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It’s been all quiet on the open carry front for a while now. There’s been very little debate and discussion in the firearms fraternity about not pushing the gun rights agenda too far, lest it alienate Middle America (a position outlined by combat vet and TTAG writer Martin Albright). And here it comes: a gun supporter’s 19th nervous breakdown. “Instead of being satisfied with victory on every front,”‘s Frank Cagle writes. “Some of the special-interest groups that advocate for guns are now proposing abolishing the carry permit program and allowing gun owners in Tennessee to carry a gun anywhere without having a permit. They point to states like Vermont, where there are no gun regulations and citizens can carry wherever they like. That also means no background checks and no need to demonstrate proficiency with a weapon.” Your problem being?

If the gun rights advocates continue to push the envelope, the public attitude could change. If you push and push and push, sooner or later you are going to get someone pushing back. Carry permit holders in Tennessee, and other places, have a good record. It is a rare occurrence for someone who has a carry permit, who has had a background check, and who has had training, to use a gun irresponsibly. It is also true that criminals will ignore any gun regulations.

But that is not to say some horrific event couldn’t change things. Or that the public attitude won’t change. It would also be helpful to give the public some time to see how the changes in gun laws plays out. If we have some time to adjust to expanded carry rights without incident, perhaps the issue could be revisited sometime in the future.

Right now it would be politically astute to hunker down, use the courts to enforce hard-won rights, and make sure gun owners are being responsible.

It would be wise, for now, to just shut the hell up.

Well ain’t that a kick in the pants.

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