Last week, Open Carry Texas posted this alarming “educational” video showing a confrontation between armed open carry activists and law enforcement in Abilene, Texas. The officer, who was responding to a call by private property owners questioning the armed individuals standing on their property, remained calm as C.J Grisham cursed, yelled, and argued. His two fellow patriots were also armed with AR-15s.

Mr. Grisham, the leader of Open Carry Texas, and his band of open carry brethren continue to be astonished that the general public does not welcome their behavior. Fully 75% of law enforcement leaders and associations, and two-thirds of the general population in Texas are opposed to the open carry of handguns. Note: the unlicensed open carry of long guns such as AR-15s and AK-47s is already perfectly legal – natch.

Mr Grisham’s response to the ruckus, posted on Facebook? “The more these cops push us, the more we are going to push back. Eventually the pushing won’t be enough and people are going to get hurt. The people will only accept so much tyranny.”

YouTube video

I have lived in Texas since birth — I’m one of “The People” he mentions — and I’m pretty confident that Texas is not suffering from Tyranny, but our lawmakers are gladly suffering some seriously dangerous fools. Despite a growing collection of video footage showing armed men threatening officers and interfering with their duties as a part of “Cop Watches,” and despite overwhelming opposition from pretty much everyone in Texas, lawmakers have passed legislation allowing the licensed open carry of handguns. The bill was signed Saturday by Governor Abbott, probably with a fountain pen/pocket knife combo that came with his N.R.A. membership.

The problem here is that lawmakers are deliberately blinding themselves to the hard truth in Mr. Grisham’s statement: “… people are going to get hurt.” Extremists are still outraged that the new law requires a license, because their notion of freedom leans towards anarchy. It seems to me like lawmakers are catering to a small group of people that are looking for a very dangerous fight.

I’m a gun owner myself. I believe in my right to bear arms and am confident in my right and ability to defend my person. But this outrageous behavior is dangerous and unjustifiable. I don’t want my kids walking down the street when Grisham’s statement about “someone getting hurt” becomes truth. Not on my watch. As a member of the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, I watched closely this session as lawmakers deliberately, and with great intention, created and passed this new law. And I’ll be watching closely, along with all of the other mothers, next session as well.

Lawmakers have been fully informed about the potential dangers of open carry by experts, laymen, moms, police chiefs, students, gun violence survivors, and now by none other than C.J Grisham. People are going to get hurt. It’s time they listen.

*Featured/top image: Alamo Plaza packed with people, guns, flags and slogans during an anti-gun law rally. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

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Angela Turner is a Texas gun owner, mother of three, and communications professional from San Antonio. She testified multiple times this legislative session in opposition to dangerous gun lobby-backed...