Over the weekend, this video of some Open Carry scumbags in Ohio went viral (for gun community levels of virality):
I originally saw it at Bearing Arms, which notes that now 2 of the 4 idiots in the video have been arrested. Good. But that’s not what we’re talking about today, because if you read the comments at BA or any of the other sites, you’ll see a repeated theme pop up. People assume/accuse the folks in the video of being plants, or a false flag operation. I have sour news for you, Jack: it’s not.
The gun community loves the No True Scotsman logical fallacy as much as we love the shooting sports. The extension of loving that fallacy is when we see aggressively bad behavior, it’s natural to want to assume that it’s enemy action instead of “our own” acting in such a manner. The problem with accusing this sort of thing of being a false flag is that it deflects the conversation that we really need to have about such people; specifically that they are stupid assholes and we don’t support their actions.
Here’s the thing that’s important to remember – we should be leading the charge of policing our own ranks. Gun owners should be the first people to decry the actions of clowns like those from Ohio in this video. They’re not Bloomberg plants or a false flag operation, they’re just assholes who happen to own guns. If they weren’t using AR15s to get famous on YouTube, they’d be making amateur sex tapes or something else.
I feel like this is something as a community that we struggle with, because we want to present a squeaky clean image of the average gun owner to the general public. That’s good. But saying that something is a false flag, or that those people “aren’t real Scotsmen” doesn’t actually help our image, it makes us look like we’re trying to sweep bad actors under the rug. Here’s the truth: Not everyone who legally owns a gun is a good person. There are a lot of jerks, idiots, and assholes in the world, I can guarantee that some of them legally own guns. And as long as they don’t do anything that hurts gun rights, we shouldn’t have any problem with that.
But when people like the fools in the video start doing things like this, and act in a way that’s directly detrimental to our right to keep and bear arms, we should absolutely call out their actions. Are those people gun owners? Yes. Do they have a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Yes they do. Does that mean we support, or approve of their actions? Absolutely not. This is why I don’t like OC, because this is the end result of “OC” activism. People who crave attention will use it to get the attention they so desire, at the expense of your and my ability to carry guns in peace.