by Dan Griffin
For this you’ll need a little background. First, watch this four minute video that was taken ten months ago: Beyond the Cart: The Story of Clint Tarver.
It has often been said that, as open carriers, we are ambassadors of the firearms community. I believe this to be true, and as such we should present ourselves in the best possible light. But it seems lately we have become more than ambassadors: we have become targets.
I have long had a bone to pick with some reporters and journalists. It seems many nowadays are simply content to let any person, including public officials, say anything they want without challenging them or even investigating their claims to see if they are true. It doesn’t matter if it’s the local newspaper or the local or national television news, it seems they all do it, although local news organizations seem particularly egregious. One of the hardest topics to get right is anything to do with firearms.
Last month I wrote about several cases where women were accosted and used a firearm to defend themselves against harm, even murder. We have new video of what happens when people depend on others for their personal defense. It doesn’t work. Just a few days ago a woman was kidnapped on the streets of Philadelphia. Fortunately the kidnapper wasn’t a MENSA member and committed some errors that enabled law enforcement to capture the criminal before he murdered his victim.
Over the past several years, organizations such as Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA, formerly One Million Moms for Gun Control) have pressured companies such as Starbucks and Panera to prohibit firearms in their businesses. Their latest target is Kroger brand stores.
In the August 2013 issue of the Michigan Open Carry Newsletter I began a three-part series on the Zimmerman trial from the citizen gun-owner’s point of view. In the July 2014 issue we followed up with a look at the trial from an attorney’s point of view. In this, the third and final installment of the series, I examine the Zimmerman trial from a cop’s point of view.
An Oregon woman held a home invader at gunpoint for nearly half an hour before police arrived after her 911 call. A man broke through two doors at 9:00 AM to get inside of Lisa Atkin’s home. Had she not been armed, who knows what would have happened?
How many guns are there in the United States? While no one knows exactly, our most reliable estimates have put the numbers of firearms in the hands of United States civilians at 300 – 310 million, but I am convinced that number is no longer anywhere close to accurate. I suspect the true numbers are a lot higher.
With the recent activities of Open Carry Texas lawfully asserting their rights in an effort to get the Texas legislature to vote for the legalization of openly carried handguns, and counter protests to that—including the poorly attended rallies of the Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America—the open carry of firearms has been in the news quite a bit. Those not paying attention might assume that open carry is something new, something rare, perhaps reckless at best and dangerous at worst, but that is far from the truth.
I open carry a firearm quite simply for comfort, convenience, deterrence, and activism—to normalize it among the general populace. While many people may agree with the concept of open carry, they often choose not to do it themselves because of the perceived potential conflicts with law enforcement or the general population.