An Open Letter to the Open Carry Community: Let’s Talk

Dear AR-15 Open Carry Enthusiasts,

Hello.  My name is Michael.  Like you, I am a responsible, peaceful firearms owner.  Let’s talk.

I know your rights are under assault.  Believe me… I feel the heat and rhetoric coming from the hoplophobes and statists as well.  There are a lot of things that the gun grabbers don’t seem to get.

  • Your rights, proud culture, and personal identity are under attack.  When people cry out for gun control as an answer to every violent act, they are painting you—the responsible, peaceful firearms owner—with the same brush they use to paint the murderer(s).  It’s unfair.
  • You are made fun of on the internet and in the media.  You are called names and belittled for the size of your penis.  You are accused of crimes that you have never even had the slightest thought of committing.  And yet, somehow, it is still your fault.
  • “Peaceful” gun control activists publicly, graphically, call for the horrific deaths of your children.
  • They aren’t really against guns… they’re against YOU having them.  They’re fine with an elite minority of people they’ve never met (e.g. police, Secret Service, FBI, and the military) being armed.  Just not you.  They’re fine with trusting people they have no rational or logical reason for trusting.  Just not you.
  • You’re tired of hearing the phrase “high capacity magazines.”  They are not “high” capacity.  They hold exactly the number of rounds the weapon was designed for.
  • You’re tired of hearing an AR-15 called an “assault” rifle.  You know that it is not an assault rifle.  It’s a rifle, no different from any other hunting rifle you could buy from Walmart… just scarier looking to the uninitiated.
  • You know that the problem isn’t the inanimate guns… it’s the human beings who, either deliberately or negligently, pull the trigger.
  • You know that laws don’t stop a determined criminal.

So… what are they saying about you?

  • You are ruining the country.
  • You are radical.
  • You are a danger to children and public safety in general.
  • You are wannabe Rambos.
  • You make them fear for the future of our country.
  • They demand your rights be taken away.  (The rights that belong to all of us.)

What are you trying to accomplish?

  • You are speaking (and acting) out because you are afraid of being disenfranchised.
  • You are trying to teach them that you carrying firearms openly in public is not a threat to them and that they have nothing to fear.
  • You are trying to make the presence of openly-carried firearms in public less of a big deal.
  • You are trying to communicate the fact that you are not harmful to them in any way.
  • You are trying to show them that normal people can peacefully carry firearms and never hurt a soul.
  • You wish they’d just leave you alone.

Believe it or not, you have a lot in common with other groups in this country.

Some folks are being denied a basic rights in many places in that other folks are free to exercise with no problem.  Like you, they just want to be left them alone to live their lives in peace.  Acceptance would be cool, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  They just want to be free to who they are and do what they please.  They’re not harming anyone.  Just like you and I.







Allow me to flip the narrative a little.

new-york-city-gay-pride-parade-2013Let’s say that a small group of these folks, feeling that they are under attack and that their rights and  identities—hell, their very lives—are being threatened, decide to bring this to your small Alabammy town.  There he is… just minding his own business… waving his “gun” in your face.  No harm, no foul.  Sure, he’s wearing nothing but an Indian headdress and a smile.  Same difference, right?

No?  You don’t like him waving his massive purple weapon in your faces?  But… he’s perfectly harmless.  What’s the big deal?

How effective do you think his argument will be in convincing you to invite him over for pizza and beer to enjoy a regular guy football game like regular guys?  How effective do you think his parading around, waving his throbbing AR-12 (being generous, here) around for all to see, will be in persuading you to accept him and just leave him alone?  Do you think this approach would work for him?

You’d embrace him and say “Hell, you gay fellers is just like the rest of us!” right?

If not, why do you think you doing metaphorically the same thing is going to make people accept what you believe?  Do you see where I’m coming from?

Just because you have the right (for now… look at what Open Carry abuses did to carry laws in California) [edit – I neglected to mention that this lead—perhaps directly—to the Ninth Circuit Court striking down California’s restrictive law against handgun carry] that doesn’t mean you should exercise it in a way that shoots your cause (and mine) squarely and clearly in the foot.

oc_mapOpen Carry is legal in my state of Arizona.  As you can see, it is in many places.  When I’m going out into the desert, I’ll carry a .44 magnum or .45 ACP (maybe even a rifle, depending on what I’m doing).  But I won’t do it in town.  Why?  For one, it’s a tactically bad decision (nothing says “shoot me first, bad guys” like carrying openly).  But in keeping with the purpose of this article, the big reason I don’t do it is that it clearly scares the shit out of people who have no other reason to be scared of me.  Scared people make rash decisions. Opportunist politicians take advantage of emotion.  If someone is on the fence regarding the 2nd Amendment / Open Carry, then you, my friends, have just knocked them squarely off that fence and straight into “fuck that” territory.

Think hard about what you’re doing.  Think long.  Think long and hard… (sorry).  But seriously… think about this.  What do you actually think you’re going to accomplish with this besides turning polite society and US (the rest of the responsible, peaceful firearms community) against you and your actions?  If your attitude is “fuck you, I can do whatever I want!” I have news for you:  No… you can’t.

At the very least, you shouldn’t.  You are harming my rights.  My image.  My (relatively) good name.  What you are doing is injurious to the rights and image of all of us.  Please… think about this.  Then please stop doing it.

If, after careful consideration, you still decide to carry an AR-15 openly, I have a few final requests:


  1. Shave off the fucking neckbeard.
  2. Drop the tacticool bullshit.
  3. Lose a few hundred pounds and dress sharp (a suit and tie would be appropriate).
  4. Be polite.
  5. Don’t engage trolls in emotional discussions, especially while armed.
  6. BE FUCKING POLITE.  Remember… armed and polite.  Please don’t forget about the polite part.  (See?  I even asked nicely.) If someone talks to you, no matter what their tone, you respond with “sir” or “ma’am,” not “you fucking statist libtard Obamazombie.”
  7. And finally… never, EVER brandish in public like the asshole on the right.  You, sir, should be both arrested and have your right to keep and bear arms removed.

Please… stop ruining things for the rest of us.

Thank you.

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  • 1savage99

    I completely agree with your article except as it applies to California. Just as ACT UP moved the Gay Rights forward in California, The Open UNLOADED carry groups moved California, Guam, and Hawaii forward in gun rights. The issuance of “almost” shall issue CCW in many counties based on the recent ninth circuit ruling would not have happened if Open unloaded carry was still an option. Prior to now we haven’t had “shall issue” CCW in my California county since the 1960’s.

    Sometimes in your face tactics do work. That said I agree in relatively gun friendly states, being obnoxious is not going to work in our favor, especially bearing long guns in private businesses.

  • Fat Godzira

    it will fall on deaf ears…I guarantee it…especially by those in the picture above

  • shilo jenkins

    Very well written. I hope it doesn’t fall on deaf ears.