To use the vernacular of the left, my wife and I are "gun nuts." We both have concealed carry licenses (not a permit, a misuse which drives us gun nuts crazy). My handgun is a Glock .45. My wife’s handgun is aGlock 9MM. She belongs to the local chapter of "The Well-Armed Woman." I protect our home with a double barrel 12 gage with the shortest barrel allowed under law. My family has a membership at the local indoor range. I was raised in the gun culture of Northeast Wisconsin, where I got my first shotgun at age 11. Now that I have established my gun nut bona fides, I have a simple request to those involved in the open carry movement. Stop hurting the cause of gun rights!

Germantown was the location of the latest in a series of incidents in Wisconsin where someone paraded publicly with a holstered handgun and a long gun slung over their shoulder. William Polster was also armed with a camera to record the incident, also standard equipment for folks in the movement. Polster told the Journal Sentinel:

"So many people just call the cops on it," he said Monday. "If you feel threatened, that's one thing. If it's properly carried in a non-threatening manner, it should not be a problem at all."

Polster stayed true to the in your face open-carry playbook by refusing to give his name. Yes, all of this is perfectly legal, and perfectly stupid. Clearly these exercises are experiments to measure the reaction of the public and local law enforcement. Polster and his ilk know that carrying two firearms for no apparent reason is going to alarm at least some in the public, which will prompt a call from police. Any response beyond a nod and wave from officers will end up in a You Tube video.

The right to do something doesn't make it an inherently smart thing to do. Some men with a physique similar to mine choose to exercise their legal right to walk in public without a shirt. Legal but, trust me, not an inherently smart thing to do. There is no rational reason to believe you need two guns to defend yourself in Germantown, Appleton, or Green Bay (an incident there received little fanfare because officers simply chatted with the two men involved and let them on their way). I don’t fear guns, but I’m going to wonder what the intentions are of someone who feels they need to display twoof them in an area with no perceived threat.

My suspicion is that those in the open carry movement believe this is a way to accelerate the "normalization period" in Wisconsin when people will become more comfortable with guns. That’s a lot like trying to teach a child to swim by throwing her into a lake. Give it time, people will adapt. And they will adapt more quickly when they realize they have nothing to fear from law-abiding citizens who carry guns for self-protection. Carrying guns and a video recorder simply to prove a point merely reinforces the "gun nut" caricature we are working so hard to eliminate (or at least reduce). 

So please, stop helping.