On January first, Texans with a concealed carry permit will be able to open carry. But will they? Some, like your author, will. They’ll see open carry as a deterrent, a political statement and/or a more convenient way to carry a firearm in the Satanic Texas heat. Some won’t. Most won’t. It’s too much of a thing. Open Carry draws attention to an armed American. Sets them apart from the herd. And let’s face it: most people don’t want to stand out. On the other hand . . .
If any state in these here United is characterized by its collective belief in rugged individualism, it’s Texas. And nothing proclaims personal sovereignty against collectivist command and control more than an openly worn personal firearm. In that sense, open carry fits the Texas ethos like a glove on a bull rider’s hand.
That said, I wonder if the Lone Star State’s reputation as the home of the rugged individual is simply a romantic ideal, a PR-friendly relic of days gone by. Now that the state has embraced modernity (i.e. air conditioning) and social change (Houston is America’s melting pot) is it just paying lip service to the cowboy-centric myth of personal independence and accountability?
We shall see. Not straight away. Maybe not even until Texas finally adopts Constitutional Carry. But the video above, where Houston law enforcement officers are seen working to adapt to licensed open carry, gives me hope. Hope that Texans will open carry. A sign that America hasn’t lost the core values that made it great.