Did we just win?

We’ve known for several years (see posts here, here, here, and here) that we were winning on the gun control battlefield. The expiration of the “assault weapon” ban and the Heller decision were just the two best known battles. There were thousands, perhaps millions if you count the wins of the hearts and minds of neighbors, friends, relatives, and co-workers.

I recognize open carry is on the path to victory but I figured it would be in the form of open carry at picnics, highway litter cleanup, and maybe as an organization at parades. People need to be desensitized to gun ownership. And concealed carry just doesn’t help that much. When and how we do that desensitization can matter a great deal.

I’ve been open carrying in a few circumstances for a couple months now (here and here). There has been no obvious notice taken and certainly no adverse effects have occurred. Yet, had anyone asked my advice about open carry at a political protest about the nationalization of health care I would have told them I didn’t see any good could come out of it. Obviously these people didn’t ask for my advice or take similar advice from someone else.

In my opinion these people took a huge risk. They were throwing the dice in a game that affected tens of millions of people in this country. I’m not exactly risk adverse, after all I play with explosives for the fun of it and even have my children help make the explosives. But I wouldn’t have taken the risk they did.

And what happened? It’s as if we had been slowly advancing against the enemy. We were a little surprised to win the battle on carry in National Parks and we almost won a battle for nationwide reciprocity we couldn’t have imagined even coming up for a vote had we thought about it after the election last November. But the enemy was still putting up resistance and we thought they were still formidable opponents. Then they collapsed. The White House (or Red Shed as a commenter recently called it) said it was no big deal to open carry. Public opinion is affected by statements from the White House. Having the most anti-gun administration in U.S. history say it’s no big deal to open carry is huge.

We knew recent poll results showed us winning. But I thought that would take time to translate into our enemies fleeing before us. But it appears now that the brave actions of a few open carry advocates broke through the empty shell of the anti-gun organizations and there are going to be a lot of Sad Pandas tonight and people looking at their bottles of cheap rum.

Now, more than ever, we have a chance to push these bigots into political extinction. When they are on the run they have their backs to us and cannot organize and put up effective resistance. We need to acquire the proper state of mind and pound them as hard as we can as fast as we can. There are still pockets of resistance in New Jersey, Chicago, California, etc. but we may have just won the war.

Update: This post just got linked to by Glenn Reynolds. I would like to suggest my new visitors also look at some of my other posts:

Thanks visiting.


28 thoughts on “Did we just win?

  1. I kinda feel the same way; I always figured ostentatious open carry was likely to be counterproductive, but … it might actually be working out.

    I’d note, though, that we didn’t really almost win on nationwide reciprocity; it’s pretty clear that several of the senators that voted on our side would have switched sides if necessary to defeat the bill. Though the fact that they felt that a yes vote against their actual beliefs was a political plus for them is a bit of a victory in itself.


  2. Actually I often thought that obvious OC was the best way to get this issue out and demonstrate that gun carry was OK to the public at large. Sebastian disagrees and I have often thought if one agrees with carry then why not OC? I am old enough to have seen the gun control movement start and suceed. Those who were gun owners stayed silent and rights were lost in 1976 in DC. Before that we had duck blinds in DC on the Potomac. Most people had guns in DC for hunting mostly. With guncontrol hunting is getting extinct.

  3. “In my opinion these people took a huge risk. ”

    You know it, and they deserve our thanks for it.

    I suspect that the way things are going, a lot of us are going to have to take big risks. We might as well get used to it, I suppose.

  4. There has been far, far too much shyness and self doubt in the pro-freedom camp. The bold actions of a few OC’ers is a good lesson. There were a lot of pro gunners last year saying that the OC movement was scaring the white people, going over the top, and so on. I was on the fence, to slightly on the side of the OC’ers. All I ever did was to write a letter to one of our local outfitter stores, saying I was personally boycotting their store until they changed their position on OC. For that I got a raft of shit from some of the OC’ers themselves, accusing me of doing it for self-promotion. Well, that boycott only lasted a year in earnest, and for all I know they haven’t changed their policy of asking an OC’er to hand over the loaded gun to a store clerk (dumb, dumb, dumb).

    This guy said it best;

    I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” — Barry Goldwater.

    We can only try to live up to it. That attitude or philosophy is what the Left fears more than anything on Earth, and it is why they’re trying to get us to shut up. They know they can’t win in a direct, to the heart of the matter, open confrontation. For whatever reasons, and I’m sure there are many, it’s what the Republicans fear also.

