This is a really good article that comes to us from our friends at Gun Watch.
And as the article mentions, if you wish to donate to Elijah Woody’s defense, that can be done here.
This is a really good article that comes to us from our friends at Gun Watch.
And as the article mentions, if you wish to donate to Elijah Woody’s defense, that can be done here.
Perhaps, do you know someone who doesn’t like guns? Then this is a must-watch. Find someone you know well, someone who trusts you that doesn’t like guns. Then share this with them.
I can say that I understand this pretty well. I had an uncle that shot himself, but I had never had any feelings toward handguns until I read chapter 20 from Robert Boatman’s book, Living With Glocks. THAT is a must-read.
Back in July, I had an interesting encounter with an Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputy in Oxford Charter Township, MI. I think the short video below sums it up pretty well:
That’s right. He was impeding traffic, we both happened to have the same destination (I was meeting my grandmother for lunch at a local restaurant), and I decided to confront him for the clear traffic law double-standard. When I initially approached his vehicle, he drove away. So, I went inside. When I saw that he had re-parked, and was just trying to avoid me, I made a second attempt. He wasn’t surprised when I returned, he was pissed off at my persistence. The rest is history.
But the story doesn’t end there. An interesting comment thread on that video began. It is pasted below:
Let me clarify: I’m not saying that citizens should pull guns on police during routine traffic stops, just like I’m saying that police shouldn’t pull guns on people for walking up to an occupied patrol vehicle. I’m just saying that this deputy committed a felony by pointing his gun at me, but I would have more than a reprimand if I did the same thing. Surely you can appreciate that line of logic.
I did not need to file a complaint. Someone, either one of the local police officers that watch my videos or a viewer that is completely unrelated, forwarded this video on to his Sergeant. A formal reprimand was placed on his record for talking on the phone, which led to his impeding traffic (which is, admittedly, already a pet peeve of mine). An email was sent out to every deputy in the county (since this man was a deputy) advising not to allow this situation to happen again by breaking simple traffic laws. I only know this because I have a few sources on the inside, and I know you can only take my word for it.As well, I honestly do not remember if my hand was in my pocket. If it was, he still had no legal grounds to draw on me. I did not pose a threat to him in terms of death, great bodily harm, or rape. If I had drawn a weapon and made movements to point it at him, then he can draw and fire. Anything else is felony firearm assault or attempted murder, per Michigan law.
MCL 780.972 provides that “[a]n individual who has not or is not
engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly
force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she
has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if . . . [t]he
individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force
is necessary to prevent” the imminent death, great bodily harm, or
sexual assault of himself or another individual.”
MCL 750.82 provides that “[…] a person who assaults
another person with a gun, revolver, [or] pistol […] without intending to commit
murder or to inflict great bodily harm less than murder is guilty of a
felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of
not more than $2,000.00, or both.”
Is it so much to ask that we all be treated equal under the law? This deputy for a reprimand for a felony. I wouldn’t get the same treatment. He could have shot me and there would be no debate. This isn’t the first time an officer has pointed a gun at me (yes, the camera doesn’t show it, but it was pointed at me), and yet, knowing the risk, I approached him anyway. Because he’s wrong, I’m right, and I’ll die knowing that for a just cause: standing up to corrupt government and their corrupt officials.
Now, do us all a favor: prove to me that there are still good police. Admit that I am making a logical, rational, and well-supported point that those with badges are treated differently than those without. You can enjoy the special treatment all you want (that is, if your penname describes your current career), just admit that the inequality of liberty here exists and is a problem.
…Just saw an article about a city council ‘approving’ a menorah display.
Dude… Christmas Trees, Menorahs, whatever, why does this require approval? Just f****** do it, why does anybody care?
Not Jewish? Great! Don’t go. Offended by the mere *sight* of a Menorah or some other imagery that isn’t part of your religion? Then I have news for you… you’re an a******!
After all, isn’t one of the keystones of Freedom the ability to have differing opinions and beliefs? If your skin is so thin that the mere *sight* of something that reminds you of this keystone of liberty literally enrages you to the point of involving the Government, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your f****** priorities.
