Now that Friday the 13th has come and gone once again, it should be safe to talk about, right? No cause for alarm or panic, the world didn't come to an end.
But for many in a Denver, Colorado, neighborhood, the world may as well have come to an end, because it has been changed forever. It was changed by a student gunman who -- surprise, surprise -- one day before the Sandyhook anniversary and just ten miles from Columbine added his name to the history books. God be with the people of Arapahoe.
But what do we do about this senseless school violence? How do we put a stop to this parade of young killers shooting up theaters, high schools, colleges, churches? What cost is too high, what measures to extreme to protect our children?
Gun Control. Is that the answer? Ask anyone with anything more than just an opinion on the matter and they'll tell you that taking guns away from honest Americans doesn't take them away from criminals. It only prevents those honest Americans from defending themselves.
Concealed Carry. Do we institute and enforce concealed carry laws nationwide? And if so, how do you enforce them? Would Police have the right to do random checks for firearms or permits? I'm sure the ACLU would have a field day with that. And what of the first strange looking individual walking down the sidewalk with what looks like a gun bulging beneath his jacket? With all the craziness lately, you may as well shout "Fire" in a crowded theater.
My family was in a mall earlier this week in suburban Louisville, Kentucky, when a fire alarm started going off inexplicably. While several people reacted as if they didn't hear it, others responded by saying, "It does that all the time lately." Most people in the mall were numb to it. Most. But not all. My wife passed one woman who was quickly shuffling to the exit while her companion tried to keep up. The companion asked the shuffling woman where she was going, and my wife heard her respond, "There's a man back there with a gun. There's a man with a gun."
Of course, there wasn't. But there could have been (as there was in an Arapahoe High School two days later). And there was no panic invited by the shuffler's proclamation. But there could have been. And in either case people could have died.
And as shocked as we are every time that this happens, we should not be surprised. Because nothing has really been done to prevent it. Which brings me back to my earlier question: how do we put a stop to it? I have an idea that would make some people happy, others not so much, but would likely make any would be shooter think twice before opening fire.
Open Carry. Let me first say that I think concealed carry laws are stupid. The only people who need to secretly carry a gun probably shouldn't be carrying one in the first place. It may make them feel safe, but what of everyone around them who either (a) doesn't know that they have a gun until it needs to be drawn -- which is already you too late, or (b) sees a suspicious bulge and becomes fearful of what they suspect is a gun.
My argument for Open Carry laws is simple.
(1) A gun carried openly by an honest citizen would likely deter a shooter who doesn't want to be shot before doing his damage.
(2) If guns were carried openly there would be less cause for concern when one is seen in public.
(3) If guns were carried openly, Police could easily check for permits without random targeting -- or profiling.
(4) If concealed carry was illegal, as soon as someone withdrew a concealed weapon they would be identifying themselves as law breakers.
Think about it, aren't you more concerned about someone who has something to hide?
If you have a better idea, I would love to hear it. Share it in the comments below.