How Open Carry Texas Forced Chipotle to Ban Guns

How Open Carry Texas Forced Chipotle to Ban Guns

By Kit Lange and Cassy Fiano

Open Carry Texas has done it again. Under the guise of advancing gun rights, the group decided to stroll into a Chipotle eatery with long guns slung over their shoulders. Two members also posted pictures of themselves posing with their guns onto social media, which caught the attention of rabid anti-gun group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Moms Demand Action went to the media with the photo, and started an intensive “Burritos Not Bullets” campaign, which quickly encouraged Chipotle to issue a statement asking customers to no longer bring guns into their restaurants. It’s Starbucks 2.0. And enough is enough: it’s time for organizations like Open Carry Texas to either straighten up or go away. They’ve consistently given gun owners a bad name, and hurt the gun rights cause far more than they help it.

Open Carry Texas founder CJ Grisham has a history of being in the center of scandals and drama. Most notable is his longstand feud with washed up war journalist Michael Yon. While Michael Yon spent years stalking and harrassing Grisham and his family,  Grisham was far from a blameless victim, rising to the occasion to continually attack Yon. If it seemed like the issue was fading into the background, it would mysteriously get brought back to the forefront again. This is because CJ Grisham thrives on drama, enjoys the attention it brings, and happily plays the martyr time and time again.

It’s worth pointing out that Grisham has been arrested multiple times. Each time, he claims he was completely innocent and was just being bullied by the big, bad, corrupt system. He was demoted from first sergeant to master sergeant after complaints from his children’s school board, where during a discussion about school uniforms, he stood up on his seat, yelled, and slammed his fist. The school principal, along with the school board superintendent, reported receiving complaints from other parents. In typical Grisham fashion, he responded by going to the school board again, but this time with the media in tow.
Most well-known is his arrest for “rudely displaying a rifle”, which spawned Open Carry Texas.

What happened prior to the arrest, though, is significant. Grisham had gone before the Temple City Council with a gun rights resolution that would state that second amendment rights would not be infringed upon. The mayor encouraged him to take up the issue with state and federal lawmakers, leading Grisham to write the following on his blog:

This response only tells me one thing: the mayor and/or council thinks I’m the only one that cares about this. Well, I’m going to change that. I have only been emboldened to work harder and prove to the council that this is an issue that the citizens of Temple care deeply about and we want to hear from our elected officials what their specific stand is. I will pack the council meetings with like-minded citizens that also care about the downward spiral of this country and its continuing encroachments upon our rights. If the council won’t listen to me, maybe they’ll listen to all of us!

Three days later, he was arrested and Open Carry Texas was born. He was charged with the misdemeanor of ‘interfering with a peace officer while performing his duty’ — and eventually found guilty. Meanwhile, he catapaulted himself into the national spotlight, raked in tens of thousands of dollars in donations, and, as usual, boo-hooed about how he was just the poor, innocent victim in the situation. The police officer — no, not just the police officer, but the entire Temple Police Department, and all of the Temple city officials! — was just out to get him.

Surpise of all surprises, Grisham was arrested again not long after that scandal died down. This time, it was at an official Open Carry Texas event at the Texas Capitol on Veterans Day. The group was protesting on the north side of the building, while at the same time, a ceremony on the south side was taking place honoring Texas veterans. You are not allowed to openly carry handguns in Texas, only long guns — so naturally, OCT just had to address this horrific injustice at the capitol. Several members of OCT had old black powder handguns with them, which Grisham claims are legal to carry if the gun was made before 1899. Grisham was also carrying a gun, but it was a toy gun, chosen because Grisham expected to be arrested. True to form, Grisham once again played the victim, whining about how he was assaulted, always acting a martyr. He completely ignores the fact that he intentionally brought the toy gun for the sole purpose of tricking police officers so that he would be arrested and could, once again, have his name splashed across the headlines.

This is the man who founded Open Carry Texas. Considering his penchant for finding trouble everywhere he goes, it’s to be expected that an organization he founded would be rife with drama and scandal. There was this lovely photo op of two kids posing with rifles, one with his finger on the trigger. OCT is all about gun safety, you know.

oct-kids
Then there was the dust-up over the protest outside of a Moms Demand Action meeting. A group of members were discussing membership at a Dallas, Texas restaurant. OCT got wind of the meeting and decided that it would be a great idea to camp outside the restaurant as a protest, all of them carrying long guns, of course. Moms Demand Action posted this photo, which quickly went viral and was plastered across the media:

oct-mda2
OCT countered that Moms Demand Action was intentionally showing a photo to make the group look more threatening, and said that all they were doing was posing for a picture.

oct-mda
This is a perfect example of OCT completely missing the point. One of the points in their mission is to “condition Texans to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that carry them”. What would be fascinating is to hear them explain how camping outside a meeting for anti-gun advocates with a bunch of long guns helps accomplish that goal. What they did was intentionally intimidating and confrontational, and it served no purpose to forward gun rights whatsoever. To the contrary, it only further perpetuates the worst stereotypes of gun owners.

