Friday, October 10, 2008

Why we Open Carry

A series of questions was posted by a newcomer to the scene about the reasons for the open carry movement. Here are his list of questions...

1. Why are you carrying openly in public? Do you really think that this will push lawmakers to allow OC in California? I personally don't think so, after all this is California, and it is hard enough to get a CCW, let alone OC. People view OC as odd, and we can't blame Mrs. Soccer Mom for that, citizens have not been conditioned to see guns on the hips of other citizens. We do not have the right to make people around us nervous or uncomfortable because we believe we are exercising our right to bear arms.

2. You guys are obviously causing local law enforcement to utilize critical resources to cover your activities. Although you are doing nothing illegal, don't you feel responsible for the costs the local authorities are incurring due to your activities? The local law has an obligation to cover your events. Although you all may be outstanding citizens, an outsider, or a group of outsiders who has/have a different viewpoint on the 2nd amendment, may not be as "civil" in making their stance known. It is an issue of "public safety" (yours and their's) for the local cops

3. Due to the costs and logistical challenges you may be causing local law enforcement, how do you feel the Sheriff/Chief of Police view your activities? Are any of you concerned that your activities may cause a "knee jerk" response from local law makers? Remember, the Black Panthers, a radical 60's group, did essentially the same thing by taking advantage of existing gun laws and look where that got us.

4. I noticed a thread wherein someone from the site stated that "some crazy soccer mom called 911". Well, was she crazy, or just being a prudent observer? After all, hand guns displayed in holsters, are usually associated with uniforms or at least badges displayed openly where they can be seen. As a CCW license holder, I can not even allow my firearm to "print", under a cover garment, as that could be considered brandishing a weapon, and will get my license revoked. How is OC any different?

5. How many of you are really ready to carry? I ask this as I noticed that not one person I saw in your luncheon pics was wearing a belt specifically designed to carry a weapon in a holster. All of the belts shown showed a significant degree of sag, and this was without the additional weight of loaded magazines in the weapons.

I hope some of you take the time to answer my questions. I am not ignoring you, but I will not be able to respond back, as I will be out of town until about the 20th, hunting one of the coveted North-Eastern California X zones. It's only a 16 day season so I have to spend as much time as possible actively pursuing the largest Muley buck I can find. Once I get my buck, I will be spending the rest of the my time shooting ground squirrels from the bench.



...Fortunately and with great eloquence, a long-time member and OC favorite, CitaDel, answered all of his questions. Here are CitaDel's responses...

I am not a participant in the San Diego meetings. However I do consider myself an experienced open carry pioneer. I am happy to provide answers to your questions.

Why are you carrying openly in public?

I carry in public as a political statement and as a responsible demonstration of legal self-defense in California. Gun owners have wrongly been villified by legislators and media over the past 40+ years and we have sat back and allowed them to mark us as criminals though we have done nothing wrong. It is my intent to show the public that gun owners are regular people who are their neighbors, people they see grocery shopping, people who fuel their cars and eat at restaurants. With exposure and repetition will come tolerance.

You say it is difficult to get a license and imply it is more difficult to open carry--- but to open carry you don't need a background check, fingerprinting, or waive your second, forth, fifth, and forteenth amendment rights ---or have to pay a tax to excersize that right.

People do not have a right to be free from fear. If we did, someone would demand that nightlights be made available for someones irrational fear of the dark or ban skyscrapers because of someone's vertigo. Soccer Mom's who are nervous or uncomfortable simply from the sight of a holstered weapon are just as unreasonable as a child tucked in bed at night or a sightseer unable to release their grip of the railing on the Empire State building. These fears can be overcome with slow and steady exposure and restore a rational response to observers.

Don't you feel responsible for the costs the local authorities are incurring due to your activities?

No. Do you feel pangs of guilt for wasting an officers time while he writes you up for a traffic ticket? How about when you call them to report a loud party in your neighborhood? Peace officers are civil servants paid to do this job and I am glad for it, but they and those who command them are voluntarily expending respources on the observation and investigation of a non-crime. Eventually, open carry could become a non-event in California as it has in many jurisdictions throughout the country.

How do you feel the Sheriff/Chief of Police view your activities?

I know my local Sheriff does not approve of my activities. Since I am not doing anything illegal and he has no grounds to arrest me- his opinion of my lawful conduct is irrelevant. He should be more concerned with what I intend to do about his re-election.

How is OC any different (from brandishing)?

Open carry is different from brandishing because it does not fulfill all the elements of a crime. While someone carrying a firearm openly in a holster may be considered a display, provided it is not done in a rude, angry, or threatening way, no crime is evident. The restriction that prevents you from even printing shows us that "CCW" is not the excersize of a right, but a highly regulated privilege, subject to an issuing authorities arbitrary revocation.

How many of you are really ready to carry?

Everyone is 'ready' to carry- It is a fundemental liberty to have a means to protect yourself regardless of the accessories available. I do not believe in mandatory training, mandatory equipment, or just cause. While it is in the best interest of those participating to be educated, to be well equiped, to be responsible and excersize all due safety- I must give them the benefit of the doubt or risk infringing on their right to carry.

I hope this adequately satisfies your curiosity.

... So there you have it gentlemen, a better articulated reason as to why we Californians open carry despite the laws and policy. Hopefully, one day, we can acquire loaded open carry and shall-issue CCW permits.

Thank you CitaDel for your permission to repost.

Keep the movement strong people.


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