Lies in the Sand: A Look Behind The Alamo Gun Rally

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"Captain America" at the gun rally in Alamo Plaza. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

"Captain America" at the gun rally in Alamo Plaza. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

leslie kellyI attended the “Come and Take it San Antonio – A Line in the Sand” gun rally on Saturday out of curiosity.

What I observed will come as a surprise to people who thought this was a legitimate rally in favor of gun ownership and open carry gun laws. In fact, it was a vendetta, an open threat to the City of San Antonio and the formation of a new extremist group.

A participant of the gun rally. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

An armed participant of the gun rally in Alamo Plaza. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

The events leading up to this rally began five years ago when the Oath Keepers was formed. Its leader, Stewart Rhodes, claimed the group was only interested in defending the Constitution. Members encouraged police officers and soldiers to disobey orders they perceived to be unconstitutional. After two years, however, Oath Keepers was plagued by arrests around the country.

Three years ago in Ohio a local Oath Keeper chapter president, already on probation for carrying concealed weapons, was jailed for storing a live napalm bomb in his house. That same month in Tennessee another Oath Keeper was arrested in a scheme to arrest two dozen local officials. More arrests followed around the county, most notably, Oath Keeper Charles Dyer of Oklahoma. Dyer was arrested for the rape of a seven-year-old child and charged with possession of a grenade launcher stolen from a military base in California. Dyer appeared in several YouTube videos ranting about “The New World Order.

Fast forward to San Antonio in August of this year. Three men were having coffee outside a local coffee shop in San Antonio with their rifles. Texas law does not prohibit openly carrying rifles and shotguns, provided that they are not carried in a way that causes alarm. In San Antonio, however, a local ordinance prohibits anyone other than a law enforcement official from carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun on any public street in the city.

An alarmed passerby called police, and the three men were cited for disorderly conduct. Actually, they were holding their own mini “open carry” demonstration, and others pro-carry supporters were incensed that the trio’s rights were violated. It’s clear from their videotaped discussion the three men had while sitting in front of the coffee shop,  that the intention all along was to provoke a showdown.

After the citations, Open Carry Texas’ leaders  set their sights on a confrontation with SAPD as “payback” for the ticketing of the three men at Starbucks for carrying firearms in public.

On Oct. 9 the Oath Keepers issued a call to action: “Join Us for Historic Open Carry March at The Alamo. On Oct. 19, 2013  Modern Texas Patriots will Draw a new line in the sand at the Alamo. Join Us.” The group announced that Jay Stang, president of the Oath Keepers’ Texas chapter, would be speaking along with founder Stewart Rhodes; Mike Vanderboegh, founder of the Three Percenter Movement; and  Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, whose campaign for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor was upstaged by the Oath Keepers.

The sponsors of the event posted the following on Facebook:

“Come and Take it San Antonio – A Line in the Sand. Get your Guns and Head to San Antonio. Over the past few months the San Antonio Police have shown their disregard for Texas law and The Constitution. They have harassed people exercising their rights that open carry rifles. We have come a long way in showing the public and police that gun owners are responsible. We refuse to go backwards in this cause. We will all meet in San Antonio to stand up in one of the most important challenges we have had to face. This event will be a strong message to Chief McManus that we have a right to bear arms and it will NOT be infringed. We are drawing a line in the sand on the historic land of the Alamo.”

This caught the attention the state chapter of the grassroots movement, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. In a statement, Jamie Addams stated, “We are sickened that a small but vocal minority of Texans thinks it’s reasonable and appropriate to arm themselves to the teeth and parade around San Antonio, As mothers, we have an obligation to push back on the bullying and intimidation tactics of the aggressive carry movement.”

The group planned its own demonstration on the same day down the street from “Come and Take It San Antonio.”

In days leading up to the event, C.J. Grisham of dontcomply.com, a sponsor of “Come and Take It San Antonio”, appeared on the radio and Internet promoting the event. On Oct. 15, Grisham tweeted:

“SAPD Officers would be well served to ignore these unlawful orders to arrest our members during the Line In The Sand event …I would hate to see innocent officers…start an armed confrontation…we will not back down.”

Grisham also said he expected at least 1,000 people to participate.

I did not see 1,000 people there on Saturday. Local media reports put the crowd count at 450-500. I’ve never seen so many guns, but it was not the weapons that troubled me. It was the people.

An armed participant listens to speakers at the gun rally in Alamo Plaza. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

An armed participant listens to speakers at the gun rally in Alamo Plaza. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

The armed crowd included members of the The Texas Nationalist Movement, a secessionist group. Members of the Three Percenter Movement, who claim the group represents three per cent of American gun owners who will stand and fight if government ever tries to seize their firearms. The Three Percenter website states, “During the American Revolution, the active forces never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists. History, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. We are one such minority.”

A member of the Oath Keepers posed for cameras and an interview. I wondered if he would mention the recent rally in July when members of the John Birch Society participated, or if he was promoting Collodial Silver as a cure-all.

There was a broad spectrum of organized and individual “patriot” movement members and followers, including the Texas State Militia.

Austin’s Alex Jones, the most prolific conspiracy theorist in the country, author, speaker of Infowars, and antagonist of “The New World Order” also showed up to rally the cause.

Alex Jones speaks to supporters at the gun rally in Alamo Plaza. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

Alex Jones speaks to supporters at the gun rally in Alamo Plaza. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

There were no white robes or Nazi flags. Few blatantly racist signs. No direct evidence of extreme hate or terrorism (besides the guns). The message is communicated in code: Targets incude the “New World Order,” “Agenda 21,” the “Illuminati,” and “The British Banking Elite”, who control the world’s media and money supply, a modern spin on the same “Jewish bankers” who allegedly controlled the world in the first half of the 20th century.

