A new tactic in the battle over "open carry" of firearms has some gun safety advocates feeling intimidated and local police concerned. I regularly receive information in my inbox updating me on the latest public demonstrations by Open Carry Texas, but now it appears that some of their members are targeting those who report their activities to authorities by publishing their contact information.
After one woman phoned 9-11 upon seeing individuals crossing a bridge bearing assault-style rifles, her phone number was published by the group on YouTube. Her number has now been disconnected.
Arlington Police Lieutenant Chris Cook told WFAA in Dallas that residents should not feel too intimidated to report people carrying guns in public places.
Pro-tip: If your organization's mission statement is to make the sight of guns more common and less intimidating, harassing individuals who you may have scared is not going to get you there.
More below the jump...
Some folks just don't feel safe around guns, others clearly don't feel safe without them -- that's why Texas' compromise of concealed carry has been a good law. Unfortunately the word compromise is a four letter word to extreme conservatives including some members of the "open carry" movement that has been brewing among Tea Party types. They believe any compromise, or regulation is a violation of their 2nd Amendment rights, and that has caused friction among gun safety advocates who have championed background checks for all gun purchases and a closing of the "gun show" loophole. One member from Open Carry Tarrant County, Kory Watkins told WFAA, "This isn't about open carry. This is about constitutional carry. That means no regulations, no license, nothing."
After the WFAA story was published Open Carry Texas took to its Facebook page, shared the article along with some thoughts:
Arlington PD can't have it both ways. The people need to educate themselves and stop using the 911 system to bully and intimidate gun owners. If they don't like seeing guns, go the other way. We don't have that choice when they sic the police on us.
The sad thing is that it seems some members of Open Carry Texas revel in the intimidation of women who are afraid of guns -- maybe they really do believe Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense actually want to forcibly remove their firearms. But, even if that were true, the constitution won't allow it, and frankly, in the end it just makes them look less like patriots and more like jerks.