I do believe that the wild west was a lot dirtier than it was wild but thanks to movies and television most folks believe that the old west was wild because it was a time of lawlessness when outlaws roamed free with guns always at the ready to create mayhem or evil doing. And whenever a bad guy turned up with his gun, wishing to do his evil deeds, there would be a law abiding citizen or posses on hand to help fight him to the death with their own legally owned guns. Eventually the good guys won by using their good guns to kill all of the bad guys with their bad guns and thus the west was won!
Then of course the good guys put away their guns and relaxed in peace until now, and years later… the bad guys and evil doing, are back! And it’s time to get our guns on again… so I guess that’s why over 18 states now have what is known as a permissive open carry law for gun owners where openly carrying a firearm is lawful on foot and in a motor vehicle (as long as you’re not using your cell phone I guess). Those in favor of open carry laws say that criminals usually conceal their weapons but law abiding citizens proudly display their sidearms…So there’s that…
However, 22 states have now also adopted a form of what is known as the Castle Doctrine (which states that a person has no duty to retreat when their home (IE: Castle) is attacked) that removes the duty of retreat from other locations. These “Stand Your Ground”, laws state that a person has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which he has a right to be. So in these states people can defend themselves, with deadly force, if they think someone is trying to kill them or seriously harm them.
So, if your state (and you are going to have to check yourself) has both the open carry and the stand your ground laws in effect then what happens when two citizens who are openly carrying their weapons meet in a place where they both have a legal right to be? Do they look at one another and say “Howdy law abiding 2nd Amendment lover and good citizen. I see that you are carrying your weapon out in the open, so you, like me, are one of the good guys. Let’s have a drink together!”
But what if they each, in their own way, feel threatened by the other? What if one of them is wearing a hoodie? Or it’s dark out? Or they are each wearing a different color of skin. Or one is sporting a turban? Or wearing a sour expression. Or playing loud music? Or has a long beard that looks UN-American? Or God knows what all? Does all hell then break loose?…Legally?
Few people realize that this is exactly what made the “Wild West” wild! And the west didn’t become mild until famous lawmen like Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and many others came to western towns and, as their first order of business…eliminated guns! No guns, except those that lawmen had, meant that no one had to worry about getting shot by ordinary, everyday looking citizens (even the ones dressed in black)…because the last thing that any civilized territory, town or country wants is…
Regular citizens walking around with guns!? Who think that they are upholding the law in lieu of lawmen!? Being vigilant in the absence of the law?! If you love guns and upholding the law and defending your rights as a citizen then join the police force. Support your police force and ask for more taxes to fund more police. Ask to get deputized. Or Sign up for the local militia…like the 2nd A. suggests.
In any case, whether you agree with me or not, I have the sneaking suspicion that we all soon shall see… if the gun proponents are correct and your state becomes a safer place in which to live…or…all hell breaks loose.