Category Archives: Open Carry

Insurance for having to use your gun? Ludicrous…but maybe not ridiculous

Insurance for having to use your gun?  Ludicrous…but maybe not ridiculous

The idea that law abiding gun owners would need insurance to cover the costs of legally using their firearms is ludicrous.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it is unnecessary.

What do I mean?  One need look no further than the George Zimmerman self defense trial.  Zimmerman gets jumped by a gay-bashing homophobe and pummeled into the sidewalk.  He shoots his attacker to save his own life in a clear case of self defense, yet due to political pressure and the complete absconding of fairness is charged with both a crime AND $500,000 (before lawyer fees) in order to defend himself.

I wish that were the only case in which a gun owner, acting responsibly in defense of their own life was being railroaded by malicious prosecution due to anti gun sentiment or political pressure, but it’s not.

In case you haven’t read here about Sung-Ho Hwang, the President-elect of the New Haven Bar Association was arrested simply because he had the GALL to open carry his sidearm.  Doing so in Connecticut is completely legal mind you so long as you have a permit, which Mr. Hwang does.  That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to fight in order to get out of it.  And fights cost money.

Then we have Darrell Schooler of Fort Worth who shot at a man attacking him who ALSO HAD A GUN.  Schooler said it took less than two seconds to make the decision to fire his weapon, but it took weeks for him to get out of jail while authorities sorted through the details.  Basically, Schooler’s attacker hit his car window three times with his fist and the butt of his gun before Schooler pulled his weapon and fired, shattering the car window. The man was surprised by the flying glass and shot himself in the arm.  Schooler had “gun use” insurance and he was grateful that he did saying:

“This is insurance I thought I’d never have to use. Without it, I’d probably be in jail for something I didn’t do. God was with me that day. If I had leaned an inch-and-a-half to the left, I wouldn’t be talking to you now. That’s how close I came to getting my head blown off.”

Darrell Schooler needing insurance in order not to be bankrupted or incarcerated for simply saving his own life is an affront and attack on common sense and decency.
What’s next?  The need for women to acquire “Dead Rapist” Insurance.  Because killing a person who is trying to rape you is, according to the Brady Campaign, not the answer…it’s better to just lay back and take it.
When being forced to kill someone who is trying to murder or rape you, you shouldn’t have to worry about being victimized by the legal system.  Too sadly though, it seems the legal system in some districts of this country disagree.  And while fundamentally the need to get “gun-use” insurance is ludicrous, it might not be the worst thing to get.
I mean, if DA’s are just going to ignore Castle Doctrine, Stand Your Ground and Open Carry laws, how much faith can we really have that you won’t be railroaded by the Gun-Hate express?
With ALL that being said, do not in any way take that to mean that I believe in a  state mandated gun liability scheme.  Those are just scams being floated in anti gun states as a further restriction and penalty to law abiding gun owners.  It is no different than a poll tax for voting and a complete infringement upon our right to keep and bear arms.
Side note: Despite the Brady Campaigns full-on disavowment of the meme below, it WAS on their facebook page.  People saw it, people took snapshots of it, took actual cameras and photoed their screens because they knew the cover was lifted off of what the Brady Campaign REALLY feels and that once the Brady campaign realized that THEY were the fringe and out of touch it would quickly be gone.  I’ve decided not to let them off the hook.

You gonna skin that smokewagon or just stand there and bleed?

You gonna skin that smokewagon or just stand there and bleed?

With all the Zimmerman talk as of late I did some reflection on when to carry, when to draw, when to shoot etc.  That’s when the titled quote (condensed version) from the movie Tombstone came to mind.

Sometimes when we play the hypothetical game we wonder if a situation would warrant skinning that smokewagon and going to work.  Sorry…I just love the dated lexicon.

First things first, when to carry a gun.

Answer: whenever and wherever you legally can.  Going shopping, taking a walk, going to a movie etc.  Why?  Because you never know when you may need your firearm to protect your life.

To sometimes carry and sometimes not is akin to only wearing your seat belt when you are expecting to crash.

I also suggest you get comfortable with your gun, take it to the range and become proficient with it.  And keep it clean and oiled and prepared for use.  Because when you need it and it doesn’t work you have a glorified paperweight on your hip.

When it comes to businesses and movie theatres that hang signs that say “no firearms” you should avoid them because your chances of being a murder victim will drop considerably if you avoid criminal entitlement zones.  But if you need to patron the store or theatre and you live in a state that doesn’t have a law supporting those signs then carry in them anyways.

