Whatever you may have heard in the aftermath, open carry at the Dallas Black Lives Matter protest worked. No protesters who open carried were shot; nor did open carrying 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 among them is that open carriers will be the first ones shot by criminals. And if they aren’t they’re then likely to be shot by police.
Supporters of open carry claim that carrying weapons openly is tactical deterrence. That is, criminals are less likely to attack a person or engage in other anti-social behavior when someone is conspicuously carrying a firearm. They also claim that police will, over time, become accustomed to open carry and stop harassing those who do.
In the Dallas police sniper attack, showed those making the pro-open carry argument to be right.
According to various reports here were several protestors openly carrying long guns in the march that night. They exhibited good discipline. They didn’t fire indescriminately, they shot no one and weren’t shot by anyone, either.
The police also showed good restraint as well. None of the predicted doomsday scenarios came to pass. Yet this happened under some of the most stressful circumstances possible. It says a great deal about both the discipline of the open carriers and the professionalism of the Dallas police on the scene that there were no problems.
Police officers have noticed that it’s not hard to determine the bad guy with a gun from the good guy with a gun. In Dallas, the bad guy was pointing the gun at them and shooting. The good guys had their rifles slung over their shoulders.
Some anti-open carry activists made the irrational and impossible claim that because open carriers didn’t somehow stop or prevent the shooting from happening, open carry is a failure and should therefore be banned. That’s magical thinking. A straw man. Open carry proponents have never claimed that open carry is a panacea that will put an end to all violence.
Unfortunately, Mark Hughes was identified as a “suspect” from video that showed him marching with his rifle. He went to police headquarter where he was questioned for two hours and accused of firing 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’s reportedly considering a lawsuit, as his picture was shown world wide as a person of interest. Perhaps that’s understandable given the situation.
In the end, it was a win for open carry.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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.