Have you ever noticed how gun laws are increasingly going in one direction? Whether its “stand your ground” laws or a proposed “open carry” law in Oklahoma, it seems the only gun laws proposed are ones that make it easier to buy and use a firearm. When will humans evolve beyond the need for such primitive and violent symbols of strength? Republicans, conservatives and gun owners are becoming increasingly paranoid about a world that they feel is more dangerous than ever. Nevermind crime statistics that say otherwise. They want guns and they want them now. But that’s not enough, now they want to openly display how much heat they are packing. A proposed law in Oklahoma would allow residents of that state to flaunt their weaponry when out in public. Police are opposed to this measure because they believe it will make their job more difficult.
Oklahoma law currently requires that people must generally conceal their handguns. In 2010, then-Gov. Brad Henry (D) vetoed an open carry bill because state police expressed concern that it would make it hard for them “to distinguish criminals from law-abiding citizens.” Keith Barenberg, the president of the Oklahoma State Troopers Association, maintains his concern: “Law-enforcement officers will be that much more jumpy and nervous if they see a gun.” And such confrontations could lead to loss of innocent life. As Norman McNickle, president of the Oklahoma Association of Police Chiefs, put it: “How does the first arriving officers know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are? It makes their job exponentially harder.”
Proponents of the “open carry” legislation, like Tim Gillespie, director of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, claim the measure is necessary because “we live in a dangerous world.”
I’m not sure card-carrying NRA members give a shit what the police think or what anyone else thinks. They want their guns and their gun rights (as defined by them) and to hell with the police and public safety.