Your Tactics Are Stupid, Open Carry Tarrant County.
How are you guys doing today? Make it out OK after yesterday's storms? Good, good — not that we imagine they put too much of a damper on the week you guys have had anyway, what with your terrifying a group of Jack in the Box employees earlier this week and all in our state's latest of many open carry demonstration incidents.
Feeling proud? Hmmm. Should you be? Because, just to be frank, we don't really get the point of what you guys are doing.
Oh, and also that you don't seem like very thoughtful or nice people.
Look, most of us here at Central Track have personal feelings about firearms, if and how their use should be controlled, and who should be allowed to possess them. But that's not what we’re talking about here. In this case, we're talking about you guys acting like assholes and scaring people.
Let's make one thing clear: However you read it, the second amendment definitely doesn't make it right to threaten people, either implicitly or explicitly. And, hey, when you've got hardened food service employees cowering in the freezer at the mere sight of you, there's no denying it: You're terrifying people.
So you might want to reconsider your tactics.
We get it: It's super awesome that our fair state makes it totally legal for you to walk around, proudly displaying the long-barreled weapon of your choice (even if it’s something that even the noted bleeding-heart liberal that is Antonin Scalia thinks might be a bad idea). And, sure, your antics ostensibly appear to be OK within the eyes of the law.
But that doesn't mean we have to like it.
Listen: There's tons of perfectly legal shit that is still incredibly mean-spirited and stupid. And milling around a fast-food restaurant and its parking lot with assault rifles slung across your backs? That's just one of them.
What we don't understand is where you get off calling your actions a “protest.” C'mon: How's anyone supposed to know that? It's not like you guys had signs you were carrying around that let people know what was going on. And it's not like you notified any authorities of your supposed “protest,” either.
Probably not great.
See, here's the thing: If I saw you demonstrating with signs, I might roll my eyes or even join in depending on my views on guns; but if I see a bunch of dudes with semi-automatic guns and no apparent purpose, I'm going to be more than a little scared, and I'm going try to get away as quickly as possible while desperately pawing 911 on my phone.
For the sake of argument, though, let's assume that the Jack in the Box employees somehow understood and appreciated your protest. What, then, is the point? What was your end-game?
As has been pointed out throughout this letter and in pretty much all of the news coverage surrounding you guys, yeah, what y'all are doing is, in fact, legal. But we don't plan on going out this weekend and eating all of our favorite less-than-healthy foods just because we want to celebrate the legally permissable stuff we enjoy that also happens to be dangerous.
To do so is to miss the point entirely. Don't you guys get it? You're already on the right side of the law. Scaring people and antagonizing authorities doesn't do anything to further your cause. Best case scenario, it just pisses people off. Worst case scenario, those same people may be prompted to take Justice Scalia’s lead and pass some totally constitutional restrictions on you walking around with your semi-automatic security blankets. And then you lose.
So for our sake, for your sake and for everyone’s sake, just quit it already.
Stephen Young and the rest of the Central Track staff
P.S. All the outrage you guys showed over the cops who showed up following the employees' calling 911 really isn't helping your case, either. I mean, what were these cops supposed to do? Approach a group of armed men with their guns down? C'mon. Stop trolling everyone.
Cover photo via Open Carry Texas.