Check out this pair of photos.
Context is everything.
There is a significant difference between the two photos.In the latter, it is a clear portraiture. All guns are holstered or being carried in safe, non-aggressive stance.
The former photo has three people, kneeling. One clearly looks like his hands on his rifle and not in a stowed/safe carry stance. Now, I can see from the second picture that he is later pointing it down and safe. And perhaps the above photo was in fact a capture of him transitioning.
But the first photo sure as heck looks like brandishing. And I still feel that if a rifle is to be open-carried. That it should be done so slung safely and not handled.
When I open carry a pistol, I don’t fondle it unless I’m ready to use it. I am of the opinion that the same practices should be utilized with regards to rifles. While there are no holsters for rifles. Slings are the equivalent.
And this is one of the reasons why even within the gun community there is a lot of backlash against open carrying rifles. Because you give our enemies photo ops, which the media will more than gladly take advantage of. No mainstream media rag will publish the bottom photo. But nearly all, even Fox, will be willing to publish the top and give an anti-gunner opportunity to write a damn article.
Context is everything. And when we are given next to ZERO context in the media. We have to ensure that context is perceived clearly. In this case, it was NOT.
When I served in the Coast Guard we had drilled into our heads that “perception” is 90% of the truth. That the truth is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is how your actions are perceived. And the perception of above photo does NOT aid our cause.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t open carry. I’m not even saying don’t open carry rifles. Though I think it is dubious as to whether it aids our present cause. But I do believe that if you are going to open carry, be it a pistol or a rifle, your hands should really be off said unit unless you are intending to use it. It should be holstered or slung.
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The one who “looks aggressive” is the on on the right in the red shirt. He’s in the same position in both photos.
Everyone is in the same position. It’s the same picture from two different angles, and both can be taken as threatening. This group need help with their marketing skills. I understand what they’re traying to say, but the only message the anyone will hear is “We disagree with you, and we can kill you.” It turns a political disagreement into terrorism and just hurts their cause.
I sure wish I could get gun owners to stop pre-emptively surrendering every time someone claimed we were “scary” and “intimidating.” Just once I’d like to see “put your big girl panties on and just deal with it.”