I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of days trying to decide how I felt about the upswing of the open carry movement in California.
Open carrier at Starbucks - Original image at KTVU.com in their Specail Report video
For those of you who don’t know, it’s legal in California to openly carry an unloaded, holstered handgun as long as you’re not within 1,000 feet of a school, on the grounds of a college or university, in a government building or the secure area of an airport. Also, if you have a drug or violent crime conviction or mental disorders, then you can’t even own a gun. It is illegal in CA in carry a concealed weapon at any time.
Recently there have been more people in the San Francisco Bay Area deciding to exercise their right and open carry their firearm in public…like when they go to Starbucks or Wal-Mart. Of course, some people freak out because they see someone carrying a gun and they automatically assume that gun is loaded…and they ask themselves what the heck that person is doing carrying a gun at Wal-Mart anyway?!?
Take a look at this video posted on KTVU’s web site: SPECIAL REPORT: Open Carry Advocates Maintain Right to Bear Arms [Lloyd LaCuesta]
Well, here’s my two cents on the whole open carry thing: I think it’s a bad way to exercise your second amendment right. At my first consideration, I thought it was pretty cool, but after giving it some more attention I don’t think it’s such a smart thing and here’s why:
1.) You call a bunch of negative, unnecessary attention to yourself. I’m the kind of person that likes to lie low. I don’t want anyone watching what I do, checking out how I look, and of all things, I don’t want to be bothered by the police. I just like to go about my business without being interrupted.
2.) It’s not necessary to openly carry a gun in public to “protect” yourself. What you’re really doing here is putting a big bullseye on your back to be messed with. If you truly feel the need to carry a gun for protection reasons, then you should CONCEAL CARRY. Yeah, it’s illegal in CA but if you feel your life is that much in jeopardy, then by all means just do it! It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be stopped by police and checked for a gun if you’re just a regular ol’ citizen going about your daily routine and not being all suspicious and stuff.
3.) Open carriers are making things worse for every gun owner in CA and they’re making us look bad. We’re a very liberal state and the average person here is not pro-gun or pro-hunting—we’re in the minority and have to work that much harder to do our thing without someone—government or otherwise—interfering with our lifestyle. When Sally, mother of three, sees you walking down the street with your 9mm hanging at your waist, she’s going to call the police because she thinks you’re carrying a loaded weapon and are out to shoot someone/something. I saw this other video about the open carry movement in Virginia, and this guy said “When I go to the store with my weapon no one bothers me.” Well, duh! I’m not bothered by many at the store either…except for bums who want money, solicitors trying to sell me something, and crowded aisles on occasion. How about next time I want them to leave me alone I’ll just point to my gun and tell them to fuck off.
No one is respected just because they have a gun strapped to their person. There’s that old saying about respect being earned…well I disagree with that. Everyone I meet has my complete respect—their respect bank is 100% full from the moment we’re introduced. Over time, their actions determine if that bank will remain full or if it will deteriorate. This is how I operate because we’re all human in this world—no one superior to another in nature—so you don’t have to bow down to me, or impress me, or be some kind of friggin’ “hero” or an evangelist in order for me to respect you. In summary, if more people thought THIS way, we would live in a much more polite society—NOT if you open carry a gun!