After a gunman opened fire in Dallas last week, police apprehended three other possible suspects because they were openly-carrying rifles in the immediate vicinity of the shooting and police officers had no way of knowing if any of them were one of the attackers.
We've always known open-carry laws will make it more difficult for first responders to distinguish between friend and foe and may even lead to accidental shootings, but something else happened in Dallas that I want to draw attention to. Or perhaps I should say something else did not happen.
As many as 30 people showed up to last Thursday's protest openly carrying their penis extensions but none of them did a damn thing.
The Dallas police chief, David O. Brown, described to CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday the amount of confusion the armed protesters initially caused.
He said the event had attracted “20 or 30 people” who “showed up with AR-15 rifles slung across their shoulder.”
“They were wearing gas masks,” Mr. Brown said. “They were wearing bulletproof vests and camo fatigues, for effect, for whatever reason.”
They say only a good guys with guns can stop bad guys with guns, but these supposed good guys did nothing.
The idea behind carrying weapons in public is that ordinary citizens can answer the call of duty and defend themselves or their fellow citizens at a moment's notice, but none of them did. The open-carry enthusiasts who attended the protest reportedly "scattered" at the scene when shots rang out.
Two men carrying their rifles were dramatically arrested on the highway near the scene because they were rapidly speeding away from the shooting. One wonders why they even bothered bringing guns with them if they intended to flee as quickly as possible after the first shot was fired.
What happened in Dallas is the kind of scenario where the theory of open-carry civil defense should be carried out in practice, but it wasn't. What happened in Dallas was a complete disaster for proponents of open-carry laws. They say carrying guns in public enables civilian intervention, but none of them intervened.