I’m not Canadian… does that mean I get violently angry when I go to a hockey game and see a Canadian flag displayed for the visitors from our neighbor to the north to enjoy? After all… *I’m* not Canadian, so *I* shouldn’t have to be ‘subjected’ to the injustice of being reminded that there is an entirely different country next door that has the absolute audacity not to be part of the USA!
If you don’t believe in a god, than how can you possibly be offended by it? How can you be so enraged over something you don’t believe exists?
To someone of the Jewish faith, it is very important, a staple of their beliefs. To someone who is not Jewish, it is a f****** candle holder. When was the last time you can honestly tell me you were offended by a f****** candle holder?
To someone of the Christian faith, in a lot of cases the Christmas tree [although actually a Pagan symbol, but I digress] is a staple of their yearly family tradition. Not Christian? Well then guess what? It’s a f****** tree! Do you go out in your backyard and start shouting at shrubbery when nobody is looking? Because if not, then shut up, and if so, then get help.
Athiests who do this stuff confuse me the most… you don’t believe ANY god exists… so you can’t even make the argument that they are slighting your deity or something. You should, at best, respect that people have differing beliefs, maybe have a productive and civil discussion about it if possible, or at the very worst, chuckle to yourself because you believe it to be silly, and leave them alone because it will not affect your day even remotely.
This is why I like the agnostics… they admit they don’t know, therefore they leave people who believe they do the f*** alone.
I don’t care if you’re Muslim, Sikh, Wiccan, or a damned Satanist, if you aren’t physically hurting someone or infringing directly upon someone else’s rights, then by all means, go for it. You aren’t affecting me one bit.
I don’t really care if this post blows up like it probably will, because the fact is that I am right, and much like asking the government to ban the practice of one’s religious beliefs, you aren’t actually likely to ever make a measurable difference in my opinion.
Live and let live, or go live where nobody else does.
[E] |==|=..|…|…| [F]
Hey look… the rant tank is almost empty. Guess its time to stop.
Another Hell’s Saints walk in Detroit
A brief explanation on the practice that has effectively tanked the US economy.
Credit to Shane Killian, and a tie-in to Mitch’s post about the Non-Aggression Principle.
Fights often happen because some people lack the inhibitions that most people have. Such fight-prone people aren’t good at controlling their impulses and thus may appear to react irrationally to situations. Many people conclude from this that criminal acts are unpredictable, irrational and perpetrated by fundamentally deranged individuals. While some may be so outside of the bounds of sanity that they cannot be understood let alone reasoned with, there are basic parameters that define how and why the vast majority of violent situations happen.
There are a lot of people who suggest escalating force according to threat level, and not worrying about mentality of the person attacking you or others, suggesting that trying to reason with crazy people is foolish and dangerous or some such thing. While in some cases someone may be out of his or her mind enough for this to be more or less correct, there are also many circumstances where ignoring the mechanics of a conflict can actually cause a conflict to escalate to violence when none needed to happen at all. It’s not possible to sum up the characteristic mechanics of conflict, because they are all different. Rather, are a wide array of variables a portion of which will come into play depending on the specific conflict.
This entry covers a good deal of terminology and abbreviations, some of which to be honest I made up just to describe and simplify the concepts presented here. My goal is not to promote a new terminology but rather provide a basic, accurate view of the dynamics of conflict in as brief and easily read piece I can write. This is a basic intro, not an all encompassing guide. Further research is highly recommended.
Fight Flight Posture Submit (FFPS)
Just about everyone has heard of “Fight or Flight” instincts, a phenomenon that applies to most of the animal kingdom. As you probably know, the two responses of “Fight or Flight” are hardwired, instinctive responses to danger: faced with a threat, a person instinctively reacts by deploying violence or by fleeing.
