Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Open Carry vs Concealed Carry

Just to be clear here, I'm not advocating one way or another. I happen to live in a state where open carry is legal, and I do so on occasion, usually because it's too damn hot to wear a cover shirt. I think that aspect of it is nifty as hell cause I don't have to choose between stroking out and not carrying a gun.

What I'm addressing today are the advocates on either side. Those who rabble rouse for open carry, and those who get their panties in a twist because concealed carry is the only way to go.

I'd just like to say to all of them who are busily getting into arguments about the particular subject and everything related to it: You're All Wrong.

Not your opinions, have whatever opinions you like. The fact that you intend to (metaphorically) die on a hill over someone else's choice, that's just dumb.

Caleb has a post up over at his blog on the subject, and although Caleb and I by no means always agree on stuff (ok so there have been a couple of times we've disagreed rather spectacularly in the past) this time I think he's hit the nail on the head, and I told him so in comments. Frankly it's a couple of the comments there that inspired me to go ahead and ramble on the subject. In one of them (go read if you want them in entirety, I'm paraphrasing) someone said something to the effect of "if someone pro-gun comes out as anti-OC, then that gives the anti-gunners ammunition."

Ok, I can see how you could say they would use it as ammunition against law-abiding gun owners, but there's a difference between ammunition that is used and ammunition that is valid.

Personally, that statement rubs me the wrong way, because I detest being manipulated, and to me that reads as an attempt to manipulate someone into supporting something they don't necessarily agree with, because (the manipulator wants you to think) if they don't, it can have a negative impact on something they do support. I'm not going to say that it was intentional, or unintentional, I don't know so I'm not going to point that finger, but that's how it read to me.

Also, apparently, there is some big hullabaloo in the blogosphere on blogs that I at least don't follow closely, which, frankly, there are a lot of out there. I have no idea what that even is other than that it exists, and I take no sides there, just so ya know. (End Drama Llama Disclaimer)

My stance on it is, if you don't have legal open carry in your state and would like to, by all means work towards that goal, but don't expect anything other than "hey you're being a dick" if you're working towards that goal by being as obnoxious about it as possible. If you're OCing a Desert Eagle (in whatever way/place/time is legal in your area) and when someone asks you why, you climb on a soap box and scream "Because I can so take that bitches!" or something similar... you're being a dick. If you are stopping people on the street while open carrying to hand out pamphlets about open carry and give them a speech, well, you're kind of being a dick. I can see how that last one could be done in a non-dick way, but it would bring up other problems like people reporting a loitering man with a gun on a corner smiling in what could be taken as a creepy way at all passers-by.

As for the committed concealed carriers... where do I start. You have made a choice regarding your personal property and your person, congratulations. Let everyone else make theirs. Whether you're just trying to get the "don't be obnoxious because you make all gun owners look bad that way" point across (a point I agree with on BOTH sides of this particular argument, by the way) or not, hammering on the OC advocates makes you look like a dick too.

The argument that what one does hurts/helps us all... well, there is some validity to that, but not as much as some who use that argument would like to be true, I don't think. I think a better example of non-foaming at the mouth gun ownership from both sides of the issue would help everyone involved far more than simply being the loudest one in the argument.

Don't get me wrong, there are reasonable people on both sides, and there are groups that are doing OC advocacy in a completely non-dick way... or as non-dick as you can be when you're advocating something, because that's sort of the point of advocacy when you look at it in the right light. Anyway, they're polite and calm, and let people ask them questions which they answer in a pleasant way.

I'm not even against OC days, although I do have the caveat that if you're going to gather to OC, the fact is that some people are going to get nervous about it. Also, if you believe that strongly in OC, perhaps you should consider just... I dunno... having every day as an OC day? Not everyone wants to put up with the questions and extra interactions every day, sure, I get that. But one person OCing on a semi-regular basis and being polite and pleasant is going to leave a far more positive impression on the people within your sphere of influence than a group of people suddenly showing up obviously armed and banding together, I think.

The first may just be that odd but nice guy/gal from down the street, the second can be intimidating. Even just suddenly seeing a bunch of guns on people's hips that you're not used to seeing, even if they're not all in one spot and clearly together, can make people more nervous than curious.

Now, some places you can't OC at all except at very specific times/places. Not saying you shouldn't ever have a gathering at which everyone OC's (we did, and pretty much do every year, but that was more about the people who couldn't do it enjoying the sensation of having a gun on their hip in the open and no one bugging them about it than any advocacy) but do it the right way. If your state says you can open carry while engaged in hunting/fishing... then don't go take a pole to stick in the water and strut around amongst the non-carrying plebes waiting for them to ask questions. If you do that, you look like a smug dick who found a loophole to assert your opinion on everyone else.

However, if you actually FISH... then you're a guy fishing who happens to be carrying a gun. You're doing your thing and not getting in anyone else's space. As someone who has spent most of her life watching animal behavior and seeing corollaries in human behavior, let me tell you, curiosity is a strong pull, but if you add that pressure away by moving into or toward their space or clearly having no interest in what you're nominally there for, but rather focusing your attention on those around you (hello predatory behavior, how are you?) the push is going to outweigh the pull.

Hopefully I've provided enough examples of what I mean here that people won't be inclined to take one sentence and run with it as a flag to plant on their personal hill, but here's the gist:

I believe, in my own personal opinion, which you are in no way obligated to agree with or even read, on my own corner of the internet that is this blog which I maintain and write upon for my own pleasure, that there are members of both sides of this particular debate that are so far off track and into the weeds that you couldn't find them if they had a bicycle flag stuck to a helmet on. I think all of those people, collectively and regardless of which side they happen to be on in this argument, are acting like dicks. I happen to believe that you are more likely to make people think and possibly re-evaluate their opinion when you don't act like a dick.

There, I've said my piece, now we'll see if the dramallama comes to visit over it or not.