Quick Draw McGraw


Nicholas Williamson, Writer

With the upcoming presidential election just around the bend and terrorism in the forefront of the minds of the American government and people, it is quite easy to overlook a very controversial issue in the United States: the right of  “Open Carry” in regards to the 2nd amendment. Under the 2nd amendment, which was passed in the Bill of Rights way back in 1791, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Though it is clearly stated in the 2nd amendment that everyone is legally allowed to have a gun in their possession, controversy arises when it comes to the manner in which you store and handle your guns. For those who may be unaware, open carry is “the practice of openly carrying a firearm on one’s person in public.” This differs from concealed carry, which is carrying a gun concealed on one’s person.  Some people in the United States would say that you should keep your guns locked up in your house in a safe place and that the idea of open carry should be illegal. And they do have a point, as we can tell from the massive amounts of school shootings that take place in our current era, the worst of these being the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school back in 2008, where a total of 28 people were killed by Adam Lanza. It was reported that it was well known that Adam had mental disabilities and that his mother left her guns in an unlocked chest. Had she locked the guns in a safe place, maybe she would’ve saved her life, her son’s, and those of the 26 student and faculty members in Newtown, Connecticut. Though all these issues persist, it is important to point out that a minority of states have banned open carry as of now. While a majority of citizens advocate doing full background checks of consumers before allowing them to purchase a gun, many citizens feel that doing any more to limit gun control would be infringing upon their rights. Some gun control advocates would even go as far as to argue that eliminating guns altogether would lead to a safer America for many folks.

On the other side of things, there are a bunch of people who feel that nothing else needs to be done in regards to gun control. Open carry to some people is just an extension of their rights granted by the 2nd amendment. A majority of the states have approved open carry, though some require a permit in order for it to be legal. While it is legal, which kinds of guns does open carry pertain to? In Texas, it is legal to open carry pistols and so called “long guns” such as rifles with a permit. Even with recent problems, such as the biker gang shootout in Waco, the Texas legislature seems undeterred as it gives more freedom to the people. Those who use open carry feel a sense of security when they are out and about completing their daily routine. The main question people would ask in reference to open carry is “Why do it? If a criminal sees a man who is openly carrying a gun, they will certainly target him first!” Let’s be honest, the criminals that holdup stores or mug people aren’t the brightest people in the world; they’re stuck robbing people and stores for a reason. On the contrary, during many police reports after events such as shooting or holdups, it has been recorded that criminals “were going to commit the crime at an earlier time, however, there was a group of guys who had open carry firearms.”

Whether you are a gun control advocate or supporter, the fact remains that this will be a controversial issue for many years to come. But as the number of school shootings and related gun violence increases, will we soon see more gun laws in place? Or will we come to accept guns as a primary presence in our everyday lives?