Open Carry "meets" do they really work?

This is a discussion on Open Carry "meets" do they really work? within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Yankeejib Fringe groups never get any real traction other than their own back-slapping agendas. When you start out likening open carry to ...

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Thread: Open Carry "meets" do they really work?

  1. #16
    Member Array trip20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejib View Post
    Fringe groups never get any real traction other than their own back-slapping agendas.
    When you start out likening open carry to fringe group activity, you're not really of the mindset to have a discussion or receive any explanation.

    Contrary to your assertion, open carry is not an extreme or fringe activity. Those connotations assign a particular wacky quality to the group(s) in question. It really says something about our society when a Right practiced is equated to madcap behavior.
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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejib View Post
    Then explain. I didn't attack your position. I would probably support it, but I don't see it. How do "OC" events further any cause? I can only find the negatives. Enlighten me.
    Joe Sheeple generally doesn't think about guns unless the specific subject comes up. And then he has absolutely ZERO experience being around guns (unless those guns are attached to a uniform) so his opinion about gun owners has no practical reference. Even if he's surrounded by CCers all day, those people aren't counted as gun owners because Joe has no idea they're armed so he doesn't make any mental note of their behavior, good OR bad.

    Then Joe goes to a restaurant and happens upon an OC brunch. Odds are he will actually get all the way to sitting down and ordering his food before he notices anyone is armed. When he does, he will begin to make mental notes of the experience (whether he realizes it or not). He won't get freaked out because the entire restaurant--OCers, other customers, the staff--appear to be casually going about their business. Joe's a herd animal. The rest of the herd isn't spooked, there's no tension in the air, so he's not going to feel threatened.

    Now, the NEXT time the subject of guns comes up, he has a practical reference for gun owners. He's seen them up close and personal in real life and his experience was that it's no big deal. This conflicts with rabid, anti-gun propaganda and he's less likely to buy into that crap hook-line-and-sinker.

    ^That's the primary positive of having an OC event. Now multiply "Joe" times the number of other customers in that restaurant, times the number of OC groups, times the number of OC events for each group and you can see that the potential for widespread positive impact increases dramatically.

    We aren't going to win the hearts and minds of panicky sheep by using a catchy slogan or a clever t-shirt/bumper sticker. We certainly aren't going to do it with OWS-style protests, either. The ONLY way that any of them will change their mind is to repeatedly see gun owners (and they must be visually identifiable as gun owners; hence OC) from ALL walks of life (not just the "typical" gun owner portrayed in the media) behaving in a perfectly calm, polite, civilized manner.
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  4. #18
    Member Array yale's Avatar
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    Great post, Jumpwing.
    I'll toss in a couple of observations I've made. Here in La the practice of OC meetups is seldom done. There's been a few but nothing regularly scheduled. Mostly a couple of Saturday or Sunday breakfast meeups before members head to a local gun show. I agree that it does give a good impression to see 4 or 5 guys, well dressed and well behaved who happen to be OCing.
    About the only regular scheduled meeting I'm aware of is our monthly business meetings of our group, the La Open Carry Awareness League (LOCAL). We meet the first Wednesday of the month in the greater New Orleans area (LaPlace, La) to discuss our groups business and handle projects.
    For example, our group is centered on educating the public about the right to Open Carry in La. So much of our time and quite a few dollars have been spent on printing and mailing letters and our phamphlets to various media outlets and law enforcement agencies. We have also contacted CHP instructors and sent them bundles of our Pamphlets to handout at their CHP classes.



