There are plenty of hot button issues in the U.S. Each one of them has at least two strongly polarized sides that are willing to fight to the death to win their position.
The open carry of firearms is one of those issues. That isn’t new to me, but I have been brutally reminded in the past 24 hours about how polarized, and how nasty, the fight can be.
Safety Solutions Academy has always been an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment. We support concealed carry, open carry, castle doctrine and stand your ground laws and would like to see all States move to Constitutional Carry. All of these important movements assist the law abiding citizen with either easier access to firearms, (which are an important tool for self-defense,) or an easier battle in the criminal and/or civil court systems should they need to use their defensive firearm.
When it comes to carrying a firearm I consistently recommend that my students carry their handguns lawfully concealed whenever possible unless they are in an environment where open carry is welcomed and superior in some way to carrying concealed.
One of the biggest reasons that I support open carry is that it allows those who have an immediate need to carry a handgun for self-defense and do not possess a concealed carry permit a way to carry RIGHT NOW. In addition, open carry laws help to protect Concealed Carry Permit holders when they inadvertently fail to conceal their handgun. This can happen to anyone that carries a handgun concealed. Again, I am also in favor of Constitutional Carry which would also resolve these issues and provided that added advantage of concealment.
Open carry laws are important and they should be expanded to all 50 states and should not require permission of the government. That permission has been granted by our Creator and is guaranteed by our Constitution. It should be treated that way.
Although, most people that are pro Second Amendment would agree with my sentiments about open carry laws, some might disagree with my thoughts on an appropriate way to help proliferate these rights. I disagree with the “in your face” open carry protesting that is carried out by some open carry advocates.
In general, the open carry, especially of long guns, draws considerable attention and concern from those that become aware of open carriers. The attention could be a good thing. The concern, on the other hand, tends to hang a negative air around those that really mean to do well. It simply comes down to the idea that the open carry of long guns scares more people than it educates.
I am pro open carry. I am pro firearms education. I am against scaring the average citizen. It doesn’t help our cause and in many cases harms it.
I fully support their right to open carry and believe that these men made the right decision to open carry that night. It worked as it was supposed to and as it has worked in other places around the country when civil unrest has reared its head.
When I posted the link I tagged Open Carry Texas and asked, “where was Open Carry Texas in Ferguson?” It was a foolish tag. I expected it would generate an opportunity for conversation about open carry protesting and the importance of open carry laws.
That was not the result. Instead I have been bullied by a group much larger than I.
I have received a large number of comments on the original post. Many of which are offensive and/or vulgar. A large number of negative reviews of my FaceBook page have been posted by individuals that have never interacted with Safety Solutions Academy in any way before they partially read this one post. In addition, comments have been posted on other Social Media outlets including on YouTube videos that are unrelated to open carry.
When I expressed my disappointment in how these folks were behaving I was labeled a, “Whiner.”
I am far from complaining. I am happy to reap what I sow and maybe this event could actually do good for the fight for Second Amendment rights.
You see, those that are busy tearing me down are misdirecting their energy. I would imagine that if I were having a cup of coffee, sharing a beer or breaking bread with any of those that aim to destroy me we would find that we agree on much more than we disagree. If I had to guess, I would imagine that we agree on 90-95% of the issues that surround the Second Amendment. I would also wager that the differences that we had wouldn’t be about the end goal, but instead about how we get there. That means that we are pretty much on the same side.
While these folks are beating me and my pro 2A company to the ground, there are folks out there that are on the fence about the Second Amendment. When they express their beliefs are they treated in the same aggressive, disrespectful manner?
I fear that is a real possibility. If I am correct, those they attack will never see the fact that our way of thinking, our forefathers way of thinking, is indeed correct.
I will close with this what I think is an important idea:
When it comes to converting someone else to your view, brawn will never work. Disrespect will never work. Fighting over your differences will not work.
Find common ground. Celebrate common ground. Then build from there.
I failed to take my own advice with a FB post today. This concept deserves more of my attention. Maybe the advice will help you too.