The Right to Open Carry Guns: Use It or Lose It

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The American concealed carry movement can now be chalked up as a bona fide victory. CCW permits are now available in 48+ states. (To be safe I'd say around 46 or 47 states, depending on several factors. For example, permit issuance policies are not always uniformly non-discretionary in every county within a state.)

The logical successors to the concealed carry movement are the Constitutional Carry Movement (aka permitless concealed carry) and the Open Carry Movement. In my opinion, both of these are worthy endeavors.

I've said the following before, but it bears repeating:

Whenever someone must buy a license or pay a fee to exercise a right, then it is something less than a right. It is in fact a mere privilege, subject to the whim of petty bureaucrats. Fundamental rights are not abstract tokens that are given or sold by other men. They are in fact primary liberties bestowed upon us by God, our maker. Rights are not substantially secured by asking, "Mother may I?" of any government agency. Rights are more properly demanded or boldly seized and then conspicuously exercised regularly. This secures the liberties that have legitimately belonged to us since birth. If need be, lost rights can and must be restored through proscriptive use. If you live in a land where your rights have been marginalized into privileges, then it is either time to change your government, or to change your address. Much like a muscle that atrophies with disuse, any right that goes unexercised for many years devolves into a privilege, and eventually can even be redefined as a crime.

(Note: I occasionally quote myself, but at least I don't refer to myself in the Third Person.)

I applaud the folks who open carry in states where it is legal, but where it is still frowned upon. This is principled patriotism, in action. Some might consider this merely grandstanding, but it is not! Rather, it is an important educational process, both for the public at large and for our public servants. (Many police are woefully ignorant about their own state laws.) At times these open carry encounters with police involve risk. Sometimes they take persistence. And they generally require standing firm when the police apply a double standard. (Repeatedly, courts have found that open carry, in an open carry state, does not give police a reasonable articulable suspicion that any crime is occurring--hence an open carrying pedestrian or motorist should be treated no differently that someone who is unarmed.) At times, proving such points requires litigation. (Thankfully, most of those court cases--like a 1920s case in North Carolina or a 2009 case in Wisconsin--rule in favor of the plaintiffs.)

Just rarely, negative encounters with police even take place inside The American Redoubt.

Overall, the effect of open carry demonstrations have been positive and restorative. But in some statist bastions, they have resulted in the state enacting even worse laws.

I'm confident that eventually our public servants will learn.

Before exercising your right to open carry be sure to research your State's open carry, concealed carry, and Stop and Identify ("Terry Stop") laws, in detail.

In closing: To America's open carriers: You are to be commended, as Watchmen on the Wall! - J.W.R.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim Rawles published on March 25, 2013 10:22 PM.

Americans Against Illegal Mayors: Demand A Plan was the previous entry in this blog.

Home Power Systems: Energy Efficiency and Conservation, by L.K.O. is the next entry in this blog.

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