Back in 2012, when I wrote the One Gun One Child Act (never passed because it never made it into Congress and ergo never past the NRA which probably never read it because HYSTERIA/VIOLENCE, blah blah blah), I did not envision gross-looking white guys marching around in weirdly unidentifiable camo pocked with rather small decals declaring their allegiances to whatever (you have to squint), but much more significantly, brandishing huge weapons.
Given all the arguments that have arisen over the Nazi display and violence in Charlottesville, this excellent opinion piece in the New York Times by John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, made me feel hopeful.
Here’s the core of his essay (read the whole thing; it’s not long but it’s important), which cites history and laws:
…our political forebears would not have tolerated open carry as racially motivated terrorists practiced it in Charlottesville. They did not view open carry as protected speech. According to the framers, the First Amendment protected the right to “peaceably” — not violently or threateningly — assemble. The Second Amendment did not protect private paramilitary organizations or an individual menacingly carrying a loaded weapon. Open carry was antithetical to “the public peace.” Lawmakers were not about to let people take the law into their own hands, so they proactively and explicitly prohibited it.