Earlier this week, I wrote an article about the recent open carry incidents in Texas where some individuals have made it a point to carry assault weapons in public and into private establishments, in protest of Texas law which does not allow the open carry of handguns. Let me explain this: In Texas you can get a concealed weapons permit pretty easily, you can “stand your ground” like in many other states such as Florida, and you don’t even need to have a permit to have a concealed weapon in your vehicle. In other words, Texas is one of the most gun friendly states in the entire country, and I really don’t have a problem with that. Individuals should be able to defend themselves, their family and their property from criminals without undue burden or fear of civil or criminal charges so long as they act within the boundaries of the law.
However, some of the individuals involved with the new Open Carry protests have gone well beyond sensible gun ownership and into the bizarre realm of where anyone can take any weapon anywhere they want. The already very lax gun laws in Texas aren’t good enough for them and Open Carry Texas. In other words, they believe the 2nd Amendment means zero restrictions and even trumps the rights of private property owners. It seems that they believe the “shall not be infringed upon” part of the 2nd Amendment also means that it gives them the right to infringe upon the rights of others, especially the 1st Amendment rights to assemble and speech of Moms Demand Action, a group opposing them.
I probably can’t speak for the personal beliefs and backgrounds of each and everyone of those individuals who feel that the current, extremely gun friendly laws in Texas and other red states aren’t loose enough. However, I really want to know at what point Open Carry Texas and others will be satisfied? When they can have a loaded AR-15 on their back in a grocery store or nightclub against the wishes of the property owner? Removing the federal requirements for owning a fully automatic weapon? What is going to satisfy them? Probably only the complete gutting of any and all regulation of firearms, as well as any of the consequences surrounding the potential misuse of the guns they seem to worship above all else.
Even the leaders of Open Carry Texas have finally realized what a public relations nightmare their members have created and have ordered them to stand down in this statement:
Whereas, our mission is to get open carry of handguns passed in Texas, we must once again adjust in a way that shines a positive light on our efforts, our members, and our respective organizations. We have decided the prudent path, to further our goals, is to immediately cease taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited.
For all further open carry walks with long guns, we are adopting the following unified protocol and general policy to best ensure meeting our respective legislative mission to legalize open carry:
1) Always notify local law enforcement prior to the walk, especially the day of
2) Carry Flags and signs during your walk to increase awareness
3) Carry the long gun on a sling, not held
4) Do not go into corporate businesses without prior permission, preferably not at all
5) If asked to leave, do so quietly and do not make it a problem
6) Do not post pics publicly if you do get permission and are able to OC in a cooperate business
7) Do not go into businesses with TABC signs posted with a long gun (Ever)
8) If at all possible, keep to local small businesses that are 2A friendly
My question is why do you absolutely have to have your weapon visible? Isn’t carrying your Bersa, your Sig, or your Glock concealed enough? My only guess is because you’ve gone across the line from self-defense to intimidation, and that’s counter-productive to any sensible 2nd Amendment discussion – and utterly stupid.
If the sight of police officers carrying shotguns or assault weapons in full uniform disturbs people, imagine how most private citizens would react to what looks like random, rogue gunmen carrying any kind of weapon out for all to see? If you walk into a bar, restaurant or even a school with a visible handgun on your hip or an SKS on your back, you aren’t making a political or self-defense statement. You aren’t defending gun rights, you aren’t helping your cause, you’re simply being a dick who is just asking to get shot by the police or a licensed concealed carry holder.
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