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Monday, October 24, 2016

In a rare display of common sense — albeit steeped in self-interest — the Institute for Legislative Action, the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association — has issued a lengthy statement in part condemning the recent antics of gun fetishists Open Carry Texas, who have made a point to show up at restaurants and retail establishments brandishing assault weapons.

Beginning with a startlingly inappropriate lament of how being careless with a gun can result in not being able to senselessly murder an animal (“If we exercise poor judgment, our decisions will have consequences. These consequences could be simple and transitory, such as watching a trophy buck bound away into the woods after a missed shot from an improperly sighted rifle”), the statement goes on to admonish the Texas group for what the organization cites as “foolish,” “scary,” and “weird” behavior:

We applaud Texans for [the state’s robust gun culture], but a small number have recently crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness. 
Now, we love AR-15s and AKs as much as anybody…Texas, independent-minded and liberty-loving place that it is, doesn’t ban the carrying of loaded long guns in public, nor does it require a permit for this activity. Yet some so-called firearm advocates seem determined to change this.
 Recently, demonstrators have been showing up in various public places…openly toting a variety of tactical long guns. Unlicensed open carry of handguns is legal in about half the U.S. states…

Yet…it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms. Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.

“As a result of these hijinx,” the statement continues, some fast-food restaurants (the NRA points to Jack in the Box and Chipotle) have changed their policy to not allow firearms on the premises. “In other words, the freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior.”

The upshot is that these displays are “counterproductive for the gun-owning community…Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That’s not the Texas way.  And that’s certainly not the NRA way.”

Gun-rights groups have also been known to bully and stalk women who demonstrate and speak against gun violence (not even wheelchair-bound victims are spared), as well as use naked female mannequins for target practice. Open Carry Texas itself makes a point of “outing” women (but not men) who call the police when confronted by hulks with assault rifles, identifying these women in public and feeding their personal information to harassers and telemarketers. This past weekend, over 100 members of Open Carry Tarrant County showed up heavily armed at a Home Depot parking lot in Texas, and approached motorists with copies of the Constitution.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to walk into a restaurant and see a bunch of people wearing rifles on their shoulder,” said a bystander. “It would just make me nervous.”

Open Carry Texas’ response came as a surprise to no one:

Photo: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense Facebook page

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  • TZToronto

    Maybe the Open Carry people and the NRA people will start a war among themselves. Let’s hope they decide to do battle in remote locations so that innocent bystanders don’t get hurt. When the NRA starts criticizing gun-toting whackos, you know that there’s a problem.

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  • tdm3624

    Nice job NRA.

  • neeceoooo

    Personally, I think they are a little late in their compassion for the general public.

  • holyreality

    While goons like the OCT “enthusiasts” see themselves as a militia(described in the Second) they are a far cry from a fighter armed to defend the republic.
    Indeed, one special forces operator with a pocket knife, some string and a paperclip could kill every last one of them at Home Depot.

  • jointerjohn

    Some within the NRA are realizing that the great majority of us out here who neither love guns nor need them as pacifiers or E.D. remedies, and we are getting fed up with this madness. Time to reel it in before the mentally healthy majority in this country goes after their precious Second Amendment.

    • S.J. Jolly

      If being pro-Second Amendment becomes equated with being bat-sh*t crazy, watch out!

  • ModDem67

    Who knew the NRA was an extreme left wing organization? Anyone?

    • stcroixcarp

      I knew the NRA is a terrorist organization, but who would have thought left wing terrorist?

  • kingartie1

    This could be just an attempt to Cover Thy Ass. Perhaps it’s just a matter of time before a legally entitled but mentally uneven open carry cowboy gets in a firefight. Perhaps one that’s videoed and goes viral. And our AK lover is shown to have all the gun skills that Pee Wee Herman would have with an F16. And innocent people are wounded or killed. That would be a p.r. disaster, perhaps one that finally leads to sensible background checks and denial of sales to the unqualified. So the NRA wants to get out in front of it by denying their approval of assault weapons in public. There’s an element of calculation to the whole statement.

  • howa4x

    Over reach is usually the undoing of any organization. Republicans in Va. found that out when they went to far on mandating vaginal ultra sound detection as a prerequisite for an abortion and lost the governors race because of it. So all this open carry legislation passed by toddy republicans and NRA lap dogs has come home to roost. The public is becoming increasingly upset, and people like Wendy Davis who is running can tap into that. What I’m seeing is the formation of 2 different Americas. 1 is where you can take a gun anywhere, are denied access to healthcare ,if you are working poor, and be made to suffer from industrial pollution and environmental degradation and the other America where people are richer, land is protected by open space regulations, environmental laws are enforced, people have access to healthcare and they don’t have to see men who never really matured carrying guns in public. Which place would you rather live in?

    • Sand_Cat

      Maybe if they take their guns when they apply for healthcare, they won’t be denied;>)

  • Mikey7a

    I would love to believe, that The NRA was showing a modicum of common sense. All I see here, is lawyer speak for, “it’s a damn shame that Crazy Guy killed 15 innocent people at The Waffle House, but we did say that OCT were extremists, and in no way reflect on the majority of our membership.”


  • Joseph

    The NRA feigns surprise that after they have actively fought to remove any kind of restraint that kept these lunatics they acted like the loons the have been all these years. Such a surprise!
    NRA: Nice try to CYA. Maybe the country will get lucky and several hundred of these goons will march into your headquarters and shoot the lap dogs. Not that I am recommending violence – I leave that to the NRA.

  • Sand_Cat

    How could anyone possibly question the motives of Second-Amendment scholars just because they carry artillery and assault weapons to pick up their kids from pre-school?

  • Peter Brown

    There is no reason to maintain the second amendment except the fear of having people come and shoot those of us who oppose it. Open carry, my ass, flaunt your dick is more like it!!

  • Allan Richardson

    The NRA claims to champion the right of RESPONSIBLE gun owners to own and carry guns. However, they are against any attempt to isolate those who would NOT be responsible: no background checks (not even “instant” ones in the case of gun shows, and they would like to roll back even gun DEALER background checks), no mandatory safety course, no exclusion of the mentally disturbed, not even exclusion of people on the TERRORIST NO FLY LIST (admittedly a flawed list), and not even mandatory LIABILITY insurance for gun owners. Well, as far as this responsible citizen, if you carry a gun in a peaceful location in order to bring that gun to everyone’s attention, you are NOT being responsible. Police officers carry handguns in holsters while on duty, but they do not pat them and smirk at civilians as if to say “don’t forget, I’m armed,” and even though they carry big guns when their mission (e.g. SWAT team duty) requires it, they do not carry them everywhere they go as if they were soldiers in enemy territory. In fact, that is what these open carry ACTIVISTS remind me of: people who see themselves as soldiers occupying an enemy country on the lookout for any “local” who might attack them at any moment. If that is how they see their fellow Americans in a non-combat setting, that does not sound “responsible” to me.