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As everyone on the Internets knows, there's nobody more dedicated to freedom and our precious rights as Americans than the Open Carry crowd. They love freedom, at least as long as it's the freedom to walk around with an AR-15 anywhere you want to, and if someone says walking around packing heat just for the sake of pissing people off is stupid, then that critic obviously hates America and freedom, even if they're the NRA. And if police ever hassle open carriers for carrying openly, you bet they'll post indignant videos about how their rights are being menaced, and they'll all shout "Moron Labia" and call for armed revolution if necessary.


And so you sort of have to wonder why we haven't heard a peep from Open Carry fans about the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who wasn't just harassed for standing around with a replica of a gun, he was shot dead within two seconds (no, really, two seconds) of Cleveland Police arriving on the scene.

Actually, it isn't quite accurate to say the Open Carriers have been silent -- they were quick to inform Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, that she knows absolutely nothing about guns when she posted a twitter message last week pointing out what she considered an irony in a couple of recent police shootings:

From the replies to that tweet, we learned why the deaths of Tamir Rice and John Crawford (who was shot dead as he carried a toy replica of an AR-15 around a Wal-Mart) don't have anything to do with Open Carry. They just don't, OK? We've been looking around the interwebs, and we're just not finding a lot of support for Tamir Rice among the gun-fondling set. In fact, just about the only thing we've seen has been people asking, like David Frum did the other day, why the Open Carry bunch just doesn't have a lot to say about the execution of a child pretending to exercise his Second Amendment rights.

So far, the closest we've seen to an embrace of Tamir Rice is a guest post at The Truth About Guns arguing that "anti-gunners" killed him by demonizing all guns:

the antis are influencing social norms to the point that everyone, cops included, are becoming intolerant of the sight of any gun, real or toy, and jumping to the anti’s desired conclusion that the gun holder must be a sociopathic demon out for carnage without giving logic and judgment even half a chance to clarify the moment.

Based on what we've been able to glean from Twitter and blog discussions of the question, here are some reasons why the shootings of Tamir Rice and John Crawford really have nothing to do with Open Carry and its important mission to ensure that everyone have a gun.

    1) The Second Amendment only covers guns, not toys that look like guns. If John Crawford had been carrying a real AR-15, his death would have been terrible. On the other hand, children don't have the right to carry handguns, except under parental supervision (or when shooting an Uzi for fun with parental permission) so Tamir Rice was screwed either way. Then again, the cop who shot him thought he looked 20, so maybe they should have been respecting his open carry rights?

    2) Open Carry protesters don't "wave guns around" like the dangerous thugs Tamir Rice and John Crawford. And if they do carry a gun while screaming obscenities and grabbing their crotches, they are likely just a bit eccentric, and merely need a patient talking-to. But let's be clear: Gun slung over a shoulder or stacked on the seat next to you at a fast food joint: not threatening. Toy gun in waistband, you get shot within two seconds.

    3) Open Carry advocates are unfailingly polite, not threatening or rude.

    4) You're just confusing the issue. Apples and oranges.

    5) Shut Up.

We suppose there may be some other thing that makes Tamir Rice and John Crawford different from Open Carry protesters, and which might make our Open Carry advocates think it was OK for cops to shoot them on sight, but we can't for the life of us think what it might be.

[MSNBC / Vox]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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