The worst they can do is ask you to leave.  And when they do, just leave and let them know they lost your business.  If enough people do that maybe money will lessen their hoplophobia.

So now you are carrying everywhere you can…good.  If the worst should happen at least you will have a fighting chance and won’t be like a lamb to the slaughter.

You have your gun holstered on your hip, none of this Plaxico Burress mexican carry shoot yourself in your leg nonsense.

When do you draw?

There is a simple answer for that.  You draw only when you are willing to shoot because you may have to shoot.   None of this waving around in public or to intimidate someone whose chatting up your girl or anything stupid.   Guns can be fun but they are not toys and their consequences are permanent.  Speaking of consequences…

When do you shoot?

Only when you are willing to destroy whatever you are aiming at.  Too many people get wrapped up in the idea that nonsensical things like shooting a gun out of a bad guys hand or aiming to wound a bad guy trying to kill you is an easy thing.  It’s not.  If you are at this step and you are pulling the trigger the time for compromise has passed.

Aim center mass and go to work.

Head shots are for body armor…chances are a few to the chest will do the job.

In summation,

1. Be prepared

2. Be smart

3. Be willing


If you can’t measure up to these 3 guidelines, chances are you are just going to end up standing there and bleeding.

Note: This is what happens when you try to bluff with a gun.  Wyatt Earp smacks you in the face.  But seriously, ole Billy Bob there wasn’t smart by bluffing with his gun and as such had to pay the price.  He’s a bad gun owner…don’t be like Billy Bob.

Open Carrying could have saved Trayvon Martins life

Open Carrying could have saved Trayvon Martins life

If you are a subscriber to this blog then you know that I am strongly in favor of the open carrying of firearms and  I have discussed the reasons before. With all the hubbub about George Zimmerman verdict recently, something dawned on me last night that I didn’t register before.

If Florida allowed the open carrying of firearms and Zimmerman was doing so the night of the incident, would Trayvon Martin still be alive?

For those of you who don’t know, open carry is legal in some form in 45 our of 50 states.  Meaning that in five states the practice is completely verboten. Illinois and New York are unsurprisingly two of these states.  A little more surprising is that Texas, South Carolina and Florida are the other three.

But how would the night when Zimmerman and Martin met have been different if Martin turned to see the “creepy ass cracker” with his Kal-Tec on his hip?  Maybe it wouldn’t have been different at all and Martin would again attack Zimmerman and while beating him senseless on the ground also go for his gun.

A more logical scenario has played out in my own life when a cracked out driver ran me off the road, jumped out of his SUV and ran to attack me.  Fortunately I was armed because reasoned discourse did not seem to be on other drivers mind.

(note: this was not a case of road rage brought on by terrible driving on my part but rather the driver was swerving across three lanes of road and nearly hit me to which I honked at him once in case he was sleeping or just drunk.  He responded by following me off the exit and hopping a curve to block two lanes with his SUV perpendicular to traffic)

The minute he saw the gun he stopped dead in his tracks and stayed that way.  I called over my shoulder to the driver of a truck that had to swerve to the side of me when the aggressor drove his car across the lane to call the police which he did.

So the aggressor keeps trying to get me to look behind me…no…seriously…and take my eyes off of him.  We stay that way until we hear the sirens at which point the guy runs back into his SUV and races off.  The cops stopped by, asked which way he went and pursued.  I don’t think they ever caught him.  But I digress, back to Zimmerman/Martin.

If Zimmerman was open carrying and Martin saw the gun one of two things would most likely have happened.

First, Martin would flee, maybe call the cops when he got to his fathers house and then it would all get straightened out with no one dying.

Secondly, Martin freezes, dialogue between the two guys begin, the cops show up eventually and scold Zimmerman for wasting their time.  Still, no one dying.

What most likely wouldn’t have happened is that Martin would have charged in and started a fist fight with a guy packing a pistol who wasn’t actively engaged with him.

This isn’t to say that open carry is meant to intimidate people, but an armed society is a polite society and hooliganism and starting fights becomes less enticing when you KNOW the other guy has a firearm.

So yeah, open carry might have given Martin pause before he threw the first punch and that would be all it took to either flee from the situation or commence dialogue to diffuse it. Yet once again, gun control fails and another person dies.

Open Carry…it saves lives.


