A Short Note on Open Carry Hysteria in Cleveland

by David French

By the way, now that the GOP convention is over, we should note that all the hand-wringing over “open carry” was exactly as overwrought as we suspected. It was amusing to see the media treat open carry as if it was some kind of radical new invention when it’s the law of the land in the vast majority of American states, including some of our most liberal. It was less amusing to see calls for Governor Kasich to temporarily suspend citizens’ rights during the convention — without legal authority and without any empirical reason for doing so. 

While I don’t open carry myself (I agree with my colleague Charlie Cooke that it’s generally rude — it unnecessarily unnerves some folks), America simply does not have an open carry crime problem and never has. Indeed, if a politician wants to effectively combat gun crime, “repealing open carry” shouldn’t even be on the policy list. Stoking fears does little more than play into (largely liberal) public ignorance and stereotypes. As Cleveland demonstrated, citizens can carry lawfully and peacefully side-by-side with police — without tension and without harm. 

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