When carrying an open or concealed weapon for defense, one should have several concerns regarding safe handling and the fear that one might have to use such defense as a last resort. Unfortunately, however, there is another concern which should not be considered before the others yet is prevalent in today’s society where many Americans are still fearful of law-abiding citizens carrying guns.
One might think that this would not be an issue in conservative states such as Texas, yet an incident recently occurred when a local father took his daughter to a public park. He was open carrying a handgun and was also wearing a pro-second amendment shirt. In a series of annoyances, the man was harassed by several nearby parents, one of who did the unthinkable and took it upon herself to call the police despite that the armed “exercising” civilian was not breaking the law, causing many to wonder how she could do such a thing.
The incident occurred in March at a park in Benbrook, Texas where several other families were enjoying their day. However, for some, it only took a local resident embracing his constitutional rights to evoke fear.
Considering that criminals do not often announce their intent, the man was clearly only seeking to protect himself, his family, and innocent lives nearby if necessary, but was also bold enough to not only open carry but also to proudly display that he believes in the right to bear arms.
However, it was apparently the slogan on the shirt of the father, later identified as Troy Johnston, which had some parents in a panic. On the back of the T-shirt read the message ‘I’ll control my guns, You control your kids’ alongside a picture of an “AR-style weapon,” or what liberals love to call an ‘assault rifle.’
While it was perfectly within Johnston’s right to carry a gun and wear the shirt, he quickly learned that other parents had an issue with it.
“I figured I might get some comments or looks,” he admitted, yet could not prepare for the liberal hysteria that ensued.
At first, a nearby family informed Johnston that his shirt was angering another parent who was allegedly “fuming.” As a true first amendment supporter, Johnston reported that he simply thanked the parent for the information and returned his attention back to his daughter.
A second family later approached Johnston, and this father warned him that the ‘fuming’ mother was currently calling the police over the apparent danger.
However, the second parent also noted that he “personally felt more secure knowing there was someone [in the park who] would protect them.”
Unfortunately, the 911 call was not an empty threat, and police were called to the park a short time later.
Corporal J. Reese on behalf of the Benbrook Police Department reported to the park to investigate the ‘suspicious person.’
Upon his arrival, the concerned mother immediately began making claims that Johnston was disturbing others in the vicinity.
However, Reese later noted that the ‘polite’ father was not acting in a threatening manner nor was a danger to anyone.
Johnston reportedly showed Reese his concealed carry permit; however, the officer was never concerned that Johnston was possessing or carrying illegally.
He continued by reporting his suspicion that the woman was more worried about the shirt than she was of the actual weapon.
However, it should be noted that the T-shirt is from a brand called Warrior 12 which features designs by law enforcement officers that are perfectly legal to wear.
On the clothing brand’s website, it notes that the second amendment is a “touchy subject” these days, however continues that guns are not the problem. It further encourages parents to “learn to control their kids and take responsibility.”
It admits that the left often finds it “much easier to point the finger at proud gun owning Americans and attack our second amendment rights.”
As expected, the clothing manufacturer has indicated the backlash it has received over similar messages printed on their products. In wake of recent shootings, many angry liberals have taken it upon themselves to send hate mail to Warrior 12, claiming that such companies have ‘blood on their hands.’
While the brand, as reported by an “unnamed officer,” will continue its efforts despite liberal criticism, it is concerned at the apparent confusion between “constitutional rights and personal responsibility with horrific acts of mass murder.”
However, Johnston shows no indication that he will censor his clothing in the future just to keep other sensitive parents happy. Instead, he says that the incident has motivated him to want to “order more just so I can wear them every day I’m off work.”
Some may argue that being open about carrying a gun or the willingness to is not a smart move for several reasons. While there is some truth to this, it is admittedly far less dangerous than liberally-motivated ‘gun free zones.’
In any case, perhaps incidents such as these, if anything, will reinforce to those on the left that the second amendment and its supporters are not going anywhere.