(40) comments Back to story

Lars Faltskog

OKey dokey, whatever floats their boat. Hope their wives found something to occupy their times with. A movie, throwing baseball with son, or a walk in the park sounds like more fun.

Chris Tucker

I will repeat my earlier post on a similar article.

While I am a supporter of each person's Constitutional right to bear arms I would suggest this is not the best way to approach this issue.

This has the potential to quickly turn into a dangerous and tragic situation which would give the opponents to gun ownership a platform to advance their beliefs.

I encourage everyone to take a step back and reconsider their actions.

Larry Kirkendall

Inland 2304, agree 100% with everything you wrote.

Loretta Davis

I feel so much safer up here in Sunny San Leon, now that a 5 year old with a Nerf gun and some adults are patrolling the Strand to protect me and my rights from those big bad tourists. ----Actually I do worry that someone is giving the wrong message to the 5 year old---- equating real guns to toy guns. Will he know the difference? Is this how you teach children about guns and gun safety? The child with the toy gun makes a joke out of their demonstration of their rights.

J. Shaffer

Yes, it's legal and I guess you are making a point.

It's also legal to pick your nose on the Strand..... but not only do I not particularly want to see it, I don't think it will make tourists flock to the island for relaxation.

Come see the Freedom Nose Pickers!


Island Bred

I am still laughing over draggin a poor 5 yo to a protest march carrying a nerf gun. Real macho statement there. I spend alot of money on the strand - I can tell you I can spend my money elsewhere. I don't know who these jackwads are and there is no promise I am safe with them around. Based on the 5 yo action alone - I would say I'm dealing with folks without a clear grip on his fellow man's space and safety of thier loved ones. I think it's fine if you and your child want to go rip up some trashcans with bullets when children are going hungry in this very city. I personally do not intend to spend one minute with these people running around where I plan to spend money. We have CC for a reason. - respect it or you might find that you can't carry at all. Business owners like my money a lot more than they like your gun.

Raymond Lewis

Not opposed to guns (in their place) and am a CHL holder. Also grew up in an area where practically everyone carried rifles on a rack in the back window of their pickups. These guys seem to be doing everything they can to attract attention to themselves only. Completely senseless to drag the five year old along- with a nerf gun of all things.

They are not making any point except hurting business in the area they chose to grab a little attention and get their picture in the paper. One on looker said he felt "safer". They made no one safer, not even themselves. Find a more grown up way to make your point...please!.

Debra Criss

would never leave my 5 year old boy or girl with these guys.....zero judgement. These guys do not make me feel safer, they only point out their extremism.

Gary Miller

This Strand incident was silly. Legal can be silly when demonstrated in a silly way.
The police knew it was legal, the marchers knew it was legal and most of the public on the strand knew it was legal. Nothing was proved.
The right of open carry of long arms has been demonstrated before. A KKK march in Waco, a Black Panther march in Houston. Both had individuals carrying rifles. Police did nothing, no one was hurt or threatened.

Brandon Parker

Do police officers make you all feel unsafe when they are walking around with their guns? Around your children? These folks are law abiding citizens exercising their constitutional rights. They are actually part of a bigger group called Open Carry Texas. Their objective is to educate the public and police officers about their constitutional rights and are pushing for the open carry of handguns. There were multiple open carry events all around the state this past weekend and guess what, nobody got shot. These folks are 100% compliant with the law and respectfully fulfill any request by businesses even if they are rudely being told to leave. They have strict firearm safety rules that they follow because a negligent discharge would be detrimental to their cause. Not all people with guns are bad. As a matter of fact, only a very small percentage of people who have a gun would use it in an unlawful manner. So yesterday, the strand was probably the safest place to be in Galveston next to police headquarters.

Raymond Lewis

BParker you also miss the point that no one got shot the week before when NO ONE was attention grabbing while parading around with rifles.

