Open Carry: Boom for 2A Rights or Bust by “Bozos?”
Wall Street Journal editorial board member Nancy DeWolf Smith offers a thought-provoking piece
on the subject of open carry
. It is hard to argue with her that some of the people pressing this point may be doing more harm than good, and fall into “a special category of bozos.” But there is also merit to the view that “if open carrying were to become more common, even those of us who are uneasy now in the presence of public firearms would get used to seeing them around.”
More fundamentally, should it matter that some people feel uncomfortable
when others are exercising their rights peacefully? (And make no mistake: carrying a firearm openly for self-protection, and without intent to use it unlawfully, is
carrying “peacefully.”) We know that lots of people were uncomfortable
when black Americans decided they within their rights to attend the same schools, sit at the same lunch counters, and ride in the front of the bus with white Americans. We do not, and should not, let others’ discomfort
determine the exercise of civil rights.
Open carry doubtless works better than concealed carry in some situations, but it seems to me that the benefits of lawful concealed carry ordinarily outweigh lawful open carry. Concealed carry maintains an element of surprise against would-be attackers, reduces the chance somebody will try to grab the gun away, keeps one off the radar screens of nervous types and police unfamiliar with carry laws, and promotes the general “we don’t know who’s armed” perception among criminals.
Still, those wishing to carry openly should give some thought as to whether they are doing so in order to be intentionally provocative, and if so, whether–as Ms. DeWolf suggests–”such demonstrators may yet turn out to be a godsend for the antigun crowd.”
This entry was posted on April 30, 2010, 08:00 and is filed under RKBA Commentary
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#1 by Dean Speir on April 30, 2010 - 08:53
The editorial writer’s personal views on the subject of firearms is apparent from the jump with references to "the OK Corral" and the unappealing image of a fly on a cake.
(And is that really why it was called "the wild West?")
Nor does Ms. DeWolf Smith have clue the first about guns in general when she conjures up the image of the open carry of a "Hammerli 208S target pistol." (And what does a ".416 Rigby," a cartridge not a firearm, or an AK-47 knock-off have to do with open carry?)
I find her entire piece less a provocative exploration of the issues surrounding open carry than an exercise in clever (in the most opprobrious sense) writing, and the only valid point raised, "I don’t know a soul among gun owners who is itching to prance around showing everybody what is in their holster," is lessened by her use of the word "prance."
And what was that stuff about "a thoroughly modern Millie" and a lawsuit? Was something inadvertantly cut in the editing?
#2 by Rob Firriolo on April 30, 2010 - 09:05
“There are three federal lawsuits pending in Connecticut that challenge the way the state enforces gun laws. In one, Goldberg is suing Glastonbury over his arrest three years ago, claiming he was charged even though there is no state law against openly carrying a sidearm.”
#3 by DSL. on April 30, 2010 - 10:09
I’ve just posted an article from 1960 on African American sit-ins, as its insights on the need for a discipline greater than that of one’s opponents may be adapted to other forms of grassroots action at other times and places; the quote from an editorial in Jack Kilpatrick’s then-paper, the Richmond News-Leader, “certainly no proponent of integration”, was striking:
“Many a Virginian must have felt a tinge of wry regret at the state of things as they are, in reading of Saturday’s ’sit-downs’ by African American students in Richmond stores. Here were the colored students, in coats, white shirts, ties, and one of them was reading Goethe and one was taking notes from a biology text. And here, on the sidewalk outside, was a gang of white boys come to heckle, a ragtail rabble, slackjawed, black-jacketed, grinning fit to kill, and some of them, God save the mark, were waving the proud and honored flag of the Southern states in the last war fought by gentlemen. It gives one pause.”