OC at townhalls, good or bad?


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JImbothefiveth
September 9, 2009, 06:54 PM
Do you all think OC (open carry) at townhalls is good for gun rights, or bad?

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PandaBearBG
September 9, 2009, 06:58 PM
As long as it's legal and in accordince with local and state laws.

Blackbeard
September 9, 2009, 09:22 PM
Bad idea if your goal is to raise concern about an issue other than 2A rights. You will divert media attention away from your issue and toward your gun.

NC-Mike
September 9, 2009, 11:12 PM
Stoopid idea

HKUSP45C
September 9, 2009, 11:54 PM
Stoopid idea

Could you elaborate a little, please, as to why you feel the way you do?

To the OP:

I have decided that people acting in accordance with the law is not a bad thing per se. In fact, I like it when people don't break the law.

I stopped concerning myself with trying not to frighten the bedweeters a long time ago.

freakshow10mm
September 9, 2009, 11:59 PM
Shows the nation people can carry guns without crimes being committed.

9mm+
September 10, 2009, 12:01 AM
The idea of OC is as much about pragmatism and perception than anything else. Instead of parading around with a rifle at a town hall meeting, why not invite the press to a shooting competition? Why not invite selected writers to an NRA class? Flies will always be more attracted more to honey than vinegar.

freakshow10mm
September 10, 2009, 12:04 AM
Funny how a country where open carry was the accepted form of carry has now gone to the cowardly and criminal way of carry as being acceptable.

Oh, no I have a GUN. I must hide it so no one will know I have it. See, I have this PERMIT. He, he, he.

Erik M
September 10, 2009, 01:52 AM
I dont think they make us look crazy, but there is a time and place for everything. I know that some have a 'give them and inch and they will take a mile' mentality. OC at town hall mettings should be reserved for meetings concerning 2a rights.

kda
September 10, 2009, 02:08 AM
I suppose there is a risk that someone will freak out and the Town will eventually feel forced to post a "no guns" sign on the town hall building ... but it still seems that we should feel a bit more free to OC than we do. I voted yes, so I'm not undecided but on the other hand, I'm not that sure either. Interesting question for certain.

kdstrick
September 10, 2009, 02:10 AM
I'm all for open carry. But would prefer folks either conceal or did not open carry at events such as town hall meetings.

It only serves as ammo for the media to paint everyone at the meeting as angry anti-government right wingers. Those of us who care to inform ourselves know that is not the fact.

Still, perception is reality in the media... and those that open carry only help the media disparage the good folks that are concerned about the direction of our Country.

Boba Fett
September 10, 2009, 02:16 AM
I'm all for open carry. But would prefer folks either conceal or did not open carry at events such as town hall meetings.

It only serves as ammo for the media to paint everyone at the meeting as angry anti-government right wingers. Those of us who care to inform ourselves know that is not the fact.

Still, perception is reality in the media... and those that open carry only help the media disparage the good folks that are concerned about the direction of our Country.

I tend to agree kdstrick.

I have recently changed my opinion about OpenCarry to a pro-OpenCarry view.

However, there is a bit of common sense necessary in understanding the surroundings and circumstances which will best help or hurt our cause. OC at a town hall does not seem to be such a good way to win supporters.



That said, I am still for CC at town halls and such simply because I CC everywhere I can.

THE MACHINIST
September 10, 2009, 02:17 AM
nm. oc legal unlike some komunist states. i like to show democrats what real freedom is before it gets watered down just like everything else. govt owns general motors, banks, insurance firms, and now wants to take over health care......mmmmmmmmmmmmm sounds like a party i know komrade.

Madcap_Magician
September 10, 2009, 01:33 PM
My rep pulled a smart move... he's having his town hall in a high school.

jimmyraythomason
September 10, 2009, 02:14 PM
Bad idea. I served two terms as a city councilman (1992-2000). The atmosphere can quickly deteriorate at town meetings. I have dealt with unhappy and unreasonable citizens on everything from dog control to garbage collection. Tense enough situations WITHOUT firearms present.

mcdonl
September 10, 2009, 02:18 PM
I do not OC unless during hunting season, but I think I would treat any government building the same. You cannot carry in a post office or courthouse so I figure a town hall is the same. Just my guess, I carry concealed.

everallm
September 10, 2009, 02:55 PM
As an info point, when this exact same question was posted on TOS (The Other Site), the feelings articulated were almost precislely the opposite of the entiment here.........8-)

ccsniper
September 10, 2009, 03:04 PM
I think it is a good idea along the lines that it will raise peoples awareness to the laws in their state, but a bad idea because these protest rallies are beginning to get violent (man with finger bit off). Someone might try to provoke a fight with an armed man to show how violent gun totin right wing nuts are, and it turns into a mob and the man has to defend himself. Shooting starts, the police get involved and possible a snow ball effect of mass violence. That is kinda out there I know, but possible

jimmyraythomason
September 10, 2009, 11:18 PM
If someone had open carried to a town council meeting while I was seated, I likely would have seen it as attempting to intimidate. The result (most likely) would be an ordinance prohibiting firearms altogther at town meetings(yes,it would be lawfull).

freakshow10mm
September 10, 2009, 11:32 PM
My rep pulled a smart move... he's having his town hall in a high school.
In Michigan, it is legal to OC with a CPL in a pistol free zone. My rep is such a coward he did his by phone.

