A gun rights activist was openly carrying a handgun outside the St. Louis Zoo earlier this month in protest of the zoo’s policy banning firearms when he was suddenly accosted by a stranger. The man, who goes by Rich Johnson on YouTube, repeatedly berated the pro-gun advocate and called him names while warning him that his “open carry s***t” would soon come to an end.
In the face of what some YouTube commenters described as “harassment,” the open carry activist calmly responded to the man’s verbal attacks and tried to explain his view on the Second Amendment and open carry — not that it helped the men find common ground.
“It’s not about protecting your family,” the man recording the video told the man. “You want to be an intimidator. You like it when people run from you.”
“No one should feel the need to run from me,” the man replied. “I’ve not intimidated a single person, except for you.”
Even as the stranger cursed and ranted against him and open carry, the pro-gun advocate kept his cool.
“How about this — I take your freedom of speech away,” the man said, trying to make a broader point. “You no longer have the constitutional right to stand here and voice your opinion to me.”
He added, “If you don’t like the way that America works, how about you leave? Go somewhere else where people don’t give you those freedoms to do what you want to do.”
Later in the video, another man came to the open carry activists defense and claimed he has actually been “shot” and has had to draw his weapon to defend himself. It was unclear if the man was also an activist.
The man recording the video did not seem swayed by the his personal self-defense story.
Watch the entire exchange below (Warning: Very strong language):