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Closed Minds Hurt Freedom

I’m all for individual liberty but…

I love it when a self-proclaimed freedom-lover makes a statement like that.  I love it because it immediately tells me that they in fact are not someone who loves freedom; they just love the idea of THEIR freedom and that of like-minded folks.

Sadly, we are seeing lots of people who have taken a few minutes to acquire a Gadsden Flag sticker and stick it to their car, but have not taken even a minute to understand what the phrase, “Don’t Tread On Me” really means.

This morning I came across an OP ED by Nolan Finley of the Detroit News titled, “Open Carriers Hurt the Second Amendment” where Mr. Finley, like so many other ‘ardent supporters of other people’s rights’ proceeds to lump all law-abiding citizens who open carry firearms under the banner of provocative open carry activists hellbent on ramming their beliefs down the throat of society.

Finley makes his argument like so many of those that would have you disarmed: the mere ability to see a gun makes people scared.  “Guns make a lot of people uncomfortable,” he writes, stating that local and state level powers-that-be are working to limit the areas where guns can be openly displayed (not carried, just displayed, because as long as a gun is covered by 2mm of fabric, the sheep can sleep soundly).

Finley continues with a statement of absolute truth, “and when people get uncomfortable, they push for laws to restore their comfort level.”  Sadly he makes no mention that regardless of fear, no person or group of people has the authority to deny ANY American of their protected and guaranteed rights, even though we have far too many examples of our 2A rights whittled away by knee-jerk legislation rammed through by politicians pandering to the ignorant and emotionally driven masses.

There are far too many of our oath-taking “representatives” out there promising us the best bite out of a shit sandwich when we should be demanding the original menu.

The article reads like the nonsense we have come to expect from asinine groups like “Everytown For Gun Safety” or “Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America” who avoid facts and work to scare their readers into adopting their agenda.

The author predictably uses an example of an armed Michigan father who chose to exercise his rights to self-defense while attending a child’s concert (and made out to be a criminal by carrying a firearm the only legal way he could) only to follow up with names like “Sandy Hook” and “Columbine.”

No mention is made that the father did not break the law or that it was others acting under immature reaction to the sight of a firearm who caused a panic.  The article makes no mention that the schools used as examples were not besieged by rabid open carriers, but by murderous criminals acting on months of planning.  And of course, there is no mention of the facts that numerous potential mass shootings at schools and other large venues around this country have been thwarted by good people with concealed and you guessed it…openly carried firearms.

So let me get this straight:

He supports the 2nd Amendment ALMOST as much as the first BUT if you aren’t open carrying the gun in a field bird-hunting or at the shooting range, you’re wrong.

He lives in a country founded by men with guns, who used those guns to defend the 1st Amendment and all other rights every American is guaranteed BUT now that the pesky founding is over, keeping people scared of the sight of guns from being afraid is how we should now make policy.

He supports Michigan residents carrying firearms under clothing BUT he does not support Michigan residents who carry a firearm on top of clothing.

He believes that because some people are afraid of others lawfully exercising their rights that those rights should be infringed upon.

He believes that if Americans rights are infringed upon due to the exercising of said rights, that it is the exerciser, not the rights violator who is at fault.

I can just feel the freedom oozing from it now…

The anxiety caused by guns in full public view is most often misplaced. But still, what’s the point? Michigan makes it fairly easy for anyone who wants a concealed weapon permit to get one. That covers the personal protection bases.

Lots of people like Mr. Finley have a difficult time seeing life from vantage points outside their own life. The “fairly easy” process that Michigan has for getting a concealed carry permit costs upwards of $200 when it is all said and done, and does not allow a resident to exercise their 2A rights everywhere in the state under the veil of a shirt.

Are there not Michigan residents who make choices every day on how to stretch a few dollars? Does everyone have the budget for ‘nice’ clothing? Could a family not have the budget to spend the time and money on the bureaucratic paperwork needed to “legally” cover a Constitutionally guaranteed right with a few threads of cloth? Are there training issues that arise when you cover a firearm with clothing and try to get it into action in time to save life? Does training cost time and money?

Abso-friggin-lutely. We the people need to get over ourselves, and spend more time watching our muzzle AND our paintbrush.

Just because something seems simple, cheap, or easy to us is not that way for everyone else.   Just because we see it one way does not eliminate all other viewpoints.  Because something is foreign or outrageous to us does not give us case to call for its removal.

I was happy to see that just after the first half of the article where Mr. Finley incorrectly refers to handgun magazines as “clips” just like so many others ignorant of simple firearm related terminology, he actually stumbles on the true concern all freedom loving Americans should have.

That means as firearms enthusiasts we must take every precaution to exercise our rights responsibly.

(As an aside, I would challenge Mr. Finley to toss out his descriptor as “Firearms Enthusiast” and change it to “Freedom Enthusiast” or “American.”)

Responsibility. To live truly as free men and women, we must welcome the dangerous nature of freedom and emulate the very definition of responsibility when it comes to our actions and how we hold our countrymen accountable. I would argue that most gun owners who read this cannot at this very moment recite the 4 Life Safety Rules of Firearms Handling. Just as most drivers would fail a written test on applicable motor vehicle law. But as it is a right to bear arms, we must give each and every American the chance to tackle the difficult task of being and acting as a responsible member of society and be steadfast in holding them accountable should their irresponsible actions pose a threat to the citizenry of this great nation. The challenge for all of us is to not dare restrict another’s rights based on the failure of his neighbor to be a responsible person.

To be a responsible citizen who supports freedom means having to support the rights and the exercising of those rights by all Americans especially when the legally protected action offends us.

