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Open carry is an embarrassment

Robin Meyers June 6th, 2012

For over a decade I wrote a regular column for this page, a second opinion on the dominant political and theological ethos of my beloved Oklahoma — where I was born, have raised three children, and continue to lead the same amazing church.

Robin Meyers

In almost every column I wrote, there was a singular refrain: Beware the triumph of the Christian right in the halls of power. Beware the lawmaker whose intolerance masquerades as faith, and whose fundamental distrust of women creates laws designed to shame them rather than to protect them. Don’t say that you weren’t warned.

In the state legislative session that just ended, Oklahoma did more to embarrass itself than to move our state forward. Lawmakers made headlines by protecting us from multiple nonexistent threats: all government programs that don’t help you, Shariah, the assault on marriage by gay people, not enough armed students on campus, Marxist professors, lovers of science, powerful unions, overpaid teachers, communists disguised as community organizers — the list is too long for this space.

Now we have the right to carry firearms openly in public. Thank you, Jesus! How is it, in a state where it is easier to get your hands on a gun than on a bottle of wine on Sunday — and where we’ve become numbed to shootings like the one that closed Thunder Alley — that the irrefutable logic of those like leading gun-control advocate Sarah Brady has been lost: If more guns would make us safer, wouldn’t we already be the safest nation on earth?

Consider the psychological profile of someone who needs to openly display a firearm. There was a time when even most Oklahomans would have thought this was a stupid idea, a ridiculous regression to the days of the Wild West, and a recipe for disaster.

Combined with “Make My Day” laws, an openly armed citizenry can finally realize the dream of retributive justice that dominates the born-again crowd. Shoot first, claim you were threatened later.

If you have had enough, and you would like to join a new movement to protest the law, here is a modest proposal: When you see someone carrying a firearm in a public place, just leave. Leave the park, leave the restaurant, leave whatever establishment allows it. Just get up and leave. But first tell the proprietor that you will not do business in a place that allows the open display of firearms. Take your business away, and explain why you will not be back.

Just imagine if everyone did this, leaving some poor soul to sit in silence, his gun on his hip, in a place where no one else will congregate. Just imagine the people of Oklahoma taking back their own state by the use of direct, nonviolent, “commercial” disobedience. Just imagine every business being forced to post their prohibition of armed customers until there is no place for Rambo to go. Call it JGUL (Just Get Up and Leave), or CUIN (Citizens United in Noncompliance).

After all, no guns are allowed at the state Capitol. Does this mean their lives are more important than ours?

Haven’t you had enough of this nonsense?

Meyers is senior minister of Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ and professor of rhetoric at Oklahoma City University.

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

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06.06.2012 at 07:21 Reply

"If more guns would make us safer, wouldn't we already be the safest nation on earth?"  AMEN brother!

A couple years ago, after we bought our home, our sweet neighbor paid us a visit.  She'd told us something the previous owner failed to disclose; he'd been robbed twice in the home!  It was at this point that our sweet neighbor revealed she's a Godly woman, but carries a .38.  The pervasiveness of religious types to arm themselves seems to run counter to the belief of an eternal life in heaven.  I mean, if one is assured a blissful existence in "heaven" then what would be the point in defending your life in this dystopic existence?  If one who believes in heaven tries to defend this life, it would indicate to me that their faith is less than resolute and pocked with doubts about where our souls actually end up.

I totally agree with that you've said, and I think the open carry law will prove disasterous.  However, it's been a common practice of maintaining peace by preparing for war.  This is the paradox of any civilization that realizes it can over power another. And it's the primary reason for the paranoia driving gun sales.  Fear is a great motivator, but in the words of Yoda, it also leads to anger, hate, and suffering.


06.06.2012 at 08:16 Reply

whenever the open carry law takes place (Nov 1?)always had it in my mind to JGUL. i worry about who the bad guy is and who the good guy is. weapons in general scare me.

bit of irony: mr. meyers mentions several topics that are distastefull to living in okla but continues living here. if i disliked a place, why would a stay???



06.07.2012 at 08:27 Reply

Dr Meyers

"If more guns would make us safer, wouldn't we already be the safest nation on earth?" 

We ARE the safest nation on earth because of our right to keep and bear arms! We have so many restrictions on gun ownership it is pathetic, like your opinion. Legal gun owners aren't the problem, criminals are. Criminals won't abide by the law anyway. Your liberal views will be the death of this nation yet. Say HI! to your gay music minister for me!


06.07.2012 at 10:46

When the founding fathers wrote the 2nd amendment, there were no automatic or semi-automatic weapons.  We're talking powder packed guns.  Heck, rifling wasn't even common until the ninteenth century.  So an arguement could be made for weapons of that era being terribly slow to load, and horribly inaccurate.  I completely support your ability to use such weapons.  You sound upset that you legally cannot modify your pistols to a full auto, and that you cannot legally carry around 30 round magazines.  Frankly, anyone who thinks they need that must firepower is mental.  You sound like the type of person who would own an RPG if they could.  The type of person who is a serious threat to the liberties of anyone downrange.

Also, you see the previous comment referencing Yoda?  Well, I see anger and hate in your comment, suffering is clearly on your agenda.  No doubt that was even a veiled threat tacked on at the end.  You might want to be careful about that, it could be considered a felony.  And felons can't legally own firearms or vote.  But somehow I doubt that would prevent you from owning any guns.  Who'd be the criminal then?


06.07.2012 at 12:03 Reply

So, this is topical to at least one person who has posted here.