  5. I’ll say we’ve won when NFA ’34 along with GCA ’68 has been repealed completely, with nothing else taking its place, the BATFE has been disbanded, reciprocity is considered a moot issue because no permit is required to carry concealed in any part of the country, and a few anti-gun politicians have gone to prison for willful violations of human rights. That’s when you’ll be able to send your 10 year old kid into your local hardware store with a wad of cash to buy a machinegun and two thousand rounds of belted 5:1 API/APIT ammo for it while you wait in the truck, and the store clerk helps the kid out the door with the new purchase on a pallet jack.

    Until then, see the Goldwater quote above.

  6. I am not sure I would go so far as to call this a complete win, but I would definitely categorize it as a significat victory.

    We still have a long way to go, but getting the official representative of the President to admit that the law says what the law actually says… well, that is a start. Now we just have to get them to follow through on those words elsewhere and everywhere.

  7. We can declare victory when, as others have said:
    “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is the name of a convenience store.”

  8. I posted this over at Robb’s Sharp as a Marble:

    “Open carrying of ANY weapon isn’t considered normal. ”

    It’s pretty normal in my corner of Arizona. I often see folks open carrying, some using butt-ugly black nylon hanging several inches below their belt, others more discretly with an inside the waist band holster so that only the grip is showing (yep, that counts as open carry around here).

    Personally, I see this as reaching an inevitable conclusion faster than expected, a pleasant surprise. We’ve already had one person arrested for open carry at an Obama event, it was only a matter of time before someone or several someones pushed the issue again.

    At first I thought the AR was over the top, but after thinking about it for more than a knee-jerk length of time and seeing the video of the man that did it, I concluded that it was a good thing as it accelerated the timeline. Instead of taking weeks/months/years before we were “comfortable” enough to take it to this level, we’re now at this level and have to deal with it from a positive position.

    My opinion, any other attitude is effectively the same pant shitting hysterics we see from antis.”

    Of all of the places this could have happended, Arizona is a very good one. Open carry isn’t that unusual anywhere in the state, CCWs are also quite popular, and the cops are pretty well educated about the legal aspects of both.

  9. Win? Not so fast, don’t ever turn your back on an Alinskyite. All it takes is one incident, real, provoked, or staged, at a political event and we could lose all our recent gains and then some. Worse, we’d bear some real measure of responsibility, in my calculus at least. It’s not in character for the left to accept what they don’t want, lawful or not; ergo, they haven’t. By their response Obama and Gibbs are looking open, tolerant, and respectful of the law – they’ve gained cred no matter what now transpires. We’re the side at risk. I discourage open carry just for the purpose of making a point.

  10. The “Gun Debate” has just been back burnered until the courts can be stacked with anti-gunners (sotomayor), the health bill can be passed (doctors againts gun owners)and the dems can restructure their narrative. This issue will never die, bcuz most Dems live in a fantasy world. At some point a situation will be provoked or manufactured by the Dems and they will attempt an all out ban, in one fell swoop. It will be constructed to look like they’re “saving the children”, or “preserving liberty and freedom”. NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON THESE SOCIALISTS! Disarmament is the first step to losing your enumerated RIGHTS! They don’t believe in liberty, freedom or any of this countries traditions and do believe in complete power over the unwashed masses.

  11. Nick,

    I don’t think it’s that simple. Freedom to own a gun and actually owning guns of your own are very empowering. There is a mindset that comes with gun ownership and it’s incompatible with the socialist agenda. By legitimizing gun ownership they may have severely weakened their position both short term and especially long term.

    I’m certainly not saying we should turn our backs on them. I’m explicitly saying we should attempt to drive them into political extinction as rapidly as we can.

  12. I think it’s great that Obama feels he has to throw us a bone – this means he knows that he can’t come right out and start talking gun control. Progress has been made with the American people. However, I also believe that Obama is an ideological fanatic who thinks Americans are fools, and one of the best b.s. artists in history. He ALWAYS says what he thinks you want to hear to lull you into thinking he really believes it. He’s so good at it, he became President of the United States based on nothing else – he wrote 2 autobiographies, yet most of the people who voted for him have no idea who he is! He’s picking his battles, and trying to make himself look moderate while taking other actions behind the scenes, just as he has with health care and other issues that are totally at odds with US society and traditions. He knows he can’t win in Congress, so he’ll try to abuse his executive powers. He has already laid the ground work at OSHA, BATFE, EPA, etc., any or all of which can make things ever tougher for gun owners and the industry, and make reasonably priced ammo hard to get. Obama is one dangerous character. If he says something you agree with, start checking your back!

