Open Carry Opponents Keep Making Dumb Arguments

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Lawmakers in the South Carolina state House approved a measure this past week that would allow those who possess a concealed carry license to also openly carry in the state, but not before some incredibly specious arguments were made in opposition. We’ve already highlighted the supposed civil rights attorney who claims that the bill would somehow be unconstitutional, but the bad arguments against the measure just keep coming.

The latest? A column by Andy Brack, the editor of South Carolina’s Statehouse Report, in which the journalist first tries (and fails) to tie in the shootings in Georgia to the “open carry with training” proposal in South Carolina before offering up this gem.

S.C. Rep. Phillip Lowe, R-Florence, actually had the gall to say on the House floor this week that open carry was needed because of South Carolina’s heat. Opening his jacket at the podium, he said when someone with a concealed weapons permit was carrying a gun they would violate the permit if they took off the jacket because it was hot … and that’s why open carry was needed.

Really? Was he serious? In my book, if you have a concealed permit and you want to carry, you should put up with a little sweat as the price to pay to feel safe. Guns that are out in the open are much more dangerous than one locked away at home.

Ohh, so if you’re exercising a right that Brack doesn’t agree with, you should have to put up with some discomfort. I wonder what he’d think of a bill requiring all journalists in the state to work without air conditioning? You know, it would be a good move for the environment, and if you want to exercise your First Amendment freedoms of the press, you should put up with a little sweat as the price to speak your mind.

Brack offers no evidence that guns openly carried are more dangerous than concealed firearms. He just knows he doesn’t like the idea.

The chief proponent of the open carry bill is Rep. Bobby Cox, a Greenville Republican who (surprise) works for a handgun manufacturer. His argument, equally as specious as Lowe’s, is we need the open carry rule to bring us in line with what goes on in 45 states. Hogwash. Just because other states are doing something wrong doesn’t mean we must, too..

If 45 states already allow for this, maybe South Carolina’s on the wrong side of history at the moment.

“This is sending a message that these legislators and myself stand with the citizens of South Carolina to protect our constitutional freedoms,” Cox said this week.

Double hogwash. Citizens currently can legally purchase guns. Not having open carry does not impinge on their freedoms. Rather, they just have to follow reasonable rules — just as they do if they want to drive cars or live in a civilized society.

Brack may think it’s reasonable to charge someone with a crime if they inadvertently display their firearm for a moment or two, but I’m guessing the vast majority of those who are currently in possession of a concealed carry license would disagree wholeheartedly. The whole point of the “open carry with training” legislation is that the current law is not reasonable, and establishes a crime that doesn’t need to exist.

Democratic state Rep. Jermaine Johnson of Hopkins painted a dramatic picture.

 

Open carry, he said, is an example of white privilege. But any Black person like him — a former college basketball player with tattoos who is 6 feet and 7 seven inches tall — would be in real danger if he openly carried a handgun.

 

“This bill as it stands will be no more than legalized hunting for Black people,” Johnson said.

That’s an absolutely ridiculous claim, especially given the fact that open carry (even without training) is already the law of the land in the vast majority of states around the nation. In Virginia, where I live, gun owners can openly carry without a license, and I can assure Rep. Johnson that there have been no problems or incidents involving black gun owners getting shot because someone spotted a gun on their hip and perceived them to be a threat.

In fact, passage of this law would help to ensure that black gun owners don’t face b.s. prosecutions from racist cops or prosecutors for accidentally displaying their concealed firearm. Open carry isn’t an example of white privilege. The right to bear arms is a right of the people.. of all the people, and the legislation in South Carolina would be a modest step in protecting the rights of all those who possess a concealed carry license.

 

Editor’s Note: Want to support Bearing Arms so we can tell the truth about Joe Biden and the Left’s radical gun control agenda? Join Bearing Arms VIP. Use the promo code GUNRIGHTS to get 25% off your membership.

Apr 15, 2021 2:30 PM ET