I have a problem with open carry.
Before you get all bent out of shape, hear me out. I'm not trying to discriminate against you, nor am I trying to remove all guns from the public sphere. In fact, I have no problem with concealed carry. I'm simply not on board with open carry.
Here's the situation as I and many others see it. You may be a completely honest law abiding man or woman. You may be the kind of person that would never hurt anyone. You may carry a gun because you sincerely want to serve and protect the public. But there's still a problem: I don't know that.
I don't know you. I don't know if you intend ill or harm. I don't know if you are or are not mentally balanced. I don't know if you're a disgruntled ex-employee or a jilted lover set on revenge. I don't know if you're a well-trained gun handler or an idiot with a gun. I don't know if you know your child or dog happened to inadvertently turn of the safety on your weapon. I don't know anything about you.
And you expect me to be comfortable with that?
It is rational for people to feel uncomfortable in the presence of a weapon. Should they or shouldn't they? Irrelevant. That fact is that many (perhaps most) do for very understandable reasons. Is your desire to carry a weapon openly so important that putting people on edge is acceptable to you? Is concealing a weapon such an ugly prospect. Go ahead. Have your gun. Just let the rest of us ignore that. You know you're protected and that you can protect others. Isn't that enough? Have you any empathy at all?
A few questions:
- Do have any conflicting feelings when looking at these two pictures?
- Would you feel completely at ease if you saw people you thought were Muslims with this cache in your favorite restaurant?
- Would you feel absolutely comfortable if someone who looked like this walked into your business? Or these gentlemen?
- Or is open carry only for white folk?
Think carefully before you answer. Are you absolutely sure that open carry FOR EVERYONE is something you support? Do you really think that no one should feel uncomfortable?