Texas To Install ‘Panic Buttons’ In Capitol After Open-Carry Nuts Start Showing Up To Threaten Politicians (VIDEO)

The Texas House approved the use of “panic buttons” in lawmakers’ offices after several incidences earlier this month where open-carry advocates showed up to bully and harass politicians and staffers they deemed “anti-gun.” Nothing says free and open democracy like people with guns threatening people who oppose them at the place that they work.

In a disturbing video posted to social media, open-carry advocates from the group “Open Carry Tarrant County” pile into the office of Texas Rep. Poncho Nevarez (Eagle Pass), and start demanding to know his stance on gun control. At issue is a new bill led by Texas Republicans that would repeal a century-long ban on openly carrying handguns. To his immense credit, Nevarez doesn’t waiver from his position that he is for strong gun control laws, however that position led to the group hurling ugly accusations, and finally, outright threats at him.

One screams “You won’t be here long, bro.” Another calls him a “tyrant to the constitution.” Others start yelling “tyrant” as well. Before leaving, they told Nevarez he should leave the state if he didn’t agree with open-carry.

The “tyrant” keeps calm and kindly asks the group to leave after they had their say, meanwhile the gun group refuses to move and later appears to try to incite a fight by threatening anyone who touches them. It’s a surreal moment, here are a group of (mostly) men who want desperately to have us believe that Nevarez is an out-of-control threat to American values, meanwhile they see no problem in threatening his well-being if they don’t get their way. Coercion through the threat of violence. What could be more anti-democratic than that?

The group wasn’t done. Deciding the harassment of one politician and his staff was not enough to make their point (or prove that they are dangerous bullies, whichever came first), the group also reportedly went to the office of another politician who dared not agree with them. Lucky for him, he was out of the office that day. Unfortunately, his staff was there to face the group’s ire and said they felt “uncomfortable.”

“As I understand from my staff briefing, that this very same group came to my office, I just wasn’t here,” said Martinez Fischer, saying his staff felt “uncomfortable.” The eight-term House member said he’d never experienced “advocacy that gets personal and physical.”

“Sounds to me like it was a very hostile situation that not only impacted the offices’ environment, but also bled out into the hallway,” he said. “And I don’t think any of that is appropriate.”

Adding to the sense of lawlessness, outside the building, Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), a pro-gun politician who had co-sponsored the bill to remove license requirements to carrying a handgun, held a rally, telling the crowd to “storm” the Capitol to ensure they get their way.

“With your help we’re going to storm this Capitol and quit getting on our knees and asking for the Second Amendment back,” Stickland yelled to the crowd, many with rifles slung over their shoulders.

The Dallas Morning News also noted that open-carry supporters had set up a booth nearby with a 3D printer that was churning out handguns throughout the day. Yes, that’s correct. Printing guns during a protest. Based on footage taken at the booth, the 3D printed guns were a huge hit with the crowd.

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The rally; the bullying within the Capitol building; the 3D printed guns; the scene was so out of line and pathetic that even Open Carry Texas, another pro-gun group (and sometimes fellow gun rights embarrassment) condemned the event as “a malignant cancer for the gun rights movement.” Later OCT’s leader, CJ Grisham, called the event “horse manure.”

So now Texas must change the regulations regarding visitors to the Capitol. Offices will be outfitted with a panic button that alerts guards that staff are feeling unsafe. The rule changes also now give staffers the ability to eject hostile visitors if they are threatened. When faced with the troubling fact that politicians just trying to do what they felt was right felt in danger because of extremists with guns outside of their offices, Open Carry Tarrant County leader Kory Watkins didn’t understand why it was a problem.

There is nothing sadder than a bully who wants to play the victim.

Feature image via American Statesman