Cue the martial music, the strutting in the surplus-store camo pants, and the posturing for the flip phones. The boys of the Greater Open Carry Tarrant County, Texas gun-fondling brigade are set to engage in what they’re calling “The Greatest Open Carry That Tarrant County Has Ever Seen.” It starts tomorrow in the parking lot of the Home Depot in North Richland Hills.
Where is Leni Riefenstahl when we need her?
Tomorrow all over the Fort Worth area, men will roll out of their backroom apartments, their camping trailers, and their day beds in Mom’s basements to throw on the camo, strap on the bought-but-not-quite-paid-for-yet assault rifles and pigstickers, doll themselves up with undereye paint for that just-shot-at look, and trundle on over to the Home Depot in their Humvees and Hoverrounds to make a statement. The Revolutionary War guys had Bunker Hill. These guys have the Home Depot. Ooh-rah!
The plan is to have a few speakers (only one, the Oath Keepers’ Jay Stang, is listed, and he won’t be there until after he cashes his disability check), an “open carry walk/education session” where they can walk around with their weapons prominently displayed (any stroking of private bodily areas with weaponry will be entirely accidental), door prizes, and then lunch, presumably planned as a locust-like descent on the local Golden Corral.
What are they giving away, you ask breathlessly? Well, let’s see. You could win … a gun! Any of a number of guns, actually, from black powder revolvers to an AR-15. You could win a hunting knife, lessons on how to obtain a concealed-carry license, a ticket to a Rangers game, and a whole bunch of not-pre-fired ammunition. Presumably there will be hot dogs and balloons for the kids, too, if the OCT organizers can find someone to donate them.
OCT honcho Kory Watkins, who is actually running for Congress, says that his crowd doesn’t need a protest permit because they aren’t protesting anything. What’s the difference? Protesters haz a mad, he says.
Protesters are angry; and we are not angry people. If you come up to us, you will see we are smiling and friendly. We are demonstrating, demonstrating our rights and demonstrating how the law lets you carry a long gun, but you can’t open carry a pistol.
And it won’t actually interfere with shoppers coming in and buying mulch and implements of mass gardening, he says:
Their parking lots are always huge so we can park in the back and not bother nobody.
A Home Depot rep says he doesn’t know anything about the not-protest:
That’s not something Home Depot sponsors. They are not going to on the Home Depot property.
Watkins says the North Richland Hills po-po are down with it all.
The police department has been notified and is coordinating with us. Everything is legal, as always.
Considering the Facebook announcement has a picture of the April 2014 “standoff” between outgunned federal authorities and Cliven Bundy’s militia (their claim to fame: making sure the women and children were up front so the feds would shoot them first), Watkins and his crowd may well be hoping and praying for some Big Confrontation with authorities so they can feel all victimized and military-like. Or maybe they just want to work up a good sweat in that Texas sun and then hit the GC buffet. There’s no way to know just what will happen, though smart money says everyone will be home for the NASCAR race at 2 p.m. What gun goon can resist watching stock cars go round and round for three hours in a row?
My advice? Considering there will be anywhere from five to twenty-five gun-maddened idiots strutting around the parking lot tomorrow with assault weapons strapped to their backs and making them itchy, you might consider taking you and the kids elsewhere just to be on the safe side. After all, we all know just how responsible some of these gun nuts can be.
The accompanying map of the “occupied area” (in red) and the “walk for freedom” (in green) shows where you’re most likely to be hit by an accidental discharge. Oops!