JavaScript is disabled
Our website requires JavaScript to function properly. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser settings before proceeding.
As the California Legislature attempts to deal with the recent upsurge of citizens exercising their 2nd amendment rights by banning open carry altogether, the usual suspects fire up their propaganda machines.

Fewer Guns in Public Means More Freedom
by Kaile Shilling
Coalition Director of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater LA

Let's be honest: Guns are made for a purpose. Handguns, assault weapons -- most of the guns found in urban areas are made so that one person can kill another person. They may -- as the NRA likes to point out -- require a human being to actually pull the trigger, but no one buys a gun in order to help them bake cookies, organize their music collection or paint the house. People buy guns to have the option of killing someone should the desire or need arise.

A bill is currently working its way through the California Assembly that would forbid people from keeping that option readily available by banning the open carrying of guns. The bill has passed the Public Safety Committee, and is currently in the State Senate Appropriations Committee. As we await this final step, it is critical to continue to inform people, including the governor, just why openly carrying guns is a bad idea.

First and foremost, prohibiting "open carry" is not about whether you can carry a gun, but how you carry your gun. Let me repeat that, because opponents want to make this a Second Amendment issue, when the Second Amendment has nothing to do with it. Forbidding open carry does not limit your right to own or carry a gun. It merely regulates the way in which you carry your gun when in a public place -- the library, the coffeeshop on the corner, or yes, Huntington Beach, where recently a group of "open carry" advocates walked the sands among children playing, parents seeking recreation, teenagers reading -- openly carrying their weapons.

Who should or should not carry a weapon, or what kind of weapons should be readily available are separate issues. Permits for concealed weapons provide an established, regulated method to determine just who is carrying guns around in public. Banning unconcealed weapons, however, is a specific, responsible measure, one that puts public safety first and foremost and respects the constitutional rights of all our citizens. When someone not in uniform carries a gun in public, they are in effect saying "I could kill you, if I chose." Which in turn poses an immediate threat to my own freedom of speech, freedom of action, freedom to congregate and freedom to be in public spaces. Even free speech advocates recognize that a serious, declared threat to kill someone goes beyond the limits of First Amendment protections. Similarly, the inherent, present threat in an openly displayed weapon goes beyond the scope of protected Second Amendment rights.

Open carry advocates claim they are protecting the public by being a secondary, informal police force. Personally, I prefer the trained, publicly accountable and regulated police force. I know the rules that law enforcement are obligated to protect. I do not know what laws, regulations, whims or prejudices govern the behavior of someone I have never seen before who is carrying a weapon.

Guns are not inherently safe. That is not their purpose. The same day the LA Times ran the story on the front page about the open carry meet-up in Huntington Beach, the inside page detailed a tragic incident of a seven year old accidentally shooting and killing his two year old brother with a gun kept in the house. One has to wonder how safe people would feel if those demonstrating their right to carry weapons openly were not the middle-aged, polo-shirt-wearing, men photographed in the article, but rather a tattooed, twenty-two year old with baggy jeans falling below his waist.

It is no surprise that California law enforcement agencies from the Los Angeles Police Department to the Sheriff's Department oppose open carry. Police are trained to see someone with a weapon as a threat. Civilians toting weapons on their hips makes it hard for the police to do their job and to determine who is the actual danger.

At its heart, open carry promotes a culture of fear -- a sense that we need to be afraid of each other, that we are all vigilantes. Banning open carry is a reminder that we live in community -- that when it comes to violence, there is no "us" vs. "them." That part of living together in democracy is subscribing to the same governing laws, and the freedom to know that we are all able to express ourselves without fear of deadly repercussions from either big government or self-appointed individuals. When someone can walk into a playground, a church, a school or a beach openly carrying a weapon, it strikes a blow not only against our constitutional rights, but also against the very core of our humanity.
Wow. Sounds like another reason to not go to California. I don't open carry but I don't think California will be happy until they systematically make more and more regulations on firearms until they are completely illegal. They forget that they are still part of America unless they need more federal funding.
As long as the citizens of California continue to elect the same liberal dogooders into office they will continue to reap what the sow. Whether there is a D or an R behind their name makes little difference. If we want to keep our rights we all need to wake up before it is too late if it isn't already.
This article really got my attention because of the Huntington Beach reference. I grew up in Huntington Beach and am driving back down there next week, so I've been looking for the story in the LA Times without luck.

Turns out it was Hermosa Beach, not Huntington. Can't even get the easy stuff right.
What people fail to realize is that you cannot have any of your other freedoms without the 2nd Amendment.

Sure, there are always going to be cases of people negligently leaving their gun out...and a tragedy ensues. Nevertheless, if you put in context actually how many deaths that accidental guns actually cause, people would wonder why it makes the news at all.