The “Fight or Flight” terminology suggests that these are the only responses in a serious conflict. However, this misses two additional key responses which may happen when conflicts are between animals of the same species or social order (such as a families pet dog and cat): posturing and submission. Posturing is defined by projecting a tough appearance (either consciously or subconsciously) in order to scare an opponent into backing away from the confrontation. Submission is usually characterized by giving in to an opponent’s demands in order to avoid further trouble. Submission can also describe someone who is so scared in a conflict that he/she freezes in place. (The prevention of this kind of submission is a good reason why training and practicing in fighting techniques is so crucial.) Therefore, instead of talking about a “Fight or Flight” response, we refer to FFPS, as this provides a more complete picture of possible conflict responses.
The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS)
The FFPS response is actuated by the SNS, which is a system that all humans inherit through genetics. In a time of dire danger, the SNS automatically releases a very powerful concoction of chemicals to your brain and body with the singular goal of keeping you, your assets (not that assets are worth fighting for) and any companions alive and well in a dangerous and stressful situation. In essence, the SNS instantly makes your heart race, your blood pressure go up, and your pupils dilate; your lungs will take in more oxygen, and you will be panting. Whole textbooks could be written on the science of these reactions; however, for our purposes here, we are less concerned why this unfolds (i.e., the science behind it all) than with how it unfolds and what you can do about it.
When the SNS is activated by a conflict situation, your focus hones in on all of the variables and factors immediately relevant to the conflict and your singular goal of safety. Your brain very rapidly interprets relevant sounds and other sensory input that is deemed important. Your ability to communicate rapidly about the conflict with any involved people is enhanced greatly. You critically assess the situation without conscious thought, as your brain is in on ‘auto-drive,’ causing you to do and say what needs to be done and said. As all of this happens, an effect known as “auditory exclusion” automatically keeps you from processing any details that are not automatically perceived as critical; these details go unnoticed or are instantly disregarded as unimportant. For many people, this even includes not hearing the sound of gun shots fired within a few feet of them. Your perception of time might even be distorted (and it often is). Concerns about anything other than safety (including laws) will go straight out the window. Legal and moral concerns will only shape your actions at this stage if you have practiced enough to make them part of your second-nature response to danger.
When faced with a dangerous situation, your SNS will cause you to perform one or more of the four responses described above – fight, flight, posture and/or submit. Without practice/training, you may not know which ‘instinctive’ response you will have to a given conflict. This is why practice is so important: with diligence, you can reshape your instincts so that you can perform as you practice (or at least relatively close to how you practiced, depending on how much your practice drills, techniques and scenarios map onto the conflict at hand.) Moreover, you will do this all without having to consciously think about it. Remember: practical fighting simulations are crucial.
SNS After Action
This information is described not because it will keep you alive (the conflict will already be over) but rather so you know what to expect and, perhaps, can made reasonable decisions about not talking to law enforcement agents. It generally isn’t a good idea to talk to the police, and when you’re coming down off the effects of SNS activation is a time even worse than usual to talk to them. If the police get involved and attempt to question you about a conflict you were involved with, do not talk to them at all! Demand to talk to your lawyer instead.
Coming down off of SNS activation can take hours, with possible lingering effects such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) lasting for much longer. Hyperventilation can go on well after the conflict ends. A feeling of sickness in the gut, guilt, perhaps fear, and other emotions can commonly pester you for days, even weeks and longer, after a SNS activation.
More on FFPS
Animals in the same species have a hardwired instinct to not want to harm each other, lest their species go extinct. This is as true for humans as it is for dogs and elephants. As a result of this instinct, animals naturally resort to posturing and submission rather than fighting another of their own kind. Rarely, something goes wrong in nature, and you have a natural born killer. Or as humans have shown with things like military training, video games, and other forms of killing practice, these instincts can be trained away by making taking lives a conditioned response, much like hitting the brake pedal to avoid rear ending another motorist.
Posturing refers to instances where a person’s SNS has been activated by conflict involvement, and he/she instinctively reacts by presenting themselves in a manner that implies a willingness or desire to use violence without actually using it beyond perhaps small amounts of contact. One is example is two angry people who get into each other’s faces from a short distance, flail their arms around, maybe gently shove each other, and perhaps get into an instinctive forward crouch. The two “fighters” act like they want a serious fight, when in fact they do not – they are simply posturing. Posturing is a way that animals of the same species attempt to gain dominance without actually having to harm each other. By posturing, they send the message that they could, or will, fight if a problem isn’t resolved.
