Properly Defending Liberty Comes Down To One Thing: World View

Herschel Smith · 25 Jan 2015 · 10 Comments

There is a stir among gun rights advocates - or at least, presumed gun rights advocates.  On the one hand, there are the open carriers and opponents of I-594 and their advocates in the state of Washington (and other places like Texas and New York where even Sheriffs are recommending that your thrown your SAFE act pistol permit recertification invitation in the garbage), and on the other hand are Alan Gottlieb, Dave Workman, Bob Owens (who seems like a late comer to the pragmatic approach), and…… [read more]

Texas Open Carry Isn’t Likely To Be Constitutional Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 13 hours ago

The secret was out about a week ago.

Another hot topic this session is open carry and Senator Perry already has an idea of what may come of that.

“I think you will see open carry on multiple levels. I think at the end of the day, Governor Abbott was very clear and Lt. Patrick has said the same thing. So, if an open carry bill meets the desk of the governor, it’s going to get signed. I would say if there is a bill that comes out of the house or senate chambers regarding second amendment it will be a license to carry” Senator Perry said.

As if on cue, the bill that has been filed follows what is likely a “behind closed doors” or “gentleman’s agreement.”

AUSTIN – State Sen. Craig Estes filed a bill on Friday that would authorize open carry of modern handguns in Texas by anyone with a license, so long as the handguns are carried in shoulder or belt holsters.

Texas is currently one of the few states that does not permit citizens to openly carry modern handguns under any circumstances. The other states that deny their citizens the right to carry handguns openly are: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina.

“Texas is one of only six states, including California, New York, and Illinois, that still completely ban open carry,” said Estes, R-Wichita Falls, who represents Palo Pinto County. “As Governor Abbott recently said, ‘If open carry is good enough for Massachusetts, it’s good enough for the state of Texas.’”

[ … ]

If passed, the new license to carry created by this bill would replace the existing concealed handgun license. Applicants would have to meet the same requirements that they currently do to get a concealed handgun license.


That’s really too bad for Texans.  The government shouldn’t be in the business of licensing anyone to engage in a constitutional right.  Voters might want to let their elected officials feel their disapprobation.

Now, how is this law to be enforced?  Texas has no “stop and identify” statute.  Either massive confusion is on the way, or more onerous laws like a new stop and identify statute will be part of this bill (or some future bill).  Terrible.  Just terrible.

Civil Rights Update: Open Carry In Missouri

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

St. Louis Public Radio:

Missouri residents who have concealed-carry permits will be able to openly carry their firearms anywhere in the state, as a result of the General Assembly decision to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a broad gun-rights bill.

The bill prevents municipalities from barring people from openly carrying firearms, lowers the minimum age to 19 for concealed carry permits in the state, and allows school districts to arm teachers. Police officers also will be barred from disarming people unless they are under arrest.

The Missouri House voted 117-39 in favor of the override, with little debate, early Thursday morning.  The supporting votes included state Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, who is running for St. Louis County executive.

Also backing the bill were two House members competing for the hot Senate seat in Jefferson County: Democrat Jeff Roorda and Republican Paul Wieland.

Earlier Wednesday, the Senate had voted 23-8 in favor of the bill. The number of supporters was the minimum needed to override a governor’s veto.

Backers say the law is needed to protect gun rights, and to prevent frivolous arrests of people carrying firearms.  Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, recommended that all Missourians be armed. “We live in a world that’s evil, that wants to harm each and every one,” he said.

State Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, said the bill actually represented “big government” because it would “overrule cities and elected officials around the state” who have passed laws barring the open carry of weapons.

To be precise, Missouri is what’s called an anomalous open carry state, where the state lacks preemption.  Thus, while your open carry rights are recognized by the state, you may travel into locations (counties or cities) where law enforcement is not friendly to it, and run into trouble.  With the passing of this law, what’s good for one Missouri citizen is good for all Missouri citizens.

Next up on the bucket list?  Open carry in South Carolina when we put State Senator Larry Martin in his place.

The Truth Concerning Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 2 weeks ago

I won’t wade into the recent debate over rifle-toting folks going into stores and restaurants, except to say that I’ve never done it and don’t intend on doing it.  I don’t buy the explanation that there is no safe way to observe muzzle discipline with a rifle, but I also don’t buy the notion that a rifle is the preferred weapon (and I don’t buy other things, like the notion that I’m safe when I get on the road in an automobile).  If your state doesn’t allow open carry, then replace the legislators until they do.

