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Open Carry Texas has gotten mixed reviews at TTAG. I’m not opposed to open carry as a political statement per se, just OCing like a d!ckhead. That expectation of not dressing and acting like a D-bag extends to more than just gun rights. Generally, I feel like you should dress nicely, act politely, and do everything you can to put a kind face on whatever our cause might be. In the case of Open Carry Texas, I have mixed feelings. They’ve occasionally gotten it right, but they’ve occasionally gotten it wrong, too. We’re all fallible. Either way, they’re marching through the 5th Ward in Houston tomorrow. Or at least they were . . .

OCT first blogged about it a month ago citing various statistics and figures for how the licensing scheme for a concealed handgun license in Texas is distinctly racist, a notion I don’t dispute in the slightest. OCT has also received some heat in the social media circles over the last few months for taking their demonstrations to largely “safe” places with some critics being as bold as to invite them to march through some of the poorest, blackest, and most crime ridden areas of Texas. Apparently OCT had decided the 5th Ward would do, and they were planning a demonstration to start at noon tomorrow. Full original presser from OCT below.

Monday, July 14, 2014, 11:10 pm

Temple, TX, July 15, 2014– On August 16, 2014, Open Carry Texas will be holding an event in the 5th Ward district of Houston. Like all of our events, the public is invited to take part in this event to celebrate our right to keep and bear arms and protest our antiquated gun laws.

“We are not going to be marching through 5th Ward,” said OCT Founder CJ Grisham, “we’re going to hopefully be marching with 5th Ward.”

Open Carry Texas believes that Texas’ gun laws continue to be rooted in racism. In order to obtain a concealed handgun license in Texas, one needs to shell out over $250 in fees and requirements to do so. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in Texas was 14.4% in 2010, the date of the last census. In the African-American community, the poverty rate was 27.1%, nearly twice the state poverty rate and almost three times higher than non-Hispanic whites. In other words, the extreme cost to obtain a license in Texas – over $250 – disproportionately prevents African-Americans from getting one.

Texas law prevents anyone convicted of a Class B misdemeanor or higher from qualifying for a concealed handgun license for at least five years. The convictions do not need to be related to violence or even involve a gun. Some examples of “crimes” that will cause you to lose your CHL or fail to qualify for one are littering, writing a hot check, or even certain traffic infractions not involving another person.

If Texas were a country, it would have the highest incarceration rate than any other country. According to the DC-based Justice Policy Institute Director Vincent Schiraldi, “out of every 20 adult Texans you meet, one is under criminal justice control.” The black community is seven times more likely to be incarcerated than the white community. The Institute added that “nearly one in three young African American men in Texas is under some form of criminal justice control.” Because the black population is the most likely to be falsely convicted with a non-violent, non-gun related crime, their access to a license to legally defend themselves is extremely limited.

Much like the Jim Crow laws of the past, Texas gun laws seem geared towards preventing the minority community from exercising their rights. We aim to change that.

NeighborhoodScout reports that Houston ranks 15th among the most dangerous cities in America – ALL of America, which has over 19,000 total. And according to the City of Houston’s own website, the crime rate in 5th Ward is nearly three times greater than that of Houston as a whole. 

Open Carry Texas is dedicated to abolishing these racist and xenophobic gun laws as quickly as possible. Texas should be leading the nation in allowing its citizens to keep and bear arms.NeighborhoodScout reports that Houston ranks 15th among the most dangerous cities in America – ALL of America, which has over 19,000 total. And according to the City of Houston’s own website, the crime rate in 5th Ward is nearly three times greater than that of Houston as a whole, mostly because the law abiding find it difficult to exercise their rights. Only the criminals are able to arm themselves and those that arm themselves for the purpose of self-defense find themselves in trouble just for carrying and never using the firearm.

We invite the community to join us on August 16th at noon to find out for themselves what we are about. We are excited to have special guest, Mr. Maurice Muhammed, National Director for The Initiative, whose mission is “to secure justice and fair treatment to all people. And end forever unjust and unfair discrimination and ridicule of Black people throughout the Earth.”

Gun rights belong to all humans, regardless of skin color.

I’ve long advocated that bringing more gun owners into the fold will require getting women and minorities on board. I’m not certain this is the best way to do it, but it is a strategy and they seem committed to it, and are saying all the right things. Local community organizer Quannell X doesn’t see it that way. From houstonpublicmedia.org.

