Commentary on Relevant Issues
It seems that every-so-often a gun related topic hits the news these days, and these episodes are becoming more and more frequent. I am often asked my opinion on these issues, and usually write a post for my Facebook page – sometimes my personal page (for friends) and sometimes the Double Tapp public page. I’ve decided to post some of these writings here on my website. I believe that for some, these can be interesting and maybe even informational. For those thinking about doing some training, it will help you gain a perspective on me and how feel about these critical issues. I guess it could drive some business to me – and some away. It’s important for instructors and students to “be on the same page” when it comes to these issues, so I believe that it will be a good thing either way. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions or concerns.
Open Carry in Idaho
My thoughts on "open carry" of a firearm. Disclaimer; Its long, and you may be disappointed....
I have had a number of people ask me what my thoughts are on the subject of “open carry” in Idaho – or anywhere else for that matter. Interest in this subject has been particularly high in the last few days due to a recent “incident” that apparently took place at a local Boise restaurant. The restaurant is called Bacon – and it is in downtown Boise. It seems that an Idaho State Legislator from Eastern Idaho decided to “open carry” a firearm inside the restaurant while dining, and it caused a bit of a stir. I am not saying if he was right or wrong. He certainly didn’t break any laws that I am aware of. The “right” or “wrong” is a personal decision in this case, I guess. Below is simply my opinion.
First, I need to express my respect – no – my reverence for any eating establishment known as “Bacon” anything. I have a tremendous fascination and a nearly “out-of-control need” to go visit any eating establishment called “Bacon” anything! It must be a great place! I imagine that this recent “incident” and the attention surrounding it, will do nothing but help drive sales for this obviously great eatery over the next few weeks. I promise you – I’m going to visit. But I will not be carrying an “open” firearm when I do.
I will anger some people with my personal thoughts on this issue, and for that I am not sorry. I certainly do not want to anger anyone – but the “angry” part would not be my fault. It would be yours. The reason for this is, as stated above, this is simply my personal opinion on the subject. And we all certainly have a right to an opinion. It may not necessarily be right. It may or may not be the same as yours. But it is my opinion. Nothing more. Nothing less. Also, my comments are not in regards to whether or not I believe that "open carry" of a firearm should be legal or illegal. It’s simply about how I feel about it.
Sadly, we live during a time in which crazy people, for whatever reason are taking guns into crowded public places and killing folks. To me, this is not a gun problem, but a serious “people” problem. A societal issue, brought on perhaps by the break-down of our homes and families, as well as the desensitization of our young people. Removing personal contact is certainly not going to promote healthy interpersonal skills and interaction. Evil seems to me, to be ruling the day all around us. When I was a kid, we would get home from school and Mom would hand us a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and out the door we would go. We would play football – run around the neighborhood, have dirt-clod fights – whatever – until it was time for dinner at 5:30. When I was a police officer in the 1980’s and 90’s I saw this little “Norman Rockwell” thing kind of breaking down. The calls I was taking were often in homes filled with single moms and kids with dirty clothes and snot covered faces. These kids would come home from school - not to a mother offering up her freshly baked cookies, but to a computer game of some sort, which allowed them to kill a few dozen people before dinner time, in impressive graphic detail. At about 6 pm, mom would come home from work, throw a micro-wave hot pocket at the kid, who was becoming so skilled at carrying out his virtual killing spree that he barely had to take his eyes from the screen to make the catch. Another few dozen bloody corpses and it was off to bed. I wondered back then, what affect this would have on our society two, three or four decades down the road. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the crazy times we are living in now or not. I do know that back in the 1970’s we students would go to high school with a shotgun or a rifle displayed in a gun rack in the back window of our pick- up trucks. On any given day, especially in the Fall, there were likely dozens of firearms out in the student parking lot. And no one ever heard of a “school shooting.” The idea of something like that was just sick. Unheard of. It was the same guns sitting out there in that parking lot as those we have today. It’s the people who are different.
So – being a people problem, things for me start getting really scary. A problem with some innominate object is easier to address than a serious, down deep people problem. Just wait until these sick people find out that there are much more efficient ways to kill lots of folks -- other than guns. You see it happening now a little, with trucks. The largest amount of death and damage done that I know about was done with a truck full of cow poop. . Pretty easy stuff. The ignorance of those who believe that you can legislate this problem away by taking away the freedoms of honest, decent Americans astounds me. It really does. I truly believe that the day will come when we will wish sick people were just using guns to kill people in public places. We will remember the “good old days” when numbers of dead were usually limited to single digits. It’s not at all about guns. It’s about people.
Regarding “open carry:
Today, unfortunately, we have little kids – maybe as young as 3, 4 and 5 who are being told what to do if someone comes into their school and starts shooting guns and killing people. Families walking through the mall, go to a movie or eat in a busy restaurant and in many cases dreadful thoughts might be on their minds -- depending on where they live and how recent the last public massacre was. Personally, I don’t want to stand in line at Wal-Mart, next to some 6-year-old little girl with cute little pigtails and a bewildered look on her face, staring at my Glock .40 Smith and Wesson, in full view, strapped to my side, a mere 24 inches from her face. She doesn’t need to see that. She doesn’t need to deal with that. She doesn’t need that to be part of her day. Does she?
If you ask someone who “open carries” their firearm in a busy city, “why” - they may say “because I can.” Or you might even get “because I have a right to.” To me – those just are not valid reasons to make others around you uncomfortable.
So really, the only two possible reasons that I can think of to open carry really are because “I can” or I have a right to.” It sure isn’t for self-defense. The ability to defend ones-self is actually seriously diminished with the loss of the tactical advantage that carrying a well concealed firearm affords. Self-protection is much better realized with a firearm that is concealed. Carrying a firearm in the open, visible to everyone, puts you at a tremendous disadvantage tactically. I’m not even going to get very deep into this because it’s a fact that just doesn’t need a lot of explanation. There is a difference between a uniformed cop making a traffic stop in the middle of the night, on a suspicious car with a driver he/she knows nothing about, and me walking down an isle in Albertsons buying my Hagen Das Chocolate Chip. There just is.
I believe that any responsible gun owner should be understanding of and sensitive to the feelings of others. ALL others. Even the dumbasses who don’t have the slightest clue about their God given right and absolute responsibility to protect themselves. We should never want to do anything to make others uncomfortable.
Its foolhardy and childish to think that you need to walk around downtown Boise with a gun hanging off your belt. The more “crazy” and “over the top” our actions can be looked at by the anti-gun crowd, the more fuel we add to the fire of those who seek to destroy our freedom. The more respectful and reasonable we remain, the harder it will be for them to gain strength and momentum. Just my two cents.