Open Carry Tarrant County, a chapter of the gun rights advocacy group Open Carry Texas, created further tension with the group and GOP lawmakers in Texas by publicly declaring the need to “hunt down the Republicans” who aren’t pushing a bill in the state legislature that would allow people to openly carry unlicensed handguns. Earlier this month, the group drew the ire of many conservatives and open carry advocates for their bullying tactics towards elected officials when they barged into the State Capitol and confronted representatives in an effort to intimidate them into supporting the open carry of handguns.
At that time, the leader of Open Carry Texas, CJ Grisham, called out the head of the Tarrant County chapter, Kory Watkins, for “starting fires.”
I’ll be spending tomorrow cleaning up the horse manure Kory Watkins dropped throughout the Capitol today instead of building support for constitutional carry. If starting fires were up for a vote, he’d be a grand arsonist. Yes, I said it. Some of us actually want bills passed that repeal laws violating our fundamental rights instead of vying for the title of Jackass of the Year. I’m done playing softball. I’m still getting phone calls from representatives and media hours later.
Due to Watkins’ actions, state legislators requested panic buttons to be installed in their offices. Really, who can blame them? When you have belligerent gun nuts barging into your office demanding you let them carry firearms anywhere and everywhere, it is likely you’d want to have as much protection as possible.
On Tuesday, Watkins decided to up the ante and requested that his chapter’s members, and others sympathetic to the cause, place further pressure on Republicans in the State Senate to support SB 342, a proposed bill that would allow a person to open carry a handgun without a license. Watkins is taking issue with newly elected Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick claims that there is currently not enough support for the bill in the Senate. In the Facebook event he created for the cause, Watkins used provocative language to implore members to do whatever they can to change the Senators’ minds.
Below is an excerpt from the Facebook page for the event:
Dan Patrick said there is not enough support in the Senate. What?!?!!? Not enough support for the Constitution? The job they swore to uphold? We have 20 Republican Senators. Are they listening to lobbyist and gun organizations who are pro money?…. or the people?
Well, it’s time to hunt down the Republicans who don’t support the Constitution and the Republican Platform. Then, we will expose them and help them find a new job by making sure they won’t have a chance to ever get elected in Texas again. Time to start sending these people to California.
Here is a list of all Republican Senators in order of district. Here is a map to find your district and all the contacts for your reps. PLEASE CALL, email and whatever else you can. We want to know who are the Republican Senators who are not listening to the #WeThePeople
For gun control activists, Watkins and his group of miscreants are one of the best things that could have come along for them. The group is largely responsible for a number of chain restaurants and stores placing firearm bans in their places of business. This was due to group members showing up at stores with assault rifles slung across their backs, causing patrons to disgustingly leave the establishments. The resulting media coverage, complete with images, led to quick action from many businesses to ban guns in their shops.
Obviously, conservatives know this and want Watkins and Co. to stop acting obnoxiously and making it seem to all the world that gun rights activists are nothing more than dangerous gun fetishists and ammosexuals who care about nothing else but their firearms. However, the problem is that this Pandora’s Box has been opened, whether by the NRA or the Republican-led state legislatures stripping away gun control laws, and it can’t be shut. Even if Watkins is quieted down, there are other gun nuts who will continue to draw attention to themselves and become the face of this so-called movement.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).