We’ve talked about context on this blog before, though it was a while ago.Â I am a supporter of open carry of a firearm being legal and acceptable, and I don’t agree with the unlawful behavior of many government officials when it comes to enforcing laws that don’t exist.Â That is why I have supported open carry folks when they get into trouble.Â The practice is legal in Pennsylvania, and even though some officials don’t like it, tough.Â It’s a lawful activity.
But I’m increasingly finding myself on the other side of open carry advocates when it comes to social pressure, which I think is not a matter for government.Â I point to this article involving the soccer mom losing her License to Carry.
Parents were upset by the presence of the weapon at the game being played by 4- and 5-year-olds, said Charlie Jones, who coaches one of three under-age-6 teams, known as U6, in the Lebanon Recreation Youth Soccer program.
â€œMore than one parent was upset,â€ he said. â€œI did not see it, but it was brought to my attention.â€
I agree that Ms. Hain has a legal right to carry her pistol openly unmolested, but I also agree that just because you have a right doesn’t mean you get to be immune from social decorum and social pressure.Â Looking at the comments, I see:
She must love the attention. If you have a concealed permit, carry it concealed! She wanted the attention by doing this at a little kids soccer game. I hope she’s happy with the attention she is getting. I’m a gun owner with a permit as well.
This lady makes all proud gun owners such as myself look like morons. Little kids dont need to be around that nonsense legal or not. OUT OF SITE- OUT OF MIND. Carried Concealed!
HAVE SOME BRAINS, I dont think many people get Mugged at a kids soccer game!
I have a carry permit and carry when I can. but to openly carry at a kids game wasnt very smart. in this paranoid world, she was asking for trouble by doing so openly instead of concealing it. Nothing wrong with going to the game with a sidearm.
On a lighter note, I bet it kept the ref’s honest!
I have to wonder about the wisdom of this when even most people who have carry licenses think this is really going too far overboard.Â I know the goal of open carry advocates is to get the public used to seeing law abiding citizens with guns, but I’m coming to increasingly question whether or not this goal is actually being accomplished, as the situations open carry people are finding themselves in become increasingly bizarre and outside the realm of where I think even the general gun owning public can sympathize.
I’ve sort of hinted about this issue before in the Dickson City incident a few months ago.Â I will continue to support open carry being legal, and highlight abuse by state officials when they attempt to stifle this lawful activity.Â But I really think open carry activists need to rethink what the public perception is going to be if they get create a stir in some situations, and perhaps be a bit more mindful of public perceptions of what they are doing.Â Yes, you have a right, but we also have to get along in a society with other people who might have different experiences and beliefs about armed self-defense. Â There’s a lot to be said for changing public perceptions, and getting the public used to the idea of people carrying firearms for self-defense, but perhaps a kids soccer game is not the best venue to begin that education.