By Sam Sumpter
The Second Amendment isn’t a revolutionary concept—in fact, it’s more of a Revolutionary War- era concept—but in case you don’t have your high-school history teacher listed as a phone-a-friend, a refresher: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Now, had our forefathers had some forethought, a little more context might have helped, but because of the Constitution’s infamous ambiguity, we have 27 words and about 145 characters—basically a Tweet, though they missed out on some serious hashtag opps—to serve as the foundation for firearm rights and regulations. (A few Supreme Court cases since have helped set some precedent and have made the concept a little less nebulous. We’ll just let you Wikipedia those.)
But whether you feel that the Second Amendment is a fundamental segment of the Bill of Rights or would be more at home on a Bill of Wrongs (hey-o!), gun legislation continues to evolve, and in Texas it seems that firearm-wielding citizens have more freedom than ever before. On June 1st of last year, for instance, Governor Rick Perry signed into action Campus Carry, which gives licensed holders the right to carry a concealed handgun throughout Texas university campuses beginning on August 1, 2016. And on January 1, 2016, while many of us were busy soothing champagne-induced hangovers from hell and recalling last night’s regrets, open-carry enthusiasts were celebrating not only the beginning of a new year, but the official beginning of a new law—one in which “somebody with a handgun license may choose to conceal it under clothing or wear it in a holster visible to others.”
In other words, open carry means that citizens now not only have the right to bear arms but can bare them as well, and at the Texas State Capitol, in public areas like libraries and rec centers, on the street, and in places of business with no posted signage banning licensed handguns on the premises, you can not only enjoy the sight of an exposed bicep, but perhaps an exposed Beretta as well! (We’re going strong on the wordplay here…so, um, bear with us.)
However, the law isn’t a hit with everyone (it’s even unpopular with some gun owners, NPR reports), and certain establishments—some Austin restaurants, the University of Texas and other, often nationwide businesses—aren’t condoning open carry on their premises. The Austin Chronicle has even facilitated opt-outs by creating signs in the form of downloadable, printable PDFs for business and homes that conform to the law and, depending on the version, designate the space either a gun-free zone or one in which people can’t visibly display their weapons.
Now that all being said—and policy news and jargon aside—let’s be real: A lot of Austinites thing this is a bad idea. A dumb idea. An idea that’s Wild, Wild West-ifying Austin in the worst possible way. But this is JOURNALISM, so while we kinda sorta agree that no one should be able to hang out at the public library reading Harry Potter with their handgun out, we’ve decided to be totally unbiased for a sec and present some situations in which strutting around Austin with a firearm holstered at your hip isn’t just acceptable but convenient—and, like, so, so cool.
For Afternoons at the Park
It’s CLEARLY your kid’s turn, but Sally won’t get off the God forsaken swing. You’re trying to be patient, but this kid clearly never learned how to share, and while you could take the opportunity to help your progeny actually develop decent social skills and just ask nicely, introducing yourself to Sally’s dad while casually polishing your pistol is a much better lesson in conflict resolution.
During Pick-Up Games
Sure, your holster might not be compatible with basketball shorts, and, yeah, carrying around a .45 might have an adverse effect on your vertical, but THAT WAS ALL BALL, MAN…and now they’ll actually believe you.
While Lifting Weights at the Gyms
You might not have giant guns, but at least you have, um, gun?
Evenings at the Saloon
No word on whether these still exist, but you’d totally fit in.
For Intimidation Tactics On Black Friday
That tragic morning in ‘96 where you got trampled trying to get your hands on a Tickle Me Elmo? NEVER AGAIN. (Besides, nothing bad has ever happened from bringing a gun into Walmart…or, um, almost nothing.)
…And Even at the Office
Makes a perfect paperweight.
Photo by David Trawin/Flickr CC.
See the original here.