Chipotle Rifle Open Carry was an Activism Screwup

The restaurant chain Chipotle has banned the open carry of firearms from its more than 1,000 locations across North America because some folks in Texas open carried battle rifles into one of their stores. Some of these open carriers reportedly have also engaged in a war of nasty words with female proponents of limiting firearm rights.

This is an activism fail. These guys wanted to normalize the open carry of battle rifles, such as the AR-15 and AK-47, but their op backfired on them because:

  1. They went too far. People don’t understand why we need to own battle rifles, much less why we would carry them openly in an urban area. Your average city dweller might be able to grasp the need for carrying a handgun. But a battle rifle? This is not Mogadishu.
  2. They acted unprofessionally. They’re not well-dressed. In the photo above, one of them is wearing sunglasses – inside the store! If I can’t see your eyes, especially when we’re inside, and you’re holding a battle rifle with your finger near the trigger, that’s going to have me ready to draw against you. When doing something unusual, you want to be as normal as vanilla wafers in all other aspects of your presentation in order to avoid creeping people out.
  3. They intimidated opponents online with personal attacks and by showing at least one image, according to the Mother Jones article, of a shot-up female mannequin. When representing your cause, you must be a solid human being first and foremost.

Before my fellow gun-rights proponents get any crazy ideas, I do not support limiting the right to own and carry firearms.

Gun free zone

All I am saying is that if you want to have successful activism, then be smart about it. Stop waving your guns in people’s faces. They don’t like it. You’re just polarizing the debate instead of bringing us closer to a societal consensus in support of the right to self-defense.

Sure, Chipotle locations may now be less safe because fewer firearm carriers (open or concealed) may patronize them. Some may say that Chipotle is now a Victim-Ready Zone. And, if that’s true, then this poor activism is partially to blame.

27 May 2014
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