The Open Carry Movement Isn’t About Rights, It’s About Fear – And A Little Racism

Image via austinchronicle.com

Image via austinchronicle.com

Open Carry Texas backed off on their plans to march through Houston’s 5th Ward. Not because they finally realized the folly of their endeavor to somehow prove to the minority neighborhood that open carry of military-grade firearms was in their best interests. Oh, and apparently the neighborhood already had plenty of firearms, as demonstrated by members of the New Black Panther Party. Nice.

They were met by a chorus of voices telling them to stay out of the neighborhood and warned they will be “matched gun-for-gun.”

“I’m going to tell you something homie, this is Fifth Ward, you ain’t coming in here running nothing,” community activist Quanell X said while flanked by members of the New Black Panther Party, who were holding assault rifles. (Source)

They backed off citing the “controversy associated with this event,” but they still want to march through the 5th Ward to prove some sort of point. Regardless of whether you support or oppose gun regulations, I think that most of us (including my card-carrying member of the NRA mother) could agree that this is an incredibly stupid idea.

Currently, all but 6 states (TX, FL, SC, CA, IL, and NY) and the District of Columbia allow open carry, with varying regulations. I grew up in rural Virginia where guns were common. It was not unusual to see deer rifles or shotguns in a gun rack in vehicles parked at local churches, the feed store, or even at school during hunting season. I know it sounds weird, but this was a different time, before Columbine and the attention on school shootings. But even then, to walk around with a handgun strapped to your hip would have been considered extremely odd unless you were part of the local sheriff’s department or another law enforcement agency.

So why is the open carry movement receiving so much attention now? I’m not even really that opposed to being able to openly carry a handgun on your hip, which is what these people are really protesting – or at least that’s what it started off as. What I do have a problem with is the people who think that openly carrying a weapon is necessary, and their reasoning why. You see, open carry isn’t about protection, it’s about intimidation. It’s about advertising “I have a gun on me and I will use it” to everyone within view at the local Kroger’s, or anywhere else that currently allows open carry.

I believe it is a part of a fear by white Americans that their “way of life” is being threatened. Is it blatant racism borne out of the rise of hate groups after the election of the first non-white president? Yes, and no. Current predictions are that whites will be a minority within the next couple of decades and I think there are people who really are greatly concerned about that. Take South Africa for an example. While whites were always a minority there, they held all the power until the end of apartheid. Historically though, rule by the minority – not the majority – was quite common. Therefore, owning weapons and demonstrating that they own them, is part of their attempt to preserve “their way of life.”

It was recently brought to my attention that there was a book called “My Parents Open Carry” published and advertised on Amazon. Or, as my libertarian friend Ethan calls it: “My Parents Open Carry Because, At Their Core, They Are Sissies And Probably Couldn’t Win In A One On One Fistfight Like A Man/Woman/Adult, And Therefore Have To Prove What Badasses They Are By Carrying Guns In Public, Hiding Behind The Second Amendment, And Putting Other People At Risk To Prove A Point.

Here’s a snippet of the author’s description of the book, bold emphasis mine:

Come join 13-year-old Brenna Strong along with her mom, Bea, and her dad, Richard, as they spend a typical Saturday running errands and having fun together. What’s not so typical is that Brenna’s parents lawfully open carry handguns for self-defense. The Strongs join a growing number of families that are standing up for their 2nd Amendment rights by open carrying and bringing gun ownership out of the closet and into the mainstream…

We fear our children are being raised with a biased view of our constitution and especially in regards to the 2nd Amendment. Before writing this, we looked for pro-gun children’s books and couldn’t find any. Our goal was to provide a wholesome family book that reflects the views of the majority of the American people, i.e., that self-defense is a basic natural right and that firearms provide the most efficient means for that defense.” (Source)

Notice those key words? Rights are supposedly being infringed upon, even though laws restricting gun ownership are being loosened more than they are being restricted. In fact, gun ownership is on the decline in America with 20% of Americans owning 65% of the guns, but this comes out of personal choices, not restrictions. So in order to boost gun sales to the shrinking market, the NRA and others use fear as their marketing tool.

Look at the faces on the cover of that book. Fair-skinned, blue-eyed “good Americans.” Now, look under the listing at the other books that people who bought this one also purchased. “Raising Boys Feminists Will Hate” or “Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!” and a book by Dinesh D’Souza about a world without America. Gee, I wonder what audience these books are meant for?

