The Texas Gun Culture in “More Tales of Insane Protest”

Say that title like a voice-over on a 1950’s sci-fi movie.

While I admit I fucking hate Texas, I will say this: Texas does give me a lot of things to write about.

Over the weekend, more specifically on Saturday, the city of Dallas was going about it’s typical weekend routines. City employees were surveying and planning the JFK50 tribute, people from all over the Metroplex converged on the city for whatever their hearts desired, people shopped, people rode the trains, people had lunch. That’s really important to remember. People. Had. Lunch.

Mmmm... lunch.

Mmmm… lunch.

At one of the Blue Mesa Grill locations in Dallas on Saturday, a group of mothers belonging to Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America met for lunch and to discuss the topics that this particular MDA group focuses on: gun safety and gun legislation in the United States. They sat in this unassuming restaurant, eating whatever the hell it is Blue Mesa Grill serves (I’ve personally never been there) and discussing their cause and their beliefs. They weren’t harming anyone. They weren’t holding a rally. They weren’t converting people to their cause. They were just having lunch, like everyone else in the damn restaurant was.

Suddenly, according to reports, a group of two-dozen to forty (yes, twenty-four to forty) men, women, and (allegedly) children (yes, allegedly children), as part of Open Carry Texas (OCT) arrived in the parking lot of the Blue Mesa Grill… and promptly armed themselves, waiting for the mothers who were having an unassuming lunch with more unassuming people to come out of the restaurant. One of the mothers saw what was going on and apparently tried to get the restaurant manager to call the police. The restaurant manager refused, claiming that he did not want to “incite a riot.” Alongside the confused and terrified mothers were the other patrons of the restaurant, who themselves were confused and terrified.

It took two hours, but the gun-toting OCT decided they were in the mood for wings and beer after standing in a parking lot waving their guns. They reconvened at a nearby Hooters.

And with that, we get to the part of the entry where I voice my opinions on the matter.

For a state like Texas — that boasts it’s superiority and it’s heritage — Texans sure as hell have to deal with a lot of shit on a daily basis. Our highways suck, our education system sucks, our governor is a moron, our legislature is made up of people just as moronic as our governor, our government has succeeded in suppressing the votes of minorities and banning the marriage rights of the LGBT community in our damn constitution. But, with all of that, I think the biggest problem in Texas is the gun culture. While I understand that the anti-gun control crowd exists all throughout the United States, here in Texas, it is probably the loudest, most arrogant, and dangerous. Texans believe that their state was founded with guns and, as far as a large percentage of Texans go, their interpretation Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is the only thing about the Federal government they agree with.

Focus only on the person in the picture. There are many like him and they converge on my street almost every weekend.

Focus only on the person in the picture. There are many like him and they converge on my street almost every weekend.

Note: God forbid you get into a verbal sparring match with a Texan. All they do is pull up their Wrangler jeans and oversized Texas belt buckles, spit their tobacco juice on the ground, and say with a grizzled, hick accent: “If you don’t like it, then you can giiiitttt ouuuttt!”

Anyway, back on topic. The fact that these men and women and (allegedly) children decided to take it upon themselves to sit in the parking lot of a restaurant, armed with enough firepower to waste everyone inside, for two fucking hours only because they caught wind that a group of women (yes, women) who believe in gun control were inside is truly remarkable and speaks volumes to the arrogance and idiocy that courses through the veins of this state’s citizens. I mean, seriously? They felt it was necessary to make their point in the most blatantly dangerous way possible to a group of women!

Women like her. Does she really look like a threat to you?

Women like her. Does she really look like a threat to you?

Come on, Texas. This is low… even for you.

These crazy gun protests have not been something popping up randomly. In fact, there have been several taking place less than a half-mile from my residence over the last few weekends. Each Saturday, like clockwork, a group of anywhere from five to fifteen people stand on an overpass (F.M. 3040 and I-35E) waving assault rifles and flying yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, screaming to everyone that we need to “Impeach Obama” and “Fight the Government”, since, you know, Obama has apparently done something worthy of impeachment and a resistance to the Federal government is apparently necessary for the survival of the American people. Anyway, these people crowd the overpass, causing traffic problems and inciting everything from confusion to panic, since, as I said before, they’re waving loaded weapons around.

