Open-Carry Discussions

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Open-Carry Discussions

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:48 am

I have a sincere request I would like to make to our Members concerning discussions about open-carry. I have no doubt that the vast majority of our members will honor this request, while two or three bomb-throwers will not. That’s okay, they can and will be banned for the duration of the 2013 Texas legislative session. (I recently learned that than a ban can be temporary rather than an “all or nothing” approach.)

First, it is confession time because I have to admit being more than a little sensitive about the spreading of lies concerning the TSRA, NRA, or me on the issue of open-carry. It’s not a matter of me a reading something and thinking “WHAT!!!?” It’s more a matter of thinking “HERE WE GO AGAIN!!” We have a lot of new members who have joined since the end of the 2011 Texas legislative session who may not be familiar with the checkered past of open-carry discussions. These folks may want to read the short history of this issue in the following paragraphs, while those who’ve suffered through the bomb-throwers the last four years can skip to the last paragraph.

For the past two legislative sessions, a relative handful people want to pass open-carry in Texas. Their dedication and zeal is unquestioned, but their experience and ability to draft a good bill and get it passed was lacking. Every single person who gets into politics must learn the ropes and open-carry supporters were no exception. Unfortunately, rather than accept the fact that there’s a learning curve involved, the more militant open-carry supporters had to find a scapegoat for their own failures or the failures of those who claim to be leaders of the so-called open-carry movement.

The cover story generated to explain why open-carry did not pass and bill 2009 and 2011 was that the TSRA, NRA and/or I worked behind the scenes to kill the bill. This was a lie. Some people went so far as to claim that the open-carry bill written by LoneStarCDL President Shawn McCrary and given to Rep. Lavender was rewritten by the TSRA changing it from a so-called constitutional-carry bill to the one that was filed in 2011. Not only was this was a lie, it clearly revealed that they had no clue how the system works. The allegations were not only false they were impossible. Apparently, LoneStarCDL knew they had submitted a terrible bill to Representative Lavender, because they claim TSRA redrafted it to make it easy to defeat. (How’s that for self-condemnation?)

As time went on, some open-carry supporters switched tactics and claimed that the TSRA and NRA opposed open-carry based solely upon the fact that neither organization had an open-carry bill filed. Though there is an element of truth in that statement, i.e. neither organization filed an open-carry bill, to argue that this constitutes opposition to the concept is absurd. We haven’t even filed bills on every one of the issues on our current legislative agenda. I have written bills for this session that likely will not be filed simply because the Texas legislature will be markedly different in 2013. I’m not the least bit happy about this fact, but that's the reality of the situation in Austin. The failure to file a bill on any given subject matter is not the slightest evidence of opposition.

With that background information, here’s my request. PLEASE feel free to discuss the open-carry issue as much as you like. In doing so, do not make false allegations about the TSRA or NRA. Do not ridicule those who do not support open-carry or those who express some concern about an aspect of open-carry. In short, simply follow the Forum rules as we do in every other discussion on the Forum.

Regards,
Chas.

P.S. Bomb-throwers beware. If you respond to this request with the same demeanor you have exhibited in the past, we won't hear from you again until June of 2013.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby jimlongley » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:29 pm

Inasmuch as I would be in favor of open carry, if it would complicate my concealed carry in any way, I am not in favor of it.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby george » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:45 pm

I would like to hear some ideas on the pro side of open carry.

Simply because I cannot think of any, does not mean there aren't some.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby Teamless » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:54 pm

george wrote:I would like to hear some ideas on the pro side of open carry

I am not sure I am pro or anti O/C, and if O/C was passed, I am sure I would O/C, once, to do it, but concealed is still what I would do after the 1 time novelty of it wore off.

The only one I can think of that would be nice, is not having to be in fear of having your shirt come over your weapon and having a cop who doesn't fully understand CHL laws, give you grief for your weapon being exposed, even accidentally.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby Jumping Frog » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:02 pm

Thanks for the guidelines, Charles. Although I personally support unlicensed open carry simply from a "shall not be infringed" viewpoint, I've also been around the block enough times to know that we are talking "inside baseball" to get things done. If someone wants to see how well sitting there as an outsider tossing bombs works, simply compare the legislative successes of the GOA to the NRA.