Also in Michigan, we have full preemption so any local ordinance would be trumped by the state preemption.

jimmyraythomason
September 10, 2009, 11:52 PM
Such an ordinance would stand in Alabama at the state level. It would have to be struck down by The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals at the federal level (or ,if pressed, on to the U.S.Supreme Court).

freakshow10mm
September 10, 2009, 11:58 PM
Sucks to be in Alabama.

jimmyraythomason
September 11, 2009, 12:04 AM
I don't know of any Alabama city with such an ordinance. It likely would not even be addressed unless there was an incident to bring the subject up such as a bunch of folks OCing at high profile meetings. Just saying it would stand unless struck down at the federal level.

Jeff White
September 11, 2009, 01:24 AM
Taking a firearm, either OC or concealed to a political event in this day and age is just about one of the more stupid things you can do. Given the current tense political situation you are just inviting trouble.

I don't think some of you realize that because of the current fight over health care reform you are likely to meet professional agitators from one side at one of these events. These are people who are paid by political operatives to start trouble and make news. They go to these events often planning to be arrested. Your firearm is very likely to make you a victim of one of these agitators who wants to cause an incident. Open carry should be out of the question, if I was going to carry at all it would be in very deep concealment so that there would be little chance of the weapon being spotted.

These professional agitators think nothing of trying to goad the police into an over the top response, an armed private citizen will be seen as an easy mark for starting an incident. Think about the news reports you've seen of the WTO meetings and the riots that happen wherever they are held. The same people who organize those protests are going to be trying to start things at the town hall meetings, it happened in St Louis a few weeks ago.

We haven't seen political strife like this in the US since the early 1970s. It's not going to be pretty and you are just setting yourself up for one of these professionals to try to goad you into using your weapon if you let them know you have one.

X-Rap
September 11, 2009, 01:43 AM
I have been to some very tense public meetings at the local regions DOW office when the director had an unusual number of armed officers present and it was hard to believe it wasn't for the intimidation factor.
I guess the public should have the same right but I also feel it would ultimately work against us.

Boba Fett
September 11, 2009, 02:09 AM
Posted by Jeff White
I don't think some of you realize that because of the current fight over health care reform you are likely to meet professional agitators from one side at one of these events. These are people who are paid by political operatives to start trouble and make news. They go to these events often planning to be arrested. Your firearm is very likely to make you a victim of one of these agitators who wants to cause an incident. Open carry should be out of the question, if I was going to carry at all it would be in very deep concealment so that there would be little chance of the weapon being spotted.

Bingo. Exactly my thoughts as well. I think it is a good idea to be armed for simple self-defense purposes (CC or like you said even deep CC), but OC is simply asking for trouble at a town hall.

Like I said, I've changed my stance on OC to a pro-OC view, but like all things firearm related, a little common sense and a broader picture of the situation are required.

HK G3
September 11, 2009, 02:16 AM
I put undecided.

Normally, I am pro-OC. It took me a little while, but I came around on it.

But at forums that are designed to debate health care, and people who are carrying solely to attract attention to themselves and their guns... I don't think I can support that. I am supportive of OC days, picnics, etc, but saying, "Hey let's crash a health care forum and turn it into a Second Amendment discussion" just doesn't work well IMHO.

I think that there's a time and a place to bring up issues. A health care forum is neither the time or place to bring up our RKBA,

ccsniper
September 11, 2009, 03:24 AM
professional agitators from one side at one of these events. These are people who are paid by political operatives to start trouble and make news]

I think this is where the trouble will come from. These people will insite a mob against one of the OCing people then the OC person will have to use his gun to save his life. Then, either another gun law prohibiting OC, or all hell breaks loose. Again, I think people should know the rights and this does bring it to attention, but the reprocutions could just be too much.

CoRoMo
September 11, 2009, 10:30 AM
So far, so good.

rbernie
September 11, 2009, 10:53 AM
These people will insite a mob against one of the OCing people then the OC person will have to use his gun to save his life. How many folk do you think are REALLY willing to raise their hand and volunteer to start a quarrel with an armed individual with the INTENT of getting the armed individual to shoot at them?

