Gary Sackett of the Gun Violence Prevention Center is quoted in the Deseret News ("Bill would clarify open-carry law," Sept. 20) as saying those who openly carry firearms are "paranoid or they want to somehow establish they are alpha males" and that open carry should be illegal because "it makes people fearful."
Merely seeing a gun makes someone fearful? Who here is the paranoid one?
That issue aside, it needs to be recognized that there are many reasonable reasons someone may be openly carrying a weapon, and they should not risk criminal prosecution for doing so. Often times while hunting or traveling to and from the field, I wear a holstered handgun. The fact that I may stop for fuel or to buy a meal does not make me a threat. It makes me a customer.
Sporting good stores that sale firearms and accessories are often located at malls or in shopping centers. Should carrying an unboxed rifle purchased at the store put me at risk of arrest? That is certainly not a very business friendly idea; "Buy from us and risk arrest" is not a good ad slogan make.
While I see no point of someone publicly carrying a rifle just for the sake of doing so — and understand completely the police questioning their intention — no one should risk arrest for obeying the law.