Skip to comments.Is Mainstream America Shifting Towards Open Carry?
Posted on 03/12/2012 4:04:29 PM PDT by marktwain
Most Americans dont think about gun rights. Why would they? They only have so much mental bandwidth. Theyve got to focus on paying the bills, getting the kids to, from and through school; finding time for friends and doing whatever it takes not to lose what they already have. I reckon its that latter priority that moves non-gun rights folk towards the pro-gun position. The knowledge that a firearm helps maintain their status quo. As for understanding or caring about the way firearms are regulated, meh. In the same way the presidential election is a popularity contest, the general public thinks about gun laws in very simple terms, if at all. Luckily for gun rights advocates, the nature of that understanding has suddenly reached a tipping point, and changed . . .
The political framework that created the most recent dark days of gun control: how do we keep guns out of the hands of criminals? This line of thinking was largely an urban phenomena; reflecting population density, gun ownership patterns (city folk were not gun owners by tradition) and crime rates. In particular, the gruesome cocaine wars in the 70′sisolated from personal experience but televised heavilydid much to demonize guns.
The political framework thats restoring the protection of our right to keep and bear arms: how do we make it easier for law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms? This line of thinking is, increasingly, an urban phenomena; reflecting a lack of faith in the governments powers of personal protection, and the demystification and promulgation of all things gun via the internet.
No question, the Supreme Court rulings in Heller and McDonald opened the door to the modern pro-gun trend. But the average American has no idea that either case exists (if they even know what the Supreme Court does). The shift from anti- to pro-gun is a more subtle transition. People who didnt care one way or another about guns or gun rightsthe uninformed voters who have the final say in most political mattersare starting to think, guns? Sure, why not?
The media too. Case in point: Like it or not, open carry is coming by Mike Jones at tulsaworld.com.
First of all, this is not a column condemning the open-carry bill that is making its way through the Legislature. I have no strong feelings about it either way.
A lot of states allow it and mass bloodshed hasnt seem to have broken out in any of them. Neither, however, have I seen any statistics that prove that crime has dropped significantly in any of those states. Such information is difficult to process. Crime rates fluctuate for many reasons, including economics.
If I were voting, I would vote against open carry, simply because I dont want to see my fellow Oklahomans walking around with guns strapped to their hips. On the other hand, open carry might be more comforting. Rather than concealed carry, where you dont know who is packing, at least with open carry you know who has the gun and who to avoid or stand close to.
In my younger years, I was against concealed carry and sometimes guns in general. I grew up with guns. I hunted quail, dove, rabbits and squirrels. We ate what we killed. I admit, when the concealed carry issue came up I was one of those people who said there could be mass confusion in McDonalds if a bunch of civilians tried to stop a robbery or shooting. I believed that concealed carry would lead to more, not fewer, gun incidents.
I was wrong.
Joness transition from anti-gun to oh-go-on-then-carry-if-you-want-to doesnt need a Bruce Krafft-ian factual deconstruction. The main takeaway: concealed carry is becoming a non-issue. Blood is not flowing in the streets from concealed carriers gone wild. So . . . nothing. Might as well let peopleaverage folkbuy and carry guns.
Its an important distinction. The increasing normalization of concealed carry isnt about the [debatable] upside: lower crime rates and lives saved. Its about the lack of a downside: no OK Corrals. The fact that the debate has moved from questions about concealed carry to a discussion about open carry reveals the pro-carry temper of the timesat least in states that have accepted armed citizens.
Its no surprise that the same fantasy issues that bedeviled the concealed carry movement are now attached to open carry. Simply put, there are no new arguments to be made. Check out Jones take. He ignores open carrys impact on deterrence, forgets that a drawn gun is a drawn gun is a drawn gun, and wonders about the dangers of open carry when an armed citizen unholsters his firearm.
Then, what does the legally armed citizen do? If his life is not in danger can he or she still intervene? If so, are they really qualified to shoot?
That brings up the courthouse episode. There were at least 10 uniformed officers involved in that shooting. A citizen going to the courthouse will not, can not, carry a gun into the building. So, it is likely that even an open carry citizen would not have his weapon.
