Texas College Students: The Case For and Against Open Carry

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“Differentiating between a harmless gun-toter and an armed weapon-wielder may prove to be a task of growing concern for law enforcement across the State of Texas, according to the Star-Telegram. The challenge remains the same, where’s the line between respecting the 2nd amendment and providing necessary precautions?” That’s the lead to Weighing the Pros and Cons of Open Carry at the University of Texas at Tyler’s student run patriottalon.com. Like so many pro-gun control articles masquerading as objective journalism, this one’s suffused with qualifiers . . .

“may prove,” “growing concern” and “according to the Star-Telegram.” No surprise there. That’s how you roll when you want to disguise the fact that you think gun rights are a crock of you-know-what. The other main weapon in the fight against the truth about guns: marginalizing and mischaracterizing the pro-gun position. The pro side of patriottalon.com’s “debate” takes up just three – count ’em three! – of the article’s 33 paragraphs. Here they are:

Advocates of the open-carry bill, such as a Sales Associate for a Tyler area Wal-mart, Steve Nickerson, who believes that to bear arms is a Constitutional right to be taken advantage of by all. It is his understanding that one way to exercise freedom and participation in the democratic system is to openly carry a weapon or conceal by choice. He fully supports Governor Abbott’s statement “There is nothing more important in democracy than the voice of the people stepping up and saying ‘We expect the Constitution of the United States of America to be our guiding doctrine.‘“

Likewise to Nickerson, Tony Addison, a military retiree of 23 years and law enforcement official in the Philippines for three years, feels that open-carry is not only a right, but a beneficial adjustment to gun laws in Texas.

He states “open-carry is good because you’re carrying it on your belt and it’s easier to get to” in an emergency situation. Having dealt with weapons most of his adult life he has developed a healthy respect for weapons. He believes that a responsible gun owner will not only know how to properly operate their weapon, but be able to “take it apart, put it back together and clean it, along with being licensed.”

Did you catch the sarcastic phrasing: “It is his understanding that one way to exercise freedom and participation in the democratic system is to openly carry a weapon or conceal by choice”? Not “Mr. Nickerson also believes . . .” The quote asserts that open carry is “one way” to exercise freedom – implying that it’s not any more important than other ways. Is that really Mr. Nickerson’s opinion? I doubt it.

The other pro-OC source is hardly what I’d call a representative advocate. Unlike every OC proponent I know, Tony Addison believes that all Americans carrying a firearm – whether openly or concealed – should obtain government approval (i.e. he favors state licensing). Judging from Mr. Addison’s definition of a “responsible gun owner,” he reckons state approval should depend on some sort of competency test. Just like we apply to voting. Oh wait . . .

If this polemic’s pro-OC side is weak sauce – quotes from non-experts and OC opponents – the anti-side is a textbook example of risible rhetoric. Here’s a breakdown:

As with anything, misuse and abuse can happen. Most states that allow for open carry do not require any type of weapons training for their residents. If a person is legally eligible to carry a weapon, they may do so regardless of whether they know how or when to use it.

This can lead to a variety of unfortunate incidents. It is simple math that the more weapons that are being carried in any given area, the more accidental misfires will happen. Misfires can occur due to weapons being dropped, weapons falling out of holsters, weapons being carried with rounds in the chamber and the hammer cocked, etc.

See? There you go! The authors immediately exploit Addison’s pro-training argument to use it against Open Carry. The odd thing about that: Texas requires training for Open Carry. I don’t agree with it, but you couldn’t ask for a better/worse example of a straw man argument.

As for the “simple math” of “accidental misfires” and the danger of “weapons with rounds in the chamber and the hammer cocked,” lightning strikes are more common … and do you guys know anything about guns?

. . . right-to-carry gun laws have proven to be linked to an increase in violent crime, which worries critics of the new legislation. A study by Stanford University points to an increase by 8% in aggravated assaults directly linked to the right-to-carry-laws.

