Arthur Frommer, longtime travel book guru, posed a question about Arizona’s “open carry” gun laws. In Arizona, Frommer found out, people can bring loaded guns to political rallies. That’s what happened in Phoenix earlier this week when some of the protesters, who showed up outside the convention center where Barack Obama was speaking, visibly wielded guns–including an assault rifle. Such action is legal in Arizona, something Frommer feels alarmed by.
In Arthur Frommer ONLINE yesterday, he wonders if travelers ought to boycott Arizona in protest of such open carry laws since he thinks a gun law that allows people to bring loaded firearms to political protests violates citizens’ safety. He doesn’t want to travel to such places. As he wrote, if a gun had gone off, mayhem could have happened.
It’s not that Frommer objects to guns–or at least he doesn’t say if he does or doesn’t. He thinks there’s a problem when a person carrying a gun in public does so in a way that puts people in danger.
Last year, I expressed my concern about guns being allowed into US national parks for similar reasons. Of course, others have a different opinion and some expressed those in the comment section. Some comments pointed out issues I that hadn’t thought of. Some state roads and US highways, for example, pass through national parks. If a person is carrying a gun in his or her car and happens to be traveling on such a road, he or she would be in violation of a gun carrying law if guns were not allowed in a national park.
Still, there’s Frommer’s point that if people are allowed to have their guns with them as a means of intimidation, and other people are traveling through such spots, doesn’t that put people not involved in jeopardy? I seem to remember from US history classes that even when the west was wilder there were some places where people who were carrying guns had to leave them outside a town or saloon. Or, maybe that’s just the Hollywood version.