Interestingly, my brother came to visit a couple of weeks ago and actually called the police on them. The Lewisville Police Department told him that they were “aware of the situation and have decided not to do anything about it.”

Lewisville's finest...

Lewisville’s finest…

Honestly, I’m just waiting for the day they cause an accident.

Anyway, here’s the point. You absolutely have the right to protest. It’s guaranteed in the Constitution. But, your right is for peaceful protest and assembly, and as soon as you start putting the safety of others in jeopardy (this means you, Blue Mesa Grill gun nuts and Lewisville “Impeach Obama” Squad), then your right to protest is void and you are responsible for whatever happens after that. Any car accident becomes your fault. Any hysteria that caused is your doing. As it should be.

If these people want to protest, fine. If they want to scream at people that we’re living in a police state run by a Communist and that we need to take him out before he destroys the country, fine. But, it needs to be done peacefully and without making the public feel their safety is in jeopardy. Moreover, whenever the public starts calling into the police that said protest is making them worry about  their safety, the police need to, at the very least, install police presence at the scene. They’re peace officers — it’s in their fucking title. With all that being said, these people who believe that everyone in America should own an AR-15 and who create public discourse to get their point across are actually violating the Constitution they so fondly harp on.

These protesters are, essentially, hypocrites. Dangerous hypocrites.

Addendum, Nov. 13, 2013: The source cited in the fourth paragraph of the article claims that OCT stayed in the parking lot of only 15 minutes or so. However, other sources used for this piece have claimed two hours. Essentially, the amount of time OCT was in the parking lot is in dispute.

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About Robert L. Franklin

Ah, the About Me section - social networking's excuse for you sounding like an elitist prick. Hmm... what to say? What to say?
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6 Responses to The Texas Gun Culture in “More Tales of Insane Protest”

  1. 3boxesofbs says:

    Wow…almost don’t know where to start with this.

    Let’s try the beginning and work through it bit by bit.

    topics that this particular MDA group focuses on: gun safety and gun legislation in the United States. They sat in this unassuming restaurant, eating whatever the hell it is Blue Mesa Grill serves (I’ve personally never been there) and discussing their cause and their beliefs. They weren’t harming anyone. They weren’t holding a rally.

    So is it okay for a group of people to get together (freedom of assembly) to plot (deliberate word choice) how to further enact restrictions on people’s rights but not for people to get together (freedom of assembly) and point out that plotting?

    That is what Open Carry Texas did. Few people would know about the MDA meeting without OCT being there.


    noun: rally; plural noun: rallies; noun: rallye

    1.
    a mass meeting of people making a political protest or showing support for a cause

    Does 4 people make a ‘mass meeting’? Ten 15, 40? How many does it take to move from one word to the next and does it really matter?

    Alongside the confused and terrified mothers were the other patrons of the restaurant, who themselves were confused and terrified.

    Please cite a source other than MDA showing the other patrons were terrified. Sorry but just not willing to accept the unsupported word of a group of people advocating against firearms ! Gee, think they could be resorting to hyperbole or maybe even lying?

    It took two hours, but the gun-toting OCT decided they were in the mood for wings and beer after standing in a parking lot waving their guns

    Speaking of hyperbole or lies — could this be one?
    Nothing indicates they did anything like waving their guns– if you want civil discourse, it helps not to lie about the issue, doesn’t it?

    But, with all of that, I think the biggest problem in Texas is the gun culture.
    Right, poverty isn’t the biggest problem nor is an educational system that turns out people who are functionally and technologically illiterate. Illegal immigration isn’t the biggest problem — and the criminal actions of some of them. No soaring medical costs, crumbling infrastructure, run away inflation (hidden by “quantitative easing”) — those don’t qualify.

