Image from thearkansastimes.com
Open carry at the Dallas protest worked. No protesters who open carried were shot; nor did open carrier protesters shoot anyone. Police are now less likely to harass or arrest peaceful open carriers.
The doomsayers who rail against open carry make numerous nonsensical claims. Primary of them is that open carriers will be shot first by criminals. They also claim that open carriers are likely to be shot by police.
Supporters of open carry claim that the open carry of weapons is tactical deterrence. That is, that criminals are less likely to attack a person who is openly carrying. They also claim that police will learn of the laws about open carry and will stop harrassing people who openly carry.
In the recent Dallas police sniper attack, the open carry supporters were shown to be right, and the open carry detractors were shown to be wrong.
There were several protestors that were openly carrying long guns in the march. They exhibited good disciplne. They did not fire indescriminately, they shot no one. They were not shot by anyone, either.
The police showed good restraint as well. The thousands of open carry marches in Texas that lead to the reform of the open carry law last year did a good job. No open carrier was arrested or shot at.
Link to video of Mark Hughes turnin over rifle to police officer
None of the doomsday scenarios that people opposed to open carry claim will happen, happened. Yet this was during one of the most provocative possible events, where police are under fire with a number of police wounded and killed.
It says a great deal about the discipline of the open carriers and the professionalism of the police in Dallas that there were no problems.
Police officers have noticed that it is not hard to determine the bad guy with a gun from the good guy with a gun. In the Dallas case, the bad guy was pointing the gun at you and shooting at you. The good guys had their rifles slung over their shoulder.
Some anti-open carry activists made the irrational and impossible claim that the open carriers were somehow supposed to prevent the shooting from happening at all. That is magical thinking. Open carry proponents have never claimed that open carry is a panacea that will solve all violence. It is a false argument to claim that because open carry does not solve everything, all at once, it should be banned.
Unfortunately, after the event, Mark Hughes was identified as a "suspect" from video that showed him marching with his rifle. He went to police HQ, where he was interrogated for two hours and accused of fireing his rifle. It seems the police still have a ways to go in the normalization process. After being accused, Mark Huges asked for his lawyer. He is considering a lawsuit, as his picture was repeatedly shown on television as a person of interest. It seems the police need a bit of retraining on open carry. Perhaps it is forgiveable considering the number of police shot and killed.
None of the people openly carrying were shot, and none of the people around them were shot. Win - win - win.
Update: There were 20 or more people openly carrying long guns in the protest march. Only Mark was questioned. He was not arrested, fined, or jailed.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch