Remember the Alamo

From Yahoo News and AP:

Armed gun rights activists rally at the Alamo

Gun rights advocates gather at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 19, 2013 to demonstrate in support of a Texas law that permits the open carry of long arms, such as rifles and shotguns. Organizers said a local ordinance restricting the carrying of firearms in public conflicts with state law. (AP Photo/Christopher Sherman)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Several hundred gun rights activists armed with rifles and shotguns rallied Saturday outside of the Alamo in a demonstration that broke a longstanding tradition of not staging such events at the enduring symbol of Texas independence.

The “Come and Take It San Antonio!” rally was intended to draw attention to a right Texans already have — to carry long arms publicly so long as they don’t do it in a menacing manner. Organizers thought it necessary to offer a reminder after several open carry advocates were threatened with arrest at a Starbucks in the city two months ago. The problem remains that a local ordinance effectively limits the open carrying of firearms to police and security guards.

That ordinance was not enforced Saturday. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus mingled in the crowd that police estimated at about 300 to 400, but the larger police presence remained around the perimeter of the Alamo plaza.

“There are too many issues associated with trying to enforce every ordinance here today,” McManus said. He said his priority was that people be able to exercise their constitutional rights and that everyone remain safe. Volunteers walked through the crowd placing red plastic straws in rifle chambers, a visible assurance they were not holding a round.

Rally organizers said just holding their demonstration in front of police without incident was a victory.

“(The San Antonio Police Department) is no longer going to be messing with us,” said C.J. Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas, with the Alamo’s famed Spanish mission behind him.

Organizers had also hoped that seeing a large peaceful gathering of armed citizens in the downtown of the country’s seventh largest city would be a step toward making people comfortable with the sight. There were people of all ages in the crowd, including young children. Some waved flags that read “Come and Take It,” others dressed in period costumes, but most looked like anyone else one might encounter on the street, they just happened to be carrying rifles.

Men strolling through the streets with rifles isn’t an image to which Hilary Rand thinks people should have to grow accustomed.

Rand, a regional manager for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, was at a counter-demonstration about a half mile away. Amid hula-hoops and face painting, Rand called the gun rights rally “bullying” and said it may serve opponents’ interest as well.

“If anything, they’re just alerting the general public that this is something that needs to be changed,” she said. “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that it’s OK and that you should. And if anything they’re helping to make that argument for us.” She said the threat of an accidental discharge was too great to justify gun rights advocates making their point.

For the tourists who just happened upon the rally — 2.5 million visit the Alamo annually — there was initial trepidation among some.

Mark Roberts, 63, of London, Ontario, was among a group of Canadian tourists caught off guard.

“We’re not used to seeing guns carried openly in Canada, so that was almost like a culture shock,” Roberts said, noting that it appeared well organized. It was more unnerving for his wife.

“I didn’t like it at all because you don’t know who you’re dealing with,” Julie Roberts said. “You don’t know who these people are.”

Another member of their group, Peter Hinch, declared it “fantastic,” but was dismissed by his friends as not your typical Canadian.

It didn’t give Don Norwood, 49, of Little Rock, Ark., any pause. Norwood, who was visiting the Alamo with his wife and daughter, hadn’t expected the demonstration, but gazing over the crowd, he said, “it’s healthy, that’s what America’s about.”

Asked if it made him nervous to approach the old mission chapel through the armed crowd, Norwood said, “No, they’re not a threat to me.”

The rally proceeded peacefully without incident.

For some, such as 27-year-old Colt Szczygiel, a retired U.S. Marine rifleman who just moved in September to Converse, Texas, from Connecticut, the rally was also his first visit to the Alamo. He toured the grounds reading plaques laying out the site’s history with his Bushmaster ACR rifle hanging from his shoulder.

“It’s great to be able to come here with my rifle for the first time,” he said. Texas’ gun-friendly culture made the move all the more attractive coming from Waterbury, Conn., he said. He had participated in gun rights rallies there, but this was his first in Texas.

Lee Spencer White, president of the Alamo Defenders’ Descendants Association, said her group considers the Alamo its family cemetery and as hallowed ground should remain free of demonstrations, which historically have been held on the adjacent plaza.

From 1905 to 2011, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas were the Alamo’s custodians. But in 2011, lawmakers gave the state’s General Land office control of the monument where Col. William Travis and 200 Texas defenders famously died in a siege with the Mexican army in 1836. It was Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson who approved the rally here.

“I respect the opinions of folks who say this is not the right place,” Patterson said to the crowd on Saturday. “But I submit to you there’s one standard we should apply to gatherings here at this sacred cradle of Texas liberty and that is whether our activity and our purpose would be supported by those men who gave it all.”

Patterson, who is running for lieutenant governor, asked attendees to not block the path to the mission and to leave their rifles and signs outside when entering the chapel. “Even though you can lawfully do that, we have a reverence for that location where those men died.”


This is great, especially in San Antonio, where they’re mostly blue in their politics. To have a showing like this means more and more people are asserting their right to carry and doing it in a peaceful manner.

But here’s the kicker with this story. Nowhere in the piece is it mentioned that these guys are part of the Oathkeepers group.  This is the announcement from their website:


Associate Editor note: This release is sent to all who are considering participating in this event. Please, everyone, comply with the guidelines presented here, in order that the event may be successful. “This is NOT an open carry of handguns event – just rifles, but by that example of how we can open carry rifles safely and responsibly, we hope to eventually change Texas law to make open carry of handguns legal in Texas too” Again, this is an open carry of Long Guns event. Absolutely no hand guns, please.
From Jay Stang, Texas Chapter President and Board Member, Oath Keepers
We as OCT, TC, CATI and DontComply understand some of these requests may offend some, but please understand that a lot was put on the line for this event for many people. We are showing how 1000 rational armed citizens can gather and obey the law (even if we don’t agree with it) Let’s make History on Oct 19th!!
Long guns will have “flagged chambers” meaning a flag or 1/2 of a drinking straw will be inserted into the empty chamber and visible on the outside. This protects you legally!  The City of San Antonio has an illegal ordinance (21-16) that makes it a violation to openly carry a “loaded” long arm on a public street. Loaded in SAPD means a chambered round and/or a full mag. We will be doing chamber checks only, and only on long guns. Holstered (secured) BP pre-1899s and CHLs will not be checked.
We will have “safety” teams posted at the parking areas. They will have free chamber flags. It is recommended that If you are solo, that you wait at the “safety check” area for some fellow patriots and travel to the event site in teams. We should avoid individual movement at all costs. Travel in groups to The Alamo. We don’t want to open ourselves to be picked off one or two at a time.

Oathkeepers  announced it on their website so they weren’t trying to remain anonymous. Why no mention of their name?


Click here to read Oathkeepers full statement.

(h/t to Wendy)

Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Remember the Alamo

  1. Buck says:

    “…and that is whether our activity and our purpose would be supported by those men who gave it all.” You can bet yer ass it would be!

  2. Why no mention of Oathkeepers???

    Because of fear. The media, the public REFUSES to face their fears, learn just what they are, and subdue them. Instead, they would rather wallow in their “Pity Party”, and in their supposed higher ethic of controlling the actions of those they don’t agree with.

    The Safest area in any situation is where honorable individuals are armed, responsible, and courageous. But those who live in fear and cowardice cannot see that – They only see that the criminal element has used firearms as weapons of murder and mayhem, and have projected that vision to ALL persons who own or have access to weapons, no matter their sense of integrity.

    And that especially applies to organizations that promote the healthy use of weaponry.

  3. Clyde says:

    Good post. I think Grouchy said it right. The Oathkeepers wanted to keep this event as free from controversy as possible, and since the left has had NOTHING but scorn for any group that supports gun rights, I can understand their concern. Plus, also given the media’s disdain for such groups, since nothing BAD happened, they did not want to veer from the template, and begrudgingly give the Oathkeepers good press. Just MHO.

    • Kathy says:

      You and Grouchy could be exactly right, but part of me says this is selective editing on the part of AP. Suspicious much? Yes, but considering how much of the news gets watered down or hyped up, it’s with reason I think.

