An open carry demonstration in Richmond, Virginia, fizzled on the 4th of July after only two gun rights activists showed up to celebrate the 2nd Amendment, according to CBS6.
The march, which had been announced on Facebook, was expected to attract crowds on both sides of the issue, but only drew the two organizers who paraded up and down the Carytown shopping district, handing out fliers to the few Independence Day shoppers they met on the street.
CBS6 had previously set up a Facebook page asking viewers to comment on the scheduled demonstration, with many taking to the page condemning the organizers for taking their constitutional rights too far, while others supported the two men’s efforts.
One Facebook commenter wrote, “Carytown is my neighborhood, if I see you (or any other gun-toting low-lifes) strolling around with your rifles I will presume your are a terrorist threat and call 911 immediately. I encourage everyone else to do the same.”
Other commenters threatened the demonstrators, upsetting organizer Jason Spitzer, who toted a large American flag along with his assault rifle.
“Why is it we get threatened like that when, you know, we’re just exercising our rights like everyone else,” Spitzer asked.
This was not the first time the open carry group paraded through Carytown carrying long guns, and some residents had previously indicated that they would boycott the shopping area if guns were being displayed.
Scott Royle, one of the two men who showed up for both demonstrations, was disappointed that people would stay away.
“The people who are choosing to stay away, because of that, are the people we are trying to reach the most, because they are the ones that need the education of the firearms,” Royle said.
The Carytown shopping district cannot be designated a gun-free area but shopkeepers have the right to ban open or concealed guns in their stores.
Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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