Sometimes there simply are not enough facepalms available to adequately describe a situation. Such was the case last week when four “open carry activists” decided it would be a good idea to meander through a Cincinnati, Ohio suburb, rifles in tow and loosely slinging racial slurs. By now, most readers should have heard of the open carry movement, especially more demonstrative groups aligned with the push such as Open Carry Texas. However here in Ohio, open carry demonstrations have been largely nonexistent, something many of us have been perfectly happy with.
In order to understand just how inane an open carry demonstration is in Ohio, it is critical to grasp the rationale behind similar movements in other states, such as Texas. In the Lone Star state, it is illegal to carry a handgun openly, but perfectly legal to do the same with a long arm. As such, many gun owners have set out to draw attention to the absurdity of the situation by openly carrying rifles and shotguns in several businesses around the state. Unsurprisingly, the strategy has not worked and has drawn criticism from both sides of the gun control issue. Even here at Modern Rifleman, I have been immensely opposed to the way Open Carry Texas has gone about its business.
In Ohio, open carry of a handgun is perfectly legal. In fact, a handgun may be carried in this state without a concealed carry license, though this does lead to some difficulties when traveling in a vehicle with the firearm. Considering the legal status of open carry in Ohio, such demonstrations are wholly unnecessary and are counterproductive to the gun rights movement locally and at the federal level. Groups like Buckeye Firearms Association have done an amazing job in furthering Second Amendment rights in Ohio and we certainly do not need a few morons ruining this progress.
To anyone out there who is considering an open carry march or gathering anywhere but outside your local statehouse, please reconsider. In many states, open carry is perfectly legal and there are several of us who hope it remains that way. In states like Ohio, this sort of behavior is utterly pointless and will hurt our chances for favorable legislation in the future.
Buckeye Firearms Association: http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/