Remember that posturing is an attempt to achieve one of two things (or both): establish dominance or to put on a show to avoid having to violently defend oneself. Guns, knives, and other weapons are often used to posture, and they can be very effective at it. For example, consider a police officer for who is arresting a felon. “Stop or I’ll shoot” he says, and the felon stops, as directed. The cop established dominance through using his gun to posture, and the felon is off to jail. Alternatively, the felon could run toward the cop, screaming “get out of here!” But he might be shot dead. The felon in the second case made a suicidal decision to posture to make the cop leave and to fight if the cop refused to do so. While quite irrational or illogical to an outsider viewing the situation, the decision to posture in this suicidal manner happens more often than you might think.
Faced with posturing in a conflict, the smaller, weaker or less crafty of the involved parties will typically choose to back off and move out of posturing mode and into submission mode. He/she may put their hands up, verbally submitting or otherwise gesturing that the other party holds dominance. In most conflicts among people, that is the end of it: the involved parties go on with their lives and do not seek to further challenge each other. Regardless of the initial cause of conflict, after submission, there is no more quarreling at that time.
FFPS responses should be viewed as a continuum, as one response can instantaneously lead to another depending on the situation and personality of people involved.
One possible way to make someone jump from submission to posturing or fighting is by drawing a handgun. Drawing a handgun is one of the most socially recognized displays of force, and it is heavily stigmatized by the media as well as most people’s imaginations. The idea of deploying that level of force can and often does instigate an immediate and incredibly dangerous posturing or full blown fighting response. Alternatively, an attacker being drawn on goes from feeling dominant to feeling like his life is in danger, then fleeing, or the attacker may very well opt to shoot to try to avoid being shot. Both are possible, so neither result can be counted on. By itself, the action of drawing a handgun guarantees nothing but the situation going up or down in danger.
Going back to animal responses, imagine you are the biggest ape in the jungle. Or maybe you’re a lion near a herd of zebras. Perhaps you’re the proverbial sheep dog guarding a flock of sheep. Are any of the lesser animals in your turf going to be likely to threaten you? It’s not likely! The dominant animal’s superior jaws, muscles, speed and known aggression are going to mean it’s very safe, at least until a similarly well built challenger comes along. This, we’ll define as TI, because it causes it to be understood ahead of time that a fight against these animals would be dangerous, maybe deadly, and this knowledge will carry over to the fight after the SNS adrenalin dump takes effect on the combatants. It would however be much harder for the zebra to convince the lion that it was the dominant one after a fight had started.
The very same issues apply to humans. The 115 pound 6 foot tall video gamer with severe acne tends not to start fights with the heavy weight boxing crowd. Sure, that’s an extreme example, but similar rules can be applied to everyday life. The medium build guy with tattoos and a built by him 68 Ford Mustang isn’t likely to be picked on by a similarly built man wearing lycra bicycle clothing and a carrying a poodle in his recumbent bicycles handlebar box. The skinny lady riding a motorcycle and wearing leathers with a MC logo is not a significant threat to the safety of a business owner who has 40 pounds more muscle than she does, but he might be afraid around her, or perhaps otherwise uncomfortable because of her TI effect, whether it be her intention or not.
More aggressive appearance can mean more hostile reaction from opponent during fight
The other side of TI is that the more aggressive you appear, as many would perceive stereotypical looking motorcycle riders and other such “badass” modes of attire, the more likely it can be in some cases that a prepared defender may consider you a loose cannon in a confrontation, and act as swiftly as possible to take you out. Either eventuality is possible, and it is because of this that you should always be very careful to be calm, polite and respectful with strangers, and that goes double for those of us who carry guns.
