Open Carry Advocates Plan to March Through the Fifth Ward (Updated)
Photo by Lucio Eastman Will being armed in the Fifth Ward get more canned food donations?
UPDATE: The Fifth Ward Open Carry March has been postponed because C.J. Grisham can't attend the walk due to a scheduling conflict, specifically another demonstration in Big Spring.
However, the event itself has only been postponed, not cancelled. Grisham says they planned the Fifth Ward event as a way of reaching out to the community and encouraging people in the community to step up and assert their rights where guns are concerned.
He acknowledged the Fifth Ward isn't the most obvious choice to stage an Open Carry Walk (they're usually held on Saturdays at the Galleria or Almeda Mall) but this is about getting in touch with other communities. See, this whole event wasn't intended to be a bunch of white guys showing up in the Fifth Ward, because it was going to be about empowering the community to assert their own gun toting rights. "Somebody's got to stand up and sit at the front of the bus." (The Rosa Parks comparison may have been taking things a little far, we think, but we suppose it's cool they're approaching this as just a pro-gun thing and not a weird racist thing.)
Either way, the Fifth Ward walk won't be happening for a few weeks. David Amad, the chapter organization for the Houston branch of Open Carry, said they will reschedule so that Grisham can attend. Instead, they'll be holding their regularly scheduled Open Carry walk starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Almeda Mall.
While Amad says the event was only cancelled because Grisham couldn't attend, he said they'll use the time before they hold the event to communicate with the community so they won't just be a bunch of guys with guns showing up on a residential street with no warning. ""If you go marching through the Fifth Ward like a bunch of stuffy old white boys carrying guns and spitting tobacco you'll get a bad response, but if you go in there talking to people like human beings and explain what you're doing, the response will be different," he says.
Plus they'll be collecting canned goods. Can't argue with a food drive, especially when the food drive is armed.
There's nothing like an openly armed march through the Fifth Ward to rally more supporters to your gun-toting cause.
Sure, if you're an open carry proponent (meaning you want the right to openly carry your guns around all of the places all of the time) there are a lot of things you can do to show the world that guns are totally cool. You can give your wife a pink gun or have open carry meetups at Starbucks and such, or, you know, you can cut to the chase and just head on down to the Fifth Ward and walk around there with your big fancy guns. Because what the Fifth Ward, or any neighborhood you can think of, needs more than anything is a bunch of people carrying guns.
Well, there will likely be a bunch of big guns out this weekend because C.J. Grisham, founder of Open Carry Texas, is hosting the Fifth Ward Open Carry Walk at 11 a.m. Sunday at Mike Pit Stop, ( located at 4101 Collingsworth St. if you've a hankering to attend or just go stare and ponder the many interesting parts, pieces and ideas that make up, for better or for worse, the Lone Star State.)
But hey, this isn't just a bunch of white guys with guns heading down to the predominantly African American community started by former slaves after the Civil War. No, they will also be conducting a canned food drive on behalf of the First Missionary Baptist Church (or possibly the Fifth Ward Missionary Baptist Church, since it's actually located in the Fifth Ward, as Burnt Orange Report pointed out) according to the Facebook event.
The thing is, these are some of the same people who protested outside Sheila Jackson Lee's office last year, posting pictures of themselves eating fried chicken. Maybe they're trying to expand their brand, get different communities involved in the whole open carry crusade, but we are wondering if toting guns around the Fifth Ward is really the way to go. It looks like we'll all find out come Sunday. Heck, maybe being armed will get people to kick in more canned food donations, and the good stuff too, not just the creamed corn that's been in the back of the pantry for a decade. Fingers crossed.
We're hoping to talk with Grisham himself to find out how he came up with the idea. We'll post an update when he gets back to us.