PRO/CON VIEW: Should Texans be able to carry handguns openly, or would that intimidate other people?
OUR VIEW: Open carry not needed
Proponents of open carry are taking a good idea too far. Legalizing the concealed carrying of handguns in Texas in 1995 was a long overdue affirmation of the Second Amendment. It allowed Texans to protect themselves and their families when away from home without affecting anyone else.
Open carry is entirely different. When you see a civilian walking down the street or entering a store with an exposed gun, you don't know if that person is just showing off his hardware or planning to commit a crime. It's unsettling to many civilians, and it presents a special threat to law enforcement.
Texas is not a war zone. There is simply no need for anyone to walk around with an exposed firearm at the ready as if an attack could happen at any second.
In fact, for decades this state has gotten along just fine without open carry. It can continue to do so for many more.
ANOTHER VIEW: Let gun owner decide
There is no moral or practical reason to differentiate between the open or concealed carrying of handguns in Texas. If one type is legal for permit holders - and it certainly should be - the other kind should be too.
Concealed carry might make opponents feel better because they don't see a firearm, but this is not about them. It's about the rights of the permit holder, from whether he chooses to buy a firearm to how he carries it.
Forty-four other states have some form of open carry, with virtually no problems. The Chicken Littles were wrong when they said concealed carry would lead to shootouts over fender-benders, and they're wrong about open carry too.
Don't like the sight of a civilian with a holstered handgun? OK; then look away.
The person packing it is just exercising his constitutional rights - and he might protect you in the process.
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