A few notes on open carry, concealed carry, and any other name given to laws allowing your average citizen to pack heat in public.
I’m going to assume that the reason anyone wants to carry a firearm along with them is for their own protection. A logical thing if, for instance, you’re camping in bear country. Or if you’re actively involved in gang violence. Police forces seem to attract bullets, so they should probably have them too, but the police don’t really fit into my category “average citizen”.
I’m talking about the person (Although I should type “man” instead of “person” because it is an overwhelmingly male thing to do.) who carries a gun because something has made this person decide that the other people around can’t be trusted. This person doesn’t feel safe, and fears for the safety of loved ones. Fine. I don’t trust everyone else, either.
Why, though, am I supposed to trust 9-mil Bill over there to make good, rational, responsible decisions, if Bill doesn’t trust me? Is Bill paranoid? Does he have a persecution complex? Is Bill just a naturally scared person? Does a non-trusting, paranoid, persecuted, scared person make sound decisions? Fuck no.
Humans make terrible decisions under stress, which is what the body translates all of the above emotions into. This is why generals don’t usually follow their soldiers into battle. If the person making the grand plan were subjected to the same sorts of stress as the rank and file, war would be even more horrible than it already is.
Our locked and loaded Bill isn’t even protected while carrying. The only thing that’s really happening is that everyone else is a little more nervous, which then further clouds their decision making. Maybe there is the occasional knowing head nod from a fellow gun-carrier, who is also nervous and spreading unease.
So, Bill: I don’t trust you to make sound judgments under stress. I don’t have any faith in your ability to select, and then hit, the correct target in a dangerous situation. Police and military do this for a living, and it’s difficult enough for them to do these things. You, Bill, are an emotional, irrational, flighty (or fighty) creature under stress, and it screws with your ability to understand the consequences of what you’re doing. I know this, because I’m this way too. It’s not your fault. It’s the same reason children shouldn’t be taught how to shoot guns. Sure, they can learn good techniques for firing a weapon, but they have nowhere near the emotional, social, or cultural intelligence to know what the hell they’re doing when they put a bullet in a living person. My argument is that under stress, most of us are the same as children with weapons: good foundations for safe shooting laid atop an absolute shambling wreck of emotions and discernment.
Displaying 2nd Amendment support doesn’t require carrying a weapon on your hip. Do what everyone else does when they believe something strongly enough to announce it in public, and buy a bumper sticker or t-shirt. I promise that the only people wearing “I DON’T DIAL 911” shirts will be firm supporters of gun-carrying rights. You can always carry a knife.