Here is my analogy. When it comes to concealed carry and other gun rights, the only true long term means of protecting those rights means we must maintain a substantial majority of public support. That means each and every one if us is an ambassador of the gun culture to the rest of our society. It really does boil down to creating allies one person at a time.

Similarly, the Open Carry Movement has to act like they are ambassadors for their cause, trying to win the hearts and minds of the public one person at a time. They need to create allies within the larger gun culture first, before going after the public at large. Being confrontational and argumentative here and at other general interest gun forums is counterproductive. No one becomes an ally by being browbeaten into submission.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby Wodathunkit » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:05 pm

jimlongley wrote:Inasmuch as I would be in favor of open carry, if it would complicate my concealed carry in any way, I am not in favor of it.


Well said. I think I agree with this statement unless I chose to change my mind. :biggrinjester:
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby The Annoyed Man » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:30 pm

george wrote:I would like to hear some ideas on the pro side of open carry.

Simply because I cannot think of any, does not mean there aren't some.

Personally, I start with the premise that there are different motivations among those who carry a gun for wanting to carry in the open rather than concealed. My personal experience with OC is minimal, being limited primarily to OCing while driving through Arizona. When I did it, I found it liberating, but it also heightened my awareness of all the potential pitfalls the way a newbie CHL might feel the first few times he or she carries concealed. Similarly, I would have to do it a lot more before it started to feel as second nature to me as carrying concealed does now.

Positives:
I think that OC simplifies things for those who want to carry while working outdoors, for instance, particularly in Texas' famous heat. From my own perspective, it would make things less onerous to know that I don't have to worry so much about whether or not my cover garment blows open, or if I want to leave my jacket off while I'm in the car.....stuff like that. And maybe it would be nice to wear a BBQ rig in the open at a party gathering. Passing OC would eventually result in an overall decrease of MWAG calls to 911, following an initial uptick in such calls.

But the biggest reason to pass OC is because the 2nd Amendment says our right to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms "shall not be infringed." ANYTHING which regulates the ownership or carrying of firearms is an infringement. This ought not to be confused with regulation of usage, such as restrictions against the discharge of a firearm inside the city limits—unless done in self-defense—which is just common sense. That would be analogous to speech laws prohibiting one from shouting "fire!" in a theater—unless there is an actual fire. In other words, the only regulations of the right to speak words or to carry a firearm which are acceptable are those which prevent the exercise thereof from trampling on someone else's rights to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness (somewhere else).

This is why "constitutional carry" is so desirable. It is about the expansion of human liberty. But as with the exercise of any constitutional right, virtue and common sense are required for it to work. Not virtue as in prudishness, but virtue as in being able to distinguish right from wrong, and to choose to do right, even when it is difficult.

Negatives:
There is a potential for abuses that would lead to further restrictions on concealed carry—whether by a proliferation of 30.06 signs if the legislature were to decide to change 30.06 to apply to both OC and CC; or possibly as the ultimate outcome of social pressures such as public verbal confrontations instigated those who object to those carrying openly leading to legislative crackdowns, etc. The other possibility is that if enough people are carrying in the open in places where people like soccer-moms would freak out, there is the potential for some kind of political backlash against all forms of carry. Don't believe it? Texas is still a red state, but it is not as red as it was just a decade ago because it continues to welcome people from the failing democrat states who come here following their jobs, or looking for work.

Bomb-Throwing:
Our Constitution ONLY works if we have a virtuous population. The Founders wrote extensively on this, and history has revealed it to be true. As we have become less virtuous as a society, we have disregarded the Constitution more and more. Virtue does not mean prudishness. It means that we, as individuals, can be trusted to do the right thing, even when we don't want to, simply because it is the right thing to do. Bomb-throwing is not virtuous. Any jerk (yes, I said it) can be a bomb-thrower, and being a jerk is never the right thing to do. It takes no special intelligence or skill with words. Bomb-throwing reveals the bomb-thrower to be a person of low character. If a bomb-thrower cannot or will not believe this, it confirms their low character. A virtuous party to a conversation acknowledges the concerns of the other person, and then addresses them respectfully, and not dismissively, in an attempt to allay those concerns. After all, the goal, like Charles said, is to create allies, not alienate all of your potential supporters, and the OC community is a subset of the MUCH larger carrying community. It cannot afford to alienate its potential support. At the end of the day, we may still may not be able to agree on a given thing, but we will not have created enemies whom we cannot count on going forward for cooperation over issues where there might otherwise have been agreement. Yet, this is what bomb-throwers do. A bomb-thrower's maturity is legitimately called into question, and what can equally be called into question is whether an immature person ought to be carrying guns—in the open or concealed.
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I support OC IF it is handled wisely and correctly AND constitutionally. That said, I will not trust the wisdom OR the knowledge of a bomb-thrower to be up to the task of intelligently writing bills or planning and pursuing successful legislative strategies. If you want to turn me off and guarantee that I will opposed you over an issue and discount whatever you say in the future, throw a bomb my way.

Thank you Charles for trying to put a stop to this despicable practice.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby Moby » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:18 pm

I am asshamed that Texas is one of only 6 states in the union to ban OC.
In Main, clearly a blue state and all but 6 others you can OC.

For the simple face that our Constitution says you should be able to OC, I am for it in Texas.

Would I? Maybe. Depends on the situation.
I like CC better. And I would like to avoid being screwed with if my shirt comes open and such.
Tactically CC makes more sense, but I would like to OC occationally.

I am concerned business owners may put up more 30.06 signs.
But overall I am absolutely for OC in Texas.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby smoothoperator » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:32 pm

It looks like support is growing among people who have a CHL. I hope mainstream gun organization will take notice.

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http://www.texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=59609
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:47 pm

smoothoperator wrote:It looks like support is growing among people who have a CHL. I hope mainstream gun organization will take notice.

[ Image ]
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=59609


We have almost 12,000 Member on the Forum and only 170 cared enough about the issue to vote. That's 1.4% of our Members. It's also consistent with the overall lack of any significant demand on TSRA to add open-carry to it's agenda.

Chas.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby smoothoperator » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:53 pm

It seems like a better turnout than parking lots, especially when you consider the 10:1 ratio, but what do I know?

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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:58 pm

smoothoperator wrote:It seems like a better turnout than parking lots, especially when you consider the 10:1 ratio, but what do I know?

.


I'm not sure what you mean about parking lots, but employer parking lots had huge support from TSRA and NRA Members for the 4 sessions it took to pass it. The Bill impacted hundreds of thousands of Texas gun owners.

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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby 77346 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:11 pm

As a new CHL holder (<6 mos.), my main concern is how an open-carry bill will affect concealed carry.

In my mind, the only positive I see about OC is not having to worry about an intentional failure to conceal, but I can't think of a scenario where I would OC. I carry for protection purposes, not to make a statement... in my opinion, OC will draw a lot of looks and that is something I want to avoid.

If there is a lot of support from gun owners and if it won't negatively affect those of us who prefer to carry concealed, go for it. I guess it's also about gaining lost ground on the RKBA, but I rather see other stuff passed first; this isn't a priority for me.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby mojo84 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:31 pm

I think we should be able to carry however we choose, open or concealed. Personally, I would usually choose to to carry concealed. However, there are times I would probably choose to open carry.

My question is, and I don't mean this in a sarcastic or smartelac way, are all the purported negatives that come with open carry being realized and experienced in all the other states that allow open carry? If so, it would be news to me.

What about Oklahoma? Has there been a huge increase in the number of no gun signs on businesses? Have there been a bunch of gun grabs happening? How about open carriers being shot first because the bad guy saw his/her gun? Have there been a huge increase in reports of a man with a gun? I haven't heard of any of these things happening an am curious to know if I just missed it.
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Re: Open-Carry Discussions

Postby TexasCajun » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:33 pm

Being relatively new to carrying and to this forum, I had no idea about the contentiousness related to this topic. Although, I did suspect that the discussions had gotten heated in the past based on a few interactions that I've seen recently. So thanks for the background, Charles. I, as a newbie, appreciate it. I also appreciate the rest of the discussion that Charles' post spurred.

I'm in the camp with for it if it doesn't make concealed carry more difficult. But I'd really rather see more gains made with regard to reducing the number of places that are automatically declared gun-free zones. That being said, I'm 100% behind the effort to allow concealed carry on college campuses.
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