I have never been a proponent of “open carry.” It’s not that I have any moral objection to wearing your heart on your sleeve and a gun on your hip; it’s just that it’s not my kind of look.
There are times when keeping your iron on the outside makes sense but they usually involve war zones or hunts in bear country. Besides, while open carry doesn’t necessarily welcome observers, it certainly does welcome observation.
Between Hollywood’s fetishization of firearms and the anti-liberty hate groups’ demonization of them, open carry demands attention; at least some of which will be less than friendly. Simply put: open carry isn’t worth the hassle.
Unless it is. Recently, the city in which I reside, Savannah, Georgia, has begun to resemble less the crown jewel of the Coastal Empire which winks at tourists from photogenic squares, guidebook-ready homes and deep-fat-fried food and more a southern exclave of Detroit. Violent crime has become a fact of life here, with homicides as common as shrimp boats.
While some seem bent on assigning the blame to the usual “gun violence” bugaboo, the reality is that the perpetrators behind the crime wave are no different than the thugs who draw innocent blood from Savannah to San Bernardino. The law means as little to them as life, therefore life means as little to them as the laws they violate.
To criminals, disarmed citizens are nothing more than easy targets. Although their supposed motivations might alter, they are no different than the animals who shoot up schools in Connecticut, churches in Charleston and each other in Chicago.
Recently, three thugs murdered a man in cold blood less than five blocks from my home. The crime occurred in a lovely neighborhood, at a time when I might well have been walking my dog. They gunned him down while he was taking an evening stroll with his wife, and murder was clearly on the table the moment they left on their hunt. Only one thing could have stopped them, because only one thing frightens them: the threat of deadly force.
The panacea of so-called “gun free zones” has been thoroughly debunked to the point of hilarity. Making self-defense a criminal act guarantees everyone will be defenseless when the criminals act.
Though individual firearm possession is a Constitutional right, we have more laws restricting said possession than we do for anything that doesn’t grow in Colombia or the Golden Triangle. And those laws have repeatedly proven to be the key which unlocks the door to our homes, our businesses and even our lives.
Legendary author Robert Heinlein cautioned “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” Another wise sage warned “when seconds count, the police are minutes away.”
Opponents of open carry claim a widespread version of the practice would send society towards frontier town-style shootouts, replete with trigger-happy vigilantes blazing away without justification while innocents dove for cover. In doing so, they’re equating potential victims with potential assailants.
I would also note that the Democrat-owned cities in which any carry is a virtual impossibility, thanks to gun laws practically lifted from anti-liberty hate groups’ dream journals, the shootouts have been going on unabated.
I’d even be willing to deal with the inevitable “stop and frisk” encounters with law enforcement in order to preclude any “stop and shoot” encounters with the local law breakers. Sure, I might lose out on some fun exchanges with unhinged anti-liberty activists, but that’s just a bonus.
— Ben Crystal