Unfortunately, there isn't any cure for the idiots who want to make our lives miserable, but I do have an answer for them and those who ask only friendly questions. Take a look at the card I've printed off to hand to anyone who asks me about my gun.
I have a few suggestions for the card, but let's have that be a separate E-mail.
1. To defend myself and my neighbors against aggression.
Good for you!
2. To accept the honor and duty to exercise the basic human right to self-defense and arms ownership.
I think "duty" is not the correct word for it. I think "right" is better. But then again, that requires rewording the entire point.
Every "right" carries an equal responsibility. I've used the word "duty" to indicate that. YOU are the one who is responsible for your defense, and that of your family. How you carry out that responsibility is up to you, and may or may not involve the use of a firearm, but self defense remains the responsibility of each and every one of us. We cannot claim the "right" if we are not willing to claim that duty as well.
3. To help others understand their right, and even their duty, to keep and bear arms to defend themselves and those they love.
Here is where I really begin to differ. I contend that anyone that chooses to act like a sheep has the right to be eaten by the wolves. If they ask my assistance with information, I'll be happy to oblige. I make myself available by being an NRA certified instructor at the local gun club.
The refusal to accept responsibility does not absolve one from having it. Those who refuse to defend themselves are quite free to die, but their duty to defend themselves and their families remains.
And how/why would people ask you for information if they had no clue you could provide it? Those who go to gun clubs already understand much about their rights. I'm trying hard to reach those who would never dream of going to a gun club or a gun show - those who might never consider armed self defense as an option if they never saw someone exercising that right.
4. To serve as a deterrent to crime. Murder, rape, robbery, invasion of private property, all forms of aggression (except most committed by the state, of course) are certainly "illegal," but how many of them would never happen at all if those potential victims - or good citizens nearby - were armed? We seldom hear about those who simply run away and give up the attack because their intended victim refused to be one.
Here you allude to the real point but do not cover it. Most crimes are ones of opportunity. When you carry openly, the deterrence is immediate but affects only those close by. When you carry concealed, you affect far more than just those around you, simply because the bad guy doesn't know who is carrying. He is therefore more reluctant to commit the crime in the first place. This is where more is better. The more people we get to carry concealed, the better the deterrence factor, for everyone.
Personally, I don't buy this argument. The important thing is for ordinary people to carry a self defense tool and be trained in using it. What that tool is or how it is carried will depend on the circumstances and the person. One size does not fit all. The most important thing is the determination NOT be a helpless "victim." It is that attitude, and the ability to back it up that will deter crime, not the tool or how it is carried.
Since there are very few criminals on the streets where I live, this is not the primary consideration for me anyway. If I was in a metropolitan area or a high crime district, my choices might well be quite different.
The greatest reason I open carry is to educate other people, especially other women, to overcome their fear of guns and make that decision not to be a victim. I can't do that very well if the tool is concealed. Those around me will never become more comfortable with an armed person if they never see one. The fear and loathing that the gun/people haters have spread will never be refuted by a few folks who hide their self defense tools. And many who might be led to examine their thinking, by seeing it, and having an opportunity to talk about it, might well remain in the dark.
No, open carry is not for everyone. It is inconvenient, sometimes difficult, and possibly a bit more dangerous in some ways. It is well worth doing, however, and I will continue as long as it is possible.
As to concealed carry:
1. Asking for a CCW is begging government for a privilege, not accepting a God given right to self defense.
I'm not saying to the government "please accept me" I'm saying "I am not a felon or mentally deficient, and here is proof." Big difference.
You are perfectly free to beg for permission to exercise a right. That is your perogative. How you can consider that anything but "please accept me" is not clear. Just what else is it saying? Someone else must "accept you" in order to grant you this permission.
I choose not to ask. I am already not a felon or mentally defective, and I don't have to "prove" that to anyone. I am innocent until proven guilty of aggression, the only truly "criminal" activity. I do not require anyone's permission to defend myself or carry any tool needed to do so.
2. CCW is instant and permanent gun registration.
Since we have gone over to the National Instant Check System (NICS) this is a non issue.
It is an issue to me. Why give them any more ammunition against us? Again, if this doesn't bother you, then by all means go for it. I choose not to do so.
3. There is little or no opportunity to educate others about the right to keep and bear arms if your weapon is hidden.
See number 3 above.
Actually, #4 said it pretty well too.
You have a lot of good information in your page. Keep up the good work!
C Ya Pat (Down South, in Colorado)
Thanks for writing! I am also an NRA Certified handgun and self defense instructor. I open carry an XD .45 ACP each and every day, all day long, everywhere I go - even at home.
No matter how you choose to do so, many more people are needed to help overcome the lies and misinformation spread by those who would rather see us dead than to admit that everyone, including them, have responsibility for our own lives and defense.
Our God given right to life, liberty and property is meaningless without the basic right to self defense, by any means necessary.
the previous articles:
Self ownership essay: http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/eight.asp
The Ludwig von Mises Institute: http://www.mises.org/
What about the "poor?" - Reinventing America: http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=289
Advocates for Self-government: http://www.self-gov.org/home.shtml
Second Amendment Sisters -- Self defense is a basic human right.
Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership -- Learn more about the real meaning of the Bill of Rights and the people who have fought to preserve it.
Keep And Bear Arms -- a grassroots movement of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is a call to action, a call for self-education, and a 21 gun salute to the many good men and women who fought and died to bring America into being.
Owners of America -- "Gun Owners of America was instrumental
in mobilizing the grassroots to fight the crime bill."
Opencarry.org - Great forum for those who open carry.
These will lead you to many others.
From The Editor