The only overtly racial sign at the Travis Park gathering. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

The only overtly racial sign at the Travis Park gathering. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

There has been the not-so-subtle mysoginistic rants these supporters post to the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Facebook Group. Grisham and others had to be blocked, according to the groups founder.

Who are these “New Patriots?”

The Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report is cited as the most reliable and comprehensive source on U.S. hate groups. SPLC states since 2000 the number of hate groups in the US has increased by 67%. Currently there are 1,007 known hate groups operating across the country, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white supremists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black seperatists, border vigilantes and others.

SPLC identify the nature of the new patriot movement with the article, “Meet the ‘Patriots.'”

It seems without much scratching, the shiny patina of American individualism and patriotism flakes off, and with each layer, it gets darker, more venal, more sinister.

"Captain America" at the gun rally in Alamo Plaza. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

“Captain America” at the gun rally in Alamo Plaza. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

I asked myself as I walked through this crowd of men, women and children: If one fringe extremeist group can influence hundreds of people to pick up and go wherever, what else are they capable of? What happens when people who are filled with undifferentiated fear and hate join with the fear and hate mongers? These people are arming themselves, preparing, planning … is it you they’re arming themselves to battle?

I would have asked Alex Jones, fringe media juggernaut and speaker at Saturday’s rally. He is also the most prolific “predictor of disaster,” but his accuracy is somewhere between Nostradamus and fortune cookie fortunes. Many people call him a joke, but his millions of listeneners, readers and viewers hang on his every word. Laugh at him and his fans believe you’re laughing at them. While none of his more outlandish predictions have come true, there’s one bold exception, that individuals will stand to lead an armed insurrection against the British bankers and New World Order, as in the sad case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon Bomber, an avid fan of Alex Jones’ InfoWars.

I listened to speakers criticizing police for “following orders.” Jones carried his Ak-15 semi-automatic assault rifle slung over his shoulder and yelled so loudly he nearly lost his voice, warning everyone “they” are going to come and take our guns. Jerry Patterson spoke about the history of guns in Texas, the Texas Constitution, and he reminded everyone we were standing on sacred ground. I listened as speakers talk about how “Come And Take it” was a nonprofit and encouraged everyone to join and start chapters in their own towns.
Right before my eyes another “patriot” group was forming.

SAPD Chief William McManus (center) made a brief appearance at the gun rally. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

SAPD Chief William McManus (center) made a brief appearance at the gun rally. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

In spite of his efforts to bridge the gap between municipal and state law, I feel Patterson abused his position as Texas Land Commissioner, which manages the Alamo, by allowing this unprecedented event to be staged at the Alamo.

Patterson denies the rally was intended to further his political agenda as a candidate for higher office, but few believe that given that Patterson was the event’s keynote speaker and often boasts he is the state’s number one authority on the Second Amendment.

There didn’t seem to be as many police officers present as I expected. But after seeing a police officer filming the event from an upper floor window across the street, I suspected there were probably a lot more officers present, they were just where we couldn’t see them.

A police officer surveys the gun rally from above. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

A police officer surveys the gun rally from above. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

It proved to be a peaceful event. More than half the participants had left before the ‘March to Travis Park’. Les than 100 people made it from the Alamo Plaza to Travis Park.

The Rally ended sooner than anticipated, and not as C.J. Grisham of Open Carry Texas (a.k.a. dontcomply.com. “Because the Frontline is Everywhere”) predicted.

He and others in the group had been promoting the event on the radio and Internet over the previous days, predicting a clash with SAPD and the Mom’s group having its own Rally a few blocks away.

SAPD officers announced at 2 p.m. that they would cite those who are armed for violating the city ordinance banning weapons in city parks beginning at 2:30 p.m .The ordinance, one officer explained, was never suspended, they were only waiting for the speakers to finish. There was some pouting, a few shouts, then the show was over.

San Antonio is too laid back and friendly for this type of protest. But another was held in Temple on Sunday and another planned for Thursday in Arlington.

Darth Vader seen on Austin Street. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

Darth Vader seen on Austin Street. Photo by Leslie Kelly.

It looked & felt more like a tourist event, an “I’m Cool” for a Day. For many, getting to walk around downtown showing off some very fancy, expensive weapons. For a few, an opportunity to dress up in their favorite battle reenactment uniform. And for one, it was a homemade Super Hero costume. I also saw Darth Vader on Austin Street, but he was unarmed.

But the most damaging action this day was by Patterson. He arguably abused his authority as land commissioner by staging the pro-carry rally on the Alamo grounds and likely opened up the Alamo to any group or person wanting to hold a rally or protest on the grounds.

When asked about breaking the ban, Patterson said, “I’m not sure we have the lawful authority to say no, even if we wanted to.”

 

 Leslie Kelly is a West Texas native who has lived in San Antonio for nearly 35 years and still feels “new.”  Over the last three years she has taken up photography and been studying the history of San Antonio and its most historic sites.

 

Related Stories:

Peaceful, Yet Startling “Come and Take It” Rally Brings 400 People With Guns to Alamo Plaza

Shutdown and Shut Out in The ‘New American Center’

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In a Sometimes Rancorous City, a Civil Conversation Celebrating the U.S. Constitution

UPDATED: Amid Rejoicing and Rancor, San Antonio Passes LGBT Protections

A Reflection on Prejudice and Discrimination

A City Divided takes the Anti-Discrimination Debate to City Council Chambers

Bernal’s LGBTQ Equality Proposal Sparks Fight for the Freedom to Discriminate

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“Instead of a Mop, I…Hold This Microphone”: Julián Castro Goes National

Dear Mayor Castro: Remind the Nation Democrats are Patriots, too.