“When in the hell did Open Carry Texas ever care about black folk being able to afford a firearm?” said Quanell X, a community activist and the leader of Houston’s New Black Panther Party. “You tell Open Carry Texas they can’t urinate on our leg and tell us it’s rain. We know better. You can’t be slick to a can of oil. That’s a con game.”

I was all ready to post this article this morning with a note about how I was going to try to make it when my brother in law, a Houston resident sent me Click2Houston’s update on the situation. As it is, OCT thought it would be prudent to meet with the community before they marched through. The aforementioned Mr. X had some choice words for CJ Grisham and the OCT crew.

“I’m going to tell you something homie, this is Fifth Ward, you ain’t coming in here running nothing,” community activist Quanell X said while flanked by members of the New Black Panther Party, who were holding assault rifles.

The two groups sat across from one another at a small folding table under a tree near the intersection of Lockwood and Lyons to discuss the details of the upcoming event.

Local 2 Investigates counted 15 Houston police officers on-hand to monitor the meeting.

Members of Open Carry Texas have held hundreds of events where members walk through communities openly carrying rifles and shotguns in support of Second Amendment rights. The group’s president, CJ Grisham, tried to explain why they chose the Fifth Ward for one of these events.

“We’re trying to touch as many people as possible with our message that an armed society is a polite society,” said Grisham.

The presidents of three Fifth Ward Civic Clubs shot back, questioning the group’s motives.

Other community leaders complained that the group should have reached out to them before scheduling an event.

Eventually the meeting devolved into a shouting match and officers had to step in to ease tensions.
As members of Open Carry Texas walked away from the table, they got a final warning.

“Saturday we will come and protect and defend our community because we don’t trust them,” said Quanell X. “Their motives are out of control.”

After the meeting and much consideration, OCT released the following presser.

Temple, TX, August 14, 2014 – Open Carry Texas is dedicated to the safe and legal carry of firearms. We believe that the Second Amendment is color blind and that everyone should be allowed to exercise this fundamental right without fear of retribution, harassment, or threats of violence.

Since the joint meeting in 5th Ward on Wednesday, several members of the community have reached out to us with a heartfelt desire to work together to make a 5th Ward event possible. It became obvious over the past few days that certain individuals in the area were intentionally pitting us against the community. After numerous phone calls and exchanges of emails with community leaders, the OCT board voted unanimously to postpone the event for a future date in order to give OCT and 5th Ward leadership an opportunity to overcome the controversy associated with this event.

“Our goal has always been to hold this demonstration with 5th Ward, not just in 5th Ward,” said OCT President CJ Grisham. “We have an opportunity to correct all the lies, miscommunication, and vitriol associated with this event and express our true intent. I’m more than happy to push this event back to make that happen.”

Open Carry Texas’ mission to educate the public about the need for lawful open carry will continue throughout the state. We will always face opposition to our goals and efforts, but we never stop finding ways to ensure our efforts are understood by those with whom our members come in contact.

We look forward to holding a peaceful demonstration with the historic 5th Ward in the near future. We will work with residents and leaders to pick a date that is conducive to a peaceful, friendly event. No new date has been chosen for the event at this time.

For more information, contact Houston Chapter Leader Mr. David Amad at david@opencarrytexas.org or Mr. CJ Grisham at cj@opencarrytexas.org.

I’m retaining a healthy level of skepticism on this event. I think if done correctly, they’ll be able to highlight Texas’s restrictive policies on owning and carrying firearms. However, if done wrong, they’ll only provide more fodder for the media and anti-gunners to continue to drum the “gun owners are stupid, racist hicks” point louder and with more vigor. 

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64 Responses to Open Carry Texas Plans 5th Ward March…Then Cancels

    • Quanell X seems like the biggest racist here. He’d probably just ignore the whole thing (or deny its existence) if it was only black guys marching down the street with guns.

  1. Anyone else get the impression that Quannel X didn’t want anyone informing “his ward” that they could potentially be independent?

    • Exactly!

      Trying to deal with these Black “Leaders” is a joke. They want to keep their people oppressed. They want to keep their power.

      You ignore these Black “Leaders” and a lot of needles problems in this country between races will get sorted out real quick.

