The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 5, 2012

We support a right to bear arms, but you don’t have to show them off in plain sight

We fully support the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. However, the possible expansion of Oklahoma’s open carry laws for handguns is off target.

What’s the status of the legislation? The House of Representatives recently approved a bill to allow anyone who has completed conceal and carry qualifications to be able to openly carry weapons.

Then the bill was sent to the Senate, where an amendment that may eliminate the requirement for a conceal and carry license was added. However, state Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, believes a bill that allows only those with the conceal and carry license to openly carry weapons will be approved by the Senate.

State Rep. John Enns, R-Enid, said his biggest fear “is that a few guys will walk into a Starbucks and freak out a bunch of people.” Good point, representative. Do you really need to be dangling a firearm on your hip when you order an iced single venti mocha, no whip? We also agree with Enid Police Chief Brian O’Rourke that weapon security is a safety concern.

We asked readers their thoughts on the proposal at EnidNews.com. In our unscientific poll, a whopping 62 percent agreed with openly carrying handguns in public. In contrast, 20 percent said such a law would lead to more gun violence. And 18 percent said if they wanted to see guns in holsters, they’d watch a Simpsons movie. (To quote the famous commercials from the 1980s, “T’ain’t likely!”)

We appreciate your online votes, but we respectfully disagree with the majority. Most Oklahomans are pro-gun, but this isn’t the Wild West. At the risk of dodging bullets, we don’t think everyone should be walking around like Quick Draw McGraw with their guns in holsters.

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