The Open Carry Debate
from Cowtown Cop by Cowtown Cop
What do you think of Open Carry in the State of Texas?
I am hearing more and more attention paid to the open carry debate in the media. By and large the general negative thrust of what the media are saying is this.
1. More people carrying guns will result in an “Old West Mentality” with gun battles erupting from every minor disagreement.
2. Concealed Carry is a deterrent to crime in that the criminals have to guess whether or not you are carrying a gun.
3. Openly carrying a gun will make you a target for criminals.
4. They don’t want stupid people carrying guns.
To confront the first point head on we have the example of many other States in our great Nation that permit open carry of a firearm and we do not see that they have degenerated into a lawless society populated by steely eyed gunmen who are wide in the shoulders and narrow in the hips, who stand six foot tall in their sock feet, when they had socks that is. But I digress into a cheesy western novel, on to the next point.
Your average criminal doesn't even try to “guess” if you have a gun. Your average criminal is looking for someone who is distracted or unaware of their surroundings. If you look like an easy target then you are a target. If you seem somewhat alert and on guard the criminal will pass you by and pick an easier target. Having a concealed weapon does not in itself deter an attack. What deters a criminal is the fact that if you have gone to the trouble of legally carrying a firearm you probably have put some thought into being aware and alert to your surroundings. In effect you no longer look like an easy target.
The third objection gives common criminals a lot of credit they don’t deserve. If carrying a gun made you a target for criminals then there would be some evidence of attacks on person who are known to be armed. This just doesn’t happen. Think of a gun show, lots of people with guns walking to and from their vehicles, yet there are almost no attacks? Police officers work the streets every day but the instances of them being attacked for the purpose of disarming them are relatively rare.
You know, that last one, I don’t really relish stupid people carrying guns either. Unfortunately our society has not yet supported my plan to eradicate stupidity by letting ME choose who gets it. On a more serious note, we cannot legislate against the majority just because of a few idiots. The precedent shows that the vast majority of folks who decide to carry a firearm will act in a responsible manner. Yes, there will be some dummies that do stupid stuff with their guns but we have the means to deal with that. Besides, we let stupid people drive cars don’t we? If you do something stupid with a car we call it an “accident”. If you do something stupid with a gun we call it a crime and we put you in jail.
The last thing I have heard from people who are plainly afraid of guns and don’t want anything to do with them is this. “I live in a “good” area, I don’t go to “bad” places after dark, I lock my doors at home and in my car when I drive, I feel safe, I have an alarm, the police are there to protect me from harm, WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE OF THOSE SCARY GUNS.
These people are not willing to accept that their comfortable lives might not be so safe and secure. The statistics show that you will most likely know the person who commits a violent crime against you. You will most likely be at home or close to it in your “good” neighborhood. You will most likely have family members present or near by when it happens. And when it does happen you will have your mistaken belief in safety and security forcibly torn from you in the face of a brutal and harsh reality.
I have talked to some broken, violated and emotionally destroyed people who could do nothing but hope that their attacker would have mercy on them. They can no longer afford to believe that something else will protect them.
On the other hand I have talked to people who have fought back and won. These people are usually exhilarated to be alive and proud of their success in defending themselves or their family. These people do not suffer the same as the ones who could do nothing.
If the legislature can make it a little easier for good folks to protect themselves from harm I am all for it.
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