The NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) released an article today discussing the concept of being “Good Citizens” of the shooting community. The article addressed both topics of smart guns and the one on everyone’s mind, Texas Open Carry and the recent shenanigans by the OC group. Here is a link to the complete article. The discussion on Texas OC happens about halfway through the article. The one part that struck me as most relevant was this:
Recently, demonstrators have been showing up in various public places, including coffee shops and fast food restaurants, openly toting a variety of tactical long guns. Unlicensed open carry of handguns is legal in about half the U.S. states, and it is relatively common and uncontroversial in some places.
Yet while unlicensed open carry of long guns is also typically legal in most places, it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms.
Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.
I agree with this piece, and the rest of the article 100%. OC of handguns is a relatively normal and benign thing. When I see a dude OC’ing, I usually don’t even give it two thoughts, because a dude with a pistol is just a dude. However, a dude wandering around with a loaded rifle is unusual, and like ILA says, a little weird.
I’m glad to see that NRA has officially weighed in here; and I hope that the few OC hacktivists causing all these problems understand the rebuke inherent in NRA’s article.