If you are a subscriber to this blog then you know that I am strongly in favor of the open carrying of firearms and I have discussed the reasons before. With all the hubbub about George Zimmerman verdict recently, something dawned on me last night that I didn’t register before.
If Florida allowed the open carrying of firearms and Zimmerman was doing so the night of the incident, would Trayvon Martin still be alive?
For those of you who don’t know, open carry is legal in some form in 45 our of 50 states. Meaning that in five states the practice is completely verboten. Illinois and New York are unsurprisingly two of these states. A little more surprising is that Texas, South Carolina and Florida are the other three.
But how would the night when Zimmerman and Martin met have been different if Martin turned to see the “creepy ass cracker” with his Kal-Tec on his hip? Maybe it wouldn’t have been different at all and Martin would again attack Zimmerman and while beating him senseless on the ground also go for his gun.
A more logical scenario has played out in my own life when a cracked out driver ran me off the road, jumped out of his SUV and ran to attack me. Fortunately I was armed because reasoned discourse did not seem to be on other drivers mind.
(note: this was not a case of road rage brought on by terrible driving on my part but rather the driver was swerving across three lanes of road and nearly hit me to which I honked at him once in case he was sleeping or just drunk. He responded by following me off the exit and hopping a curve to block two lanes with his SUV perpendicular to traffic)
The minute he saw the gun he stopped dead in his tracks and stayed that way. I called over my shoulder to the driver of a truck that had to swerve to the side of me when the aggressor drove his car across the lane to call the police which he did.
So the aggressor keeps trying to get me to look behind me…no…seriously…and take my eyes off of him. We stay that way until we hear the sirens at which point the guy runs back into his SUV and races off. The cops stopped by, asked which way he went and pursued. I don’t think they ever caught him. But I digress, back to Zimmerman/Martin.
If Zimmerman was open carrying and Martin saw the gun one of two things would most likely have happened.
First, Martin would flee, maybe call the cops when he got to his fathers house and then it would all get straightened out with no one dying.
Secondly, Martin freezes, dialogue between the two guys begin, the cops show up eventually and scold Zimmerman for wasting their time. Still, no one dying.
What most likely wouldn’t have happened is that Martin would have charged in and started a fist fight with a guy packing a pistol who wasn’t actively engaged with him.
This isn’t to say that open carry is meant to intimidate people, but an armed society is a polite society and hooliganism and starting fights becomes less enticing when you KNOW the other guy has a firearm.
So yeah, open carry might have given Martin pause before he threw the first punch and that would be all it took to either flee from the situation or commence dialogue to diffuse it. Yet once again, gun control fails and another person dies.
Open Carry…it saves lives.