    Nor does a ‘thug culture’ passed on from generation to generation by gangs and drug cartels — that is less of a problem then people pointing out how ridiculous gun laws are. Right. Sanity check please!!!

    actually called the police on them. The Lewisville Police Department told him that they were “aware of the situation and have decided not to do anything about it.”

    And what crime did your brother think they were doing ? Exercising their rights in a manner he disapproved of?
    The police department did the right thing and you even admit it. Yet you point it out just to show how bad it is. Might have to check your archives and see your opinion of people truly committing crimes while protesting — the Occupy movement.

    But, your right is for peaceful protest and assembly, and as soon as you start putting the safety of others in jeopardy (this means you, Blue Mesa Grill gun nuts and Lewisville “Impeach Obama” Squad), then your right to protest is void and you are responsible for whatever happens after that.

    First off BUNK !! You may think that is the case but please cite case law and legal statutes. Good grief, any march, any rally, any parade, any activity could put the safety of others in jeopardy — a distracted driver could run over dozens. Are you saying that all political activities need to be held out of sight?

    Second off I find it highly ironic and amusing that the people so concerned about their safety due to the presence of firearms called the police — people who carry firearms !!!

    Not to mention the fact that there is a possibility the MDA actually took the photograph of the protesters — according to a comment on FB.
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201572898978959&l=73434b3cca

    So tell me again how the presence of firearm ‘terrified’ people?

    Look I get it. You don’t like the ‘gun culture in Texas’. Okay….so I don’t like your culture, does that mean you have to change? Nope. So why should we change to please you?

    • Alright then, let’s do the same with your rebuttal.

      First Argument: While your argument about the definition of the word “rally” is correct (and a petty piece of the argument, if I might add), there is a difference between the women in the restaurant discussing fundraisers or petitions or whatever the hell it was they were discussing, and the men, women, and children who armed themselves in the parking lot. The four women in the restaurant did not pose a threat, nor were they in a position to potentially harm others. OCT was.

      Second Argument: In all honesty, the only person who commented on the state of the other restaurant patrons was a member of the MDA group. However, you’re claiming hyperbole and lies to said statement when the entire argument on your side (and by that I mean the generalized pro-gun side) consists of hyperbole and lies. That’s pretty much the definition of hypocrisy, right?

      Third Argument: Texas has plenty of problems, sure, and in their own way, they could be considered the biggest problem facing the state. But again, you’re grasping at straws. Yes, Texas is a state with a terrible job market, terrible educational system, and a disturbingly high amount of people who believe that angels are real and that the Earth is 6,000 years old. I get that, but those factors are not the topic of conversation right now. They have been in the past, however, and likely will be again in the future. I’m not going to discuss the economy and the religious zealotry that exists in Texas when I’m talking about a bunch of armed extremists protesting an MDA group at a restaurant. As far as my assertion that the gun culture is the biggest problem in Texas, I stand by it.

      Fourth Argument: I never said the police did the right thing. I actually EXPLICITLY said they didn’t. If you had read the words in their context, then you would have known that. More on what I ACTUALLY said momentarily. And as a further note, I have said before that I supported Occupy’s ideas and demands. I’ve also said before that I didn’t condone how they did it and that the Occupy protests defeated their purpose and violated the statutes on which protest would have been legal.

      Fifth Argument: Your arguments have evolved from straw-grasping to a red herring. Do marches, rallies, parades, etc. give the observer a sense of “clear and present danger?” No. Does a bunch of misinformed rednecks with guns? Yes. Honestly, it boggles my mind that you cannot see the difference, since all it requires is the usage of common sense. Furthermore, yes, notify the cops, who yes, carry firearms of their own. They carry handguns and maybe a rifle in their car (for starters), not semi-automatic and automatic weapons, and secondly, they’re trained officers who’s job is to maintain peace. They are trained through official Federal channels and they respect their weapon, in lieu of looking at it as a phallic symbol of hyper-masculinity and claiming that it’s their right as an American and/or their right from “God” to own it. As far as the photo is concerned, it may very well have been snapped by MDA, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person who snapped it wasn’t intimidated by the sandbox militia hanging out in the parking lot.

