Letter Re: The Right to Open Carry Guns: Use It or Lose It

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013

Mr. Rawles,
I read your essay "The Right to Open Carry Guns: Use It or Lose It," with interest.  I watched the videos you linked to with horror.  I was awestruck.

It is a shock to my system to see law enforcement officers so poorly trained and so willing to violate rights of citizens.  Perhaps I should know better by now.  To think that just one telephone call from a "concerned citizen" is enough to cause the police to violate a law abiding persons civil rights is terrifying.

I live in an extremely 2nd amendment friendly state, Arizona.  It is very common to see open carry just about everywhere, with the only real exceptions being schools, court houses and bars.  If you venture out, even in the large cities, you will see a variety of people from all walks of life going about their daily business with an openly carried handgun.  No one freaks out and no one calls the cops. It's been this way as far back as I can remember.

But, one of the freedoms that makes Arizona special may actually cause a hindrance to liberty if we are not careful.  Constitutional concealed carry passed a couple of years ago here in Arizona.  And while it is still extremely common to see open carry, many people have moved to concealed carry since the law passed.  I am a little afraid that this trend could cause the local population to become less familiar and comfortable with open carry. Plus, we have many people that move to Arizona from less gun free states.  I hate to think that in the near future, our law enforcement may be pressured to react because someone saw a "person with a gun" in public.  What a sad day that will be.

In an effort to stop the trend, I would like to encourage my fellow Arizonans to not take our exceptional freedom for granted.  Even if you regularly carry concealed, as so may of us do, set aside one or two days a week to open carry.  If we can keep it commonplace, we may save everyone problems down the line.  

Thank you for the work you do. - Ralph in Arizona


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