Island Bred

Yes people who want to "make a point" and don't have what it takes to strap a gun and vest on daily make me feel very unsafe. This isn't 1890 in Dodge City. Get real. Take this crap outside of my shopping area. My money and your demonstrations are not meant to co habitate. Let the business owners decide who is going to keep thier doors open. [smile]

George Croix

The Second Amendment is what keeps the First Amendment safe.
Texas does not require a CHL to openly carry a legal rifle or shotgun. Even loaded.
It's the law, and those folks' right to follow it if they want to.
As it is all of ours.
BUT, fellas' you are not helping a darn bit to 'educate' anybody.
The nervous and PC types will never, ever under any circumtstances not freak out at the sight of such displays. They don't care about legalities. It's a personal thing with them.
You can't fix what doesn't want to be fixed, or in too many cases can't be.
Those of us who own, use, and enjoy firearms don't need any convincing about what our rights are. What we SHOULD be doing, imho, is demonstrating by good example and force of respectful, even if sometimes heated, exchange that it's not crazy to want to teach ourselves and our families to be able to provide some capacity for personal responsiblity and capability when it comes to defense of life and property. In this day and age, it's far crazier to NOT want to, again imho, as Police response times increase along with crime.
I began shooting at 5 years old. My wife at 18. My daughter at 12. My granddaughter is not yet old enough except to accompany me when I go shoot, but will not be one of those who manage to shoot themselves or somebody else 'accidentally'.
People afraid of guns, or who just don't want one, are just like alcoholics in that THEY have to decide they WANT to change, and until then, nobody is going to have any effect. It's their call. They are unlikely to make the call while anyone is in their face. Best not to act like most of them do toward us.
You want to carry handguns openly?
OK. Let me ask, why?
You are not Law Enforcement Officers who have to.
The first person a smart killer will shoot at is the one visibly most likely to shoot back! Personal self-defense is as much or more about sitational awareness and tactics, smarter tactics than the bad guy, than about hardware.
It's just me, but I don't WANT the guy next to me to know I'm armed. That gives me an advantage I hope I'll never need.
While you're busy 'educating' all the folks watching you walk around with your legal long arm over your shoulder, have you thought about how many of us out there are armed and watching YOU to see if you're just exercising a right, misguided or not, or ar the next mass shooter? Think you can get that weapon off shoulder and into play before someone who's decided YOU are a threat can get the drop on you?
I support your rights fellas.
But not your judgement.

George Croix

I used to easily outshoot some friends who were LE, and one of them ended up fired from his job for doing something very unnecessary and very foolish.
Proving? Nothing. Except that only on TV are the roles set and easily distinguished.
A badge and a vest and a sidearm 'strapped on' don't make an Officer, any more than a black beret on the head of a supply depot clerk makes him a Ranger.
Or a slung weapon makes one a walking ambassador of good will and sense.

Shelly Pearl

I agree Loretta

Shelly Pearl

I Do agree the 5yo should have been left at home[sad]

Shelly Pearl

Trebel I totally agree with you.[smile]

Ana Draa

As a gun owners, I agree, yes, it's legal, but what about the rights of families to go buy ice cream and a t-shirt on the strand without having to worry about a bunch of strangers walking around carrying loaded weapons?? What about the rights of the store owners not to have their customers scared off? The real irony, this is the same crowd of folks who go around yammering about gay people forcing their "agenda" onto to others...pot, meet kettle. What fools.

Gary Miller


Are you privy to information not included in story?
What loaded weapons? What gay bashers? Neither was mentioned in story.
According to the story most people on the strand were supportive of the demonstration. No evidence anyone was afraid.

George Croix

The article didn't say whether or not any of these folks are homosexual or not. It didn't mention whether the group took a side trip to march against gays or not. So I'm not sure how anyone knows they are the same group that does so.
Or whether they are choicers. Or gardeners.
Just long gun owners.
Gun owners come in all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds.
And orientations.

Curtiss Brown

Not everybody sleeps curled around their AR-15. Lots of people are uncomfortable around guns. Why? Because they know that guns kill, oh not by themselves right?

If there were an 'accident' and some two year old in a stroller got a round in the belly, we'd hear "Oh, he didn't have the proper training." "He just bought that gun, he should have been more familiar with the operation." In other words, we would all have to be tuned to the same level of expertise and regular usage and constant awareness and the gold standard in order to create the perfect gun world. Stand your ground guys, and don't feel threatened when I am around.

Stephen Murphy

I commend the writer of the article, Chris Paschenko, for not using the term "assault" rifle like so many liberal left-wing gun haters intentionally use when doing a report on Second Amendment supporters and firearms.

Having said that, as a gun owner and supporter of the Second Amendment, I think the "riflemen" who paraded down the Strand could have shown their support of the Second Amendment in a more appropriate manner. Their actions did nothing to advance the cause.

Dwight Strain

There are thousands of folks out there that have had more gun training and experience. They've had accidental discharges, shot themselves in the foot, accidentally shot people they loved.. even the experts. By all means, arm and protect yourself. But, to risk peoples safety for some political dog and pony show that everybody has seen a hundred times.. I believe it does your cause more harm than good.