      Final Thought: Let me preface this by saying that I don’t know who you are, what you do, or how you PERSONALLY use guns in your own life, so I’m going to speak the following as if I were addressing the anti-legislation side. These protesters absolutely have the right to protest. It’s Constitutionally protected… so long as it’s peaceful, as is explicitly stated in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution under the Petition Clause. However, your freedom of peaceful petition and assembly is not absolute. I cannot think of anything more blatantly non-peaceful than people standing on street corners, overpasses, and parking lots carrying military-style weapons and screaming to anyone within earshot a poorly constructed argument about presidential impeachment and that the government is trying to take all guns away, especially since both of those arguments have no basis in reality whatsoever. This is the point when a peaceful protest becomes a potentially dangerous situation, at which point, the safety of everyone around them becomes a primary concern. It’s the old adage of “clear and present danger.” I don’t know anything about this person in the Duck Dynasty T-shirt holding an AR-15 on the overpass. For all I know, this guy is insane and could potentially go on a rampage. On top of that, this protest is obstructing traffic and I have places to be and shit to do, and because these assholes are flagging down cars and shouting at people in said cars, leaning banners and signs over said overpasses, and just generally disturbing the peace, they are a threat to me, everyone around me, what I’m doing, and what everyone else is doing. I see this shit every fucking weekend and I’ve nearly been in several accidents because of it. I’ve witnessed cars T-bone each other, run off the road, get approached at stoplights by said protesters demanding to know if said drivers and passengers support their cause, commit fender-benders, etc. because the people protesting are creating a scene. Is that enough for you to understand what disturbing the peace means?

      Here’s the problem with the anti-legislation side of the gun debate: you either distort facts, or ignore them, use junk studies and bastardized interpretations of the Constitution in a futile attempt to prove your point, and most importantly, decide that it’s a better use of your time and resources to criticize those that oppose you and pick apart their statements down to diction (which you, specifically, have done in your comments) instead of, I don’t know, trying to help solve the issues that are clear and present. No one on your side of the argument has proposed a constructive coarse of action for quelling the sheer amount of homicide that occurs in the United States every year. Your answer: “arm everyone.” Yeah, let’s stop murder with murder. Sounds like a brilliant idea. Your side is quick to cite homicides that are non-firearm related as being a more pressing issue, yet, as my research has shown me over the last several months, the amount of people “killed with hammers” every year is not even in the same ballpark as the amount of people killed with firearms. Your side is quick to say that disarming the public has always failed, yet the United Kingdom has tight weapons restrictions and has one of the LOWEST homicide rates by firearm in the world. Australia is another example of that. Your side argues the need for keeping assault weapons in their homes is for when the government swoops in to install some kind of 1984-esque system of enslaving the men, raping the women, and killing children. I hate to break it to all of you but such a future doesn’t exist, nor will it ever exist. The only way to achieve that is through dictatorship or some other form of government that is explicitly opposite of the system we have now. We have a democracy, which is a fail-safe when it comes to the legitimacy of this hypothetical dystopic future members of the anti-legislation camp believe is coming. And just so this isn’t interpreted the wrong way, let me point out that I’m referring to democracy as how our electoral process works and am not referring to our country as a democracy, since so many people on your side of the argument fail to understand that no matter how simply I spell it out for them.

      Let me preface the following paragraph by saying that I’m throwing decorum out the window, since decorum and intellectual conversation is a lost idea on your side.

