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The open carry movement

Ed Levine is on a campaign to change the image of gun owners in America. He carries a gun almost everywhere he goes, including at the breakfast table. His 12-year-old daughter carries one, too.

In Virginia, where Ed lives, any adult can carry a gun. You don’t need to prove that you need it, or even that you know how to use it. You just need to wear the gun where people can see it.

“I don’t know where the next crime’s going to be. I don’t know where the next bad guy’s going to be,” Levine said. “So I want to basically carry it wherever I go in my daily life.”

But not everyone feels as comfortable with the “open carry” movement as Levine, and many question whether it’s necessary to carry a gun into a restaurant or a movie theater — not to mention an airport.

Need to Know went to Virginia to see the “open carry” movement firsthand, and understand why it’s becoming so popular. We also looked into the belief, widespread among gun owners, that the Obama administration is planning to pursue a sweeping “anti-gun” agenda, and asked Levine how he felt about attempts to regulate gun ownership.

“Don’t keep me from keeping a gun. Don’t keep me from defending my family,” Levine said. “If you don’t want to defend yours, and you don’t want to have a gun, don’t. But its my right. Let me exercise it.”

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  • absorb

    The Bias is apparent in you story on open carry

  • jayarmbar

    The gentleman in the barbershop is typical of the uniformed gun control individual. Ed is carrying a 1911, a 1911 “cocked” as the gentleman put it with the safety engaged is just as safe as a double action semi automatic handgun chambered with the safety engaged. I don’t see how Ed could have an “accident” the pistol is holstered.

  • NewsJunkie

    This (Gun-carrying) Issue is way too “Loaded,” (pun fully intended), to be able to be commented on, in one or two simple short sentences. Yet, based on my OWN Life Experiences, on both sides of the Issue, (ile.: Events, caused by Guns), I’ll say this much: “Guns are *Never* the Answer to anything! They’re Dangerous Toys that Infantile People insist on carrying, to hide their Inner Terror — which is the ONLY valid reason, for EVER wanting to carry a Gun, be it a Government Agent, or a Civilian.” (CLD 2010). That said, I’m sure others, gun ownership, and display supporters — who know nothing about my Personal Experiences — will extoll their Views on Why I’m an “chump” for having the above views. They may have their Views; I’ll keep Mine!

    A Non-Gun-Owning, No-Gun Supporter, Former Crime Victim; Mother of a Crime Victim; Witness of a Robbery at Gunpoint; Cousin to a 21-yr-old, who foolishly played (“Russian Roullette”), losing his Young Life, in the Process; yet, still very much a “No-Gun” Person.

  • Dennis M. Beaty

    Why stop at handguns? Let’s make it legal to carry hand grenades and atom bombs. Let’s get rid of all this big government and allow anyone to manufacture nuclear weapons and distribute them to anyone and everyone that has the money. Hey, have you heard about the oathtakers? These are military people who are dedicated to stocking up weapons and bringing them out to take over the country if they think Obama gives an order that violates the constitution. Let’s make it legal for any one and every one to manufacture explosives and use them any way they want to if in their own mind they think someone is violating the constitution. We can make it a defense in a court of law. Prove you read the constitution or any other law in a particular way by which you can rationalize to your own satisfaction that killing or any other violent action is justified under the particular circumstances and you go free. That’s it, everyone is free to live any way they want to the detriment of any other human being so long as they can justify it in their own mind. I mean, let’s get disturbed and extreme about liberty.

  • Concerned Citizen

    If you were openly carrying a firearm, maybe you wouldn’t be a victim. Maybe your child would have know what to do, or having had a open carry firearm, and saved themself. Perhaps the robber would have thought twice about robbing the store if the store worker and/or you were openly carrying a weapon?

    Me? I’m married with four children in the DC Metro are. If and when I’m able, I will not allow myself or my family become victims to gun, knife, or other physical violent crimes.

    My wife and 13-year old daughter come with me to the gun range. My daughter and I will be joining a marksman league as well.

    I’m so sorry about the Russian Roullette, But how did he get the firearm? Maybe the gun owner didn’t have the gun safely locked away?

    If I’m in a situation carrying my firearm, and you happen to be in need of assistance, I will help you. I will do what I can to save your life and others.

    Ignorance is bliss and carelessness is never an excuse for firearm mishandling.

    If you don’t want a firearm don’t get one. Just don’t mess with my family’s safety.

  • 404 Not Found

    [...] NTK reported earlier, state and federal restrictions on who can buy a gun (and where those guns can be carried) have [...]

  • Tim12232

    We must be extreme about liberty, Thomas Payne wrote a pamphlet “Common Sense” which told of how to spark a revolution. Our own declaration of independence penned in Philadelphia by Thomas Jefferson clearly stated; “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”. The 2nd amendment of the constitution was written specifically for keeping the peoples ability to overthrow a tyrannical  government.

    Weapons as horrible as they may be, are a necessary evil, and We the People must remember to hold onto the 2nd amendment and our declaration of independence. We must never let the government forget who runs this place, and by any means necessary.

  • Anonymous

     I agree.

    How many people have died because AIDS-infected homosexuals were allowed freely to spread disease in bathhouses and men’s rooms around the nation and world. If only we had adopted a reasonable attitude on restricting homosexual activity and identified homosexuals there would be hundreds of thousands more people alive and lots more money to spend on real diseases like cancer.

    Then there’s alcohol….

    How’ze ‘em shoes fit, Dennis? Feeling disturbed yet?

  • Guest

    Concerned Citizen: You stay away from me and my family with your self righteous, self authoritative gun. One second you’re trying to be a hero, the next second you’re shooting an innocent person. Didn’t you learn anything from the Treyvon Martin case? Nobody made you judge, jury, and executioner and you let the police handle the shooting like they should. Not some paranoid, small penis compensating jerkwad.

  • Daniel

    If you’re going to be my neighbor, then carrying a gun around creates a risk for me. I shouldn’t have to live with that risk. More to the point, you being able to own a gun means that everyone else has the same right to put me at risk. This is where the real danger comes from. Therefore, your “family protection strategy” is a very legitimate concern to me and MY family.

    If you want to turn this into a freedom debate, then what about my freedom to walk down the street without having to worry about you ending my life? This isn’t a problem for me to solve; it is a problem that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

  • Daniel

    I agree. Portraying all gun advocates as civic-minded trash-cleaning volunteers in the opening scene of the show is highly biased.

    A much more realistic scene comes up later in the barber shop though: inconsiderate of their neighbors who have no concern for the risk that guns create for everyone else.