As of the first of this year Texas became the biggest state in the union to allow, open carry.
It sounds like some law that allows you to walk out of a bar into the street with a drink in your hand. But don't try that, unless you're in New Orleans. If you walk out of a bar in Texas with a drink you could be arrested. You can't be walking around the streets with an alcoholic drink it's just not safe.
Of course we know that the Texas "open carry" law applies to firearms. On the surface it wouldn't seem that things have changed much in the Lone Star State. Texans have had the right to carry a concealed weapon for sometime now. You need to get a permit. You do this by proving to law enforcement you need to carry a weapon because of your line of work or where you live. Given the political temperature of Texas the mere fact that one lives in Texas could give you reason enough to carry a gun. Permits are no problem unless you are a friendless felon. But then again that permit is not like a drivers license. There is a chance you will be stopped by a cop if you are driving an automobile. He will ask you for your license. If you don't have one, you could be in trouble. The gun permit is only important after that weapon has been used in some crime. It is less of a risk to carry an un-permitted gun in public than it is to drive a car in public without a license, registration and proof of insurance.
So, in Texas since last Friday you can carry any gun, (rifle, hand gun, semi-automatic) out in the open anywhere in public. You don't have to hide it so people won't feel so threatened, you can just walk around Texas with a weapon like a soldier on patrol. An AK47 is just a fashionable accessory when you're walking into KFC for a $20 Family Fillup Bucket. If you are holding a cigarette in that same KFC I can ask you to put it out or leave the area, it's a matter of my health vs your smoking rights. But if you are holding a gun I can't ask you to unload it, put it down or leave the area. There is a constitutional loophole for the gun. But I see that gun as a threat to my health vs your gun rights as just the same as a cigarette. Eventually we will have some statistics to see if Live, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness increases under this new Texas law. However, there has already been an ironic turn to the new law. A Texan openly carrying his new pistol was showing it to a friend at a restaurant. He was robbed of the new gun at the restaurant in public, by another person with a gun. Seems to me the snake is eating its own tail.
If the NRA wants us to go back to the day of the old West when we all carried guns and settled our disputes outside in the street then things have to change. Most importantly we have to know who is a bad guy with a gun and who is a good guy with a gun. In a moment of conflict and I am the one with the gun, who do I shoot? (You understand that I have cast myself as the good guy with a gun in this hypothetical. I suspect everyone does the same) Carrying this gun in public means that I am comfortable being some one's judge, jury and executioner in any surprise situation. And since sometimes the judge, jury and executioner get it wrong after a complete and complicated analysis of the situation called a trial, I really need to know who the bad guy is in a split second decision. There needs to be a way that I can immediately determine the intent of a person with a gun.
If we are going to revert back to the old West to an open carry society, then movie Western rules have to apply. That's right a Cowboy hat has to be worn by anyone carrying a gun. Even if it is a concealed weapon, a Cowboy hat will be issued with your permit and it must be worn at all times if you are in public carrying a gun. In time of crisis those without Cowboy hats will rally behind those with the Cowboy hat. But here is the real game changer... The good guys carrying a gun will be issued a white hat and the bad guys who want a gun will be issued a black hat.
Unfortunately there are a lot of Cowboy hats out there in all different colors. It would be too easy for a bad guy to get a white hat from say gang members selling them on the black market. If you make it harder to get hats then only the bad guys will have white hats. What if you just banned hats? You can't do that because we Americans have a right to wear any hat we want to. You can't just take away a Constitutional right because people are being killed by people in white Cowboy hats. Cowboy hats don't kill people.... Guns do.
And now we are back to square one. If there is a glut of heroin on the market we'll see an increase in heroin addicts. You can pass all the laws you want making it illegal to possess, sell or consume heroin but if there's a lot of it out there it is impossible to stop. We have a glut of guns on the market. As long as there is a glut of availability then there will be an increase in gun violence. There are no laws that can stem the tide of availability.
When I was living in Texas I used to sing, "The eyes of Texas are upon you... All the live long day." Well, with your new social experiment with guns the eyes of everyone are now upon you Texas. I will be interested to see who all lives from this long day.
As you were,