. The actual thought process, expanded to full size, goes a little like this:

    Back in the dawn of the modern LGBT movement, the leadership was initially very polite and primarily asking nicely “please stop actively harassing us”. Then came Stonewall, set off by some very cranky drag queens (a long story for another time). It worked out that the drag queens and the leather men pushed an entire community of of the closet, sometimes kicking and screaming. And over time, we (those of us in that community) discovered that “Dang it, if those Loud & Visible and EMBARASSINGLY STEREOTYPICAL sorts would just shut up and go away” was completely at odds with reality. They were the ones leading the charge, in reality.

    Those folks pushed the frontier of LGBT civil rights forward, often at great personal cost, so that the polite folks could (after recovering from the vapors) follow along behind consolidating the gains. The LGBT Community made a bit of progress – take a look at the 1968 LGBT world, and compare it to that of 2012.

    I would argue the same is true of my second community, the 2A community. If anything, as conservative (for some values of conservative)the vast majority of us are not really in the “push the boundaries” mindset, and *just* like in the LGBT community a notable percentage of our activists (I’d guess under 10%) are on occasion a bit self-sabotaging.

    That brings us to Open Carry. Open Carry and Open Carry activists are to the 2A community what those Drag & Leather Queens of “back in the day” were/are to the LGBT community. The ones so obvious that, as one celebrity put it, were born outside the closet with the door locked behind them.

    They take more risks in the social sphere, but it is those same OC activists that are often our ambassadors to the general public – raising eyebrows and questions from that public that often can lead to positive and educational discussions. The real question is how can we provide gun owners the training and insights that – should they want to legally Open Carry – that they can do so in a way that generates a pro-2A result?

    We are making huge strides in restoring proper recognition of firearms rights, both in the courts and in the legislative arena. And part of what helps that process is, as you say, normalization – helping the general populace to see an armed private citizen as a “so what?” kind of event.

    Short form: “OC=Drag politically, but with guns” :)

  • In Texas it is legal to Open Carry on property you own or control; which in my case is a little quarter acre lot in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood.

    Have I Open Carried on my property? Absolutely!
    Sometimes I don’t bother putting on a cover garment when letting the dogs run the yard. Sometimes I even brazenly walk to the mail box in the front yard without a cover garment!

    Is it for comfort, yep. Is it also politically motivated, ABSOLUTELY !!
    I can push for legislative change each and every day but it won’t get far if all anyone sees is thugs and criminals breaking the law. We need to show people that their neighbor, their doctor, their child’s teacher, their A/C repairman, the person who helped with the block party Openly Carry firearms and it is okay.

    I use reports of people Open Carrying in other states to point out how ridiculous it is that Texas does not allow it.

  • @ GayCynic: While the comparison still gives me a raging case of the giggles, I learned in NYC during Fleet Week that One Dost Not Fucketh With a Queen of the Drag, so I can live with it :).

    That said, thanks for the full explanation. I cannot say as though I have delved a great deal into the homosexual culture nor how it has made the advances it has over the past few decades, but that is, more or less, how I see open carry going. Once people start seeing those who carry firearms as their neighbors, friends, relatives, and whatnot else, it becomes increasingly hard to buy into the demonization and hatred propagated by the anti-rights cultists.

    Much like things went for you guys :).

    @ Bob S.b: And yet Rob here would have me and the rest of us in Open Carry America abandon our open carry if you could hold us up as examples of how it works in the rest of the country, so why would it not work in Texas.

    Literally.

    The man thinks you should never open carry for political reasons, and that would be one such reason. I genuinely do not understand how someone can be so stupidly short-sighted, but then I remember how he puts bread on the table, and it all suddenly makes sense. Or, at least, more sense.

  • It’s amazing how many people that are against open carry derive some financial benefit from concealed carry.

  • Tom

    Maybe the gun rights community can learn from some of the political and social lessons of the LGTB movement, but I wouldn’t necessarily put them on the same level. People in the LGTB community have suffered physical and mental brutality that I don’t think most of us gun owners have ever endured. I may not want to walk through DC with a gun on my hip, but that’s mainly because I wouldn’t feel like dealing with the cops. I’m guessing I wouldn’t be physically attacked by someone who hated who I was — mainly because I would have a gun on my hip.