I dunno - I like good tinfoilahattery as much as the next person, but expecting the incitement of violence at town halls specifically to draw negative attention to OCers is a bit too much of a stretch for me...

jimmyraythomason
September 11, 2009, 10:56 AM
rbernie,you underestimate the willingness of agitators IMO. That scenario is well within the realms of possibility.

CoRoMo
September 11, 2009, 11:15 AM
On one hand, as Jeff White posted, there's apparently a well organized, politically funded, opposition of 'professionals' that are set, trained and ready to incite a desired response. They come planning for things to end badly and your openly carried sidearm will be their means to an end.

But on the other hand...

I dunno - I like good tinfoilahattery as much as the next person, but expecting the incitement of violence at town halls specifically to draw negative attention to OCers is a bit too much of a stretch for me...

...and I'd agree there.

MarineOne
September 11, 2009, 11:19 AM
Voted "No" but not because it makes us look crazy.

No matter what, the left leaning media will twist and turn the idea of OC into "some deranged person carrying an automatic", whether it's a revolver, semi-auto pistol, or and long gun.

I try not to tell my neighbors how many guns I have, because one of them is from Berkley (California) and when I made mention of going shooting she immediately asked, "Oh my God, you own a gun?", with the wide eyed look of World War 3 happening in my backyard.

She'd flip out if she knew about interlocking fields of fire and how well my kids shoot.



Kris

Lakeshore
September 11, 2009, 11:34 AM
If you do it just to make a point it's a bad idea. If you have a legitimate security concern just put the damn gun in your pocket.

HKUSP45C
September 11, 2009, 12:02 PM
Jesus, really?

Jeff White decides that "professional agitators" are going to pick a fight with an obviously armed individual and when his post is called to question others chime in with agreement? Really?

I'll give my next child to anyone who can show me ONE time this has happened. Guns being present in a volatile situation are not dangerous, provided the people wielding them are not dangerous.

This is a silly argument. Carrying a gun to a town hall meeting today doesn't make "gun folk" look crazy. In fact, it calls attention to other issues which, while they may not be the focus of the meeting, are always on the table. Frankly, maybe the general populace need a little more "crazy" in their daily lives.

The paranoia that some folks harbor is astounding to me.

jimmyraythomason
September 11, 2009, 12:13 PM
It isn't paranoia. Many protestors have deliberately instigated altercations in an attempt to get arrested(which was their aim). In the 1970s mobs of college students attacked National Guardsmen and riot police for that very purpose. If they were willing to provoke armed officers why would they not also provoke an armed civilian. Dissidents (for lack of a better word) are getting more confrontational. Greenpeace and PETA. Earth First, Animal Liberation. Just to name a few. These are dangerous folks with a desire for publicity. Don't gift them with an opportunity.

GEM
September 11, 2009, 01:40 PM
Put on my psychologist hat. You have several different components to the crowd.

1. Gun enthusiasts - they say it is legal and expresses their view. They don't care what others think or think it will convince the undecided that guns are a good thing.

2. Antigunners - apriori - will think you are nuts and use it as an example of the lack of stability of the gun crowd.

3. The uncommitted who are there to discuss the issue. Research is pretty clear than weapons can prime negative ideation towards the weapons' holder. If you are of the choir and don't believe this - well, that's kind of too bad because it is pretty well established. Thus, if you want to attract negative feelings towards you, which tend spreads to your cause go ahead. If you don't care because you like a counterproductive statement - go ahead.

Pragmatically, OC at a Town Hall isn't convincing about much outside of the choir.

Jeff points out that one might be provoked into some action - the choir that is puffed up - might fantasize that no one would dare mess with their righteous armament. But recall your local laws, you can't use the firearm if someone just gets into your face verbally.


Also, someone could simply snatch the gun from you. Give me two folks in a crowd and I'd bet we could get the gun from most.

Not a good idea from a very pragmatic view. If you just want to state it is legal and like the statement, independent of consequences - that's your decision.

candr44
September 11, 2009, 04:45 PM
Didn't we get the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Brady Bill of 1993 because of guns at political events? The anti gun people are already using this to argue "all it takes is one lunatic with a gun and its only a matter of time". Politicians become more anti gun when they start to feel threatened or intimidated by gun owners.

Open carry at political events makes gun owners look like dim wit extreme right wing lunatics and even if their not the media will most likely make it look that way. The anti gun people certainly will make it look that way and they can easily find dim wit extreme right wing lunatic gun forum posts to back it up. Guns at political events will do more damage to mature, responsible, and sane gun owners than good and it already has in 1968 and 1993.

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