Should We Virtue Signal With Guns? - Granite Grok

Should We Virtue Signal With Guns?


Nine days ago, I wrote about Wal-Mart and Corporate Virtue Signaling. CEO Doug McMillon talked about kissing up to the anti-gun left.  More corporate virtue signaling followed thereafter. As expected, a few of my fellow pro-gun virtue signalers responded with comments about “signs.” #SoStuckOnSigns

I posted a video featuring Colion Noir about a man who open-carried in a Wal-Mart and was subsequently banned for life from ever entering any WalMart store. Again, the mighty virtue signalers weighed in about the merits of open carry and proceeded to get down into the weeds about why open carry, “sucks.”  

Colion Noir, ESQ

The factional Second Amendment community is so, because of individuals who stop the world and demand that the larger gun community bow down, kiss their rings, kneeling at the altar of their wisdom. Sorry, neither You nor I, are  that smart or that wise in these matters.

Open carry is where Virtue Signaling by those for open carry collides with those opposed to open carry, like two drunk drivers on the same road in the same lane. Those who are anti-open carry point their bony fingers at the open carriers, engaging in hyperbole, epithet slinging and other sordid personal attacks. [insert favorite pejorative here] Those folks treat fellow Pro 2A people worse than they treat anti-gun liberals.  Such diatribes tend to be more about that person’s inner need to be right. Not team players.  I framed all those arguments in my rant yesterday, “Open Carry of Guns is Virtue Signaling,”

I was intrigued most when I posted the Colion Noir video, “Man Banned Nationwide After Openly Carrying In Wal-Mart.” Readers commenting on the video were laser-like focused on whether or not Wal-Mart had a sign posted or not. People reacted to the headline, clearly without watching the video. If those readers did watch the video, they didn’t understand the points made.

Hoplophobes In need of Thorazine

First and Foremost, in spite of the fact so many stridently do not like open carry, it is in fact, legal to do. There are a lot of things in life that I do not like that are legal. Open Carry is not against the law. We do not see those speaking out against open carry advocating for legislation against open carry, though, do we?

The nexus of the  problem is that Hoplophobes disagree with the legality of open carry. In response, they raise a stink, SWAT people, lie and behave confrontationally toward open carriers.  We somehow seem to forget that liberals cherry pick which laws they like and don’t like. Leftists Do not like the constitution ad they do not like guns. Liberals have the backing of the main stream media.  And, just to weaken the second amendment further, The “tacticool” experts and authorities weight in with their name-calling and bluster because they do not  like open carry.

Like many other things in life, just because it is legal and just because we can do it, does not always mean that we should. Regardless of where one’s opinion lands on open carry, Open carry is… First and Foremost, the ardent Second Amendment Supporter’s Virtue Signal. Neither a pejorative nor negative, It just is.  I am not advocating for open carry. However, I am not eschewing open carry either.

Establishments posting signs, “No Weapons Allowed,” are making a personal policy decision for their business that they own. That is the right of the business owner. Nobody disputes that.  We as customers, however, can make also make decisions whether we patronize those businesses, and purchase goods and services from those businesses…or not.

In New Hampshire, such sign postings have no force of law. Occasionally, an obstinate Open-carry advocate will enter a business having such a sign. When confronted by a business owner, law enforcement is usually summoned. The person open carrying is asked to leave — refusing to leave results in arrest for trespass.

The Triple Punishment for Open Carry

When an open-carry advocate decides to make a stand, the anti-gun business owner, (who already feels the law is inadequate), will seek to punish the open carrier. Social punishments are then summarily meted out in the form of verbal abuse. The owner will sometimes rally his other customers to join in the verbal attacks and shaming. When the police show up, sometimes the officer can be enlisted in the shaming discipline. When an officer chooses not to stay in his or her own lane, a higher brand of verbal social justice of their own is dispensed.

“You are a problem because I was called down here to deal with you. Look at these frightened hoplophobes! You should be ashamed.”

