Monday, March 07, 2016
AZ: Open Carry on the Mountain with an Architect
As part of my exercise regime, I climb a local mountain a couple of times a week. I open carry while doing so. It is Arizona, we have Constitutional carry, and open carry has always been part of exercising our Second Amendment rights.
One of the advantages of open carry is that it acts as a means of opening social interaction. I have had it happen several times on the trail up and down the mountain, which is a popular exercise spot. The latest instalment came with a trail friend who happens to be an architect, a liberal, and a Bernie Sanders supporter. He makes most of his living as an entrepreneur, building and selling houses. We happened to be going about the same pace, and we found each others conversation stimulating. We both had traveled outside of the United States. We both agreed that the country was run by political elites for their benefit, not ours.
He asked me why I carried a gun on the trail. He said that he understood that the Second Amendment was the law, and I could carry. He just did not understand *why* I would carry.
I told him that I carried for political purposes. I realized the chances of an attack on the trail were slim; but attacks on the Second Amendment were common and real. The carry was to show that I had the right, and I celebrated it. He immediately understood, and had no problem with me carrying. A couple of days ago, I met him on the trail again. He was coming down, I was going up, but we paused to chat for a few minutes. I mentioned an article I had recently written, and he asked me "What is the legal difference between open carry and concealed carry? I understand the physical difference, but why the legal difference?"
I took three minutes to detail to him the historical roots of the difference, and how it has evolved.
These opportunities to inform and educate would never have happened if I were not open carrying. I often hand out cards for Gun Watch after a conversation. These interpersonal reactions with a harmless old bald guy (I have had numerous people tell me how mild and inoffensive I look), go a considerable way in moving the needle in attitudes.
I have also had people who know me well claim that I am a very dangerous person, without any real justification. I am sure they meant it in a complementary way. Probably just because they had seen me shoot and play with knives.
The point is that we only win a part of the battle by winning gunfights. Gunfights in the U.S. are pretty rare, and thank God that they are. The disarmists push their policies by creating false stereotypes, false narratives, and using misleading statistics. Open carry destroys those stereotypes and narratives, and leads to real statistics that favor exercise of the Second Amendment.
That is why I consider "social interaction" a real advantage of open carry over concealed carry.
Definition of disarmist
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch