June 16, 2013

Will Open Carry Laws Lead to More Armed Atheists?

Cartridge Belt and Holster
Cartridge Belt and Holster (Photo credit: Kordite)
I already told you about the new law promoting school prayer in Mississippi that will take effect on July 1. We have another even more controversial new law taking effect on the same date. Mississippi will become an open carry state, meaning that it will be legal to openly carry a handgun on one's person in public (e.g., pistol in a visible belt holster) without needing a permit of any kind. Those who wish to conceal their weapons will still need a concealed weapons permit, but no permit will be needed for open carry. According to Mississippi's attorney general, the new law is "poorly written" and will likely keep the courts busy for several years.

In the meantime, I cannot help wondering if I might see a few more atheists around here arming themselves now that it will be a little easier to do so. I hope not, but I would not blame them for doing so even if I'm not quite ready to join them myself. While I have some difficulty believing that the sight of a pistol on a civilian's belt would have a large deterrent effect to Christian extremists who wanted to assault an atheist, I can understand why some atheists living here would hope for just such a benefit.

I suppose many of the atheists living in the U.S. bible belt who have reason to fear some of their Christian extremist neighbors are already utilizing concealed carry. If most of those who would want to carry a gun are already doing so, laws like this might not have much of an impact. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

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