No, Officer SJW Smartass is the problem.  The truth of the matter is that the officer was dispatched to respond to the call from the Hoplophobe business owner…who will sometimes lie about the behavior of the gun owner.  This incident is just a different spin on People who needlessly and annoyingly calling the police for stupid-ass reasons. This is akin to an officer responding to a pissed-off homeowner whose neighbor has thrown trash on his lawn.

Commander Tacticool

Now here come the “Tacticools” heaping ever more scorn onto the individual who is open carrying. The abuse is usually epic and showcases Mr. Tacticool’s, “Does not get along or play well with others,” communication method.

Thereafter, the “ubiquitous tactical advantage lost,” gets thrown out there like the final authoritative tenet against all open carry. It’s total bullshit. Now, make no mistake that there is a clear and distinct tactical advantage for concealed carry. That fact is an immutable fact. Criminal behavior, on the other hand, is not monolithic in any sense as one who hangs their hat on a tactical advantage would imply.  All criminals do not behave or act the same way.

A couple of years back here in Manchester, a woman was stalked, followed and pursued by a criminal. Despite her marginal training she got a shot off from a .380 handgun she had in her purse, wounding the suspect in the chest. The criminal freaked out and fled, crying like a school girl. It was not a lethal wound.  Most criminals will not fight people for their guns for fear of being shot, accidentally or otherwise. The variable in all of this lies in the criminal. This is why skills and training are paramount.

The majority of us who carry firearms, do not open carry. For us, personal defense and virtue signaling do not factor into our choice. We might choose to virtue signal in other areas of our lives, like through hats, clothing and bumper stickers, but not this one.  The personal carry of guns for personal protection is a personal lifestyle choice and a choice that should be taken very seriously.

I have nothing against open carry. I witness it frequently done all the time and without confrontation. While open carry is not a choice I have made for me, I do not bear any ill will toward my brothers and sisters in arms who do.

The open carrier who was banned from Walmart for life took some abuse. Aside from the fact that he was open carrying, Everybody with a voice on social media pig-piled onto this guy.  There was a time when people open-carried at Wal-Mart without any fanfare or attention. In the course of a few days, we now have people fixated on whether or Wal-Mart posted signs. But here’s the deal.

Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon, in his public statement, said,

“We are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.”

Respectfully requesting people do (or not do) something implies there is a choice. Discretion is left up to the reader of the policy. This statement suggests customers still have a choice. It is not a hard and fast policy edict. We all know somebody, somewhere is going to test this statement for t response. Some people go through life seeking attention , and indeed second amendment supporters are no different.

McMillon continues,

“This morning, we briefed your leadership team on how to communicate this change in policy to customers when needed, and they will be sharing that with you very soon. We will treat law-abiding customers with respect, and we will have a very non-confrontational approach. Our priority is your safety. We will be providing new signage to help communicate this policy in the coming weeks.”

 First, McMillon is being mealy-mouthed. He calls it a “policy.” A policy provides direction. This does not.  Now, if you go back and look at that video, tell me how that Wal-Mart Employee had a non-confrontational approach.”? Share how calling the Police and banning the customer from the store for life aligns with the CEO’s statement.

People can google Fudd-Mart’s statement and read the whole statement. Wal-Mart has indeed abandoned its mid-American base and is now in concert with Michael Bloomberg and all the other businesses jumping on the bandwagon against the nation’s second Amendment. They are just too chicken-shit to come right out and say that explicitly.

Traditionally, Anti-gun groups outspend Pro-gun groups seven-to-one. We have survived thus far, despite our utter lack of unity. This has to change, and it has to change today. Progressive bullies have wrested control of our schools, colleges, and boardrooms of American companies. The media is in bed with the anti-second amendment cult of personality. It is time for this bullshit to stop before we lose our rights. No more gun laws. No red flag laws, no registries, no universal background checks. None of it.

It is time to defend open carry. We may not like it, and we may not like how people do it. It may be cringe-worthy at times, but these people are still our people. If you absolutely cannot tolerate open carry, then find a way to advocate for concealed carry in a positive and non-assholic manner. Everything else so far is not helping.