Post-traumatic stress disorder (also known as PTSD) affects an incredible amount of the population of the United States. According to PTSD United, "An estimated 8% of Americans ? 24.4 million people ? have PTSD at any given time. That is equal to the total population of Texas."
With the evolution of Texas' new open carry laws, military veterans who suffer from PTSD are being put in a difficult and challenging position. When already struggling to deal with unavoidable triggers (such as loud noises, familiar faces, smells, etc.) that can lead to vivid flashbacks of the traumatic event or persistent nightmares, seeing numerous people carrying guns in their waistbands could only add to the stress.
One such veteran suffering from PTSD decided to take a stand and make a statement after the open carry law came to be in Texas at the start of this year.
Art Leal, a U.S. Army vet who served his country for eight years during Operation Desert Storm, decided to leave businesses that allow open carry inside their establishments with an important message.
The message comes in the form of a small business card that reads:
“Sorry, but I had to leave. I saw a person carrying a deadly weapon in your business and could not determine their intentions. I am a combat veteran with disabling PTSD. Being confronted by armed individuals in what should be a secure place is a major psychological trigger for me. I will never be back.”
This message is important for business owners, as it is a business owner’s right to decide whether or not open carry is allowed inside their establishment.
Leal has explained that while he fully supports the Second Amendment, he wants people to be aware of how this law can affect people like him. Perhaps this will help people to understand why some limitations on the Second Amendment are not only important, but helpful to the veterans that served our country.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters