Tablet Opinion

Gun carriers just grab for attention

Open Carry Texas knows how to get attention. They’ve been carrying shotguns and rifles to public places to demonstrate that they can. No law stops them.

C.J. Grisham, OCT’s president and CEO, gives another reason for the demonstrations:

“We want to get people comfortable with seeing guns,” he told Star-Telegram reporter Anna M. Tinsley. “We are trying to win hearts and minds.”

That part’s hard to grasp. People in Texas aren’t uncomfortable seeing guns. But where and how they are carried in public does unsettle some people.

Open Carry Texas seems determined to exploit that discomfort to draw attention.

It’s like what Gregory Lee Johnson did in 1984 during the Republican National Convention in Dallas. During a demonstration to protest Reagan administration policies and the actions of some Dallas corporations, Johnson doused an American flag with kerosene and set it afire.

He got a lot of attention. Many people were very upset. Years later, the U.S. Supreme Court said he was within his rights.

Demonstrations are meant to draw attention, even if they’re upsetting.