 

106 thoughts on “Lies in the Sand: A Look Behind The Alamo Gun Rally

    • “wrong. she has multiple self quotes in the article, thanks for not reading, drone.

      Supporting White Racism, While pointing fingers at “White Folk”.

      Hey, Leslie.. I have one question. Why are you racist against non-whites? I see you didn’t take a picture of any citizens of African decent.” – Branin A. Dietz

      ( I do not need to hide behind a “blog board”. )

      “The Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report is cited as the most reliable and comprehensive source on U.S. hate groups. SPLC states since 2000 the number of hate groups in the US has increased by 67%. Currently there are 1,007 known hate groups operating across the country, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white supremists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black seperatists, border vigilantes and others.

      SPLC identify the nature of the new patriot movement with the article, “Meet the ‘Patriots.’”

      It seems without much scratching, the shiny patina of American individualism and patriotism flakes off, and with each layer, it gets darker, more venal, more sinister.” – Leslie Kelly

  1. I’m a bit confused as to why the writer is comparing a completely peaceful, multi-ethnic, and dual gender event to hate groups.

    • I agree. She over embellished and dramatized it. IT was a peaceful rally full of educated and intelligent people who believe in their rights to bear arms. They went there for a peaceful rally. All those people and guns and no accidents, shootings or threats….IMAGINE THAT…responsible gun owners. This woman is as liberal as they come. She just made it out to be a freak show…

    • This is because she is painting the peaceful protesters as evil. There for all her worlds and perspectives are chosen from a negative view. She is a good writer but she should not betray her readers trust by Demonizing these people when there entire essence of there protest was based on peaceful protesting.

    • Or what…you’ll be saved to death? Please, if you buy into the author’s biased endorsement of SPLC, then you must also accept that the rest of her angle is skewed.

      • So the author knows, the FBI dumped SPLC from their trusted hate crimes page, It accuses the SPLC of “providing findings that are not consistent with trends found in the FBI statistics.” The FBI found that hate groups/crimes have been on a steep downward trend, but that was not beneficial to SPLC and their funding, so they mislead the public by saying hate crimes/groups were up 63%, jacking it up by adding groups that merely had differing opinions from them, as hate crimes groups.

        While we are reading about the great work the SPLC does, let us take a look at some of SPLC’s practices” SPLC — 2013 — Still No Minorities at the Top After 42 Years” After 42 years of raking in the cash from the black community, (40 million a year this last year), SPLC still refuses to hire any minorities. Founder Morris Dees answers the accusations with this,“It is not easy to find black lawyers. Any organization can tell you that.” (What about black accountants, or black managers….none? Morris are you telling us there are no good black anythings you can hire? After 42 years and almost a billion dollars…that only the good ole white southern boys there are getting paid?) Yep.

        SPLC was asked to take down it’s hate map because Left wing shooters have used the SPLC hate map to plan their attacks on groups or companies who have different opinions than the SPLC. The SPLC refused.
        http://washingtonexaminer.com/southern-poverty-law-center-website-triggered-frc-shooting/article/2520748

    • So you’re in the habit of passing judgement on people you’ve never met before Kathleen? If you ask me, it’s people like you in this country that are the problem not the people you referred to as “freaks” We’ll all be judged some day, remember that 🙂

  2. You obviously did not go out of curiosity. You ,I would bet are a member of the mom group you mentioned. You certainly have your right to your own opinion on gun owners. I definitely believe your rights don’t outweigh mine though. I pray we never NEED our guns , I am so grateful that it is still my right to own them. I personally feel safer knowing that others here in Texas feel the way I do about gun ownership. Have a great day!

    • The Nazis disarmed their citizens. These groups fight against those tactics. And where on earth was racism? The one ‘overt’ sign the author printed was a strange joke with its own individual protest. I didn’t get to meet the man, but I can think critically enough to understand the motives. If you want racism, look to the Democrat and top brass Republican suppression of all kinds of races through welfare fraud and abuse. There’s a real news story, Leslie.

      • Re comparing gun control/ID checks/etc. to Nazi disarmament: It ain’t the same. If you want unregulated/unlimited rights to bear arms, then is it ok to own a rocket launcher? A hand greanade? A nuclear weapon?

          • Michael Z Williamson (whoever he is) doesn’t make sense in either of those links. But if it’s ok with you if your neighbor keeps hand grenades and a rocket launcher in his home…go for it. I just hope he doesn’t mistake your kid for a robber when he rings his doorbell on Halloween and blows him away. Why am I suddenly reminded of that guy in Louisiana a few years ago who shot and killed an unarmed foreign student who rang his doorbell? The student simply rang his doorbell and because he had a foreign accent the Louisiana guy shot him dead.

        • Actually a senator named Dodd had the german Law brought over from germany and translated to English. This was all formal and there records via the US Government Printing Office to attest to the truth of the mater.

          The Jews for the Preservation of firearms Ownership organization took the time to create a comparison of the two laws side by side.

          So the 1968 Gun Control Law was a near exact mirror image to the law the Nazis used to disarm the people. It was done incrementally and started in Bismark’s time.

          Again sir, you must educate yourself. A contridiction is not an arugment. Please see Monty Python on the subject for some rudamentary understanding. If that eescapes you maybe you can try a grade school lesson book on debate. Good Luck…..

          • Heyoka, I found the LOC’s translation of the 1938 Nazi law on the JPFO website and I read it. The Nazi law specifically says Jews are to register and are to surrender their guns and nothing else. The 1968 Gun Control Act says nothing about specific races/ethnicities nor anything about confiscating guns. It is primarily about sales restrictions. When the 1968 gun control bill was being drafted, there was a provision about registering guns, but that was deleted. I’m sure you will come back at me with something. But you haven’t mentioned if you think it’s ok for me to own grenades or a rocket launcher. Some nights, when my neghbor’s 3 backyard-only dogs have been barking for hours, I fantasize for a split-second lobbing a grenade into his backyard since he doesn’t understand verbal complaints from several of his neighbors about his . I guess I don’t have “freedom” of peace and quiet but his dogs have “freedom” to make a helluva a lot of noise at all hours of the morning. (Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know I have the “freedom” to move to another neighborhood….

