Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Open Carry on Fox 5's 'The Rant'

This screen cap is from a friend’s post on Facebook, coming from probably the March 23rd Fox 5 Rant. If you haven’t seen it, they play voicemail messages left on their ‘Rant’ line. The messages run from addressing current issues in Las Vegas to the pretty random. I didn’t catch this myself, not being a fan of ‘The Rant,’ but I think the comment speaks for itself and I’d like to dissect it.

My first reaction was that it was absolutely laughable; this person is as naive and hoplophobic as they come. 

The second thing I thought was that this is that it’s a plant by an anti-gun group. Anti-gun propaganda being farmed out into local media by Bloomberg’s Astroturf groups. Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense is known for targeting stores, particularly the Kroger brand (Smiths in Las Vegas), that don’t prohibit or at least discourage customers who are carrying.

Given the plethora of gun bills before the legislature this year, it is not hard to imagine infiltration of local media to influence the unwary, by making it appear that the public is against open carry, etc. I would imagine that more of this will flood local media as the background check initiative campaign goes into high gear. This has already been seen on the comments section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Now, let’s take the rant at face value.

First, good for open carriers! A single person seeing two open carriers independently in the wild is a good sign that it’s becoming more common and widespread here.

Second, open carry does not require a permit in Nevada. Our state has no laws on open carry. Only concealed carry requires a concealed firearm permit. Even in that case, probable cause is required to check someone’s permit.

“It made me feel uncomfortable.” How do you think young black men feel around armed police officers lately? What changes when a gun is carried by a private citizen and not a police officer? In fact, police have a higher rates of misdeeds and inaccuracy than citizen carriers.

Rights are not about what makes another feel comfortable. Various rights exercised by my fellow Americans make me very uncomfortable and I would love to see them go away, yet as an American, I respect their right to be/do/say whatever. I don’t care for the Chipotle Ninja’s slinging their AR-15s at lunch, but I won’t say ‘no’ to them either. Where comfort comes in is my right to feel safe from violence; that means the gun on my hip, which is more often than not open carried.

Why isn’t this person worried about the concealed carriers, which outnumber open carriers? I always thought the devil you knew was better than the devil you don’t know. At least with an open carrier, you know that the person can legally carry that weapon (or is a very, very dumb criminal) and is responsible enough to put it in a holster. Open carriers are also the least likely to have a mishap with their gun, because they know that carrying a weapon, especially openly, requires incredible responsibility and awareness.

“What’s happened to this country. [sic]” When I go out to get milk, I don’t want to get robbed or worse. I’ve been robbed once. Hoping that you get shot before you have a chance to soil yourself is not fun. Thankfully, Nevada gives me the option to never be in that helpless, unarmed position again. What has happened to this country where I don’t feel safe going to buy milk? In the last few months, there has been a rash of robberies at Smiths grocery stores here in Clark County.

What happened to our country that I must defend my right to self-defense so often? Until the middle of the 20th Century, gun control wasn’t really a thing. Open carry was normal and people thought you were a criminal or up to something if you concealed a gun. Yes, what happened to our country and where did our common sense go?

Lastly, why is this person so uncomfortable and afraid of a person shopping with a gun? They weren’t waving it around or threatening anybody. This person is a coward; afraid of an inanimate object carried by a peaceful person. What’s so scary about a person who wants to save his life and possibly yours from a murderer or madman? It's like saying "That ethnic person looks like a criminal--I'm uncomfortable." My perspective is obviously different, but it should be rather comforting to know that others are prepared and able to defend themselves.

The gun, to this person, has become a fetishistic object of terror. In their mind, the gun conjures images of death and destruction. Since guns are used by criminals and in murders, then that particular gun on those open carriers’ hips must also, by extension, be inherently evil. The fallacy is clear.

Really folks, get over it. Open carry is legal, it’s a right, and it’s harmless. Please check your fear of guns as it’s totally irrational. Fear the man who hides his gun and does not carry it for his safety.

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