When I wrote about this 3 years ago, I entitled it “Open Carry – Does It Help Or Hurt?” I left the issue open as a question. At the time, I was satisfied to leave the question hanging. I thought I made my feelings know, but after a bunch of recent incidents underscored my premise, I feel I need to make myself clear:
Flagrant open carry hurts the cause of lawful exercise of the Second Amendment, and, unchecked, could lead to all of us losing our rights to keep and bear arms.
So when I say “flagrant open carry,” what am I talking about?
- A man in Forsyth County, Georgia, decides to open carry at a kids’ baseball game.
- A group holds an open carry “rally” at a Home Depot in Dallas, Texas.
- Restaurant employees allegedly hide in a freezer because of an open carry rally.
Examples pop up every day, and with every one, I cringe, and wait for the world to crash.
Okay, first, let me say – again – yes, it is our right to carry a gun, and to carry it in the open if we choose. (Sometimes state and local laws infringe that right, but the right remains.)
But let me lay out as simply as I can why I think flagrant open carry is a bad thing, in reality, in today’s society.
I open carry at times, when I feel it is appropriate, but I never open carry with the intent of “making a point.”
Why? Because some people are afraid of people with guns. You can argue all day that they have nothing to be afraid of, but it does not change them, any more than arguing with an arachnophobe will make them see that most spiders don’t threaten them.
Why do I care if they are afraid?
Because they vote.
The day may come, beloved, when we need everyone we can get to vote with our cause. The day may come when enough crazy people have done enough crazy things with guns that our legislators do the unthinkable – pass some kind of law actually outlawing guns.
The day may come when enough Celebutards get on TV and demand that #SomethingMustBeDone. And then enough people make a big enough noise, that someone who people really pay attention to decides to get behind the movement.
Yes, we think that can’t happen, that we are protected by the Second Amendment. We are protected. But in a worst case scenario, with a crazy enough event, I, for one, would not put it past our society to totally ignore the Constitution, and tell us to line up and turn them all in.
If you think that can’t happen, then you have ignored the examples of Britain and Australia.
So, for God’s sake, open carry if you want, but please do so peacefully, and don’t be an asshole about it.
Edit: In case you think I am alone in this, think again.