Gun Enthusiasts Plan Weekend ‘Open Carry’ Rally At Alamo
Updated: The national Coalition Against Gun Violence sent a Tweet this afternoon directing people (and media outlets) to the latest Facebook status update by Open Carry Texas president CJ Grisham, who says, if confronted by SAPD, his group will “not back down”:
Updated: In response to the gun rally, a group of concerned mothers are pushing back with an event of their own. The state chapter of grassroots movement, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, plan to hold a rally at the same time (Saturday, Oct. 19) to promote gun safety and reform. Playing off the pro-gun event’s aim to “draw a line the sand” and demarcate their rights as gun owners, the moms say they will draw a “line in the sandbox” to oppose “open carry extremists.”
“We are sickened that a small but vocal minority of Texans think it’s reasonable and appropriate to arm themselves to the teeth and parade around San Antonio,” said Jamie Addams of Moms Demand Action in a statement. “As mothers, we have an obligation to push back on the bullying and intimidation tactics of the aggressive carry movement.”
“While our event will be fun and family-oriented, the stakes couldn’t be higher,” said Addams. “Responsible parents and citizens must speak out now against allowing average citizens to walk around with loaded long guns – citizens who may not have had a background check, sufficient training, or even permitting.”
The protest event plans to go down at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 609 S. Alamo St. and will feature music, games, food and information on how Texans can “promote gun sense at the local, state and national levels,” according to the release. -M.T.
“Get your guns and head to San Antonio,” reads a flyer by gun-rights movement Come And Take It America. Second Amendment advocate groups plan to hold a “peaceful” and “family friendly” armed open carry march in front of the Alamo this Saturday. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., “liberty loving Americans” will be packing their rifles, shotguns and black powder pistols downtown to “draw a line in the sand.”
The group takes direct aim at SAPD and Chief William McManus for their “disregard” for Texas law and the Constitution by infringing on their rights to open carry rifles. SAPD doesn’t seem to have any qualms about the event, saying it doesn’t anticipating anything but tranquil waters, “We are expecting it to be a peaceful gathering and within the limits of the law,” said McManus in an email statement.
On the event’s Facebook page, speakers include Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Kathie Glass. Sponsored by gun enthusiast groups like Texas Open Carry, comeandtakeamerica.com, dontcomply.com and others, the event’s stated goals are to educate people on their right to openly carry shotguns and rifles in a “safe manner,” encourage elected officials to pass less restrictive open carry legislation and to “condition Americans to feel safe around those of us that carry them.” (If that’s the case, maybe the group should say it will conduct mandatory chamber checks, not voluntary ones as listed on the flyer?)
Organizer with dontcomply.com Murdoch Pizgatti says San Antonio is the first major city to host the event and expects more than 1,000 people to show up. After hearing the speakers at 12:30 p.m., the gun-toting ralliers will head down to Travis Park and possibly the police station. He stresses the family friendliness of the rally and says the chamber checks helpfully mark unloaded guns with a visible “flag”, signifying guns with no bullets.
For the flags not flying, let’s hope the safety is on?