But what if he was simply passing by headed to his office or her car? Shooting breaks out on the plaza. According to some open-carry proponents, the armed civilian would be able to subdue the shooter, avoiding further injury to the non-armed visitors.
What if the open-carry individual drew his or her weapon and then the uniformed officers arrived? That makes two suspect shooters on the plaza.
Open, concealedwhat difference would that make in this situation? None, once the lead starts flying. The rules of engagement for armed civilians are clear. Qualifications? I say armed citizens dont need no stinkin qualifications. But if Mr. Joness Google is broken, he can click here to learn that an OK concealed carry license holder must pass an approved training course.
As for the OMG, TWO SHOOTERS! problem, what are the odds that the cops will respond to a crime scene and shoot the good guy? This gun blogger scans press reports of defensive gun use (DGU) seven days a week. Ive yet to encounter a single story of the cops mistaking the armed good guy for the bad guy, and then shooting the wrong person. Cops shooting cops, yes. Cops shooting concealed carry license holders? Not yet.
Correct me if Im wrong, but a gun on your hip is a pretty good indication that you arent a bad guy. And even if the cops do shoot the wrong person, whos fault is that? You could say its a shared responsibility between the good guy and the po-po. Or just the luck of the draw. Meanwhile, forbidding people to openly exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms to protect them from confused or incompetent police isnt a very compelling argument against open carry, IMHO.
Most states have some form of an open carry law. Those states seem to be holding together well. Only six states and Washington, D.C., prohibit open carry.
I am not anti-gun. I simply dont know if Im ready to see sidearms displayed in public view by someone other than a law enforcement officer.
Oklahoma is going to pass this law, and Gov. Mary Fallin almost assuredly will sign it. All I can say is, Lets be careful out there.
Which is all gun rights advocates want him to say, really. And that reminds me: once my divorce is finalized, Im going to apply for a State permit (I have a city one) and start open carrying. As Rafiki said (on an unrelated matter), it is time.
I’m really not familiar with the author, but I’d like him to back up a few of his statements. Specifically this public turn of opinion towards open carry. I don’t see that at all. In my state at least, history repeats itself on the subject every two years. Open carry advocates find a willing sponsor in the Texas legislature. Bill never gets the votes to see the floor, bill dies, rinse and repeat again in two years.
And Texas is one of them. Sigh. We gotta change that.
BTW, thanks for the threads. I read almost every one I see, just like I read most of the 1st and 4th amendment threads.
I appreciate your effort and time.
We’re going the other direction here in CA. OC is to be banned in much of the state.
I’d first like to see a nationwide shift to Constitutional Carry - anything else can come later.
We’re off to a good start, but I’d like to see the momentum build.
I do find it strange though, when the govt is ever-increasing it’s power over people, this pro-gun attitude is not actively fought against.
You are welcome.
The California progressives are overreaching, I think. I believe that the courts will give them a constitutional surprise.
And Illinois remains the ONLY state that allows no kind of carry. Talk about backward! Illinois politicos are terrified of freedom.
My Ranch Hand .45 Long Colt is gonna look so cool on my belt... :)
I remember when it ‘switched’ in Florida.
Democrats discovered through intensive polling that the issue of gun control didn't work for them - worse - that it helped Republicans.
Coincidentally - (not related - I'm sure ) and shortly there after, many newspapers in the State quit running stories on the need for more gun control....
CC passed, there's weren't wild west shoot outs like liberals predicted, crime went down - not up and quietly, it became a non-issue.
We have CC here in Texas, but the issue at hand via the article is open carry. Open carry is a whole different animal.
Seeing how those in authority are only enforcing laws against the ones they choose, we are in a lawless land like the old west and everyone should be carrying...its time for the govt to be afraid of the people..It will help restore law and order, even if its only street justice.
Thanks. I misread that one...
>His philosophy seems to be that everything that is not allowed should be prohibited.
This is actually the prime difference between English common law, and French common law.
In the former, anything that is not prohibited is allowed; in the latter, anything that is not allowed is prohibited.
The two may seem to be equivalent, at first glance, but they are not. (It is the same effect, in formal logic, of implication.)
The English common law seems to be the better choice, philosophically speaking, for one big reason:
— There are too many cases to say “this is allowed”, things of a trivial nature (so far as law is concerned) such as parents naming their children come to mind.