Open Carry Gun Nuts Converge On Dallas To Bring ‘Freedom’ To #FreddieGray Protesters

Four groups converged on Dallas City Hall on Friday: Mothers Against Police Brutality for their Dallas to Baltimore solidarity event; the Texas Organizing Project to demand immigration reform and an end to racist policing in their communities; Backing the Blue to support Dallas police; and gun-slinging open carry demonstrators to supposedly keep the peace. Because there’s no better way to keep things peaceful than by hovering around menacingly on the edge of three protests while carrying huge guns.

Anomaly from Freak Out Nation ironically points out how those open carry gun nuts wanted to protect Dallas police from all those marauding moms:

Texas open carry extremists attended a march on Friday night in Dallas which was held by Mothers Against Police Brutality. The Open Carry group dressed in camo and armed themselves with assault-style weapons under the guise of support – under the guise of “keeping the protest peaceful,” because you know how Moms are.

She wryly adds:

My Mom was particularly scary, standing at 4’10” and weighing under 90 pounds.

Like Baltimore and Ferguson, Dallas has had far too many incidents of police brutality against people of color. One Freddie Gray protester told WFAA:

“They [police officers] don’t get a free pass. Because you have a badge and a gun, doesn’t give you a right to break the law. Good police officers need to stand up, because they make them look bad.”

Mary Moreno from the Texas Organizing Project explained to WFAA that people in Latino communities also feel under attack by police. Some also felt threatened by the open carry crowd and took to Twitter with their photos.

Sam Renegade ‏@MinneapoliSam: Armed [open carry] right wingers attend protest, threaten violence against peaceful demonstrators. #DallasToBaltimore

Sam Renegade ‏@MinneapoliSam  Armed rightwingers attend protest, threaten violence against peaceful demonstrators. #DallasToBaltimore

Image: Twitter.

Leila A. McNeill ‏@leilasedai: Some open carry guys have shown up to make sure we don’t get out of control #DallasToBaltimore

Leila A. McNeill ‏@leilasedai   Some open carry guys have shown up to make sure we don't get out of control #DallasToBaltimore

Image: Twitter.

In an interesting twist, though, one Twitter user claims the open carry people had actually come to watch the police.

Bredric B. ‏@King_Berry: This is not true. These men were there to actually watch the police. #DallasToBaltimore

Bredric B. ‏@King_Berry: This is not true. These men were there to actually watch the police. #DallasToBaltimore

Image: Twitter.

This is also what one of the open carry people told Fox 24:

Shaun Rabb @shaunrabbfox4 Open Carry w/Solidarity Baltimore. Open Carry talking about Police Injustice as well.

Image: Twitter.

Perhaps the man who talked with Fox 24 was concerned about police conduct. The rest seemed more worried about looters. Open carrier Thomas Ballard  told WFAA, as he followed the march with a rifle slung over his shoulder: “We don’t want what happened in Ferguson and Baltimore to happen here.”

The right-wing site Breitbart adds that open carry group Texans Against Gun Grabbers (TAGG) made a far more threatening statement:

“Alright, so apparently there is a ‘solidarity with Baltimore’ protest in Dallas this Friday at 5:00. There will also be an open carry/counter protest event at the same address at the same time. Share this post to make people aware that they may need to stay out of Dallas.”

Breitbart adds that TAGG’s organizers later made an announcement to clarify their previous statement:

“I think I used the term ‘counter protes [sic]’ when I should have said a group of armed citizens to try to ensure that Dallas does not turn into Baltimore. The name of the event is Dallas wont [sic] burn like Baltimore.”

This isn’t the first time open carry enthusiasts have tried to intimidate protesters. Back in November, WFAA caught three men from the open carry group Come and Take it Texas tailing protesters who were marching for Michael Brown. They told WFAA they wanted to protect people’s “private property” in case the protesters got out of hand. As with Friday’s protests, the evening ended uneventfully.

And here’s WFAA’s report from Friday:

Featured image: Murdoch Pizgatti/Facebook.