The abstract for The Impact of Right to Carry Laws and the NRC Report: The Latest Lessons for the Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy concludes: “It will be worth exploring whether other methodological approaches and/or additional years of data will confirm the results of this panel-data analysis and clarify some of the highly sensitive results and anomalies (such as the occasional estimates that RTC [Right To Carry] laws lead to higher rates of property crime) that have plagued this inquiry for over a decade.” In other words, what do we know?

Former Navy admiral and current chancellor of the University of Texas System William McRaven believes that “concealed handguns on campus would contribute to a less-safe environment, not a safer one.” He also fears, along with “mental health professionals, that the mixture of guns and the emotional and psychological stresses on students — many of whom are away from home for the first time — could lead to more suicides and accidental shootings [on campuses].”

WTF? McRaven’s quote is about concealed carry on campus – a battle he lost – not Open Carry throughout the Lone Star State. Equally, patriottalon.com’s student journos bring out the big guns for anti-OC arguments and trot out a Walmart employee and a retired soldier/LEO for the pro-side. How fair is that? Why didn’t the article’s young authors put a call in to Open Carry Texas leader C J Grisham – who comments under the post? And where did the writers find this guy?

In a survey of 192 police chiefs in the state of Texas, nearly 75% opposed open-carry. Many feel that the allowance of openly displayed weapons will do little to alter current gun owner’s habits. According to Henry Owen, a press operator and graphic designer for a print shop in Tyler, “a lot of concealed gun carriers will not carry openly. Why would you want to advertise that? I’m more into protecting my homestead…open-carry doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. We’re not in the wild, wild west!”

Nor are we in a place where elevated journalistic standards are in play.

This last issue is purely social in nature. While there are many who believe fervently in open carry laws, there are also those who believe that citizens walking around, visibly armed, reflects poorly on their communities. It is a misconception to assume that these individuals are all “bleeding heart liberals”; they are not. There are more than few professional law enforcement personnel who would prefer to see less firepower on the street than more.

Here, clearly, we see advocacy masquerading as reportage. The students set ’em up – unnamed people are worried about open carry lowering the tone of their towns – and knock ’em down – “more than a few” LEOs don’t like the idea of OC, either.

While we’re at it, how does “open carry” increase the level of “firepower on the street”? I’m sure tomorrow’s open carry practitioners are today’s concealed carriers. And what of the professional law enforcement personnel who favor more firepower on the street from law-abiding gun owners? Maybe the authors should have given them a paragraph on the pro-OC side.

In closing, open carry defenders and critics alike tend to agree on one central point: If you live in an open carry state and are considering arming yourself, is it worth investing whatever time it takes to become proficient with your weapon before you begin carrying it? This is time well spent. Education and training with weapons is crucial to proper handling.

Again with the training. Trojan horse, folks. While pro- and anti-OC folks can agree on the safety and tactical advantages of firearms training, anti-OC types are using mandatory training as their last defense against Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Open Carry’s a done deal but we still need to control it.

Good luck with that. Not. Once licensed open carry gains acceptance in Texas, Constitutional Carry (no licensing) is next. It’ll be interesting to see what weak-ass arguments writers Kristi Nipp, Natalie Martin, Raffaella Gullo, Ruben Espiricueta and Davis Domingue will marshal for that, should they find gainful employment amongst their left-leaning friends in the mainstream media. Meanwhile, class dismissed.

comments

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    Life is full of risks. Some avoidable – some not – and some that shouldn’t be avoided. Enjoy them, because we are all going to die anyways.

  2. avatar salvo says:

    Requiring an idiot to have training doesn’t make that person any less of an idiot, it just makes them an idiot who went through training.

  3. avatar Another Robert says:

    I’m not going to bother about a university-run publication that can’t recognize and use elementary proper sentence structure and completely misuses words such as “likewise”. They can babble incoherently among themselves all day for all I care.

  4. avatar Another Robert says:

    BTW, this student produced bilge originated at the University of Texas at Tyler, not “The University of Texas”, which refers to the university located in Austin. As bad as it is, UT probably wouldn’t let such grammatically-deficient twaddle be published as representative of the student body.

