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January 14. 2013 1:13AM

Intimidation? Open carry is not

If you ride around town with a hunting rifle in the rear window of your pickup truck, are you intimidating your community? Few people would think so. What if you take a walk with a handgun holstered at your side?

Rep. Delmar Burridge, D-Keene, thinks the person bearing the handgun openly is engaging in a hostile act. Speaking of people who openly bear arms while going to the town clerk's office to pay their taxes, he said, "Why subject public employees to this kind of intimidation?"

To spare these employees such horrors, he has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to openly carry a firearm in a public place - unless the owner has obtained a concealed carry permit. "I'm trying to bring some sanity back into it," Burridge told this newspaper last week. "One person can have more fire power than the Continental Army facing the British at Bunker Hill. That's ludicrous."

What is ludicrous is requiring a concealed carry permit for the act of carrying a weapon openly. What in the world is the point? It would not prevent open-carrying, it would just make it inconvenient, which is silly. This is not a bill to protect the people. It is the irrational fear of guns written into a feel-good measure that will make no one safer.

And by the way, the patriot militiamen at Bunker Hill lost the battle because they ran out of ammunition. It is rather easy to be better armed than they were. And in any case, their humble supply of munitions really has no bearing on how a citizen should be allowed to exercise his Second Amendment right to bear arms, which many men died that day and in the years thereafter to protect.


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