      Hopefully one day soon the Black communities will see this and run these guys out of their cities.

    • Their community already is independent. They can openly carry weapons to intimidate those who might otherwise beat down their criminal scumbag asses without consequence.

      They can say ridiculous things which are repeated without question by the media repeaters- or suppressed if they go so far that they might alarm the sensitive even without context. Mr ‘X’ is best known among human beings for having blamed a little Mexican girl for being gang-raped by tens of his people. Did you see that in the NYTimes?

    • What QuannelX appears to be saying is he doesnt want black folk LEGALLY armed for self defense.
      Cant imagine why the New Black Panthers feel the same.

      Of course, if you are running a protection racket, dealing drugs, or illegal guns, then anyone arming the helpless law abiding black folks, would tend to undermine your power.

      So, who is oppressing who here?

      • Obviously these guys are corrupt grifters who don’t want anyone coming in, either to horn in on their action, or event to get more watching eyes involved with their activities. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are worried that actual progress in their legal activities might invite more official scrutiny that corrupt members don’t want, making the whole franchise self-defeating. And that’s assuming there is no intentional effort toward tyranny or repression of the community going on.

        In a functioning community, the RKBA is exercised to boot trash like the NBP out, but this is hardly a functioning community. As it is, the Panthers are the closest thing to a responsible local government (by which I mean closest to the peoples’ wants, needs, and desires; not necessarily effective, though) and that means interaction with that community will, sadly, have to go through them. What we are seeing is yet another reason why ghettos have such a hard time advancing; not only is the environment there pretty hostile to productive living, but even getting through the door is pretty perilous and guarded by fierce a-holes.

        The main gist, besides all the posturing, racist bullcrap, that I get from Quannel et al, is that OCT should have contacted them before going public, and planned the march with them all along. Their initial indepedent effort, “which could only have stemmed from racism” or whatever, seems to have been the excuse the existing mistrust of the locals was able to exploit. Aside from the fact that, anywhere but a disfunctional ghetto with ostensible paramilitary ‘overseers’, it is an honest assumption that the nomimal local authorities are the correct folks to contact and deal with (I’m sure Quannel felt he would be snubbed if he didn’t start making a racket, but I’m equally sure OCT had never heard of him), I’m inclined to agree with the Panthers on this one. If they really are the face of the community, and sadly it looks like they probably are, then they are who emissaries need to be engaging from the get-go. Whether true or not, the community is treated like children who cannot take care of anything themselves, and rely on self-appointed protectors/leaders to be gate keepers; bypassing them would likely do much more harm than good, since the community is not used to dealing with outside influences like this directly –I imagine their daily existence is actually quite sheltered (everything from cultural to political ideas that compete with the ‘official line’ are angrily driven off)

        • Excellent post.

          This part is eerily similar to the nanny state “utopia” that progessivism is trying to morph the whole nation into:

          Whether true or not, the community is treated like children who cannot take care of anything themselves, and rely on self-appointed protectors/leaders to be gate keepers; bypassing them would likely do much more harm than good, since the community is not used to dealing with outside influences like this directly –I imagine their daily existence is actually quite sheltered (everything from cultural to political ideas that compete with the ‘official line’ are angrily driven off)

    • I think the fact he engaged OCT as much as he did suggests he thought there was at least some potential usefulness to their effort, but a couple factors kept them at loggerheads at the end of the day. OCT not contacting the Panthers first was probably taken as an insult (but really, did they actually expect out-of-towner white folk to know the Panthers are the craptastic go-between in this neighborhood, exisitng in lieu of a real government?), doubly so because I’m guessing they did contact the ‘evil’ police state about the march, first. While it appears OCT didn’t immediately shriek “eek, panthers!” and run away, I imagine there were some cultural/political differences in the groups that each sides’ crappy diplomacy could not bridge –see the shouting match described in the article, complete with threats. That’s the exact ‘blood in the streets’ precursor that the anti’s are afraid of, and OCT should be smart enough to not be baited. I think the main cultural devide may have been the overall approach to the protest; the Panthers see open carry as a show of force, to intimidate percieved threats to their people/organization into submission, while the OCT group seeks exactly the opposite, with a smiling, peaceful display. The disagreement might well have been “we want you to march with us, but not as scowling-soldier Panthers.”