    • @Larry Marler,
      I do not agree that SAPD exercised restraint. I believe that Chief McManus blinked. I am convinced somebody got to the chief and made sure that he was quite familiar with exactly what all could happen if he ordered the officers present to execute the orders which they had been training under for over 4 weeks. There was a great possibility that the 21st century version of the shot heard around the world, the Battle on Lexington green with the Boston Massacre thrown for good measure.

  3. I’m a little confused about how the writer states, ” No direct evidence of extreme hate or terrorism (besides the the guns).” Yet then repeatedly compares the rally to terrorist and hate groups. The one sided reporting on this rally by your organization is deplorable- I normally love your coverage of local events and news but this antigun propagation is really putting a bad taste in my mouth. Rights are rights, even if you don’t like it or agree with it. This was a peaceful, lawful rally by people exercising their rights. No different than a gay pride parade or anti abortion protest. We all have the right to peacefully assemble.

    • People like Leslie are all for “rights”, “freedom of expression” and “freedom of assembly”……just so long as she agrees with it. In her mind, her opinions are the only ones worth having.

    • some guy running for governor happened to be there… since he runs the Alamo, and all other lands owned by Texas. he had nothing to do with the facilitation of this rally.

      as you were.

    • You might have missed the part about the San Antonio Police Department’s choice to ignore Texas law and hassle three people who were peacefully and lawfully exercising their rights that caused this demonstration. Those three men were metaphorically ‘refusing to ride in the back of the bus’, or taking a seat at the ‘whites only’ lunch counter. Thank-you for including the youtube video showing how peaceful, considerate, and well-spoken those three men were. Obviously, the police made a poor choice in hassling them because some hysterical person ‘felt’ a certain way.

      It is truly ironic how some who are otherwise tolerant of diversity, become intolerant an hateful when others exercise freedoms that they do not approve of. Guns are as much a part of the Texas culture as BBQ, or cattle ranching, folks who cannot be tolerant of Texas culture should perhaps find a place to live more in-keeping with their intolerant views. As the political power of Texas gun-owners grows,soon all Texans will enjoy the right of open-carry throughout Texas and those who grow hysterical at the site of a gun will need to find a way to learn to tolerate those who have different values than they personally have.

    • You might have missed the part about the San Antonio Police Department’s choice to ignore Texas law and hassle three people who were peacefully and lawfully exercising their rights that caused this demonstration. Those three men were metaphorically ‘refusing to ride in the back of the bus’, or taking a seat at the ‘whites only’ lunch counter. Thank-you for including the youtube video showing how peaceful, considerate, and well-spoken those three men were. Obviously, the police made a poor choice in hassling them because some hysterical person ‘felt’ a certain way.

      It is truly ironic how some who are otherwise tolerant of diversity, become intolerant an hateful when others exercise freedoms that they do not approve of. Guns are as much a part of the Texas culture as BBQ, or cattle ranching, folks who cannot be tolerant of Texas culture should perhaps find a place to live more in-keeping with their intolerant views. As the political power of Texas gun-owners grows,soon all Texans will enjoy the right of open-carry throughout Texas and those who grow hysterical at the sight of a gun will need to find a way to learn to tolerate those who have different values than they personally have.

  4. In the Starbucks incident with the three riflemen, At 0:57, it sounds like one of the armed guys says they are there because “Starbucks is pro Second Amendment and gay rights.” I think he meant “anti Second Amendment” but he makes clear that part of their reason for their open carry is to protest Starbucks’ pro-gay stance. Hmmmm…hate speech…how charming.
    I wonder if those guys aren’t carrying their big bold weapons to compensate for a certain shortcoming they share.

    • Starbucks is not anti-second amendment. They aren’t pro-second either; their policy is to allow firearms where it is permitted by law. Open-Carry Texas, if you would take some time to investigate before forming your opinion, always gets permission from an establishment before carrying on their property. I can get you misunderstanding “gun-rights” with “gay-rights” as the audio isn’t very good and you obviously have a preconceived bias against anyone with a firearm, so you’re looking for something to prove your hatred for them is justified.

      • OK, I admit, I misunderstood “gun” for “gay.” But you are faulting me for what you perceive as a “preconceived bias”? Have you noticed what has been happening in San Antonio lately because the City felt discrimination against certain citizens (LGBT and veterans) shouldn’t be allowed? The City wanted to be sure LGBT and veterans were protected in employment, housing, public accommodation and a loud sector of the citizenry felt compelled to attempt to recall mayor and eight people on City Council.

      • Sure, I have a preconceived bias about a person bearing a firearm in a public place. We all have preconceived biases for various things. I never said I hated the three Starbucks riflemen; I just hate that they feel it necessary to guard their coffee cups with weapons. Are they really that threatened sitting in a strip-center in Balcones Heights in the daytime? Now if they wanna sit on their sofa at home and drink their latte whith a loaded gun aimed at their front door, fine with me.

        • So, Alamo Spartan, if and/or when the need comes to defend Freedom, what would you suggest; harsh language?

          Wake up and look around. Our Founders, in my opinion, if they were to come to life today, would ask 2 questions:

          1.) What in the Hell did you people allow to happen to what we fought and died for?

          And;

          2.) Where is my musket? It is time to set things RIGHT!

