More open carry stuff

I want to take an opportunity to address something that was said in yesterday’s comments section on my open carry piece.

I don’t think it particularly effective to always play to the slowest kid in the class either. Let them catch up, instead of me slow down.

Not being able to read minds, I can reasonably infer that this is in reference to my assertion that open carry does more to harm our cause than it does to help us. I think the counter point being made here is that the Suzy Soccermom types are in this sense “the slowest kids in the class”, and that by catering to them we’re not doing ourselves any favors.

That idea has merit, even more so if you’ve a big fan of the No Compromise school of thought on the 2nd Amendment. My problem with the theory of not playing to the “slowest kid in the class” is that those kids make up the majority of the nation, and if they start a yellin’ about something Congress listens.

Think of it like saddle-breaking a horse if you will. You wouldn’t just toss all the gear on an unbroken horse and then hop on, because the horse isn’t used to the saddle or the weight of a rider yet. Similarly, if we actually want to exercise open carry again (something that I fervently hope for) on a nationwide basis, we need to start easy with these people.

The general public is not acclimated to the sight of men and women going about openly armed, even here in Hoosier-land it’s just not common. Just like you break a horse into carrying a rider, you have to break Joe Sixpack into open carry. We start that by making an active effort to break down the negative stereotypes of gun owners. Since the gun community doesn’t really have the ability to compete with the mainstream media in terms of saturation, that (once again) means that working against stereotypes has to be done at the individual level.

I absolutely believe that “shall not be infringed” means precisely that; but my absolute beliefs don’t jive will with the reality of the situation. I’m not going to win the minds (and the votes) of my lefty friends by strapping on a Glock in a shoulder rig and cruising downtown Indy. It’s just not going to happen. So I’ll keep working on the people I know, hell I’ve already got them to the point where they don’t think that concealed carry is such a bad idea.