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Trampling on Texas tradition for Political Opportunism is repulsive to most Texans. Shame, Shame Shame.
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Open carry gun enthusiasts and Tea Party activists "Come and Take It San Antonio" are holding a rally on the grounds of the hallowed Alamo in San Antonio tomorrow, in violation of a City of San Antonio public statute that prohibits the the carry of any firearm on park land or at political rallies, and breaking a 100-year-old tradition of disallowing political rallies at the historic monument. Further City Police have "suspended" the statue to accommodate this unprecedented breach of tradition. Chief McManus did not address suspending the ordinance in a statement. But he said police officials were not concerned (especially about it being illegal).
Chief McManus did not address suspending the ordinance in a statement. But he said police officials were “expecting it to be a peaceful gathering and within the limits of the law.”
Not surprisingly, [Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is running for the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor next year and the official responsible for administrating Texas Parks, will be the featured speaker at this event.

Jump the fancy longhorns for more crazy...

Patterson wants to be here. He needs to be stopped.
Patterson is clearly using this event to drum up support and display his Tea Party bona fides to Texas voters.

He was the author as  a Texas State Senator of the concealed carry laws now on the books in the State.

“A right that goes unexercised is a right that will be in jeopardy in the future,” said Jerry Patterson, the state land commissioner and a former state senator who wrote the concealed handgun law. “It used to be that everyone drove around Texas with a shotgun or rifle in a pickup visible for all to see. It’s normal. It’s routine. It’s lawful. We want to demonstrate that there’s no reason to call up the National Guard. Somebody might be offended, but that’s just too bad.”

Mr. Patterson, 66, who is scheduled to speak at the rally, used to carry a pistol in his boot on the floor of the Senate chamber when he was a legislator in Austin. But he will not have a rifle at the event on Saturday, because doing so, he said, would be too cumbersome.

Open carry of handguns is restricted in Texas. Permitted individuals must conceal their weapons so as not to alarm the public, but there is no such restriction on the carry of long guns. Regardless, that the SA City ordinance prohibits carry of any firearms in public parks and at political rallies, this begs the question of what motivated the Police Dpt. to waive the ordinance for this particular event. Speculation the intent is to bolster Patterson's campaign are likely not without merit. (full disclosure: I am a personal friend of one of his children. I have met Mr. Patterson and on an individual level he is a very decent man.)

Asked if he would be carrying openly at the event, his response was hedged. The leader and organizer of the event was not so cautious:

Mr. Patterson, 66, who is scheduled to speak at the rally, used to carry a pistol in his boot on the floor of the Senate chamber when he was a legislator in Austin. But he will not have a rifle at the event on Saturday, because doing so, he said, would be too cumbersome.

When asked if he was bringing a rifle to the Alamo, the Rev. Terry Holcomb, a rally organizer and a pastor at a Baptist church near Huntsville, Tex., replied, “No sir, but my wife is.”

“She’ll be bringing an AR-15 Bushmaster .223,” he said.

What are the goals of "Come and Take it"? Pretty much what one might expect. Again, from the times:
Organizers of the rally — a flier declares “Get your guns & Head to San Antonio” — said they were planning a peaceful event. But the demonstration, intended to both celebrate the state’s gun culture and challenge it, has concerned officials. Amid a heavy police presence, more than 1,000 men and women carrying loaded rifles over their shoulders are expected to assemble at the site of the historic gun battle in one of the busiest sections of downtown.

Gun advocates say they have a simple goal — to remind ordinary citizens and law enforcement officials that they are allowed in Texas to legally and openly carry what are known as “long guns,” including shotguns and assault rifles.

Texans with a personal stake in the historical site have a very different opinion, and one that is non-political. They argue that not only has a 100 year tradition barred political activity at the Alamo, it is offensive to the descendents of the families of those who died fighting for TYexas independence from Mexico that lead to the establishment of the Republic of Texas as a sovereign nation.

"We certainly consider the Alamo our family cemetery," said Lee Spencer White, president of the Alamo Defenders' Descendants Association. "Our guys died there and we take it very seriously." Houston Chronicle:

Inside the weathered stone mission church where the Texans made their last stand, "You instantly become reverent," she said. "You feel the sacrifice and the emotions of those who died there. You can't help but leave feeling moved and changed forever."
Texas is a complicated state when it comes to gun rights. There are many rural places where gun culture is a way of life. In many urban areas with high crime rates, people (especially women) made a practice of carrying handguns for self defense before concealed parry was legal. Support for the practice is fairly hight, and crosses all political persuasions.. Still, the movement to normalize the public brandishing of assault0style rifles is an emerging trend that is polarizing even among supporters.

From Chron.com

San Antonio officials disagree but say they anticipate no problems Saturday. "We are expecting it to be a peaceful gathering and within the limits of the law," Police Chief William McManus said in an emailed statement.

Not all Alamo devotees object to the gun extravaganza. Stephen Hardin, a professor of history at McMurry University in Abilene, who has written extensively on the Alamo and spoke recently at a symposium sponsored by Patterson's office, said the site is a natural rallying place.

"Free speech was one of the rights the defenders fought and died for," Hardin wrote in an email. "Can you think of a better place for Texans to exercise their rights?"

But White, a descendant of George C. Jennings, who manned a cannon in the siege against Mexican General Santa Anna's forces, sees this as an ominous step.

"You're setting a precedent here," she said. "Today it's a gun rally. What is it going to be next month, next year?"

The organization representing descendants of the Alamo are none too happy baout the break in tradition.
Some are asking whether a pro-gun group has gone too far in extolling firearms rights, a feat considered near impossible in Texas. And whether a politician may have been too willing to accommodate them.

"We certainly consider the Alamo our family cemetery," said Lee Spencer White, president of the Alamo Defenders' Descendants Association. "Our guys died there and we take it very seriously."

Patterson is using this as a launching bad to shore up a Tea Party base. Unfortunately, this tactic will likely pay political dividends and further inspire a more aggressive and confrontational image of public arenas to intimidate and strong-arm Republicans in Texas to be wary of opposing their radical and extreme agenda.

Stay tuned. This is only just the beginning for Patterson and the rest of the Teabagger gang,

Thanks for reading, y'all.

   -  bastrop

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Originally posted to Turning Texas: Election Digest on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 04:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing, Shut Down the NRA, Dallas Kossacks, Firearms Law and Policy, Houston Area Kossacks, and TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans.

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