A group of open carry gun advocates in Texas stood in a restaurant parking lot over the weekend, exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Inside the restaurant, a group of moms against gun violence was meeting.
The Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a membership meeting at the Blue Mesa Grill in Dallas. Outside, a group of about 40 people with Open Carry Texas gathered, according to the liberal blog Think Progress.
Open Carry Texas advocates stood in a parking lot outside a restaurant where a Moms Demand Action group was meeting Saturday. (Image source: Moms Demand Action/Facebook)
"WHAT ARE THESE MEN DOING?" the national Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America organization wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. "No, they're not military defending our country or police responding to a mass shooting. They're members of Open Carry Texas and they showed up earlier today to protest a membership meeting being held by four members of Moms Demand Action inside a restaurant in Dallas. These men, armed with semi-automatic rifles, terrified customers and passersby."
A subsequent post said the "moms aren't backing down" and that such a show "only strengthens our resolve to fight for new and stronger gun laws across the country."
Moms Demand Action claimed to have received an email from Open Carry Texas that stated:
We had a great time today walking through San Antonio with our semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. The best part was that the reaction was very positive and supportive. People are "getting used" to seeing and being around guns and police have come to accept it and don't even question us anymore. What we are doing is working and society is coming to view the sight of "military style rifles" in public as just another normal thing. Isn't that a good thing?
The group posted several tweets about the open carry crashers as well.
But Open Carry Texas fired back against the "bully" accusations, saying the presence of firearms wasn't meant to intimidate.
"Hey Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, here's your chance to get your ideas out in public," Open Carry Texas wrote on its Facebook page. "The president of Open Carry Texas, CJ Grisham, is issuing an open invite and challenge to MDA President Shannon Watts to debate the issue of 'gun sense' (gun control) versus gun rights (supporting the Constitution). Since we are issuing the challenge, Shannon may pick anywhere in the State of Texas to hold the event and OCT will pay for the venue.
"We will also accept the Texas Chapter President of MDA if Shannon doesn't feel intelligent or confident enough to handle an open debate. OCT will NOT be open carry at the event so MDA can feel safe and secure in its ignorance and false sense of safety. Shannon may email her response CJ directly from her official email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The ball is in your court," the group wrote
Open Carry Texas posted these photos on their Facebook page in response to some of the backlash they received online. (Image source: Open Carry Texas/Facebook)
It seems that no physical confrontation occurred between the two groups Saturday.
According to Think Progress, a spokesperson for the restaurant said 911 was not called so as to avoid "inciting a riot." They waited for the gun advocates to leave of their own accord, which took about two hours.
Some, while supporting the Second Amendment, thought the public display of firearms outside the restaurant where the group was meeting went too far. Rick Ungar, a contributor for Forbes, wrote:
While I understand that people are passionate about their 2ndAmendment rights—and I certainly acknowledge and respect their right be so—how can any 2nd Amendment advocate stand by quietly and not protest the actions of a bunch of bullies with semi-automatic weapons who would intimidate their own unarmed neighbors?
To defend such an action in unworthy of any true defender of the 2nd Amendment.
Indeed, any gun rights advocate unwilling to call out this behavior can no longer legitimately suggest that their primary interest is the defense of the Constitution as the Constitution does not create a right to threaten and terrify fellow citizens who pose no immediate threat to one’s safety or the safety of one’s family. Rather, our Constitution creates the right to defend one’s self and one’s family from attacks.
Let us know what you think of Open Carry Texas' actions in our poll.