Respect and other displays of attitude and emotion are generally contagious in conflict situations. In other words, anger and aggression leads to anger and aggression from opponents, and the same goes for being calm and respectful. It’s hard for someone, especially someone with any measure of sanity, to respond to calm words with violence. Similarly, it would be hard for an opponent in a fight to respond with polite and kind words while being screamed at, but you can do it if you have it in your head as a strategy before hand, and it may prevent an argument from getting someone killed.
There are essentially never any guarantees about the sort of people you could run into a conflict with, but you should generally try to keep with the classic “golden rule” of treating others as you want to be treated. It can go a very long way towards avoiding trouble, or reducing an aggressor’s anger after a conflict begins.
Victim Indicators (VI)
Victim Indicators are those indications a person displays which suggest that their threat level is low, their awareness is probably also low, and that they are vulnerable, possibly also ripe for being robbed of assets in plain view. Dressing in clothing that would make you look broadly out of place in a dangerous area, paying little attention to your surroundings, and other things identifiable through logic and common sense, can as a direct result of personal negligence make you appear to be a vulnerable person ripe to victimize, and thus increase your chances of getting attacked.
Psychosocial False Victim Indication (PFVI)
The word “psychosocial” means a common belief or practice carried out and/or shared among a group of people. PFVI refers to indicators which make society at large believe a person is vulnerable, and perhaps even abnormally deserving of being attacked.
There is a saying which is about 150 years old now, that “God made man and woman, but Sam Colt made them equal”. While there is some merit to the Colt revolver creating equality among those who had them, weapons have been around for a much longer time. Before humans had pants, they had clubs and spears. We’ll stick to guns, however since that’s the topic at hand. A woman with a pistol could kill a man attempting to rape her, even if he was more than twice her size. Similarly, a blatantly gay man driving a pink Miata might get assaulted by homophobic criminals, and he very well might have his .40 with him and blow them away.
Despite these very obvious truths, much of society at large has deemed women, homosexual men, and indeed others to be weaker, less deserving of some forms of respect, and often offensive when they try to appear or otherwise act dominant. Gay men and petite women are often misinterpreted by society as being weak by nature, when in fact they are no less capable than anyone else.
Psychosocial Mistaken Threat Indication (PMTI)
PMTI is when psychosocial mistaken indicators suggest to large numbers of people that someone or perhaps a group of people is dangerous and/or aggressive, when in fact they aren’t. This applies very heavily to racial tensions, in many areas, where blacks, especially males, are often looked at more suspiciously unless they over dress with fancier clothes than the circumstance really calls for, as compared to what a white person in their same situation would have to dress like to avoid suspicion.
Additionally, men who shave their heads, motorcycle clubs which are actually a bunch of middle class white collar workers who want to look like macho men on weekends, body builders, maybe someone who likes keeping a 3 day shave look, and many others, can easily present a PMTI effect without any real intention of their own.
You mess with my friend/family/pet you mess with me
Most have seen this on TV, and it’s likely you’ve seen it in person too. No matter the reasoning, harming or threatening to harm someone’s friend, family member, pet or even property can throw most other fairly predictable fight effects out the window. A mostly good person with a dangerous and delinquent friend or loved one who commits and assault or other attack, may very well move in to object to a victim of his acquaintance defending themselves. This obviously wouldn’t relate to the flight aspect of FFPS, but it could mean posturing, submission, or fighting. Never discount the ability of someone you would normally assume harmless to engage in a conflict with you over their dangerous companion(s) who their emotions cause them to stand behind.
What it all means for your safety
Much of this information is probably already common sense to you, and this information is probably of little surprise. The way that these effects take place will vary by region, even city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood due to local cultures and customs. The information is presented as food for thought, as something that you should factor in to your strategy to stay safe. It’s all common sense, just so long as you make considering these factors part of your daily routine.
Gun carriers should try to dress and act in such a way that incidents of violence are as unlikely as possible. Certainly this is a free country, people can and should express themselves as they choose to. Nonetheless, as a person armed with a firearm, your safety and the safety of others could be in the balance of how you appear to others. Choose wisely how to present yourself to others.