          In which case I would say: “Mr. Jefferson, sir, instead of a musket, may I introduce you to the AR-15?” “And this is known as a Remington SPS Tactical Rifle in 7.62x51mm NATO with a 4.5×14 optical sighting system and a Harris bipod”.

          • So, Sarge, the Starbucks Three were waiting for the US Govt to come at ’em right there at the strip center? I don’t care how organized the resistance is, if it is the US Govt you fear, then they gotcha beat in firepower, organization, command channels, technology. If the Govt does decide to start killing citizens, it is going to be swift and large. Why bother?
            And, since you asked, I served in USAF 1968-71, in a certain little Southeast Asian country. Although I didn’t have to crawl thru jungles, I did see lives end and my own flash before me a few times. it basic trng weapons training, I shot 49/50 bullseyes. The target was a human outline and I realized then I doubt I could ever shoot another person. Just as you expect your right to fire back to be respected, some of us who are morally opposed to killing might appreciate some of that respect. And, yes, I’m willing to die for that, as I was willing to do when on active duty. Call me a coward if that makes you feel better, but some of us refuse to be party to killing.

          • Hey Alamo, why don’t you clue the government in on your theory that a few guys with guns can’t do anything to mess with the might of the U.S. military, and, how swift it will be over. They might want you to show them your secret so they can use it in Afghanistan. A few guys with guns have managed to tie down our military for 13 years. And they only have a few thousand guys. They don’t have the 100,000,000 gun owners America has. That is about 200 times the size of the total current American military. That is even without the military deciding not to fire on American citizens for safeguarding their rights and freedoms.

    • Typical Marxist redirection and discrediting to attack the speaker and not the argument.

      Maybe you should graduate from the school yard rhetoric and step up to proper reason and logic. By that I mean Aristotilean or Formal logic and not some willy nilly claim to inbibe into one’s own small minded construct.

      Just an observation of course….

      • You didn’t gather all the information in this thread before making your “observation.” Someone pointed out that due to the audio quality, “gun rights” sounds like “gay rights.” After that was pointed out, I acknowledged mis-hearing what was said and moved on. And, again, I was expressing my opinion that it is fine with me if they stay home with their guns aimed wherever they want. Perhaps you are now thinking that had those three guys been in the Aurora movie house when that shooting broke out, there would have been fewer dead people afterwards. I just hope those three guys would be able to see in the dark and shoot only the gunman, not anyone else present in that commotion. And, of course, I would hope the arriving police wouldn’t mistake one of them for the gunman. Arm up, everyone…let’s play shoot-’em-up.

  5. @City Sights – it cost no more than any other peaceful rally for any other human rights cause that might have a politician as a guest speaker

  6. I’m a little confused how any idiot would claim to associate a rally where you walk around holding a personal weapon of mass destruction with anything having to do with peaceful anything.

    If you are going to defend this action, at least have the balls to call it what it is. A pro death rally by people being manipulated into nothing more than republican voter meat puppets.

    You own an assault rifle? F*** you unless you are man or woman enough to admit the real reason. It isn’t hunting.

    • I don’t think most of them would say it is hunting, most would say it is to defend their shit. Handguns don’t stop bad guys always, they are weak, don’t knock people back like in movies, and most people keep on stabbing you, or shooting back at you.

      A “assault rifle” is bigger, more force, more energy, and will generally stop a threat with 1 shot.

      Oh but some would say they are for fun, cause if you ever shot a gun, rifles and shotguns are alot more fun than a handgun, for most people!

      • Another way of thinking through handgun vs. rifle, if indeed, we are thinking: George Zimmerman managed to accomplish quite easily what he wanted with a handgun. If he had been carrying a rifle, the person he killed a while back would probably still be alive.

    • Hey Brian, can you point out the sentence in the 2nd Amendment that states it’s purpose as protecting hunting? I’d rather like to see that.

    • So Brian you called it an “assault weapon” LOL I take it you’re a weapons expert of some sort? I’m a retired military Vet of 23 years and it’s not an assault weapon. Maybe before you open your mouth you should educate yourself and at least speak some essence of the truth.

    • Some folks just bask in their ignorance of history. Anyone who has studied the period between 1770 and 1800 will realize instantly that the reason for the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. Governments have killed more of their own people over the last century than all of the wars and natural disasters put together. BTW – calling a rifle a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ really hurts the credibility of anyone who would make such a ludicrous claim.

      ‘Weapon of mass destruction (WMD), weapon with the capacity to inflict death and destruction on such a massive scale and so indiscriminately that its very presence in the hands of a hostile power can be considered a grievous threat. Modern weapons of mass destruction are either nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons—frequently referred to collectively as NBC weapons.’

      “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” — George Washington

  7. Thanks for this. These people exist everywhere, of course. Virginia has lots of them. But this makes it clear that these guys are not democratic, they think that 3% is just fine. They are bullies, and need to be dealt with as such.

    • Actually a REPUBLIC protects the minority from the mayority. Even if 99.9% of the people of the US of A wanted to rid themselves of guns it would take a Constitutional Convention to AMEND the Constitution to rid it of the 2nd. The problem that gun grabbers have is that very few people are as anti gun as the writer of this article.

      I was there last Saturday and there was nothing sinister or wrong. There were people of all genders, races and religions many with their children. People were just very peacefully showing their support of the 2nd. Like it or not we had as much of a right to do this as the occupy movement that camped out for weeks, defecating, urinating, and even raping during their protest. If you supported one but repudiate the other you are nothing but a hypocrite.

      FYI the 2nd is the Amendment that guarantees that The People will be able to protect all the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

      • Balls.

        Standing up for your rights does not mean posting angry comments on the Internet.

        Why don’t you go march around with your gun right now?

        Or is the threat of a lousy ticket too much?

        That’s what makes you and that rally ridiculous.

