Is open carry really about intimidation instead of exercising the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms?
In Texas, they’re apparently pretty close to “legalizing” the open carry of handguns. Governor-elect Abbot has vowed to sign a handgun open carry bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
They allow the open carry of rifles and other long guns, but handguns must be carried concealed. So, in the state of Texas, if you carry a handgun on your hip out in public, you’re a criminal; if you carry an AR-15 on your shoulder, then you’re just one of those “gun nuts.” But even though it’s perfectly legal, you’ll still get harassed by the police for “disturbing the peace” or “resisting arrest.”
Moms Demand Action weighed in on the issue of open carry. They say it’s all about intimidation:
Ironically, the AP reports that for all its pro-gun culture and lifestyle, Texas is “one of the few states with an outright ban on the open carry of handguns.” In fact, when state legislators pass open carry legislation and Abbott signs it into law, it will mark a roll back of a “140-year ban.”
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America suggests the reason behind the push for open carry in Texas is not gun rights but “intimidation.” Claire Elizabeth, head of Moms Demand Action’s Texas chapter, said that when someone carries openly “there is no way to know…if that person is a threat to moms and our children.”
Of the six bills that have been introduced, some would require a license to carry a handgun openly—as they require in Missouri—while at least one would allow the open carry of handguns without a license—as in Mississippi and Arizona.
That’s true. You don’t know whether that open carrier is a criminal or not. But, you know what? A lot of criminals hide in plain sight. They look “normal,” and they dress “normally.” Many of them don’t carry a gun at all, and they hang out at public playgrounds. Yet, they’re extremely dangerous.
Criminals come in all shapes, sizes and colors and are not identified by whether they open carry their firearm. In fact, most criminals aren’t going to be dumb enough to walk around in public with their gun on their hip or around their shoulder. They don’t want to draw attention to themselves, unless they’re like Adam Lanza, in which case they’ll want the attention only after their act.
But even someone like Adam Lanza didn’t walk around Newtown on his way to Sandy Hook. He drove there [allegedly] with all his guns hidden in his car, and he didn’t take them out until he arrived at the school.
Suffice it to say, carrying guns out in public, whether they’re handguns or rifles, is not about intimidation. Well, unless you’re talking about intimidating criminals. That I can see. But it’s obviously not about trying to scare mothers and little kids and puppies and kittens. Bearing arms openly and concealed is about exercising a duty and a right acknowledged in the Constitution.