Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Are you one that truly think open carry is more dangerous than drunk drivers?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21300 points ) June 18th, 2010

Is open carry really more dangerous than consuming alcohol? A lot of people oppose open carry because they believe any firearm near or around parks, malls, or anywhere there might be children is to bring danger there. I have never heard of any children being killed by open carry but I have heard many children and sometimes their parents along with them to be maimed or killed by people behind the wheel with too much alcohol in them. There is no Constitutional right I know of to get drunk or be drunk yet so many seem afraid to drop the hammer on drunk drivers. Is the alcohol lobby that strong where our politicians are afraid to take them on or stiffen penalties for drunk driving? Instead of going after people exercising their Constitutional rights wouldn’t the politicians be doing better making our roads safer by going after drunk drivers and making it harder to get or stay behind the wheel?

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37 Answers

unused_bagels's avatar

In America, owning firearms is a right of every citizen. It should never be infringed upon.
On the other hand, driving is a privilege, and therefore can be regulated and controlled.
I can’t get any simpler than that.

Nullo's avatar

Open carry? Pshaw.
The sorts of people who want to open carry in the first place are typically responsible gun owners. Besides that lies the fact that actually needing to have a gun is pretty rare. Think about it: when was the last time that you were in a situation where a gun would have improved matters? Besides that, they’re carrying. Openly. As in, it’s obvious that they’re carrying.

Drunk drivers on the other hand, more or less come out of nowhere, are sluggish at best, and wholly irrational at worst. And they’re disturbingly frequent.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

People who lawfully carry weapons, openly or concealed, act more responsibly than others. They have to. In many states, committing a minor offense while armed (even if the weapon was irrelevant to the offense) incurs a larger penalty than the offense itself. To paraphrase R.A. Heinlein: “an armed society is a polite society”.

Coloma's avatar

Oh what the hell..just give the drunk drivers guns too…after they kill someone they then can just shoot themselves.

As was mentioned..the odds of running into a situation where a gun was needed is rather unlikely.

I wouldn’t be impressed, it’s a ruse and an excuse to bask in a bad ass image IMO.

If you want to carry a weapon openly get into law enforcement.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I only carry concealed when in a public place. It has nothing to do with rights, I just don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable. People usually feel uncomfortable enough around me, so displaying a weapon would make things worse.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I am not one of those people.

Pandora's avatar

I simply don’t get it. Why does anyone need to carry a pistol to the grocery store. If you are living in such a dangerous place than maybe you should move.
I can understand if you live in a wooded area where there may be dangerous animals and you have a rifle, but I don’t understand why anyone would need one otherwise. Since most people leave the weapon in the car unsupervised than I have to wonder, how many guns may be stollen from peoples vehicles. I’m sure radios aren’t the only thing stolen from vehicles.
I think that is where the real danger comes in. Now you armed a crimminal.

DrBill's avatar

I live near a town with an ordinance requiring residents to own a gun, “if you can legally own a gun, you must own a gun”.

They have a near zero crime rate.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t have a problem with people carrying guns. Then again, we live on a military post, so they’re everywhere (rifles and pistols). Seeing guns allows people to talk about them and about their safety. We can even physically show our son the kind of damage guns can do (like at the range or hunting). It’s harder to explain what getting drunk is and physically showing the dangers of drunk driving aside from showing pictures of fatal car accidents. To me drunk driving is far worse than carrying a gun.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think the issue lies not with people carrying guns but what kind of people carry guns. I have no problem with people owning guns but if anyone can own a gun and they carried them around, I would be very unhappy about it.

That’s why I advocate gun control, not gun removal. I think an awful lot of us hippie pinko liberals wouldn’t care about whether or not lots of people owned guns if there were more stringent regulations around getting guns. I don’t want to take your guns away, I want to take away the guns of the psychos who shoot up schools and office buildings.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@KatawaGrey Most often those people don’t get guns legally to begin with. So more stringent gun laws would not affect those crimes.

CMaz's avatar

@Nullo – Sometimes it is just better to give you a GA then voice my opinion.

GA!

missingbite's avatar

@ChazMaz I agree and a GA to @Nullo. However, @KatawaGrey Can you explain to me how gun control laws make us safer if criminals aren’t going to abide by them and only law abiding citizens do? If you can you will be the first person ever to make your case hold water. The problem with gun control laws are they affect law abiding citizens and no one else.

blemonge's avatar

The right to bear arms was actually constituted as a right to form a militia against the government, the right to bring down the government using force if it gets to big for its boots, its intention is not literally to give every person a gun.
I will never understand the American attitude toward gun ownership, and no one Ive met outside America can either. I think that gun ownership should be outright banned, with stringent and well enforced controls on those given a licence for trivial pursuits, here (England) my step-dad owns a shotgun, which has to be kept under lock and key in a safe in the house and a lockable gun case unless it is being used in a designated area, such as the clay pidgeon shooting course where he uses it, and we have the police round once a year or every two years to check the safes effectiveness, and he has to undertake a police criminal record check when his licence is renewed. If he committed a crime then he’d loose his licence (its a very good shotgun as well).
Empirical evidence of the effectiveness of gun control can be seen by comparing the murder rates of America with that of anywhere else in the developed world with stringent gun control laws, England for instance.
Its a right of Americans to have these laws for themselves, but all the evidence shows that it doesn’t garner a nice or safe society.

missingbite's avatar

@blemonge Sometimes facts get in the way. Have you looked at Switzerland?