I’m not one of those people who feel threatened that people with my level of melanin or shared heritages may no longer be majority in this country. I’m not afraid that my “way of life” is under attack simply because others are now gaining the same rights that I’ve always had simply by being a white, heterosexual male.

So, go ahead and open carry your Glock or Springfield 1911 if you want. Let us know how afraid you are of whatever the gun marketing campaign is pushing these days while you talk about “taking this country back.” I’ll keep mine in my pants, thank you very much.


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  • Sandy Greer

    Both sides – Left and Right – are reactionary.

    The Right sees Lefties as ‘gun grabbers’. Think restrictions an ‘infringement’ of 2A.

    The Left sees ‘gun nuts’. Posits they’re all crazy white Southern racist rednecks.

    Both Left and Right need to move beyond our ‘fear’ of one another; need to step back, and see ourselves as the ‘other’ does – without hyperbole – and without spinning each other into ‘enemies’. Takes Courage to set aside the fear – and understand each other. But it’s what is necessary. Because the Truth – as always – lays somewhere in the middle.

    ^^^That’s my take. FWIW

    • AQ

      That’s pretty ridiculous, Sandy–the Open Carry advocates are nothing more than racist bullies who seek only to intimidate those who do not agree with them. Witness what they do to anyone that dares stand up to them, and what they do to the women in Moms Demand Action.

      Unlike Moms Demand Action, Open Carry Texas and other such groups are completely and totally unwilling to participate in any conversation about gun safety.

      This Armed Progressive and Liberal Gun Club member would love to see a conversation about gun safety, and see things change so that the gun owners who AREN’T a danger to themselves and others can still own guns while the James Holmeses and Adam Lanzas are kept far away from implements that they plan to use on other people.

      • Sandy Greer

        As expected, here comes the ‘reactionary’ – says I’m ‘ridiculous’ when I argue for understanding Left/Right – instead of getting a hate on for one another. You’re just the type I had in mind – can’t see beyond your own POV.

        Who would want to talk to you? You’ve already said Open
        Carry folks “are nothing more than racist bullies who seek only to intimidate” and that they are “completely and totally unwilling to participate in any conversation about gun safety.” You spin your Opponents into enemies so fast I get dizzy just looking at it.

        And then wonder why they don’t care to understand you. LMFAO

        But you must not have ‘witnessed’ Clifton’s article – about black Open Carry. You calling blacks “racist bullies”? Or only the white ones?

        I think you should take your “racist bullies” argument over to Clifton’s thread. Or do you lack the Courage to try to sell racism over there?

      • Tom Pryor

        Sorry, Sandy, but this is just another phony-baloney false equivalency argument and I’m not buying it. There are plenty of folks who are for gun control who don’t consider themselves lefties at all. Lots of political moderates are for gun control, too. You’re just creating a false dichotomy while supposedly preaching against such things. Your whole argument is well-intentioned obfuscatory bullshit at best.

      • AQ

        Careful Tom, Sandy will claim that you’re a RWNJ because you disagree with her!

      • Sandy Greer

        Yeah. ‘Cause it’s always “phony-baloney obfuscatory bullshit” when somebody preaches for understanding – argues for a middle – rather than just getting a hate on for one another, and spinning folks into enemies.

        But thanks for the ‘well-intentioned’. Blessed are the peacemakers.

        And, honestly speaking – I don’t have to prove Opponents ‘untrue’. Argumentum ad ignorantiam. All I have to do is argue in favor of my own position.

        Up to others to prove the validity of their arguments. You, too, are free to argue “racist bullies” over in black Open Carry (Clifton’s piece) If you can. I’ll be looking forward to seeing both you and AQ over there.

      • AQ

        Black people marching armed in a black neighbourhood to show that they are prepared to defend their homes is not racist. Furthermore, it is impossible for a POC to be racist, because racism is about power–which marginalized groups like POC **DON’T** have.

        White people marching (or talking about marching) armed in a black neighbourhood IS racist, because it is entirely predicated on intimidating black people and sending a message that they (the armed whites) are fully prepared to open fire on any POC that they believe might be “a thug”.

