I often open carry, especially in the summer when the temperatures make concealed carry a bit more cumbersome. I was open carrying at this Yuma, Arizona gas station when a man approached me. He asked if Arizona is an open carry state. I told him it was, and went on to explain that most states were. He said he was from Colorado, where open carry was forbidden in some cities.
Yes, I said, the Colorado Supreme Court had made a weird decision that Denver could ignore state law. He said the city of Aurora also prohibited open carry.
I told him that not only was Arizona an open carry state, but that we had constitutional carry, too; he didn’t need a permit to carry concealed here if he was over 21.
As he appeared to be about 45 or so, he had a good chuckle over that. I explained that 10 states now have constitutional carry, and that it’s very likely that Missouri will be added in the near future.
The gentleman mentioned that he had seen several people openly carrying in Arizona, and had wondered about it. Now he knows more, and knows where to get more information.
The encounter illustrates an often underrated advantage of open carry: it’s an excellent way to meet interesting, mostly friendly people who are potential allies. About 95 percent of the contacts that I make while openly carrying are amiable and curious, as this gentleman was.
Those who aren’t friendly to open carry are usually silent when they encounter someone openly exercising their right to keep and bear arms. Theses antis may be seething inside, or worse. But again, those on the fence about gun rights are generally curious. Every time they see someone “normal” who’s carrying, it helps inoculate them against anti-gun antipathy.
There’s a vast sea of Second Amendment supporters who aren’t actively involved in the fight to restore and preserve the RKBA. Probably tens of millions of them. If they can be mobilized and educated (they are moving in that direction) they will become an unstoppable political force.
Hillary Clinton needs to keep pushing for more federal restrictions on gun ownership. It will help her cement the support of her gun-hater base of support, and inform the rest of the country about her attitudes toward the Second Amendment. A constitutional republic depends on informed voters. And, I’d argue, open carry.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.