The New York Times did an article recently about businesses that have been opening in defiance of government restrictions, and the armed citizens who have come to their aid.
In Shepherd, Texas, for example, tattoo artist Jamie Williams reopened her studio, called Crash-N-Burn, with the help of five armed activists determined to prevent police from arresting her. They set up a perimeter around the parking lot, outfitted with with AR-15s, camouflage vests, and walkie-talkies.
“I had a feeling that finally somebody had my back,” said Williams. “And it’s really sad that citizens are having my back as opposed to my government.”
“It’s not for looks,” said one of the armed men, J.P. Campbell of Freedom Fighters of Texas. “We’re willing to die.”
“I think it should be a business’s right if they want to close or open,” said Philip Archibald, another one of the activists. “What is coming to arrest a person who is opening their business according to their constitutional rights? That’s confrontation.”
Archibald has protested in support of and provided security for several businesses in Texas. In another instance, he and his group were on the scene when Big Daddy Zane’s bar opened in defiance of stay-at-home orders in Odessa, Texas. Sadly, cops arrived in an armored vehicle and arrested the bar’s owner and several of Archibald’s friends. He plans to travel to California and New Jersey to continue his activism.
“We go out there because we want peace, but we prepare for war,” said C.J. Grisham of Open Carry Texas. “I hope this never happens, but at some point guns are going to have to cease to be a show of force and be a response to force.”
At least one government official, County Judge Fritz Faulkner of San Jacinto County, where Crash-N-Burn is located, voiced support. “The powers that be came to their senses and said, ‘Look, you can’t do this,'” he said of the governor’s decision to stop criminal enforcement of the lockdown measures. “Now, my personal opinion is, if a barbershop can open, I don’t know why a tattoo shop couldn’t open.”
Unsurprisingly, Ed Scruggs, president of Texas Gun Sense, criticized citizens for exercising their Second Amendment rights and standing up for the rights of their fellow citizens. “People are nervous enough as it is, and then to see people walking around with AR-15s in public places, gathered together like that, is unnerving and upsetting,” he said. “The entire goal is intimidation and attention.”
I couldn’t disagree more. People have every right to walk around with AR-15s in public places. I can think of few sights more uplifting or inspiring than ordinary Americans bravely standing up to tyranny. Unnerving and upsetting? No way! Plus, standing up for the rights of businesses and individuals is not intimidation. It is the government that is practicing intimidation by arresting and threatening to arrest people who have done nothing wrong. These activists are simply defending their rights. I salute their bravery and their willingness to risk their lives for their principles.