Brandon Parker

There is no such thing as an accidental discharge. Only unintentional negligent discharges. You are more likely to get hit by a car while walking in the strand than getting shot negligently by anyone in this group. Do you assume that everyone is drunk when you're driving down the road? I really don't see what the problem is. What's wrong with you people?

Island Bred

When events like that go before a grand jury or the DA - they certainly are NOT called Unintentional Neglegent Discharges. They are called accidents, murder, or negligent homicide and the prisons are full of folks who accidentally shot someone........... I don't know anyone in your group - I don't know you so why would I feel YOU know what is the best safety for me and my family? The fact that you don't see anything wrong with this type of display on a Sunday afternoon at a family gathering spot is why it would be better if some folks stayed in the woods with paintballs. That is what is wrong with "US people"............... good grief.

Raymond Lewis


Looks like lots of follks were wondering "What's wrong with these people?!" and the same about your thinking. No one is questioning the legal right; just the judgement! Hope these guys have gotten this kind of thing out of their adolescent systems.

George Croix

Yes. It does no good to intentionally make people uncomfortable when you're supposed to be trying to do the exact opposite.
Setting up a table and displaying your weapons and offering to help people familiarize themselves with them if they wanted to would 'educate' people who wanted it, and not give the vapors to anyone who doesn't.
There's more power in knowledge than in fear.
If you walked down the street with a hammer in your hand, nobody would care, despite there being more deaths by criminal use of a hammer in this country than by the same with rifles. Why? Because everyone feels comfortable around hammers, because they are familiar with hammers.
Unfortunately, gun safety and proper use, which widely used to be learned from family, is now often not learned at all.
Most people are afraid of things they know little about, or worse, dangerous with them.

Lars Faltskog

Well, I'm so glad that for the most part, folks here have realized how ignorant this whole display really was. I am with TXDoula on this.

There's no reason to parade up and down a downtown city street (where tourists are trying to have a good time) and force your agendas upon everyone. Now, if it was a planned "Parade Your Rifles" event (like Dickens or Mardi Gras) - that's a different thing. Folks would expect the childish cowboy "look at my guns" demonstration. If they didn't like it, they could not be on the Strand that day/time.

Makes me think of other events (Mardi Gras, gay rights parades), etc. If you are offended by such a planned event, then you simply don't show up and you decide to stay at home and entertain yourselves/friends with tea and scones - or you go to another public area/event.

But, it seems with this that hapless tourists were subjected to this malarkey. Not cool. And, I don't know about the rest of you, but subjecting small children to this is really dumb. It would be like me dragging a 5-year old to hear opera when he/she doesn't have the attention span nor cognitive level of endurance to appreciate it.



Dorothy Holt

I support the Second Amendment with fervor. They did not break the law so perhaps some tourists got to see how we are in Texas. As Texans like to say...Don't mess with Texas. Those of you who are having a cow over this need to get over it.

Island Bred

Texans also are known to be the friendliest, most open,and usually respectful of other's opinion as well. Seems some didn't get that memo. I know when I was a smoker I would often put my ciggie out if it appeared to bother someone next to me. Even thos we were in a smoking area - like in the casinos or out in the open air - it was obvious to me that the person waving thier hand to move the smoke from my ciggie was uncomfortable. As a Texan - even in Louisianna - I felt obligated to do the right thing. Too bad not all Texans feel like that. I respect your 2nd ammendment as well as my own. We own guns - althos that respect does stop where my family's safety begins. With all due respect as a Texan you should know that.

Robert Buckner

Margurite, you said it right there, RESPECT. I personally love my guns but I don't flaunt them about everywhere I go. I respect their right to open carry but it isn't something I'd do. Same with my tobacco habits, if others are uneasy about it then I'll cease or move along to where it isn't a problem. I'm not going to address these fellows as nuts or be fearful of them if I were in there presence and I'll respect their right to do this, but maybe on the Strand isn't the best location/time for this activity.

Ana Draa

Dotty, indeed, they did not break the law. But for those of us who are business owners on the island, we live and die by the tourist dollar, which comes mostly from families visiting the island. Are you pro-business too? Because if you are, let me tell you, this is bad for business. Families coming to island for an enjoyable time at the beach not to be around a bunch of guys with a gun agenda. If they wanted to find that, they'd go to a gun event. There's a time and a place where for everything, and the strand is not the place for this group to force their agenda on anyone who happens to be there. At worst it's dangerous, at best, it's selfish.

