You’d think one of the WaPo’s Harvard and Yale-educated editorial writers would have a basic working knowledge of the Bill of Rights and the Founders’ intent behind the Second Amendment. You’d be wrong.
Thus do right-wing extremists exploit America’s lax gun laws for political gain. Of course, the open carrying of rifles or handguns is a recipe for intimidation and potentially deadly confusion, even when not politically motivated. If shots ring out on a street full of armed pedestrians, how are the police supposed to identify the culprit?
Yet 44 states allow open carry, subject to a hodgepodge of restrictions. Michigan allows open carry in the capitol, but not casinos. Exhibiting a weapon is okay, but not “brandishing” it — except in “self-defense.”
Open carry may be benign, even necessary, in limited situations: hunters carrying their weapons home from a day’s shooting, for example.
On the whole, though, no state worthy of the name can permit exceptions to its monopoly on legitimate deployment of armed force like those in Michigan or North Carolina. Surely no sensible interpretation of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms would say a state must tolerate them.
– Charles Lane in How our open carry laws can endanger democracy