“The new ‘open carry’ law strikes at the very foundations of civil society and the norms that hold our country together,” David Dillard-Wright writes at chronicle.augusta.com. “Carrying a gun in public is itself already a threat to others, a sign that the person carrying that gun not only seeks to defend him or herself but also goes around looking for an excuse to use it. The politics of paranoia sow seeds of destruction that will harm innocent bystanders, prevent community building and increase suspicion of others.” And there you have it: the case against open carry by someone who couldn’t identify the foundations of our civil society if they read the Constitution a hundred times. Or, I’m thinking, once. But it’s not about civility, is it, really. It’s about incivility. Mr. Wright and his ilk believe that . . .
carrying a gun – openly! – indicates that an armed American is not only seeking to defend himself (thank you, Mr. Wright for acknowledging that much) but looking for an excuse to use the firearm for . . . something else. Something that’s not in society’s best interest.
Intimidation? Yes that, obviously. How can anyone doubt that open carry is meant to be intimidating when [some] people are intimidated by it? But Wright’s suggesting darker deeds. He’s intimating that these OC folk are capable – actively seeking – to perpetuate something far worse. The murder of innocent bystanders? Probably. Preventing community building by opposing the welfare state? Seems so. Infecting others with anti-government “paranoia”? That too.
No matter how you slice it, the author’s arguing (if that’s the Wright word) that anyone who carries a gun openly is guilty of incivility in extremis. They are anti-social outsiders who trumpet their individual rights at the expense of the “it takes a village” statist status quo.
I’m good with that. The last bit, I mean. This, not so much:
I personally think that advocates of “open carry” have seen too many action movies where a good guy with a stubbly beard saves the day by brandishing a high-powered weapon. In this typical American fantasy, guns restore order and right wrongs in a black-and-white moral universe. The costs to innocent life are left out of this fantasy, as are the tacit and explicit racism and misogyny of gun culture. As a truncated version of the Second Amendment is held up as an idol to be worshipped, lives are lost every day in the streets, and, increasingly, in schools and shopping malls.
Anti-gunners are so blinded by their fear and loathing of the natural right to keep and bear arms that they can’t even be bothered to make a coherent argument. Wright reckons he can accuse gun owners of “tacit and explicit racism and misogyny” without providing one shred of evidence to back-up his claim. Ditto the snide remark about the “truncated” Second Amendment – implying that gun rights advocates ignore the prefatory clause because it [allegedly] restricts gun rights to an organized militia.
As for the number of lives lost in schools and shopping malls, Bruce Krafft has proved many times that the word “increasingly” has no business in a sentence quantifying shootings in these locales. Unless, of course, you’re lying. But that’s how Wright and his fellow proponents of civilian disarmament roll. They manipulate not-to-say torture the language to further their agenda, obfuscating the truth about guns.
The new law seems to go one step further, actively encouraging almost anyone to carry a gun almost anywhere. Since our politicians have abdicated their responsibility, now ordinary citizens must speak out against this insane gun culture before even more atrocities happen in the name of personal liberty . . .
Guns don’t make us safer. Bonds of friendship, citizenship and kindness do. To have a more peaceful society, we must live that peace every day in all that we do.
Georgia’s new gun laws do not actively encourage anyone to do anything. They remove previous layers of government infringement on Peach State gun owners’ natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The laws allow residents to exercise their gun rights more freely – as America’s Founding Fathers intended – if they so choose.
In any case, guns do make us safer. Both individually and as a society. A fact that open carriers wish to convey (in their own special way). But if Mr. Wright truly believes that bonds of friendship, citizenship and kindness are the key to a more peaceful society, I suggest he begin by lobbying those recalcitrant politicians to disarm the police. And see where that gets him.