One quick, easy, and nearly surefire way to judge the effectiveness of any political action is to see who is promoting the action after it has taken place.
It says quite a bit about “Hell’s Saints” open carrier Shawn Nixon’s insult-filled open-carry walk past a Michigan high school last week that the primary outlets popularizing his walk are gun control groups (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Moms Demand Action), rabidly anti-gun liberal blogs (Wonkette), and left-leaning media. These groups are attempting to use Nixon’s video-taped walk to ratchet up interest in banning open carry in and around schools in Michigan, which is rapidly rising to a fever pitch again after another man open-carried a pistol to a choir concert.
Even Glenn Beck’s assuredly pro-gun news site The Blaze—whose host Dana Loesch wrote the best-selling Hands Off My Gun—made it clear that Nixon was being a belligerent jerk.
Men like Nixon, who think that they should be able to carry any firearm they desire, to any place they desire, for any reason, come off as extremists to the vast majority of citizens in this country. This includes all anti-gunners (who think everything we do is extreme), the supermajority of those who don’t really think about guns much at all in the course of their daily lives, and the majority of gun owners as well.
The act of intentionally carrying a long gun past a high school (putting that school on lockdown) to city hall is seen as an intentional act of trolling by most citizens, and Nixon’s actions and attitude towards police only cement those views in place.
I’m going to get called a “butter” again over pointing out this inconvenient bit of reality (it’s meant as an insult, deriving from moderate’s argument of, “I support the Second Amendment, but…”), but here’s the thing: Nixon, and radicals like him, are viewed as extremists by most voters on both sides of the issue.
As a political matter, that is never where you want to be if oyu are championing a cause.
The open carry extremists like Kory Watkins of Open Carry Tarrant County who threaten lawmakers, and Shawn Nixon who insults police officers merely attempting to address community concerns, expose them as an even worse kind of “butter.”
Watkins and Nixon and the Michigan open carriers who trolled a farmer’s market full of hippies last summer, and the loon who kept brandishing his AR-15 pistol in the Washington state legislature weeks ago keep screaming, “But it’s my right!”
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled time and time and time again that no rights are absolute. That’s not up for debate. You can get made about it if you like. but it simply is.
State and federal courts have—time and again—upheld laws shaping and restricting rights, including the right to keep and bear arms. If you doubt me, feel free to try to order a 20mm Lahti anti-tank gun and have it delivered to your door via the U.S. Mail.
Those who argue, “but it’s my right!” without any other convincing argument often run into the reality that the courts have held that no rights are absolute, and that when extremists piss off enough people with dangerous or juvenile behavior, that these rights can and will be curtailed via legislative action that will typically be upheld by the courts.
Shawn Nixon and those like him are going to get your rights legislated away.
That’s just the way it is.