Dressing Like A ‘Good Person’ While Open Carrying

By Tom Gresham

Crazy Comfy Gun Owner
Dressing Like A ‘Good Person' While Open Carrying
Gun Talk Radio
Gun Talk Radio

MANDEVILLE, LA –-(Ammoland.com)- I got an email from a listener who really took exception to my idea that if you want to affect public opinion about open carry, you should “dress good.” That is, dress in a way that doesn't cause people to form negative opinions.

Here's part of his email to me:

“Tell me again what a Good Person looks like. Are you and your guests Good People? After all I just cannot see you through the radio or podcast.

“That was the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life. It sounded like some Liberal / Democrat / Progressive / Communist Leftwing radio station that I was listening to.”

My response:

“It's all about context.”

Open carry demonstrations are performances. Nothing less. They are done to elicit a response. They are, in effect, public relations “stunts.” I don't use the word stunts in a negative way. The idea is to move public opinion.

Therefore, as with any public relations effort, or any performance, attention to details can make or break the performance.

If you want the public to come away with the impression that good people carry guns openly (a good goal, by the way), it's worthwhile, I think, to make sure that the performers appear (in behavior, in build, in dress, etc.) in such a way that they are viewed favorably.

In the context of a performance, I submit that wearing ragged military-looking clothes, wearing nasty T-shirts, and (unfortunately) selecting (or not selecting, actually) performers who are 150 pounds overweight, wearing boonie caps, does not work toward the desired result.

If you were the casting director for this performance, is this who you would choose? Is this how you would dress them?

It actually has nothing to do with whether a person is good or not. It is all about playing to the prejudices, perceptions, and biases of the public. In sales, and in politics, perception really is reality. If the public perceives open carry activists to be slobs, or goofballs, or homeless, or nut jobs — based on how they look — then we have failed at the public relations effort. If, however, they see well-dressed (slacks or jeans and tucked-in polo shirts??) men, the reaction, and the perception, is different.

We can shout to the heavens that it should not be this way, and when we are done, things will still be the same.

Perception really is reality. The job is to change perception. If you don't understand how you are being perceived, you have no business being involved in public relations. Open carry demonstrations are, in fact, public relations performances.

Hope that helps explain what I was talking about.”

About:In its 18th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern, and runs on more than 135 stations, plus on XM (Ch. 165) Satellite Radio. All Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as podcasts at http://www.guntalk.libsyn.com and Apple iTunes, or through one of the available Apps: the Gun Talk iPhone App, the Blackberry Podcast App, and the Gun Talk App for Android on Amazon. The Gun Talk Minute on XM also airs on XM 165, 166, 168 and Fox Sports every day throughout the week. More information is available at www.guntalk.com.

  • 18 thoughts on “Dressing Like A ‘Good Person’ While Open Carrying

    1. The seminal rule on Open Carry is simple: * dress for Deadly Force contact *. If you choose to “dress anyway I goddamn please” you can be assured that if you and the bad guy look the same when the patrol officer arrives on your scene, YOU have a problem.

    2. As 1389AD stated above:

      “Acting like a lady or a gentleman (as the case may be) lends credibility.”

      No matter your position on open or concealed carry, or your opinion of the author, gun owners are fighting a war of public opinion. Promoting safety and responsibility is the right approach most of the time. Those that wish to exercise open carry have the right, just do so with the bigger picture in mind. Your actions reflect on the the entire spectrum of gun owners and enthusiasts.

    3. I work hard to dress and behave like a lady at all times. Acting like a lady or a gentleman (as the case may be) lends credibility.

    4. I’m starting to believe that these open carry groups are either working for Bloomberg and friends, or that they are being manipulated by agents provocateur within their groups. Either way, they are doing more damage to the fight to END gun control than they are to help.

      Please, stop “helping” us!

    5. How about open carry of non AR/AK platform rifles !?!? …the two most popular rifles in the US ? That statement is beyond stupid ! How about we carry a little Marlin .22 wood stock rifle ? That wouldn’t scare the liberals as much or what ? Open Carry of your favorite legally owned rifle isn’t a fad or political statement ! Its going to be here day in and day out,..24/7 ! Open Carry whatever you feel would give you the most protection ! Open Carry what the hell ever you want to !

    6. I’m ready for the flames so here goes. I fight for the 2nd Amendment and all it entails. I donate to most organizations, (NRA GOA SAF, Florida Carry,etc.) and State organizations in a fight for their rights, (Cali,NY, NJ,Conn, Colorado) even if I don’t agree with everything they do and say..Yes, everyone has a right to dress and also to do what they damn well please but remember this, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. If you are at a public hearing on firearms issues you are going against the anti’s in their domain. To dress in business or even casual business attire you have taken ammunition from the enemy. Remember, that first impression is all important, you don’t have to agree with me but check it out in other venues and you will see what I mean. When we fight amongst ourselves we give the anti’s a tactical advantage, It’s called divide and conquer.

    7. When I have gone to m public meetings about gun control or a gun issue I always wore a suit and tie. I would never go to any public meeting of any kind not well dressed. Many people think wrongly that gun owners are nut cases and want an excuse to kill someone. Usually these same people think white gun owners want to kill minorities. I do not give them any reason to criticize me that is within my control. Also how ABOUT OPEN CARY OF A NON AK/AR PLATFORM MAYBE A WOOD STOCKED RIFLE.

    8. Fishing up in the mountains in MT (the big lonely) it aint unusal at all to see a momma bear and her cubs walk by minding their own business.One thing is critical to understand,Never Approach them bears as they walk by minding their own business ! Never do that !!!!

    9. While open carrying on the Russian River in AK , All the tourists conveniently moved upstream away from my favorite fishing hole. The local fishermen moved within 4 feet and they said sorry I forgot mine (firearm). When the bears came by later I was approached by a young lady carrying several pounds of salmon fillets saying there is a bear in the river. I then explained as long as he fishing too , leave the bear be and that she was carrying yogi’s lunch . The tourists found out Alaska truly is wild , firearms are self protection as there is no call for help. Some thought I should have just shot the bear but I explained the bear is spooked but minding his own business. The bear finally got what it wanted a fish full of eggs. I guess we all got our fish that day and all had some odd company.

    10. Gresham is still working for the Progressive anti-gun holding company that owns the publishing firm he nests in, it’s owner is a huge Obama fund raiser and bundler. In addition to that he has signed-up with Bloomberg’s anti-gun Operation. It is safe to say that he is in contact with the WH Dept of Propaganda (it’s now a staff position) and is working diligently to undermine our 2ndA rights at every turn.
      As to ‘dressing like a good person’, a horrible word jumble if I ever saw one, a proper appearance is always a plus in any social situation but I think what he has in mind is what’s being worn by Washington Lobbyists and leftist shills. I can’t afford a Brooks Bros suit because there are no jobs, thanks to HIS Boss!

    11. In the interest of full disclosure it should have been noted that the author, Tom Gresham, is an opponent of Open Carry and a fellow traveler with Alan Gotlieb whose organization the SAF has filed more lawsuits opposing Open Carry than any other anti gun-rights group including the NRA. The attached photo has nothing to do with Open Carry but I suspect Tom Gresham has it taped to the ceiling above his bed.

      Concealed carry is of no use to me, I don’t carry a purse.

      “[A] right to carry arms openly: “This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations.”” District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 – Supreme Court (2008) at 2809.

      “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.” District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 – Supreme Court (2008) at 2816.

      Charles Nichols – President of California Right To Carry

    12. Exercising your 2A rights is a “stunt” ? I don’t personally give a rats ass what liberals or anyone else thinks about how I dress ! I dress to please me,no one else ! The desired effect ! The desired effect is I will open carry when I want to and wear want to when I do it !

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