While hundreds of people crammed into the plaza in from of the Alamo to celebrate and promote gun rights, the gun control advocacy organization “Moms Demand Action” held their own rally at a bar a mile down the road. Why did they hold it at a bar? Well…
In Texas, if a restaurant makes more then 51% of its revenue from the sale of alcohol, it is a felony to carry a concealed handgun there. Despite styling themselves as “supporters of the second amendment” (as is being reported on NPR), they disagree with that whole “keep and bear” part.
As usual, I was carrying my handgun. Concealed, of course. So in order to go inside, I needed to divest myself of that particular piece of safety equipment. I followed Robert around the corner where I slipped my gun into my jacket and handed him my gear so that he could wait across the street while I investigated the event.
Once inside, the scene was pretty subdued. At most, I could identify about a dozen people who were actually there for the rally, and I wasn’t sure if the others were supporters or simply people who wanted to get something to eat and happened to be there at the time. It’s a nifty tactic, setting your rally at a popular restaurant, as the normal traffic will make it look like your rally is more popular.
As I wandered around the event snapping pictures, the few MDA members I could identify started huddling around and pointing at me. One of their members had wandered over to the rally earlier, and when Robert tried to introduce himself she recoiled in horror and didn’t even want to stand near us let alone talk to us. I guess they aren’t big fans of that pesky freedom of speech amendment as well as the RKBA one.
Now, that same woman was concerned about my mere presence at their event. As a result, she sent Lonnie Phillips (from the Brady Campaign) to “handle” me. We had a nice discussion about ways to reduce “gun violence,” but he was stuck on the idea that adding another law to prevent the transfer of firearms from state to state by unlicensed individuals (which is already a federal felony) would stop “gun trafficking.” I tried to get him to realize the insanity of trying to stop an already illegal activity with another piece of paper, but he wasn’t having any of it. And then Robert got hungry and called me to come back.
The contrast between the two events could not be more clear. Where the gun rights rally had (conservative estimate) 500 people, the Moms Demand Action event only attracted about a dozen; there may have been more reporters that actual MDA members. Where the gun rights rally was full of angry and motivated people wanting their voices heard, the MDA event was as subdued as you could get.
Where one was promoting civil rights and celebrating gun ownership, the MDA event was more like smug and disappointed parents trying to talk down to their misbehaving children. But as usual, the two events are getting nearly equal coverage in the media despite one being vastly more popular and well supported than the other.
According to the Moms Demand Action Facebook page, their quiet lunch a mile from the rally constituted “standing up” to the gun rights advocates. Somehow, I don’t think that counts.