Newly labeled “The Fred Phelps of open carry” by BearingArms.com, the man behind the group Open Carry Tarrant County made this video that seems to send a strong message to legislators. Here is the transcript:
“Texans, I’m tired of jacking around. I’m tired of playing politically correct games. I’m tired of saying ‘well this is chess, and we gotta take this slowly.” No, no no no. This isn’t a game, this is reality. And these are our rights that they’re playing with. And I don’t know if they forgot what their duty is, but it’s to protect the Constitution. And let me remind you, going against the Constitution is treason, and my friend that is punishable by death. That’s how serious this is. And I think that they’ve slipped away from that. Maybe a foot in the door got a friendly reminder, a Rosa Parks reminder, a peaceful reminder of we’re not playing around. I don’t think they want to mess with us too much longer. They better start giving us our rights, or this peaceful non-cooperation stuff is gonna be gamed-up. We’re gonna step it up a notch.”
After posting the video, Watkins tried to remove it from the internet. He seems to have forgotten that this is, indeed, the internet, and you should be very mindful of what you publish. Long story short, it was copied and is not going anywhere.
Watkins released a public statement on his personal Facebook page saying the following about the video in an attempt to clear things up:
This morning I removed a video from my Facebook because I thought there were those that would intentionally misinterpret my words. In this video I referred to treason, and the fact that the penalty for treason was death. My intent was to show that our founders took treason very seriously. Our elected officials have taken an oath to defend the constitution. Dereliction of that oath is an equally serious matter. I was certainly not threatening anyone. I love the constitution dearly, and the constitution is very clear on the process for convicting someone for treason, I was obviously not calling for such a process, nor was I threatening anyone. I simply wished to point out the seriousness of the constitution.
Let me make it clear and unequivocal: I was not talking about hurting legislators, or anyone else. I am an advocate of peaceful non-cooperation. When I speak of “stepping it up a notch” mean within the boundaries of “peaceful non-cooperation”. Instead of just a foot in the door. perhaps we need “sit ins” chanting “hell no we won’t go”.
We at Open Carry Tarrant County denounce in the strongest terms harming or threatening to harm persons or property as a strategy to bring about open carry in Texas. Anyone who has done so, has not done so on behalf of our organization. We at Open Carry Tarrant County proudly follow in the tradition of Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks in in using peaceful noncooperation as a means to demand our rights.
Whatever the case may be, anyone could see that a video with such verbiage would most certainly be used against the movement, and would shine gun owners in another bad light.
The above post from Watkin’s personal page was also shared on the Open Carry Tarrant County page and received criticism from his own supporters:
There is a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. Watkins seems to forget that Texas is currently debating open carry. Does he really think he’s helping them make a decision?
And guess what, they’ve already started using it against us (gun owners).