And who could forget the nationwide scandal when Starbucks politely asked guests to stop bringing guns into their stores? Starbucks originally tried to stay neutral in the gun debate, with their position being that they complied with state laws. If a state allowed citizens to open carry, then Starbucks allowed them to bring guns into their stores. Not content to merely exercise their rights quietly and like mature adults, some gun rights advocates decided that they needed to force Starbucks’ hand. They would descend en masse to their cafes, long guns slung over their shoulders, treating their guns like toys and props in a play. Of course, CJ Grisham was one of these people:

cj-starbucks
As Starbucks would later say, Grisham and his ilk used their stores as a stage for political events, meant to force Starbucks into abandoning their formerly neutral stance. Instead of quietly exercising their rights, they had to make a big show over it and ultimately caused Starbucks to ask customers to no longer bring guns into their stores.

Now they’re doing it all over again at Chipotle. OCT held an event, and afterwards, they decided they wanted to eat. So naturally, they had to bring their guns in with them, because everyone knows that people are physically incapable of eating without a rifle slung over their shoulder. Why did they choose to take their guns into Chipotle? Well, because they could! And not only that, but they had to pose for pictures and post them on social media:

open-carry-tools
And Chipotle, like Starbucks, asked their customers not to bring guns into their restaurants anymore. OCT is just full of win, aren’t they? As Jimbo pointed out, the way they were carrying these guns wasn’t for comfort or ease of wear. They wore them the way they did so that the guns would be noticed by everyone, because OCT evidently feels the need to go out of their way to rub everyone else’s faces in it. Jonn Lilyea summed it up perfectly:

To me this bullying and “in-your-face” tactics is no different than what we’ve seen over the past few years from gays and transsexuals who want to cram their flamboyant lifestyle choices down our throats, so to speak. Those tactics worked against their movement and it will work against law abiding gun owners who conceal our weapons and keep our mouths shut about it. In fact when I see someone open carrying, I wonder why they couldn’t get a concealed weapon permit.

What CJ Grisham and his OCT acolytes seem incapable of understanding is that making people feel intimidated, or scared, or uncomfortable, isn’t going to convince them to back gun rights. And as much as they may claim that only anti-gun nuts feel that way, they know it isn’t true deep down. Grisham wouldn’t feel the need to warn managers of establishments before open carrying in them if they didn’t know that their actions rub people the wrong way. What their actions do is make groups like Moms Demand Action look sane. People who didn’t have a dog in the gun rights fight will look at these two assclowns, and then they’ll look at Moms Demand Action, and who comes off as looking more reasonable? It takes a lot of work to make Moms Demand Action look reasonable, too, but Grisham and OCT are up to the challenge. Brandishing an AK47 or an SKS in a restaurant filled with families just looking to eat burritos does nothing except assuage the egos of idiots who are overcompensating for something. It’s immature posturing for attention by a bunch of drama queens who aren’t content to quietly exercise their right to bear arms. But then, they were taught how to milk drama and publicity for everything it’s worth from the best. Their in-your-face tactics do nothing but give anti-gun nuts like Moms Demand Action plenty of ammo to use against us, and encourages anti-gun legislation. Large groups of people invading Starbucks or Chipotle aggressively sporting long guns — you know, since they have to make sure that everyone notices they have guns and all — doesn’t help the gun rights cause. They paint gun owners as stereotypical fools, when most of us don’t want to associated with assclowns who feel the need to force our guns down everyone else’s throats.

Forbes, as well as other sites, have repeatedly mentioned that the two men depicted in the latest photo are “reportedly unrelated to Open Carry Texas.” This seems to be not quite true. Emily Grisham, wife of OCT founder CJ Grisham, had this to say on Facebook in their defense:

“I’m pretty close to people who are here, too. Closer, in fact. As in knowing them. As in just having dinner with the people that were there.”

We asked Kory Watkins, head of Open Carry Tarrant County, about the two men in the photo.

“As far as I know, they are Open Carry Texas members, they’re from the Dallas chapter…I believe it was their first [open carry] walk, they were kind of new to everything, and they took a picture. I mean, we’ve been taking thousands of pictures just like this all across the state for over a year so it’s really no different than any other picture I’ve seen.”

When asked if OCT vets their members, Watkins said no.

“No, I mean, if it’s a bad guy, it’s gonna be a bad guy, and we’ve never had that in more than a year of our walks.”

One of the men in the photo owns a Facebook page under the name Flakoo Delcampo, and until it was sanitized last night, offered some very interesting insights. This article has screen prints of the posts. (It should be mentioned that the article itself is absolutely ridiculous, with easily proven lies and half-truths. We in no way believe the article to be even remotely factual. That being said, the post images speak for themselves.):

“I wanna Smoke Sum Kushh so Badd…But fuckk that…My Babys need me And Not sitting behind barzz….Maintaining…”

“Youngg enough too still Sell Dopee…But Old Enoughh..i Knows betterr..”