        In other words, your argument is a straight-up false equivalency, no matter how many times you claim otherwise, and no matter how many times you wish to play the martyr when called on your bullshit.

      • Sandy Greer

        Well, but – Here’s my argument, as set forth in my OP – that you Replied to, opening this convo in the first place:

        >Both Left and Right need to move beyond our ‘fear’ of one another; need to step back, and see ourselves as the ‘other’ does – without hyperbole – and without spinning each other into ‘enemies’. Takes Courage to set aside the fear – and understand each other. But it’s what is necessary. Because the Truth – as always – lays somewhere in the middle.

        ^^^Just an argument we move beyond getting a hate on for each other. That’s all. Simple enough, in theory. But in practice?

        People say it’s “bullshit”. They cling to Hate; clutch it close – like it’s worth more than gold.

        Now, you can call it “bullshit” if you want. But then – That means you’re read “bullshit”. I’ve already said I don’t read you – out in the threads. That I only talk to you now – because you opened this convo with me.

        But normally – I don’t waste my time on “bullshit” – or the people take those dumps.

        We agree – People should be able to defend themselves, their homes, and their neighborhoods. And that color has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

        Still doesn’t mean I read “bullshit” – in the normal course of events, of course.

      • Tom Pryor

        The problem with this is you’re not actually “arguing for the middle” – the middle ALREADY stands for a saner approach to our gun laws. You’re ignoring the middle that actually exists in favor of your fantasy version. In doing so, you also create a false equivalency that paints both sides as having an equal claim on the moderate middle, which is a patent falsehood. You’re not really a peacemaker, so much as a falsifier. And you can’t prove your argument because we both know it’s full of shit. Nice try.

      • Sandy Greer

        The problem is you’re trying to define somebody else’s argument – Straw Man.

        First Argumentum ad ignorantiam. Now a Straw man. You posit two separate fallacies – and accuse me of “fantasy”. Just fancy that.

        Next you’ll get mad and say I’m “full of shit” when I don’t play along. Nice try.

      • Tom Pryor

        And, honestly speaking, what part of this sentence is untrue when regarding the Texas open carry fools?

        >Open Carry folks “are nothing more than racist bullies who seek only to intimidate”; who are “completely and totally unwilling to participate in any conversation about gun safety.”<

        Seems to me that this is just the truth.

      • AQ

        As usual Sandy, you show your complete lack of clue. Open Carry isn’t interested in conversation, period. So yes, you’re being ridiculous with your passive aggressive la-de-da “everyone has their opinion” nonsense.

      • Sandy Greer

        As usual – AQ insults anyone with whom AQ disagrees. Calls me ridiculous and passive aggressive – says I don’t have a clue. Thinks it nonsense that “everyone has their opinion” – different from AQ, that is.

        Whatta laugh; so predictable is AQ. It’s just not a good day if AQ can’t unleash an ever-expanding barrage of insults – on somebody – somewhere. But what AQ doesn’t realize:

        AQ insults are Badges of Honor. Worn with pride. Each, and every, single one.

        LMFAO at insults of AQ.

      • AQ

        And still you make no sense whatsoever. Also, pointing out that you are clueless and passive-aggressive is not an insult, especially because it’s true.

      • Sandy Greer

        Well, one has to wonder – If I make “no sense whatsoever” – Why you bother with me?

        See, if I think somebody makes “no sense whatsoever” (or if I don’t care for them) I just pass them by – unread. You, for instance. I talk to you now because you Replied to my OP. Good Manners demands. But out in the threads – No; your posts go unread by me.

        But you opened this convo with me – somebody you think makes “no sense whatsoever”. How stupid is that – to do that to yourself? Just SMH

        But, I guess – I should be flattered, you read me. Can’t
        say I’ll return the favor – but I’m flattered.

      • AQ

        I have a burning need to call out bullshit when I see it.
        I also have a burning need to smack down self-righteous old biddies that try to prop themselves up as some kind of Font of Wisdom when really they’re just a Spewing Spray of Crazy.

      • Sandy Greer

        Well, try not to work yourself into a fevered frenzy over that “burning need” of yours.

        ‘Cause I’m enjoying this. Nothing infuriates you more than to see somebody rise above insults – refuse to be insulted by you – and not lower themselves to your level by returning like for like.

