Gun control supporters must practice yoga.
It’s the only way that they could twist and stretch reality itself in an attempt to link the outlaw biker gang shootout in Waco, Texas this past Sunday into a condemnation on open carry legislation about to land on Governor Greg Abbott’s desk.
For groups seeking to block the open carry bill from becoming law, Sunday’s violence served as another warning. Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, did her best to link the two issues on Monday.
— Shannon (@shannonrwatts) May 18, 2015
— Shannon (@shannonrwatts) May 18, 2015
Angela Turner, a spokeswoman for the group’s Texas chapter, argued that open carry would not lead to safer streets.
“Open carry makes everyday confrontations potentially more dangerous and poses an unnecessary challenge on our law enforcement to determine in the heat of the event who is a good guy and who is a dangerous criminal,” Turner told the Hill.
Of course, there weren’t any firearms open-carried at Twin Peaks.
There were police units (including SWAT) on the perimeter of the restaurant, and they would have arrested any unlawful open carriers on site before the incident began. The firearms, chains, knives, clubs, and other weapons—hundreds in all—were all hidden:
Two minutes after the shootout begins, video footage described by the AP shows cops entering the restaurant with assault rifles at the ready. Bikers lie on the floor with their hands spread, according to the AP.
But as some bikers were cooperating with cops, it seems others were busy stashing their weapons. Sgt. Swanton said his officers found guns, knives, clubs and chains with locks on them — for added impact — stuffed into seat cushions, stashed inside stoves and wedged between bags of flour inside Twin Peaks. In the parking lot, police discovered an AK-47 assault rifle inside of a car and military grade body armor. So far, cops have seized at least 118 handguns and 157 knives connected to the confrontation.
Surveillance footage from inside the restaurant suggests that just three people in view of the camera inside the restaurant pulled handguns when the melee began, and only one fired a shot. None of the weapons at the scene were believed to have been open carried.
Governor Greg Abbott, who has already pledged to sign the open carry legislation headed towards his desk, doesn’t find the desperate, twisted demands of gun control cultists to be convincing.
“The shootout occurred when we don’t have open carry, so obviously the current laws didn’t stop anything like that,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott told the Associated Press. The bill permitting open carry has already passed the state House, and the Senate is expected to follow suit soon.
Supporters of gun control have seized upon the words of a local law enforcement officer who stated that the presence of open carriers might have made separating threats from non-threats more difficult.
He isn’t wrong. Seeing someone with a visible weapon does identify that person as someone with the capability of being a threat.
But what the media isn’t so quick to report is that all people in a scene of mayhem such as this are considered threats until they have been individually searched, and the police would likely not have treated an open carrier any differently than anyone else.
The only time officers would have found anyone to be a proximate threat is if they encountered someone with a firearm in their hands. Indeed, that appears to be precisely what happened. Several of the 26-27 casualties (9 killed, 17-18 wounded, depending upon the account) were fired upon by officers believed to have been equipped with patrol rifles (AR-15s) as those bikers fired at police and others. Most of the bikers wisely showed empty hands as the roughly dozen officers on site swept through the scene, disarming everyone they saw with a visible weapon within two minutes of the melee beginning.
As a practical matter, is is hard to believe that outlaw biker gangs are going to practice open carry once it becomes legal, as it will draw further attention to themselves… something they want to avoid if they are carrying illegal contraband.
Of course, I’m trying to apply logic to this scenario, and that has never been an area of strength for gun control advocates.
Texas Governor Greg Abbot is correct to go ahead with his plans to have Texas join the majority of the nation where open carry is legal, and should do so as soon as it is possible.