So a Blogger over at Scary Mommy is my next blog post source. Again, like the first post, it is an emotional rant blown out of proportion. Like, MDA, author Leslie Gaar envisions the “wild west” shootouts returning to Texas with the passage of Open Carry. The truth is shootouts were rare, and not a daily occurrence, even in Dodge City, Tombstone, or Leadville. “Gun control laws may have actually been stricter back in the 19th and early 20th century than they are now, especially in the West” (Wisniewski; Nakamura. 2013). This idea of a violent and lawless free-for-all has been largely drawn out of proportion because it makes for great stories and drama. Research has established that “violent crime was not the daily norm that popular entertainment would have us believe” (Hunsinger. 2007).
The most interesting thing about Gaar’s article is that she does not write in fear of being the victim of a shooting; her entire premise of fear is that her kids might see a gun. As she asks, “are my kids and I going to come face to face with a gun at the place we’re going” (Gaar. 2016).
It should be noted that she either does not or cannot cite any reference to open carry supports and those with custom fit holsters engaging in the mass shootings she fears. She does cite two other ScaryMommy Articles; one with no references, and another that cites Wikipedia. She does not acknowledge that before Texas, open carry of handguns was legal in 30 states and in another, legal with a permit. Places where it is not legal include California, site of the San Bernardino Shooting, and Illinois, home of our favorite gun control utopia, Chicago.
She also does not mention that until the passage of Open Carry in Texas, it has always been legal to open carry a long gun or rifle. This is where the famous “Little Man and Fat Boy” picture came from. I was not always a fan of those who carried their ARs and AKs into restaurants after an open carry protest. I felt it was over the top. But the premise of the protest was that to point out the absurdity that allowed open carry of impractical long guns for self-defense while denying the use of handguns.
Gaar then points out that she might come face to face with “a Colt 45 mere inches from my face as I lean over to pick out a ripe avocado in the produce section” (Gaar, 2016). First, if you bend so far down to examine produce that your head is at waist level, I recommend you find a more efficient way to check fruit. I tend to lift it up and bring it to me rather than bring my head to it. Second, Colt 45 is malt liquor. But I’m guessing, like most anti-gun writers, your searching for a term that sounds close to correct, so I’ll assume you mean an M1911 which regularly is chambered in .45 ACP, or a Colt 1873 SAA revolver, chambered in .45 Long Colt.
My final issue with her article is that she envisions what her “gun-toting friends” might say (Gaar. 2016). She doesn’t reference anyone who said it, and her use of the terms “overcompensating,” “beacons of machismo” and “cowboy complex” tells me that she has bought into stereotypes and biases rather seeking out facts and actual references to confirm her opinion.
Leslie Gaar, I understand that things you don’t understand scare you. I can tell you don’t understand guns by your language and reliance on emotional biases. I urge you to talk to your friends who own firearms. Do you trust them to be good guys with guns? I’m certain they would be open to a facts based conversation if you would give them the opportunity. If you could actually cite references that have not been disproven and show that you actually understand why many people support open carry, then you could potentially craft a stronger argument against what you believe is just paranoia.
Gaar, Leslie. (2016) Raising Kids In An Open Carry State Terrifies Me. ScaryMommy.Com. Retrieved 17 January 2016 from http://www.scarymommy.com/texas-open-carry-law-raising-kids/#
Wisniewski J.; Nakamura, Kevin. (2013) 5 Ridiculous Myths Everyone Believes About the Wild West. Cracked.com. Retrieved on 17 January 2016 from http://www.cracked.com/article_20372_5-ridiculous-myths-everyone-believes-about-wild-west_p2.html
Hunsinger, Earl. (2007) The Wild West of Myth and Reality. Buzzle.com. Retrieved on 17 January 2016 from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/the-wild-west-of-myth-and-reality.html
Updated 05 November 2016 for Grammar