There are certain times and situations when one expects to see adults openly carrying firearms, such as soldiers in combat zones, law enforcement officers patrolling their beats, or on the streets of Somalia, Yemen, or Afghanistan. In a developed and civilized society, though, one hardly expects to witness adults walking the streets, visiting eating establishments, or approaching vehicles at traffic stops with assault-styled firearms strapped across their backs as if they were in a combat zone in Afghanistan, or more recently in Texas. For residents of civilized society, armed men roaming the streets is disconcerting to say the least, but when they started approaching vehicles stopped for traffic in Arlington Texas, the residents complained to city leaders for redress. Subsequently, the city is being sued in federal court for violating the heavily-armed men’s 1st Amendment rights to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights to terrify motorists stuck in traffic.
After open carry advocates in Tarrant County Texas terrorized motorists in busy intersections handing out pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution and pro-gun literature, the Arlington City Council passed an ordinance, like most cities, prohibiting pedestrians from approaching and blocking traffic. It was too much for the gun fanatics and they fulfilled their promise to sue in federal court claiming the ordinance violated their 1st Amendment right to defend their 2nd Amendment right to inform motorists in traffic of their imaginary struggle against an imaginary federal government gun seizure crusade. It is not completely clear why Texas gun fanatics think portraying soldiers in a combat zone is going sway public opinion to support their imaginary war against imaginary gun restrictions, but attempting to make sense, or understand, the psychosis of gun fanatics is futile indeed.
Since no-one has suggested, or attempted, to seize anyone’s firearms, perhaps open carry advocates could explain how and why taking weapons into family restaurants, approaching vehicles at traffic stops, or joining roaming bands of heavily-armed and obviously paranoid men is preventing imaginary gun seizures. It is true the pretend combat soldiers claim that terrorizing motorists, shoppers, and hungry families teaches Texans the phony soldiers’ 2nd Amendment rights are being violated, but the assault-style weapons slung across their backs are not valid props to make their point. So the real question open carry advocates need to answer is; if they can legally carry guns in public, are they now demanding to use those firearms for the purpose they were intended? Is their goal gaining the legal right shoot other people without going through the inconvenience of claiming their “stand your ground” rights? Do they want to amend their cherished Second Amendment to include the right to open fire at their discretion or to declare the entire country an open combat zone?
Open carry advocates claim carrying guns in public and passing out pocket-sized Constitutions is about their 2nd Amendment rights, but Americans know about the 2nd Amendment. Americans certainly do not require heavily-armed men terrorizing citizens to remind them the Founding Fathers were suspicious of standing armies and favored “a well-regulated militia, for the security of a free state” instead. Many open carry advocates claim the only way they feel safe in public places is with an assault-style weapon strapped across their backs, but that notion informs they are extremely paranoid and need psychiatric intervention and treatment for their disorder. A disorder, by the way, that forced family-oriented restaurants to “politely” ask the open-carry advocates to keep their firearms out of their businesses and incited claims that business owners were “spineless panderers to liberal leftists.”
When Mexican food chain Chipotle asked customers to leave their guns home or in their cars when visiting its restaurants, gun advocates called it a “gun ban” and said, “as we all know, law abiding gun owners are clearly the problem when it comes to gun violence in America.” At least they understand the the increasing rash of mass shootings and gun violence in America are always at the hands of “law abiding gun owners” with “legally procured firearms.” One gun fanatic was livid private businesses were instituting a “ban that isn’t really an outright ban” but a “political pandering to the anti-gunners” with a “please don’t bring your guns here” request. The gun zealot complained about Starbucks instituting a no-gun policy in Newtown Connecticut after the massacre of 20 children and six adults by a “law abiding citizen with legally-procured firearms,” and said he was not deterred and still carries his gun because the 2nd Amendment; company policy and terrified customers be damned.
These gun fanatics are obsessed with transforming America into a war zone and if they are not satisfied being able to openly carry their guns, one can only assume their next logical demand is to be able to legally use those firearms in public because although that was not the Founders’ intent of the 2nd Amendment, it is the only “right” gun fanatics do not have. They claim, loudly, that their Constitutional rights are being infringed upon because carrying weapons in public is not satisfying enough. What about the rights of private businesses and sane citizens to go about their lives without being terrified by heavily-armed men approaching their vehicles at traffic stops or barging into restaurants with assault weapons in tow? Apparently that question will be answered by a federal court tasked with deciding if a city council has the right to enact traffic ordinances restricting pedestrians from accosting drivers at busy intersections in Texas.
Conservatives have clamored to take the country back to an imaginary time in America’s history, and gun fanatics wrongly assume that time included heavily-armed men wandering the streets looking for someone to shoot. The images of men carrying assault-style weapons in public and approaching vehicles stopped for traffic are reminiscent of Iraq and Afghanistan and not a civilized society. The Texas open-carry advocates claim it is about the 2nd Amendment and feeling safe in public places, but it is curious that millions of American mothers feel safe taking their children shopping or to restaurants without the need to carry assault weapons.
Gun fanatics, 2nd Amendment advocates, and open-carry zealots need to come clean with the public and explain exactly what it is they demand and why having the legal right to keep and bear arms is not enough to satisfy their gun lust. There has not been any gun safety legislation enacted in twenty years, and there are no attempts to confiscate their precious guns open-carry advocates claim drives their campaign to terrorize the public, at least in Texas. Maybe their goal is transforming the entire nation to resemble a combat zone like Afghanistan, or Texas. It is more likely that open-carry advocates are frightened, insecure little men who only feel safe, and masculine, when they are given free rein to assert their phony manhood because if they really wanted to be in a combat zone or a region fraught with peril they would be on the next flight to Somalia, Yemen, or Afghanistan where everyone has guns and are not afraid to use them.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.