Moms Demand Action founder and Mayors Against Illegal Guns muppet Shannon Watts was incensed earlier this week when she learned that I was armed when she posed for a photo (above) with me at an anti-gun event. All I did was ask for a pic, then shake her hand and thank her. She accused me of misleading her and in a way she was right. By carrying concealed I was hiding the fact that I had a gun (not that it’s anyone’s business anyway) and it reminded me of something Dr. Gary Kleck (of the 1995 Kleck-Gertz study on armed self defense) said during an interview I did with him a few years ago. He pointed out that an odd change has taken place in American attitudes with regard to open vs. concealed carrying . . .
“[Open carry] actually used to be the norm in the United States. The belief was that people that carried concealed had a nasty reason for doing it and people who were carrying openly were doing so because they were honest citizens.”
It’s a bit like wearing a mask in public. If you’re not doing anything wrong, then why would you try to conceal your identity? Maybe Ms. Watts would have preferred it if I was open carrying (never mind that it’s illegal in Texas). More likely, she would have been horrified at the sight of a gun and wouldn’t have come anywhere near me. Is concealed carry somehow deceitful?