“I really apreciate My Friends For being Bitch ass Niggas Made me apreciate da Nigga Within Myself”

I specifically asked Watkins about these posts and the type of message it sends about OCT. His first reaction was that “Who knows? It could’ve been one of their people acting like our people. The Left is really smart.”

VG: “Is it your position that the Facebook account that originally posted the photo does not belong to the guy?”

Watkins: “Absolutely not. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that there’s…it could be. What it could be is that somebody…I don’t even know what the original statement was.”

VG: “…When you look at this type of history, does it make you think twice about having this guy as a member?”

Watkins: “The only thing that we can do is educate our members to not give the Left ammo to make us look like people that we’re not. We’ve been doing this for over a year now and no one’s ever broken a law, no one’s ever been hurt, nothing. So, as far as our side goes, you know, we’re just going to keep what we’re doing, and if something like that happens…you know, people have their own Facebook page and they’re entitled to their own posts. We’re not going to sit here and babysit everybody. People do and think and feel different, and they’re entitled to do and say as they please on their Facebook.”

VG: Even if it reflects poorly on your organization?

Watkins: “You know, if somebody’s talking about smoking whatever, they’re entitled to whatever they wanna post. I mean, they’re not saying that they’re going around representing Open Carry Texas and smoking it, what they do on their free time is their free time. It’s just like somebody saying they’re going and having a glass or wine or beer. I mean, alcohol is way more dangerous than smoking kush. I’m not getting into people’s personal lives.”

Watkins is right that they cannot babysit people. That being said, even if the organization chooses not to vet their members — certainly their prerogative — there should be a line of what kind of conduct is allowed, not so that they control people, but so the organization is not given a black mark for the conduct of their members. Unfortunately, the fact that this particular member thinks of himself as a gangsta wanna-be does nothing to promote the safe and responsible image that OCT wishes to project. The fact that this member is still in good standing and even recently dined with the founder shows that while they may not be openly endorsing such things, they’re certainly not condemning it either.

Not every member of OCT is an attention-seeking drama queen.  Not every member thinks they have a “Nigga Within” themselves.  Some of them are decent people who honestly believe that carrying long guns in public will help change society’s belief about guns.  They’re entitled to that opinion, and entitled to exercise it.  Unfortunately for them, whatever positive effect they could have had is far eclipsed by the negative attention that their pet morons have brought and will continue to bring upon them.

It should be noted that we are pro-gun ourselves.  We own guns, love them, and wholeheartedly believe in their necessity.  We are also, however, firm believers in responsibility.  The people of Texas would be far better served by OCT focusing all of its attention on the fight to carry handguns.  They could be sponsoring classes on gun safety or the Second Amendment.  They could even hold events where people can choose to come and view the guns, learn about the 2A, and become familiar with the idea in a safe and non-threatening environment.  Instead, they’re allowing some kush smoker who thinks he’s Rambo to be their national face.  They’re forcing the general public to be a part of the exercise whether they want to or not.  As for me, I’ll continue carrying… concealed.  Restaurants don’t need to know I’m carrying, and neither does anyone else.

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68 Comments
  • Merle says:

    With friends like that how many enemies do we need?

    Merle

  • sassefrass says:

    how sad that this man and his family were so destroyed by stalking and harassment from Michael Yon that he’ll forever feel the need to wield a heavy firearm wherever he goes. what an oppressive and disheartening situation. Thanks for sharing another good read story with us. When I first read the Chipotle story I thought Mexico had implicated themselves in the war on terror or something but thank goodness it was just another wacky protest

  • Jen says:

    Amen! I posted yesterday about this on a prior blog entry regarding OTC, and what I said still stands.

  • Emily says:

    If you are going to quote me, and an article, at least do the leg work of of getting the situations correct. Forbes was about a Jack In the Box incident concerning a different group. I spoke about the other people that were in Chipotle. I know Cassy has never had any love lost for Cj after he called her a bitch when she was acting like one once.

    I always found it funny that people who sat there and bemoaned on my family’s behalf of the grief that all this has caused us actually do more harm than our real enemies do. Or, who are the enemies?

    And kit, well played. Well played. How’s that God thing working out again?

    • ROS says:

      Will you be offering any valid points of argument, or just the above rhetorical straw men and standard Grisham name-calling?

      • Emily says:

        I didn’t call anyone names, I believe in my comment. Use big phrases all you want. Call me a standard Grisham. Everyone knows me better than, at least.

        The Forbes article that is cited with the screen cap of my comment do not go hand in hand. Forbes is about an entire different incident., with a group that was NOT OCT.

        My comment was about the event that has caused this media storm.

        Since kit herself used things of a personal nature from her Facebook that were not meant for an interview, it’s not rhetorical straw men arguing.

        This is a personal, emotional driven hit peice from people we once considered a friend.

        And, Cj called Cassy a bitch in the Milblog email chain. Because she was acting like one. Ask her about it. She’s had a stick up her ass for Cj ever since.