    When we moved to Texas from Chicago, I saw it as an opportunity to learn how to use guns. My wife was not so keen on the idea. But we have a few close lesbian and gay friends, both in Chicago and here in TX, a couple of whom have some pretty scary stories. I asked her if she thought those friends should be able to defend themselves with a gun if they were assaulted. She didn’t say a word. She knew I was right. OK, I wouldn’t call her an enthusiast, but she knows she likes semis more than revolvers, and is definitely no longer a gun grabber.

    Open carry is an internal debate in the gun community. No one outside of it understands what it is. OC means Orange County to most Americans. The people want to take away our gun rights don’t care whether the guns are carried concealed or open. They don’t want anyone to have any guns. Pushing for open carry will not make them hate our rights any more than they do. That’s why I support the open carry lobbying group in TX. Whether I carry open in public or not, and whether anyone thinks it’s stupid or not, that’s my choice. And as far as tactics? I think Linoge’s experience at the Chick Fil A is telling — two (?) people in a crowded food court noticed he was open carrying a full-size gun.

  • MAJ Mike

    I support safe and legal firearms carry. Whether it be open or concealed depends upon local legal constraints. I prefer concealed because I would rather go about my business unnoticed.

    Your firearm, your choice.

  • Tom, as a member of both communities, I’m of the view that “level of unpleasantry” is an entirely different issue than “tactics of activism”. I would readily agree that the level of unpleasantry we have faced as gun owners simply doesn’t rise to that faced by either the LGBT community or the African-American community (or a number of other communities that have historically gotten the nasty end of the stick).

    Nevertheless, the level of harassment and discrimination (legal, social, etc) that we experience as gun owners still surpasses the bar “unacceptable bigotry” to an extent that response at some level is a responsibility.

    I reference the LGBT community not because I believe our experience to be unique, but rather because it’s the one I am familiar with – largely by luck of the draw. I suspect that similar lessons are available from the experiences of any outcast community that has managed to a greater or lesser extent to cast aside their outcast status (and, in some instances when they are still trying) – but not being a member or student of those communities, I hesitate to comment.

    I suspect this means I agree with you, Tom. :)

    My view is that as members of the 2A community there exists plenty of room at the table for CCW crowd, the OC folk, the legal rock stars, the trudgers working the halls of law, hunters, musicians, economists, historians, philosophers and more. Plenty of work to go around.

    And yes, Linoge, I also have learned that “Thou Shalt Not Fucketh with the Drag Queen” is, in many environments, an absolutely critical rule to live by.

  • Gaston

    The Second Amendment is a big tent, as long as you are a Citizen and not one of the prohibited classes, there is room for you. This includes no restrictions on any Arm that is not BLOS (Beyond Line Of Sight) or not a crew served weapon. IMHO the only reasons why restrictions should be placed here are that you can need some qualification to see what you are shooting at and that for a crew served weapon you need some assurance as to the qualifications of the other crew members. As to open carry, this is as much a part of our American culture as walking with pride as a Free Citizen. Arguing about sexual orientation or the appropriateness of the representation expressed in public by a person with a firearm, is just as much a diversion from our Rights as any discussion of “reasonable” restrictions.

    I welcome the diversity of the firearms community even the: Fudds, Mall Ninjas, Bubbas, secret squirrel wannabes, Zumba the clown, the Ruger ten round clan, and even NRA board member idiots like Joaquin Jackson. I just resent the larger citizenry of identifying me stereotypically with these people based upon as shared interest (and differing understanding) of the Second Amendment. My resentment is not based on being labelled and misidentified but rather upon the larger failure that I am not recognized as an individual. Exercising our Second Amendment rights is a highly individual act even if we agree as to a common goal.

