Salt Lake Tribune columnist Rebecca Walsh says that people who openly carry defensive firearms are "gun-crazy," and that their refusal to be defenseless (or to hide that refusal) is somehow indicative of extreme immaturity.
He also has started making explosion and gunfire noises.I suppose that even a person who refuses to be defenseless doesn't need to have a gun available at all times--when in a place where one can be absolutely positive that no evil psychopath bent on murder and fifteen minutes of (posthumous) "fame" will be present, I suppose a firearm is superfluous. Let's see--what kinds of places would that be? Schools? Shopping malls? Hmm--finding a place where defenselessness seems like a good idea is starting to look a bit difficult.
I get the inevitability of little boys' fascination for guns.
What I can't figure out are the men and sometimes women who don't grow out of the gun-crazy stage of childhood, who need to have a handgun on their hips at all times, who need their neighbors to notice.
Walsh goes on to say that she understands why people might be drawn to shooting for sport (target shooting and hunting), and she even claims to understand why some people might carry a concealed defensive firearm--it's carrying one openly that she doesn't understand (or approve of).
But the OpenCarry movement is a mystery to me. What kind of psychology - overcompensation, paranoia, antisocial personality - is behind that thinking?I've talked about the reason before, Rebecca, and it's pretty simple. Much of society views firearms--particularly handguns--as tools of the government (military, law enforcement, etc.) or crime. For people to realize that many folks just like them also carry the means to survive an encounter with evil, a bit of public education is in order. Open carry is an excellent way of providing that education--which, I suspect, is the reason some folks find it so objectionable. Case in point:
Steven Gunn, an attorney and board member of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, believes it's pure ego.As we all know, making a statement about one's Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental, absolute human rights is just . . . tacky. That Martin Luther King guy? What a prima donna.
"We have inconsiderate boors walking around on the street carrying firearms openly," says Gunn. "I don't think they are truly afraid for their safety. Most of them are trying to make a statement about the 2nd Amendment."
Rebecca actually has something to say about rights:
Police are struggling to strike a balance between gun owners' rights and those of the rest of us.Unfortunately, what she says about rights doesn't make any sense. There's no "balance" to be struck here--the rights of "the rest of us" are in no way violated by the fact of peaceable, responsible citizens openly carrying firearms.
The "best" line came from a professor at a university in (where else?) Illinois:
"Second Amendment questions aside," says Springwood, a professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, "the real debate seems to me a cultural and social one: Do we want a society in which it is an unconscious emblem of everyday life that folks move about with 'portable killing machines' strapped to their bodies?First, if you plan to stop open carry with more gun laws there is no setting "Second Amendment questions aside"--if you want to infringe on that which shall not be infringed, you're going to have to square that with the Bill of Rights. Good luck with that. As to people "with 'portable killing machines' [sigh] strapped to their bodies"--you don't expect people to move about with non-portable ones, do you? But to answer your question, Professor, yes--we do want the carrying of firearms to become an utterly unremarkable exercise of the right to keep and bear arms.
As good a place as any for this picture of teenage girls buying ice cream in Israel.
* Not really--since Illinois mandates defenselessness, if I carry a loaded firearm, it had better be concealed--still, I'm an "inconsiderate boor" in spirit (as well as being a whiney hag).