Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The 'shame' of liberty

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.


Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced of the tactical advantage that concealed carry offers vis a vis the element of surprise.

I've heard the old saw about carrying openly being a "shoot me first" sign, but how often has that ever happened?

The only times I've heard of such actually happening have been cases of armed security or police being shot first. In those instances, the perp obviously EXPECTED to encounter armed people and that was part of the plan.

When has it ever happened that an openly carrying person was shot in your typical mugging or liquor store robbery?

Even having the element of surprise, any time gunplay is involved, the situation has the potential head south quickly. Even in a successful self-defense shooting, the aftershocks, emotionally and legally, are significant.

I carry a firearm, whether openly or concealed, in the hopes that I'll never be required to fire a shot at anything other than a paper target at the range.

In my humble opinion, versus the "shoot me first" scenario, it's MUCH more likely that your average critter will see my openly carried firearm and choose to ply his trade in less hazardous environs. In that case, I've already achieved my goals: I protected my family and didn't have to touch the firearm...or even be aware that the act of self defense occurred.

Until a rash of "shoot me first" incidents convinces me otherwise, I'd say the advantages of open carry outweigh the disadvantages...even before considering the PR angles, which are many.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Those are valid points, Sailor. The debate is rather academic for me, living in Illinois, but if I did live somewhere else, perhaps it would be time for me to reconsider.

Anonymous said...

I prefer open carry, but have never done so. Anytime I have ever carried, and for a long time I did 24/7 it was concealed because at that time most of the places I happened to be forbid carry at all.

But, the state is not allowed to place a value on my life less than my valuation of it. I alone am the one to say what they will be allowed to do when it comes to the wellbeing and security of me or mine.I haven't carried in a very long time, but I am never helpless and most of the time not unaware.

I recognize the paradox in my full support of anybody carrying anything they wish in any manner they wish, even while I don't carry. It's called respecting the supreme law of the land and respecting the rights of all men.

If I ever were to carry again, you can bet, I won't be asking permission.

Mike Gallo said...

I have recently begun openly carrying here in WI, and I'm working my way up to things like running errands while packing. For now it's mostly yard work and State Forest excursions. I find that the educational aspect of open carry is what is most important to us right now, as we push to get a comprehensive (i.e., not mandated concealed) right-to-carry law passed. When we finally do, I will probably be so comfortable openly carrying that I will continue to do so, but it would be nice to be incognito sometimes.

In response to the "shoot me first" sign, and along the same lines as sailorcurt, I'd like to point out that most people don't even notice a full size .45 on my hip unless they look right at it. I've been walking around the house/yard for hours sometimes before my wife notices I'm carrying, and I think that for the casual criminal encounter (more likely given my commuter status), it is going to be more of a deterrent than invitation. The most common question I get when people notice my gun is "Are you a cop?" The armed robber might just assume the same, and I don't think it's a comforting thought during their victim selection process. Not only that, but it forces me to be VERY aware of my environment, as weapon retention becomes a priority.

Big Gay Al said...

Best advice I can give to anyone interested in Open Carrying of firearms, check out http://www.opencarry.org