        Again, Kit, I hope this let’s you stand before God with a clearer conscious, after what you said last night.

        • Cassy Fiano says:

          This “bitch” incident you keep harping on that, according to you, I’m so upset about? Don’t remember it. If it ever happened, it made that little of an impact on me. I really don’t care if CJ called me a bitch at some point in time either. Believe it or not, I actually haven’t spent the last year crying into my pillow because CJ GRISHAM! doesn’t like me. My husband likes me plenty, I have three beautiful kids, I have family and friends. I’ve somehow, somehow managed to survive, even though CJ thinks I’m a bitch apparently. (sob sob sob)

          And because I disagree with what CJ’s been doing it means I have a stick up my ass for him? Or that’s the only reason I could possibly have had for writing this? Uh, OK.

          You people are appallingly self-absorbed and narcissistic. Plenty of people disagree with what OCT is doing, which interestingly, neither of you seem to be willing to debate. (That issue is being ignored, I’ve noticed.) Kit and I are far from the only people who have disagreed with CJ’s actions and OCT’s tactics. But sure, whatever, act like we’re the only mean, horrible, awful, no-good people out to get you and CJ because we’re just that mean. Fits right into the St. CJ the Perpetual Martyr role you so like to play.

        • Kit Lange says:

          I didn’t bring anything about that up, and I will not. End of story.

          • Emily says:

            It reflects your vindictiveness towards him. I know your actions through the Milblog emails and how you act and treat others.

            You know nothing of mine, sob, sob.

            And, yes, I actually did talk about the incident, the photo, etc. I’m not role-playing into the St. Cj victim that you claim. I stated things that happened. Your response makes you the emotional one, here, which kind of sorta proves my point.

            Kit, you didn’t bring that part of the thread from FB in here, but you picked a different one. Why do YOU get to be so choosey with it? But, ok. End of discussion. You have the clear conscious like you want.

  • Sarah says:

    You’re right. We should never, ever make waves. That would be too aggressive. We should only stand very still, and maybe hold our breath (you know, so our breathing doesn’t ripple the water). Because we all know that not rocking the boat is the best way to make real change in this country.
    And good call encouraging people to hide their guns away. We wouldn’t want people to associate firearms with a complete lack of violence and normal behavior, would we? That would totally ruin things for…well, the left, now that I think of it. You might want to rethink that stance after all.

    • Cassy Fiano says:

      It has absolutely nothing to do with advocating for gun rights. It’s about being smart about it vs. being stupid. It’s about taking actions that will help further the cause vs. taking actions that reinforce negative stereotypes.

      • Emily says:

        And it’s not smart because YOU say so?

        I’ll go cry a river while I’ll go look in the book of life and see where your face is.

    • GWB says:

      Actually, it’s about not being a jerk. If my son wanted something when he was little and he was polite and asked for it nicely, he often got it. If he demanded it and pitched a tantrum, it would be denied – period.

      I definitely don’t agree with Cassy on the issue of OC triggering a question of whether they couldn’t get a CCW. Honestly, I shouldn’t need one. Heck, I don’t even mind folks carrying long guns into an establishment if there’s a legitimate reason. But what these folks (I don’t know if they’re all OCT or not, nor do I really care) are doing is being asses. You want people to be comfortable around weapons, you don’t carry them tactically and you don’t pose for ‘hero shots’.

      • GWB says:

        And I apologize, that was John Lilyea she was quoting. Sorry, Cassy. (I don’t agree with *him* on that statement, then.)

  • VAlman says:

    When I go to an eatery, it’s for food and drink. That’s it! So, if there’s some sort of protest or demonstration outside, I turn around and go elsewhere. Should I not discover such until on the inside, I’ll do the same. I don’t want to be seeing a firearm, slung or otherwise, while I’m having my meal than to be staring at a sign that says “Save the Whales”. When I want to participate in such things, I’ll do so. I certainly don’t want it imposed on me. I think concealed carry is another matter.

    That being said, when I’m at an outdoor range, I’m particularly cautious whenever someone I haven’t seen before arrives. They don’t me. I don’t know them. Let’s chat a bit. Helps us both, I believe. I think persons with firearms ought to be especially alert to this, not just at a range, but anywhere there’s OC. There are many venues to helping people understand, over come fears, become comfortable with and around firearms. Like many things in life, “in your face” may make one feel better, though it rarely accomplishes what’s intended. That’s just my two cents worth.

    • Kit Lange says:

      That’s actually part of our point. As much as I think groups like MDA are morons with no semblance of reality, I think OCT is contributing to the problem by forcing people to participate in a protest that they didn’t sign up for and didn’t even know about.

