First, let me weigh in the whole issue of people open carrying outside Presidential events. Part of me flinches a little inside, but the other part of me says the law is the law, and open carry is the ultimate expression of normalization of firearms. Apparently, the White House had sense enough to say the same thing. Read the whole report on Alphecca:
Armed men seen mixing with protesters outside recent events held by President Obama acted within the law, the White House said Tuesday, attempting to allay fears of a security threat.If it's legal, it's legal. As I have mentioned repeatedly, I've been open-carrying more and more lately on hikes and anywhere I can open carry. Colorado law more-or-less allows statewide open carry — and is listed as such on OpenCarry.com, a great resource on open carry — but also allows municipalities to put in place an open carry ban. Not surprisingly, most Front Range cities and towns have such bans in place, including Denver and its satellite cities.
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said people are entitled to carry weapons outside such events if local laws allow it. “There are laws that govern firearms that are done state or locally,” he said. “Those laws don’t change when the president comes to your state or locality.”
I get mixed reports from the People's Republic of Boulder. Any sort of carry, including concealed (Colorado is a shall-issue state), is banned in Boulder parks and Open Spaces , giving folks a golden opportunity to interface with the local fauna, some of which have very big teeth. Otherwise, it appears that Boulder does not ban open carry.
Recently, the local "alternative" newspaper, Boulder Weekly, ran a surprisingly positive series of firearms-related stories (aside from the usual missive from the reprehensible Tom Mauser). I especially liked the piece from good friend David Kopel on the liberal argument for gun ownership:
Liberalism at its best embraces tolerance and diversity. So, for example, a tolerant liberal would recognize the conscience rights of religious pacifists not to be drafted into combat and their right to choose not to use a firearm to protect themselves. At the same time, tolerant liberals would resist the efforts of “pacifist-aggressives” who want to impose their own anti-self-defense morality on everyone else.Good information, and glad to see it in a newspaper aimed at young citizens. I think more open carry is definitely better. As I said on DOWN RANGE Radio this morning, I think open carry sends an important message not only here in America, but to the rest of the benighted world, that things are very different here in America.
Indeed, if you favor choice, you can’t coherently oppose the right to arms. In the article Principles and Passions: The Intersection of Abortion and Gun Rights, Fordham law professor Nicholas Johnson shows that all the pro-choice arguments in favor of a right to abortion can be applied, even more strongly, to the right of armed self-defense. If a woman can make a momentous decision about controlling her own womb, she can make the decision to protect her family from a violent criminal intruder. Other people have the right to express moral disapproval of her self-defense decision, but not to criminalize it.
Today’s Democratic majorities in Congress and the Colorado legislature would not exist if Democrats from the Rocky Mountains states, and most of the rest of the country, were still stuck with the culture wars of the 1990s. Back then, narrow-minded cultural elites from the northeast and California tried to use the Democratic Party to impose their narrow-minded, anti-gun biases on the rest of the country.
Today’s liberal, strongly pro-Second Amendment Democrats — such as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal — are carrying on the tradition of the man who is one of the Founders of modern liberalism, the great Democratic Senator and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey. As Humphrey put it: “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used and that definite rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizen to bear arms is just one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."