Open carry policy deadly

By Alejandro Cardenas |Staff Writer|

APTOPIX Gun Debate TradeshowAcross the United States, protesters have been supporting open carry laws that protect people who walk around with unconcealed weapons.

I am against the policies that the protesters are advocating because guns can lead to the deaths of innocent people.

Currently, there are six states including California that completely ban people from visibly carrying weapons in public.

Alternatively, there are twelve states that allow people to openly carry their weapons without a permit or license.

The rest of the states have varying degrees of rules for carrying an unconcealed weapon.

People have been forming protest groups, such as the “Ohio Open Carry” group.

This group, and others like it, have staged rallies where members appear in public places brandishing their guns as a method of protest.

However, openly carried weapons can be dangerous.

On Aug. 5, John Crawford III was shot by police officers inside of a Walmart in Ohio, where carrying unconcealed weapons are allowed.

During the incident, officers showed up at Walmart after responding to a call from a customer who claimed to have seen a man wielding a gun in the store.

U.S. Gun Sales Reach Record Levels In 2012Crawford was shot and killed while carrying a toy BB gun that he picked up from a counter.

While this could serve as an example of poor police judgement, it is a better example of how openly carried weapons can be mistaken as a genuine threat.

If trained police officers are not adequately trained to distinguish between an innocent person and a serious threat, why should we trust untrained individuals to do so?

“People are vulnerable to losing their self-control, adding guns to the mix is just a bad idea,” said Mayra Rodriguez, a CSUSB junior.

The Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case is also a good of example of why open carry laws could be dangerous.

Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, after claiming that he felt threatened.

Zimmerman was acquitted because of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

The Stand Your Ground law is legislation that allows individuals to protect themselves from a perceived threat.

A similar case in Michigan occurred in 2013.

With an increase of people brandishing weapons, people are more likely to shoot and potentially kill someone and claim self-defense.

I agree with the gun activists’ argument about how gun rights are necessary for a population to protect themselves from life-threatening situations.

But the bottom line is that carrying an unconcealed weapon is unnecessary to be able to protect oneself.



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