  • CJ Grisham says:

    I think I’m supposed to be ashamed of the things you mention here after reading this smear piece. Am I supposed to ashamed that I stood up to Michael Yon while he was putting our troops in danger (something even you both recognized – what changed?)? Am I supposed to be ashamed that I stood up to Ba’athists in Maryland spreading lies about US troops sniping innocent women and children in mosque minnerets? Am I supposed to be ashamed that I stood up to a school principal and board on behalf of over 50 parents because they were pushing a $400 per child uniform policy without parental consent or involvement and then got pissed off when they tried to dismiss my anger as nothing more than being an unhinged combat veteran with PTS? Am I supposed to be ashamed that I wanted to spend time with my son helping him earn his hiking merit badge one Saturday morning out in the country and was assaulted by a police officer for not breaking a single law and refusing to voluntarily let him take my firearm without a warrant or even suspicion of a crime? Am I supposed to be ashamed that I again stood up to abusive, oath breaking cops who demanded I leave public property for carrying a toy gun when we weren’t breaking any laws and they had no authority to kick us out? By the way, no charges were ever filed in the Austin incident, but I noticed you neglected to mention that little tidbit. The answer is no. And I will ALWAYS stand up to bullies whether they are washed up war bloggers or bullies with a badge. My rights actually mean something to me and if they are taken away, it won’t be because I sat on my ass writing blog posts and didn’t do anything.

    As far as vetting OCT members, I wonder if the NRA know the backgrounds of all its members. I wonder if they go through their members’ Facebook posts to see if they might be a self proclaimed gangsta. Your argument is absurd and hypocritical on its face. Lastly, I was NEVER demoted from 1SG to MSG, ever. If that were true I wouldn’t have served as G3 Current Ops Sergeant Major or a Brigade S3 SGM. I would also have to have been given a relief for cause. If you were worth your salt as a blogger, you’d know that 1SG and MSG are interchangeable and neither is a promotion or a reduction.

    So, either you’re lying now and told the truth up to this point, or you’ve been lying all this time about me and are only now telling the truth. Either way, it hurts credibility. At least you can take pride that Yon will be driving traffic your way. He eats this stuff up. In your Chipotle section, I notice you never mention that only did no one complain in the restaurant, but we were actually invited in by the manager AND the manager told us we’re STILL welcome there in spite of the corporate non ban on guns because “we all feel much safer when you are here.” But, keyboard commandos aren’t really known for finding out the truth before spewing their ignorant agenda driven drivel.

    • VAlman says:

      Self-praise stinks to high heaven!

    • Kit Lange says:

      “Lastly, I was NEVER demoted from 1SG to MSG, ever. If that were true I wouldn’t have served as G3 Current Ops Sergeant Major or a Brigade S3 SGM. I would also have to have been given a relief for cause. If you were worth your salt as a blogger, you’d know that 1SG and MSG are interchangeable and neither is a promotion or a reduction.”

      I’d like to point your attention to this article at The Blaze (http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2013/04/18/arrested-vet-may-have-had-an-axe-to-grind/), in which we find the following:

      “Grisham says his military superiors demoted him from first sergeant to master sergeant.”

      We are well aware of the difference between First Sergeant (a staff position) and Master Sergeant (a grade). The position of First Sergeant comes with certain responsibility and power that is not inherent with the grade of E-8. Losing the position of First Sergeant means losing that power and authority, and is, in fact, a demotion—not in grade, but in position. (See another example of this here. http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/17/us/sergeant-major-gets-one-step-demotion-but-no-time-in-jail.html)

      As for the choice you give us (that we’re either lying now or have been lying all this time), there is a third option. We defended you for a long time because we believed what we were told. We have since come to see that we were wrong. We aren’t horrible people, we aren’t “betraying” anyone; in fact, I’ve stayed out of this for a really long time. We finally chose to stand up. That’s all.

      I’ve no wish to get in a pissing match with you. We had our say, and now you’ve had yours.

      • CJ Grisham says:

        I said no such thing and even asked them to print a retraction. In fact, that was a statement they quoted from the Army Times, which got it wrong. When I stepped down from my 1SG position to prepare for a new assignment and went to work for DPTMS, I was laterally promoted back to MSG. The Army Times interpreted this as a “demotion” but there was never a quote from me to that effect anywhere. This was even made very clear in 2009 in the very milblog group I was a part of but suddenly now you want to quote a story that quotes a story that got it wrong. Nothing was LOST and I pulled my company together and told my troops I was stepping down to get treatment. I was NOT fired and I was NOT demoted. You say you have “come to see” that you can’t believe what you are told. Where is the proof I’ve lied about anything? I wasn’t demoted. I can’t prove something that never happened, but the burden of proof is on you to prove it did. That’s like saying prove you didn’t beat your sister. You’ve had your say and it’s false. I’m correcting the record.

    • Jonn Lilyea says:

      Picking on these girls for their “smear piece” is about as ingenious as picking on Texas for their gun laws. CJ, you can tell these people how I supported nearly every endeavor of yours up until this whole gun thing. And when I wouldn’t support This One Thing, you started a public argument on Facebook, tossing aside everything else we at TAH had done for you. That’s called “burning your bridges”. I agree with the ladies here – everything that you’ve done in regards to the gun issue has hurt us more than it could ever help. I can’t imagine that anyone would need a scoped SKS for personal protection and that’s what the whole issue is about. it’s not about slinging all of your long guns over your shoulder and going to a restaurant. We both have CCW, don’t we? If it’s about personal safety, that’s all you need. There is no one in the milblog community more pro-2dA than me, but I’m never gong to shove my guns in someone’s face as proof. And I’d appreciate it if you’d stop doing it, too.

