Monday, September 12, 2011

Dear Rob Pincus

If all you're going to do is say stupid crap, discourage the free exercise of a constitutional right, and deride those who choose to OC then maybe you should choose not to open your yap and exercise your 1st Amendment rights?  Oh, don't like someone telling you to STFU and not exercise your 1st Amendment rights? Hmmm.

Pincus says we should not carry guns to make a political statement but solely as a means of self-defense. And I quote,

"I think Open Carry is a poor choice in populated areas when you have other options (CCW) to be armed for personal protection. I vehemently believe that you should NOT carry a gun for political reasons, but solely as a means of defense."

 He then links to a story where a man was just minding his own business while OC'ing and had the cops called on him.  As for carrying for political purposes, can I not do both simultaneously?  Can't carrying be a means of self-defense and individual expression?

The rift in the pro-gun community when discussing OC vs. CCW is one of those things that truly irks me.  If we were truly freedom loving individuals we would just say "I wouldn't choose your method of carry but I respect your choice and I'll fight for your right to carry."  What is so damn hard about that?

Pincus also had this to say in the comments to his post,

"The right to OC, IMO, should NOT be exercised because it isn't the BEST way to avoid confrontation as long as possible and have the benefit of surprise when you do"

He is basing this statement off of what exactly?  Feelings.  It is complete bullshit.  How does he know that OC isn't the best way to avoid confrontation?  I fail to see how it's logical to say that CCW helps you avoid confrontation as long as possible.  If OC deters a potential attack then it has helped you avoid confrontation where CCW would not have.

Why is it that my fellow gunnies have to react with derision to those who choose to OC?  Does Pincus not realize he sounds like a garden variety anti-gunner?  I hear almost as much "the sky is falling! the sky is falling" BS from the gunnie crowd with regards to OC as I do from anti-gunners.

1. "You'll just have the gun taken away from you if you OC."

This one is a fallacy often used by the anti-gunners, which the anti-OC gunnie crowd has co-opted.  Unless you can substantiate the claim with actual empirical evidence this is no more than baseless fearmongering, no different than that of the bleating, anti-gun sheeple.  And no, citing police shot with their own guns doesn't count.  Cops have to run towards trouble, apprehend and arrest suspects and wilfully engage in altercations in a manner that a non-LEO OC'er does not.

2. "You'll be the 1st target for a bad guy"

Again, a completely unsubstantiated statement based on fear.  If this were the case we'd see growing evidence of it with the growth in popularity of OC.

3. "You'll scare everyone away, hurt the cause, and mobilize the anti's to action."

There have been a scant few instances where this has been the case.  By and large though, only those wishing to deny reality can claim that the open carry movement hasn't made a great deal of positive headway.  Sure there have been some setbacks along the way, but if no one bothers to push the envelope in defense of their rights do you know what happens?  Nothing.

4. "I don't want a bunch of untrained yahoos carrying guns."

You hear this one a lot from "elite tactical trainers" like Pincus.  I also hear it quite a bit from CCW holders who seem to think of being a CCW permit holder as some kind of lofty status symbol.  

An idiot with a gun is going to be an idiot with a gun regardless of whether he took some class.   Throughout most of American history average citizens responsibly carried firearms without having taken formalized training classes from elite operators.  Millions of Americans own guns for defense and do not practice with them regularly, yet somehow they seem to do well when they need to use them.  Do you really think the average person who successfully uses a gun to stop a violent crime has taken a specialized firearms training class?  Of course not.

Plenty of states don't require live-fire or any hands-on training to get a CCW permit.  Show me empirical data proving that CCW holders in states with less stringent permit standards are more negligent, irresponsible and / or ineffective when using a firearm compared to permit holders in other states.  Show me evidence of all of the massive problems occuring because untrained yahoos are open carrying.........

I have to wonder, what other rights does Rob Pincus think American citizens shouldn't exercise in populated areas?

Sigh.  I am sick of the in-fighting.  You don't want to open carry?  Fine, then don't, but don't tell others that they shouldn't simply because YOU don't like it.  It makes you sound like some smarmy liberal.

H/T to Alan


David said...

I previewed the Handgun video Rob did for NRA. It was okay, until it got to the part where he said to keep your gun locked up and unloaded until you need to use it. I can't imagine any bad guy waiting for me to unlock and load my gun.

Chuck Kuecker said...

I feel it's an individual choice, and while I would love to live in a world where OC was not even noticed, let alone controversial, I think one must decide to carry openly while using common sense.

