Supporters of Open Carry and ‘Must Issue’ Concealed Carry insist that no one should be afraid of someone exercising his or her 2nd Amendment Rights whether that be in some public park or the aisles of your local Wal-Mart. Yet right along side that we have a doctrine that everyone should comply with every request made by a Peace Officer without question and without hesitation and if refusal to comply ends up with the application of force up to and including deadly force then a sufficient defense is “I feared for my life”.
Rarely have those two doctrines collided so openly as in North Carolina this week. North Carolina is an Open Carry State. Anyone has the right to carry a handgun in or out of a holster as long as they are not actively threatening someone. Which you think at a minimum would mean pointing the weapon at someone with some apparent hostile intent. But instead a man who was NOT the subject of the particular police search action stepped out of his car while visibly armed and after a disputed set of events was gunned down. Because police “feared for their lives”.
In another incident a man was gunned down in disputed circumstances by a woman police officer, also in fear for her life. But somewhat disturbingly a police officer in a helicopter, who oddly enough was the spouse of that shooting officer, described the shooting victim as “looks like a big bad dude”. From 500 feet in the air. Was he also “in fear for his life” and if so on what grounds? This man was not even visibly armed.
On balance I am a 2nd Amendment supporter, mostly because I am from a gun family and everyone but me owns at least one (well maybe not my 87 year old Mom). But if you are going to support Open Carry it has to apply equally to the guy wearing camo and carrying an assault rifle in a Luby’s in Texas and wearing a Gadsden flag on his hat and a Confederate flag on his vest and to some guy wearing a Black Lives Matter T-Shirt and carrying a pistol in a Church’s Chicken in North Carolina. We just can’t have a society be one where a cop just decides he is more scared of “big bad dude” than “good ol’ boy”.
Pick a side.