      I’m curious why you’d do verbal battle here rather than at TAH, after all, I was more brutal and I started this fight. I’m sure you have your reasons, but I’m curious.

      • GWB says:

        The link in your name is messed up. (I couldn’t recall what “TAH” stood for, either – but I found it.)

      • CJ Grisham says:

        I guess you never paid attention to the fact that in Texas, adults aged 18-20 have no gun rights unless they carry a shotgun or rifle. They cannot purchase handguns, nor carry them unless on their own property. So, how does a young adult defend himself in public, Jonn? A slingshot?

      • CJ Grisham says:

        “I’m curious why you’d do verbal battle here rather than at TAH, after all, I was more brutal and I started this fight. I’m sure you have your reasons, but I’m curious.”

        Because, Jonn, If I responded to everyone talking ignorance about me, I’d never get anything done. A link to this post was sent to me and not yours. Would you feel better if I commented there?

  • SOR says:

    Can the two authors provide proof of their CCWs?

    • ROS says:

      For what purpose? You don’t have to possess a CHL to own a firearm.

      Or are you another OCT sycophant who knows nothing?

      • SOR says:

        Calm down little girl, untwist your panties, and let the people who have reading comprehension skills discuss things. If you had reading comprehension skills, you would have read in the article they claimed they carry concealed.

    • Kit Lange says:

      Yes, I can.

      Not that it matters. It won’t change your opinion. If I post it, then what? You’ll suddenly agree that I have a right to my opinion? If I don’t post my private information for some random stranger, then my opinion is invalid?

      You’ve been trained well.

      • SOR says:

        I was just wondering if the two of you would be willing to do it.

        You’re names are both quite public, I’d imagine. I honestly just don’t believe the both of you have them, and the last part looks like it was just an add in to be able to claim “We are credible because of this.” I honestly knew nothing about OCT or The 1SG until I came across this post.

        It seems that a lot of your facts are incorrect based solely on the comments posted. Some of the things the 1SG has corrected you on took very little research, like his rank, for example. It only heightens the hilarity that this is a pro-military blog that doesn’t understand rank structure. It seems like you are lazy in your research, and that led me to wonder. So no, it wont change my opinion on a biased blog. It wont make me like you or the 1SG any more or less. I am just a curious bystander.

    • Tom RKBA says:

      Seriously, SOR, people open carrying in Texas are not required to show ID. The police do not have probable cause for anything if the person is open carrying a long gun. The basis in constitutional law that exercising a right cannot be a crime. In Texas, that means open carry of a rifle or shotgun is the free exercise of that right.

  • ROS says:

    Of course you wouldn’t feel ashamed if anything, CJ. It’s all the same to you and everyone else is wrong, never you. You’re a perpetual victim.

    Do you know what the worst part of your insane antics is? The fact that not only are you besmirching those who responsibly own firearms while you refuse to denounce the idiocy of those in your movement, rather encouraging it, but you also perpetuate the bullshit crazed vet meme by doing all of this while lamenting your PTS. You’ve had ample opportunity to show that vets with PTS are not how they’re portrayed by the media and in movies, yet you choose to act the sensationalistic fool and attempt to substantiate your stupidity by wrapping it in a constitutionality blanket. That makes you the worst kind of asshole- a blue falcon who doesn’t give a shit about the ramifications of your actions, especially when it come to fellow veterans.

  • LL says:

    I want to correct part of the record, especially since I wrote some of the stuff linked in the Blackfive roundup on Michael Yon.

    If it seemed like the issue was fading into the background, it would mysteriously get brought back to the forefront again. This is because CJ Grisham thrives on drama, enjoys the attention it brings, and happily plays the martyr time and time again.

    No, Michael Yon repeatedly would attack CJ, out of the blue, stirring up crap, and for you to say that the mysteriously appearing attacks were because CJ thrives on drama is a flat out opinion and you should state it as “my opinion is” because it sure as hell is not fact. I know this because I was on the inside of that whole thing for YEARS. You are flat out incorrect in your statement.

  • Off-Broadway Valerie says:

    Never thought I’d live to see another blog sink to Michael Yon’s level.

  • NDB says:

    Very much a 2nd Amendment supporter. A supporter of the entire Constitution actually. But I’m ALSO someone who believes that if you are going to have tools such as rifles and pistols in your possession then they should be treated as TOOLS, not toys. And handled responsibly by oneself and when around others. What bothers me about many of the photos I see of Open Carry advocates is the aggressive in-your-face aura about it. If I see people like those two who carried into Chipotle – I truly would go far away from them. Why? Because their demeanor and behavior with their guns would make me very nervous as I would be very unsure that they know how to practice appropriate gun safety at all times.

