george wrote:I would like to hear some ideas on the pro side of open carry.
Simply because I cannot think of any, does not mean there aren't some.
Personally, I start with the premise that there are different motivations among those who carry a gun for wanting to carry in the open rather than concealed. My personal experience with OC is minimal, being limited primarily to OCing while driving through Arizona. When I did it, I found it liberating, but it also heightened my awareness of all the potential pitfalls the way a newbie CHL might feel the first few times he or she carries concealed. Similarly, I would have to do it a lot more before it started to feel as second nature to me as carrying concealed does now.Positives:
I think that OC simplifies things for those who want to carry while working outdoors, for instance, particularly in Texas' famous heat. From my own perspective, it would make things less onerous to know that I don't have to worry so much about whether or not my cover garment blows open, or if I want to leave my jacket off while I'm in the car.....stuff like that. And maybe it would be nice to wear a BBQ rig in the open at a party gathering. Passing OC would eventually result in an overall decrease of MWAG calls to 911, following an initial uptick in such calls.
But the biggest reason to pass OC is because the 2nd Amendment says our right to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms "shall not be infringed." ANYTHING
which regulates the ownership or carrying of firearms is an infringement. This ought not to be confused with regulation of usage
, such as restrictions against the discharge of a firearm inside the city limits—unless done in self-defense—which is just common sense. That would be analogous to speech laws prohibiting one from shouting "fire!" in a theater—unless there is an actual fire. In other words, the only regulations of the right to speak words or to carry a firearm which are acceptable are those which prevent the exercise thereof from trampling on someone else's rights to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness (somewhere else).
This is why "constitutional carry" is so desirable. It is about the expansion of human liberty. But as with the exercise of any constitutional right, virtue and common sense are required for it to work. Not virtue as in prudishness, but virtue as in being able to distinguish right from wrong, and to choose to do right, even when it is difficult.Negatives:
There is a potential for abuses that would lead to further restrictions on concealed
carry—whether by a proliferation of 30.06 signs if the legislature were to decide to change 30.06 to apply to both OC and CC; or possibly as the ultimate outcome of social pressures such as public verbal confrontations instigated those who object to those carrying openly leading to legislative crackdowns, etc. The other possibility is that if enough people are carrying in the open in places where people like soccer-moms would freak out, there is the potential for some kind of political backlash against all forms of carry. Don't believe it? Texas is still a red state, but it is not as red as it was just a decade ago because it continues to welcome people from the failing democrat states who come here following their jobs, or looking for work.Bomb-Throwing:
Our Constitution ONLY
works if we have a virtuous population. The Founders wrote extensively on this, and history has revealed it to be true. As we have become less virtuous as a society, we have disregarded the Constitution more and more. Virtue does not mean prudishness. It means that we, as individuals, can be trusted to do the right thing, even when we don't want to, simply because
it is the right thing to do. Bomb-throwing is not virtuous. Any jerk (yes, I said it) can be a bomb-thrower, and being a jerk is never the right thing to do. It takes no special intelligence or skill with words. Bomb-throwing reveals the bomb-thrower to be a person of low character. If a bomb-thrower cannot or will not believe this, it confirms
their low character. A virtuous party to a conversation acknowledges the concerns of the other person, and then addresses
, and not dismissively
, in an attempt to allay those concerns. After all, the goal, like Charles said, is to create allies, not alienate all of your potential supporters, and the OC community is a subset of the MUCH larger carrying community. It cannot afford to alienate its potential support. At the end of the day, we may still may not be able to agree on a given thing, but we will not have created enemies
whom we cannot count on going forward for cooperation over issues where there might otherwise have been agreement. Yet, this is what bomb-throwers do. A bomb-thrower's maturity is legitimately called into question, and what can equally
be called into question is whether an immature person ought to be carrying guns—in the open or concealed.
"It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people." --Richard Henry Lee, letter to Colonel Martin Pickett, 1786
I support OC IF
it is handled wisely and correctly AND constitutionally. That said, I will not trust the wisdom OR the knowledge of a bomb-thrower to be up to the task of intelligently writing bills or planning and pursuing successful
legislative strategies. If you want to turn me off and guarantee that I will opposed you over an issue and discount whatever you say in the future, throw a bomb my way.
Thank you Charles for trying to put a stop to this despicable practice.
"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." --Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791