I’ll likely catch a bit of flak from segments for posting this, but I honestly think it’s hilarious how quickly the NRA bowed itself to a bunch of people who, by some instances, appear to be afraid of anything beyond their own shadow. My reasoning for that will come a bit later, but first, here’s the NRA’s moment of temporary sanity.
On May 30th, there was a post written on the NRA’s website titled Good Citizens and Good Neighbors: The Gun Owner’s Role. Within that post, there’s a section devoted to Open Carry Texas, a group that has been staging “protests” by openly carrying rifles into business establishments without first notifying the owners of their intents.
From the post:
Now we love AR-15s and AKs as much as anybody, and we know that these sorts of semiautomatic carbines are among the most popular, fastest selling firearms in America today. Texas, independent-minded and liberty-loving place that it is, doesn’t ban the carrying of loaded long guns in public, nor does it require a permit for this activity. Yet some so-called firearm advocates seem determined to change this.
Recently, demonstrators have been showing up in various public places, including coffee shops and fast food restaurants, openly toting a variety of tactical long guns. Unlicensed open carry of handguns is legal in about half the U.S. states, and it is relatively common and uncontroversial in some places. Yet while unlicensed open carry of long guns is also typically legal in most places, it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms.
Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.
Now, the NRA isn’t known for being one to back away from gun rights, so if they’re saying that you’re screwing up, then people should take notice. Well, Open Carry Texas did take notice to the point of tearing up their NRA membership cards because the NRA wasn’t all about protecting their 2nd Amendment Rights. I honestly think that this is the first time in my life where I’ve seen the NRA get attacked from the left by conservative gun carriers. Does that mean the NRA is now a bunch of gun grabbin’ liberals?
Well, what does the NRA do in response you ask??
So much for thinking about those who don’t feel the need to strap an AR-15 to their back just to go eat a burger and fries. I carry concealed, and I own a few guns myself. However, I don’t understand why or for what reason someone wants to parade around with a semiautomatic rifle strapped to their back. Is that some kind of new aged status symbol or something? Is there some kind of contest to see who has the biggest or most tricked out AR?
The only places I’ve seen people walking around like that on a regular basis are usually war-torn countries dealing with their own civil wars, and America ain’t there yet.
Now, as to my earlier allegation about some of these protesters being afraid of anything beyond their own shadow, I’d like to introduce you to James Henry, a Marine veteran from Texas.
Henry, a Marine veteran, now owns a production company. After hearing about the group’s Fort Worth demonstration, he grabbed his camera and went there to film it. That’s when Henry says a few demonstrators there started following and questioning him. A few started recording the exchange with their cell phones.
Despite giving his name and company he worked for, Henry claims it didn’t satisfy them.
“I got aggravated and I did get a bit snarky,” said Henry.
Kory Watkins, spokesman for Open Carry Tarrant County, declined an interview but did say Henry was swearing. With women and children taking part in the event, Watkins says the group felt threatened by Henry and started following him for their safety.
Now, if you’re carrying rifles at an open carry “protest”, why are you threatened by someone carrying a camera and cussing? Do you not have multiple people around with multiple rifles? The interesting point is that Henry is a gun owner and carrier. He’s not one of the anti-gun crusaders. Because the protesters recorded his business information and posted it online in a video, he’s been receiving death threats.
This does nothing to help the image of the “good gun owner” when the supposed good guys are acting like a bunch of jackasses. The NRA was correct in calling them weird, and I think they should have told that group to get rid of their membership. That may have given the NRA a bit of positive press to try to shed themselves of their image of promoting gun nuts. As long as they back this kind of crap, there’s no way I’d come close to becoming a member. I practice safety with my guns, and I’ve helped others learn to shoot as well without a membership to the NRA. So, there’s no reason for me to associate myself with this kind of crap.