    I have friends who have been fearful of guns because they just don’t know enough about them. Rather than be aggressive about changing their minds, I’ve held a lot of conversations with them about my work, about growing up plinking at prairie dogs with a 22, about how a .22 or a .22 pistol is mighty handy when you run into a rattlesnake, about how any pistol or rifle is a tool its not a toy nor is it something to brandish around at a party just to show off…some are still uneasy about having a gun in their home. Others are educating themselves and will make their own determination.

    However, the tactics of various folks who are pushing Open Carry – such as the two at Chipotle – are detrimental to changing minds of people who are uneasy about guns because of the aggressiveness and demeanor. They just don’t seem like people one can approach to learn more about Open Carry. I really think that if Open Carry folks insist on making public points it can be done in a much more positive manner than demonstrated by the chipotle guys.

    Below is another take on the situation:

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/05/op-ed-open-carry-activists-score-yet-another-own-goal/

    • Xavier says:

      I’m inclined to agree with you, NDB. I carry either a long gun or a pistol almost all of the time. Heroin, meth labs, and the associated crime have infested our little rural community to the point that we’re on guard all the time. Although I live in a permissive open carry state, I don’t open carry in public because I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable – or give the bad guys any warning.

      I actually defended OCT’s Chipotle actions (and fairly well, I might add) a few days ago on another blog. Now I’m reevaluating my stance – apparently there’s a lot more to the story than a lot of blogs are publishing.

      I’ve followed this blog long enough to have a strong impression that the ladies here wouldn’t use the blog as a outlet for personal vendettas, which is essentially what they’re being accused of by the pro-OCT commenters.

      My sister-in-law who used to be *terrified* of guns is visiting with her family this weekend. I always make it a point to take her three teenage girls out behind the barn and let them shoot up a few boxes of shells. Started ’em on .22 rifles and pistols and a .410, now everyone is calm, Mom knows the kids can handle guns safely, and the girls really enjoy it. With them growing up in the city and attending public schools I have to do as much deprogramming as possible when they visit.

    • GWB says:

      This is much like “defending” porn or a*holes like Rockefeller when you are trying to support our First Amendment freedoms. I know of very few people who actually like Larry Flynt – but they are always put in the quandary of having to defend him when someone came along to put the kabosh on his rights. He was a genuine a*hole, peddling trash, but he put us in the position of having to defend him.

      The OCIYF (see that Legal Insurrection post for the definition) crowd is doing the same thing. I’m not judging any particular organizations, nor the people in them, but I will say that if you get your jollies by dangling your firearm between your thighs like your man-bits and walking around in public like that, then you probably should seek some professional help.

  • A. Barnes says:

    I’m not trying to “change minds,” ladies and gentlemen. Private organizations can not infringe the 2nd amendment. Only government and its agencies can. The Chipotle “incident,” such as it is, is only a defeat for open carry proponents if you believe, as the Victory Girls seem to, that there is a right to carry weapons on someone else’s private property. The 2nd amendment is not and has never been about that. Chipotle is free to ban guns on its premises, and I am free not to go there if/when/while I am packing heat.

    Philosophically speaking, the 2nd amendment was no more than the founding fathers recognizing the people’s God-given right to choose how to defend themselves. I find it absolutely disgusting that certain individuals would make this issue personal, and I hereby register my displeasure.

    • Nicki says:

      I don’t think that’s the case at all, and I don’t think that’s what Cassy and Kit are arguing here. Of course, everything you said is absolutely spot on. Chipotle and any other business establishment has the right to ban or not ban guns on its premises anytime they want. No one here (I don’t think) is arguing that point. What they did say, and I agree wholeheartedly, is that at least two restaurants that have until recently been neutral and welcoming to people who carried their tools of self defense with them (Starbucks, and more recently Chipotle) have changed their policy regarding open carry, because some in-your-face types decided to be… well… in your face, because they could. Both establishments were dragged into the middle of this political issue when all they wanted to do is sell food/coffee. And it wasn’t the gun grabbers who succeeded in compelling these establishments to change their policies. It was the open carry inbreeds such as the ones pictured above, taking photos, strutting around with magazines in the wells, and staging mini rallies (or Starbucks appreciation days, as they were called).

      • A. Barnes says:

        If “no one here is arguing that point,” then what’s the problem? Most of the post is Victory Girls taking pot shots at CJ while offering up incomplete information about what happened at Chipotle and why.

        POINT-IN-FACT #1: The OCT crew asked if they could be there, and the manager invited them in. OCT’s stated mission is to recognize businesses that allow open carry and encourage patronization therein. To my knowledge, they have never been at a business that didn’t want them there.

        POINT-IN-FACT #2: A fair amount of this post is devoted to explaining how CJ was arrested and why it makes him a bad person. Someone care to explain to me what in the bloody blue hell this has to do with the soundness (or lack thereof) of OCT’s tactics?

