Readers who are familiar with my column know that one of my hobbies is exploring endless hours of YouTube videos. I’m able to justify it because I regularly come up with interesting content and that’s my job as the editor-in-chief of this magazine; however, this habit of mine usually serves as little more than a time waster and a distraction. YouTube is like a can of Pringles—once you pop, you can’t stop. One video leads to fifteen more … and each of those, another fifteen … and so on. Many folks are familiar with this phenomenon. And have you ever paused and tried to figure out why you’re watching surveillance footage of a bank robbery in Brazil when you sat down three hours ago to watch a video about prosthetic legs?
Well … these things happen. That’s the magic of YouTube. Honestly, it’s great for those slow days at the office—or even the busy ones.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. I couldn’t sleep—that damned cat was climbing on my head—so I decided to check my email and maybe watch a quick video. I considered Netflix, but that would’ve been too much since all I wanted to do was stretch my legs before getting back into bed. As it turns out, I should’ve just watched the fucking movie—I would’ve been better off—because here I am, still awake, and if that isn’t bad enough, I felt compelled to write this article. Actually, it started as a comment that I was going to leave … but what fun would that be? Why leave a comment that no one is going to read when I have a whole website at my disposal?
I have a few points that I’d like to make about so-called “open carry”—some general observations, but also some specific remarks about the video embedded below. There’s hundreds (thousands?) of these floating around, but this one really stands out for a variety of reasons. For one thing, these types of videos always look interesting enough to click on … but then they’re either so boring or flat-out obnoxious that I rarely finish them. This video is like that, too; however, the police officer featured in it is its one saving grace.
Take a look:
Here we have three socially-inept boobs who are very purposely making a spectacle of themselves being nuisances; they are being so deliberately obtuse that it must be an act—and it is—but they’re also really that dumb. These are men whose social lives and sex lives are either limited or possibly non-existent; the cop, on the other hand, is a polite, charming, handsome fellow whose wife is probably so beautiful that she’s hard to look at—even after having three kids.
Right. But I didn’t sit down to hurl insults at people. My point is that the police officer remains professional—and these men could have treated him a little better than they did.
“We’re not trying to be jerks,” says one of them.
Well … yeah … you are. And sure, you’re calm and cordial … but come on.
These men are making what they call an “instructional” video. The cop follows the law to the letter, explaining over and over again that they’re free to go, he’s not making demands of them, etc. Haven’t they proved their point? Their rights are not being violated. As a small way of saying thanks to this astonishingly-decent public servant, why not make his job a little bit easier by voluntarily answering his questions? He’s played their game, why not play his?
In the end, the men agree that the cop did pretty good, blah blah blah. Fuck that. The cop did awesome. Filming this encounter and publishing it only serves to make the men look foolish and discredit their cause.
And what about their cause? I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment and I have no issue whatsoever with citizens openly carrying firearms; however, displays such as these are ultimately going to lead to the erosion of those rights. Half of the damned country is already so wigged out about guns that they don’t even want you to have one in your home, so how well is this going to go over? Let’s say that it’s legal to openly carry a firearm in Anywhere, U.S.A. … but then the citizens see yahoos walking down the street with rifles and they get scared (duh) and call the police … then the police, who are busy, have to waste their time and our tax dollars playing fucking pat-a-cake with attention-starved assholes.
Well … shit. When that occurs enough times, people start to say, “Gee, this is a problem. We should make a law so this doesn’t happen anymore.”
And whaddaya know? Now it’s illegal to carry a rifle or even openly wear a pistol.
There is no legitimate reason to walk around town with a rifle. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be able to do it—but if you do, you’re an asshole. Cops don’t walk around with their rifles—they only take them out when they think they’re going to need them. If someone is walking down Main Street with a rifle, he’s not hunting. He’s either looking for people to kill or he’s making an ill-advised YouTube video.
What about pistols? Carrying one of those can certainly be justified—and it’s going to draw less attention and be far less threatening—but if you march up and down the street making sure that everyone sees it, someone is eventually going to call the authorities.
I routinely carry a firearm; when I do, I generally keep it covered, although it’s not required by law. One reason is that it’s uncomfortable to be stared at; another is that wearing it openly makes you a target; another is that most holsters for “plainclothes” carry have little or no retention, which means that you have to worry about someone snatching it. Plus, if you walk into a shopping mall or something, there’s a decent chance that someone will tell you that you can’t bring a gun into their store. If that happens, you have to go stow it in your car and then you don’t have it if you need it. Shit, they might tell you to leave and not come back, with or without the piece, which is their right.
And guess what? Concealing a pistol is easy. I carry mine various different ways, but even in the summer, throwing on a short-sleeved button-down shirt works nicely. When I’m running errands, sometimes I’ll take the shirt off in the car if I’m hot—and I might wear the gun openly into the gas station or something—but I’ve never been hassled; then again, I’m minding my own business and not looking to be hassled.
I get it. These guys envision a society where everyone walks around with guns and it’s perfectly normal. That’s a fine idea—I have no problem with it—but the 19th Century is done and gone. It’s not going to happen. And if you want to open carry a pistol, great—but don’t do it for the sole purpose of drawing attention to yourself and the fact that you’re a douchebag with too much time on your hands.
Please. Stop it. Okay?