Also remember that avoiding conflict often falls upon avoiding people that are prone to it, as well as areas which are you believe are abnormally dangerous. Living in fear, day to day, about whether or not it’ll be safe to go somewhere is no way to live life, but there is never a good reason to be downright reckless, or to maintain relationships of any kind with criminally inclined people.
The simple fact is that very few people truly want to fight each other! While our world has become vastly more violent than ever before, it’s still not that bad, especially if you keep you make good choices. Nonetheless, dangerous conflicts can happen at any time, and for even the stupidest and least suspected of reasons. All of these things are a world of variables where nothing can be taken for granted. Always strive to avoid trouble!
This is in response to a concern raised by our friend G9OS.
In Michigan, we are fortunate to have a law that is commonly known as the ‘Preemption’ law. It is MCL 123.1102, and the full text is here.
The gist of it is this: No local ordinance or any other unit of government below the State level that pertain to firearms are enforceable, and no new laws pertaining to firearms can be made by any entity below the State level.
It is nice, because if you’re one who open-carries, as we do, you can rest assured that if you know the gun laws for the state, you know the gun laws everywhere in the state. Useful for dealing with those police who decide they would rather be overzealous opinion enforcers.
Something to bear in mind, however, is that this preemption law is protection ONLY in the case of legistlation pertaining directly to firearms.
This means that you should be extra cautious, especially when doing something controversial such as long gun carry, that you are abiding by all other local ordinances.
Along those lines, I would make special mention of knives. Many people carry pocket knives on a daily basis, and so it is easy to forget/overlook them. However, if you get stopped by the police, preemption will not protect you. You may be perfectly within the law and still get charged for carrying a ‘concealed weapon’ because you’re violating a local knife ordinance. If you’re open carrying, know the local laws or leave the knife at home if you want to be sure you’re legal.
Also, watch out for pedestrian traffic laws, such as jaywalking. The wrong cop on a bad day will, in my experience, will throw any charge at you just to see what sticks.
I’ve even had one particularly audacious criminal in Warren cite me for violating a subsection of a law that literally didn’t even contain a list of violations, just a list of fines/consequences for violating earlier subsections. It’s like being thrown out of a restaurant for violating the menu.
Just some food for thought,
Stay free, my friends.
Many people have asked why we do what we do. When we say we support freedom, confusion sometimes persists. Here is as good of an explanation of what freedom means to me as I can squeeze into a blog post.
Although it has its limitations, as shown here-
the Non Aggression Principle (NAP) is the basic foundation of freedom and liberty. The NAP is the concept that each person’s full control of their private property is the essence of liberty, provided of course that they don’t infringe on the private property rights of others with violence, fraud or theft. This is because such a violation of someone else’s property rights is wrong by definition. Another way to describe this ideology is with the word voluntarism, the idea that all human interaction should be voluntary and free from the threat of violence, theft or fraud unless needed to protect life, safety and property against a wrongful threat. (Laws vary on using force to protect property and we don’t suggest it if lives aren’t on the line. We’re talking terms here, NOT giving you legal advice.)
This means that all theft is wrong, whether shoplifting a pop from a gas station or robbing the cashier with a firearm. This also means that starting a fight just for the fun of it or for any other non-justified reason is wrong. We all know this, and for the very most part, this fundamental belief system is widely held, agreed upon and practiced by people worldwide.
The part that throws people for a loop, however, is when the same system of moral standards is applied to a government. Taxation is done with the understanding that refusing to do so means men in funny-looking costumes and carrying firearms will arrest you and send you to prison or, if you’re inclined to resist further, kill you. Laws against things that harm no one, or perhaps no one other than the voluntary users, are enforced with deadly force. Especially bizarre and misguided from a libertarian’s perspective is when a pro drug legalization person advocates legalizing and taxing drugs, as though the threat of death is just too good to fully let go of, even in an imaginary scenario.
Another example involves genetically modified organism (GMO) food. There is a lot to be said, and a lot of controversy on GMOs. Plenty of information can be found online for free from people with much more knowledge than me, but it is clear that GMO food is designed to kill insects with much the same DNA that we have. The idea that it’s good for us is at best very questionable – which means we basically become a science experiment every time we eat GMO food. Nonetheless, the federal government makes us pay to subsidize this literal poison, and then further forces us pay inflated rates for health care as people who eat these things daily get sick. If this upsets you, as always, you can submit or die.