    Folding pamphlets and letters and stuffing and stamping envelopes is a team project. We can hold our meetings, get some dinner, socialize some and still get some work done. All in public. We are at a Shoneys resturant, going in and out and being visible. The staff didn't know us when we first started meeting there. Some of the waitstaff thought we were cops or a security company or something along those lines. Our meetings there educated them. They also learned fast that we are generous tippers.
    Other resturant patrons will sometimes ask who were are or what meeting is going on. This is another chance to introduce them to OC.
    At our most recent meeting last week we saw another group of people who were having a meeting of thier own. The notebooks, papers and writing while a speaker presided over things looks just like what we were doing. I took a minute to ask who they were with. Turns out the La Indian Heritage Association(LIHA) was at the Shoneys that evening to finish plans for their Powwow coming up in a couple of weeks. They thought we were cops/security meeting there but I handed out a few pamphlets and told them about LOCAL.
    When our meetings both finished at roughly the same time one of the LIHA members waved me over. I, along with other board members, spoke to them about OC for a few minutes. They spoke about fleeing New Orleans after Katrina hit and how they OCed while returning to the city after the storm to do repairs and retrieve belongings but were never sure about the legalities of OC. By time we parted ways we had a new group of friends and had even been offered a space to set up an Informational Table in the Traders section of thier Powwow, FOR FREE. So we will be able to reach an entire demographic of people that we would probably not normally reach if we only concentrated on putting tables at gun shows or similar events. All of this due to our regular meeting at the Shoneys we do ever month while presenting a positive image of Open Carry.
    If you are a OCer you represent gun ownership to everyone who sees you. There is little need to have "armed marches" or demonstrations. Often these types of things will cause a backlash by those who are not familiar with you or gun rights in general. Casual meetups or meetings, on the other hand often have more positive results.
    Just think about what you are doing and how you would react if you didn't know any of the people at the meetup and didn't know OC was legal. Think like a common citizen. You will quickly learn that you can certainly influance people and get the message out without frightening or upsetting others.

    Steve, Secretary
    La Open Carry Awareness League (LOCAL)
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  5. #19
    Member Array yale's Avatar
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    Here's a photo of a meetup LOCAL arrainged on a Saturday morning at an IHOP in Hammond, La.


    Before LOCAL was formed there were several meetups by OCers including this one where a TV news crew came out to do a story on OC.


    You can see the story they did here....
    La Open Carry-channel2 10pm - YouTube

    That lead to the formation of what is now the La Open Carry Awareness League (LOCAL). We hold elections, collect dues, do projects like folding pamphlets and mailing them out with letters.


    We take every chance we can to get the word out about the right to OC in La. Including getting our name out via a "Behind the Badge" segment of a local news cast.
    LOCAL-WAFB.avi - YouTube

    Maybe this isn't what you were thinking about when you thought of OC meetups. It's what happens most times though.

    Steve, Secretary
    LOCAL
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  6. #20
    Member Array FTG-05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpwing View Post
    Joe Sheeple generally doesn't think about guns unless the specific subject comes up. And then he has absolutely ZERO experience being around guns (unless those guns are attached to a uniform) so his opinion about gun owners has no practical reference. Even if he's surrounded by CCers all day, those people aren't counted as gun owners because Joe has no idea they're armed so he doesn't make any mental note of their behavior, good OR bad.

    Then Joe goes to a restaurant and happens upon an OC brunch. Odds are he will actually get all the way to sitting down and ordering his food before he notices anyone is armed. When he does, he will begin to make mental notes of the experience (whether he realizes it or not). He won't get freaked out because the entire restaurant--OCers, other customers, the staff--appear to be casually going about their business. Joe's a herd animal. The rest of the herd isn't spooked, there's no tension in the air, so he's not going to feel threatened.

    Now, the NEXT time the subject of guns comes up, he has a practical reference for gun owners. He's seen them up close and personal in real life and his experience was that it's no big deal. This conflicts with rabid, anti-gun propaganda and he's less likely to buy into that crap hook-line-and-sinker.

    ^That's the primary positive of having an OC event. Now multiply "Joe" times the number of other customers in that restaurant, times the number of OC groups, times the number of OC events for each group and you can see that the potential for widespread positive impact increases dramatically.

    We aren't going to win the hearts and minds of panicky sheep by using a catchy slogan or a clever t-shirt/bumper sticker. We certainly aren't going to do it with OWS-style protests, either. The ONLY way that any of them will change their mind is to repeatedly see gun owners (and they must be visually identifiable as gun owners; hence OC) from ALL walks of life (not just the "typical" gun owner portrayed in the media) behaving in a perfectly calm, polite, civilized manner.
    Excellent synopsis!

  7. #21
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    Our behavior is always scripted. You don't act the same way at a funeral as you do at a birthday party. You don't go into a movie theater and yell like you might at a hockey game. You don't wear the same clothes attending a wedding as you do on a hunting trip. You don't pack a winter coat, thinsulate gloves, and snow shoes on a trip to Hawaii and there are always places that you go where you're expected to be on your best behavior in order to make a good impression.
    You don't go for a job interview and act silly like you might if you were playing games with little nieces and nephews.




