Caleb hits the nail on the head over at GunNuts Media on his “How to” post about open carry.

It’s good.  Really good.

It should be mandatory reading for those considering practicing open carry for advocacy purposes.

We’re going to tease you with the first four.  Read the rest.



10 Steps for Successful Open Carry Activism

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(GunNuts Media) – With Open Carry still making headlines, it’s time to take a look at how Open Carry can be successfully used as a tool to further gun rights. There are definitely right ways and wrong ways to Open Carry, and unfortunately too many people do it the wrong way. Here is the Gun Nuts Guide to Successful Open Carry.

1. Don’t be a dick
Honestly, if you can accomplish step 1, you’re way ahead of the power curve. We lost Starbucks specifically because people were being dicks. If you have to ask yourself “is action X being a dick?” then the answer is probably yes and you should not do it. Don’t provoke confrontations, don’t get up in people’s faces, and don’t give the cops a reason to think you’re a clown.

2. Have a goal beyond “just open carrying”
Open Carry worked in Virginia because the VCDL used it as a tool to illustrate the silliness of Virginia’s restaurant carry laws. Open carry in this case was a means to an end, not an end in itself. Open carry will probably work in Florida because Florida Carry is using OC as a tool to illustrate the silliness of Florida’s carry law. They have a goal beyond “just open carrying.” OC didn’t work in California because there was no legitimate political goal that could be achieved by the use of open carry.

3. Don’t go looking for trouble
This goes hand in hand with number 1, but is a category all by itself because of the number of people who saddle up and OC guns specifically so they can record themselves getting in confrontations with the police. Then they post on their OC message board about how they got hassled by The Man. Seriously, don’t be that guy. Just don’t.

4. Dress like a grown-up
If you are going to OC, people are going to see your gun and by default you will be considered representative of the gun culture.


The photo, sourced from USA Carry via a simple google search is a perfect example of everything that’s wrong with OC appearance. I don’t know this guy from Adam, and I’m sure here’s a really nice dude in real life, but if you’re going to OC, don’t wear a ratty tank-top.

12 thoughts on “Caleb Giddings: 10 Steps to Successful Open Carrying”
  1. This tidbit is a demonstration of everything that IS wrong.
    Heck, why not make it part of “training” that unless you aren’t wearing a tank top you cannot carry a firearm TO DEFEND YOURSELF!

    Talk about being a DICK! Telling other people that they must dress “appropriately” in order to exercise their rights is about as dickish as it gets. And yer only fooling yerself if you think otherwise.

    We have always been at war with EastAsia!

    Look at yourselves, fellas, you have reduced yourselves to Bloomberg type aloofness rivaling his telling people how big a soda to drink!
    You’ve become that which you claim to oppose and don’t even realize it.

    1. You’re representing all gun owners when you go out in public open carrying for advocacy purposes.

      If you think I’m being dick by suggesting a professional and neat appearance and a courteous demeanor from those who are trying to woo undecided people to our side in this cause, then so be it.

    2. YOU say one person is representing everyone else because you have a collectivist mentality.
      Your perception is in error. Can you say INDIVIDUAL?
      See john- when a person exercises their right , they are doing just that. Exercising THEIR individual right. When you belittle them and chide them and demand they do so in a way that YOU perceive as proper, you are acting like government usurpers telling people how what when what why how. And that’s yer mistake.

      See this. Not everybody dresses “Professional” john. Not everyone HAS clothes you approve of or would wear them even if they could afford them. Some people LIKE tees and jeans or OH THE HORROR tanks and shorts.

      People of ALL dress have the right to carry and if you want to WOO them then encourage ALL people to do so absent the trite Harvard uppity crap like a damn dress code. Heck, dress code is one step shy of “only ones” material where dress code is uniform and badge.

      Do you honestly not realize how off putting it is to tie exercise of rights and dress? Do you truly not see the self defeating attitude you are presenting in claiming you want to grow carriers but at the same time place dress code limitations on who can or “should”? Dude, honestly, that is almost like saying you care what color a persons skin is! If I’m being robbed or beaten and another is armed and comes to my rescue – I care not about their color or what they are wearing. Evidently you do.

      We are ALL equals john, regardless of how we dress. And with this track, you demonstrate that you DONT believe that. Shame on you.

    3. Yes, you have a right to be a dick.

      I would ask that you not do that.

      Because your behavior, if dickish, reflects poorly on the rest of us non-dicks.

