Parkdale mall in Beaumont, Texas banned guns from their establishment after one of their renters open carried a rifle slung over his back to his firearms business in the mall, and someone complained. Police arrested him for “disorderly conduct”. The mall said that they have always been anti-gun, but they never bothered to post the legally required signs before. There may be a reason for that “lapse” . . .
Remote Control Hobbies is the second business to leave. That follows Golden Triangle Tactical, the shop Derek Poe was headed toward when he was arrested for open carrying a rifle.
“We had to second think if we were going to stay. We made the decision we’re going to leave because of the stance on concealed guns,” Owner Cherilyn Mitchell said. “Now everyone is saying they’re going to boycott the mall. I’ve gone from 150 tickets a day to two. Here it is on a Sunday and I have no traffic.”
Texas is one of a few states that doesn’t allow open carry of handguns, a relic left over from reconstruction and the capetbagger government.
The Texas constitution, adopted after the Reconstruction government was voted out of office, protects the bearing of arms, but allows the legislature to regulate the “wearing” of arms. Thus long guns escaped the leftover reconstruction gun ban and may be legally open carried in Texas.
As part of the movement to restore Second Amendment rights around the nation, residents of Texas have organized and are holding “open carry” rallies all over the state. In response, Greg Abbott, the favorite to be the next Texas governor has said the time has come to restore the right to openly carry sidearms as well as long guns.
Not all gun writers agree. Bob Owens of bearingarms.com has written that the open carry of long guns is a failed tactic:
From New Mexico, to Utah, to Wisconsin, and now this incident in Texas (and in other places too numerous to mention), long gun open carry has resulted in rules and laws being passed that constrict where gun owners can legally carry guns.
Is this not the exact opposite of what long gun open carriers claim they are trying to do? When your tactics are failing, it is time to discard those tactics.
None of the cases that Mr. Owens cites has resulted in passage of a statute. In each case, legislation has been proposed that has almost no chance of passage. Similar attempts were made to criminalize the open carry of holstered handguns. In an earlier post, Mr. Owens had more harsh words for open carry:
This sort of calculated obnoxious behavior caused Starbucks to issue a letter asking people to stop open carrying in their stores, giving gun control groups a small victory.
I disagree with Mr. Owens. There is nothing obnoxious about openly carrying long guns in public. It is a simple, obvious assertion of Second Amendment rights. If rights are not exercised, they are lost. Open carry of long guns was first restricted in Texas by Union troops during reconstruction. Then the Reconstruction government changed the Texas Constitution to make the practice legal. Open carry of long guns was first restricted in California with successful Alynski tactics on the part of the Black Panthers.
California is one of the few states that doesn’t have a right to keep and bear arms provision in its state constitution. This was because of a desire of the legislators to retain the power to disarm Hispanics and Chinese, a purpose that was directly stated as the reason for the early need for concealed carry licenses. When the legislation restricting open carry was being debated in the California legislature, a number of Black Panthers appeared at the legislature with openly carried, loaded, long guns, pushing the legislation over the top and insuring its passage.
Open carry has been successfully used to reform restrictive laws in Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and likely other states that I do not immediately recall. As recently as the 1950’s, it was considered normal for people to openly carry shotguns and rifles in New York City. The only reason that there is any “alarm” at the open carry of long guns today, is the partially successful brainwashing of two generations of Americans into believing that only government agents should be allowed to have arms. Put a uniform on the long gun open carriers, and “alarm” fades to nothing.
The fact that criminals almost never open carry, and that open carry is a form of political speech, protected by both the First and Second Amendments, is what is needed to counter those who equate a uniform with safety.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.