Smart versus Dumb Open-Carry Advocacy


Some 18 months ago I reached out to a fellow called Dan Griffin of a group called Michigan Open Carry. As I do with many gun groups, I offered them a discount coupon good for 20% off the cost of my book, "The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition," and thanked them for their ongoing Second Amendment advocacy. Dan followed up that same day, thanking me for the coupon and kindly inviting me to contribute an article related to the Zimmerman trial to their group's newsletter. I thanked him for the opportunity, but was neck-deep in preparing for the Michael Dunn trial at the time, and I believe things never much advanced beyond that point. In any case, that was my last communication with Dan Griffin.

Fast-forward to today, a year and a half later, and what do I see in my email this morning but a message from Mr. Griffin:

Hey Andrew, just going through my old emails and I ran across this. Normally this wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow, but just last week I read where you castigated the open carry of holstered pistols by normal Americans going about their everyday business.

I was saddened to read that.

Naturally, a response was in order:

Hey Dan,

I’m a strong supporter of open-carry as sound public policy.

There exists, however, a creepy group of faux gun rights advocates who apparently didn’t get enough attention from mommy and daddy growing up, and now act out their attention whoring appetites by terrorizing women and children while falsely cloaked as open carry advocates.

These creeps are pretty easy to identify. They are NOT merely "going about their everyday business", they are deliberately showing up at pre-planned venues en masse and taking giggling pictures of each other as they knowingly and deliberately strike fear in those around them.

Indeed, they themselves conceded that's the whole point of their gathering, to shock the populace.

These dumb asses do profound harm, not good, to our efforts to support and secure our Second Amendment rights in general and open carry in particular, and I despise them accordingly.

In case I’ve left you with any doubt on where I stand:

There’s smart open carry advocacy and there’s stupid open carry advocacy. I have criticized the stupid open carry crowd loudly in the past, and I will continue to do so in the future.

Have a nice day.

That was my position 18 months ago, it's my position today, and I expect it will be my position for the foreseeable future.

Here's a couple of the giggling picture takers I mentioned in my email, but of course the internet is rife with similar photos:


I would note also that my criticism of these dopes has been largely focused on the open carry of long-arms, and not the open carry of holstered pistols.  Presumably the effectiveness of this distinction is why some have sought to gloss it over, as does Mr. Griffin in his email to me.

Bottom line: Act like a self-interested asshat who endangers effective Second Amendment advocacy and I will call you out on it no matter how much you whine that you're doing it for "the gun rights!"

Every. Single. Damn. Time.  Just as I have here:

Op-Ed: “Open Carry” Activists Score Yet Another Own Goal (May 21, 2014)

and here:

NRA: “small number… crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness” (June 2, 2014)

and likely elsewhere.

Questions? No? Good.