Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said over the weekend that a gun rights group shouldn’t bother rescheduling a planned march through Houston’s Fifth Ward, and that these sorts of demonstrations “need to end.”
Open Carry Texas was set to march through the political subdivision of Houston, but had to postpone the event. According to the Houston Chronicle, Jackson Lee and others gathered to say they oppose the group’s effort to raise awareness about the right to openly carry rifles and shotguns in Texas.
“We come in peace,” said Jackson Lee. “On behalf of many thousands who live in this community that are minding their daily business, Open Carry’s efforts need to stop, need to be canceled, they need to end.”
The Chronicle said the Fifth Ward is an historically black neighborhood, and that Open Carry decided to hold an event there after being criticized for only holding events in “rich white neighborhoods.”
“We also want to work with the minority community to get them more involved in their right to legally bear arms,” said Open Carry Texas leader C.J. Grisham.
However, the group canceled the event after warnings that residents would bring their own weapons to the event if Open Carry appeared.
“We are certainly not a community… that is looking for the ability to carry an AR-15,” Jackson Lee said. “There is an epidemic plaguing black men in this country. AR-15’s, carrying them is not in any way a positive for the children that are in this community.”
In a Facebook post over the weekend, Jackson Lee said the Fifth Ward is “well informed” on how to protect its neighborhood and property.
“Open Carry does nothing to stem violence and protect the lives of citizens,” she said. “It is a lonely issue looking for a family.”
“They should join the neighborhoods for a rally to promote improved health care, create better jobs and higher wages and prove quality schools,” she said of the group. “Otherwise, this rally should never happen.”