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A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Open Carry Texas is taking the numbers of anyone who calls 911 about their demonstrations and plastering them all over YouTube.  Yesterday, Mother Jones revealed that this practice is just one of many ugly, nakedly aggressive and in some cases outright criminal tactics that extreme gun-rights advocates have used against women active in fighting for gun control.

Ever since the Sandy Hook massacre, a small but vocal faction of the gun rights movement has been targeting women who speak up on the issue—whether to propose tighter regulations, educate about the dangers to children, or simply to sell guns with innovative security features. The vicious and often sexually degrading attacks have evolved far beyond online trolling, culminating in severe bullying, harassment, invasion of privacy, and physical aggression. Though vitriol flows from both sides in the gun debate, these menacing tactics have begun to alarm even some entrenched pro-gun conservatives.
The experience of Jennifer Longdon is typical.  Longdon is a gun owner and a self-described Second Amendment supporter.  But her perspective was considerably broadened in 2004, when she was paralyzed from the waist down after her car was raked by bullets.  Since then, she has been a vocal advocate for reform of her gun laws, and is an active member of Everytown for Gun Safety, the group formed last year from a merger of Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action, the grassroots group formed by several mothers of Sandy Hook victims.  Last spring, a yayhoo showed up at a gun buyback in her hometown of Phoenix and snapped, "You know what was wrong with your shooting?  They didn't aim better."  Another guy told her, "I know who you are," and recited her home address.  Another night, a guy dressed in camo showed up at her house and squirted her with a water gun.  

Another example is a woman who called the Plano Police Department about an Open Carry Texas demonstration, prompting Open Carry Texas supporter Brett Sanders to upload a video of her call--plastered with her cell phone number.  The woman told Mother Jones that she was forced to change her number after receiving an avalanche of ugly calls and texts, including at least one death threat.  But the tactics have backfired--she plans to join Moms Demand Action.  As near as I can determine, Sanders has yet to be charged with any crime, even though what Sanders did here is outrageously illegal.  However, after a firestorm of criticism, Open Carry Texas president CJ Grisham promised that his group will protect callers' identities from now on.

Mother Jones also revealed something else about the culture of Open Carry Texas.  The magazine managed to track down a Facebook video of several of its members using a female mannequin for target practice.  They positioned the mannequin with her pants pulled down at her ankles and with her hands raised in surrender, then opened up with assault rifles.  Afterwards, they posed with the mannequin, whose arms had been shot away.  When Grisham saw it, he commented, "Warms the cockles of my heart."  They referred to it as a "mad minute"--a reference both to a short period of withering fire and to Moms Demand Action, whom they sometimes call "mad moms."  I have to wonder what it takes to be a woman in that group--after all, I've seen more than a few women in these demonstrations.

Originally posted to Shut Down the NRA on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Firearms Law and Policy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Maybe it's Stockholm syndrome. (6+ / 0-)

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Fri May 16, 2014 at 12:02:37 PM PDT

  •  Threats of violence would seem antithetical (9+ / 0-)

    to the pretense of second amendment claims of self defense and recreation.

    Angry violent thugs are not a good way to sway an argument in one's favor.

    Thanks for the diary.

    "And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over." - John Masefield

    by mungley on Fri May 16, 2014 at 12:21:54 PM PDT

  •  Steve M over at nomoremisterniceblog (7+ / 0-)

    made a good point yesterday. In the MJ article Longdon said that the vast majority of gun owners are good people but since NONE of them speak out against these assholes that makes her point wrong.

    The only time these "people" do speak out against them is when they say that the tactics will hurt the cause. The sick fucks don't care that a wheel chair bound woman was spat on in the face or terrorised by an animal on her door step at night.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Fri May 16, 2014 at 12:22:57 PM PDT

    •  Thats not true. What you will find is that (5+ / 0-)

      Gun Owners do not all congregate together.
      They do not all share the same political views. They certainly do not all get along.

      Those people in the story are nuts. Other gun owners probably avoid them just for safety's sake.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Fri May 16, 2014 at 02:25:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then they need to speek out againts them then Just (5+ / 0-)

        like good Christians who do not force their religion down others throats need to stand up and say so when the fundies come a callin.
        Just my 2 cents...
        Peace nad Blessings!

