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
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:
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.