Today, open carry is the gun equivalent of speaking Latin in America. It is literally a dying, if not already, dead human right. People are no longer visibly carrying their guns in public. In some form or fashion, forty-seven of the fifty States allow for the open carrying of weapons. So if regulations are not restricting this behavior, what is? Fear.
People become fearful of those who open carry guns around them. When practiced by law abiding citizens, uninformed civilians panic at the sight of somebody carrying a gun. Police are often called to the scene and immediately treat open carry individuals as criminals. Not knowing the law, some individuals are arrested out of ignorance. In all cases, those carrying are perceived by the public as paranoid pariahs. Sad, but true.
Here is one case that demonstrates the civil and legal confusion surrounding lawful open carry encounters. Five twenty-odd year old woman are detained by police in a Gestapo, Missouri, store. At no time during the encounter is the women disrespectful or confrontational. This is not true for the police. The body language of the officer is openly hostile. The tone of his language is stark and threatening. Intimidation is the active tool used against these young women executing their second amendment rights.
DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO BE UPSET
There is an open carry movement in the US where gun owners carry unconcealed handguns as they go about their everyday business, which is loosely organized around the country. Success of these movements has been hard to measure, mostly because there are no available statistics or central organizations to query. There seems to be a waning and waxing with their public events that follows the natural rhythm of anti-gun movement activities. When gun control activist speak out, the movement visibly mobilizes, only to retreat once the shouting is over. It is hard to change the irrational behaviors of a skeptical public under such inconsistent second amendment practices, no matter how well intended they are.
It feels sad to be where we are with everyday open carry. An honorable American protective tradition dying as we just standby and watch. Could you imagine a world where we treated the public exercise of the first amendment, speech, with such distain and distrust? A world where police would isolate you and ask for your papers if you where speaking to others in public. Overheard and frightened by an ill informed anti-first amendment crowd could result in your arrest. Open carry is dying, becoming the latin of our gun rights, only because we choose not to use it everyday.