‘Open carry’ supporters vow legal action after Arlington rebuke

‘Open carry’ supporters vow legal action after Arlington rebuke

ARLINGTON — There was heavy police presence outside Arlington City Hall again Tuesday night, where “open carry” looked on as the City Council approved an amended ordinance banning pedestrians from handing out literature to motorists.

Open Carry Tarrant County often distributes copies of the U.S. Constitution. The ordinance applies only to certain busy streets.

Advocates for openly carrying firearms say Arlington is violating their First Amendment rights.

Mayor Robert Cluck said it’s purely a public safety issue. SOURCE

I have to agree with Mayor Cluck; this IS a *safety issue*, and it’s NOT a gun safety issue or denial of gun rights issue. It’s about keeping pedestrians out of busy streets and from getting run over and killed or injured handing out OCT literature.

Before I go ANY further I want to make this point abundantly clear and understood; I am a gun owner, I carry a gun everywhere I go but because of the weather here in Texas I am forced to be rather *creative* at times in the way I conceal a weapon or in my choice of what weapon to carry, you see, it is just too damned HOT during the Texas summer to wear a concealment garment.

For that very reason I am also a proponent of OPEN CARRY, but with a few caveats.

1. A person that wishes to carry openly must be fully vetted for criminal background.
2. A person that wishes to carry openly must be deemed mentally sound.
3. A person that wishes to carry openly must be well trained and properly certified.
4. A person that wishes to carry openly must be a holder of a valid CHL.
5. A person that wishes to carry openly must periodically exhibit proper skills and ability by going through a recertification process. (Police Officers have to requalify)

These are just MY beliefs, I am not saying that they should become law, and I know that there will be many that believe that anyone big enough to strap on a gun should be allowed to carry, openly or concealed.

This is, at least to me, not about stopping a person from carrying a gun, it’s about making damned sure that said person is trained, fit, stable and capable.

I wouldn’t want to be driving the roads of this nation with people that aren’t tested and licensed to operate a motor vehicle, but I am not so naïve to think that those individuals aren’t out there.

It’s the exact same thing with guns.

I recently had an opportunity to meet some of the Open Carry Texas folks when they staged a protest, or *informational march* here in Rowlett. I went over and introduced myself and made them aware that I was the founder of The United States Gun Owners Association page on Facebook and I extended them an invitation to join us in hopes that we could help them in achieving a common goal; open carry here in Texas.

That turned out to be a terrible mistake; you see, I am also the founder of The Thin Blue Line – Coast to Coast page on Facebook as well. That is a Police tribute site, informational page and all around place for Officers to share stories and humor.

It turns out that nearly all of the Open Carry Texas people that came to the USGOA site were anti-Police in every way. They have all since been banned from the USGOA.

It seems to me that Open Carry Texas has a set of internal issues all their own.

Open Carry Texas, the statewide organization that spawned Open Carry Tarrant County, cut ties with the local group last week because of a disagreement on how their signature protests are carried out.

Just a word of advice; these types of internal fractures are what drove some TEA Party sites to dissolve. Just a thought.

I talked at length with C.J. Grisham, the founder of OCT, and I have to say, he is a well-spoken individual and he personally made no disparaging remarks against Law Officers, but the same just can’t be said for some his followers.

If a leader can’t lead, and control his group, he’s not going to have a viable group to lead in a very short time. It’s all about *message* and *presentation*. Don’t have your people showing up to march or protest dressed like the guys from Duck Dynasty or a bunch of homeless people. Don’t allow them to show up with pit bull dogs on chains.

Work with Texas law makers and your local Police if they are willing and if you can get your members to stop making anti-Police remarks a part of their every word.

This is a battle for the public trust and you should know that there are a great many in Texas that will stand against you simply because of their Liberal mind-set, but there will also be many that will stand against you if you’re less than professional in your presentation and seek to gain your way to open carry in an unprofessional manner.

Again; I am just offering a few thoughts and a few points to ponder, the ultimate decision is yours, but from what I have seen of the membership of OCT in general, I just can’t support your current effort.

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12 Responses to ‘Open carry’ supporters vow legal action after Arlington rebuke

  1. John Odum says:

    I see open carry every day by plain clothes police officers. The only identifier as a LEO is a badge hanging next to their gun. If each legal concealed carry holder was issued some type of I.D. to attach next to their open carry firearm it would solve the problem of who should be carrying. Like Fred, if someone has a gun on his hip I want to know they are qualified to be armed. After 22 years of active LEO service and another 20 of reserve I have met numerous police officers who should not be carrying a gun. At least I knew they had been trained even though they hadn’t learned a danged thing. Let each state issue a shield of some kind to their concealed carry holders. The I.D. would also identify a licences holder if his concealed gun becomes uncovered in public.

