|Could the woman pictured be shot in the back and have her gun taken?|
Phoenix, AZ—There is a significant contingent of gun rights advocates that are enamored with the idea of openly carrying handguns in public places. Yes, I believe it’s a right but is it safe or advisable?
Let me begin by making it clear that such activity is constitutionally protected. I have no desire for legislation prohibiting any form of bearing arms by the law abiding. It’s a choice pure and simple.
The truth is that open carry is a horrible idea. I’ve seen the fallout of open carry over and over for decades. The ignorant advocate that seeing an armed civilian is somehow a deterrent to violence. Nothing could be further from he truth.
Let’s begin with reality and some cold hard facts. Until the 1980s when ballistic vests became the normal attire of cops more than half the officers killed where shot with their own guns. Better holsters and training has also helped protect our police. The FBI Uniform Crime Reports publishes circumstances concerning the deaths of every cop each year.
Civilians generally get limited training on weapon retention and they certainly don’t routinely wear body armor.
Carrying concealed firearms provide important tactical advantages. Surprise is by far the best advantage to concealed carry. Open carriers understandably become an instant target and are at a huge tactical disadvantage.
Carrying an unnecessarily exposed firearm opens the carrier to a host of hazards. One is that some troublesome and or drunken fools love to provoke anyone they see that’s armed. These same people love to call 911 and falsely claim they were victims of Aggravated Assault.
Statements to police from an accuser along with a recovered firearm provide probable cause for police to arrest the gun carrier. Bail, lawyers, bad publicity, conviction and prison time may follow. This kind of mess is also very expensive! I know of numerous bogus convictions from that scenario. Ruined innocent lives are no laughing matter.
If an armed robber sees an exposed gun he may simply shoot or otherwise disarm the gun-displaying carrier. Why give them the advantage?
I would say that exposed firearms may be a deterrent only for a group of armed people. Also a group means there will be witnesses to derail phony assault complaints too. But for anyone alone open carry is a nightmare waiting to happen.
There are those people that want to be seen with exposed guns for narcissistic or vanity reasons. Perhaps they want to shock members of the public. Frankly I can’t imagine that kind of proclivity. I recommend psychiatric therapy for those people. Unfortunately a number of states only allowed open carry making concealed carry a crime. What I learned is that an exposed firearm is far more likely to be involved in regrettable incident than a concealed weapon.
Those of you that disagree with me and insist that open carry has some benefit should simply get help. I don’t think you should be possessing any weapons. Saying all of that I won't suggest for a second that there could be some rare circumstance where exposed carry may have an advantage. Think very carefully before making that choice.