Be respectful of others' views and choices.
 #4648  by Wynder
Thought I'd post this here:
I am often asked for suggestions on ways to make the best possible presentation when open carrying.

The following is a rather rambling commentary on some things that are important in making us look professional in front of the press and those who are new to open carry or interested.

First, the RULES
At all meetings, events, or gatherings, loaded firearms shall NOT be handled; they will remain holstered or otherwise secured at all times!!!

Nightline commented favorably on this fact and having someone handling their firearm could only hurt our image.

Press requests for photographs with the firearm out of the holster should be greeted with a polite denial followed by an explanation that we are dedicated to safety first and foremost!

- Smile and be as friendly ALL THE TIME NO MATTER WHAT
- Children make any event look more family friendly
- A diverse group of people (men, women, black, white, etc) makes us look mainstream
- No alcohol
- No alcohol t-shirts
- No camo
- No biker vests
- No "from my cold dead hands" talk

Remember, we are "public policy advocates" or "civil rights activists". Our cause is NOT the 2nd Amendment per se, but rather it is "self-defense rights" or "citizens rights". While the 2nd Amendment protects these rights, we want to fully integrate law-abiding gun ownership into the public arena for maximum benefit to all Americans.

Good talking points
- We always obey the law even if we are working to change it
- We feel that greater self-defense rights are a good public-policy decision
- We are not attempting to draw attention to ourselves by open carrying but we ARE attempting to show our fellow citizens that their family, friends and neighbors ARE gun owners and exercise their rights as gun owners in a safe manner.
- Use the phrase "It is time that gun ownership comes out of the closet" or "We want to demonstrate that carrying a firearm for self-defense is not only safe but wholesome".
- Another good soundbite if you have children is "I do it for the children. After all, I cannot protect them if I am helpless myself."
 #4651  by LordJim
Excellent. This should be a sticky.

 #4656  by stephpd
No camo, no biker vests. There goes my wardrobe.
He probably has something against all my black leather 'biker' coats too.

Granted, this is the early stages and we want to look more civilized.

But we want to represent all the people and bikers are people (sometimes) too. Diversity. Everyone has the right to protect themselves.

Now if he had limited it to 'colors' I'd have less of a problem. :pointlaugh: (they're less human)

But then I know I'm not the poster child for open carry. :o

And first opinions are lasting ones.

I'll stick to concealed carry when looking less friendly. For now at least.

I do agree that public image and perception are important. At least in the early stages.
We can have our equivalent to the 'gay pride' marches a few years into the future.
 #4664  by myopicvisionary
I never wear any t-shirts with MP or Military Police on them when I OC.
 #4706  by Wynder
xx927 wrote:I would like clarifcation in regards to the statement, "Now if he had limited it to 'colors' I'd have less of a problem. (they're less human)". The phrase "less human", has a very negative inflection and has a racially charged connotation. I would hope that this is not a general concensus of the group as a whole, but the mindless input of one ignorant and socially deprived person, that continues to live in a cave.
Now, before you go on the attack, I believe you should first obtain the clarification, considering that sentence is sandwiched between statements promoting diversity, representing all opinions and making good first impressions. Additionally, the main focus of the post rests on his manner, style and color of dress -- while I'm also confused by the parenthesized remark, I take exception to you coming out of the gate, accusing someone of racism and that's certainly something that will not be tolerated here.

With regards to your other issue, in an overly politically correct world, someone on the forums attempted to remove the onus of race and socioeconomic status from their posts and began using the term "Canadian." I've read several blogs that use the terms "Goblin," "Bad Guy," and a popular local news website omits physical descriptions altogether. I don't take these to mean anything other than what they ultimately are: someone who intends to do me and my family harm.

As a matter of policy, neither racism nor personal attacks are not acceptable on these forums.
 #4708  by stephpd
The reference to 'colors' has to to with the patches of 'biker gangs'. It wasn't aimed at people of color. I happen to work in a diverse group of people and encourage that all be able to protect themselves. I even believe that felons that are released from jail be able to carry even though our laws prevent that currently. Every life is precious and worthy of self defense.

What I took offense to was the authors prejudices towards how 'I' dress. That people judge by not just by the color of skin but the color of my clothes.

But the open carrying of guns has to start out slow. It can't be lead by those that society has already determined are less desirable. I wish it weren't so but the police will harass people for how they dress as well as by the color of your skin.

I wish it weren't so. I advise my friends that are of color or Spanish decent that open carry at this point would lead to them being harassed much more then those that are white and dress nicely. It shouldn't make any difference but I'm afraid that it still does. So for now it would be best that they do like I do. Get a CCDW and carry concealed.

Granted it is easier for me to shave and put on nice clothes to avoid the harassment.
I won't do it but I could.
So I support those that do try to look nicer to carry the flag of open carry.
If you want to try open carry go ahead.
I have neither the time or money to challenge the current system.

If you care to join in we have monthly meeting that are open to everyone.
I'll be there and welcome you. You can't miss me. I'm the 'biker' looking dude.

And welcome to our forums.

 #23457  by GatorDude
Thanks for the clarification, Steve. Given your very apparent experience, I'm sure you could understand the individual's reaction (albeit incorrect). Hopefully, they will acknowledge that they "jumped the gun" so to speak.

Anyway, I think a lot of people tend to judge others on how they look. It's quite unfortunate. It's one thing to be cautious or suspicious, it's an entirely different thing to actually think a person is something they are not merely because of how they look.

Here's my "biker" story. I used to own a motorcycle. I was on a run with a friend of mine down in Dewey. He lost his key. A really big dude that had all the stereotypical scary biker features offered to try to help. An extremely nice guy to say the least. Him and I (both clean cut kinda guys) talked afterwards and both agreed that he was very nice and imagined that people missed that a lot because they judged him solely by how he looked.
 #23465  by fdegree
stephpd wrote:The reference to 'colors' has to to with the patches of 'biker gangs'. It wasn't aimed at people of color.
I just want to say...this is exactly how I took you original post. Obviously, not everyone saw it this way. Hopefully, most did.

Perhaps, some have never heard the term "colors" when referencing biker gang affiliation.
 #23483  by Tate
as soon as i read your post where it said colors i knew exactly what you were talking about, so much that i never even thought about 'colored' people. Guess some people dont know.
 #23586  by glock9
i kinda new here but i also new what was said, but im a biker too. cant wait to meet some of you