Monday, July 18, 2016

'Open carry's' theater of the absurd

"For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind." – Hosea 8-7.

Recent events remind me of the only lasting memory remaining from having poked my head inside a long-ago gun show at the Astrodome:

          Metal detectors were at the entrance

          Yes, even a gathering of gun nuts didn't want nuts with guns joining the day's congregation.

          I use that example to illustrate why people who denounce gun control need to define their terms. After all, stationing metal detectors outside of a gun show clearly is gun control.

         But what about our freedoms?

Welcome this week to a national nightmare.

The Trump convention? That's not exactly what I had in mind. Ah, but coincidentally, what I have in mind is in fact happening in Cleveland, in one of several states, Ohio, that has embraced the insanity of open-carry.

We are seeing heavily armed individuals roaming the convention grounds, people with no badge and no business lugging around killing machines.

The same insanity was on hand – 20 to 30 individuals armed with military-style weapons -- when protesters gathered in Dallas to express their concerns and a sick individual with a killing machine took five officers' lives.

Didn't it make things safer that silly amateurs were on scene with their ARs and AKs? Yeah, boy.

As a Dallas police spokesman stated, "The challenge was sorting out witnesses from potential suspects. Texas is an open-carry state, and there were a number of armed demonstrators taking part."

So, no. As police organizations state vigorously. Open-carry can make a crime scene less safe, more confused, more chaotic. 

Open-carry is not about safety. It is show-and-tell that causes the class to do duck-and-cover.

In Colorado, where open-carry is a local option and where the right wing controls the city of Colorado Springs, a few months ago a man was advertising his intent to kill people, but a 9-1-1 operator told a caller that his walking down the street with a rifle strapped over his shoulder was within his rights.

Then he shot dead two people at random.

Aside from the self-evident safety problem that comes with allowing just anybody to openly brandish firearms is another issue that helps portray the matter in terms that suits its architects.

Open-carry laws are racist.

Maybe they aren't racist in intent, but, let's call them structurally racist, de facto racist.

When white people carry openly in an open-carry state, they are not going to be harassed or harmed. However, if a black man openly carries a firearm, he'd better hit the ground before the lead starts flying.

Among all the open-carry activists that night in Dallas, one was black. That man, Mark Hughes, not only was detained by police but was identified by police on Twitter for a short time as the shooting suspect. He's lucky he's not dead.

Since they know that many lawmakers will roll over and play dead for the NRA regarding laws like this, a gallant organization called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is calling on retailers to bar open-carry from their premises, as have Target and Texas grocery giant HEB. Kroger is resisting calls to join them.

I like Moms Demand Action's nomenclature, by the way. Gun control? It's like the War on Poverty -- a hill too far with an unreachable objective. However, gun sense? Every American should demand that of our lawmakers, of our retailers, of our neighbors, of our country.

Gun sense. Open-carry is not about self-defense. It's about exhibitionism. It's mostly about the entitlement of a white, fear-making class.

Like our gun policies in general, it couldn't possibly make us safer.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

45 States have Open Carry. Since when is that insane?
The 5 that do not have Open Carry is what is insane.

Anonymous said...

Just another left wing anti gun d-bag

MrApple said...

"Open-carry laws are racist." You should really do your research into the racist nature of America's gun control laws as a whole.

City Hunter said...

John Young is either the most brilliant satirist ever or the worlds biggist neutered male d-bag.

Anonymous said...

From the bio:

Award winner from Planned Parenthood of America for commentaries about family planning, reproductive rights and gay rights.

So he's OK with murder, but not self defense.

'Nuff said.

Daniel Lewis said...

Do you understand that the venue puts up the metal detectors not the gun show? People at the venues can be as afraid of firearms as you are, it does not mean the people at the gun show were.