Open carry is now legal in Texas

By Blake Wood, Staff Writer

On January 1st, Texas became the 45th state to legalize open carry. In order to open carry, you must be at least 21 years old with a handgun license and a clean criminal and psychological record. You also must have completed a training course and pass a shooting test. Ultimately, it isn’t that difficult to obtain the necessary requirements to open carry. At most, it’s a hassle.

Anything involving guns in the United States is a controversial issue and open carry has passionate people on both sides of the argument. The pro open carry side argues that good people with guns pose no threat.

“The people licensed to even have a concealed handgun license are background checked by the state and go to classes in order to be able to carry. Therefore, people that openly carry pose no threat to the public. They would only disable wrongdoers and criminals,” Pierson Shirley (12) said.

“I do support open carry in Texas. It provides easier access to your weapon in case something were to happen, you could easier prevent a tragedy from taking place. Open carry has already been around for a while with shotguns and rifles, adding handguns to the mix doesn’t really make a difference to me.” Carson Balogh, a freshman from the University of North Texas, said. Variations of this argument or mentioning the 2nd amendment tends to be the main points for those who support open carry.

The anti-open carry side is equally spirited in their argument. “I don’t think I support open carry because I don’t think it’s necessary and will cause more harm than good. A publicly displayed weapon seems to be a threat that can cause unneeded tension,” Allison Yelvington, a senior from Dulles, said.

Han Ooi, a senior from George Ranch, took a more blunt approach to the issue. “Open carry makes everyday confrontations potentially more dangerous. You stole someone’s seat? Well they can just shoot you to get it back,” Ooi said.

Whatever side you fall on, it’s important to understand where the opposition is coming from. Nothing can ever change with two extremes on each side and no room for deliberation.

“It’s not always rainbows and butterflies. It’s compromise that moves us along” –Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved”