One thing you can say about Portland City Council’s resolution calling for a state law to ban the open carry of firearms in any publically owned facility where mass gatherings are held is that it was appropriate.

The Council took a non-problem and responded with a non-solution.

If Portland was like Dodge City in the 1880s, and a holstered pistol was as commonly worn as a Stetson or a string tie, calling for some rules about where and when guns are appropriate would make sense.

But as long as the open carry of firearms is still limited to mostly out-of-towners who march around at provocative 2nd Amendment rallies it’s hard to see the point.

It’s not that Portland doesn’t have public safety problems, or that they don’t involve the use of guns. The police department’s effort to highlight drug trafficking in the Grant Street neighborhood is an example of a place where rival gangs could fight for turf, leading to out-of-control gun violence. But don’t expect to see those guns openly carried in the Merrill Auditorium during this year’s Magic of Christmas concert.

The reason the Council’s response is empty is because any ban would require action from the Legislature, and everyone knows that’s not going to happen. Not because the Republicans are in charge, but because this is Maine and even when the Legislature was in Democratic hands, gun bills were non-starters.

If people in Portland have a real public safety problem that requires legislative action, a resolution like this could make sense. But this response does not meet that standard.

Open-carry of firearms is unwise (which is why so few gun owners do it), but so is overreacting to attention-starved activists. There are real problems that require the council’s attention now.