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Keep that gun where I can see it

Kevin Drum grouses about the California push by gun-rights advocates for "open carry" laws that let owners walk around with loaded firearms strapped to their side:
Maybe victory always makes people eager for more more more. But why don't they just accept their victory and bask in it instead? Get Heller and McDonald enforced around the country and call it a day. None of them cared about carrying guns around in public twenty years ago, after all. And if there's any way to get a sympathetic public to turn against them, demanding the right to have armed posses of obsessive gun enthusiasts marching around in supermarkets and bars and school corridors sure seems like a good way to do it.
I've written before that I don't think the Second Amendment is always and everywhere a good thing—if it were up to me, this would be one of those items to be decided at state-level, a la "laboratory of democracy" federalism. What's good for farmer in Kansas isn't necessarily great for my Philadelphia neighborhood. (And what's good for Florida certainly doesn't seem to be great here.)

That said, if we're going to live in a society where everybody's free to walk around armed, I'd prefer they have a pistol strapped to their hip—where I can see it, and judge the situation accordingly—rather than have them hidden in a waistband or jacket pocket: Concealed carry is permissible under California law, after all. It's not the guy with the Colt .45 strapped to his thigh that worries me; his intentions are clear and therefore mostly honorable. It's the people who hide their lethality that worry me. But I guess I'm in the minority.

Comments

emawkc said…
I agree with you on this, Joel. In fact I think "full disclosure" i8s usually the best course in just about every endeavor or issue.

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