“Now we love AR-15s and AKs as much as anybody, and we know that these sorts of semiautomatic carbines are among the most popular, fastest selling firearms in America today. Texas, independent-minded and liberty-loving place that it is, doesnâ€™t ban the carrying of loaded long guns in public, nor does it require a permit for this activity. Yet some so-called firearm advocates seem determined to change this.”
Many Texans took offense to being referred to as “so-called firearms advocates”, as well as the insinuation that they were endangering the continuation of the unrestricted right to openly carry long guns in Texas. The statement continued with further insults like this, “it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself.” Let me address that for one second, the “staffer” who put this out apparently does not understand the purpose of the open carry movement in Texas. They do not carry them as a way of “being prepared to defend yourself.” Think of it as a car show, the purpose is to make a statement and if you’re going to “make a statement” at a car show, you don’t drive your beat up hunting truck, you pull the cover off of that Sunday Driver, your pride and joy. It is “weird” only because weapons have been so successfully demonized, other than on the hip of a police officer, that the reaction to them is a conditioned, almost Pavlovian response, this armed person must be aÂ criminal. This was the subject of an article I wrote calledÂ Is Open Carry the antidote to Anti-Gun propaganda?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, it continues with “it can be downright scary” and it makes people “feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.” Now this particular part of the NRA article is what really scares ME and I’ll tell you why. When “staffers” within the National Rifle Association are worrying about scaring people and making people uncomfortable with AR-15s and AKs being seen in public, then SOMEBODY is not doing their job. This tells me that the demonization of these particular semiautomatic carbines has been so thorough and so pervasive that it makes people within the world’s largest PRO-GUN advocacy group nervous. Granted, NRA Chief Lobbyist Chris W. Cox has since tried to “clarify” the NRA’s position, but even he attributed it to differing “tactical” approaches. You can see his appearance on CAM & CO below.
Tactics. Sounds reasonable, just like a lot of gun control proposals sound reasonable, but this is political speak. What Chris Cox is saying here is that such public displays force people to really confront the issues, whereas through the NRA-ILA they prefer to work in political circles, behind closed doors and barter freedoms and restrictions back and forth under the banner of compromise. Public activism is messy and those who have political sway and power do not like to see the public too involved. Now it’s no secret that I am not a big fan of the NRA-ILA, but I whole-heartedly support the NRA in it’s education, training and public outreach activities.
Lobbyists, like Unions and even politicians themselves are all about concentration of power and influence. Grassroots movements are the true soul of America. Suffrage, Civil Rights, Feminism (in it’s early days), the Tea Party and now the Open Carry and Constitutional Carry movements are We The People practicing our civic duty of Eternal Vigilance empowered by ourÂ Individual Sovereignty. Such movements have always had more success than the centralized power organizations in history, however there is always resistance to such movements as well. So, don’t get me wrong, I’m not letting my Texas brothers and sisters off the hook on this one either. When Moms Demand Action (the Bloomberg Astroturf anti-gun PR group) was boycotting Starbucks, Open Carry groups and advocates came out in support of the coffee giant. However, the PR machine that is Shannon Watts turned that support into “gun bullying” propaganda that literally backfired on the Open Carry movement and resulted in Starbucks changing their heretofore gun-friendly policy.
Unfortunately, the Open Carry movement was slow to learn their lesson, which resulted in a few more businesses changing their previously gun-friendly policies as well. The movement has since learned that lesson and has made changes to their Open Carry march procedures, but at least in those few cases the damage has been done and has given the anti-gun PR machine propaganda fodder to use against them. Case in point, a new petition put out by Shannon Watts to pressure Target stores to change their policies. Target: Create Gun Sense Policies in Your Stores Uses all of the typical propaganda tools of fear to blackmail the store chain into bowing to their demands. “Gun Extremists” with a photo of Open Carry Texas activists in Target lead by Kory Watkins. It goes on to point out that 80-90% of the shoppers at Target are women and talks about the children, as if armed, law-abiding citizens (not gun extremists) are a threat to them. Recent history has shown repeatedly that places that DO NOT allow armed citizens, Gun Free Zones, can be quite deadly.
To quote FDR, one of the very few things I agree with him on, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” The anti-gun campaigns have successfully instilled fear into the general populations and even into pro-gun advocates themselves. We must face our fears, throw off the comforting wool of sheep and reclaim our standing as free men and women in this nation. Like anyone else, I want my full Constitutionally protected Natural Rights restored fully as of YESTERDAY, but it took time to get here and it will take time to get back. We must act responsibly in our advocacy, but we cannot shy away from the exercise of our rights simply because many have been cowed by the anti-gun propaganda. Most of all, we must ALL have each others backs. Sniping back and forth between groups with the same common goal is FAR MORE DESTRUCTIVE than scaring the locals or hurting some businesses. We will continue to face fear and demonization on this journey, but the more public we are, without acts of violence or intimidation, the more excepting the public will eventually become.
Jon Britton aka DoubleTap is Chief Operating Officer of CDH, Inc., a regular contributing author and regularly involved in most aspects of their social media. “Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion.” A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and zombie stories to political advocacy. Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. As a founding member Cold Dead Hands his study of human nature and writing ability found a purpose. His zombie roots provided a variety of issues from prepping to human behavior under crisis to firearms that he applies to his advocacy for gun rights. A ravenous appetite for the study of history combined with his current events political junkie addiction led to him writing an e-book Gun Sense: Past, Present and Future.