  2. What? Nobody’s trying to *ban* counterproductive behavior – just pointing out that it’s counterproductive. Just because you’re free to do something doesn’t mean you should. In fact, counterproductive behavior leads to banning guns/accessories/lawful behaviors. Get it?

    Free to dress like a redneck? Yes.
    Helps move the opinions of voters in a state (soccer moms and other frightened city liberals) and thus drive favorable changes to laws? No.

    Looking for trouble and agitating those same masses – free to do it? Yes.
    Does it actually help? No. See: California.

    Guys, look for what’s right in this message, don’t get stuck on wanting to wear a wife beater and flip-flops. It’s real easy to say “all laws that are contrary to the constitution are null and void” and such, but you’ll be saying it from a jail cell, folks. There’s ideals and then there’s being practical and moving the ball in the right direction one step at a time.

    1. Thanks JC.

      BTW, your wife’s friend is 🙁 that P’s not accompanying her down for class!


    2. Wanna win over soccer moms? Show that soccer moms wearing flip flops and shorts and tanks can carry too! Same with business dress or even that roughneck oil rig worker. Take the dress code LIMITATION out if it – when trying to EXPAND.

      See that yet?

  3. Video taping police encounters is a GREAT idea- as demonstrated by YouTube views.
    First, it shows who’s being dick-ish for all to see (take note it’s almost always LEO being so) but second AlND MORE IMPORTANTLY, it is a historical account of what the movement truly needs – examples of INDIVIDUALS both exercising and defending their exercise of their own individual right. These accounts show that individuals know their rights and the law. Note: this is true for carrying as well as other gathering or even refusing to bow to searches and even roadblock thuggishness.

    This developing pattern is absolutely beneficial because the MORE people do it, the more police will have to understand that they have LIMITATIONS on their authority. Likewise, the low information voters get a peek into the reality that simply exercising rights is NOT a crime. It’s time to take on the “anonymous call” excuse instead of standing down and bowing down to it. I agree totally that “cops have a job to do” and PART of that job is PROTECTING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS -accomplished foremost by RESPECTING them.

    I’ll point to a now famous video of a LEO who did exactly that in a “anonymous call” stop. He KNEW his recorded interaction was going on YouTube and even said as much. The CHECK AND BALANCE that is recording interactions is to be encouraged. The more LEO who get it through their heads that they will be held to account the better off we will all be.

    So why be against this obvious beneficial development and who’s against it??
    It seems to me that the only ones would be 1) cops who are afraid of accountability or 2) those who don’t want it getting out that folks don’t need someone else to defend their rights for them when they can do it themselves ( you know those who endlessly seek “donations ” to when the “Fight ” for everyone. As the old guard in the GOPe do not like losing control of the narrative because TEA parties are stepping up individually, the old guards of the self defense lobbying cabal don’t like what’s developing. On both accounts, “leadership” feels entitled to command the serfs and expect the sheep to do as they are told. Both are failing badly and the more it’s demonstrated that individual liberty exercised is the best defense of liberty the more those longstanding rackets will fail. And BOTH know it – which is why we see them arguing against it. The controllers are scared of losing control because that’s how they line their pockets!

  4. I prefer Open Carry to concealed carry where legal. However, my main reason isn’t “advocacy”. It’s comfort.

  5. Advocacy can and sometimes does include Open Carry but Open Carry is not synonymous with advocacy. I will guess that the guy in the picture was just want to advocate for some donuts. The Open Carry thing was simply a choice.

  6. I agree with dropping the dress code. I work for a living and can’t afford the time or the money to put on my business casual to go to the hardware store. I have been open carrying for 3 years everywhere I legally can in Tn and Ga. Many times dressed as what you would consider similar to this gentleman in the picture. The Bank, Hardware Store, Walmart etc. and in all that time I have never been questioned, asked to leave or heard a comment or gasp. People need to understand that it is legal to OC or CC regardless of social status or income level. For the record, I carry for protection first, carry open for comfort and convenience second, and advocacy last. Also, Yes, record EVERY police encounter you can. Don’t shy away from or be intimidated by encounters, but don’t go looking for trouble either.

  7. Come on guys , I am with John on this he is not trying to disrespect you about how you dress. It is about keeping a mature and responsible appearance in public. I wish we had open carry in Illinois being a slightly fat guy concealed is not comfortable around the waste line. It would be nice to use my tactical holster on my thigh, but out in public believe it or not how you dress and carry does reflect on all gun owners in the perception of none gun owners. So this not John telling you how to dress that is up to you, just remember that even as individuals the left will lump us all together. So open your minds and think things out before you over react or take offense.

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