Sunday, June 19, 2016

Open Carry: The Right To Be a Bully

Armed in America: A normal day downtown.
My good friend Roland Lazenby, one of the finest newsmen I've ever known and author of about five dozen books, wrote the following short essay on open carry for guns this morning and he reflects my sentiment exactly. I present it to you as a Father's Day gift, hoping you live to see the next one and that some gun nut doesn't consider you a bad guy.

"Was watching a music show in Blacksburg ... last night when I noticed a young man standing up front with a big ol' handgun strapped to his hip. He kept looking around nervously as if he was checking to see who was noticing him. I immediately perceived him as a major threat.

"Now, I know you open-carry folks are all about your freedom to carry weapons of death into a peaceful crowd. But basically what that becomes is a freedom to feel superior over everyone else, to enjoy the intimidation it brings. That freedom treads all over my freedom, my right to life, liberty and a pursuit of happiness. 

"Open carry is a power trip employed by people who need and enjoy flaunting their power and danger over the public. The person carrying that gun may have a license (actually the idiot legislature in Virginia doesn't even require a permit for open carry), but that means nothing to me. The government that issues any license has no real sense of the mental health of the person it has authorized to be armed. 

"If you are such a person, full of blather about your open carry rights, you are severely limiting my general freedom. Worse, you are a power tripper, using a gun to intimidate people around you. The very act of you carrying a weapon and flaunting it publicly suggests you may well be mentally unstable and a serious threat to my health. 

"I'm still quite angry today over this smart ass from last night. So you open carry proponents are a bunch of bullies, in my humble opinion. You can take your permits and shove 'em where the sun don't shine. 

"And if you're a politician who gave in to the gun lobby and voted for open carry laws, you are a coward who lacks good sense and should be removed from office."

Well said, my friend.  

(Photo: dwgregory.com)

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