From the department of shoot first, ask questions later: American handgun owners seek to normalize open carrying of firearms

Armed and dangerousThe Boston Globe reported yesterday that more gun owners in the U.S. are carrying their weapons openly. According to the Globe, these handgun enthusiasts, God help us, are “part of a fledgling movement to make a firearm as common an accessory as an iPod.” In fact, one “open carrying” husband wears his “Glock 23 openly into his bank, restaurants, and shopping centers”, while he and his wife “drop off their 5-year-old daughter at elementary school with pistols in their hip holsters”. Yipes.

Look, I have no problem with people owning handguns. And I understand why people believe that guns buy them a measure of personal safety, particularly those who live or work in high-crime areas, or who have faced threats of violence. But to normalize the open carrying of a handgun as if it were an innocuous accessory like a cellphone or a Hermes scarf?

Call me a lily-livered, Kumbaya-singing, negotiation-loving surrender monkey, but I think I’ll just strap on a copy of Getting to Yes instead.

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