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Gender: Do not display
Home country: USA
Current location: Dallas, Texas
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 30,252

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I'm not a big fan of "open carry" within city limits, and here's why

One of these days, maybe you'll take a trip into the back country or the wilderness, seeking to get away from the city for just a little while. You may find yourself an hour's drive away from anything remotely resembling a town. In some parts of America, if you come across a four-way intersection with a traffic light, a dollar store, and a Dairy Queen, that qualifies as a metropolis by local standards.

I've been in a few areas like that, checking to see if I have enough gas in the tank and any bars on my cellphone before launching myself into yet another hunt for a ghost town or a forgotten cemetery. And sometimes along the road, I'll see the carcasses of these huge feral hogs left to rot in the sun. These poor fellers are built like tanks, and they can sometimes be quite aggressive. If they charge at your car in the middle of nowhere, you're in serious trouble.

Out there, open carry isn't such a bad idea.

My home, however, is in a fairly large city where the downtown area is intersected by two interstate highways. We have a decent network of paved roads, ample hospitals and medical clinics, plenty of restaurants and coffee shops, and even a few bookstores that aren't choked with romance novels and religious writings. My city also boasts a large and reasonably competent police force as well as a sheriff's department.

And I look at some of these people who have been engaged in open-carry exercises in order to prove the point that you can openly carry a gun without society going all to pieces, and while I understand where they are coming from, it seems that the stubbornness and gratuity of their demonstrations has quickly become counterproductive. Here we have a guy toting an AR-15 through a JCPenney, and some other guy lugging an AK-47 into his local Staples.

Guys. Come on.


While I'm all in favor of a workable and competent CHL system, I tend to like the idea of people coming together to build and sustain a society that doesn't require all of us to be strapped 24/7. If you are far removed from city limits and testing your own endurance out in the boonies, then by all means, sling that AR-15 around your neck and do what you gotta do. But here in the city, I look forward to the simple pleasures of taking a walk in the park if that's what I'm in the mood for, then retiring to a good Tex-Mex restaurant for some chips and queso followed perhaps by some good enchiladas (how's the mole here, dear server?) and, ideally, a night on the town with good friends with whom I can discuss politics, play a few card games, or just enjoy each other's company.

About a week ago, however, as I was stopped at a gas station before heading home for the night, I found myself watching a heated argument between two guys, and it looked like it was going to come to blows at any second. So I stepped between them and broke it up - with nothing more than a flashlight. Nobody got hurt, no weapons were drawn, and everybody went on their merry way. Could one or both of the antagonists have been packing? Perhaps. But that was a chance little unarmed me was willing to take.

I like the whole "Renaissance man" concept of ordinary Americans broadening their horizons in the sciences and the fine arts. As my wife's great-great-great-great-granduncle Ben Franklin once opined, "There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one's self."

But if you really want to master your own self, you'll know there's a time when you just need to put down that gun.
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