        Why, it’s almost like I stole your Satisfaction – and kept it all for myself.

        How great is the “burning need” of AQ. It’s just too bad nobody needs AQ in return.

      • Tom Pryor

        So in other words, you’re really just trolling for attention?

      • Sandy Greer

        You give me the attention you complain I troll for. Now that’s funny.

      • AQ

        Wow Sandy, you sure do like to make things up out of whole cloth don’t you?

        Tell you what–since you apparently need to have the last word, I’ll just go ahead and give it to you. No need to thank me. Just please consider seeking psychiatric help.

      • Sandy Greer

        Ooh! Look who’s Projecting crazy now:

        I didn’t ask you to open this convo. You Replied to me. Your choice. I said straight out, many times – I don’t read you out in the threads – You insult everybody – That’s your ‘normal’. I’ve been plain as day I only read you now – because you initiated this convo.

        LMFAO How crazy is it that now you’re mad when I just laugh off your insults?

      • Charles Vincent

        99% of all gun owners are responsible you troglodyte, pull your head out and smell the crap you’re shoveling

      • Robo

        How about the black group the open carried while demonstrating in Dallas a few days ago. I’d post the link but my comment wouldn’t show up if I did.

      • AQ

        Again: Black people marching in their own neighborhood while open carrying is not even close to a white group like Open Carry Texas planning to march through a black neighborhood while open carrying. It is a false equivalency. The HPNGC made clear that they are willing to defend their own homes, because the police will not help them. They have not made death threats/rape threats, they have not followed and harassed people filming them or challenging them, they have not gone into stores and restaurants carrying their pieces, or posed in front of public places to intimidate their opponents who are patronizing those places. OCT has done all of those.

        Do try again.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      “Posits they’re all crazy white Southern racist rednecks.”

      The ones that are rabid about their guns? Pretty much.

      • Sandy Greer

        Sure. ‘Rabid’. Like animals.

        People who demean Opponents shouldn’t be surprised when they are left preaching to the choir – with only believers to hear.

      • sassinator333

        See now there you go proving his point asshole.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    No, it’s about fear and A LOT OF RACISM.

  • PaulJmsn

    Why should whites be worried about becoming a minority? It’s not like minorities have been treated poorly in the past, is it?

    • sassinator333

      You talk about a whole “race” of people and lump them all together and assume all “whites” are worried about becoming a minority. I for one couldn’t care about my standings in the demographics of future America. I will continue living and being the same person I’ve always been. And continue NOT judging whole groups of people based on a few.

  • Scott Wilson

    This has to be the single most PUSSIFIED editorial about open carry I’ve ever read.

    Clearly written by a child whose understanding fails to match that of my 11 year old son.

  • slsdlksfj

    It doesn’t matter what you think about guns, it’s been ruled to be a fundamental and inalienable constitutional right. Why bitch and moan about a bunch of other issues that no one can change?

    • Tom Pryor

      Slavery was once protected by the Constitution, too.

      • slsdlksfj

        Yeah, and we had to fight a war to change that… with guns.

      • madame48

        So the only change comes with gunfire? Really?

      • slsdlksfj

        I didn’t say that. The only way to change a constitutional right is by amending the constitution. In the case of slavery, that happened at the end of a bloody, gun filled war and the temporary disenfranchisement of white southerners in order to push through the 13th amendment. In the case of the second amendment right as laid out in DC v. Heller, there is absolutely no chance at all that we’ll amend the constitution in the foreseeable future.

      • Tom Pryor

        A bloody, gun-filled war that was won by a lawfully constituted army, not random civilian vigilantes. As for DC vs. Heller, let’s just say that it’s the Dred Scott decision of the Roberts Court – a terrible, no-good, awful decision that will eventually be looked back on as folly.

      • slsdlksfj

        Lol, yeah well good luck overturning it. In the meantime, you can keep whining if you like, but the second amendment does grant an individual right to possess guns. Coupled with the right to free speech and peaceful assembly, they can march through any neighborhood they want, even if it is in bad taste. And it is.

      • Tom Pryor

        >but the second amendment does grant an individual right to possess guns.

        Only if you grossly misinterpret the “well regulated militia” clause.

