(And if it turns out this is actually IS inspired terrorism - it will scarcely make a difference to my points. It's legal to walk around carrying rifles in Texas - how much of an easier run can you give to a wannabe sniper?)
Updates: you can read the same points, made at greater length, and more eloquence, in a piece by Adam Gopnik at the New Yorker, entitled "The Horrific, Predictable Results of an Armed Citizenry".
Also, it's hard to comprehend how "open carry" advocates cannot understand (or will deny the obvious) that their turning up at demonstrations in an urban environment creates a obvious problem. As explained in a Dallas paper:
He said Friday that about 20 people in "ammo gear and protective equipment and rifles slung over their shoulder" participated in the Black Lives Matter rally downtown on Thursday night.Earlier in the report, it says:
"When the shooting started, at different angles, they started running," he said. "We started catching."
Then police interviewed them.
Rawlings said open carry brings confusion to a shooting scene.
"What I would do is look for the people with guns," he said.
Max Geron, a Dallas police major, talked about the confusion during the shooting in a post on a law enforcement website.
"There was also the challenge of sorting out witnesses from potential suspects," Geron said. "Texas is an open carry state, and there were a number of armed demonstrators taking part. There was confusion on the radio about the description of the suspects and whether or not one or more was in custody."
It was not immediately clear Saturday whether any of those who were legally armed delayed or hampered the police response to the shooter, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite. Dallas police did not respond to questions.
As if it couldn't cause enormous diversionary confusion.
And how's this for a pathetic and "dumb as" response from an Open Carry advocate in the same article:
But C.J. Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas, said police should be able to separate the good guys from the bad guys in such a scenario because "the bad guys are the ones shooting."According to all reports, the Dallas police force has a good reputation in the country, a black chief, and it sounds as if there was never any prospect it would do anything to aggravate a peaceful demonstration. In a saner country, civilians turning up to it with long rifles would be told by police to get out of there; there is no good cause to be carrying a rifle in an inner city.
"If you can't identify a threat, you shouldn't be wearing a uniform," he said.
Grisham said some in law enforcement look at law-abiding gun owners as a threat.
"It's not that difficult to tell the difference between a bad actor and a good actor," he said. "The good guys are going to obey commands, the bad guys are not."
We can at least be thankful that similar gun fetishists in Australia do not wield significant political power.