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Open Carry Gun Laws
“A right unexercised is a right lost," is the motto of theOpenCarry.org. In the United States. Carrying guns openlyhave been in existence in many States ofthe US for an extensive period. Differentreasons are linked to this activity ofmoving with guns with security being of major concern. Each of thestates has itsrules and regulation that govern the possession and use of firearms.In this paper, the reasons why it is important to carry guns openlyare discussed with close reference to defenseeither of one’s self, property or family. Toattain this objective, the paper is basedon a hypothesis that carrying a gun openly improves the defense ofoneself, of the third party, and that ofthe family.
The majority of the states in the USadvocates carrying concealed guns ratherthan visible ones (Grisham, 2). According to Wilkinson only New York,South Carolina, California, Florida, and Illinois states haveformulated regulations that prohibitcarrying guns openly (36). The authorsfurther affirm that citizens of thirty-onestates of the US can openly carry guns without any permit or license(39). However, in 15 States, it is mandatoryfor an individual to gun ownership permit. Several benefits that arelinked to the act of carrying guns openly.Gillin, Joshua and Sherman ascertainthat carrying guns openly reduces one’s response time and thusminimizing the chance of being assaulted (12).
Carrying a gun openly improves ones`self-defense in comparison to having it concealed. Responding toa threat posed by a criminal is easier when a gun isopenly carried. A visible gun serves as a warning to potentialcriminal and thus reducing the probability of being attacked (16).According to Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence,a survey undertaken by the Department of Justice among incarceratedfelons indicated that 57% of criminals fears encounter armed citizensin comparison to the police. Additionally,research indicates that possession ofvisible guns deters 92% of the possible criminal attacks fromoccurring. The rationale of carrying a gun openlyis to deter potential criminals from actualizing their heinous plans.Pierce argues that the same way criminalsdesist from attacking a place upon sighting police officers, asimilar reaction is present upon sightingindividuals carrying their guns openly(50).
In addition to improving self-defense, openly carrying a gun aids inprotecting the third party or the public.According to Ward criminals do everything possible to conceal theirfirearms (89). They accomplish this by excluding holsters in theirdressing code. There exists a misconception that individuals carryingguns are the first target in case of an attack (102). Based on thismisconception, the third party is less prone to attack sincecriminals prefer soft targets (105). Grisham gives an example of asenior citizen who thwarted an attempted robbery in an internet caféin 2013 by simply being in possession of a .380 caliber pistol (10).Additionally, the author notes that inPhoenix, a woman succeeded in scaring off two robbers that intendedto rob a jewelry store by simply pulling out hergun (16).
Openly carrying a gun facilities the defense ofone’s family and personal property. Gillin, Joshuaand Sherman report the findings of from an article possessed by theDepartment of Justice. The piece of writing had uniform crime datafrom states of the US which permit carryingguns openly. The author states that the states experience a 36% lowerrobbery rate in comparison to other statesthat prohibit the activity (34). Pratt notes that in Mississippi,theft of property and crime rates reduced from 90,115 in 2011 to83,906 in 2013 as a result of enacted gun laws. Additionally,burglary incidences dropped from 30,907 in 2011 to 28,076 in 2013(60). In private space, it is more efficient for an individual tosafeguard his/her property by carrying gunsopenly. This ensuresthat prompt response is paramount in the case of an attack.
While openly carrying guns enables citizens to protect themselvesfrom criminals, gun control laws are needed totame the high violence conducted usingfirearms in the US. Openly carrying a gunjeopardizes the holder’s safety (67).Despite the argument that openly carrying agun increase an individual’s safety, some scholars argue contraryto this. Grisham ascertains that carrying agun openly increases the chances ofinterpersonal conflicts that can culminate in deadly shootouts (34).Additionally, possessing guns increase thelikelihood of self-inflicted harm. According to a report on crime,states that don’t prohibit carrying gunsopenly experience 36% more suicides ascompared to those that restrict the act of individuals carrying gunsin the public (40). The correlation between openly carrying guns andoccurrence of crimes remain unchanged whenvariables such as age, ethnicity, population density and poverty arecontrolled (43). In many states,individuals who pass the gun tests areallowed to own guns a condition that poses harm to themselves andothers (54). About 25% of Americans are binge drinkers and drugabusers and thus, the abilityof these individuals to make rational decision can`tbe guaranteed particularlywhen possessing firearms (57). This condition puts the life of thethird party and the drug abusers at a risk.
In conclusion, it is evident that majority of the states haveembraced the constitutional requirements of permitting citizens topossess guns. As it turns out, most of thestates restrict concealed gun contrary toopenly carried ones. Research shows thatcarrying concealed guns reduces violent crimes but carrying gunsopenly is more effective in this. This isattributed to enhanced response in case of an attack. As aresult of the quick response, states which permit guns to be carriedopenly experience lower crime rate. Carryinga gun openly enhances the public andprivate property safety. However, while evidence suggests thatpublicly visible guns deter crime and reduce injuries in case of anattack, gun control proponents argue that the crime rates are higherin states with fewer restrictionson guns.
Gillin, Joshua., & Sherman Amy. "Is Violent Crime Lower inStates with Open Carry?" POLITIFACT FLORIDA, October 9, 2015. Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Grisham, James. “A Gun Owner Speaks: My Case for Open Carry.” TheDaily Beast, June 12, 2014. Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “OpenCarrying Policy Summary.” Law Center toPrevent Gun Violence. August 21, 2015. Web. Accessed on May 18,2016.
Pierce, John. “Open Carry laws Benefit Public Safety.” US News.April 25, 2012. Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Pierce, John. "A Right Unexercised is a Right Lost.".OpenCarry. Org. September 17, 2012 Web.Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Pratt, Larry. “Open Carry Deters Crime.” US News, April 25, 2012.Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Ward, Rick. Does Carrying Guns In More Places Reduce Crime?.Mississippi Gun News, January 6, 2014. Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Wilkinson, Francis. “Open Carry, Concealed Carry and Crazy Carry.”April 22, 2014, Bloomberg View, Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016