The “defense walks” that Ohio’s gun supporters have staged the past few weekends offer the best proof yet that Ohio’s current law banning the carrying of concealed guns works (“Protesters openly carry guns in bid to carry concealed ones,” Dispatch article, Oct. 13).
Gun proponents are finding that when they strap on their handguns and parade around town, no one bothers them. Isn’t that the point of carrying a loaded handgun openly? To prevent others from bothering you? The gun lobby’s hope is that these public handgun displays will persuade the General Assembly to pass the stalled bill allowing the concealed carry of handguns.
Supporters of a concealed-carry law claim that their rights to self-protection are compromised by the ban on carrying a hidden gun. But what could be more of a deterrent to violent crime than the sight of a person carrying a gun openly? In case of attack by a violent criminal, an openly carried gun is far more accessible than one that is stuffed in a pocket or purse.
Statements by the gun lobby that carrying openly is uncomfortable or socially unacceptable won’t wash. If those in the pro-gun camp genuinely are concerned for their safety, they should be willing to deal with a little disapproval from their fellow citizens.
Any prudent person carrying a loaded handgun should be a little uncomfortable. It represents a risk of instant injury or death. Carrying it concealed doesn’t remove that risk; it just hides it from everyone else, which isn’t fair to law-abiding citizens who may not want to expose themselves or their children to the potential deadliness of loaded guns. When a gun is carried openly, those around the carrier at least have the choice to remove themselves from the vicinity of the gun. Concealed guns take away that choice.
I hope the gun walks will make concealed-carry proponents more comfortable with their guns, calm their fears of their fellow citizens and finally convince them that they already have a legal way to protect themselves.
Lori A. O’Neill
October 22, 2003
Greater Cleveland chapter
Million Mom March
WALKS SHOW CONCEALED CARRY IS UNNEEDED
From the comments here.
[Remember that the MMM is part of the Brady Campaign (http://millionmommarch.com/ takes you to the Brady site) who is vehemently opposed to open carry.
As Jeff in the comments said, “What short memories….here in Ohio first they were for it, now they are against it…”
But O’Neill is not the current contact person for Ohio Chapter of the MMM/Brady Campaign so I suppose it is possible she has been fired or replaced for heresy or some such thing.–Joe]