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@blemonge , the problem here is that we have taken a different path from our inception. There was no such thing as gun control here except for sporadic local ordinances, up until the 1920s. We didn’t even get halfway serious about it until the JFK assassination. As a result, we have around 60 million guns in private hands. A full gun ban is utterly impractical here.

I don’t feel a need to walk around armed, but I might if my daily routine left me exposed in dangerous areas and I couldn’t avoid it. A lot of people buy guns here after something bad happens to them, getting mugged or assaulted, for example. I would prefer to live in a way that I don’t have to make that decision. I know how to handle a gun, but I’m glad I don’t have a reason to own one.

As to our crime problem – there are a lot of confounding variables in play here. You can’t just look at gun ownership as a causal factor, when we have massive social problems that don’t have anything to do with that. We would eliminate a tremendous amount of crime if we decriminalized drugs, for example. Far more crime than we could eliminate by criminalizing guns.

Nullo's avatar

@ChazMaz Awww, shucks!

@Pandora It’s not that you need to, it’s that you’re able to. Anyhow, it’s been demonstrated that places where lots of people have guns tend to be safer overall, in terms of violent crime.

tinyfaery's avatar

I live in a city where people get shot everyday, at least according to the news. Most of these shootings are by people who happen to have guns on them. I just can’t help but think that if these people did not have a gun, the incident would end up much differently. I would immediately move if my city/state had open carry laws (thank gawd I live in CA). I do not trust people who have/like guns. Guns are good for one thing only, and that end is not peaceful.

missingbite's avatar

@tinyfaery Do you think the people who are shooting people in your city are criminals or law abiding citizens who have guns? If you were a criminal and you thought the odds of you getting shot back at were equal, would you be more or less likely to shoot in the first place?

Coloma's avatar

@tinyfaery

Yep, my sentiments exactly.

I live in a rural enviroment and am surrounded by rednecks with rifles.

I actually had 3 drunk bubbas on an ATV ( one in the wagon, lol ) parked on my hill at the base of my property with a boatload of beer wanting to follow and shoot a buck that ran up my hill.

Told them absolutely not!

Fortunetly they did not tresspass and did not become agrressive with me, a single gal in the woods…but..I was a bit nervous for a few days wondering if they might show up again and harrass me.

Everyone and their fucking brother want to arm me to the teeth with their wild west gunslinging mentality.
What if I had an intruder, had to shoot a mountain lion, had to..whatever….

Makes me crazy…I won’t even date anyone that is a gun owner…uh uh..nope….it’s not easy being a pacifist hippie chick in the forest sometimes! lol

The only situation that would cause me to pick up a gun would be to shoo the hillbilly hunters off my little mountain! haha

Sorry but…the vast majority of guns are in the wrong hands..I want no part of it.

Oh oh…just layed myself wide open for some serious criticisms I am sure…don’t bother…I am exercising my right to live free of whatever I choose to be free of, in the land of the free.

Guns…bah humbug!

CMaz's avatar

@Coloma – You’re just turning me on. ;-)

missingbite's avatar

@Coloma No criticisms here! In fact we can agree I think. You can exercise your right to live free and so can I and others that want to have guns. Thanks for making our point of living free. Now if we could just convince the rest of the anti gun people of our views. Maybe then, they will stop trying to disarm me in the name of Freedom!

Out of curiosity, did those redneck gun owners disrespect your wishes at all? Would a criminal have?

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m not sure what a law abiding citizen is. If someone is carrying a gun and uses it (without the proper permit), that is a crime in my state.

Coloma's avatar

I respect everyones right to do whatever they please..but..I still stand by my opinion that all and all guns do much more harm than good.

No..the ‘redneck’ hunter dudes smirked and scoffed and called me snow white and her little stable of critters..haha…two were decent, one was creepy as hell.

I will admit thoguh that IF I was in need of ‘protection’ a bunch of guns are only a phone call away…my neighbors love me and look out for me…so snow white would have plenty of silver bullets at her disposal if I so chose.

Coloma's avatar

Oh and P.S.

I have had some very scary experiences in my 18 years of living up here.

In my old house some years ago the guy on the 20 acres that met at my property line would sit on his porch and randomly shoot whatever walked by..waved a gun in my face when my dog carried home one of his chickens unharmed.

