Thursday, February 17, 2011

Open Carry: Pistols vs. long guns

This seems to be the topic that ate the gunblogosphere.  Unc tries again, bringing the truth ("You guys suck at marketing. And that’s it.") and gets tons of comments along the lines of we didn't break any laws or some such.

Granted, but you're not winning hearts and minds, you're scaring the White People.  I think I can prove it, in a way that gunnies will feel in their gut.

It's an old story that we've all heard before.  A sheriff is having a cup of joe at the lunchcounter when one of the town ladies spies his pistol.  She asks him if he's expecting trouble.  He replies, "No, ma'am.  If I was expecting trouble, I'd have brought my rifle."

A pistol says "I carry this because it's portable, and you never know what might happen."  It gives all sorts of openings for polite conversations about the value to the Republic of a citizenry that can react quickly to the unexpected.

A long gun says "something is going down."  People start to edge towards the door.

It's not about you and your rights.  It's about the people you're trying to convince, and instead are scaring.  Please don't scare the White Folks by making them think that something bloody is about to go down. Eyes on the prize.


Josh Kruschke said...

Well said.


Ps. With this said, we need to work on changing th laws so every one over 18 can OC.

Joe said...

It amazes me the comments that are made by the people who favored the OC of long guns that anyone who didn't agree with them was anti-second amendment and was in favor of supporting law breakers. They need to quit being so self centered and realize we are all in this together. Just because we don't agree with someone it doesn't mean they're a bad person.

TOTWTYTR said...

They just don't get it. Instead of "normalizing" the ownership and bearing of firearms, this is going to have the exact opposite effect. More states are likely to pass laws like the one in MA that requires all long guns to be unloaded and locked when you are in public.

What these zealots forget is that most people aren't "gun people". It's likely that even in the past most people weren't "gun people", but they didn't care much what those who were did. That's changed, and that is what we need to get back to.

Stupid Open Carry tricks won't do that.

Anonymous said...

What really concerns me is the total lack of empathy on the part of the rabid ocers.

TinCan Assassin said...

I wonder if we can get to a point in our society, peacably, without any civil unrest making it necessary, where most people are gun people...

TinCan Assassin said...

BTW, chalk me into the "Respectfully Disagree" category. Armed Society and all that. ;)

ASM826 said...

You want to see new, more restrictive laws passed? Keep on acting provocatively.

In the airports in 2002, there was a time where troops with assault rifles (like real ones, select fire and all) patrolled the concourse. I thought it was overreaction then and still do now, but it sure sent a message. The men with the rifles were not shooting anyone, they were just carrying them, but it sure sent a different message than having a uniformed policeman with a holstered pistol doing the patrol.

There's a time and a place for everything.

Butch Cassidy said...

"They just don't get it. Instead of 'normalizing' the ownership and bearing of firearms, this is going to have the exact opposite effect. More states are likely to pass laws like the one in MA that requires all long guns to be unloaded and locked when you are in public. "

I really hate to stick my nose in this, but this argument has always bothered me. Is there any evidence, anywhere to support this claim?

Not to be a jerk, but if we like documentation from anti-gunners, it would be nice to get it from each other.

I'll start: The now-defunct weapons ban was partially because a few open-carriers shouted during a hearing in the state house. Pistols, by the way, and even then it had to be combined with shouting. And even that fell nowhere near a carry ban or storage requirement.

Butch Cassidy said...

Whoops, in New Hampshire. Might help if I get in the habit of naming places...

Borepatch said...

Butch, there aren't metrics, but there is evidence.

The gun-ban side feeds on ignorance and fear, and it always has. Open Carry is ideally targeting the ignorance of the public, who don't own guns and don't know anybody who does.

By showing that nice, normal people own guns, you cut the ignorance, and that cuts the fear. It becomes "normal" that people own guns.

But anything that is perceived as threatening feeds the fear. Heck we see this even with pistol OC. Long gun OC ratchets the fear up much more.

My evidence that long gun OC is not normal (and never has been) is as follows:

I grew up in the middle of Maine in the 1960s, back when gun ownership was considered normal, and large numbers of people hunted. With long guns (duh!).

While I saw people with long guns, it was always outside, i.e. taking their guns from their cars to where they were going to hunt.

I NEVER saw a long gun carried inside. Ever. People left them in their cars.

