This is the very reason I personally don’t want to open carry. I don’t want to draw attention to myself. Particularly police attention. I know the police do not like open gun carriers, and I know that someone would call the police when he saw me carrying a gun openly. I would be detained, harassed, interrogated, searched, and maybe arrested even though what I was doing was perfectly legal. And all that could be avoided if I instead opted for carrying a concealed handgun.
It should not be that way, but it is, and I don’t want to be in that position where I’m frequently having to call a family member to come and bail me out of jail.
However, I also know there are plenty of others who don’t seem to mind the harsh inconveniences of jail time. They even make videos of their encounters with police.
I think in our current backwards culture, open carrying a rifle is an unwise thing to do, because it unnecessarily puts you in a very risky situation. We all know how trigger-happy cops can be. We all know they can shoot and kill a person and claim that they were justified in doing so because they felt their “lives were threatened.” Open carriers are easy targets for police, and it would be easy for cops to claim that they felt threatened by someone who was walking around with a rifle.
Here’s an example of just such a person. His name is Mack Worley, and he’s an Air Force veteran. He was walking around in Vancouver, Washington with a semi-automatic rifle on his shoulder. The video shows his encounter with police and his subsequent arrest after he was initially let go:
Even though these sorts of thing are unwise, Mr. Worley is correct in stating that police must have probable cause, based on a reasonable suspicion, that he was committing or had already committed a crime. When one of the officers stated in the video that his gun “might be stolen,” that’s not good enough. Police may not just stop anyone anywhere to make sure they’re not committing any crimes. That’s exactly what the 4th Amendment prohibits. And that was Mr. Worley’s point. Unless they had probable cause, they had no legal justification to stop him in the first place.
Open carriers are trying to normalize open carrying. Compare open gun carriers to homosexual activists. What do they do to normalize their behavior? Just think of all the gross things they do in Gay Pride parades across the country. Out in the open. Think of how there are homosexual characters on every TV show and movie whom we’re supposed to sympathize with. Think of the domino effect that’s been the widespread acceptance of same-sex “marriages,” often involving a federal judge overruling a particular state’s majority decision not to allow them. Think of the LGBT laws that allow boys to use girls’ restrooms and vice versa. Think of the studies they commission showing that homosexual parents are actually better than their heterosexual counterparts.
So, how does the homosexual community try to normalize their behavior? They use intimidation tactics. They shove it in our faces. If that wasn’t bad enough, everyone has to love it being shoved in his face. Mere toleration isn’t good enough. You must affirm your complete and unconditional acceptance of their behavior and openly regard their every perverted act as being “perfectly natural” and beautiful. You must also mock and ridicule the idea of Biblical marriage and call all same-sex “marriage” opponents bigots and homophobes.
I’m all for normalizing open gun carrying. But we obviously can’t do it the same way the left normalizes their own beliefs. The irony is that the left accuses open gun carriers of shoving their beliefs down everyone else’s throats and using intimidation tactics; you know, all the things the left does. Yes, it’s a completely unfair game where the left makes all the rules, but we have to be aboveboard on this.
I think the best thing to do is to coordinate with your local police department. Yes, they can be trigger-happy, but if they knew you personally, I bet they wouldn’t be nearly as trigger-happy. So, get to know them. Allow them to know who you are and what you stand for. They’re not all going to be receptive to open carry. That’s just reality. When they stonewall your efforts to either open carry freely or to hold an open carry demonstration, don’t fight or argue with them. You and your friends will have to go to a more gun-friendly city or county until you find some police who share your beliefs.
When you find a good cop or a more receptive police department, start holding demonstrations after giving the police a heads-up. The more people see open carry demonstrations, and the larger the demonstrations are, the more people and the police will be receptive to those who wish to open carry freely.
Supporting local lawmakers who share your beliefs or who can be swayed to share your beliefs can also go a long way in changing our culture of fear. If we want these belligerent police encounters to stop, there has to be legal consequences to their actions. There is no doubt that what Mr. Worley did was perfectly legal. But the police would rather err on the side of tyranny than liberty. It needs to be difficult for the police to detain a person who’s simply open carrying a rifle. There needs to be consequences for the police who break the law, just like there were consequences for Mr. Worley who hadn’t broken the law.
We can’t use the strong-arm tactics that the police use to enforce their will on others (despite what the law says), and we can’t use the in-your-face intimidation that the left uses to normalize their perversion-of-choice. It’s definitely an uphill battle, but it’s one that’s worth fighting.