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      Oh! Ok, that makes a lot more sense. I was sitting here thinking, “Did some UT freshman go home to east Texas for the summer and ‘interview’ a bunch of her friends and relatives for this story?” Knowing it was UT Tyler at least gives the most miniscule hint of a bit of “journalism” by talking to folks around where the paper is being published.

      They’re still wrong, but at least… um… nope, I can’t even come up with anything to add.

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        Headline and text amended.

  5. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    ” . . .anti-OC types are using mandatory training as their last defense against Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. . .”

    And make no mistake, “mandatory” training opens the door for the state in extend control by deciding exactly what the training is, who is and who is not, and how many are allowed to pass. Think gun-controllers won’t think up “accountability” measures that insure almost nobody can meet the training standards? This is gatekeeping, pure and simple. And again, make no mistake, calls for “keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill” will cause the exact same thing to happen. Once the state gets control of a freedom it won’t let go and will instead make the freedom serve its own narrow interests. Accountability measures are always a precursor for more bureaucratic control.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    McRaven is the ultimate statist who had no problem at all ordering Americans to their deaths while he sat in the rear with the gear. Fvck him and all of his kind.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Admiral McRaven ended his USN career as commander of US Special Operations Command. True, that’s a top leadership position, based in Florida, directing operations worldwide.

      However, his entire career has been in spec ops, commanding at every level. At the lowest operational level, he was commander of SEAL Team Three and he was SEAL pkatoon on Underwater Demolition Team 21/SEAL Team 4.

      McRaven may be a lot of things, including a statist, an elitist, an anticonstitutionalist, and perhaps even a poor university president. He may be the embodiment of the Peter Principle. Perhaps.

      However, I don’t diminish his stellar record in the service of this country, nor do I doubt his personal bravery and commitment to front line warriors.

  7. avatar Excedrine says:

    There is absolutely NO “case” against open carry, only for it.

  8. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    where’s the line between respecting the 2nd amendment and providing necessary precautions?

    Really? That question had to be asked? I believe that line has been, and always should be: Committing a crime.

    People should be educated on what criminal behavior actually looks like. You should be required to provide your identity and meet with the police in person after “reporting a crime”. That way, when an idiot erroneously cries wolf or want to harass an OCer, they can be fined on the spot when the police arrive on the scene and determine it was a false alarm / harassment on the part of the caller.

  9. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Differentiating between a harmless penis-toter and a rapist with a raging hard-on may prove to be a task of growing concern for law enforcement across the State of Texas, according to the Star-Telegram. The challenge remains the same, where’s the line between respecting men and providing necessary precautions?

    As ridiculous as the above statement sounds, every single man who walks onto the University of Texas campus has testosterone and a penis and is thus fully capable of raping a woman … and that fact is obvious to everyone. How are faculty, students, visitors, and police supposed to determine which penis-toting men are there on legitimate business and which penis-toting man are there to rape a woman?

    The answer is simple: the men who are on campus to rape are the men raping women. They are not a rapist until they actually try to rape a woman. Similarly, the people with firearms who are out to harm people are the attackers who are attacking people. They are not actually violent criminals until they attack someone.

    1. avatar Snug says:

      Interesting example. I guess the only difference is you can set down a gun and walk away, but you can’t leave your penis behind. I completely agree with your conclusion.

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        Bruce Jenner begs to differ.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Snug,

        That difference is irrelevant to the basis of the gun grabber argument. Their argument: every armed person could be a violent criminal and no one knows their intentions … so let us ban them to be on the “safe side”. And I can make EXACTLY the same argument: every man could be a violent rapist and no one knows their intentions … so let us ban them to be on the “safe side”.

        If a person believes it is ridiculous to ban men from locations that have women, then they should also conclude that it is ridiculous to ban armed people from locations that have other people. Any other conclusion is a result of hysteria.

  10. avatar locke_n_load says:

    Constitutional Carry would pass in Texas, if the NRA would actually back it next time.

  11. avatar Bob says:

    This is some of the worst “journalism” I have ever seen. It is full of conjecture and opinion. It contains no factual information, only opinions spoken by ordinary people who know nothing about the subject discussed. It is complete trash. Not even worth reading as light entertainment.

