The whole open carry incident in Michigan is getting annoying and it’s becoming annoying for numerous reasons. I stopped commenting on different threads because it seemed the majority of people just lacked critical thinking ability. It turned into a pointing game with people screaming that people were actually the equivalent of Joan Peterson and the Brady Campaign. All because they voiced their OPINION that carrying a long arm was unnecessary and runs a serious risk of causing damage. As Robb said, “you need to be prepared for the consequences”, that includes having people angry at you that would normally support you.
This morning Uncle posted that Michigan Open Carry has now been served with a restraining order and civil suit. Fan-freaking-tastic, from reading the suit I have a strong feeling that MOC is going to win, however there are some questions the court is going to have to settle and the win isn’t cinched. The big item is who exactly the preemption law actually applies to, and does it actually restrict the library. If you read the law word for word the answer is the library is not restricted.
What many fail to realize is there is absolutely no correlation between the law and justice. Laws are not created for justice, and if there was a correlation it would imply that there could be no law which could violate our natural rights. So when someone goes and picks a fight like this it’s unnerving. It is unnerving because those who started it usually didn’t actually think the whole episode through as if they were on the other side. Which leads me to why many people are upset over the incident, and why Breda, PDB, and others made posts regarding being on your best behavior.
What happened in Michigan was unfortunate and totally avoidable. The major complaint has been about behavior and how people acted. It sounds as if the people who were involved were not regular patrons of the library, were not known by the library staff, and the all around behavior created the mess that we now see.
The individuals involved in this incident could have easily preceded their "political action" by actually regularly using the library and being regular customers. Got to know the library staff and talk with them prior to even open carrying in the building. While they did this they could still conceal carry as to be armed, but plant the seed of trust. Instead some loitered as irregular customers, who from the description of the article weren’t really in the library for related business, openly carrying weapons, and refused to leave until the police asked them to.* Being unknown to the staff or anyone else around, while openly carrying a holstered firearm shouldn’t be cause for alarm, it does panic some, especially those whose support we are trying to win. It is doubly compounded when said individual dresses in such a way to fit the media stereotype. You should look like someone you would want your daughter to marry, professional and kempt.
If they had introduced themselves to the staff prior to the actual event, become known to staff, they could easily have protested the wrongful regulations of the library without any serious negative effects. The conversation between the protesters and staff would have probably been much more open and comfortable. When approached by the staff, the staff would have been more comfortable and the staff would also been more receptive of the information the carriers were conveying. The staff could have also just told patrons, “Don’t worry about it, they’re regulars.” Not to mention the fact if the protestors actually had business to conduct in the library it probably would have aided their case. I’m willing to bet none of the individuals from MOC involved in this incident even have a library card for that branch.
This was not people acting in a normal capacity (conducting every day business), it was group of armed people gathering in a location as a form of political protest. While within their rights and the law to do so, their lack of planning, forethought, and actions prior to the event have created a mess of legal litigation and negative public relations which is very damaging to both open carry and well as the right to keep and bear arms in general. I like being able to open carry and when I hear about events like this, it pisses me off because instead funding serious action, the community is now going to also be funding a skirmish that is actually going to result in zero legal gain, possibly lose ground, and could have been dealt with easily by thinking and diplomacy.
Michigan law was in their favor, at that point you don’t need to be a dick, you need to be diplomatic. It’s a policy problem, not a law problem. They were dicks because they didn’t properly engage their targets in polite conversation, they may have tried, but they had created a hostile atmosphere that shut down the people they were trying to talk to. Going “It’s my right” doesn’t change this fact, it also doesn’t alter the fact that some of those that shut down may have been positive if it was a pistol to start with, or hadn’t been loitering in a section they probably weren’t really interested in. It’s a consequence of the decisions they made.
All I want is for people to think ahead and use the grey matter between their ears, and most especially show some empathy towards the people we’re trying to persuade. Be tactful and think your actions through. In this case they took the frog and tossed it into the pot of boiling water and some people seem surprised that the frog wanted out. Now the gun community has to fight a battle here, for a right already won back, because someone couldn’t just think and be diplomatic with the library. It’s much easier to convince them if you know them on good grounds first. While this won’t work for every occasion, in this case it was certainly possible, and it’s true 99% of the time.
*Some have said they were never asked to leave, others claim they left immediately when asked. I find it hard to believe this brouhaha is happening if they had left immediately.
**Also JayG nailed another thing that pissed me off on the head.
*** Just found three updates from Robb.
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.