        “When you victim-blame, be aware that in all likelihood, at least one woman you know and love silently decides she cannot trust you.” ` Steph Guthrie

        by Penny GC on Fri May 16, 2014 at 03:36:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And didn't the story indicate that even other (0+ / 0-)

          Gun Owners are speaking out?

          And how do you know that others are not speaking out? Is it because it isn't happening, or is it because the press isn't covering it very well?

          When you see people like that--what do you do?

          Do you pick a verbal fight with them?

          And yet the article makes it clear what happens. You show up to a gun fight with your brain.

          Oh yea that's going to end well. Or they find out where you live and then what happens?

          If you are pissed off, then you need to ask yourself WHY THE HELL the cops are taking these people to task for stalking, making threatening gestures, brandishing, etc.,

          Responsible people walk away, and let law enforcement do their jobs.
          You see what happened in that story. Now imagine challenging them and going home to your kids, and thinking--if you have to defend yourself against armed fucking nutbars, in your house with kids while they crawl around in the dark and abuse your animals and generally act like stalkers.

          That's a recipe for disaster.

          You are asking responsible gun owners to call out people known to act like crazed, armed vigilantes.

          Just exactly what is it that you want to see happen?

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:41:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Arent (sorry for the missed contraction) (0+ / 0-)

            Why aren't law enforcement taking these nutters to task.

            The Sandy Hook Truthers are a real piece of work too. I cannot imagine having lost a child and then having to deal with that bullshit.

            That's some real tacky, nasty form there.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Sat May 17, 2014 at 03:17:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Plenty of gun owners at Daily Kos are speaking (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miggles, GreenMother

        out against extremists. It's just you might know it, because some the people who are speaking out are quite capable of making an argument and therefore they don't need to strut their guns to prove a point.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Sat May 17, 2014 at 08:00:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  These guys are a disgrace to our society (9+ / 0-)

    It would seem reasonable to have these people banned from ever having a gun.  That being said, I am disturbed by a local incident where a boy grabbed a 9mm out of his grandfather's hand and then ran away taunting his grandfather.

    I told my daughter I did not want that child for that and a myriad of other reasons (including taking my granddaughter's science project and "busting" the toads in it on the carport concrete) around the grandkids again.  The kid's mother is upset with me as she thinks his antics are cute.

    I have spoken to his grandfather and will speak again as this kid is an accident looking for a place to happen.  I cannot imagine firing a weapon around a child.  I also cannot imagine that child taking the weapon and running away with it.  I also cannot understand why any parent would think that behavior is cute.  The child has not been disciplined over either incident.

    All I can do, under current laws, is to try to make sure this  kid is around the grandkids as little as possible      

  •  And now another episode of George 'n' Laura: (2+ / 0-)

       (cue theme from What's Happenin')

                              George  
    Hey c'mere Laura - First I thought this title said "Gun rights extremists using tactics against particularly ugly women."  Hahaha.  That's funny.

                                   Laura
                            (long pause)
    George, can you maybe once just shut the f-- --- just shut up unless it's actually funny?  How about if you go back and work on taking down that new Memorial Day guest outhouse and just let the guests just use the bathroom inside?

                                 George
                        (smile and sigh)
           Laura, you just ruin all my fun.

              (cue theme again and fade out)

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Fri May 16, 2014 at 12:48:50 PM PDT

  •  I notice that these gun right folks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC, a2nite, LilithGardener, Miggles

    change their tune after getting shot.

    I have yet seen one say. "Ya know, even though i got shot, I still believe everyone, including the person that shot me, deserves the 2nd amendment right to carry a weapon".

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Fri May 16, 2014 at 02:15:21 PM PDT

  •  Sickening. (5+ / 0-)

    All of it.

    However it doesn't surprise me. Some people out there seem to think that waiving a loaded fire arm is a legitimate debate technique.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Fri May 16, 2014 at 02:23:08 PM PDT

  •  Seriously. Not. Cool. (0+ / 0-)

    These people are hurting women and their own movement. Every supporter of 2A and RKBA should denounce their actions. I know I do.

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