        You’re all about standing up for your rights, on the Internet… as long as it doesn’t cost anything.

        Not a single one of those mighty armed crowd dared stick around past when the cops said they’d start citing people.

        I went down there expecting maybe a couple of tough ones who’d have to be dragged off to jail.

        But no.

        Same old weak flambéd bull

  8. Thank you for an insightful, well researched story. It was obvious the participants were trying to threaten the people of San Antonio and have no respect for the rule of law. Their arrogant display of childish thuggery underlies a deep insecurity and anger directed toward the police and toward those in the City who prefer to go about their daily business without having a gun stuck in their face every time we turn around. They should take their mysoginistic, macho selves to a gun range and let it all out then lock their guns in their locker, where we hope another child will not accidentally shoot itself because its conceited gun owner refused to exercise any type of common sense.

  9. Brian – firearms are weapons of personal defense. bombs, in any format, are weapons of mass destruction. if you’re going to criticize, you could at least be intellectually honest, no?

  10. Aggressive Carry Movement is what it is.
    “We are sickened that a small but vocal minority of Texans thinks it’s reasonable and appropriate to arm themselves to the teeth and parade around San Antonio, As mothers, we have an obligation to push back on the bullying and intimidation tactics of the aggressive carry movement.”

  11. legit,peaceful rally would have been stomped on. but since these are the gunbullies, cops would not touch them. criminals with guns,angry bubbas with guns….what is the diff if they start shootin?

    • Danged girl you got the point. Do you think the 40 men at Lexington Bridge were there for a peacefull demonstration???? The colonists used to form the militia up and shadow the British Army as they tromped around in a show of force. You see that there was no “started shooting” going on. But that is not the issue. You are butt hurt because these people had the audacity to appear armed in a place where others have been harrassed while merely exercising their rights. This was a show of of force and unity and in the spirit of the thousands who have died so we could have this conversation. If you don’t get it that is not my problem, it seems to be your lack of graciousness, and civility to rail about People who are deamnding that their servants obey the lay and their rights under the law. Are you so controlling as to demean others because they don’t fit you cookie cutter mold of what should be??? How utterly hypocritical……

      You have the right to run your liberal mouth because a handfull of guys stood up to 700 armed soldiers in 1775. They helpd to touch the spark to a simmering feud that had been going on for almost 20 years. You live in the country that they helped initate and carve out of a elite controlled world that would have everyone their servants. We have come full circule and some know it others are so full of their tiny ness that they cannot see it.

      So remember this, those men-and we who are their ancestors-do not bend to tyranny. We do not disarm ourselves on the assurance that we are all civil humans when the police may murder people unarmed on a whim and there is no accountability, we do not bend to a militarized police force that is aimed at citizen compliance to “policies” outside the constitutional grant to do business as a government, we will not bow to a self elected body of “elite” holyer than thous who consistently break the law they have taken an oath to uphold.

      When they start lying there is no accountability, no honor and no reason that the People who merely delegated the authority to their elected servants cannot take back their liberties and eleminate the problem. the Declaration said the very same thing, mankind is more disposed to suffer the evils while the evils are sufferable than to right the wrongs, but when.”.. Well you either get my point or do not and I can’t help you with that. Denial is not an easy thing to face and reality is even more so when you simply cannot allow others to live in peace and to exercise their rights as you would want them to observe yours.

  12. Let me first say that I am a gun owner– but I do not own any assault riffles, bombs or any other military based weapons. Furthermore I had no desire to attend the rally and display my guns in public. But I am confused on the logic here– I just saw a sign over the road that nearly 3000 people have died as a result of car crashes in Texas this year alone. Now you will say, “but cars are intended for transportation”. How about the monster trucks or race cars? If I attend a NASCAR race is this the same violent behavior as attending such a rally? Or how about the fact we teach our children to share, respect other’s boundaries and not be violent– so then why do we have boxing, martial arts, hockey, football… are these not a competition of invading others boundaries with force and violent behavior? Why is hatred and violence only associated with guns? Let’s be consistent or be tolerant! Or how about both?

    • Very well put Patrick, I wish there were more people like you here responding. It’s a shame just because you think you’re right and your opinion is the only one that counts that everyone else is wrong or a nutjob just because they aren’t with your point of view. Very Christian of them 🙂

    • “…I do not own any assault riffles, bombs or any other military based weapons.”

      If you own a bolt action rifle, lever action rifle, pump or semi-automatic shotgun, percussion rifle and many others you sir are either a liar or woefully ignorant.

  13. SAPD Chief McManus violated the Constitutional Rights of the three law-abiding citizens that were recently arrested at Starbucks for lawfully carrying their rifles and along with other corrupt city officials is being sued in Federal Court for violating the rights of other law-abiding citizens he banned from City Hall and public meetings in violation of the Constitution and the Texas Open Meeting Act. Citizens continue to call for a criminal investigation and to have ALL City business approved from July 2009 to April 2013 in violation of the law during illegal meetings declared null and void.

    San Antonio TX Mayor Julian Castro ( Obama campaign co-manager) , city attorney Michael Bernard ( brother of White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard) and SAPD Chief William McManus are being sued in Federal Court for Constitutional violations after they banned a law-abiding citizen from City Hall and public meetings for almost four years in an effort to conceal public/police corruption. Along with Councilman Diego Bernal, Councilman Cris Medina, IT Director Miller, etc .they have been reported to the DOJ, HUD, the FBI, etc. for helping cover-up decades of grant fraud, bond fraud, theft, falsification of government documents, perjury, obstruction, theft/misuse of 911 funds ( 25% failure rate for emergency calls) , Open Meeting violations, two” frauds upon the court” – 2009 and 2013 financed with tax dollars, HUD theft/fraud where city persons submitted false statements to federal investigators in case HL-10-0465, etc…

    The Free-Speech / Freedom of Assembly lawsuit is moving forward and former City Telecommunications Manager John E Foddrill Sr obtained the representation of a Dallas TX law firm. US District Judge Xavier Rodriguez has denied the City’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit …5:13-cv-00051…stating- ” Each day that Plaintiff was allegedly barred from accessing public facilities he suffered a constitutional injury” and “the fact that for close to four years Plaintiff was prohibited from exercising his rights to free speech and assembly”.