The same rationale can be applied toward our insanely corrupt banking system, which essentially is a privately run scam that has fully privatized the US dollar, apart from government-issued coins, and we’re almost completely required by law to participate. This scam generates the majority of inflation through a system of indirect counterfeiting known as fractional reserve lending – and it makes bankers very rich, and the rest of the nation ever increasingly poor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7xyfCZwKqQ
Because it involves such a convoluted web of debt, the mass repayment of debt would worsen, rather than strengthen, the economic situation: the money supply would massively shrink and cause a horrible depression. This is because the money supply is based literally on debt, as shown in the video linked above. Everyone who has student loans, a mortgage payment or pays rent to someone making mortgage payments, a credit card, a car payment, or any other banking institution debt is complicit in this. That would be most of us. The system is so bloated with fake money that massive failure to pay it back results in a crash, as in 2008.
The government doesn’t even print its own money (despite what most people believe). Instead, the government leaves it to the privately owned-and-run Federal Reserve to issue fresh currency; bear in mind, however, that most of the money created in our economy is from debt from other banking institutions. The government is left to borrow what it can’t tax to do everything it feels like doing because they no longer make their own money besides coins. This is definitively insane.
But there are other, better ways to organize our currency. Fiat currency, the term used to describe a currency backed by nothing, works well if done right, and terribly if done wrong like in our current joke of an economy. For example, a fiat currency where the government (not banks) prints and spends leads to hyperinflation only in the very most extreme cases. In the times it has been done – for example, the Civil War’s greenbacks and the pre-revolutionary war’s colonial scrip – our nation has had much success with it. An even better example would be the UK’s Tally Sticks due to this system’s longevity and great success.
Since the 2008 crash, the Federal Reserve has been keeping the bubble inflated as best as it can by printing trillions of dollars to give to banks to keep them afloat so that their pretend money inflation/counterfeiting schemes don’t crash. In the process, they take out 401k’s, savings accounts, and other assets people have invested in and the banks have mismanaged. This system is called “quantitative easing” (QE). It would be better called “Fuck You And Your Retirement”. If politicians and their criminal banker counterparts actually wanted to repair the situation, the system could be fixed by outlawing fractional reserve lending, slowly increasing the reserve requirement to 100% and paying off the debt by the government printing off the money to pay for it. This would not cause hyperinflation, because the fractional reserve bubble would deflate gradually rather than burst as the balance was restored. However, very few people understand this, and far fewer still are trying to stop it, so these criminals will continue to get away with it. This scam is by all means as violent, thieving and disgusting of an apparatus as could possibly exist, and it is forced on us by our government.
The NAP explains the fundamental reason why democracy, and its close and overlapping relative collectivism, is evil. When the designated function of government is to use deadly force to inhibit any actions beyond that which the NAP prohibits, what ends up happening is that a (oftentimes slim) majority manages to direct the government to use deadly force against the minority for the very stupidest and most terrible of reasons. Further information about why collectivism is evil can be found in the OC handbook’s epilogue.
There are all kinds of “But what about…?” questions that people naturally raise in response to the idea that the NAP implies that forcible taxation is wrong. What about schools, roads and bridges, fire departments, and so on? Many variations of arguments exist about this. If you’re so inclined, two good and somewhat differing perspectives can be found on Michael Badnairik’s constitutional lecture as well as Adam Kokesh’s book called Freedom, both of which are freely available on youtube. They do a better job than me, so I would suggest looking towards their work if you want further information to help you figure out where you stand on these issues.