Indoor Long Gun OC simply never has been considered polite. Not in rural Maine in the 1960s, and certainly not today.

Your mileage may vary, but I stand by my statements that long gun OC is hurting the team.

russell1200 said...

I remember the rifles in the gun racks (on school grounds). But I don't ever recall anyone taking them into a public building. Very strange thinking.

Atom Smasher said...

Definitely agree with Borepatch. Handgun sez "I might need this", long gun sez "I plan on needing this".

It's no different than cars. I see someone in a top-line BMW, I think "that person likes to drive"; I see a Ferrari, I think "that person likes to drive *fast*".

Boat Guy said...

I'll have to once more respectfully disagree that a "long gun" in and of itself NECESSARILY escalates tensions. The "object" is FAR less important that the MANNER in which the encounter takes place.
I've always taken OC as an opportunity to educate first and foremost and to "desensitize" to some extent if that's possible. Many of us get asked "Is that legal" giving us a great opening.
Rather than getting the vapors over whether or not we're disturbing the "chi" of the hoplophobes, the focus must ALWAYS be our BEHAVIOR.
Is my Delta 10mm too provacative? My XD? Should I carry a nice wood-stocked S&W Model 10 instead? Does that somehow make me more "legitimate" than some evilblackhandgun?
In some respects we are ceding part of the argument to the other side. YES we want to be PERSUASIVE. Yes, we want folks to focus on what we say, NOT what we're toting. I still hold that it is possible to do these things whether carrying long or short IF we're being considerate.
Trying to anticipate someone else's reaction to stimuli is difficult at best. Anticipating someone's interpretation of one's words is perhaps less so.

Josh Kruschke said...

Boat Guy -

Here's my thought process. If I ever saw some carting a long gun into let's say a library.
Why he carting around all that extra weight. Long gun = heavy or heavier than a hand gun anyway. So, there must be a reason.
One is doesn't have a car trunk to leave it.
Two is just doesn't want to be separated from his true love.
Three doesn't feel safe just carrying a little bitty pistol.
Four he has some serious enemies and he feels he's going to need the fire power.
Or, five he's planning on using it.
If for no other reason than # 5 he's going to make me feel uncomfortable and make me keep an eye on him.

Those that don't activly look for and run threat assessment when out and about tend to get surprised.


Eagle said...

This is what I learned a long time ago in a boot camp far, far away:

Your pistol provides cover while you get your rifle.

Boat Guy said...

Over at Breda's I just saw what is reported to be THE photo of the lad who was reported to be the shotgun carrier that started this "discussion". NOT exactly a poster child for our efforts.
I have been basing my comments based more on the gent outside the Obama rally in AZ with the slung AR, which frankly is one of the last well-documented "OC-of-a-long-gun" examples I'm familiar with.
That said, when we base our actions on what people "feel" or "might feel" we're ceding control over elements of the "argument" to others. I'm tending to base much of my commenting on my experiences with VCDL, which in those experiences has walked the line between "persuasion" and "confrontation" very well. If you're not familiar with their work and especially that of their President Phil Van Cleave, I strongly recommend you seek them out.

Josh Kruschke said...

Burt -

I would agree with you if you if Wally Mart was a combat zone even though sometimes on blackfridays I feel it is.


Atom Smasher said...

Boat Guy Sez "That said, when we base our actions on what people "feel" or "might feel" we're ceding control over elements of the "argument" to others."

No, you're being polite.

Josh Kruschke said...

Burt -

Sorry if I let my discussions with others cloud my interpretation of what you were say.


Druid said...

Militarily speaking, a long gun is an 'arm'; and carrying such makes one a 'combatant'.

To what the Founders meant by 'arms' and the 2nd I will leave to SCOTUS (Miller) and The Federalist #46.

Of more concern, WRT the current topic, everything is legal until somebody does it.

TCK said...

6) The law says 18+ for long gun carry but 21+ for handgun carry, so his options are carry a long gun or carry nothing at all.

Borepatch said...

TCK, one possibility would be for the young man to carry and empty holster. He would clearly stand out that way, which could open the door for a conversation about how he is prohibited because he's under 21 and must therefore rely on someone else for protection. Even if he were in the service.

That would be a pretty powerful introduction to gun rights for whoever we happened to be speaking to.

Again, this issue is winning hearts and minds.