It doesn’t look like this story is going to go away any time soon:
In Texas, where toting guns is as second nature to some as wearing cowboy hats, there’s a rare and growing divide over firearms.
Many Second Amendment supporters are united on the end goal: Changing the way guns are carried in Texas and letting handgun owners openly carry their firearms.
But they disagree on how to get there.
Groups of open-carry advocates have been drawing attention to the issue by carrying long guns in public places such as neighborhoods and shopping areas, which is legal, trying to prove that the mere sight of firearms isn’t a cause for concern.
One of their recent demonstrations drew nationwide media attention when it coincided with a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America meeting in Arlington; at least one mom said she was scared and intimidated.
Now, even some gun-rights supporters say this is not the proper way to move their quest forward.
“I think the tactics some people have been using aren’t helping that much,” said Ben Ferguson, a conservative political commentator, radio show host and staunch supporter of gun rights. “I just don’t think you are going to win as many people to your side by walking around carrying rifles … in public.”
Second Amendment supporters are usually in agreement on the big issues, but the open carry of long arms being practiced in several states, particularly in New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Texas in recent months is causing a substantial rift even within our community.
Tactics are actions designed to achieve a specific end or goal. The stated goal of every long-gun open carrier we’ve read about in recent months is “educating the public.” Open Carry Texas in particular has staged multiple long-gun open carry events recently, and while a very large San Antonio event was largely anti-climatic, the recent event in Dallas was a public relations disaster that the media continues to relentlessly flog.
Without getting into an ideological argument over “right” and “wrong,” it seems clear that purely from a public relations perspective that long gun open carry is backfiring as a tactic to help legalize handgun open carry.
It’s time to start thinking about implementing other tactics that may be more beneficial towards achieving the stated end goal.