George Croix

'Don't Mess With Texas' was and is a pretty successful advertising campaign to reduce littering along State highways.
It was never meant for well meaning but, imho, misguided people to use to shore up their own lack of good judgement. Used wrong, the same statement sounds like a 13 year old kid telling his 8 year old brother to stay out of his room.
If the purpose of the display was really 'education', then copping an attitude at anybody displeased is sure as heck the wrong way to educate anybody. It just causes resistance to stiffen. 'Get over it'? Does that invite an interchange of ideas and information, what education is all about?
Nobody is a bigger supporter of The 2nd, of responsible firearms ownership, of lawful carry, and of teaching children (and adults) firearms use and safety. But the rub is that all works best when your target audience WANTS the input and information.
Would be a lot more effective as education to get permission to set up a table and sign somewhere, and INVITE people to look at, handle, and get instruction on weaponry. Be even better, if it was serious instruction. I don't think anyone needs to be told how to load and fire a Nerf gun. That little add on turned off a lot of people who simply don't understand or don't care to that children CAN and SHOULD be taught gun safety. Or that kids can enjoy shooting at any age they have the maturity to do so. In fact, a lot of us older folks grew up with guns and were shooting before first grade, but .
Like I said earlier, a right doesn't mean a must do. if you think you're 'safer' walking around with a shoulder slung long arm, OK by me. But keep in mind that at any given location I or some dozens of others armed but not making a spectacle of it will be keeping an eye on you to make sure you are really just honest gun owners and not the latest crazy mass shooters.
It's a shame we can't exercise our rights openly and freely without worrying about public opinion, but we live in a nation largely populated by 'progressives' who place a minimum of importance on personal responsibility and often none on personal protection. Toss in the mind-into-Jello effect of rampant PC, and it's hard to counter that just by a display.
All, of course, imho.

Lars Faltskog

Yes, for Dotty and other folks who love the gun culture. You do know that not everyone has the fervor and passion over guns. There's other things in life to enjoy. Nature, animals, music, literature. There's a big world ready to be discovered, and intellectualism does exist here in Texas.

It's not all about guns. Again, there must have been a lot of bored wives on that "gun toting downtown march" day.

Gary Miller

Our prisons are not "full of people convicted of accidental killings" That is probably the least commom reason hey were convicted. Less than one in ten thousand.

When I attended an ISD school in Oklahoma WE had "home rooms" where we racked our unloaded guns on one side of the room and shelved ammo on the other side.
Many of us were farm kids who harvested small game on the way home after school. A rabbit became supper. To my knowledge none of us ever killed or harmed anyone or any private property back then or later. A gun was just a tool we respected. I knew nothing about the 2nd Amendment untill Progressives started trying to destroy it.

If the COG CC wants to ceate a gun free zone on the strand they can. It would then be a place a mass shooter might target. They always target places where they feel safe. A place where victems can't defend themselves.

Island Bred

Fear mongering professional!!..................LMAO Also I would suggest you check with the inmates - very few plead gulity - they plead innocent. this isn't 1920 where people are racking thier guns in the cloak room.

Dwight Burns

That little gun march did more to convince some people that Galveston has become a place to avoid then many who support this type of activity would know. The most powerful tool of advertisement is by word of mouth. Word of Sundays Gun march
on the Strand in Galveston, has taken off like a firestorm. The Internet is a buzz with
negative publicity. Way to go, gun toters.

Lars Faltskog

Yes, drumb47, it's unfortunate that they had to play "cowboys and Indians" here on the island. The "lookie at me, I'm a big man with a big gun!", trying to show their manhood. Maybe they should have gone over in front of LC hall since so many leaders there want to tout the sanctity of 2nd amendment being in "jeopardy".

Hopefully, tourists, you will realize that we are not all like that. Not everyone is into the "tote 'em if you got 'em" mentality. In fact, there's a substantial mentality here on the island that is progressive an intellectual. You just have to search a little hard to find it.

Steve Fouga

This is one of the silliest things I've ever heard of. It's like protesting for a right you already have (and an unpopular one at that).

You won't see me displaying any of my stockpiled weaponry on the Strand or anywhere else in public. I agree with gecroix -- I don't want anyone to know I'm armed. I'd rather they wonder. I already have the 2nd Amendment rights; I'd rather display my common sense.

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