Will open-carry gun laws turn U.S. into Wild West?
JOSH SUGARMANN MCT | Posted: Sunday, June 13, 2010 5:00 am l
WASHINGTON -- Are armed mobs becoming socially acceptable? Watching television coverage of gun owners eager to brandish their firearms in public spaces, that appears to be the desired goal of "open-carry" advocates.
Exploiting loopholes in state laws that don't explicitly ban the open carrying of handguns and other firearms is an omission of default rather than design -- who would think people would actually want to live out their Wild West fantasies in real life -- open-carry advocates take delight in thumbing their noses at societal norms by brandishing their firearms.
Some go much further, portraying their display of weaponry as a visual warning shot against perceived enemies.
At a "Restore the Constitution Rally" held in April outside the nation's capital, one speaker warned the tiny crowd of fellow "patriots" of those "pushing the country toward civil war" and declared "they should stop before somebody gets hurt." In May, white supremacists openly carried guns at a small counter-event to a peaceful protest of Arizona's new immigration law. One armed protester, who characterized Hitler as a great white civil rights leader, asked, "Where on the planet is there one country that's for white people? There's not. See, we have nowhere to go."
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