    He could have interviewed several experts, or quoted their writings. Instead he did several man-on-the-street interviews, and the quality of their comments matches their ignorance of the subject.

    This never should have been published. The only reason it was published – It agrees with the liberal agenda of the newspaper it appeared in. Son, you get an F- for terrible reporting. You and your editor should be fired.

  12. avatar JSJ says:

    “there are more than few professional law enforcement personnel who would prefer to see less firepower on the street than more.”

    And exactly who cares? They probably also prefer we drive Yugos to make police chases simpler, which means exactly nothing.

  13. avatar LongPurple says:

    “It is simple math that the more weapons that are being carried in any given area, the more accidental misfires will happen. ”

    Yep, just “simple math”. The same “simple math” we find in:

    “If it takes a woman 9 months to give birth, we can assign 9 women to that task and complete the project in 1 month.”

    PS
    “Misfires”???

    1. avatar LongPurple says:

      It is a mathematical certainty that more misfires will, in turn, result in more alibis.

  14. avatar C.Rogers says:

    It seems like the law abiding gun-toter will have it on his hip and the armed gun-wielder with have it in his hand. And it will be making noise.

  15. avatar Binder says:

    Say YES to mandatory training.
    In High School
    Firearm (101) 22 long gun
    Firearm( 201) 410 Shotgun
    Firearm (202) 22 Pistol
    Firearm (301) 12/20 gauge Shotgun
    Firearm (302) Pistol Carbine
    Firearm (401) Center fire Pistol and Rifle
    Electives in various firearm competitions: Skeet, Trap, Precision, IDPA/USPSA and 3 Gun

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      You should run for school board.

  16. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    The egregiousness of the lack of fact-checking prior to publication of that stufent-rag article is nearly surpassed by the egregiousness of the lack of editorial quality control for basic grammar.

  17. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    So, yes, call them out every single time. On polemic. On distortion. On weak tea or flat out misrepresentation of the arguments supporting positions they’ve already decided against. On the false flag of opinion masquerading as factual reporting. Call them out.

    You wanna have a conversation about guns in America, let’s do that. What you did just now … I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    /Rant

    As for this: “Differentiating between a harmless gun-toter and an armed weapon-wielder may prove to be a task of growing concern for law enforcement…”

    OK, the bad guy is doing the bad thing. The guy not doing bad things … not the bad guy. Shooting, threatening, brandishing at other people … bad guy, doing bad things.

    See, that wasn’t hard, was it?

    This, however is BS: “Differentiating between a harmless gun-toter and an armed weapon-wielder may prove to be a task of growing concern for law enforcement…”

    “…growing concern for law enforcement.” My goodness. What about citizens? Really, we put laws in place and indeed have law enforcement for the benefit of citizens, not the other way around, right? Or did I miss something?

    So, mighty skippy of you to realize that maybe ballistically questioning anyone who happens to be “toting” a gun is, um, an unfortunate lack of discretion on your part. Yeah, have a concern. You may have to note who are the bad people doing bad things to … other people who aren’t cops. Silly me, I thought that was the job.

    “…differentiating between a harmless gun-toter…”

    The whole point of being a citizen “gun-toter” is to be able to do effective harm to a bad guy bent on doing worse, if that should occur. A lawful “gun-toter” is supposed to be harmful … to a bad guy doing bad things, when that’s the last choice.

    There are no “harmelss gun-toter(s-ed)”. That’s the point. Who is harmed, and why matters.

    “An armed weapon-wielder” ain’t necessarily wrong.

    That retired Texan who shot the whack-job who with one of the most improbable long-range pistol shots I’ve ever heard of shot that whack job who had responding cops pinned down, was armed, and wielded his weapon. Good thing he did. The cops who were in big trouble said so.

    “… growing concern…”

    It’s easy. The bad guy doing bad things is a problem to be “concerned” with. The guy with a gun casually hanging on his hip, isn’t doing anything bad or wrong. He’ll probably even have your back should something bad starts happening.

    In the still more BS category: ” …where’s the line between respecting the 2nd amendment and providing necessary precautions?”

