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Imagine a Future Free from Gun Violence

Pro-Gun Activists Contradict Claim that Stalking of Moms’ Group was “Peaceful Assembly”

OCT at MesaOn November 9, 2013, a group of heavily armed Open Carry Texas (OCT) protesters surrounded a Blue Mesa Grill in Arlington, Texas while brandishing shotguns and military-style rifles. Inside the restaurant, a member of the group Moms Demand Gun Sense for America (MDA) was peacefully convening a lunch meeting with three other women to discuss gun policy. They were taken totally by surprise. An OCT member had feigned interest in joining MDA to learn the location of the meeting.

OCT claimed this wasn’t an act of intimidation. “We were just out there peacefully assembling,” said OCT leader Kory Watkins.

The rest of the civilized world seemed to disagree. “I was terrified,” said the MDA activist who organized the meeting. “They didn’t want to talk. They wanted to display force … They’re walking around with killing machines strapped to their backs in a suburban area.” She is remaining anonymous out of concern for her safety.

Columnist Rick Ungar summed up the demonstration the following way in Forbes:  “Does anyone think the Founders would approve of a group of 40 armed citizens making their point by terrifying their unarmed neighbors practicing their own right to pursue their point of view? … To defend such an action in unworthy of any true defender of the 2nd Amendment. But defend it many will. Indeed, one commenter to this article wrote, ‘They deserve to be terrified. That’s what happens when you form a group to take away the freedoms of another group of people.‘ … Any gun rights advocate unwilling to call out this behavior can no longer legitimately suggest that their primary interest is the defense of the Constitution.”

Shannon MDA Fraud Image

Image of Shannon Watts posted as cover pic on the “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a Fraud” Facebook page.

MDA founder Shannon Watts confirmed that terror is a common implement in pro-gun activists’ toolbox. Appearing on “The Ed Show” on MSNBC on November 11, Watts said, “As a member of this organization, I get death threats and threats of sexual violence against myself and my daughters on a daily basis. This is an underbelly of America that all citizens should understand is out there, and that they do not want any kind of regulation of the Second Amendment whatsoever.”

Aggressive behavior seems to come naturally to OCT activists. In recent protests, heavily armed members of the group have directly confronted Texas state troopers and police officers and called them the following to their faces: “pigs,” “motherfuckers,” “scumbags,” “pieces of shit,” “maggot motherfuckers,” “traitors,” “worthless wastes of life,” “bitches,” “jokes” and “retards.” Texas law enforcement officers have exercised incredible restraint in the face of this abuse and conducted themselves in a way that totally belies the protesters’ hyperbolic claims of “tyranny.” Still, watching the videos of these protests is terrifying. Just one individual exercising a moment of terrible judgment is all it would take to turn one of these circuses into an unspeakable tragedy.

There is also abundant evidence online to suggest that OCT’s November 9th demonstration at Blue Mesa Grill was far from “peaceful.” On Facebook, pro-gun activists have been nothing short of eager to tell MDA the true motive behind the event.

Hypo Shannon ThreadIn a thread at the “Hypocrisy and Stupidity of Gun Control Advocates” Facebook page commenting on Shannon Watt’s appearance on “The Ed Show,” they made their threats of violence explicit.

Forgive my crudeness, but I’m just compelled to stick my dick in her mouth,” said pro-gun activist Ryan Mackin of Appleton, Wisconsin.

Come tell me to my face that I compare to the Taliban bitch and maybe I’ll treat you like they treat there women!!” added pro-gunner John Stevens of Eugene, Oregon.

Rob Martin of Gladewater, Texas was even more blunt. “Psh. I want her publicly hanged,” he said.

When Don Fetzer of Marienville, Pennsylvania commented, “I think she needs laid !” pro-gunner Jake Frank responded with “She needs to get laid in a grave if anything.”

I guess she needs laid…” said Max Paar of Alexandria, Indiana. “I don’t think my gun would like that oil…

Responding to Shannon’s suggestion that the Second Amendment was not intended to allow intimidation of those exercising their right to assemble, pro-gun activist Fabio Constantini of West Haven, Connecticut warned, “She is lucky they are not using the second for what it was intended to do… Go spend time with your kids lady…

Anthony Fennell CommentPosting on the Moms Demand Action Facebook page, pro-gunner Anthony Fennell of Modesto, California told them, “Anywhere that moms demand action meets needs to be met with as large a caliber number of weapons as is legally possible simply displayed with a banner that says ‘My other gun is a fully auto 50 cal’. be real. nobody wants war, but you guys are near to forcing it. You are never taking our guns without massive blood shed across the country. In the event that any law is passed that would permanently stop us from fighting back… 1776 will happen again. I am waiting. ready and willing to fight.”

