[h/t to Bob Owens @ bearingarms.com]
December 28: Open carry advocate Derek Poe decides to open carry his AR-15 in a Texas shopping mall to “exercise his rights”, “normalize firearms carry” and such. The popo disagrees and hooks him up for disorderly conduct.
One week later: That selfsame shopping mall, which had previously had a corporate policy against customers carrying concealed pistols on the premises but was all “don’t ask, don’t tell” by not posting against it, now has signs at the entrances banning concealed carry.
Way to go, man! You sure increased awareness and exercised your rights straight into getting lawful carry banned for everybody!
Open carry demonstration advocacy has been politically successful in the past, but only when tightly focused on a contradiction in existing law, like the VCDL restaurant visits or Florida Carry’s fishing expeditions. Every time these guys try to “increase awareness” or “desensitize” or “normalize”, they end up screwing it up for everyone, just like this and in California.
Hey guys, the root word of “normalize” is “normal”. Strutting around the mall with your AR, dressed up in your zombie rig damn well isn’t normal behavior and will make people uncomfortable. If open carry advocates weren’t so goddamned Aspie and had some capacity for being sensitive to the emotions of others, they might understand why it’s detrimental to their cause.
If you want to do Open Carry right, don’t be a dick, put the rifle and MOLLE away, put on a decent pistol in a retention holster (ie, not an XD in a Serpa), dress up neatly, obey the law, don’t be a dick, and go about your business.
Otherwise, this is what you look like to the normal people who you’re trying to convince:
Yeah, that’s normalizing all right. How’s that workin’ out for ya, Cali?