In obtaining my concealed carry license, I underwent training before being granted the privilege. It wasn’t nearly as comprehensive as my military weapons training, but it was something. Meanwhile, open carry is permitted by default as a result of the silence of the law in 41 states — which means that almost anyone who possesses an AR-15 or shotgun can legally carry in public, with no training requirement.
This country has a long road ahead in the fight for racial justice, but when it comes to open carry, we can take action sooner. States must prohibit firearms at demonstrations held on public property or at capitol buildings. If you want to protest, bring signs, not guns.
Weak open carry laws should never be used to enable armed intimidation or suppression of the constitutional right to assemble and peacefully protest. More states should follow the example of the handful that already regulate the open carry of firearms in public, by prohibiting it or requiring a license. And where we have these laws, they must be equally enforced.
I carried a firearm on behalf of this country in uniform. But I can’t feel safe carrying my own firearms here at home. Something must change.