David J Hall CommentPro-gun activist David J. Hall of Santa Fe, Texas was equally direct in a message to MDA’s Texas chapter. “Each and every one of you can [get the fuck out] of my state,” he told them. “you are not a grassroots movement we real Texans do not want you here nor messing with our GOD GIVEN RIGHTS. when open carry is legal what will you do then? move now before you people start a real and no joke war.

Michael Finney CommentMichael Finney of Seffner, Florida put it this way to MDA: “All you retarded mother fuckers come and TRY to take my firearms. There WILL be a lot more shootings,I PROMISE!If you think taking away law abiding citizens firearms will keep you safer ,you truly are fucking retarded!

Shawn Fisher CommentsSeriously fuck y’all anyone that bullies is y’all fucking ass and anyone that needs sense if y’all’s fucking ass the owner of this moms demand sucking dick for sense in America need to be slapped the fuck out of them,” threatened pro-gun activist Shawn Fisher of Arlington, Texas.

Allan Whitaker Comment ResizedThen there was pro-gun activist Allan Whitaker of Russellville, Arkansas, who scared the daylights out of his PR-minded colleagues by being so honest on the “Hypocrisy and Stupidity of Gun Control Advocates” Facebook page. “I hope they are intimidated,” he said of MDA. “They are not talking about destroying our right to eat cookies. We have the means to end the debate with force. It is only because we respect the constitution, 1st amendment, and human life that we have allowed the debate to happen at all.

As Rick Ungar pointed out, such insurrectionist rhetoric has nothing to do with defense of the Constitution. To the contrary, the threat of political violence is a direct attack on the Constitution and the democratic institutions that underpin our system of government. Our Founders drafted and ratified the document to obviate the need for political violence, and to guarantee that future generations would be able to peacefully assemble and advocate for policies that they deemed necessary to further “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

When Kory Watkins and his OCT colleagues take to the streets with weapons to intimidate those who disagree with them on matters of policy, they are not demonstrating that they cherish the Constitution. They are demonstrating that they have no faith in the document whatsoever. Perhaps they should have recalled Abraham Lincoln’s famous rejoinder before initiating their armed demonstration against MDA:  “Among free men, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and…they who take such appeal are sure to lose their case, and pay the cost.”

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The Discussion

  • Barbara Day: January 4, 2015 2:41 pm

    This morning in the Washington Post I read of yet more gun violence in and near our nation’s capital city, Washington, D.C. It is heartbreaking and it makes me angry and sad that such senseless, needless violence continues to plague our nation and we are not even five days into 2015. In the wake of such needless tragedies on an individual level, such as the incidents that I read about already today, or the tragedy in Sandy Hook in 2014, I can only state that it needs to stop.

    Thank you for being a voice that balances the ongoing debate with the NRA and other organizations like the NRA. The problems of violence in society must be addressed through ways to mitigate the problems that tend to produce or cause violence.

    With respect to the issue of police brutality we must all bear in mind that they deal with all types of people and perhaps individual police departments across the country can look at their training programs and find good strategies to deal with crowds of people who are using their fundamental human and civil rights in speaking out when a small or large community becomes upset over the issue of possible police brutality.

    When those exceptional cases occur where an officer of the law is forced by circumstance to use a gun in the line of protecting himself or innocent citizens, that is within the boundaries drawn by the line of duty itself. Let the judicial system do its work. The only acceptable use of a gun in a criminal case in general is self-defense and the question then becomes was deadly force necessary or was it an excessive use of force? If an officer of the law is being punched in the face, i.e., a physical attack, then, out of necessity, his or her instincts will be to use the firearm. That is purely self-defense. If, however, an officer of the law violates the public trust in a case that is genuine police brutality, well, that’s a different matter. For example, the case in which the suspect who had a prior record and was forced to the ground simply couldn’t breathe. A tragic outcome. In these cases, the judicial system can and will find the appropriate outcome we hope.

    Again, however, in spite of this type of rare tragedy, we must never as Americans lose faith in our judicial system or in our police departments. None of us either on an individual level or even collectively as a society prevent all tragedies from occurring. Let the police departments and the judicial systems within the U.S. do their jobs while the rest of us go about our ordinary, routine lives.

    I’m sick of seeing headlines that state that our judicial system is broken and must be fixed. The problem isn’t the judicial system, the problem is how do we as Americans prevent needless violence in the first place? Only a certain amount can be accomplished through prevention-oriented programs.

    If we know what causes people to become violent in the first place, then let’s work on that issue to resolve the gun violence problem in America. I wish I had more to offer or a better idea. It takes good people using plain old ordinary common sense, a concerned citizenry that has faith in its judicial system and local police departments, in other words, people of good will within those communities to balance such issues and thoughtfully consider these things. In some cases and for some serious issues, like preventing gun violence in our schools and other public areas that we all enjoy such as libraries, there just aren’t any easy or simple answers.

