Open Carry Laws Helped a Madman Gun Down Three People in Colorado

0513_opencarry2201Growing up in Texas, it goes without saying that I have friends who like guns – one of whom is a conservative son of a former police officer and has had his concealed carry license for several years. One day a few months ago I asked him what he thought about those who want to openly carry guns and his response was rather surprising – he thinks it’s idiotic.

In fact, he said many of the same things I’ve been saying for years:

  • Openly carrying a gun makes you a target of anyone who may want to commit a crime because they know you have a weapon.
  • If everyone walks around openly carrying a gun, how would we know who the “bad guys” are?
  • It opens the door for discrimination because a group of black males walking down the street in a mostly white neighborhood with AK-47’s strapped to their backs isn’t going to make those folks “feel safer.”
  • It makes it much more difficult for cops to do their job because they can’t legally stop someone who might have bad intentions from openly carrying around a gun – until that person commits a crime with the gun (at which point it’s usually too late and there are already injuries or deaths).

This proves to me that someone can be an avid supporter of the Second Amendment and utilize common sense when it comes to regulating that right.

It goes back to a question I’ve asked gun fanatics for years: If everyone’s walking around with a gun thanks to these open carry laws, how can you tell the difference between a “good guy” with a gun and a “bad guy” with a gun before they start shooting people?

I’ve yet to receive a single rational answer to that question from any of them, because there isn’t one – and they know it.

Well, a tragedy in Colorado Springs perfectly exemplifies the dangers and stupidity of these open carry laws.

On Halloween, Noah Harpham killed three people in his neighborhood before later being gunned down by police in a shootout. This tragedy might have been avoided had it not been for the open carry laws in Colorado Springs.

You see, prior to Harpham opening fire, a neighbor had called 911 to try to alert police to the fact that she was worried something horrific was about to take place – only to be told by dispatch that there was nothing they could do because of Colorado Springs’ open carry laws.

Just think about that for a moment. You call 911 to report that someone who looks to have evil intentions is marching around your neighborhood with a gun, only to be told that there’s nothing the police can do about it until after that person shoots somebody or commits a crime with the gun.

That’s exactly the type of society open carry activists seem to want to create, and it’s absolutely absurd. Let me reiterate that, up until Harpham opened fire, he was just a “good guy with a gun excersizing his Second Amendment rights.”

I cannot fathom this level of stupidity and ignorance. To think, someone called 911 prior to this madman killing three innocent people and, because of these ridiculous open carry laws, there was practically nothing the police could do about it. 

Could you imagine if this happened at a school? By the way, there have been several incidents reported around the country where open carry activists legally marched in front of schools, terrifying students, teachers and parents. It’s just a matter of time before one of these “good guys” turns out to be a “bad guy” and we end up with another school massacre that could have been prevented – except open carry laws prevented anyone from doing anything about it until after a few students were already dead.

This is not what our Founding Fathers intended when they wrote our Second Amendment, and it’s a damn shame that there are so many people in this country who honestly believe that it is.

A big part of gun advocacy needs to be about responsible gun ownership and laws. There’s nothing responsible about supporting any law that says that when someone calls 911 to report a suspicious person carrying around a gun, the police can’t do anything about it because, until that person actually opens fire, they’re not breaking any laws.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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