Open Carry should not only be legal, but encouraged

Open Carry should not only be legal, but encouraged

With recent cases of open carry being debated and argued in court and legislatures, namely Mississippi and Arkansas, one might question what the big deal is.  Depending on your mindset you might question what the big deal is one way or the other.

There are the anti gunners who seem to crap their pants at even the THOUGHT of someone with a gun on their hips who would prefer to watch someone club a new born child to death and call it a really late term abortion than to see someone exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.  Then there are the pro gun people who, sometimes fanatically, rail against the practice of open carrying for a myriad of reasons from tactical disadvantage to “you’ll ruin it for everyone”.

On the flip side you have the average OCer who just prefers that method to carry or doesn’t have the option to CC because they are in a state that doesn’t recognize that right.  Then you have the militant OCer who feels that everyone who doesn’t OC is a coward and is letting the terrorists like Obama and Bloomberg win.

Suffice it to say, I’m a guy who just prefers to open carry.  I don’t wear clothing conducive to concealing a firearm and I don’t carry firearms conducive to hiding themselves.  Also, my Pennsylvania LTCF leaves a lot to be desired in regards to reciprocity, especially when we have an State Attorney General on the record as making it her goal to rescind as many reciprocity agreements as she can politically get away with.  So, sometimes, I find myself in a state that I have no option but to open carry or go unarmed.  I choose the former.

But what does open carry do to the environment around you?  Initially, 6 years or so ago when I started OCing in Pittsburgh the cops would occasionally be called, sometimes I’d be thrown in cuffs because (since i wasn’t doing anything wrong) I would refuse showing them my “papers” like we just stepped through a time warp to 1938 Germany.

But, overtime, as the citizens of the city and the state (no, it wasn’t all me) got  accustomed to seeing non government people carry firearms openly the mystique and “scandal” of firearms began to wane.  As much as the anti gunners still want to beat the dead horse of “Old West” this and “Shootouts at high noon” that, the truth is that open carry is legal in some form in 44 states and blood does not run in the streets.  For that you have to go to gun control havens like Chicago or DC.

Yet, even though 44 states allow some fashion of OC, the populace in many of these states have been conditioned to be fearful with childlike terror at the near sight of a firearm on someone without a badge.  To the point that there are stories of grown women weeping at the thought of even touching a firearm the first time they go to a firing range.

Putting aside tactical advantages or disadvantages, sometimes the boat needs to be rocked.  I’m not saying OCer’s should walk around and figuratively shove their guns in peoples faces, but if an OCer is going about his or her day, just livin life, eventually the liberal gun grabbing fear conditioning will slowly ebb away.  That has been my experience, not only in Pittsburgh but also on my recent travels across this country.

Stopping in Nevada, Utah, Nebraska, Iowa I went about into the cities and towns with my six shooter on my hip.  No one batted an eye save for two instances in Salt Lake City.  The first from a small family that I passed walking on the sidewalk.  The husband remarks to the wife discreetly, “Look, they allow regular people to carry guns here”.  More of a statement of curiosity than an indictment from these tourists from I assume California.  The second was at a restaurant I went to, Red Rock, where one of the managers came to me after I finished eating and asked if I would explain the legalities of Open Carry in Utah.

For those of you who don’t know, to OC without a permit in Utah the weapon must be at least two actions away from firing.  For pistols that means, rack the slide then pull the trigger.  We had a delightful little conversation.

That’s it. 4 states, 1000 miles or so and no views askance or tsks tsks.  Imagine what the results would be if I went through Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland.  I’ve little doubt cops would be getting called on me all day even though it is just as legal in those 4 states to OC as it is out west.

But there it goes.  No one Open Carries in those states.  And if they do, too often people overreact and the OCer is arrested and railroaded simply for exercising a constitutional right.

It is at those times that the need to open carry is GREATER.  Yeah, it’s cool that I can head west over the Mississippi and not have an issue with OCing until I hit the coast but if we continue to allow the notion that “GUN = EVIL” to persist by keeping our sidearms hidden then the uninitiated will accept that as a truth.

So when it comes election time and gun grabbers are looking to make inroads to infringing our rights, those same uninitiated voters only think that criminals have guns.  Perception to them is reality, if they don’t see regular people carrying guns then to them regular people DON’T carry, so what does it matter if the AG wants to gut the CCW program, or why should they care about Constitutional Carry etc etc etc.

A Right unexercised is a right lost…but a right exercised only in secret will be lost just as well by those who don’t know the secret.