      The Panthers’ whole deal is intimidation, which might make them a bit incompatible with OCT at the end of the day, even if the groups’ stated goals and ideologies might overlap quite a bit where firearms legal ownership and use are concerned. I have to imagine, that if the two groups could work past this one basic point (possibly satisfied by simply not having either group openly armed at this very early stage of the game), the remaining disagreements could satisfied by restricting eachothers’ messages to exactly the topic of legal Open Carry (& gun ownership at large) and not one thing otherwise (politics, drugs, crime, racism, money, religion, or police).

      I think there is potential here, but this is the big times; not much different from staging a mass OC protest in DC, or something, and it needs to be handled by people who know what they are doing in high-stakes diplomacy that can keep a cool head, and get everything in writing. This is not unlike some bizzare scenario where the US wants to conduct a joint training excercise with live fire, on Soviet soil –it’s gonna some Kissinger-level savvy to pull that off, but it’s also probably worth doing if possible for the potential thawing of relations.

      Just imagine what a hard time the big city gun grabbers will have if we could get those most needing 2nd Amendment rights in the ghettos in our corner. This might well be the solution to gun rights’ metro-area representation conondrum (where we always lose when the regional metroplex gets big enough and swamps the outlying areas of representation). Imagine not having to worry if your gun rights will be threatened if the big city near you gets bigger.

      • Panthers see open carry as a show of force, to intimidate percieved threats to their people/organization into submission

        This reads so much like how many antis project when they lament open carry. What they claim we are doing might be just what the Panther actually do.

        Getting the RKBA understood throughout poverty stricken/high crime areas would be a huge step in restoration. Getting OC re-established in those same areas would serve as a buffer against further gun control legislation for generations.

        No man can be truly free whose liberty is dependent upon the thought, feeling and action of others and who has himself no means in his own hand for guarding, protecting, defending and maintaining that liberty. – Frederick Douglass

      • “I imagine there were some cultural/political differences in the groups that each sides’ crappy diplomacy could not bridge”

        My guess is that one of those differences is that the NBPP doesn’t wan’t anyone outside of their ranks to have guns in the community. They are jackbooted thugs that exert control over the people in the community through intimidation. They don’t wan’t people thinking for themselves and questioning them. They are a far cry from what the original BPP was about.

  2. On a slightly unrelated note:
    I wonder if OCT could carry holstered realistic airsoft guns. They’d look real but would have orange tips. They’d probably get arrested and it would make for great publicity… Just a random idea for publicity. NOTE: I fully support open carry of long guns, I think the above could be a good publicity opportunity.

  3. Unsurprisingly this went exactly like everyone except OCT predicted. Their cause is awesome. Their activism rates between incompetent and self-defeating.

    • Why don’t you show ’em how it’s done, then? I’m sure lots of people would truly enjoy watching and learning from your masterful activism example.

      • I have to agree, how many of you have actually done anything! Other than bitch and moan, “They’re doing it wrong!” What have YOU done to further support the 2nd Amendment open carry battle. That’s right, you whined and sniveled online how someone else is doing it incorrectly. If these guys/dolls are doing such a bad job, get off your butt (not the term I wanted) and do it right or STFU! Support them, they are doing something positive. Tearing down their treehouse because it’s not built to your code is not helping anyone.
        FYI, I have been to two OCT events. I wore jeans and a T-shirt and carried a Ruger Mini-14. What have you done?

        • I’ve paid my NRA dues, donated to the Institute for Legal Action, and written editorials in various newspapers. But, no, I haven’t carried my rifle around in crowded public places. That doesn’t seem like a good way to convince other voters that gun owners are smart, rational people.

        • I’ve changed the negative stereotype of gun owners in the minds of everyone who knows me. I’ve increased the visibility and acceptance of gun ownership in my community. I spend my own time and money to take people to the range to experience shooting for the first time so they can see it’s fun and nothing to be afraid of. Easily over 100 to date. I’ve helped many of those people choose their first firearm. I donate regularly to all of the organizations. I’ve been patient and never once allowed myself to be seen blaming the opposition for speed of the progress I am making, because I know that they will use that to paint me as a bitter nut job.

        • Just another ad hominem attack. Can’t say something intelligent just call them names.

