Open or Concealed: Our Freedom to Choose
Open or Concealed: Our Freedom to Choose by JAMES WESLEY RAWLES for Survival Blog
I often hear comments from SurvivalBlog readers with conflicting views on concealed carry versus open carry of firearms. Some claim that concealed carry is “the only way to carry” and that carrying openly makes you a target. But others say that open carry acts as a visible deterrent to crime. My position is that both are apropos at different places and at different times. So I believe that you should both train and acquire the right holsters and slings, to be ready for either, as the situation arises. In recent weeks, open carry whilst wearing a Hawaiian shirt has become popular. The shirt serves as a quick identifier, to differentiate open carriers from any black-shirted Antifa types.
It is noteworthy that armed citizens have showed up, at many Black Lives Matter protests, just to make sure that they don’t devolve into rioting, arson, and looting. This is confirmation that an armed society is indeed a polite society. I commend the folks who have done so. Just be sure to reassure the protestors: “We aren’t here to intimidate you. We are here to protect you, and your freedom to speak out.”
We must remember that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) pre-dates the Constitution. The Constitution’s declaration of that right is not granting that right. It merely assures that this antecedent right will continue to be protected. And the Constitution makes no differentiation between bearing arms openly, or concealed, on foot, or horseback, in a private conveyance, or in a public conveyance, in the confines of a town, or out in the hinterlands, nor does it delimit that right to private property versus out in public. It implies that all are protected, because that was clearly the intent of the Founding Fathers.
One thing that is not apparent to many observers and even news reporters is the importance of an uninterrupted continuity of the RKBA, with no strings attached. This means circumstances, and “emergencies”, or simply lack of popularity cannot be used as excuses to deny a right. Nor can any “license” or “permit” be added. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Whenever someone must buy a license or pay a fee to exercise a right, then it is something less than a right. It is in fact a mere privilege, subject to the whim of petty bureaucrats. Fundamental rights are not abstract tokens that are given or sold by other men. They are in fact primary liberties bestowed upon us by God, our maker. Rights are not substantially secured by asking, “Mother may I?” of any government agency. Rights are more properly demanded or boldly seized and then conspicuously exercised regularly. This secures the liberties that have legitimately belonged to us since birth. If need be, lost rights can and must be restored through proscriptive use. If you live in a land where your rights have been marginalized into privileges, then it is either time to change your government, or to change your address. Much like a muscle that atrophies with disuse, any right that goes unexercised for many years devolves into a privilege, and eventually can even be redefined as a crime.
DO IT CORRECTLY
With rights come responsibilities. So it is important that If you choose to exercise your RKBA, that you do so in a responsible way that carries the right message, and that keeps your gun in responsible hands. If are going to carry concealed, then keep you gun fully concealed. If the outline of your pistol is “printing” through your clothes, then you might as well have a flashing sign that says “Concealed Carrier!”