More children die each year from drowning or choking than from guns. What about leaving your car keys out for kids to take off with your car and run people over? How many times do you hear about some kid driving a car around?

It is no surprise that California law enforcement agencies from the Los Angeles Police Department to the Sheriff's Department oppose open carry.

Who cares? Even I oppose open carry...but it should be our right to do so none the less! If guns scare you so much, move to Canada! Be a cop in the UK! This is AMERICA.

Freekin Liberal hippy commies think that world peace can be achieved if everyone was given a hug and that crime only happens to criminals...yet these are the same people that scream at the police for not protecting them and the government for causing 9-11-01.

Imagine if that editor had to submit any of his writtings to a government sensor to review it before it could be published. He would be outragged at the obvious impairment to his Bill of Rights by the sensorship of the media (also known as your 1st Amendment).

I'm going to get off my soapbox just angers me that people warp public opinion to their own biasness rather than just state "This is how I feel on this subject..." and leave it at that. Instead, us gun-nuts are seen as potential murders for simply wanting to ensure that we protect ourselves and our loved ones from both a tyrannical government an from deadly thugs.

One of the steps to control is to demoralize your enemy...make them seem less than human to sway public opinion in your favor. That way, nobody will shed a tear when their Civil Liberties are thrown to the side...all in the name of "Safety" and "Security".

*Riot Out*
I think the article was fairly well written. I think she brought up some valid points, some that I even agree with. For the most part, I think she was WAY off base, as her assumptions and judgements are based on all her statements being true, which they are not. But some of her points are valid and are some of the reasons that I choose not to open carry.

Unfortunately she says that the concealed carry system in California works, as it obviously does not, as it's a "may issue" state rather than a "shall issue" state. If there was a national standard "shall issue" concealed carry law or better yet, a law simply saying that concealed carry is legal without a permit (similar to AK, VT, and now AZ), I would probably be completely opposed to open carry...
Have to agree with MBear about the open carry without a permit. I'm not afraid of guns. Guns aren't the problem, it's the people who carry them, or own them, or whatever them. A gun is the same as a car, but cars aren't seen as big a problem as guns. A gun/car is just an inanimate object until guided by SOMEONE's hands. Certainly there are fools who don't need to own a gun, or drive a car. It should be a case by case basis on who should carry. But, guns in the open are also a deterent. Would YOU mess with someone who you KNEW was carrying? IF someone, intent on commiting a crime, walks into a liqour store and see's 2, 3 or more guns, they'll think twice. Unless their doped out of their skull and unable to comprehend what their actions will cause.
I wonder how the weather is on planet Shilling? She sure doesn't live on the same planet I do.

I believe the weather is calling for gusts of lead.

I also noticed this on their website:
Violence in Los Angeles County continues at epidemic proportions. Violence resulting from interpersonal, intentional, physical injury is the leading cause of death and disability for the population under thirty-five years of age.

I like how vague it is and makes no references. Is it for LA County, the US, a neighborhood, people involved in drive by shootings? I'm guessing that for the US, auto accidents would probably be number 1 for this demographic.
They have made concealrd carry so hard to do in CA That open carry is a better option. At least it is easier to do legaly. It seems asthough the autor believes that there is an inherent right to treat someone without a gun rudely as someone with a gun would just shoot their rude arse. This is simply not the case though it may sound tempting it is not reality.:(
Every time you vote for a democrat you get this same kind of logic. It doesn't stop with just gun control, it's about people control and that means you.

The crime rate in AZ is going down. guese what CA is going up. wonder why? there not going back south just north and east.
Man, that would be the icing on the cake. If Arizona's crime rate plummets with the remains of SB1070 in place, that should open a few more eyes!
Especially if Kalifornia's goes up!
Oregon is not great for gun laws, but we're still a damn far way away from California. We have restrictions that I don't agree with, but, we can own (and use, sorry WA) NFA items. We are a shall issue CCW state. With a few urban restrictions, open carry is legal for those of you who choose that option (I don't). We can hunt with bullets containing lead. We don't have a cool down period before we pick up a gun. We don't have to have extra state paperwork completed to transfer a gun to us (beyond the 4473). We don't have to find guns that are on a state approved list. We don't have a limit on number of guns and ammo we can buy a month. We don't have to be fingerprinted for ammo. We have no gun registration. We can still buy guns FTF without paperwork.

Honestly, I would love to see concealed carry. I would love to see them remove the charge for background checks rather than increase it. I would love to see them remove the restrictions on non-FFL FTF transactions at gunshows. But overall, I feel pretty lucky to live in Oregon rather than California...

Upcoming Events

Redmond Gun Show
Redmond, OR
Centralia Gun Show
Centralia, WA
Klamath Falls gun show
Klamath Falls, OR

New Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Back Top