        • But that does seem to be the way many of their defenders here think. You can’t have an intelligent dialog with someone whose sole response to an attempt at constructive criticism of what they’re doing is “I don’t see YOU doing what I’m doing so STFU.”

      • It shouldn’t need to take a person who studies strategical deception and game theory to point out to you that setting the same trap for yourself over and over again, and then bitterly blaming the opposition when they spring it on you is a loosing strategy. I recommend to OCT to start reading some of the hundreds of books on activist strategy, or at least start red-teaming your ideas before you announce them.

        • Indeed. When you spot a claymore, do you blithely walk in front of it and blame the guy who placed it when you end up full of holes, or do you just stay the hell away from it?

          When you get out of the hospital and the guy you are with spots another claymore what do you do? Apparently, telling the guy who is warning you that you won’t listen to him because HE doesn’t walk in front of claymores, is the preferred option here.

        • It shouldn’t need to take a person who studies strategical deception and game theory to point out to you that setting the same trap for yourself over and over again, and then bitterly blaming the opposition when they spring it on you is a loosing strategy.

          Yep. Compromise (appeasement) and hiding (concealed means concealed!) is a losing strategy.

  4. OCT is messing with the Black power structure. That structure has been built over the last 100 years. It sucks the lifeblood from the Black community. Money, power and perverted honor. It is no diferent than the Italian Mafia or back to the pre-cursor the Black Hand. You mess with them you risk paying a terrible price. Only the Black community has the ability to challenge it. Maybe. Otherwise it ain’t your business.

    • ^^^Pretty much this^^^

      Although their intentions were good, OCT probably isn’t going to be able to come together with those higher crime/higher poverty areas without befriending people from the community and having them join in OCT events in other place. Then, those new OC friends bring more friends and they talk with their friends. After what might be years, then maybe, just maybe such a community will slowly allow a small OC walk or two. After even more time, the community might hesitantly accept OC, a few more walks or two at a time. It would probably take a very long time for the community to welcome and encourage OC walks.

      Then again, if one had the means, they could try bribing a few leaders and let them introduce OC as their solution to some of the problems. However, I think some of those higher up in the community structure would see people from their own community freely bearing arms as a threat to their status, power, and control.

  5. “I’m going to tell you something homie, this is Fifth Ward, you ain’t coming in here running nothing,” community activist Quanell X said while flanked by members of the New Black Panther Party, who were holding assault rifles.

    It sounds to me like the New Black Panther “leaders” didn’t like someone stepping on their political field. What exactly did Mr Quanell think the OCT’s were going to do? Or was it a threat?

    • Of course it was a threat. Do you think the New Black Panther Party folks, who were holding assault rifles, were there to attend a quilting bee?

      • An empty threat, maybe. If even that much. All that’s ever come from them is bluster, hot air, and chest-thumping. They wouldn’t even dare lay a hand on anyone in anger, and that’s because it’s a fight that each and every single solitary one of them knows that they’re going to lose no matter how many they bring with them.

        • Um, except if you check the scoreboard, it’s New Black Panther Party – 1, Open Carry Texas – 0.

          Most Americans aren’t aware that there is a segment of our society where racism is alive and well. OCT just found it.

          Come to think of it, this may explain why the Left assumes that white nationalism is such a powerful (if secretive) force on the right: because black nationalism is a powerful force on the Left that their propaganda arms work hard to keep secret.

          I’m discovering more and more that the Left’s misconceptions about the right are mostly projection.

  6. Apparently you can’t fix stupid. Especially if stupid is absolutely determined to stay broken. In this case, OCT is hella stupid. If they’re so obtuse that they couldn’t predict that the optics of their plans are an anti-gunner’s wet dream, then I seriously question their grasp on reality.

    Do they think they’re patriots and civil rights champions or something? They’re irresponsible children running around with guns happily doing the work of the anti-gunners! And even here we get people cheering them on, like useful idiots. Good job, idiots. Now tell me I hate freedom because I think it’s unhelpful for these clowns to actively recruit people to campaign for more restrictive gun laws. Oh, and paint gun owners as racists. Yeah way to go..

    • Anon, I think you hate black people and are disgusted by the idea of them getting out of their designated areas and away from the supervision of their government appointed handlers like Mr. X there.