      I don’t like your culture. That’s no secret and I’ve never shied away from making that very clear. If I had my way, no one in the country would own firearms. At all. Ever. But, since there is no power great enough to pull that off at the moment, then my interests and efforts are to combat the amount of firearm-based violence that takes place in the United States each year, a country that boasts the most firearms per capita and the most yearly firearm-related homicides worldwide. My culture is about ending the senseless loss of lives, and because of that, I believe that taking guns out of people’s hands, educating the country about the dangers of owning firearms, and showing the country that firearms bans work when properly implemented is necessary. Your culture, on the other hand, is about arming everyone and claiming that the Founding Fathers and/or “God” said so. Your culture is about using an AR-15 to kill a deer. Your culture is about attempting to intimidate someone to get your point across. Your culture is ruthless, barbaric, bigoted, elitist, and egocentric. I’m also not one to give a shit about offending someone, especially when I believe my culture is right and your culture is wrong, and I generally believe that the idea of “political correctness” has been taken too far. I also like to think, from a totally biased standpoint, that anyone who feels compelled to own a weapon such as the ones in question lacks the testosterone to be able to hunt food and protect their families without one. Essentially, it makes you less of a man.

  2. 3boxesofbs says:

    We can do this all day.

    First rebuttal — The four women in the restaurant did not pose a threat, nor were they in a position to potentially harm others. OCT was.

    Are you sexist? Do you think women can’t harm people ? You keep emphasizing it was ‘women’ involved on the Moms Demand Action — I’m just wondering why someone’s sex matters to you so much in this case.

    They were meeting, in a public forum, to discuss a political action. PERIOD end of Story. The peaceful protest was doing the same thing.
    You apparently simply don’t like anyone being armed….ignoring the cutlery in the hands of the MDA, the cars (guess which kills more people per year cars or guns?) and the fact that ‘unarmed’ does not equal not dangerous.

    Neither side was potentially more harmful than the other. If you say OCT was because the presence of firearms, then you must admit the Military, police, secret service and thousands of other armed agencies in the country are ‘potentially harmful’ to others.

    And isn’t that kind of the reason for the 2nd Amendment; to allow the citizens to resist all those potentially harmful agents?

    2nd Point (please don’t faint that I used “2nd” as in “2nd Amendment, okay?)

    However, you’re claiming hyperbole and lies to said statement
    If you are going to rebut my points, don’t distort I said. I did not claim hyperbole or lies to their statements. I asked if it was possible. Given their agenda, and apparently yours, it would not be surprising if they lied. But claiming other patrons were terrified while vilifying the culture of the same people seems a little contradictory. I’m just asking is there any other statements, interviews or evidence that other MDA people were terrified.

    I realize some people (not naming names or pointing fingers) may wet their pants at the sight of firearms but not every ones.

    3rd Point

    As far as my assertion that the gun culture is the biggest problem in Texas, I stand by it.

    You can believe you are Napeleon or Peter Pan, doesn’t mean anything to me. Nor does it require me or anyone else to act on your delusions. The fact you consider the “gun culture” to be a bigger problem then crime, then poverty, then education, then illegal immigration or the economy speaks to your bias. The facts (crime statistics for example) doesn’t support your belief.

    4th point.
    Fourth Argument: I never said the police did the right thing. I actually EXPLICITLY said they didn’t.

    Gee I guess you would feel comfortable with the country moving from “rule of law” (the people did nothing illegal) to tyranny of the minority — you or others don’t like something so put a stop to it or put enough police inhibit their freedom of expression.

    And while the police are standing around watching people do nothing wrong, criminals are not being caught, crimes aren’t be investigated or stopped. Guess we know where your focus is. Way to show you are pro-criminal.

    Do marches, rallies, parades, etc. give the observer a sense of “clear and present danger?” No. Does a bunch of misinformed rednecks with guns? Yes. Honestly, it boggles my mind that you cannot see the difference, since all it requires is the usage of common sense.

    Never said that the observer had to have a sense of ‘clear and present danger’ — just that any activity could result in injuries — a criteria which you set as the bar for the protest.

    And no I don’t agree that the presence of firearms gives that sense of clear and present danger. Others may find firearm induce pants soiling hysteria but I classify that in the same category of bigotry as those who found gays/blacks/latinoes/youths/etc to be ‘dangerous’ by their mere presence. Your bigotry does not mean we have to restrict our rights. Sorry get over it.

    No one on your side of the argument has proposed a constructive coarse of action for quelling the sheer amount of homicide that occurs in the United States every year.

