Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hiding rights

I noticed a short time ago that I have been linked to on Glock Talk. I was going to post on the forum, but I have to wait for moderator approval. Thanks, HerrGlock, for posting it there.

I noticed that there were folks talking about open carry as a bad idea in terms of politics. They have the mindset that lets them feel that keeping the guns hidden will keep their rights protected. They say that you shouldn't always exercise your rights.

I, of course, must disagree. The best way to protect rights is to exercise them without apology and without secrecy. If Joe Public is afraid of guns, is it because he sees them on the hips of law-abiding citizens too often? No, it is because this doesn't happen often enough. People will fight against the unknown, and will use the rarity of a practice as reason to prevent it. If people saw the sort of decent folks who carry, they might start to realize that it isn't guns that cause crime.

And one must ask why anything legal should be considered such a problem. Imagine the response you would get if you said, "Sure, you have freedom of religion, but I would advise you to choose Judaism. Christianity might get that freedom taken away." Or "Yeah, you have freedom of speech, but you shouldn't talk about Washingtonians, since they don't like being discussed." Practicing a right as fully as possible is the best way to preserve it. On several occasions, I've gotten to be an ambassador for gun rights, and people are actually fairly reasonable, by and large. They see that I am no attempting to do anything wrong, and they start to think about maybe buying guns. Some, of course, say they feel more comfortable knowing that I'm armed, though I try to encourage them to take their defense into their own hands.

If we don't open carry, they'll take it away and no one will say a word. As for the fear of being a "test case," that hardly holds water with so many WA police depts. issuing training bulletins and affirming the right to open carry.

Carry whatever way you want. Just remember that you shouldn't need to feel ashamed of your rights. And you don't do any favors to the cause when you seem willing to sell out those who do things differently than you do. Anyone remember Zumbo's problem with ARs? Sporting/non-sporting, carry method, anything that divides us makes us weaker. I support concealed carry, and I expect you to support open carry.

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