One of the first things any self-defense class should address is situational awareness. I believe I read of a man in Milwaukee a while back who was open carrying in an area known to be frequented by criminals, and he was attacked and had his gun stolen. Can't find a link to the story.

Think about what you are doing and how it might backfire - this applies to all aspects of life, particularly to situations where you are carrying or using a possibly dangerous item.

As for keeping your gun locked up and unloaded until you need it, I suppose Mr. Pincus keeps his fire extinguishers and first-aid kits under lock and key, with the key in a non-obvious location, so he can be assured of not having to worry about someone misusing that safety equipment.

Divemedic said...

This is an extension of the "only one" syndrome. Everyone wants to be part of a special elite, and many are willing to rig the game to make it so.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

+4 Mike.

Item #3 always irks me. What OC actually does it teach you how little most people actually care about you and your gun. And that's the real danger of OC. Once you realize that the endless repetitions of "Everyone's scared of guns" is a lie, no telling what other received wisdom you might start questioning.

Rob Pincus said...

Thanks for posting your thoughts here on your blog and to those who took the time to comment... my thoughts on this topic (again) have gotten a lot of play.
It has been disappointing to see the wild conclusions people have drawn about my positions on everything from the bill of rights to assisted suicide that were never mentioned in any of my references to open carry. Even here in this thread, someone is talking about keeping guns locked up and unloaded until needed... Certainly not part of the OC vs. CC debate.

At any rate, while this thread is largely negative towards me and my opinion, there are other perspectives on the point that I am trying to make (, is one)... wearing on gun on your hip just to elicit a response from others I think is in poor form, will lead to further restrictions and, quite possibly, get more people hurt and/or arrested when they don't need to be. That has nothing to do with the First Amendment... Speak your mind, hand out pamphlets.. where a T-shirt that says " I may be legally carrying a gun, if this concerns you, ask me why!" ... do whatever you want...

Meanwhile, I contend that you should carry a gun for reasons of safety, if at all and I will continue to advise people primarily concerned with their safety to carry concealed when under the circumstances that most of us face in our daily lives.

Bob S. said...

Dear Rob Pincus,

You say:
wearing on gun on your hip just to elicit a response from others I think is in poor form, will lead to further restrictions and, quite possibly, get more people hurt and/or arrested when they don't need to be.

So anything 'in poor form' should be avoided?

I find that attitude to be a little hard to understand. Who gets to decide what is "poor form"?

You? Me? I find your lack of support for OC to be 'poor form', so please desist, eh. There is a good chap.

will lead to further restrictions

While I respect you phrased it this time as an opinion, I wonder if there is anything to back up your opinion?
Any evidence to suggest that on the whole OC is causing further restrictions?

quite possibly, get more people hurt

Again, your opinion but is there anything informing that opinion?

Any studies, information or data that says people who Open Carry are being hurt more often then those who carry concealed?

and/or arrested when they don't need to be.

Here I can agree with what you are saying but not the results. Many positive results have been accomplished by activists being arrested -- wouldn't you agree?

Now let me ask -- how many people do you think will/have changed their minds when their friend got arrested for doing something that is completely legal?

How many conversations were held and people found out it is legal to open carry because someone got arrest?
Isn't expanding how many know their rights a good thing -- and if that results from an arrest how is that bad?

That has nothing to do with the First Amendment... Speak your mind, hand out pamphlets.. where a T-shirt that says " I may be legally carrying a gun, if this concerns you, ask me why!" ... do whatever you want...

Do what you want but don't walk around with a gun?

Which is really more effective at changing the normalizing firearms
A.) a staged protest where everyone is expected to be on good behavior


B.) a couple thousand armed people going about their every day business, interacting with hundreds of people each --showing them by example that they are just normal folks?

The answer is obvious -- the presence of armed people doing normal things.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

Well Rob, kudos to you for coming out to take your lumps.

Let’s talk about why you are wrong. Not merely incorrect, wrong.

there are other perspectives on the point that I am trying to make … wearing on gun on your hip just to elicit a response from others I think is in poor form, will lead to further restrictions and, quite possibly, get more people hurt and/or arrested when they don't need to be.

Please point to any state that has outlawed open carry (aside from California, which isn’t a normal state) You can’t. The far left California legislature has passed a bill that will outlaw the only method of carrying a firearm in public, unloaded open carry. There are a lot of reasons to believe that the Governor will not sign this bill, but will veto it. First, Governor Moonbeam isn’t really anti-gun. Second, and most importantly, if this law takes effect, there will be no possible way to carry a gun in public in California. That can’t possibly stand Constitutional scrutiny. I am sure that there are people stupid enough to try to argue that the entire State of California fits into the “sensitive places” exception, but it won’t fly at the Supreme Court level. One assumes that Governor Moonbeam isn’t so stupid that he will force his State to argue against Calguns on a total ban of defensive firearm carry. He should be smart enough to force Illinois to shoulder that burden.

