On Independence day, in Colorado, there was an open carry contingent in the parade. The popularity of open carry in the area can be judged by the size of the contingent, which was an estimated 250 participants. It was the most popular part of the parade. From gazette.com:
But the largest group of participants - and the one that got some of the most enthusiastic response from the crowd - were the estimated 250 advocates, many clad in red, white and blue, marching openly with guns holstered on their hips or slung over their shoulders. They carried everything from old-fashioned flintlock rifles to semi-automatics to fake plastic guns carried by children.This is small town and rural America. Westcliffe has a population listed at 568; Custer County is reported to have a population of 5,410.
Last year was the first time that open carry was allowed in the parade. . There were no problems last year, and enthusiastic support for the open carriers this year.
250 marchers. That is a pretty impressive turnout for such a sparsely populated area. Notice that Mike Hess emphasizes the theme of exercising their rights under both the first and second amendments. That theme is occurring in more and more open carry demonstrations.Mike Hess, who helped organize the patriots' entry, made sure the marchers knew that this was a responsible showing of arms.
"We are not marching with insurrection in mind," he said before the parade started. "Nothing could be more wrong. We are law-abiding citizens marching not to intimidate, but to exercise our rights to assembly, speak and have firearms."
I expect to see this idea spread across the country. I predict that many communities will have open carry marchers in Independence day parades next year.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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