I have been carrying handguns openly for many years now. In terms of private individuals OCing just to OC in urban areas, I’ve been doing it longer than most in Michigan. I started in the fall of 2007, and even started the thread on opencarry.org to have the first OC meet-up in Brighton at a McDonalds in December 2007. Of course, I was merely following in the footsteps of other OCDO members from other states, but I am describing my regionally sorta ground breaking background in order to put my opinion on long gun open carry in its proper perspective as someone who does what he believes in and isn’t so concerned with pleasing others in the gun community. I am certainly not someone who is against open carry into stores. Quite the contrary; I was at the forefront of making it more common in this region, and to this day, I do it frequently.
Handgun open carry has two principle advantages: challenging anti-gun political views and keeping yourself and others safe from attack. Long guns, however, have numerous safety issues in comparison to handguns, particularly in close quarters or in dense crowds. This type of environment, of course, is standard inside of businesses and other places where most of us go about our daily life’s routines. The trigger is exposed; muzzle control requires constant attention; over-penetration is a very serious concern if you actually had to fire, as is weapon retention. Not having multiple people also takes away the element of heavy situational awareness. Plus, many long guns are not drop safe and must be carried unchambered, which is a good way to carry long guns anyway on account of the exposed trigger. However, this makes them effectively too slow to deploy unless you see an attack coming. Long guns are certainly safe when carried cautiously by a skilled, careful group of people during a well-coordinated walk, but they are a piss-poor decision to carry for general self-defense, especially if you aren’t somewhere very rural.
If we step back from the safety issues, long gun carry also raises serious etiquette concerns for the honorable and sensible open carry activist. Long guns will reliably make varying percentages of the people in or around the business nervous or otherwise uncomfortable to a sufficient level that they will leave or avoid coming in to begin with. I hesitate to make the point that it creates a bad image for open carriers – as I literally heard the same worry about handgun OC from MCRGO and others for years before we started doing that. Nevertheless, I feel as though I must raise this issue given the safety issues cited above. Going to a grocery store, department store, restaurant or other retail location is dangerous with a long gun, and we do not want a legitimate image as dangerous jerks. To make matters worse, this can cost good people money – and therefore should be avoided.
If a business owner (apart from a gun shop or similar setting) invites you in, we advise not to do it – even if he or she encourages long guns. It is unsafe, and it will likely cost the person you are trying to patronize money, It is a bad practice. For any store owners and managers that may read this, please know that there is nothing wrong with demonstrating a modicum of firearms knowledge to the public by completely prohibiting long gun carry but allowing all safe and lawful holstered handgun OC and CC. Such a policy is not anti-gun or pro-gun; it is merely exercising good judgment by prohibiting a dangerous practice and otherwise respecting state law.
I am confident that my unmet friends in Texas (and to whom we have been compared many times) mean the very best, and I will not slander their efforts. They have had a tough struggle given that handgun OC is not legal in Texas, and it’s hard to blame them because the people of that state have long tolerated a prohibition on handgun OC. Even carrying Jim Bowie’s masterpiece is largely illegal there – an ironic and ridiculous thing in light of his death. So, aggressive protesting is certainly warranted. Nonetheless, in such a setting as Texas, I would strongly suggest walks and meet-ups around residential areas rather than going into businesses or lingering in front of them for long. Is it justified in light of their struggle? Maybe, that’s for them to decide. In our case, when we’ve felt the need to go into a business (perhaps to buy a drink or use the restroom) during a walk, we hand off our long gun to another in our group before going in, and the group waits off the property and away from the entrance, and we wouldn’t likely change that if in Texas.
Long gun OC does have an important place in spreading the message of liberty with a group of knowledgeable people in an open setting, as showcased on our walks. It may also be put to supplemental use to keep other protesters safe, as in the Bundy Ranch incident (not that we are advocating the actions of anyone in particular in that event; it was a sticky situation with a lot of controversy) or in the more recent Ferguson debacles, where the Oath Keepers kept some locals safe from violent protesters and rioters. Long gun OC may be useful in a variety of protest settings – even if they aren’t directly gun-rights-related – because they exude an image of tenacity and seriousness.
You can see us in a large number of videos and news stories advocating handgun and long gun OC, and we make no apologies for it. But please do everyone who values liberty a favor – and do these things in their proper contexts, safely and responsibly, with the adequate knowledge and preparation.