Open carry activist says he wasn’t threatening lawmakers in video

A Tarrant County gun-rights activist denied Wednesday that he was threatening lawmakers when he posted a Facebook video saying opposition to open-carry bills was treason “that is punishable by death.”

In the video, Kory Watkins with Open Carry Tarrant County said Texas gun advocates were “tired of jacking around with people in suits who think they can take away freedoms in the name of safety.”

“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,” Watkins said.

“They better start giving us our rights or this peaceful non-cooperation stuff is going to be gamed up. We’re going to step it up a notch,” he said. “We should be demanding these people give us our rights back, or it’s punishable by death.”

Watkins removed the video from his Facebook page Wednesday morning, explaining that he intended to show that the nation’s founders took treason seriously, not to threaten members of the Texas Legislature, which is debating whether to allow openly carried handguns in the state.

“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,” he wrote. “When I speak of ‘stepping it up a notch,’ (I) 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.'”

Almost a dozen open-carry bills have been filed this session.

Watkins is an advocate of so-called “constitutional carry,” which would allow any legal gun owner to appear in public with a holstered sidearm.

But the bills that appear, so far, to have the best chance of success would allow only those who hold concealed handgun permits to openly carry their guns.

In the video, Watkins said politicians who favor a licensed-carry law do so because of money, not safety concerns.

“Texans, I’m tired of jacking around. I’m tired of playing politically correct games,” he said. “This isn’t a game. This is reality, and this is our rights they are playing with.”

Watkins was among the open-carry advocates who confronted state Rep. Alfonso “Poncho” Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, in his Capitol office on the session’s opening day. The sometimes tense confrontation prompted House members to vote to allow “panic buttons” to be installed in legislative offices so law officers could be summoned more quickly.

Threats received by Nevárez after the confrontation prompted the Department of Public Safety to issue a security detail to the legislator.

Critics of Watkins’ tactics, including some in the gun-rights movement, say he is hurting chances of open carry’s success this session.

CJ Grisham with Open Carry Texas said Wednesday that his meetings with lawmakers have been dominated by questions “about Kory and his video about killing legislators.”

“Kory Watkins is not the face of the open carry movement; he’s the ass. Every time we start regaining momentum, he opens his blow hole and sticks both feet in,” Grisham wrote.

Gun opponents drove another point Wednesday.

“Open carry extremists have been threatening the safety and sanity of our communities for far too long, and now they are threatening the lives of Texas legislators,” said Claire Larson with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

“If Texas lawmakers continue to prioritize the expansion of open carry in any form, they are condoning this type of dangerous behavior,” Larson said.

Reader Comments 0

15 comments
LindaO2
LindaO2

Why is it that the people who are most interested in having guns all around them are big old white men who are the least in need of personal protection?

What would happen if we gave a gun to every child that's being abused, every woman who is being beaten by her partner, every woman who may get raped, every young black male who is harrassed by policemen, every Muslim who faces intimidation and threats because they practice a religion that gun nuts dont like, and any and all other typical victims of personal assaults? If the whole idea is personal protection by firearm, make sure people who need personal protection get a gun.

If the issue is the Second Amendment, let's make sure the gun nuts are controlled by a well regulated militia, not Kory Watkins.

RustyShackelford
RustyShackelford

Nice back peddling, dude.  One thing that gets me, though, how could anyone know they didn't intimidate someone?  That's quite a skill he has, if true.

MichaelnSA
MichaelnSA

Another Timothy McVeigh in the making.


cheat-to-win
cheat-to-win

With the anti-Muslim terrorists, the pro-gun extremists, and the hateful tea party agenda, ours is a very scary government since Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick have arrived. Patrick is a well-known suicidal bankrupt, and Abbott has evil written all over him, kinda like Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the ultimate Bond villain from six different Bond movies. Jesus appears to be MIA from our state Capitol these days, and that's never a good thing.

"He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44

Zig_Zag
Zig_Zag

Open carry activists all too often intimidate everyone by showing they are carrying a firearm, when they think that is the only way to show their courage! Showing their firearm is not because they are in danger. Actually, even criminals do the same thing; when the criminal wants to dominate someone through fear. There is nothing wrong when defending one’s self legally from true violence where one’s life is endangered.

I may carry a firearm some days when the surroundings dictates. But, never to be a show-off. Once a preacher told his congregation…… “ You are what you are by the words that are fed into your mind. Daily talking violence brings violence. A well educate person will seek nonviolent resolutions!  

uhhuh
uhhuh

Own it Kory! You just stumbled into the Not Ok Corral. 

PullMyFinger
PullMyFinger

Kory-convert to Islam and APD will have your back.

jimjop53
jimjop53

Gun nuts doing what they do best.

RustyShackelford
RustyShackelford

@cheat-to-win Agreed to some of that, except the Jesus part.  There's already too much religion in politics.  It's best to keep that private.  A perfect example of that was the nut who stole the mic at that Muslim peace rally.  Emotions surrounding religion prove time and time again that it's too personal a thing to allow it in politics and government.

RustyShackelford
RustyShackelford

@Zig_Zag Many times they are the scared ones.  People incorrectly assume their's is an offensive posture, but really it's a defensive one.  Show me someone standing behind a gun, and I'll show you a scared human bracing themselves for whatever it is they're afraid of.

Baron_of_Greymatter
Baron_of_Greymatter

@Kamel_Tow You should see the trash they elected State Senator a couple of years ago.  And then, she tried to run for governor!