When then presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama D-Illinois made his now infamous statement in April 2008 about bitter Americans clinging to their guns and religion little did he or anyone else suspect that guns sprinkled with a dash of religion would dominate the headlines during his presidency. Surprised, a bit perhaps with the irony, but certainly not with the results especially given America’s history of gun violence and the accompanying chorus that Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms based on some faux religious founding principal dating as far back as one chooses to read.
At the risk of showing support for the President’s statement, it is worth noting that data shows there have been including San Bernadino in Dec 2015, 19 mass shootings in the United States since President Obama took office in January 2009. For purposes of tracking crime data, the FBI defines, “mass shooting” as any incident where at least four people were murdered with a gun though some recorded incidents resulted in three deaths. As of 2013, mass shootings in the United States resulted in more than 900 fatalities many of whom died at the hands of a family member.
Which begs the question of why 43 states have enacted some form of “Open Carry” legislation under the guise of citizen fear? Worker revenge, political ideology, domestic conflicts, and mental health issues notwithstanding, this so-called citizen fear of a radical Muslim attack strains credulity considering the states in which “Open Carry” laws exist. As of January 1, 2016, Texas law allows its citizens to openly-carry weapons into any establishment absent explicit instructions by a proprietor or entity not to enter.
Aside from the Second Amendment argument, proponents of open carry laws site fear of “others.” First, the others were Blacks. Now, the others are imaginary Muslim Jihadist and in the case of the present day Oregon protestors, the Federal Government. The strange thing about the argument posited by open carry advocates is that the laws for the most part exist in places occupied by a majority of whites. Meaning that the people affected by open carry laws are white people that live and interact with one another with little if any social interaction with the “others” they say they fear.