I was recently having a discussion on social media about the last few weeks of media attention focused on the minority of open carry zealots using rifles to demonstrate their 2nd amendment rights. I’m all for demonstrating my rights, but I’m also fully aware of what effect that might have on other people. I know that not every state has the same open carry laws, and some of this was happening down in Texas, where you can’t open carry a handgun, only a long gun. This makes it difficult for Texas residents to demonstrate without media attention, and also without affecting others. Let’s be honest, to the majority of people, it is not common to see an AR-15 strapped around an ordinary citizen in a restaurant. I’m not arguing their right to do so, I am questioning their common sense.
Some of what I’ve seen and heard is these ‘demonstrators’ specifically doing this to antagonize the police to see if their ‘rights’ will be violated. Again, each state is different, but a friend of mine also brought up a valid statute in Arizona with regards to someone presenting a weapon and you defending yourself, whether or not that person is going to shoot or not (Justification for defensive display). I’ve seen some of these pictures and would agree with my friend that the guy on the right could easily be shot and the shooter justified in doing so. I don’t know how the law would play out, but there is no need for this guy doing what he is doing, in any state. In Arizona I feel it would be completely justified shooting him in self defense, PARTICULARLY with the amount of shootings in the media. Who wouldn’t be a little afraid of this as a common citizen having a drink of coffee?