    • Anon, Anon, Anon. Sigh. You use the same tactics as the anti-gunners. Attack, demean, throw taunts and insults.

      Just like the anti-gunners; you come across like a child throwing a tantrum. If you really want to have an effect; you need to first be looked at as a mature adult sharing something worth listening to. Right now; you have shared nothing that can be respected.

  7. quanell evans is the worst kind of bigot. every time he opens his ignorant, racist mouth it makes my blood boil.

  8. Q-Tip, as many people in Houston refer to him, or Quanell XL, as I do, is a pure race hustler through and through.  A former drug dealer, he makes his living shoving his abundant mug before every camera he can find and screaming bloody racism from the top of his lungs.

    He has no legitimate job. He funds his antics by portraying himself as a community activist and some kind of “fixer.”  He isn’t a lawyer or mediator or arbitrator, nor official of any government or any recognized civil rights organization.  He’s just himself, his own media image and his hangers on.

    He wakes up each day and tracks down the controversy of the day, and fabricates it when he can’t find it. Anyone whose kid runs afoul of the law, or who is on the run from the law, or who is in a dispute with the city or their employer, looks to him make it right. 

    People pay him anywhere from hundreds to many thousands of dollars for his “help.”  He gets them to cash out retirement accounts and scrounge whatever money they can. According to numerous published reports, they then get nothing in return. Not even their calls returned. He just rolls onto the scene, makes a lot of noise, but never actually accomplishes anything, but making a lot of noise.

    Politicians are either afraid of him and of being called racist, or are supportive of him because he goes around making white people nervous and getting blacks riled up and distracted. This is a true horror of a human being.

    • Sounds like a savvy, but small time politician. OCT just needs to present their offer as a way for him to get some free press for his group that makes it not look like an inverted Klan, but like a real community organization.

        • True that, but it doesn’t answer my (implicit) question. Are you hoping they will find it? It sure came across as if you did.

  9. ““I’m going to tell you something homie, this is Fifth Ward, you ain’t coming in here running nothing,” community activist Quanell X said while flanked by members of the New Black Panther Party, who were holding assault rifles.

    The two groups sat across from one another at a small folding table under a tree near the intersection of Lockwood and Lyons to discuss the details of the upcoming event.”

    So, the NBP were outside and openly armed with long-guns under direct police supervision while in a potentially tense situation. Good for them.

    One only hopes that they might someday realize the irony of this whole situation.

    • There is zero irony here. What the NBPP looks to accomplish with the open carry of long guns and what OCT looks to accomplish with the open carry of long guns has exactly zero overlap. You might as well compare ISIS’s open carry of long guns with OCT.

      Which is part of the problem with OCT’s schtick: they don’t understand that not everyone sees open carry of long guns the way they do. When you want to change societal attitudes, you move slowly and carefully and incrementally toward your goal, and you care about the optics.

      If Rosa Parks had been a 6’5″ 270 lb man who hadn’t given up his seat, then the NAACP never would have backed him. He would’ve gone to jail. If they had put an interracial couple on that bus to make out, then the PR campaign would have gone nowhere. Rosa Parks worked because she was nonthreatening, and they started with a relatively simple and nonthreatening goal: integrate the buses.

      You can’t scare people if you want them to adopt your position. I don’t get why this is so hard for people to get. We are winning. Let’s not throw the game in the third quarter.

  10. Jesus, what the hell is going on down there?

    If these guys want their shithole turf so bad, let them have it.

    Don’t we have better things to do?

  11. Is there something magical about d!ckhead that elevates it above dickhead? We all know what you mean. Either use the word or don’t. Don’t smear it and think it is anymore pleasant.

  12. Not exactly a lot of thinking going on at OCT HQ eh? That’s not how you play diplomacy. When the other side is already pissed off at you BEFORE the negotiations, you’re almost never going to reach an agreement short of flat out giving in to their request. This is the freaking BLACK PANTHERS. There’s no win here! Even if they did approve the march, a 4 year old could have spun that into a “OCT WORKING WITH BLACK PANTHERS TO OPPRESS 5TH WARD” story.

    This was not a smart move. At all.

  13. i believe the OCT was attempting to use 5th Ward for political gain.There is already enough guns there already.5th Ward doesn’t need to see that right now.”FERGUSON RIOTS” Epic FAIL OCT.

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