Posted on Fri, Jul. 11, 2008

Good and bad of open carry

A is responsible for "open carry" legislation is not correct. (See: "Carrying in the Wild West," July 5).
There are firearms people who want to see this happen; others see disadvantages, some of which are: an individual openly carrying could be targeted in a tactical situation; such an individual might feel obligated to intervene in a robbery to "protect" a commercial firm’s assets at the risk of his own life; and someone openly carrying loses the element of surprise.

Balanced against this is the factor of deterrence. I have taken part in a simulated force-on-force scenario in which I was a "customer" in a bank being robbed. I opened fire, only to be hit by a neat paint bullet group fired by some accomplices in the back of the "bank."

A professional law enforcement officer, in the same situation, threw down his gun and spread-eagled himself. Even professionals sometimes opt out of actual armed conflict when the bullets are real.

I’m not sure where Austry gets her figure of 3,000 children killed by guns, but accidental gun-deaths of U.S. children are under 200 annually, far lower than the totals of accidental deaths involving motor vehicles, bicycles, fires and swimming, to name a few.

Anti-gunners frequently inflate this figure by adding homicide figures for teenagers (the prime age for criminal/gang activity) and "youths" whose classification goes to age 24 depending on who is doing the compiling.

True "assault rifles" are military-issue firearms capable of either full or semi-automatic fire. Such firearms have been closely controlled by federal law since the 1930s.

Anti-gunners use the label to instill in the public a prejudice against civilian semiautomatic replicas of military "assault rifles." These guns are rarely used in crime.

— Griffin T. Murphey, Fort Worth