    Maybe you should get out of the echo chamber and look around a little bit. Want to reduce homicides — I’ll give a few right here. The same one pro-rights advocates have been suggesting for years

    1 — Fix the educational system so kids aren’t discouraged and drop out. Actually provide an education other than ‘how to be politically correct and green’. Give them a strong basis in math, science, technology, in addition to English (grammar and writing skills).

    2. Reduce the dependency on the social safety net by strengthening the family. Reduce the number of single parent families, families with absentee parents (mostly fathers), encourage multi-generational housing/families.

    3. Get rid of the ridiculous “War on (Some) Drugs” — empty the prisons of non-violent, people who victimless drug crimes, etc and keep the violent offenders in jail.

    4. Reduce the administrative and regulatory burden on businesses — the number of hours people spend on just filling out forms when they could be working productively would lead to a hiring boom if we did.

    Moving on

    Yeah, let’s stop murder with murder.

    The definition of words matter and yes, we do encourage armed self defense. And in a move sure to please you, I’ll point out that the Bible and the legal code of every nation differentiates between ‘murder’ and ‘justifiable homicide’. Blogger Joe Huffman ask a simply question

    Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?

    Even the CDC has found no evidence/insufficient evidence to support that gun control laws work.

    During 2000–2002, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force), an independent nonfederal task force, conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury. The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified firearms or ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition, waiting periods for firearm acquisition, firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners, “shall issue” concealed weapon carry laws, child access prevention laws, zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools, and combinations of firearms laws. The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.) This report briefly describes how the reviews were conducted, summarizes the Task Force findings, and provides information regarding needs for future research.

    So why keep pushing the same failed attempts…..maybe, just maybe you give a clue.

    If I had my way, no one in the country would own firearms.

    And the sheer fact you and others like you want to take our firearms away is one of the main reasons we are so ‘unreasonable’ about the issue. Sorry Charlie — not getting mine in this life time. As the citizens of Goliad said “come and take it”

    • Look buddy, I’ve said my peace. I’m not going to go through this over and over again like I’m talking to a tree. You don’t have to agree with me. Hell, you can twist and turn what I say to make yourself sound smarter and “prove” your point and crusade your cause. I don’t care. I’ve said all I care to say on the matter in my comment. Take it as you will.

      • 3boxesofbs says:

        So much for rough and tumble debate…I answer your issues that you raised and you duck out of it. Okay…I understand you can’t answer facts, data and evidence.

        • Fine, you want a debate, let’s have a debate:

          1st Rebuttal — The fact that you ask me if I’m sexist because I emphasize that the MDA is made up of women is appalling. No, I’m not sexist and I’m not naive to think that women cannot be dangerous. They are just as dangerous as men. Now, the emphasis on women is called “journalism”, and the point of journalism is report on events and stir up emotions in people. Yes, it’s sensationalism, but that’s the point. Without sensationalism, no one would care.

          There is a difference between meeting in a restaurant to discuss politics and social problems and hanging out in a parking lot with weapons. More so, there is a difference between a meeting and a protest. By your thinking, the two are synonymous, and in using your thinking, whenever I discuss politics with my wife or friends over coffee at a Waffle House constitutes a protest, despite the fact no one is screaming about righting wrongs in an organized public forum. What the MDA was doing was not protest, but discussing and planning. What OCT did in the parking lot was protest that isn’t legally protected.

          You also can’t compare things like cutlery and cars to firearms, and it’s infuriating that people seem to think they are a logical comparison. Cutlery, for example, has a primary function of manipulating food for the ease of human consumption. Cars have a primary function of taking someone from point A to point B. Firearms have a primary function of doing harm. Firearms have no other function than to do harm. That’s the difference. You can’t cite statistics where one grouping’s numbers are based on non-standard usage and the other grouping’s numbers are based on it’s sole function. Again, a red herring argument.

