Members of Open Carry Texas (OCT) showed up at Main Street Arts Festival on Saturday to parade around with guns.
The organization’s website says its mission includes educating Texans about their right to openly carry rifles and shotguns, and to “condition residents to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that choose to carry them.”
Seems like Fort Worth folks are fairly conditioned already.
“We didn’t get a whole bunch of feedback on them except on twitter,” said festival spokeswoman Clair Bloxom Armstrong.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy tweeted a picture of a dozen gun-toting members standing on one of Sundance Square’s redbrick roads. The photo prompted readers’ comments ranging from “lunatics setting 4th Street back 200 years” to “please ignore them…this is exactly what they want… .”
A group called Americans Against The Tea Party posted a negative write-up under the headline “Open Carry Texas Invades Art Festival, Brings Armed Kids!”
The article characterized OCT members as “gun-toting domestic terrorists,” and claimed the group attended the festival despite being banned. The festival spokesperson, however, said the group wasn’t forbidden.
“Because it’s a free and open-to-the-public event, we don’t have the ability to tell a group that they can or cannot come to the festival,” Armstrong said.
The blog site Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen posted Kennedy’s photo, prompting comments from both sides of the argument. Here’s my favorite: “Sometimes I wished I had some firepower when accosted by mimes and those darn face painters.”