Once in Arizona, before concealed carry became legal there but when open carry was, I was with a friend from Ohio (also then a no-concealed-carry state) who took advantage of Arizona law to open carry his Colt .45 auto. We were in line at a convenience store on the way to Gunsite when I saw a big dude fix his eyes on my friend’s gun, point at it, and move in with extended arm as if to grab it. I stepped between this bozo’s front and my friend’s back, facing the former, and he decided to back off. But it was a lesson in how bullies, punks, and showoffs may respond to an open-carried pistol when it’s worn by someone not visibly an “authority figure.”

The anti-gun people claim to be peaceful, but if you read their websites and twitterstreams, an amazing number of them seem to be vicious bullies. You’ll see statements like “If I see anyone open carrying a gun, I’ll assume he’s the next mass murderer and clobber him from behind!” You’ll also see them recommend “SWAT-ing”: “Call the cops and tell them there’s a man with a gun there who’s about to murder everybody.”

In Tampa in 2015, a 62-year old black man with a carry permit was observed to have a concealed handgun by a 43-year old white guy, who took it upon himself to tackle the older man and take him to the ground in the entranceway of a Walmart while screaming, “He has a gun!” I suspect it was more an “anti-gun” thing than an “anti-black” thing, but it hasn’t gone to trial yet, so I don’t know for sure. The guy who attacked the legal carrier was charged with battery. It’s a miracle no one was killed, but it lets us all know there’s another danger to open carry out there today.