Backlash against the efforts of "open carry" (as opposed to concealed carry) activists in Texas to condition the public to seeing firearms routinely carried by peaceable citizens as they go about their business has drawn a considerable amount of attention of late. In Texas, where carrying a modern handgun openly is illegal (open carry of black powder pistols is permitted), open carry activists who wish to stay on the sunny side of the law must carry long arms--rifles or shotguns (or black powder pistols). They have been doing so, into restaurants, department stores, etc., drawing, as indicated above, rather a lot of attention, much of it decidedly disapproving.
The intent of today's column is not to address the wisdom of this practice, or its rather debatable utility in advancing open carry rights. Instead, let us explore the depths of hatred harbored by some opponents of open carry against the practitioners of that activism.
Enter columnist Bruce Benson, born and raised in Manitoba, Canada, but now living in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Writing for BlueRidgeNow.com, Benson informs us that as a boy in Manitoba, he and his brother would routinely walk through their small town carrying long arms on their way to the hunting grounds, and that no one in town saw a problem with this. But (there's always a "but"), things have changed now:
Gimli is not such a little town now, and that does not happen anymore. And it shouldn’t.
Ah--so just as Dr. Ben Carson believes that one's right to own a semi-automatic firearm hinges on whether "you live out in the country somewhere by yourself," or "in the midst of a lot of people," Benson apparently believes that the size of the town in which one lives should be the determining factor in whether carrying firearms openly is appropriate. So what's the magic number, where is the dividing line between "rural enough" for recognition of one's fundamental human right to bear arms, and densely populated enough to warrant infringement on that which shall not be infringed? Neither of them says.
Benson then goes on to describe another chapter of his childhood, when a stranger offered his 10 and 12-year-old sisters a ride. They wisely declined, and told their father, who in understandable anger reported the incident to the police, only to be told that until the man did something actually illegal, there was little they could do. The man then went on to abduct, rape, and kill an 11-year-old girl. And yep, you guessed it--Benson perceives a parallel here:
“Do we have to wait until he does something before you will act?” my father demanded. Yes, was the answer, and he did. The man who approached my sisters later raped and killed an 11-year-old girl who was in my grade.
Back to Vichique. Do the members of Open Carry Texas think we have to wait until a man with a fully loaded rifle starts pulling the trigger before we can ask him to put his weapon down?
Because, you see, a man trying to lure children into his car is just like a group of people exercising their right to keep and bear arms. And besides, we all know about all the mass shootings that were preceded by the perpetrators very openly and transparently displaying their firearms. What . . . there are no such incidents? How odd.
Aside from the child rapist/murderer comparison, Benson is actually kinda polite when compared to some critics of open carry. Amanda Marcotte (we've encountered her before) apparently cannot refer to open carry activists without calling them "nuts," "idiots," or a certain orifice best known for a rather messy bodily function.
The far-left Daily Kos, astonishingly (or perhaps not), has taken the silly meme of "firearms as substitute for inadequate sexual anatomy" even further than Marcotte did, to the bizarre extreme of repeatedly referring to semi-automatic rifles as "giant metal death penises," indicating an astounding--and rather alarming--level of ignorance of the purpose of both firearms and penises.
Again, the wisdom of the approach to activism taken by Open Carry Texas is open to very legitimate question, but if anyone in this discussion can be fairly described as dangerously consumed by hatred, it ain't OCT.