  13. I was reading through the gun laws here in the state of Alabama yesterday. We generally have a pretty relaxed attitude toward guns–they are a part of most of our lives and no one thinks too much about them. I was surprised to find that we have as many restrictions as we do, though many of them are not enforced. The one which caught my attention in light of the AR close to a protest/town hall meeting is the one which states that any type of gun, loaded or unloaded, is prohibited at any public protest or demonstration. Furthermore, if you have been ‘noticed’ and told to leave the area, you cannot be within 1000 feet of the protest while still in possession of the gun. Violation of these are a misdemeanor. I’m not sure if a town hall meeting qualifies as a protest but the crowds attending tend to make it one.

  14. Hello from a Horseshoe Bend transplant, temporarily transplanted again in the midwest.

    I like your Jews in the Attic test. I have used it my entire adult life. It is one reason why I oppose UBC and requirements for the government to have copies of building plans. How can you hide a jew (or a Straight, White Capitalist Christian) in your secret room or attic if the ATF has prints?

    How about OnStar?

  15. I’ve gotta agree with Jerry Pulley. This could be part of a very dangerous set-up that will cost us all our rights. Obama knows (or thinks he knows) that eventually some hothead will use a gun in these settings. In fact open carry makes it easy for the opposition to identify which people to deliberately confront and harass. Then, when one loses it and uses his firearm, all the contentions of the left are proven in an instant. I imagine there are many in their ranks who would volunteer to become a martyr and take a bullet for their perverted cause.

    The approval from the Whitehouse is a red flag that this is not what we think it is. Jerry’s right, never turn your back on an Alinskyite. The tea party movement is succeeding based on turnout numbers alone. Why add this element of uncertainty to the mix? All it will take is one shot to undo all that’s been accomplished.

    So, Joe, the one who makes & plays with explosives, how come you don’t recognize the situation? We’ve got the powder and the fuse; all that’s needed now is the flame.

  16. I agree with Glen Reynolds that no victory is final. I am from the northeast (NJ to be specific) and I grew up with no respect for the second amendment (or at least I thought it was antiquidated). In NJ, the attitude that only cops and crooks need guns and there’s no difference between the two. Ergo, anyone with a gun is necessarily dangerous. 11 years living in Arizona opened my eyes to the political and cultural necessity of the 2nd amendment and Ive come to appreciate it. But like you, I was worried, at the very least, about the OCers at the Obama event in Tempe. Im really amazed that it has played out as it has. We were very very lucky, because MSNBC sure tried to play it as a sign of a dangerous, racist mob (cropping the hell out of the guy with the AR15 so that you couldnt see he was black). That Obama said it was no big deal REALLY knocked me for a loop and does give us a big opening politically. With this fence crashed, we need more the same and not give the other side time to regroup. The more the public sees peaceful, armed citizens, the more comfortable they will be with it. (Except in the northeast, where they will NEVER be comfortable with it.)

  17. I think it’s important to remember that the risk in this case was the possibility of losing Justice Kennedy’s fifth pro-gun vote in the Supreme Court follow-up to Heller. I’m not going to feel great about any of this until the Second Amendment is firmly incorporated against the states.

  18. Yes, these people took a huge risk, and I’m gratified nothing happened to them. There was no legal repercussions – as there well should never have been.

    However, the act came with unintended consequences. Eleanor Holmes Norton is now pushing for more gun control, which she’s likely to get now that a stink has been raised.

    So we didn’t have a problem with the Secret Service or any other security agencies, and we wouldn’t have if people had used some discretion. Now we’re likely to get more gun control because of in-your-face tactics.

  19. thelmadatter,

    People once said black/white interacial marriage would never be accepted in this country. People once said a black man would never be elected President. They were wrong.

    I view the people in the Northeast like people in the deep south from 50 or 60 years ago. Extremely bigoted but given the right “encouragement” from the courts I think they will come around.


    I think Norton will be ignored except by a few in the media and the anti-gun organizations. She will not get any political traction unless there is an actual shooting. So far Heinlein’s “An armed society is a polite society” prediction (or perhaps observation) is holding true. I expect that will continue to be the case.

