The gun-rights group Open Carry Texas planned a rally at the SXSW music festival, which coincidentally was on the same day as Obama’s keynote conversation nearby. That put the heavily-armed demonstrators close to the world’s most guarded man, which became an issue of speculation in the media. In the end, a topless woman stole the show.
Open Carry Texas has crashed the South by Southwest (SXSW) culture and music festival for three consecutive years, handing out literature about gun rights. This year was a bit different, according to the Washington Post. For one, President Barack Obama was there mingling among the artists, musicians, and heavy thinkers. Second, Texas now officially allows for the open carry of handguns (before this year, the demonstrators could only carry shotguns and rifles).
That in and of itself was concern for the secret service, but to make things more tense, someone on the Open Carry Texas Facebook page said, “If you get a clear shot, please fire for effect!”
The Secret Service investigated the comment, and members of the group chided the commentator saying, “may be best not to say such stuff.”
When the big day came, the rally went as planned — kind of.
According to the Texas Observer, Open Carry Texas members were shadowed by a topless woman and a woman with a dildo strapped to her back. Rally organizer CJ Grisham didn’t not seem particularly peeved by the counter-protesters.
“Most people wouldn’t have noticed we had guns if there wasn’t a naked lady screaming at us. We’re trying to educate people on the new laws and show that open carry isn’t scary.”
The gun rights group marched from downtown towards the Austin Convention Center, roughly 11 blocks away. The topless woman, who refused to give her name out of fear of being shot, yelled obscenities at them and warned fellow pedestrians. She had a sign that said, “Open carry tits, not guns.”
Jessica Jin, who started the Campus (Dildo) Carry event at the University of Texas, was also there, with a large black dildo strapped to her back. Unlike with the topless woman, Jin engaged in a civil debate with Open Carry Texas.
“I was expecting to be doing cartwheels with dildos on my back, but it’s nice to have a civil conversation once in a while too.”
This event wasn’t the first time gun-rights demonstrators came face-to-face with dildo-brandishing counter-protesters. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, last year in December two gun rights groups, Come and Take It Texas and Don’tComply.com, held a demonstration to protest gun-free zones. They too faced dildos, along with fart-cannons and angry screams.
As for President Obama, his keynote conversation is available below. The few protesters did not seem to have any problem co-existing with the president in the festival area. Like Grisham said before the march, “he’s nothing special.”
“The president is an American, just like every one of us is an American. He’s nothing special. Granted, he is the president, but him being there for us doesn’t change anything. We’re no threat to the president, and the president better not be a threat to us.”
Open Carry Texas and the POTUS were both successfully non-threatening. The gun rights group seemed to succeed in its overall mission as well, as the organizer explained beforehand.
“The point is to engage with the public, explain to them that you know it’s not the guns people need to be afraid of, it’s the person, and to show the lighter side and the friendlier side of gun owners.”
After the Open Carry Texas walk, Donna Abate, a SXSW visitor from New York, said she didn’t even notice the men were carrying guns, just a naked shouting woman. Lighter side successfully shown.
[Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SXSW]