    Quote Originally Posted by Flippinstk View Post
    So, we have a LARGE OC contingient here in Eastern Va. And they have quite a few of these types of gatherings.... I would attend one of these gatherings if there werent any "rules" stippulated with the attendance... ie a "dress code" or "no alcohol with your dinner" (<--- not that I would) but these types of events are supposed to portray the real people that open carry, right? Not what you want the people to see or a scripted commercial.
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  8. #22
    Member Array Flippinstk's Avatar
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    well, I'm not going toact differently just because I have a gun on my side, whether it be openly displayed or concealled... I'm not going to dress differently either...
    Alex G.
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  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    Carrying a gun is (in a small sense) like drinking alcohol. It doesn't turn you into a different person, but it amplifies the person you really are. If you are already polite, you tend to become more so. If you're already a belligerent ass, then you'll likely get even worse. This is a very vague illustration; don't go building a Gospel off it, but in many cases it's true.

    I act differently because I'm carrying a gun. These aren't radical or insincere differences; they're improvements to the good behavioral characteristics I have and erosion (or hopefully complete elimination) of the flaws I have. Technically, this IS acting "differently."
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  10. #24
    Member Array FTG-05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpwing View Post
    Carrying a gun is (in a small sense) like drinking alcohol. It doesn't turn you into a different person, but it amplifies the person you really are. If you are already polite, you tend to become more so. If you're already a belligerent ass, then you'll likely get even worse. This is a very vague illustration; don't go building a Gospel off it, but in many cases it's true.

    I act differently because I'm carrying a gun. These aren't radical or insincere differences; they're improvements to the good behavioral characteristics I have and erosion (or hopefully complete elimination) of the flaws I have. Technically, this IS acting "differently."
    Cliff notes: "An Armed society is a polite society."
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTG-05 View Post
    Cliff notes: "An Armed society is a polite society."
    Haha good one FTG :)

    jumpwing -- nice post. It's like trying to convince old school bikers that they counter-steer in order to turn. Physics dictates they do it, but you can't convince them of this.

  12. #26
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    I think it depends on both the approach and the local culture. CA is a great example where OC "meets" and "groups" backfired in a big way. I know lots of folks view CA as a "special" place, but don't be so naive to think the same thing can't happen elsewhere. Tread lightly when it comes to shoving OC in other people's faces. You may find that the majority don't take so kindly to it.

  13. #27
    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawaia View Post
    CA is a great example where OC "meets" and "groups" backfired in a big way ... Tread lightly when it comes to shoving OC in other people's faces. You may find that the majority don't take so kindly to it.
    Do you have any specific examples of OC meets backfiring? Are these examples from your own observations or from an "objective" news article?

    How does a bunch of OCers gathering at a restaurant for a meal constitute "shoving OC in other people's faces"? What would you consider an effective alternative that's less offensive than a bunch of people minding their own business with a holstered gun?
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  14. #28
    Member Array lawaia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpwing View Post
    Do you have any specific examples of OC meets backfiring? Are these examples from your own observations or from an "objective" news article?

    How does a bunch of OCers gathering at a restaurant for a meal constitute "shoving OC in other people's faces"? What would you consider an effective alternative that's less offensive than a bunch of people minding their own business with a holstered gun?
    My specific example is that OC of handguns is now completely banned in the state of CA. It wasn't even on the radar of our legislators until people started their OC meet-ups to "assert" their rights.

    I'm not saying they didn't have the right to do so. I FIRMLY believe in our 2A rights. I do believe you have to weigh the possible consequences, though. It must be recognized that there are a good portion of the populace that are not comfortable around guns, and they actually have the power to make anti-2A legislation happen. Their minds will not be changed or opinions swayed by forcing them to be in a restaurant with a group of open-carrying people. In fact, the opposite is likely to happen. They are already uncomfortable around guns, and now they have been subjected to being surrounded by a group of people carrying. It's a pretty safe assumption that their level of discomfort has now instantly increased, and they will raise holy cain to anyone willing to listen. Hence the snowball has started to roll. It's a slippery slope.

    A less-offensive alternative may look something like an education campaign on self-defense, touting the virtues of citizens' rights and responsibilities to protect themselves and their families instead of becoming needless victims of crime.

    I don't have the magic answer. Just don't fool yourself by thinking that there are not consequences to OC'ing. When handled the wrong way, your state could end up just like CA.

  15. #29
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    California only authorised, if I remember correctly, open carry of an unloaded firearm. Someone explain to me of what possible use (except as a small club) is an EMPTY firearm, concealed or open carried?
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majorlk View Post
    California only authorised, if I remember correctly, open carry of an unloaded firearm. Someone explain to me of what possible use (except as a small club) is an EMPTY firearm, concealed or open carried?
    The list of uses begins with paper weights and door stops.

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