Damn, the NRA sure is square sometimes…
I dig them and dig what they do. My wife and I are members, and will continue to be, probably our whole lives. (We haven’t ponied up for the lifetime membership yet, but keep renewing our membership and also send ‘em a check for a little more than that once in a while.) The NRA is, if not the reason guns are still legal in America, they’re at least largely the reason there is shall-issue concealed carry permits and Castle Doctrine in a lot of states (including Wyoming).
But while they’re very in favor of concealed carry with a permit, they don’t seem to want to admit that open carry without a permit, is legal in many states (including Wyoming).
The new (April 2010) issue of the NRA magazine “America’s 1st Freedom” has an article on page 13 called “Should the Brady Campaign Try Decaf”? It’s about how the cranky nanny-statist anti-gun group The Brady Campaign are trying to get Starbucks to ban legal carry of guns in all their coffee shops nationwide. (Which would only turn all Starbucks into “gun free zones” i.e. “victim disarmament zones” where any criminal with a gun could more easily tyrannize and harm law-abiding citizens.) It’s a good article and makes some cogent points: Starbucks is righteous for not giving in, and the Brady Campaign used to be a powerhouse but no one really pays attention to them anymore.
The really square thing about the article is that it does not mention open carry, even though it was open carry events at Starbucks that caught national news attention and got the Brady Bunch gun grabboids involved i the first place! The article simply mentions the Brady Campaign “attacking Starbucks for allowing people to carry firearms in its coffee shops as provided for by state law.”
That’s kind of making the story a little more square than it is.
See, some folks from a really cool web site , OpenCarry.org (I’ve been a member of their forum for almost a year) recently had some peaceful, mellow events at some Starbucks and open carried their guns in holsters on their hips. It got some national news. It got some vitriol from the leftie blogs. And Stephen Colbert even joked about it.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Tip/Wag – American Academy of Pediatrics & Starbucks|
After it hit the news, the Brady Campaign wet their fussy panties about it and tried to get Starbucks to forbid ALL legal gun carry (open and concealed) at all Starbucks. Starbucks refused, and then the NRA wrote the article. But, again, NO MENTION OF OPEN CARRY in the article.
I’m a member of some smaller gun-rights organizations that ain’t so square. They also ain’t got as much juice, or as many numbers. Maybe being square and compromising is how the NRA stays big and have the juice they do. (They’ve been called “The most powerful lobbyist group in America”, and they are.) But maybe a lot of NRA members are such straight-arrow boyscouts that they are scared of open carry, even though Open Carry is TRULY THE MEANING OF “KEEPING AND BEARING ARMS.”
Anyway, I haven’t even BEEN in a Starbucks in a long time, but I open carried and went into one yesterday (East Side, Casper Wyoming), just in the spirit of all this news, and to help support them for being supportive of us. No one seemed to care that I was open carrying, except one lady who’s eyes bugged out at my big-ass revolver. Her husband (or brother) asked me “is that a .44 Magnum”? I resisted the urge to give the Dirty Harry speech verbatim (just kiddin’) and simply replied “No, it’s a .357 Magnum.” Then he nervously chatted with me a bit about his gun-shooting experiences.
But as one person said on OpenCarry.org “Your need to feel safe doesn’t trump my need to be safe.”
– Michael W. Dean