  4. garnet92 says:

    I’m glad to see that Oathkeepers was sponsoring this event. I’ve supported them and became a member a few years ago and I’m always surprised that so little is known about them by otherwise 2nd Amendment-supporting vets and other individuals. They need to be a little more outspoken and visible, in my opinion. I’ve never known another gun person, vet or otherwise, who doesn’t agree with the position of the Oathkeepers.

    • Kathy says:

      I like them too, Garnet, and agree they need more exposure. Maybe this is the beginning of that. It’s likely they’re as fed up as the rest of us.

  5. Bill Baldwin says:

    The moms demand counter protest drew about a dozen participants. When their spokesperson was asked about the small turnout, she said that some of their members were afraid to show up because of the gun rally a mile down the road.

  6. upaces88 says:

    The hair on the back of my neck and all over my body just stood straight up. I am so proud of My Texas!
    Last year I had to accompany my daughter to the County Courthouse (McKinney, TX). In the middle of the foyer was this life size statute of Colonel Travis. It was copper and over his head was a ceiling window. The sun was shining in turned him even more golden.
    At the base of the Statute was written “Hold the Line!”

    A line in the sand is a metaphor with two similar meanings: … of the Alamo, as it is attributed to Colonel William Travis, commander of the Alamo defense forces.

    At that moment, this pride went all through my body. Tears welled up in my eyes; and even as I write this….my eyes are frosting over.

  7. vonmesser says:

    So Hillary Rand doesn’t like the image of people with guns and is scared of an accidental discharge. Wonder if that’s how she got her kids? (snark)

    However, on the serious side, I really wonder how many (if any) of those guns were loaded.

    Also, seems to me that the bullying is not the peaceful people with guns, but the loud-mouthed know-it-alls who are condemning someone exercising both their first and second amendment rights (gee, two rights in one) at the same time.

    Also would like to know jut what dork-brain passed the San Antonio ordnance? Was it anyone who knows what a gun is, or was it a collection of libtards like Hillary who know what’s good for us even if it’s a violation of our rights and responsibilities.

    • Kathy says:

      San Antonio is mostly democrat, so the loud-mouthed libtards get listened to more than the conservatives that tend to acquiesce rather than raise a ruckus. Until lately, that is.

      Ms. Rand sure wouldn’t have liked living back in the days of the old wild west, where most all the guys had long arms and sometimes 2 side arms. You talk about a case of the vapors!

      Just so you know, your snarky comment made me spew on my screen.

  8. Terry says:

    We may be seeing this image, X thousands on the WH lawn soon.
    MINUS the red straws !

    • upaces88 says:

      Before he clamps down more on the internet….listening in to phone calls, etc., better plan ahead of time.
      Yahoo has totally given into them. I have been warning people to get a Gmail or AOL account.
      My final straw with Yahoo was when I couldn’t get in my Yahoo Account I have had for years and years and NEVER sign out. I couldn’t get in! They told me to get a stronger password. I tried “3” times…”Not strong enough.”
      Finally, my password was “37” characters long (Capital and small case letters;
      numbers and symbols)…
      “Still not strong enough”…that is when they ask me for a “photo and cell phone number.”
      I told them to “delete my account.”

      Now? Hotmail…only allowed to send out an “x” amount of emails per day within a “24 hr period.”!!!

      This is what my group and I are doing. I asked them to get a Gmail or AOL account and just send me “one” so IF Yahoo keeps butting in (or Hotmail)…they will have an account already set up…and it won’t go to spam if they just send me “one”.

  9. Hardnox says:

    This is good news. Lefty heads explode! Looks like people are fed up. They have every right to be. It’s a warning.

  10. Wendy says:

    Great post Kathy! I knew this subject belonged to YOU. By the way, in reply to Hardnox above, I don’t think I’d trust GMail, as that’s Google and Google has been “spying” for quite a while. Stuff like Google Earth to find peoples homes and what their doing. I dunno on that one.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks, Wendy. You and ‘Nox are saying the same thing, lol. Frankly, I don’t think it much matters, since the NSA has their eyes on everything.