    The 2nd amendment doesn’t get “respected” at some line you decide. It’s the law. Don’t like it, change it. Notably the judiciary generally doesn’t talk about “respecting” the law. It talks about within or outside the meaning of the law. If the situation at hand is within the law, the result is … what the law says.

    So, there is no “respect” the second amendment. Follow it, or commit a crime. If you don’t like what it says, get it changed. This framing of the discussion is BS. So, this guy is now a Supreme Court Justice, or rather amending the US constitution in a speech? Right?

    “Precautions”

    Yeah “precautions” for who, about what? What about the people who get killed, robbed, or simply live unsafe lives because they cannot protect themselves, because of your “precautions?” Meaning making the world safer for you, you think, by making it worse for them, they can demonstrate. So much for “precautions.” It’s precautions “we” need to take to protect “ourselves.” Seriously, never, ever, ever take any plural pronoun these guys use at face value. Read them all in quotes.

    Proconsul Cuomo-the-Younger bloviated (some more) just this week after one of his posse got shot by a gang-lang stray … “We gotta get rid of the guns.” So, dude, how’s that SAFE act working out for you? Maybe more of that is not the solution.

    So sorry you had to realize that bad guys, doing bad things do damage to good people minding their own business. Happens all the time. Just not to you and yours. *This* is the reality of many of the people who oppose your grand gun-control schemes. Dude, the bad guys will still be able to get at me, and you’re gonna take away one way I can protect myself from that.

    I am sorry a stray slipped past your Swiss Guard. Prove you can get all the guns away from all the gang-bangers, for all time and we can talk about “necessary” and “precautions.” How about you make a speech about knocking down the gang violence people live with every day in every city in your peaceful, gun-regulated paradise?

    You talk about “gun violence” because it’s easy. Easy to talk about. Easy to pretend to “do something.” Easy trade-offs, especially when you marginalize and “other” “those people”, you know “them”, you know the “gun-toters.” No. They are citizens looking out for their own safety. Talk about the people who don’t give a damn about the safety of others & do something about that.

    Citizens legally carrying guns will remain “precautions”, sadly too often “necessary” until you can clean up the perennial free-fire zone among the cartels, thugs and predators. Meanwhile, let people who are simply protecting themselves do so. Either that or you move all the rest of us into your gated neighborhood, behind your armed security.

    I said it was a rant…

  18. avatar Rlc2 says:

    Journolistas are simply propagandists of the Left.

  19. avatar LongPurple says:

    “Furthermore, right-to-carry gun laws have proven to be linked to an increase in violent crime, which worries critics of the new legislation. A study by Stanford University points to an increase by 8% in aggravated assaults directly linked to the right-to-carry-laws. “

    Pssst, your bias is showing.
    There is a very low threshold of “proven” exhibited in this biased article’s salivating acceptance of the findings of a flawed study. Too bad they chose to ignore the refutation of that “study” by Moody, Lott, Marvell, and Zimmerman —– “Trust But Verify: Lessons for the Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy”

    From the abstract:

    The implication is that earlier studies that found that right-to-carry laws reduced crime were flawed because of bad data. However, we can replicate the N[ational] R[esearch] C[ouncil] results with Lott’s original data and with the data set used by the NRC. The earlier studies are not flawed by bad data. The source of the replication problem, however, was that Aneja, Donohue, and Zhang did not estimate the correct model specification—a problem that they themselves admit in subsequent communications issued in 2012. There were also errors in the data set that they assembled. Errors that when corrected reversed the only estimates that they obtained indicating that right-to-carry laws may have increased crime.

  20. avatar RickP says:

    “According to the Star Telegram” should have been everyone’s first clue to throw the article in the trash. The Ft. Worth paper is certainly *not* neutral nor conservative. Maybe they ought to pay more attention to gang activity over in their communities………

  21. Am I to understand that Steve Nickerson says “be properly licensed”? What part of “shall not infringe” does he not understand?

  22. avatar Mike walker says:

    Glad someone read it. I could barely make it through the quoted paragraphs of BS

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