    I don’t own a gun because I don’t feel that owning one is necessary to protect myself. If that ever changes, I have a constitutional right to own a gun. I don’t own one because I know my own personal limits. I’m not a violent person and I don’t want one of the blasted things in my home nor do I wish to carry a firearm.

    On a much lighter note, if other people want to go duck hunting, that’s their business but I have no interest in that particular sport. I’d rather stalk wild eastern brook trout with a fishing rod and reel when it isn’t deer hunting or duck hunting season. And sometimes, I just prefer to go for a walk around my neighborhood or a simple hike through the woods alone and/or with family and friends.

    If anyone ever broke into my home to rob it, I’d simply call the police.

    Thank you, however, for doing what you can to help mitigate the violence in our society through education and outreach in an effort to encourage people to use some common sense. Your organization plays an important role in helping the greater good for all of American society.

    May you have every success in the year 2015.

    Barbara D. Day

    P.S. Keeping you and your organization in my thoughts and prayers as all of us begin a new year. If you work with volunteers, please let me know. I’d be glad to help out your organization on a volunteer basis sometime. Thanks very much and again, best of luck in 2015.

  • Robert Wadhams: October 28, 2014 4:01 pm

    To any and all who may still be reading this article, I wish to apologize on behalf of these morons. I am a staunchly pro 2nd A supporter and even I am repulsed by what I am seeing on display here. The conduct of these individuals is not a reflection of the average gun owner and those that practice concealed carry for personal protection.

    What I am seeing here are people making the rest of us look bad by using methods of belligerence and intimidation not to mention the disgusting Facebook commentary. I am ashamed of what my fellow gun owners are doing in the public eye. There is a difference between standing up for freedom and what is going on here. While I do not agree with much of the anti gun activism, how can we claim any sort of high ground when we do things like this.

    We are going to be judged by the voting public by the sort of things we see here. It is those voting individuals that will have great influence upon our ultimate fate.

    Consider the following the next time you decide to “protect” the second amendment by harassing those practicing their first amendment rights. The Voltaire quote paraphrased by Jefferson: “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

  • Anthony Fennell: July 5, 2014 8:43 pm

    You are correct that my comment has nothing to do with defending the constitution. it has to do with defending myself from your ignorant and emotional ranting that supports a tyrannical government that I intend to resist. I’ve been around the globe and have no problem with civil war against a tyrannical government (This government) supported by such monkey brained liberal (Or conservative as may some times be) nonsense. Thank you for posting the warning I wrote a while back. Hopefully you dont get your way and we dont have to see massive bloodshed. We should not be held victim to your baseless desires to ban any gun

  • Rev. Angelika Mitchell: May 25, 2014 11:43 pm

    After reading this, I realize that all many of these pro-gun activists can do is being vulgar, and intimidating. I bet they weren’t trying to intimidate anyone if they wouldn’t have a gun. It seems most of them have issues with women as well. The problem is those are the signs of real cowards. I also can’t help wondering, how many would qualify for psychiatric treatment?
    While we certainly can try to rationally sort this out, people who are so afraid, like these pro-gun activists, won’t be able to talk rationally. Fear prevents people from thinking clearly. Besides, there is one other thing I like to mention, no matter what we do, even home security wise, will not keep us truly safe.
    Our true strength and safety comes from God. What happened to this so called “Christian Nation”? It seems we have totally abandoned our faith and put it into a weapon.

  • Marco: May 24, 2014 7:11 pm

    My opinion? These people are fascist. In Europe these people would all be in jail because nobody is allowed to walk in the streets with these kind of guns. If the USA don’t solve this terrible gun problem I see a very dark future for your country.
    Guns are no freedom. Guns are killing machines.

  • Lancecorp: March 28, 2014 12:12 am

    I will never understand why some people believe that Gun-safety Advocates are afraid of guns. Get a clue! We care about life; we care about children; the future Generation and we care that legal, sane, responsible gun-owners are the only ones that have access to guns to protect themselves and to hunt.

    It’s sad to see these children having a temper tantrum and being so disrespectful. Here’s hoping for adult participation in assuring a safe future for our children and Grand-children.

  • L: March 3, 2014 11:35 am

    NRA is putting guns in the hands of babes.

  • Joachim Amato: December 2, 2013 12:56 pm

    These young men should surely join the armed forces; the army needs testosterone fueled, video game and action-movie raised zealots for their combat troops. Maybe when they return home from combat and killing they will be able to appreciate a peaceful society where people can live free from fear and intimidation.

