There are so many issues with this piece, it is hard to decide where to start. I suppose I will just address the issues as they arise in your rambling little diatribe.
1) Calling those whose public policy positions you disagree with 'yahoos' and 'Would-be Yosemite Sams' denigrates your position to little more than mud-slinger instead of journalist.
2) Your insinuation that the carry of a properly holstered handgun 'terrorizes' the public runs directly in the face of facts. 42 states allow LOADED open carry and citizens see each other exercising this right tens of thousands of times a day across the country without any 'terrorizing' occurring. Are you suggesting that Californians are of such a weak constitution that they are unable to stand the sight of a properly holstered handgun?
3) Be careful what you wish for. Allowing 'angry parents' and other 'outraged' citizen groups to dictate public policy is what leads to other civil rights violations such as the ban on gay marriage. Just because someone's limited view of freedom is bruised by seeing a person living freely doesn't obligate the state to make that person stop being a full citizen.
4) So ... by your logic, if citizens had not exercised their right to open carry, then they would still have the right to open carry ... which they couldn't do because they would then lose the right? Is that it? Perhaps you should turn your keen journalistic mind to telling the Occupy Wall Street protestors to stop protesting because they might lose their right to protest. What is wrong with you? Do they hire just anyone at the Times these days?
5) If a group that was being harassed continually by law enforcement (can't imagine who might fit that description in California can you?) were to decide to exercise their rights to display their displeasure by a coordinated campaign of flipping off officers, that would be their right and should end with them retaining that right. You state it is 'currently' legal to do so as if you would encourage that right to protest to be stripped away as well. You sir, are no journalist nor are you a civil libertarian. Keep fighting for the police state Dan!