Should the exercising of individual rights offend you, I highly recommend that you stray from public places. Should you attempt to exercise your rights on private property and find the host or owner upset and/or unwilling to support you, hold yourself responsible when you are asked never to return. Support those who choose to exercise their rights, support those that choose not to. Give no ground to those who would try and take ANY right from you or your neighbor.

Does it take dedication to be a responsible armed citizen? Are there cons to carrying a firearm openly? Most certainly. Offending the delicate flowers of society should not be one of them.

Make no mistake; there are a lot of idiots out there with guns. There are even more idiots out there with cars, boats, baseball bats, keyboards, and the like.  We cannot pick and choose what rights others get to have or exercise based on our feelings but can certainly hold them accountable for when their actions deprive others of rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Should an individual, group or government act criminally with the assistance of a gun, responsible people must be allowed to see that such behavior is also corrected by a firearm regardless of the way it is carried.

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14 Responses to Closed Minds Hurt Freedom

  1. Todd Nielsen April 21, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    Well put Trek!

  2. Jason April 21, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    I think as Americans we should be allowed to, without a law telling us we can or can’t. You can’t for one second tell me that the way some of the people will go about it will not freak out some of the people who have been on the fence and were swayed to our side. The very same people who were swayed to our side will very easily be swayed back and we will have lost what we fought so hard to gain. Open carry in this climate with the leftist controlled MSM will have a negative impact of done wrong. It should be eased into, nowhere like the Chipolte BS that was done.

    • Trek April 21, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

      Jason, you are absolutely correct.

      The way some people go about it irresponsibly will hurt the ’cause.’

      What I call for is saving energy for those people who cant be responsible citizens, and ensuring that our reaction to those folks do not effect the rights of the citizenry as a whole.

      Thanks for the post.

      Trek

      • Lee Cruse April 22, 2015 at 7:29 am #

        Terk and Jason, just in case you do not know the “Chipolte BS” as you call it was a planned political demonstration and had the intent of exactly showing that the Texas law was not reasonable. Texas does not allow open carry of a hand gun but does of a long gun, Also, you should note that these “demonstrators” did get the issue of open carry front and center in the last election (with both Dem and Rep governor candidates declaring support). With current votes in TX Senate and House it looks as the law will be changed this year.

        • Jason April 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

          Ahh yes planned, I have no doubt it was planned. So was the Target demonstration, the Starbucks demonstration, among others have brought the subject into the “spotlight” as you say, and I agree they have, but they way they were done also had negative backlash. Here is a list of eateries and stores that no longer want firearms carried in their store because of the way the “demonstrations” were done.

          Chipolte
          Target
          Starbucks
          Sonic- This is a HUGE one in Texas, Route 44s are a Texas way of life
          Chilli’s
          Wendy’s
          Jack in the Box- another Huge one, everyone knows about the 2 tacos for .99 cents
          Applebee’s
          Don’t even get me started on the whole 5th Ward incident….

          Yes, Texas does allow the carry of long guns in a safe manner that is not intended to cause alarm. Look at the pictures of the demonstrators, a lot of these guys were rocking their shit like operators in the high ready and patrol ready positions. That is cause for alarm for the majority of the people who have limited knowledge of guns…..

          When this is passed it needs to be handled eloquently, or it will have a HUGE negative backlash that will hurt us badly, We cannot keep taking one step forward just to take two steps back. That is what Trek’s and my comments were about.

  3. shogun April 21, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

    Blue funk ever present in the air,
    like an effervescent cloud,
    only cuz i care,
    the blind stand and stair with a pair
    to big to be righteous
    but too weak to even dare,
    look behind the curtain,
    see what i see,
    one things for certain,
    you’ll never be what i be.
    life is a game,
    just know it isn’t fair.
    tools of the trade,
    the arms that i bare,
    the memory’s that fade,
    the souls that we tare,
    carnivorous to the gain,
    oblivious to the pain
    grippin the wood grain,
    some say its insane
    but its all i got.
    too many closed minded
    but thats all they taught.
    id open their minds
    but they already bought…- Shogun

  4. Greg Toal April 21, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    I think our biggest problem as a Country, is there are far too many idiots out there in DC with PENS! Who seem to think they can do whatever, whenever, to whomever they please. I think every Congressperson & Senator should have THIER personal wealth added to the treasury upon taking office. If the Country prospers, they prosper. If the Country faulted, well, bye bye personal wealth. I think things would be MUCH different down DC way if those were the rules, of course the secret service would be more ” watch-dogs” to make sue no one ran away or sold off everything when nominated. I think it’d be HELLA FUN to watch though!

  5. Matt Helm April 22, 2015 at 1:04 am #

    Well said, Trek!!

  6. Nathan April 22, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    Great article. Thomas Jefferson said it best: “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

    • Brandon April 22, 2015 at 8:46 am #

      Bingo.

  7. Kevin B. April 22, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    There’s a big difference between these two classes of open carriers:

    (1) someone who open carries in a professional and tactful way to protect themselves and loved ones as they go about their day, and

    (2) “provocative open carry activists hellbent on ramming their beliefs down the throat of society” who strut down Main Street with their rifles on their backs as political props, just hoping the police question them so they can be smart-asses and video the whole thing and post it on YouTube.

    I believe the first group is responsibly exercising their Second Amendment rights, and the second group gives the rest of us a bad image. Perhaps the second group is acting within the letter of the law, but it’s embarrassing to watch their antics.

    • Ben April 22, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

      Indeed. The second group are just fishing for reactions. It’d be like if I walked down the middle of Compton in a KKK outfit. I’m within the letter of the law to do so, but it’s definitely a bad idea.

  8. Allen April 27, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    The most closed minds on the planet belong to CONservatives.

  9. Fred Woodbridge April 29, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

    “Freedom means nothing if it does not also include the freedom to err.”

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