Sunday, February 15, 2015

TX: Dallas Morning News Publishes Article on Open Carry

As second amendment supporters appear close to restoring some of the freedom to open carry modern handguns, the Dallas Morning news has published an article, just before the crucial vote on the issue.  The paper has an editorial policy against open carry reform.

This illustrates that the media has a great effect on the outcome of political decisions.  The article seems designed to lessen the force of one of the most important facts of the open carry movement: most states already have it, and do not have problems.  The article attempts to reduce the impact of that fact; but the reality cannot be ignored.  From the
Texas’s outright ban on carrying handguns in plain view is unusual. Only California, Florida, Illinois, New York, South Carolina and Washington, D.C., have similar laws, according to the California-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Texans with a state license can carry a concealed handgun, and open carry of rifles and other long guns is legal.

Of the 44 other states that allow some form of open carry, 31 don’t even require a license or permit to openly carry handguns, according to the group, which opposes open carry.
The map shown in the article is provided by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a site that promotes more restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.  They have defined things to make the states appear as restrictive as possible.  For example, Arkansas has very little restriction on open carry, yet they list it as an "open carry with some restrictions".  The law in Arkansas was changed about two years ago, so their data may be old.

It is the language in the article that shows the bias.  The writer speaks of open carry being "allowed" instead of being "restricted".  The basic assumptions in the statement is that everything that is not "allowed" is forbidden; yet the premise of American government is the opposite; everything that is not forbidden is allowed.   That is an enormous philosophical difference.

While the tone of the article was against open carry reform, the facts were clearly for it.  The author could not cite a single incident to justify keeping the restriction.    The author explained how Texas ended up with the unusual open carry law that it has, a result of the Civil War and reconstruction:
“In the first stage, they did it so they could let their friends carry and arrest their enemies,” said Stephen Halbrook, a lawyer and an expert on the history of American gun laws. “When the other side took over, they used the same law for the same purpose.
The article created a sense of "nuanced" open carry, but it could not get by the elephant of the most important fact: 62% of the states have virtually unregulated open carry, and do not have any problems with it. 

The comments were about as useful to read as the article.   They broke into two camps, with second amendment supporters having the edge.  As usual, the second amendment supporters used facts and the disarmists using emotion, personal attacks, and fearful hypotheticals.  From the comments, a second amendment supporter:
Lindy Frickman
So, what's the point of the above article? That Texas will be like Mass? That won't happen.

Here in New Mexico almost everyone carries a pistol or revolver. Most have them in their vehicles or carry openly in the huge national forests we have, either hiking or hunting, Ranchers carry openly for snakes and critters.

Probably Texas will do something similar, but, if people feel the need to open carry for any kind protection, they need to have that right. Heck, sometimes we have guns at night when we take the dogs out because of coyotes.

In Arizona some people open carry when they take money to the bank or go to an atm.
Open carry in Texas will be just fine, probably lower gun crimes. Remember, it's better to have it and not need it than need it an not have it.
From the disarmists side:
Ya Dig
Wanting to walk around with a gun on your hip or with a rifle on your shoulder serves as a sign of bravado for some people. This notion that citizens will somehow feel safer with everyone walking around looking like Lucas McCain is pretty crazy. Money always gets everyone's attention, and when Texas notices an uptick in its citizens sending their children to college out of state, where they don't allow students to pack heat, then maybe our governor and the rest of the Republicans will come to their senses and see this whole open carry mess is ridiculous. I hope businesses like restaurants and retail stores stand their ground and not allow people to enter their establishments with guns on their hips and shoulders. This is not responsible gun ownership. this is gun extremist behavior. I would hate to see a family member of one of these gun nuts be gunned down behind some nonsense in order to make them see that this everyone get a gun agenda is not safe.
The crucial vote is scheduled for Tuesday, the 17th of February.  The vote will be to move the bill out of the Senate, and will require a super majority of 19 votes out of 31.  If the bill passes that hurdle, it will likely pass in the House, and be signed into law by Governor Abbot.

 Definition of  disarmist 

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.Link to Gun Watch

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