  14. I dunno… seems like a bunch of cool people to me. If texas would just allow them to open carry their handgun,they i don’t think you would see many open carry rifles and shotguns.

    When i go to even super blue states like OR, people open carry pistols, i didn’t see anyone walking around with a shotgun on their back, too big and harder to ready for use. Most guys and gals just had little sigs on their hip or leg.

    In Texas, girls have to wear proper clothing to hide a hidden pistol, because if the wind blows against your cloths, and shows the outline of the gun, it is a crime. So kinda sucks for them :{ if only they could open carry and not have to worry about….

  15. “There were no white robes or Nazi flags. Few blatantly racist signs. No direct evidence of extreme hate or terrorism (besides the guns).” This “person” who wrote this believes a Gun is Direct evidence of Hate and Terrorism. She has no clue what it means to be an American.

    • No.

      She said the nexus, rhetoric, and intent of the groups involved in this movement are evidence of hate.

      Really, the piece isn’t about the guns themselves.

  16. If you call this article “well researched” and “unbiased”, you need to go back to school to learn the definitions of these words. I am NOT a proponent of Open Carry, but I can identify lies easily, when I see them. This article has enough truth sprinkled all throughout, that you can’t see the blatant lies.

    Time for both sides of the issue to stop lying! I don’t see the purpose in parading with rifles around the city, but I also despise all those, who unnecessarily restrict the 2nd Amendment.

    Be honest with yourselves and when making comments. Stop the scumbaggery on both sides of the issue!

  17. I really hope that people don’t think this skewed opinion piece is a legitimate report of what took place at the Alamo. I participated in the rally and I opon carried an AR-15 rifle because free citizens have the right to do that and it isn’t conferred by the government. I am also a dues paying member of Oath Keepers so I am sure that brands me as a radical extremist in the author’s eyes. In actuality I am a retired Army NCO and a retired Texas peace officer who has taken an oath to protect the Constitution and I have studied the document so I know what it says. I even support the 1st Amendment right of the author to say stupid things and of the individual with the stupid racist sign to demonstrate. However, my opinion of her is best expressed with this historic quote.:

    “If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” ~ Samuel Adams

    p.s. There is no such thing as an AR 47 rifle and you forgot to mention that only 12 people showed up at the liberal opposing event and that is if you count the infant children they brought with them. Of course with the way you can’t it may be correct because that means they would have had zero attendees.

  18. You are a disillusioned woman. Typical liberal blah blah blah. You liberals want to ”ban” guns to ”save the children” but are all for killing unborn children.

  19. It’s funny that you are going to condemn close to 1500 people. They are so terroristic aren’t they? Sure there were some fringe groups, but the core, the very core was that of individual rights. But, I guess it is easy to label something you don’t understand as terroristic and wrong. One-sided arguments are great when there is no other side present.

  20. Patrick e. Mcdaniel I believe that is the thoughts and feelings of every individual at the rally. It was a line in the sand to the world that we as gun owners be they semi auto rifles or shotguns or bolt action rifles, will not bow down to any city ordanance or rulw that limits any individuals rights to keep and bear a firearm.

  21. If you knew anything about guns you would know an AR15 is not a big gun and actually shoots a smaller round than most handguns. It must be horrible living with such irrational fear of inanimate objects.

  22. I think you guys are confusing semi-automatic with fully-automatic. You should know the difference if you don’t want to sound like an idiot.

  23. And once again Brian Rountree if ever come a day that I need to use my guns in defense of my life against a group of people, I will.

  24. 2/3rds of gun deaths are suicide Brian Rountree. Only .019% of gun owners commit crimes. Statistically prescription drugs and automobiles have a better chance at killing me.

  25. Brian Rountree you are certainly acting like a mental midget. Does kicking and screaming like a baby usually work for you?

  26. @ Joe Kirkpatrick: Re “evidence of hatred,” see my comment on the video of the three Starbucks open-carry armed guys, above. One of them says early on (in the first minute of the video) that one of the two reasons they are sitting there with rifles is because Starbucks is “pro gay rights.” Add it up: These guys are upset that gay people might get the same rights that they enjoy so they feel they need to carry rifles as an appropriate response. In this case, for the reason one of them stated, yes, their guns are self-stated evidence of hatred (which hatred probably stems from fear with a good bit of ignorance). OK, now blast me for ascribing hatred to them and then go ahead and explain why does their fear of gay rights requires them to arm up.

  27. Your the one that thinks so little of the capacity of man that you can’t trust them with the tools needed to defend themselves. Your fear of people isn’t mine.

  28. Semi-automatic means you pull the trigger and one bullet fires and that’s it, to fire another release and pull again. 90% of pistols in the world work exactly the same so this argument of spraying bullets is just ignorant and uneducated.

  29. Did The Rivard Report just become a political publication?

    This article doesn’t look like it can be categorized in either topic category. Arts, no. Creative Class, no. Eats, defintely not. Education, maybe but I don’t think so. Nature, naw. Urban Living, sure if every Urban Living article is going to have political overtones. Urban Renaissance, I doubt it.

    It looks more like political fodder for the left-wing readers of this website.

    Please keep it moderate. I like the stories. I like the writers. I can go elsewhere for political hogwash.