      • slsdlksfj

        Which leads me to my original point, it doesn’t matter what you think the constitution says, it’s not up for a debate or a popular vote. What SCOTUS says it means is all that matters. So if you must complain about another person’s constitutional right, go ahead and waste your time being pissed off, but you should realize your opinion has no effect.

      • Tom Pryor

        And your original point is still wrong. IT DOES matter what the people think and what the Constitution says because there are dozens of instances where the Supreme Court has been WRONG. Like the Dred Scott decision, for instance – and the Roberts Court has gotten a LOT wrong lately, Citizen’s United, DC vs. Heller, etc. SCOTUS reverses its own decisions more often than you think – and if you seriously think that its a waste of time to exercise your right to free speech and thought in our Republic, then you might as well give up on the project of democratic self-governance in America. Look, I get it – you want to shut other people up who don’t agree with you. Good luck with that- but you’re gonna fail.

      • slsdlksfj

        Dred Scott v. Sanford was never overturned by the Supreme Court, the decision was eventually nullified by the passage of the Civil War amendments. If you think there’s an actual chance that the US is going to pass an amendment to nullify the 2nd amendment, well then I have a bridge to sell you. SCOTUS rarely overturns their decisions, but when they do it’s almost always 50+ years down the road, when a completely different ideological balance is represented in the Court. Either way, your opinion means pretty much nothing.

      • yacope

        The Bill of Rights are enumerated INDIVIDUAL rights. All of them. Doesn’t matter what you “think” about the word militia, it doesn’t change that fact.

        Again: SCOTUS has ruled that it is an individual right.

  • Robo

    Why is it always the progressive sites that moderate and only allow their own point of view? I simply included a link to a black group protesting and open carrying at the same time to show that it is about rights and protecting them.

    • AQ

      As I said to that insane old biddy above:
      Black people marching armed through a black neighbourhood (specifically THEIR OWN neighbourhood) is a show that they are prepared to defend themselves.

      White people marching armed (or talking about marching armed) through a black neighbourhood is a racist display that is intended to intimidate the people in that neighbourhood. It is intended to send a message that they (the armed whites) are willing to use their guns on any black person that they feel is a “thug” or “threatening”.

      They are not even close to the same thing–OCT and OCTC are not at all about rights and protection, certainly not when those who oppose them are targeted with death threats, slurs, and (in the case of Moms Demand) rape threats. It is about intimidation and straight-up 100% racism.

      • Charles Vincent

        You wouldn’t know racism if it fell out of the sky, landed on your face, wiggled and handed you a note explaining it was racism… moron

      • AQ

        Care to elucidate? Or are you incapable of making an intelligent comment?

      • Charles Vincent

        It was plain as day the first time I stated it. Restating it is both redundant and useless as you didn’t grasp the meaning the first time around.

      • AQ

        In other words, you are incapable of making an intelligent comment. Thank you, I shall now proceed to ignore anything more that you have to say.

      • Charles Vincent

        If only we were all as lucky that you would pipe down and stop spreading bigotry.

    • Charles Vincent

      this site doesn’t allow links you have to modify them so they pass the filter.

  • yacope

    As a woman who also happens to be a human that some label Hispanic I disagree. I am for the 2nd Amendment. I am for Constitutional Carry and I have in fact Open Carried in numerous walks. Labeling all of us open carriers “racist” and claiming that we only do it out of “fear” is disingenuous, perhaps even racist, and one of those ASSumptions you were warned about.

    I carry because I take responsibility for my own safety. I train in order that if I ever have to upholster my firearm I will be effective and accurate. I follow all the local laws and I am an advocate of Constitutional Carry. If you, me or anyone can legally buy it they should be able to legally carry it.

    And I reject any and all of those bigoted labels that people who want to leave me, once again, defenseless against an attacker try to assign me. My defense is my responsibility and I will not depend on cops to arrive in time. Attacks are over before the cops arrive to collect and catalog the evidence and notify next of kin.

    • Sandy Greer

      I wish I could like your post 10 times over, yacope.

      I don’t carry myself. Either open, or concealed. But think it important women, especially, speak out – to dispel the misconceptions of who has guns – and why.

      Please don’t be a stranger to this site. We need voices like yours here.

      • yacope

        Thank you, I believe I will.

  • Miguel

    Despite the expense, I think that in the long run, penis enhancement surgery is a safer and more effective solution for these people. And it gives them what they’re really looking for.