But there was a moment of honesty about open carry (of any weapon) displayed in a recent dustup over the issue that deserves your ponderance.

“We’ve had a tough time over the years promoting Lake Ozark as a family area,” said Alderman Larry Buschjost, who voted for the ban. “We want you on the Strip with families, everywhere in Lake Ozark with families. We want you to bring your kids down here and let them loose. For the life of me, I don’t understand why I would have to carry any type of gun, concealed or otherwise. “

As with collectivist South Carolina Senator Larry Martin (who needs to be replaced and defanged as soon as possible), when a legislator objects to open carry, he or she is rarely objecting solely to open carry.  It’s the very idea that you would have a weapon at all that they don’t like.  The good part is that if you let them talk long enough, they’ll often tell you exactly that.

Open Carry In Lake Ozark (And Elsewhere)

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 2 weeks ago

Lake News Online:

Shades of the Wild West on the Strip in Lake Ozark have prompted the Lake Ozark Police Chief and other city officials to tighten the rules on openly carrying firearms.

Chief Mark Maples told the board of aldermen Tuesday night he has received complaints that individuals are openly carrying firearms as they move from business to business. Maples said he recognizes that people who have conceal and carry permits have the right to carry weapons, but the open display of guns is causing some alarm.

“I don’t see why someone would want to carry a firearm in the open,” Maples said. “If a weapon is concealed it doesn’t cause any issues.”

The LOPD has had to send an officer more than once to investigate the complaint.

“It’s a real safety concern,” he explained.

As a result, the board gave first reading to an ordinance that prohibits people from openly carrying a firearm “readily capable of lethal use in a public place.” A public place is defined as any indoor or outdoor area ― whether publicly or privately owned ― to which the public has access. Exempt is a location used exclusively for a private gathering or personal use.

City Attorney Roger Gibbons said a city can regulate the use of firearms.

“We don’t want people to carry open firearms in the city,” he said.

Missouri is generally an open carry state, but the only allowable preemption is open carry.

Of course, Mark Maples is lying.  He certainly does understand why someone would want to carry a gun openly.  If he claims otherwise, tell him to order his officers to carry concealed.  And when he tries to explain that they are law enforcement officers, remind him that the Supreme Court decided in Tennessee Versus Garner that law enforcement officers carry their weapons for exactly the same reason that we do, i.e., self defense, which is the only legitimate use of a weapon by LEOs.

As for open carry being a “safety issue,” he’s just making things up.  Open carry is no more a safety issue than concealed carry, and if he has a problem with open carry because of “safety,” then he is lying about his alleged support for concealed carry.

As for the city attorney, his job is to represent the city in legal problems without prejudice.  Whether the city allows open carry is none of his damn business.

Folks, I know that there are those who prefer to carry concealed, and honestly I would prefer not to carry at all.  I don’t wear rings, necklaces, or jewelry of any kind, and it highly annoys me even to carry a wallet or my car keys.  I don’t like things on me, around me or weighing me down.  It’s a wonder I am able to go backpacking without throwing all of my gear down somewhere on the trail.  Staying alive is the only reason I don’t get rid of all of my gear.

And speaking of staying alive, I carry despite my desires, not because of them.  Tucking a gun into my waistband is about the most hideous thing I’ve ever tried to do.  It digs into my hip and I sweat the weapon.  It’s bad for me, and bad for my gun.  I much prefer concealed carry some other way (than IWB) if I must conceal.  But I don’t like to conceal, and find open carry somewhat less irritating than concealed carry.  Note that I didn’t say I like it.  I find it less annoying.

Since my desires in this matter are in line with our wise founders (who expected men to carry weapons to church with them and practice on Sunday), I feel that it’s my detractors who bear the weight of burden, not me.  My practices are in line with our history.

One writer from Michigan weighs in this way.

When a man was seen carrying a rifle down Cork Street recently, people called the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

There is a national movement among some gun-rights advocates to carry their guns openly in public, arguing they are exercising their Second Amendment rights.

But at what point do those rights supersede the average citizen’s right to feel safe while also walking down the street?

Where is that “right to feel safe” written in the constitution?  Tell me, chapter and verse.  I’ve told you about the historical and constitutional basis for what I do.  Now tell me about your “right to feel safe.”  And stop complaining about seeing a gun on my hip.

The Psychology Of Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

Denver Post:

It’s been 18 months since I stood in line behind the guy at the Safeway a mile from my house. He was older — in his 70s, I guessed. He wore jeans, yellow and red running shoes, a ball cap and a green lightweight jacket, the hood bunched up behind his head. Oh, and he also wore a gun.

