I have found in the years I have been involved in the firearms and 2nd Amendment community that often times gun owners are their own worst enemy.
From that statement you might assume that I mean open carriers metaphorically shoot themselves in the foot because they make waves. Unless you are an open carrier, then you might assume that I mean that close minded concealed carry only folk are causing a fracture in the firearms community.
It should be no surprise to those who subscribe to this site and those who know me personally where I fall in the OC vs CC debate. Back in July I penned an article entitled: Open Carry Should Not Only Be Legal, But Encouraged.
Of course, open carrying is back in the news because Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz recently came out saying that guns are no longer welcome at the coffee shops. The vitriol I see from gun owners who hate the idea of open carrying is as prevalent and heated, if not moreso, than that coming from gun controllers.
So did open carrying cause this move?
Yes and no. I never attended a “Starbucks Appreciation Day”, gun on hip. I just simply went to Starbucks on occasion with my gun on my hip and ordered my Chai Tea Latte, drank it, then left.
So did I and the tens of thousand other open carriers force Starbucks to quasi-change their policy? (remember Starbucks isn’t banning guns, just telling you they aren’t welcome but won’t kick you out).
Doubtful. What did it, were the big to-do’s about it. The pomp and ceremony of making a big deal out of it. Which of course caused the gun controllers to try and match it. They failed of course, but still got media coverage for their anemic efforts because that’s the way the press works.
So yes, the in your face, i’m armed and i’m proud, pushing the envelope attitude of some open carriers probably made Howard Shultz’s left coast hippie friends push for him to do something and so he did.
Kinda blew up in the OCers’ faces.
Fortunately (sarcasm) we have the CC-only crowd waiting in the wings to dog pile on and fracture those who support the 2nd Amendment.
It’s funny, as I started writing this article I was fully prepared to side against the in-your-face OC activists. I open carry because I prefer it, because I am against the need to have a permit for a Constitutional right, and I believe in passive activism.
Yet, the more I thought about it the more I realized that sometimes you need to push the envelope. You need to make some noise and some waves and push some buttons.
For those hating on the OCer’s for doing so I imagine them as the southern blacks who 50 some years ago decried Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr as uppity and were happy at the back of the bus.
Sometimes. in the course of demanding what is right you have to make noise in order to be heard.
Was Starbucks the right venue to hold this proxy war between Pro-Gun and Anti-Liberty parties? Probably not. But i’m not gonna cut down those willing to be vocal because it rocks the boat a little.
Speaking of Starbucks, maybe neutrality isn’t good enough. Welcome gun owners and accept our money, ban us and lose our business…but make a choice.
So do Open Carriers ruin it for us all? I guess…the same way Rosa Parks ruined riding the bus.