  20. Bob Young, spot on. You made the point I failed to clarify. Thanks.

    Remember, y’all: We’re of the right because we are right. Let’s try to focus on principle and leave the purely tactical to the left; that’s their ground. While dressing (well) for the town hall, ask yourself: would I carry this particular weapon there if all I cared about was personal protection?

  21. We carried openly today in various Olympic National Park and Forest lands/areas. There are signs everywhere about cougar–though cougar don’t scare me in the least. The most dangerous animals I encounter in the woods are usually yuppie, hippie, or redneck dogs running amok, attacking people and horses, etc.

    But since most people are all head up about cougar eating them and their Precious Precious Children (why are they taking kids to the backcountry and leaving them unattended?), it is much easier to use that as a teachable opportunity, educating about self protection and, more importantly, covering others’ backs.

    Today we made huge progress with a family member who is totally anti gun. I told my husband as we left the house that I didn’t want to have to conceal, it being a hot day, and that furthermore I thought this might be a good juncture to make the point about reasonable self protection. This person is so adamant about guns and has often used that to control situations (shutting down certain topics of conversation, etc.).

    So before we left I said, “We feel a need to be open with you about this. We’re going into an area with much cougar and bear activity as well as recent reported dog attacks.” She looked very concerned and spooked. I continued, “We are confident that we will be safe. At the same time, we can go there ourselves and be responsible hosts to others only if knowing we can reasonably guarantee safety in the event of the worst. That is the reason we never go into that backcountry without carrying sidearms. Today will be no exception, and we’d like to know that that is OK with you.” She said, “You mean you will have guns?” Yes, I said, each of us will carry a pistol on our belts.

    She wanted to see, we showed her, and it was interesting because at first she couldn’t even see my husband’s pistol (inside belt) when he moved his arm to show her. He had to literally put his hand on it and raise it partway out of the holster. I’m not sure what she was expecting to see, but that seemed to surprise her. Then she said, “You mean you carry this to protect yourself against cougars?” I said, “We will carry in the event of backcountry danger that cannot be resolved with less force.” She thought a moment and said, “You mean you would even protect me?” Yes, I said, and I asked whether she would be supportive of our carrying our pistols. She had some questions about the legalities, we explained them (and later showed her the posted signs at each place, none of which restricted firearms). She said, “The thing is, nobody ever offered to protect me like this before. I mean you’re like my armed bodyguards.” I said nothing, then she surprised me by adding, “I’m anti gun, so this means I wouldn’t do the same for you. Isn’t that right?” I nodded.

    Each time we came to a trailhead or parking area we saw cougar, bear, and crime warnings. I could see her doing a LOT of thinking.

  22. Joe, I hope you’re right, but I’m not sure. If it was anyone but the Magic Marxist, I would say you’re right about Norton being ignored. But I think she will raise enough of a stink that we will wind up with the unintended consequence of more gun control, not less.

  23. And to illustrate my point, I quote the following from Newsbusters:

    Not being content with portraying all health care reform protesters as racist, Toure went on to predict an attempt on Obama’s life: “I’m not going to be surprised if we see somebody get a chance and take a chance and really try to hurt him or really….we’re going to see somebody, you know, some sort of Squeaky From, some sort of Mark [John] Hinckley figure, because there’s so much anger in the country about him, about what’s going on with government.” Ratigan replied: “Angry at government and racism, you put those two together.”

    With the media fomenting this hysterical hyperventilation and bloviating politicians pushing for stricter controls, I’m not so sure Norton will be ignored.

  24. First of, kudos to the gentleman that did this. I would hope someone gets an interview with him, if only to further the cause and present the real person and not the CNN/ABC/NBC created persona.

    About the administration passing on making this a big deal: no laws were violated, and even with big media support they would look like idiots going after this guy, regardless of his race. But more importantly I think this is a way for the administration to pacify gun owners and de-escalate their desire to be involved in politics. If they can get gun owner to stay out of the next ellection cycle in ’10 and ’12, then we will be hosed somewhere in ’13. I think we will see a lot more non involvment and passive attitude on guns from the administration in the coming months.

    Stay vigilant, stay angry, stay involved.

  25. It’s always nice to see the guns. 🙂 Great conversation piece too. Although I open carry because it is generally the only way free men are still allowed to legally bear arms. Becoming permitted to gain the privileged to bear arms was never an option for me. So I’m glad the stand is being made where a man making a stand on principle can stand with them. Also glad to see the tide is turning. It hurt before.

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