  30. This article isn’t much more than conjecture, assumptions and fear-mongering. I was there at the rally as a participant. It was my 5th one thus far. For your readers’ benefit, I’d like to clear up some of the disinformation.

    I support Oath Keepers. I don’t think anyone would see anything wrong with military or law enforcement taking an oath to refuse unConstitutional orders. I can’t think of a better time than now for such an organization to exist. They have a membership of around 30,000, you attempted to discredit the entire organization by mentioning the misdeeds of 3. Charles Dyer, accused of molesting his daughter, was accused by his ex-wife. I have heard, but have not confirmed, his daughter has refuted all charges. The case has also mistrialed twice. As far as I know, the Open Carry movement is not an offshoot of Oath Keepers but you attempted to discredit the Open Carry movement by directly associating it with Oath Keepers. And your attempt to discredit Oath Keepers doesn’t hold up.

    “The Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report is cited as the most reliable and comprehensive source on U.S. hate groups. ” By whom? The Southern Law Poverty Center? You attempt to roll the Open Carry movement in with the likes of the KKK and black nationalists, again, with no evidence, solely on the word of the SPLC. I found “Meet the Patriots”. I read the profiles of these so-called “haters” but couldn’t find much hate directed toward other races, religions, sexual preferences, etc. I did see quite a bit of dissatisfaction with the federal government.

    From my experience, I’ve seen diversity in the OC movement. Yes, we are predominately white, but you will find Hispanics, African Americans, openly gay (I know one personally). We couldn’t care less what color you are or what your sexual preference is. I don’t know the predominate political preferences, many of the folks I know are Libertarian-leaning.

    A commenter said we are all about killing or some such nonsense. It’s difficult to reconcile that assertion once you find out quite a few us think that the wars our government has been engaged in after WWII were nothing more than power grabs and big business for military contractors. Especially the latest round starting in Iraq.

    You query “These people are arming themselves, preparing, planning … is it you they’re arming themselves to battle?” Funny you should ask that, as the DHS, IRS, and local police arm and train themselves as though America is an occupied country, the citizens of which they must keep in line and compel to obey whatever arbitrary laws they see fit to enforce, unConstitutional or otherwise. Has San Antonio received those shiny new MRAP’s yet? I bet they have. I wonder who those are for? Al Queada? the Taliban? Or some other terrorist organization the Federal government happens to subsidize?

    If there were a battle, we would be defending you, the American public and YOUR rights.

    You mention SAPD’s gracious restraint, as if our rights are privileges to be doled out by the police. Ask the SAPD officer who killed Matthew Jackson about restraint. Ask any of the victims of any of the daily occurrences of deadly police conduct what they think about restraint. Ask the folks in the aftermath of Katrina about the police and guard’s restraint.

    You can keep on pretending that everything is just fine, The State is here to protect us and has our best interest at heart. We don’t believe that, and given the evidence that is right out in the open, no one should. We are standing up for our rights, and it isn’t “hate” or “extremist” to do so. These rights are not “privileges” to be arbitrarily granted or denied by the government. They are rights.

  31. oh and an FYI on the number of people present at the Alamo. My husband and I estimated at peak at least 1000 and possibly as many as 500. I have been in rallies where there was an actual head count, as in people were counted as they exited the gates, of 2500 that the press reported as 250. I no longer believe the numbers in the printed media.

  32. oh and an FYI on the number of people present at the Alamo. My husband and I estimated at peak at least 1000 and possibly as many as 1500. I have been in rallies where there was an actual head count, as in people were counted as they exited the gates, of 2500 that the press reported as 250. I no longer believe the numbers in the printed media.

    • Regarding nukes, grenades etc.–as if the government has so much more discretion using such weapons. Why such blind faith in a group of people that have different titles than we the people? Why the belief that they occupy the moral high ground because they occupy a government office or military rank?

  33. Thanks for this article. The aggressive carry movement is exactly what this is. This is nothing more than dick wagging with tools intended to kill. Gun nuts with small dicks and even smaller minds.

  34. This has become a religious movement with the Gun as God. It is their savior, their redeemer, their ultimate guarantor of liberty, and the icon they rally around. Many of these folks are apocalyptic zealots, filled with anger and resentment, not a sense of justice or equality which is what gives true liberty and protection in the long run. Guns, outside of their run of the mill value as an implement of recreation or their rare utilization in true self defense, are not the ultimate panacea these guys believe them to be. But don’t try to tell them that- heresy !

  35. Seeing that I was there and personally making note of the events, the facts from start to finish in this writing is not accurate. There where well over 1000 people attending this event since some had over 800 flyers which they where handing out to the crowed and they ran out before covering half of it. The linking to terrorism groups are completely false as well seeing that many in attendance where military veterans. We came because of the infringement of rights that has made us a free society. I am shocked and appalled by this inaccurate depiction of what happened at this event.:-(

  36. Yes, I was wondering where I could purchase one of those AK-15s for myself.

    I love how she says she has never seen so many firearms. Obviously she has never been to Bass Pro, Gander Mountain, a gun show, or the the favoitr of communists & fascists everywhere the typical mass execution of innocents.

    • Obviously it’s not ok with you that she hasn’t been to Bass Pro Shop or a gun show. And if it’s the typical mass execution of innocents you are preparing yourself for, if the government does come after you, do you really think you have a chance? They aren’t going to dispatch 700 guys with muskets and red coats to a bridge this time, you know. Since we are fantasizing wildly, it think there are gonna be a whole lot more armed forces than resistors and unless you have a nuke warhead in the garage next to your lawnmower or are stylin’ around SA in a tank, then you will go down fighting. I salute you for that (and I know how to salute. USAF 1968-71 — yeah, guess where I served).

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