    When did open carry become unacceptable? At one time open carry was considered a sign of social status. The restrictions on sawed of shotguns are directed at concealed carry and not open carry. Carry a long arm because you can. Restrictions on silencers are directed at “professional criminals”, so make a lot of noise with firearms because you can and don’t worry about the multimillion dollar housing development that has just been built next to the longstanding local range. Some firearms owners still own a tool fondly called their “Barbeque Gun” and this term has no meaning unless the gun is openly displayed and discussed. Instead of bowing to some collectivist meme, we should carry openly and responsibly, not just for ourselves for the sake of our children. It takes a village of responsible gun owners to instill an understanding of Bill of Rights in our children.

  • Tom

    Cynic, you’re right that there are other communities, like the African American, that have suffered from violent bigots. I have no idea if this has ever really happened, but the OC vs CC argument is a little like gays arguing with lesbians about rights. The bigots don’t like either one.

    I agree with you that the bigger the gun rights table, the better off we’ll be. And I do think that it is getting bigger. Despite their efforts to exploit the violent crimes of the past couple of years, the anti gun rights faction hasn’t been able to get any traction with their arguments. I think most Americans simply don’t agree with them.

  • @ Alan: The sad thing is that he could make just as much money educating open carriers as he does concealed carriers – after all, the notion of moving-and-shooting, engaging targets, and so on, so forth, all apply the same whether you are carrying openly or concealed. The only difference is removing your cover garment to get at your gun, really…

    @ Tom: I will let you and GC hash out the applicability of the homosexual movement’s experiences to ours, but I will agree that I seriously doubt Open Carry has any significant negative impact on the political debate, especially on the other side. What with all of the fear-mongering by the “gun control” extremists out there, people know that a non-zero number of other people are lawfully carrying guns; seeing it in public is just a validation of the same, and is wholly unlikely to negatively alter any deep-seated positions regarding whether or not such behavior is acceptable.

    On the flip side, being a positive role-model / ambassador for open carry might change things positively, and that is a chance I am willing to take :).

    Speaking of, I would not go so far as to say that only two people noticed; only two people commented, and therein lies a difference.

    @ MAJ Mike: And that is what it all boils down to, is it not? Or, at least, should boil down to.

    @ Gaston: I am honestly not sure when open carry fell out of the norm for those who would bear arms… Once upon a time, specifically around the period of our country’s founding, concealed carry was considered the realm of brigands, robbers, and other criminal types – after all, why would an honest man responsibly carrying a firearm need to hide that fact form anyone?

    I would guess open carry fell out of social acceptance about the same time as carrying a firearm in general did; then it became necessary for those honest men to hide their guns they were still going to carry.

    And, yeah, I am more than willing to welcome folks who have no interest in openly carrying under the tent… so long as they do not try to tell me I cannot, or demonize me for doing so.

  • buzz_knox

    I believe the reference to Chuck Yeager in your second paragraph should be to James Yeager.

  • Hm. So it should. Hell of a slip-up, that.

  • agirlandhergun

    Oh, now I understand the recent comment on FB, but Rob. I am way behind of pretty much everything.

  • agirlandhergun

    *by Rob

  • See, now I seem to have missed something as well, but, honestly, when it comes to Rob, I cannot say as though I care enough to go figure out what it was :).

  • agirlandhergun

    It was nothing. A guy from Innovative Defensive Solutions reposted Rob’s status in which he vaguely referred to bloggers and misquoting his views on OC. I don’t know him or his views, so I was confused, but I liked anyway because I thought he made sense:) On being misquoted not his views. I don’t know his views well enough to have an opinion.

  • Ah, gotcha. When Pincus’ position boils down to “Open carriers are asshats”, it is really hard to “misquote” him.

    ;).

  • buddabelly

    one of the advantages of being a Zonie is we can carry how we choose.

    I often open carry and more often than not, no one notices….

    Those that do usually have a positive comment or question and it often turns into a good conversation. Those who think open carry is a political problem need to work on their states politics because the public on main could not care less….

    As others have pointed out, gun grabbers dont care how we carry, just that we do…..

    bb

  • I cannot say I am familiar with the term “Zonie”… explain?

    My experiences have generally mirrored yours, though – very few cared, those that did were positive, and there was no muss, no fuss.

    Surprise, surprise ;).



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