On Monday California’s governor demonstrated that the federal decree known as the 2nd Amendment is open to interpretation by states. With Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, California has outlawed the open carrying of firearms in public.
Proponents of the right to bear arms–specifically to do so openly and in public–must now add California as the sixth state to outlaw open carry (not including Washington, D.C.).
The legislation signed by Brown was propelled by concerned citizens as well as anti-gun lobbyists and activists and then serenaded to the governor’s desk by a statewide chorus of police chiefs. But the true authors of this latest and rare setback for 2nd Amendment types are not the usual suspects – the surprising culprits are the open carry advocates themselves.
Check out this excerpt from an article in the Sacramento Bee:
“[Open carry advocates gathered] at San Francisco Bay Area Starbucks outlets last year with pistols on their hips. Police chiefs and sheriffs complained that panicked customers’ calls were diverting them from chasing real criminals.”
What these gun-packing citizens failed to see was an image about as subtle as staring down the barrel of a loaded .357.
The sight of an open armed individual in a cosmopolitan (i.e. liberal) town like San Fran is the equivalent of a VW van with a peace sign on the windshield pulling up to a Texas BBQ. Wrong message.
Thus have the efforts to advocate for open carry in the Golden State fizzled. With the swipe of his pen, Gov. Brown has exercised states rights to legislate this issue out of the coffee shop, out of town and out of California.
I may be a little remiss on my knowledge of federal vs. state’s rights (high school Civics class was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away) but I certainly recognize poor marketing when I see it.