          I do agree with the statement that law enforcement and the military are a threat to general safety. And as far as the Second Amendment is concerned, it was written at a time when America did not have an organized military and defense of the nation came down to everyday citizens carrying muskets. While I’m not one to try and put words in the mouths of the Founding Fathers (unlike your side) because there is really no way in hell anyone could legitimately claim to know what they would have said and what they believed in modern-day situations, I can tell you that there was probably no way for them to know where technology would be 250 years after them, since the vast majority of technology in our lives wasn’t even conceived until, at least, the Industrial Revolution. Also, the Second Amendment explicitly defines the arming rights of a “well-regulated militia”, and since militias are outright against the law in about half of the States and regulated to the point of practical non-existence in the others, there really is no reason for the Second Amendment to exist today.

          And just so it keeps you from wasting your time by asking, yes, I think the Constitution needs to be gutted and re-written to better reflect current times. The Constitution is in no way infallible.

          2nd Rebuttal — Oh, don’t worry. No fainting here.

          As I said, the only statement released about the state of the other people in the restaurant was by the MDA. However, think about it. You have x amount of people in a crowded restaurant when all of a sudden, a large, armed posse shows up in the parking lot. I highly doubt everyone in the restaurant knew that MDA was in attendance and that the people in the parking lot were OCT. So, to them, a bunch of armed people are stalking the restaurant. Since we live in an America where mass shootings are part of popular culture, to say that NO ONE in the restaurant was unnerved is ludicrous. I’m not saying that you’re making the claim NO ONE was scared. I’m just pointing out that that specific detail isn’t something you or I could successfully prove one way or another, but realism dictates that at least SOME of the people in the restaurant were frightened about what was transpiring. You asked me if it was possible that MDA lied. It’s possible they OVERSTATED, but I highly doubt it’s an outright lie, and just to level out the playing field, the anti-legislation side uses bloated “statistics” and sensationalism all the time. So, in conclusion, don’t make any points about lying, because hypocrisy doesn’t win arguments, nor does it do anything for you.

          Also, for the record, while I am vilifying the culture of gun extremists, that does not mean that the people in the restaurant were part of the culture of gun extremists. There is no way to prove that one way or another without polling every single person in the restaurant at that time. Again, go back to the previous paragraph for more explanation.

          3rd Rebuttal — What constitutes ranking of issues in Texas is personal conviction, since you know, Texas is a really fucked up State that tries to play itself off like it isn’t. If you want to get technical, the biggest problem in Texas isn’t any of those things you or I listed: it’s the people who run it and the people who live in it (collectively speaking, of course). Texas has a culture that prides itself in it’s heritage, despite the fact the legitimacy of it’s heritage is questionable. Sure, Texas has the 6th worst poverty rate in the United States (counting D.C.), is ranked 49th in the country when it comes to per-pupil investments in education (again, counting D.C.), and has a problem with illegal immigration (which can be solved if they would allow the Fed to pass immigration reform). Texas’ economy, however, for all intents and purposes, is pretty stable. Texas also has contradictory and nonsensical gun laws, as well as Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground legislation, which as we’ve seen in recent months, has turned the state of Florida into the laughingstock of the United States, to the point where they are re-examining said laws. Other states will likely follow, well, save for the South. But hell, that last statement was just speculation. Of course, it comes from an informative place, though.

          4th Rebuttal — This is where your black-and-white perspective of current events and political issues is at it’s worst. There will not be any “tyranny of the minority”, and just because myself and others have more liberal opinions and ideas, and believe strongly enough in those ideas to change them so they stop hurting the American culture, does not make us necessarily tyrannical. It makes us Progressives, as in a group of people who believe that the current system is failing and needs to be changed, for the better. Of course, your idea and my idea of what is best for the United States is conflicting, so I don’t think I’m going to dive any deeper into what other changes I feel should be made. It’s also very off-topic.

          Just because I feel like a police presence should be necessary at “protests” like the OCT did in Arlington, doesn’t mean I’m “pro-criminal.” The crime rates have nothing to do with it. Situations like that can escalate very easily, especially when high-powered weapons are in the hands of people who may not know how to use them, or people who may have some kind of ulterior motive. Most causes, regardless of affiliation, have these kinds of people in them somewhere. So, an armed presence at an armed protest just makes sense.

          I also would like to say that jumping to the conclusion that just because I feel there should be armed police presence at protests with armed protesters means I am pro-criminal is one of the most idiotic things you have said over this entire exchange. That comment was a huge indicator that you lack the intangible intelligence, common sense, and plain ability to have this kind of conversation.

          As I stated before, you’ve spent a lot of your argument trying to equivocate things that are non-equivocal. Skin color and nationality are not the same kind of “threat” that guns impose. As I said before, guns have no other purpose than to kill, and that makes them intimidating. People who find skin color threatening are racist, either by their own selves or others. People of color, youths, males, etc. (keep in mind, these are general examples) are not equivocal to firearms, since people who are threatening are not born that way, rather it’s learned behavior. Guns, as I’ve said, are manufactured for the sole purpose of killing. This is another red herring argument.

          And for the record, you actually DO NOT have the right to own a firearm. Just because there is no law that says you can’t, doesn’t mean that the way you’ve chosen to interpret the Second Amendment means you can. Stop confusing Constitutional rights with something you are ALLOWED to do. There is a difference.

          I actually mostly agree with the points you made on how to reduce homicides. I do believe that better education will help, so will steps to reduce poverty and strengthen familial ties (however, the latter point to that statement may not actually make a difference). I also agree with you that ending the War on Drugs will help. On top of the fact it’s a trillion-dollar vortex of failure, the legalization/decriminalization of narcotics will cut drug-related homicides down exuberantly, as well as clean out the prison system. By extension, no longer will people be listed as felons for drug crimes (which encompass most of the felony convictions in the United States) and they won’t be automatically excluded from certain jobs or have to jump through hoops to flip burgers. Better jobs means better life, which means it’s less likely for subsequent generations to resort to violence. This is actually something I believe in very strongly.

          I also partially agree with the fact there is too much bureaucracy in the workplace, but I don’t see how that is applicable to the topic. Could you clarify?

          There actually is evidence to support that firearms bans reduce crime rate, but those statistics are neither here nor there when it comes to gun debate. The Federal government looked into (and tried to implement) strategies involving the removal of high-powered, high-capacity firearms, not firearms as a whole. No one wanted to take handguns, revolvers, shotguns, or rifles, just weapons that are high-powered and high-capacity (keeping in mind that the term is subjective, but for the sake of clarification, let me give an example: Ban the civilian use and ownership of AR-15’s, not the use and ownership of a Winchester rifle or a revolver). Another problem people who are against legislation have is assuming that the proposed legislation called for a ban on ALL firearms. That’s lunacy. You HAVE to understand where the line was drawn.

          Yes, it is no secret that if I had MY way, no one in the country would own any sort of firearm. For the record, I never once have refuted this to be fact. However, I understand that my extreme view on the subject isn’t something that will ever happen (at least anytime soon), so I concede that my specific philosophy behind it isn’t something worth debating in the context of the larger issue. I not only represent a minority in the debate itself, but I represent a minority on my own side. As for what is applicable to the debate, however, I do agree with limiting access to certain weapons, much in the same way civilians can’t own tanks, missiles, bombs, or surface-to-air anything.

          The weapons-types I listed are military, just like the firearms in the legislation are military. If my extremist view is what gets your side all “up in arms” (yes, lame pun intended), then you are all overreacting to an incredibly small group of people. While you can make the argument that the people who have committed the heinous acts that have kicked this debate into high gear are also a small group of people, they’re not necessarily the only reason why this debate exists. This debate exists for the purpose of determining ways to remove certain factors that influence the disgustingly-high homicide rate in the United States, and the ease of access to high-powered, high-capacity weapons is just as important a factor as poverty, lack of education, gentrification, etc. Even you can admit, it’s a lot easier for someone like Adam Lanza to rack up the amount of bodies he did with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S, than it would be with a Winchester Model 70.

          And just so you’re aware, “Come and Take It” was flown at Gonzales, not Goliad. Goliad is where those fools from the Alamo were massacred.

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