  2. Dawn Lucy says:

    Fred, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I personally am not for “open carry” in the State of Texas because I believe self defense should have an element of surprise to one’s skill rather than having someone know you are going to shoot them if needed. But I also agree that if people want to “open carry” a weapon, then fine. Again not for me personally. I’m not sure how people dressed in Arlington during this event, but I was fortunate enough to witness the people when they ventured into Rowlett, TX. They didn’t command any respect from me, nor did they change my mind. They were dressed in sandals, cut off shorts, torn shirts, and they looked like they needed baths. A few tried to hand out pamphlets but I saw no takers while I was at the light. If the proponents of “open carry” want to be taken seriously, and if they believe in what they are promoting, present yourself so that people don’t get distracted by anything other than the cause you are promoting. As in all things, name calling and complaining about not being taken seriously, rests with ones self. You can’t blame others for your own shortcomings. Thanks Fred for the opportunity to state my humble opinion.

  3. TexasFred says:

    An unwashed rabble… That was what I saw too…

  4. Gary says:

    “It’s about keeping pedestrians out of busy streets and from getting run over and killed or injured handing out OCT literature.”

    Seems to me if a few of them did get run over and killed, the problem would amend itself… Just sayin’

    But that’s coming from one who has had enough of the a$$hat mentality of people who lose sight of the greater goal, and the even more, the nanny state mentality that says we need to make a law to protect citizens from their own stupidity.

  5. Wayne says:

    Great post Fred. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can recognize the fact that respect begets respect. I feel that if you want to be taken seriously, you shouldn’t be dressed ridiculously. Likewise, foul language betrays a lack of education. When out with the guys, well, the rules are relaxed, but in the company of adults, with a serious purpose, dignity and respect is received when given.

  6. Dick Robie says:

    We agree again–as long as it is left to each State

  7. Well..? Having spent the greater part of my sixty plus years in open carry states, and for the past two years in a Constitutional Carry state I get a bit bewildered over the hoopla. We just have not seen any sort of gross abuses of the right. Where we have seen abuses are in the usual places by the usual suspects. Generally gang bangers or other types of people engaged in gross criminal conduct.

    I guess it’s time to pee in some Cheerios… Guess who the best shots are that I have seen as well as the least likely to get involved in some sort of shootout..? Former felons that did time, then got/earned a full pardon! Most were trigger puller Veterans just as a side note.

  8. Texasperated says:

    I carry. Legally. I carry concealed and honestly prefer it that way. If Texas had an open carry provision (which I think in limited circumstances would be fine), I probably still would not carry openly. I also live in these hot Texas summers (and not so cold Texas winters) and I have found ways to conceal. Yes, some of them slow down the draw. It is much faster to draw from the side than any other way. But like a wise man said, “you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight anyway.” Training, accuracy, tactics, concealment. These are all much more important, in my opinion, than is the clamor to carry openly.

    Keep your powder dry

  9. cary says:

    I carry concealed. Yes, it’s “allowed” here in Arizona without a permit, but as an aside I also have a hard-earned CCW permit that is reciprocated in a majority of states.

    That being said, I know how difficult logistics are when it’s hot and you carry concealed. Cleaning takes a whole new level of importance, as dried sweat fosters rust real fast. I still carry concealed, and I do it without causing any more issues than normal – because I’ve researched my concealed rig, and it works no matter if I’m wearing a jacket (very, very rarely) or just an untucked polo, and regardless of the whole long pants/shorts issue. (true story – participated in a walk promoting stopping violence against children, while carrying, and listening to the speechifiers trying to harangue the crowd about “gun violence” – if they had known I was standing that close to the governor, concealed, they would have shat)

    I detest the “In Your Face” tactics of ANY group. No matter what the cause, if you get in my face with your demands, I will not be inclined to treat you charitably. I will most likely just quietly leave the area. If you don’t have respect for the current laws, whether you are trying to change them or not, no one is going to take you seriously. Protesting against a common sense regulation like “Don’t walk in the busy street” is going to earn you nothing but derision by a majority of the folks.

    With every RIGHT comes the RESPONSIBILITY to exercise it correctly.

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