Monday, February 14, 2011

Wheaton's Law, as applied to gunnies

Breda linked to a news story of some Michigan OC activists who (according to the story, and that's my caveat) violated Wheaton's Law* in the course of their activism.

The commenters on that post MOST DEFINITELY violated Wheaton's Law.

Here's the deal.  You can either damn the torpedoes, and make your point at all costs, or you can be a bit pragmatic (I know, amongst some gunnies, that's an insult almost as bad as "fudd" or "democrat").  While taking a stand and making a point can feel damn good, it's not likely to get you much of anyplace.  We didn't get where we are in this rights battle overnight, and we won't get Constitutional liberties restored overnight, either.  At least, not in a way that any of us who has 2 brain cells to rub together wants.

Instead, let's take a lesson from the snowball.  Start small, pick up support as you go, and soon, you become unstoppable.
The concept of open carry is something I dearly love.  I don't OC as often as I might, in no small part because I don't want to deal with the stupid that comes from the tourists I've had to deal with in the past couple years.  During the winter, though, I'm far less concerned and far more apt to OC.  It is, quite simply, a convenience thing.  However, there is a major difference between a holstered pistol (which can be an excellent icebreaker for a rights discussion), and a slung longarm, which, while legal, is going to make anyone nervous.  It has nothing to do with rights or legalities.  It has everything to do with a deeply-ingrained image in our souls.  Men, ready-carrying long guns, brings to mind an image of so many police states and government oppressions.  We've seen in on the news the world over, for the entirety of my generation and the one before it.  And when people see those things, it causes a gut reaction of opposition, whether or not it is warranted.  It's the same imagery that causes a gut reaction of acceptance and home in me when I see a gun rack in a truck, because that's just redneck good times.  Conditioning like that will take a generation, maybe more, to weed out.  And that weeding has to be done deliberately, slowly, and calmly.

So open carry whenever it's legal and appropriate.  Be friendly and courteous.  When someone asks about your pistol, and why you're open carrying, give them a friendly, simple answer, and maybe some direction as to where they can find further information.  Don't become a shrieking harpy, screaming "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"**  Don't get into arguments with screaming harpies, because they'll drag you to their level and beat you with experience.  We have to be ambassadors and diplomats, not conquerors.

So be good ones.


*In summary, "don't be a dick."
**A mighty hat tip to JayG and Vine, that.

1 comment:

  1. My mother would still be an anti today if I'd taken the route of these rabid OC'ers. Being an ass and screaming "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" at the top of your lungs might seem cool & make you feel tough, but it's counterproductive if you want to win hearts & minds.