I have never given much thought to open carry (as opposed to concealed), because A) I live in a state in which both concealed and open carry are illegal under most circumstances, and B) from a tactical standpoint, I would prefer not to surrender the element of surprise. Still, in the sense that open carry helps educate the public that criminals and the police don't have a monopoly on the means to use force, open carry has a real place in the gun rights activist's toolbox, as discussed in a recent LA Times article.
That is exactly why Boston Globe columnist James Carroll is so vehemently opposed to it.
"Open carry" aims to remove such visceral negativity, though the taboo amounts, in fact, to last ditch gun control. The "normalizing" of guns will inevitably normalize their use. From movies to legislation to political rhetoric - and now to "accessory" fashion: guns galore. And who, pray tell, will bear, not the arms, but the consequences?Carroll, intentionally or not, makes the same point that many proponents of open carry make--that it helps to advertise the gun culture, and make it more mainstream. This clearly terrifies him.
In the great American gun debate, some would forgo the primordial shame the weapon still generates. Hence the "open carry" movement. But given the gun-deaths of children, and the sponsoring gun-paralysis of politics, Americans should have more shame, not less. A gun is no iPod. Shame is the children's last protection.The anguished bleating of a sniveling herbivore like Carroll is the best argument yet in favor of open carry.