It rested inside a tanned leather holster on his left hip, the rain jacket intentionally tucked behind the holster, it seemed, so everyone could see it. The gun had a black grip and a glistening silver steel back.

People were staring and moving slowly to other lines and no one even whispered, just shuffling away in silence, two women and a man, pushing their carts to nearby queues. There was, no doubt, a sense of fear.

I stayed there behind the man with the cat food and dog food and two kinds of cheese, a box of cereal and the black and silver weapon.

Then he turned and caught me staring at the gun. I felt awkward, scared maybe, and he said, “What’s up?” in a pleasant-enough voice, the way you would when seeing a friend.

“Just looking at your gun,” I babbled, having decided a split second earlier not to lie to him because, well, he had a gun.

And I did not — definitely did not — want to say what I was really thinking, which was: “Who carries a handgun to buy cheese?”

He never replied to my “Just looking at your gun” blurt and seconds later he had bags in his hands and off he went, to wherever guys go with handguns on their trousers on a Saturday morning in Colorado.

Oh, and I also remember quite vividly having this thought: He must be a nut.

I’m not alone.

The town of Castle Rock, for example, is now looking to repeal its ban on the open carry of firearms in town-owned and operated buildings, along with parks, trails and open spaces.

From a story last week: “In September, some residents raised concern that allowing open carry … could create panic in public places.”

That sentiment goes to the heart of the issue. The cold truth is when the average Joe or Joan Schmo sees someone with a gun, outside of a hunting situation, we think bad things. We think the gun-carrier is not right in the head. A few ants short of a picnic. Maybe a jerk getting a self-esteem boost by carrying a fearsome killing weapon. To buy dog food.

The author doesn’t understand open carry.  Nor does he understand his own psychological framework for understanding his reaction.  I open carry when I can because it’s such a pain to conceal, and because it’s an uncomfortable experience at best.  If you decide that you are going to be prepared for self defense, then that’s the controlling decision.  It isn’t fun or intimidating.  It’s a discipline you must develop, and buying dog food may just be the very time that you need protection.  A grocery store in my own home town was recently the target of crimes, and not just a couple.  This food store chain both prohibited carrying of weapons (disarming innocent people) and suffered multiple crimes at multiple stores from gangsters carrying concealed weapons.

Whether it’s comfortable or not, if you’ve decided that you’re going to carry, then that’s what you do.  But it’s always better to be comfortable rather than not, and thus, open carry appeals to some of us.  Also, the man who was carrying in the article was openly carrying for legal reasons.  He probably didn’t bring along his concealed handgun permit, and thus any concealment would have made him in violation of the law.  It has nothing to do with trying to intimidate people.

As I’ve said before, folks where I come from don’t seem to mind when I open carry.  The writer is projecting his own psychology onto everyone else.  But it is his own psychology that is the interesting part of this article.  It is inescapable.  What he is saying is that he would rather not know if someone is carrying a weapon.  Oh, someone may be carrying around him and probably is, but he would rather not know it.  Ignorance is bliss in his world.  Ignorance doesn’t make it safer, it just means that he doesn’t know what is going on around him.

Guns Tags:

Open Carry In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

My second son Joseph was visiting from Texas over the Thanksgiving holidays, and we went backpacking on the foothills trail in South Carolina.  Pictures to come soon.  At any rate, Joseph is a gun owner in Texas, and I remarked how strange it is that I live in North Carolina, a traditional open carry state, while Texas prohibits open carry.

Chance Ballew with Say Uncle gives us an update to this fascinating question.

A bill for that.  I often forget that Texas has some goofy carry laws. You wouldn’t think that since it’s Texas.

The report goes as follows:

According to the Dallas Morning News, Representative George Lavender plans on introducing an open carry bill in 2014.

Of course the TSRA is against it, as usual: “Alice Tripp, a lobbyist for the Texas State Rifle Association, said her organization backs open carry in principle, but she acknowledged that gun owners aren’t exactly clamoring for a return to the days of Gunsmoke.”

That “in principle” part is weasel speak for “we don’t support it.

The most interesting explanation comes from Say Uncle’s commenters.

If it helps, most of Texas gun laws were remnants from the carpetbagger government imposed on the state following the War of Northern Aggression.

Well, that explains it.  It makes more sense than anything I’ve ever heard about why Texas wouldn’t be an open carry state.  It’s about time for a change.

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