In the United States, open carry is shorthand terminology for "openly carrying a firearm in public", as distinguished from concealed carry, where firearms cannot be seen by the casual observer.
The practice of open carry, where gun owners openly carry firearms while they go about their daily business, has seen an increase in the U.S. in recent years. This has been marked by a number of organized events intended to increase the visibility of open carry and public awareness about the practice. Proponents of open carry point to history and statistics, noting that criminals usually conceal their weapons, a stark contrast to the law abiding citizens who proudly display their sidearms. Encouraged by groups like The Modern American Revolution, OpenCarry.org, GeorgiaCarry.org and some participants of the Free State Project, open carry has seen a revival in recent years, but it is not yet clear if this represents just a short-term trend.
I have previously mentioned that Australia has much more restrictive gun laws than other countries, greatly toughened after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre that saw 35 dead and 23 wounded. In contrast the gun lobby in the US relies on the Second Amendment to the US Constitution as authorising the right to bear arms - "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Guns are so prolific and the gun lobby is so strong that it is sometimes said that in the US the ownership and bearing of firearms is encoded in American DNA.
"America is a country founded on guns. It's in our DNA. It's very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don't feel safe, I don't feel the house is completely safe, if I don't have one hidden somewhere. That's my thinking, right or wrong. I got my first BB (air) gun when I was in nursery school. I got my first shotgun by first grade. I had shot a handgun by third grade and I grew up in a pretty sane environment. I was in the U.K. when the shootings (in Colorado) happened and I did hear the discussion about gun control start again, and as far as I know, it petered out as it always does. It's just something with us. To turn around and ask us to give up our guns... I don't know, we're too afraid that we're going to give up ours and the bad guys are still going to get theirs. It's just in our thinking. I'm telling you, we don't know America without guns."
- Brad Pitt
Following my posting previously I received emails disagreeing with my support of the Australian position.
The reason I am raising the subject again is that an item in last week’s newspaper reported on the release of a new children’s book in the US, “My Parents Open Carry”.
That' the cover of the book above, the website for the book and the authors is at:
Here is the article, from
A CHILDREN’S picture book that aims to show kids the benefit of having parents who openly carry handguns has caused outrage in the US. The Michigan-based authors say My Parents Open Carry provides “a wholesome children’s book that reflects the views of the majority of the American people, ie that self-defence is a basic natural right and that firearms provide the most efficient means for that defence”.
The book was written by Brian Jeffs and Nathan Nephew, the two co-founders of the pro-gun group Michigan Open Carry, who say the story will help parents who carry a gun and sometimes struggle with how to best explain the reasons to their children.
The story depicts a day in the life of the Strong family “as they spend a typical Saturday running errands and having fun together”.
The book’s synopsis reads: “What’s not so typical is that Brenna’s parents lawfully open carry handguns for self-defense. The Strongs join a growing number of families that are standing up for their 2nd Amendment rights by open carrying and bringing gun ownership out of the closet and into the mainstream.”
Jeffs and Nephews said they decided to write the book because they “looked for pro-gun children’s books and couldn’t find any.”
The independent news website Raw Story reported that Nephew told Armed American Radio that “most kids aren’t scared of a gun … that’s another good point this book tries to make.”
On the My parents Open Carry website, the authors describe the book as something that “will be treasured for years to come and will be passed down to new family members”.
The authors also thank their sponsors, the National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day.
The website is also offering buyers a free copy of the “fun” book Raising Boys Feminists Will Hate! by Doug Giles.
Critics of My Parents Open Carry slammed the book on Twitter, with many expressing shock that it was real and not a spoof.
Some pics from the book:
Some reviews of the book from the internet:
D'Anne Witkowski - It's strange to me that this book is titled "My Parents Open Carry" and yet the cover depicts three adults, one of whom appears to be a low-wage home health aide with a mullet wearing daisy scrubs. Maybe the man and woman on either side of her have taken her hostage? Also, bravo to the authors for their choice of names for the parents: "Bea Strong" (get it? "Be Strong") and "Richard Strong" (a.k.a. "Dick Strong"). Very subtle. The typos in the text and the lack of sentence variation are a nice touch, too, clearly separating the authors from the liberal elite with their book readin' and word learnin'. I only wish this book was available in a collector's edition 14k gold embossed hardcover with all the Jesus parts in red type, like the Bible when it's done right.
Mojoman - I was having a hard time explaining to little Billy why daddy needs to carry his AR-15 into Chipotle when he goes for burritos but now, finally, I have a book that helps. Looking forward to the follow up: My Mommy freebases cocaine and that's ok. Or the next in line: It's ok, he was wearing a hoodie so clearly doesn't live in THIS neighborhood.
Praise Charlton Heston!
Some pics from the internet on open carrying: