NRA Slams Open Carry Demonstrators

One thing that always makes me chuckle whenever I write a pro gun article here, is liberals in the comments who try to associate me with the NRA. No, child, I grew sick and tired of the NRA throwing me under the bus a long time ago. Of course, so many lemmings still send the NRA money no matter how much they help government turn gun rights into gun privileges.

The NRA, to my knowledge, has never had a problem with whatever they deem to be “reasonable restrictions” on guns. Convicted felons, for example, can’t have guns in America, and the NRA really thinks that’s just great, nevermind that the vast majority of “convicted felons” in the US have done nothing to harm anyone, but rather were just thrown in prison for years or decades for disobeying the scribble from some sociopath who won a popularity contest. The biggest problem with words like “reasonable” is that it’s subject to a lot of interpretation obviously, and asking politicians and police to be “reasonable” is like asking wolves not to be “hungry”. “Reasonable” search and seizure for example, now means checkpoints on American highways, so you can imagine where gun rights go when that term is applied to their restriction.

I woke up this morning to an email about my home State of New York, where it now appears the NRA thinks the SAFE Act is reasonable. The SAFE Act, if you’re unfamiliar, turned countless NY gun owners into felons with the stroke of a pen, by turning their legally owned firearms into contraband. New York City has already begun the rapid march towards confiscation of these weapons. Governor Cuomo, who signed the bill into law last year, is up for reelection this November. To stave off criticism from gun rights advocates, he has tapped Democrat Kathy Hochul as his running mate, who has an NRA endorsement and A rating. When asked if she supported the SAFE Act, Kathy Hochul said “Yes, I do”. Now you might be thinking that the NRA pulled her endorsement after this statement, but unsurprisingly, they didn’t. The NY2A Grassroots Coalition has a petition to the NRA demanding they pull that endorsement.

If that’s not bad enough, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action now finds itself on the same side as Mother Jones when it comes to open carry demonstrations in Texas.

NRA Slams Open Carry Demonstrators
NRA Slams Open Carry Demonstrators

If you’re not familiar, Texas has no law against open carry of long guns, but banned open carry of handguns some time ago. Well, some Texas gun owners decided, we’re not going to go unarmed, so instead we’ll bring our rifles about with us. In response, Chipotle, Jack in the Box, and some other privately owned businesses, have decided the ask customers not to do that.

Now, I don’t care about Jack in the Box so much, but the Chipotle thing saddens me. I really like Chipotle. The idea of never having another Chipotle burrito however, is far more pleasant than giving money to people who would give into pressure from an institution like Mom’s Demand Action. Still, this is how markets work, and if there are to be any restrictions on our gun rights, they should be property rights exercised by franchise owners, like we see here. Not “reasonable” restrictions imposed by politicians with NRA approval like Kathy Hochul.

The NRA, in its blog, decided to slam both the demonstrators, and these private businesses for exercising their gun rights and freedom of association respectively;

The second example comes to us from the Lone Star State, which is second to none for its robust gun culture.  We applaud Texans for that, but a small number have recently crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness.

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, doesn’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.

Recently, demonstrators have been showing up in various public places, including coffee shops and fast food restaurants, openly toting a variety of tactical long guns. Unlicensed open carry of handguns is legal in about half the U.S. states, and it is relatively common and uncontroversial in some places.

Yet while unlicensed open carry of long guns is also typically legal in most places, it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms.

Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary.  It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.

As a result of these hijinx, two popular fast food outlets have recently requested patrons to keep guns off the premises (more information can be found here and here).  In other words, the freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior. To state the obvious, that’s counterproductive for the gun owning community.

More to the point, it’s just not neighborly, which is out of character for the big-hearted residents of Texas. Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners.  That’s not the Texas way.  And that’s certainly not the NRA way.

In summary, NRA certainly does not support bans on personalized guns or on carrying firearms in public, including in restaurants.  We think people are intelligent enough to resolve these issues in a reasonable way for themselves. But when people act without thinking, or without consideration for others – especially when it comes to firearms – they set the stage for further restrictions on our rights. Firearm owners face enough challenges these days; we don’t need to be victims of friendly fire.

To which Mother Jones said;

Evidently the National Rifle Association has come to realize that none of this is good for business. In an extraordinary move on Friday, the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action—the organization’s powerful lobbying arm in Washington—issued a lengthy statement seeking to distinguish between “responsible behavior” and “legal mandates.” It told the Texas gun activists in no uncertain terms to stand down.

Now, look, I get it. Don’t get me wrong. Even I look twice when I see a guy with a rifle slung over his back in public. We’re not used to seeing it, but that’s kinda the whole point of demonstrations like this. If Texas decided to ban open carry of long guns tomorrow, most people would probably say “Wow, I didn’t even know that was legal, go ahead”.

The reason people give into gun bans and restrictions, is precisely because they are unfamiliar with these weapons. The bans come more from xenophobia than they do from an informed concern about gun safety. Well prior to bans on open carry or restrictions on concealed carry, people concealed their weapons for the purpose of being polite, and the muggles got used to the idea of not seeing guns. Once this happened it was no stretch to see them regulated to near extinction like we see today.

The problem with the open carry demonstrations in Texas, just like the problem with the Open Carry March on DC that Adam Kokesh was planning, is that they aren’t happening more frequently and in greater numbers. To see the most recognized gun rights lobby in the country decry these demonstrations as “weird” and “not neighborly” only adds to that problem. If anybody thinks they are going to advance their cause by hiding their guns and being polite in a society that threatens to confiscate their weapons, imprison them for non compliance, and murder them for resisting, they’ve got another thing coming. If they think the NRA is going to do anything to help, even while it slams people who are actually trying to solve the problem, well, then they’re just plain not paying attention.

The bottom line is, the NRA prefers SAFE Act supporting NY Democrats to Texas rifle owners. If you give money to people like that, you might as well be contributing to Ready for Hillary PAC.

If you actually care about freedom, I humbly suggest your charitable dollar would be better spent by helping me spread the message.

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Chris

Christopher Cantwell comedian, writer, voice artist, and Patriot.