Despite Concerns, Open Carry Group In Virginia Plans March Through Predominately Black Area Again
An Open Carry Group in Richmond, Virginia plans a “Freedom March” on Saturday through Creighton Court, a predominately African American area. The group tried this before and it didn’t go down well. Open Carry Texas made plans to march through the 5th Ward, also a predominately black area, and that group was specifically told, “You are not welcome here.” OCT cancelled the march after being confronted by community leaders.
This group is equally obstinate.
[su_center_ad]Marilyn B. Olds, who has lived in Creighton Court for 50 years, was on her way home last Friday when her upset granddaughter phoned her, the Times Dispatch reports.
“Don’t come home right now,” she told her grandmother. “They’re shooting out there. There are shots all over.”
That’s not uncommon in an area stricken with violence but that’s the neighborhood the Open Carry group chose.
“That’s the environment we live in,” Olds said, who is, vice chairwoman of the board of commissioners of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which operates her public housing community in the city’s East End. “So why would you bring guns in to promote them?”
The march will start on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
“I think they picked a bad area to promote guns,” Olds said. “Our young men already see enough violence, they hear enough gunshots. They hear that seven days a week.”
Michael Paul Williams of the Times Dispatch contacted the group through its Facebook page, The Right to Bear Arms Richmond.
Jason Spitzer, the organizer of the group, told Williams that he expects about five people will participate in the march, and the participants will carry unloaded “long guns.”
And that’s a good thing for Spitzer considering it is not legal to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in the city, not to distribute leaflets.
“We spread constitutional awareness to any and all citizens or people that are willing to listen, not just about firearms but all rights,” he said.
He said that if anyone is intimidated“then come talk to us.”
“Me personally, I’m not going to walk into Creighton Court. And that is not because of the area. But we do not want to push the boundaries” of trespassing laws, he said.
Spitzer and his gang previously attended a rally in support of Michael Brown, the slain Ferguson teenager. Spitzer and his crew inadvertently threw their support in for “Chris Brown.” When an activist told that they did not know the teen’s name, Spitzer said, “I know his last name is Ferguson.”
In September, the group visited Creighton Court, which prompted calls to the police by alarmed residents in the area while the members of the group marched with rifles.
Andrew Goddard, legislative director for the Virginia Center for Public Safety, whose son is a survivor of the Virginia Tech shootings, wonders if intimidation plays a factor in the marches.
“The open-carry movement is beginning to spread and is getting bolder about where they carry their weapons,” Goddard said. “There have been numerous cases where people openly exhibit military-style rifles in public areas, like grocery stores, coffee shops and on public streets such as Cary Street. I think this is a very dangerous trend that needs to be dealt with before it becomes more widespread.”
“While I agree that there is technically a ‘right’ to do this, I am not convinced that there is a valid need, or that the display is of any benefit to either those carrying or those observing,” he said.
“What’s the difference between seeing an armed citizen walking down the street, open carry, and a police officer?” he asked.
We know who the police are. We do not know who the mostly male group of gun toting activists are. We don’t need others to educate us, especially if they are carrying weapons in a troubled area.
In addition, one of the group’s members — the only black one — changed his Facebook name to include “III,” a sign of support for the Three Percenters. Adding to that, the group has been seen carrying a Confederate Flag during protests.
Their motivation is intimidation. Also, too, the South will not ‘rise again’ and most assuredly, not from Creighton Court.
Big thanks to my source whose anonymity will be respected here.
All images were obtained through social media after the group circulated them, thereby making them fair use. [su_csky_ad]