Another time I was standing out under the trees enjoying the day when a random shot dropped a tree branch over my head…I have never been so freaked out in my life.

THEN…riding my horse on some logging roads I had a bow hunter zing a fucking arrow at me…THAT was unbelievable..AND..a good friend of mine had her horse shot in the neck on another woodsy trail by some lunatic hunter…So..there ya go…you bet I am biased and for good reason!

Quite frankly..I think these country bubbas are scarier than the city gangsters….out here people do what they want and rarely get caught for poaching or whatever…I love my space but I have had plenty of scary moments with hunters.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Coloma I agree. I’m more scared out in the wilderness than I am in So. Central, Los Angeles.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I often open carry. I do a lot of hiking/backpacking. I have encountered my share of snakes, bears, coyotes (2 and 4 legged) and feral dogs. Fortunately, I was able to back away and go about my business without using my pistol. A couple of those encounters might have ended differently if I had not been carrying.

When I go into a store, I usually switch to a concealable holster. Sometimes I forget my pistol is not in its concealed carry holster and is in the open.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Coloma ”Oh what the hell..just give the drunk drivers guns too…after they kill someone they then can just shoot themselves.” Why not let them drive again then they won’t kill anyone else and no one needs to shoot them.

@Pandora ”I simply don’t get it. Why does anyone need to carry a pistol to the grocery store. If you are living in such a dangerous place than maybe you should move.” Because that is irrelevant, if a crook has a car he can drive to “better neighborhoods” where there are more goods to loot. And people get shot at the mall happened here in the Bay Area just last week some neighborhood activist was gunned down at the mall. Unless one pulls a Kaczynski and live way out in bun fun Egypt away from everyone, crime can find you.

@blemonge ”Empirical evidence of the effectiveness of gun control can be seen by comparing the murder rates of America with that of anywhere else in the developed world with stringent gun control laws, England for instance.” I think the problems lies not with the weapons or guns but that many of us Yanks have poor communication skills and are basic hot head.

@tinyfaery ”I just can’t help but think that if these people did not have a gun, the incident would end up much differently.” Just think how different the roadways would be if butt nugget drunks lost their car and the ability to ever do it again if they were caught driving drunk? For now gun ownership is a right, being able to drive is a privilege; people want to treat the privilege as a right. If you commit a crime even if the crime was not a gun crime you lose the right to have one. If you drive drunk even if you kill or maim someone eventually you can get another car and your license back. If we don’t want to give 2nd chances with guns, why do it with vehicles, go figure?

Coloma's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

I don’t follow… (?) :-/

Just infusing a bit of humor and sarcasm…

YARNLADY's avatar

You probably never heard of James Huberty, either, but I have. And there was the Luby’s Massacre or Jiverly Wong, the guy who walked into an ESL class and opened fire

Every one of these obtained a gun even with gun controls in place. Just think how bad it would be it the controls were eased or lifted. Every love sick teenager could get his hands on a gun and blow away his family, like one couple did here in the Sacramento area last Christmas. There would be a lot more if the open carry laws were enacted.

missingbite's avatar

@YARNLADY Since you brought up the Luby’s Massacre, try seeing the other side of the story. Source

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, both are dangerous.

ETpro's avatar

I don’t know what sort of effect it would have if we all went around packing heat. My guess is there would be a phenomenal rise in shootings. But the people who decide to openly carry a firearm legally right now do not seem to be the sort who use the weapon at the drop of a hat. The only shooting we have had here in Boston involving open carry was when an off duty police officer shot and killed a crazed, knife wielding man who was trying to stab his psychiatrist to death at a local hospital. The officer’s actions were creditied with saving the Doctor’s life, who though badly cut up, survived her wounds.

Most of the gun violence here is gang related and is all with concealed weapons the thugs are not legally in possession of.

Nullo's avatar

@YARNLADY Why would permitting open-carry make it easier to acquire a firearm? Not that it’s hard – here in MO if you can pass a background check, you can own a firearm; I bought one and brought it home an hour later. It’s not like someone’s going to snatch it out of your holster.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@missingbite I think I remember some of the people on the VTech campus saying if they were able to pack their heat they could have stopped Seung-Hui Cho sooner or at least help some escape but their pistols was locked in their dorm rooms too far away to make a difference.

missingbite's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I’m sure that is the case. It almost always is. In this Country, we train our military people to go to war then when they get home and use their G.I. Bill for an education, we tell them they can’t be trusted to carry a weapon we trained them with on a college campus. It baffles me.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Coloma I was adding a more real answer to what I felt was slightly scarcastic by saying a drunk would not need a gun to kill themselves just put them back behind the wheel, as society does most of the time, and the next tree they try to split their vehicle in half with or that light pole they swore “jumped in front of them out of nowhere” might go the job instead of a bullet.

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