  • turningfifty3: November 23, 2013 3:52 pm

    Interesting discussion. For a defense of gun control from a Christian perspective (the writer’s a professor at Biola University) see:

  • Gene: November 22, 2013 10:27 pm

    My first awareness of gun violence was the assasination of President Kennedy. My first awareness of a mass civilian killing was the Texas Tower shootings. Between those two events I had gone to Viet-Nam and became aware of what in fact what Guns were. Since those times over the past fifty years, with all the gun related violence that has occured and all the talk, I have become aware that nobody in the media or in a position of responsibility have talked about guns, neither have any of the opponents or supports of guns in fact talked about guns.
    There is always a lot of talk about the Second Ammendment, about various forms of control and what kinds of guns, ammunition and means of despensing ammunition but NO talk about guns. I have always been disappointed in that whenever a discussion starts about guns no one mentions the fact that guns were invented to kill people. Not hunting, not target shooting but to kill people. The forerunner to guns were cannons, which of course were used for no other purpose but to kill people. Then the hand cannon, the direct ancestor to what we call today small arms, fire arms, hand guns etc. It was a few hundreds of years before they were developed and improved to the point were they could even be used for hunting. No, they were invented for the sole purpose of killing people and when someone uses a gun to kill a person they are in fact using them properly. It is why they are in the end called “weapons”, whenever you use the word “weapons” you are in fact talking about a device used for killing people and it doesn’t make any difference whether-or-not they are used for defense or offense, the proper usage is the killing of people.
    Until there is actual talk about GUNS there will never be any change.

  • charlieg: November 21, 2013 5:43 pm

    This is why we need to organize and actively vote to reduce gun violence. It is the oppositions position that common sense gun laws = gun confiscation, and they drum up every idiot with the capacity for violence and dumb enough to be convinced of their position to intimidate those who act. Why is it that there are more of us than there are of them, but we sit silently and allow people who walk the line like Giron and Morse, and these women? The problem with our side is that we are not organized enough, and we NEED to be to make this stop.

  • Jeffrey Smith: November 21, 2013 12:47 pm

    The pro-gun-violence extremists making these violent, bullying, cowardly threats are probably a small minority of gun owners. Nevertheless, I’d like to see more moderate gun owners and firearm organizations work with us to isolate those lunatics.

    Our nation’s founders succeeded because of their brilliantly-articulated ideas, not because of their marksmanship. They created a peaceful, civil society under the role of law and with representative government — not a massively armed, anarchic, dystopic, Hobbesian “state of nature”. The pro-gun-violence extremists must feel terribly impotent and isolated, which perhaps explains their fear and rage.

    Those gun worshippers are in history’s caboose. Reducing gun violence will take constant effort for many, many years. But the US reduced the automobile death rate by 78% during the past 50 years, to 1.1 per Million Miles Traveled (MMT) per the NHTSA. And the US has reduced smoking deaths, as well. We’ll cut gun violence, too.

  • Bill: November 21, 2013 12:27 pm

    I stand behind these brave women of MDA 100%. There is NO room in this country for these GUN LUNATICS!!

  • Robyn Parker: November 21, 2013 10:37 am

    Thank you for standing strong!!! You are appreciated very much, you are making a positive difference.

  • scribble: November 20, 2013 1:18 pm

    In civilized States, this is called “brandishing,” and people are arrested for it.

    Why haven’t these women filed a brandishing complaint with local authorities?

  • Gary M. Bourret Major/Retired: November 19, 2013 9:38 pm

    This group of gun zealots has no respect for the Constitution. They should be carrying Brown Bess muskets appropriate to time the Second Amendment was passed. And then, only if subsisting off the land as early pioneers did along frontiers of civilization or if Indian Wars and such threats exist. Open Carry had real meaning and necessity during 18th Century. I also recall that possibly some of these same “Patriots” from Texas and other states were trying to secede from the Union a year or so ago. Those people were definitely NOT patriots or lovers of the U.S. Constitution. Their actions also show a marked disrespect for local police and military personnel. Our Oath includes defending against all enemies foreign and domestic. I have to wonder how many of these so-called patriots own/carry Communist made assault rifles. Seems very hypocritical to me. FYI: I have been a serious gun owner & supporter of 2nd Amendment for over 50 years. I can open carry to my hearts content on my property 24/7 and during numerous hunting seasons. Noone is advocating taking anyone’s guns but the NRA keeps using that LIE to shake down gullible members(and it’s been working since the Clinton Administration). One reason GHW Bush and I told the NRA to shove it about 35 years ago. The separation of power in Wash. D.C. plus the Senate filibuster guarantees there will be NO GUN CONFISCATION.

  • GloPan: November 19, 2013 2:02 pm

    Why are the pro-gun women putting up with the violent misogyny? Isn’t the scary hate being aimed at MDA and Shannon Watts enough for women gun owners to publicly distance themselves from these gun nuts?

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