“Flashing” is the slang term for indecent exposure: showing one’s genitalia to an unsuspecting stranger. It’s a serious sexual crime. In firearms terms, “flashing your gun” is known legally as” brandishing.” Unless the gun owner (or people in his or her care) is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, brandishing a firearm is also a crime. So, when theindychannel.com headlined their report on a Black Friday Open Carry demo Gun Advocates Flash Firearms Downtown, you can rest assured that they’re being deliberately misleading and provocative. To be 100 percent clear: the demonstrators didn’t “flash” their firearms at anyone. They carried them in full and plain sight, legally. Now about that picture . . .
Why did the news service choose to use such a nasty ass picture of the demo? Not only is the image barely distinguishable full stop, it doesn’t show the demonstrators’ faces or the surrounding environment. Which is, I’d like to suggest, the raison d’etre of this exercise. Open Carry. As in public.
Instead, the snap focuses on the big bad guns. Which is, I’d like to suggest, the liberal newspaper editors’ problem with Open Carry. Open carry. As in nut cases with weapons on city streets.
Indiana’s Open Carry one dozen-strong cohort certainly don’t sound like extremists. And why would they? The whole point of “gun normalization” is, uh, normality.
“We’re just really trying to educate the people about the gun laws here in Indiana,” said Steve Jensen [not shown]. “We generally have pretty good gun laws in Indiana, but we think a lot of people freak out when they see a gun in public because they’re not used to it.”
So how’d that work out for you? The paper fails to quote a single observer—which is probably just as well. Most news reports on gun demos are filled with quotes selected for maximum divergence. In fact, as a recent Gallup poll found, most people couldn’t give a rat’s ass about gun control issues, one way or the other. But we know of one group that cares deeply . . .
Gun advocates said Indianapolis police have harassed them on downtown streets by holding them for unreasonably long times after checking their permits.
IMPD said that in the current atmosphere, police need to check permits and a gun carrier’s intentions.
What current atmosphere might that be? Since when does the free exercise of a constitutional right—in full accordance with local and state law—depend on the police’s divination of the “current atmosphere”? Open Carry may scare a lot of people. But that unattributed quote scares me more.