Are you arguing that we should avoid exercising our rights for fear that the police will arrest us? Doesn’t that mean that all the cops have to do to suppress our rights is to threaten to arrest us? Hey, don’t speak out against the Sheriff, because you might get arrested? Don’t go to that church because the cops might give you a ticket? Americans faced fire hoses and attack dogs in the 60’s. I can take getting falsely arrested and sitting through the resulting civil rights lawsuit.

Most importantly, you are wrong about the reactions of the general public. Most people don’t notice. The ones that do notice commonly ask questions and give you the thumbs up. They are uniformly nice, polite, and gun owners themselves. What Open Carry teaches you is that most Americans are pro-gun. Most Americans, even if they don’t own a gun themselves, are cool with you owning and carrying one yourself. You’d be amazed the number of times we get told at an open carry dinner “well, anyone who tries to rob this place is in for a shock.” Think about the mindset that speaks to. Random strangers see a group of random strangers eating dinner while carrying, and their immediate reaction is to classify us as “friendly.”

Come over to the “dark” side Rob. You’ll learn a lot. Mostly you’ll learn how friendly your fellow Americans are. And how oblivious.

Rob Pincus said...

Well, Sean, I already believe that most people are generally friendly and oblivious... so we're good there. :-)

I think there is a clear misunderstanding about my position on the politics and the role they play in my opinion about open carry. If someone is willing to say "I know it is not the best way for me to avoid confrontation, Rob... I am a political activist, Confrontation is my middle name!" Then we just agree to disagree and move on. I think carrying a lethal weapon while simultaneously seeking out confrontation is a bad idea. (LE/MIL excepted, before someone takes the red-herring for a cheap point..)

Someone may then say "well, Rob, I'm a big boy and I chose to take this risk in order to protect my/our rights!"
And, I think that's fine, until I believe that it actually might cause more harm to OUR rights than it does good.
Grant Cunningham's blog where he explained that Activism to protect a right that already exists doesn't make much sense was a revelation to me about my own opinion. It made something that was bothering my implicitly very explicit. When you do something ILLEGAL that you think should be LEGAL because you are willing to sacrifice by paying the consequences (a la Rosa Parks) there can be integrity and nobility in the act.... but flaunting a right just to get under people's skin (as the guys in the Michigan Library Case may have been doing) OR refusing to cooperate with cops asking about your firearms just because you don't have to (as the guys in Madison, WI did) doesn't ring of nobility to me. It rings with tones that could turn a lot of people off. Maybe not the people at our local gun-shops, people reading gun blogs or people coming to my classes... but the majority of the population that might be sitting on the fence about whether or not people should have guns AT ALL. They read the article in the local paper with the quote from the guy saying "I'm carrying a gun so people see that gun people are good people" and suddenly the proposal that people carry guns in public places only for personal defense starts to get undermined. That proposal has done VERY well for our movement over the past two decades as we've changed CCW Laws in the majority of states towards our favor.

(To be continued)

Rob Pincus said...

(continued from last comment)

OTOH, let's say there is some guy who says "Rob, I live in a place where I can't legally carry a gun, but I am scared for my safety and that of my family. I am discreet, but I do carry illegally. I am willing to face the consequences if I ever have to use the gun, but at least I will be alive at that time."
THAT guy is doing something with high personal integrity. I might advise him that he should move to another city/state or get a job in another part of town or do other things to change his circumstances, but that's about it.

As I said in my original offending post (and as I said over a year ago on Armed American Radio when I actually first offended the OC movement): I am a self-defense instructor, not a politician. Someone posted somewhere "Divided we fail, Rob"... I contend that if that person was really primarily concerned with solidarity, they wouldn't have publicly challenged my position. In fact, that person's primary interest was obviously in something counter to what I felt and they were very comfortable putting up a division between themselves and I. I think being true to your core beliefs and primary concerns is important. My primary interest is individual safety for anyone asking my advice about OC. I don't feel that this in any way contradicts my lifelong and ardent believe in the RKBA. Questioning my RKBA Cred, which has been done several times in recent days, just because I question your methods doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
I'm not calling for laws against OC, just like I'm not calling for laws against wearing flip-flops in the snow...but I don't think either are the best thing to do when you have a choice for CC or boots, respectively.

Thanks again for the discussion.