According to momsdemandaction.org, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to demand action from legislators, state and federal, companies and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms. The group could be compared to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which is a protest group attempting to decrease the issue of driving while intoxicated.
Last weekend, the group met in a restaurant located in a Dallas suburb. While having their meeting, a group of protesters (men, women and children alike) met in a parking lot outside the restaurant. This sounds like your everyday strike, but these protesters weren’t holding picket signs; they were wielding assault rifles! The protesters claim to be expressing their first amendment rights through the carrying of these weapons.
The biggest question at hand is if an open-carry demonstration truly expresses free speech? In Texas, there is an open-carry law, meaning that you can carry around any weapon as long as you do not intend to do harm. The protesters have stated that they are not attempting to threaten Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, but they are trying to open up the discussion about the second amendment. Regardless of these claims, it does not eliminate the fear that the small group of women experienced.
There are a lot of ways to frame this story. While there are extreme criminal connotations associated with spying on this anti-gun group of women and pretending to be interested through their facebook page and then showing up to their meeting armed, there were no laws violated. The demonstration was a matter of proving that guns are a constitutional right. But the real question is: Did the demonstration prove anything at all?
Sure, they had guns and didn’t cause any physical harm, but the fact that they these guns were so openly expressed with pride might be more of a cause for concern.
What if the women, after witnessing this gun demonstration pulled out their own guns and shot the demonstrators. Would they be to blame? Couldn’t they argue that their shots fired were for self defense?
Executing this sort of demonstration is dangerously exploiting the right to bear arms in a way that doesn’t support the reasons for the right to bear arms in the first place. If viewing the issue from the creators of the second amendment, this situation would definitely be considered abusing the right. However, since the right exists, shouldn’t its freedoms be respected in all forms? Shouldn’t this demonstration be just as acceptable as the women getting together to discuss the gun control laws?
Did the demonstrators cross a line?