Growing movement to carry guns openly?
PROVO, UTAH -- For years, Kevin Jensen carried a pistol everywhere he went, tucked in a shoulder holster beneath his clothes.
In hot weather the holster was almost unbearable. Pressed against Jensen's skin, the firearm was heavy and uncomfortable. Hiding the weapon made him feel like a criminal.
Then one evening he stumbled across a site that urged gun owners to do something revolutionary: Carry your gun openly for the world to see as you go about your business.
In most states there's no law against that.
Jensen thought about it and decided to give it a try. A couple of days later, his gun was visible, hanging from a black holster strapped around his hip as he walked into a Costco. His heart raced as he ordered a Polish dog at the counter. No one called the police. No one stopped him.
Now Jensen carries his Glock 23 openly into his bank, restaurants and shopping centers. He wore the gun to a Ron Paul rally. He and his wife, Clachelle, drop off their 5-year-old daughter at elementary school with pistols hanging from their hip holsters, and have never received a complaint or a wary look.
Jensen said he tries not to flaunt his gun. "We don't want to show up and say, 'Hey, we're here, we're armed, get used to it,' " he said.
But he and others who publicly display their guns have a common purpose. . . . .
For those interested, here is a website on open carrying of guns.
UPDATE: I believe that concealed carry permit holders have an advantage in that they also help protect those who would never carry a gun. With concealed handguns criminals don't know who will be able to defend themselves until they attack. Here is something from a piece that I wrote earlier this year for IBD:
Just the week before the NIU attack, five people were killed in the city council chambers in Kirkwood, Mo. There was even a police officer already there when the attack occurred.
But, as happens time after time in these attacks when uniformed police are there, the killers either wait for the police to leave the area or they are the first people killed. In Kirkwood, the police officer was killed immediately when the attack started.
Israel learned this the hard way with terrorists in the 1950s, 1960s and very early 1970s. No matter what they did they simply couldn't cover everyplace effectively with uniformed military or police and they had to move to letting citizens carry guns concealed.
I understand the desire for some to carry open to show that people do it and to get others comfortable with law-abiding citizens with guns. That is something valuable. On the other hand, I think that it is more useful with regard to crime for you to have concealed carry.