Across the country, gun proponents are continuing to ramp up their efforts to normalize abnormal behavior by encouraging citizens to openly carry loaded firearms.
Just last week, Pastor Ken Pagano of the New Bethal Church in Kentucky made headlines with his decision to promote the 2nd Amendment by sponsoring an "Open Carry Church Service" on June 27. All he asks is that parishioners bring a firearm and a friend who has a sidearm.
Likewise, in Kalamazoo, Michigan on June 7 the Open Carry crowd was at it again. About 30 people showed up at a picnic in a public park with guns hoisted on their hips to demonstrate they were within the law to openly carry a firearm.
That's right...it's perfectly legal in Kentucky and Michigan to openly carry a firearm. Unbeknownst to most Americans, some form of open carry is legal in approximately 43 states and the gun lobby wants you to know it. Hence, there are a growing number of public events across the country to get the gun crowd to come out of the closet so to speak in the hopes of intimidating the public into accepting their dangerous worldview.
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The real world implications of the open carry crusade is chilling. Consider:
- Sipping hot chocolate with your toddler at Starbucks while a fellow patron openly displays a gun at the table next to you;
- Attending a church service with your entire family knowing that the fellow parishioner sitting next to you has a handgun tucked in his belt; or
- Boarding a crowded bus with your newborn child with upwards of 5 other passengers openly carrying weapons.
Unless this is the kind of world you want for you and your children, Americans’ need to pick up the phone to call state and federal lawmakers to voice outrage over the gun lobby’s extremist agenda.
It's ironic that today's parents are hyper-vigilant about what their children eat, whom they hang out with and whether they have sunscreen on. Yet, in sharp contrast, there is remarkably little awareness or concern about the 280 million guns in civilian hands in our country—many of which are carried into countless public places each day where families frequent.
Next time you take your child on an outing with you, think about how many people within earshot may soon be openly carrying a gun as you wait in line at the aquarium, shop at the local grocery store, or sit in a theater watching a movie.
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Unless American's wake up to this crisis and demand that guns laws effectively address the inherent dangers associated with carrying guns in public places, the seemingly far-fetched examples of every day outings turned into repeated encounters with armed citizens will become all to real.
After all, allowing a small group of armed gun owners -- versus trained law enforcement officers -- to make potentially life and death decisions about public safety in restaurants, churches, theaters and parks is a frightening prospect.
America is being held hostage by the gun lobby's extremist agenda to flood our country with firearms as evidenced by the recent passage of legislation allowing loaded guns in National Parks. It's time we turned back the clock on this deadly trend before America's children are sitting in school with armed teachers and the gun lobby's abnormal behavior becomes the new norm.