Open Carriers

So the wife and I have been listening again to Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series (read by Phil Gigante–wonderful stuff), and the latest installment sees intrepid SpaceCorps member Jim DiGriz going back in time to prevent a madman named only “He” from destroying his present time through clever manipulations of the timeline. Our hero Jim has to travel to England, 1807, which he finds under occupation by Napoleon’s French army–something which never should have happened. The Frenchies are patrolling Oxford carrying muskets, and of course that leads to a confrontation and our hero knocking out a few of Napoleon’s finest.

But the image of men walking the streets carrying long rifles drew a parallel in my brain to these open-carry freaks who insist upon taking their AR-15s into chain restaurants. And it occurred to me that, in any military occupation, that’s exactly what you’d see–a lot of armed people milling about. It’s the BBC show Allo allo, without the laugh track and the French Resistance but with German soldiers coming in and out, and you don’t dare anger them.

So if these open carriers might be considered an occupying army, whom do they serve? A fair assumption in France could have been that if they speak German, they probably serve the Nazi regime. Now, most of these open carriers are white, male, politically conservative, occasionally openly racist, largely in league with an organization that represents the nation’s arms industry, misogynistic (as per gun advertisements which insist that a purchase of this particularly obscenely expensive gun counts towards renewal of one’s “man card”), and like to imagine themselves as the bulwark against an imagined feminist and socialist takeover of the nation. In other words, they are exactly the sort of occupying army that would be preferred by those captains of bankruptcy whose crimes cratered this economy back in 2008 and who have never served day one in any sort of jail. And it’s no accident that many of these open carry enthusiasts show up at political rallies of ostensible opposition parties, for they know full well that their presence serves an intimidating effect, threatens the freedom of speech of those with whom they fundamentally disagree. 

Yes, open carry fetishists are the occupying army of the criminal classes of these globalized United States. But, more fool them, they are not even getting paid for their service. That’s the new economy for you. Suckers.

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