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December 9, 2008

Vol. 2   No. 10

Concealed vs. Open Carry

It looks like I can't dodge the "Un-Licensed Open Carry" question any longer.

The emails I get on the subject usually start out, "I've been hearing a lot of people talking about open carry.  Is the law changing?"

What you are hearing is a very few people talking very loudly.

Why are a handful of zealots making these noises?  Why do they feel there is a need to stand up and fight for the right to parade through the grocery store with a gun on your hip?  The problem I'm having with the issue is, "What does anyone have to gain from Un-Licensed Open Carry?"

I don't think it's a Second Amendment issue.  The facts that (1) my right to own guns (as many as I want) is protected by both the U.S. and Texas Constitutions, and (2) the fact that I can carry my handguns (as many as I want) "concealed", almost anywhere I go tells me that I live in a State that doesn't seem to be too interested in infringing on my right to Keep and Bear Arms.

As everybody on my mailing list knows, Texas has a very workable "Concealed Handgun Law".  For the most part, citizens (and a few others), who have spent their lives on the right side of the law can follow a relatively simple application procedure, and obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun.

What's the problem with what we have?

  • One problem might be that the current Concealed Handgun Law doesn't allow some people to show you how tough they are by letting you know they have a gun.  Thank God these people are few and far between.  But, some of you might know one or two Concealed Handgun Licensees who will  let their shirt blow in the wind to [unlawfully] announce to the world that they are special, because they are carrying a gun.  I think the condition is testosterone driven.

  • Another problem might be that some folks might not be able to carry a handgun, under current law, because they can't pass a pretty basic background check.  Remember, what's being sought is Un-Licensed Open Carry.  Just between us folks, I don't have a real problem with reasonable attempts to keep persons with mental defects, felony convictions, and substance abuse problems, etc ... from carrying guns in the mall.  Does regulation work all the time?  Of course not.  Does it work some of the time?  Maybe, I hope so.  Does it hurt the good guys?  NO.

What's the benefit to be derived from what the Un-Licensed Open Carry proponents want?

  • Be careful with this one.  Un-Licensed Open Carry proponents will argue the advantages of being armed over not being armed.  This is a faulty premise for the argument.  The argument should be over the advantages of Un-Licensed Open Carry vs. Concealed Handgun Licensing.

  • I had to laugh at something I read on the pro Un-Licensed Open Carry web site:

    •   FBI Study Concludes:  Bad Guys Don't Open Carry.

    I'm not sure what the significance of such a statement is, unless it supposed to mean that, if you see someone without a gun being carried openly, he must be a bad guy.

What about me, personally?  How will I personally benefit from Un-Licensed Open Carry?  I won't.

I suppose, as a real stretch, there might be an advantage to me if a bad guy, knowing that the Un-Licensed Open Carry patrons of a restaurant could stand between him and a running up a big body count, might shoot them before he tries to shoot me.  That could give me a distinct tactical advantage.  Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe I'll help them pass Un-Licensed Open Carry.  After all, what's wrong with dispensing a little chaff, in the form of Un-Licensed Open Carry decoys, to give me a little more time to aim.  Go for it, guys!  I'm with you, all the way.


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