A Short Note on Open Carry Hysteria in Cleveland

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. 

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More