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:
@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).)
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.)