Yesterday, in Brenham, angry men with AR15s showed up to try to scare and intimidate people attending Beto O’Rourke’s voter registration drive.
Under Federal law, “domestic terrorism” is defined as “activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”
Why would these people show up to a DRIVE FOR DEMOCRACY, where voter registration is taking place with AR15s strapped to their chests, then yell and shout slurs and threats?
They do that for the sole purpose of intimidating whomever their target of the moment is. Yesterday, in Brenham, Texas, their target was Beto and the Democrats who came to see him.
More alarming, Texas Penal Code § 42.01(a)(8) clearly states Texas law prohibits the display of a firearm in a public place in a “manner calculated to alarm.”
While the yokles in Brenham were clearly committing a Class B misdemeanor, Brenham PD just stood by and did nothing.
Just as these people do when they learn someone they disagree with will be within a 100-mile radius of them, they strapped on their guns and headed to the event to harass them.
They will call it a protest or a counter-protest, but when they strap guns on for display, it isn’t a protest, it’s a domestic terrorist committing a Class B misdemeanor.
We reached out to the Brenham Police Department to inquire whether any of these old men were ticketed or arrested. Brenham PD told us that they had freedom of speech and were allowed to do what they were doing as long as they didn’t cuss. 🙄
In many small rural Texas towns, police departments and local white hate groups, militia, and domestic terrorists are all buddies. It wouldn’t be surprising if that is also the culture in Brenham.
Trying to scare and intimidate people with weapons of mass killing is not protected under freedom of speech.
While these agitators and their enablers will say it was in their constitutional right to take up arms, harass, and threaten crowds of Texas citizens, federal courts disagree.
In 1982, the Ku Klux Klan used these same tactics on Vietnamese fishermen on the Gulf Coast. The Southern Poverty Law Center took the KKK to court, and the courts sided with the SPLC. (Vietnamese Fishermen’s Ass’n v. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan)
In fact, the same violent and intimidation tactics that old white men and Trump people have been using against protests are the same tactics that the Klan once used. Aside from that 1982 case, these extremists’ behavior has been deemed unlawful in federal court more than once.
Why didn’t law enforcement do anything to stop it?
This is a good question that the people who live in Brenham and Washington County should ask their local officials.
Angry white men with AR15s strapped to their chest showed up to a VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE to intimidate civilians. This is not covered under “freedom of speech.”
Don’t worry about Beto, though. He handled these knumbskulls with class, wit, and truth.
Today, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a National Strategy for Combatting Domestic Terrorism. It’s needed in this country because of people like the ones in Brenham or those who showed up in Denton last week or the ones involved in the dozens of terrorist incidents we saw last year in Texas.
If that doesn’t make Texas safer from these individuals, don’t worry too much, most of them are pushing 70-years old and will be gone soon enough. Until then, we’ll keep calling out their bad behavior when we see it.