A tea party group's vow to march with guns in a Fourth of July parade has caused panic in a small Colorado town.
The Southern Colorado Patriots Club announced that its members would march with guns in the annual Independence Day parade in Westcliffe, Colo. to "make a statement that we still believe in our Constitution" to protest new gun control laws in the state, the Denver Post reported. A flier distributed by the group urged members to come to the parade with unarmed rifles.
"All rifles welcome especially the evil black ones," the flier read.
The announcement prompted the Custer County Chamber of Commerce, the event's sponsor, to cancel the parade as nervous citizens circulated a petition to stop the club. Donna Hood, president of the chamber, abstained from the vote to cancel the parade but told the Post that the matter has "polarized this community in a week." The parade was ultimately saved when the Town of Westcliffe agreed to pick up the sponsorship tab.
Although the group has marched with guns in the past, the passage of new statewide gun measures has heightened public sensitivity to the action. The state's new 15-round limit on gun magazines is slated to take effect next week.
Even if they were loaded, I'd still feel safe around people who are familiar with firearms. But the reaction to the group's plans is incomprehensible. Do residents know that a gun needs, like, you know, bullets to be even remotely threatening? Are they really frightened of a piece of metal with a wood stock?
The anti-gun hysteria has reached its zenith in this little Colorado town.