        POINT-IN-FACT #3: The Victory Girls have a history with CJ Grisham. They are not impartial observers in all of this, and the invoking of “conscience” to justify their smears of Grisham reeks of gross misappropriation of the concept of conscience.

        If you really believe that OCT’s tactics are counterproductive, then fine. Work against them. Do what you must. But as you do, remember that places you squarely in Moms Demand Action territory; they’re working against OCT, too.

        • Nicki says:

          See? This is where you lose me. I have no beef with the Grishams one way or another. I have supported CJ over the years, both on my blog and financially during the trial. So, this is not personal for me. However, this “you’re either with them, or you’re a gun grabbing asshole” attitude is getting old. I have a long history of working in the gun rights movement. I certainly don’t need arrogant OC advocates getting in my face because I advocate decorum when carrying – open or concealed.

          My problem is that they do strut around, stage rallies and draw attention to themselves instead of just getting food and getting out. I open carry sometimes, depending on my outfit, but I certainly don’t stick my hip in the faces of people who are in the restaurant with me and show off my hardware. It’s there. It’s visible. No one cares. They stage drama for the sake of doing exactly that – drawing attention to themselves. There’s no decorum. There’s no respect for others. And those are the types of actions that prompt these businesses to change their policies.

          To quote someone from a comment on my blog on the issue:

          I don’t gut deers in my front yard in front of my neighbors’ kids. Why, it’s my right to do it anywhere in my own property right? Because there is a thing called decorum. People need to use it. I am not in the business of making people feel nervous. Hell, as a gun owner I do everything I can to educate people and make them feel safer having me around. My slinging up my AR and walking into Walmart isn’t making anyone feel safer and it isn’t educating anyone, you are only alienating them. If anything it is reinforcing the stereotype the left has put on gun owners: that we are all irresponsible trigger happy renegades.

          THAT is my problem with these people.

        • Jodi says:

          A. Barnes, suffice it to say, we at VG are not an echo chamber. While I agree with portions of this post, my position is that MDA stuck its nose into what appeared from my research (what was available at the time) an otherwise benign–although we can argue, boneheaded–“event,” and turned it into a Scary Scene at Chipotle to serve their agenda. Just like they did with Jack in the Box recently. Liars don’t deserve a second thought, in my opinion. They lied about Dana Loesch, and they lied about what happened at JITB, and therefore their credibility is zilch.

          I’m in agreement that we should practice common sense if and when we choose to OC. I don’t agree that states can take away our 2A rights. There are many of us out here who are purists. I happen to believe that any law that addresses firearms is unconstitutional. But as I noted in my blog post yesterday, private businesses are free to set their own policy. Their choices should be respected. In the same way I can choose not to patronize them.

          I’m of the belief that the media, our schools, and of course, our pol critters have programmed us to fear guns, and that more open carry (in a responsible manner, of course) would serve to eventually negate all the brainwashing they’ve done, and continue to do. I’ve lived in Cali (guns are evil), I’ve lived in Arizona (way-cool gunslingers looking like transplants from the Wild West), and now I’m a second-time Idahoan, this time up in the “scary right-wing extremist” Northern area where guns are everywhere (and crime is virtually nonexistent, by the way). It’s an unspoken truth that just about everyone in the private business you’re patronizing is packing. We all know it. So do the would-be criminals.

          What’s my point, other that sharing my POV on OC, etc? That VG is a group of women with diverse opinions, and sometimes we respectfully disagree. 😉

    • GWB says:

      Huh? The Victory Girls aren’t arguing that Chipotle is violating the Second Amendment. And they certainly don’t think there’s a right to carry on other people’s property (without their permission). Are you sure you were reading the same post all the rest of us did? (I’m pretty sure you weren’t.)

      • A. Barnes says:

        Okay. So what’s the beef? If it’s not about infringing the 2nd amendment, what’s their real problem with Grisham? I don’t get what the big flap is all about that was of such import, TWO of the Victory Girls decided to put their name on a cheap smear job.

        • GWB says:

          Ahah! See, it isn’t about *anything* you wrote in your initial comment. It was simply you disagreeing with them about Grisham.

  • A. Barnes says:

    I hear a lot of this, folks. “It’s not about infringing the 2nd amendment.” “No one’s arguing that Chipotle doesn’t have the right…” Etc. Etc. When you strip all that away, what’s left besides a bunch of unfair smears of OCT and CJ Grisham?

    • Nicki says:

      Please see my reply above.

      • A. Barnes says:

        I saw your reply above, Nicki. It does not address my question. I’ve gotten all kinds of info and statements regarding what it’s NOT about. And all I’m left with is slurs, personal attacks, and two women who, while nominally pro-gun, can’t stand to be made to feel uncomfortable by folks who work in service of the cause in a manner that they they themselves would not.

        I can handle a simple disagreement. A simple difference of opinion. That’s another thing this issue isn’t about.

        • Nicki says:

          I’m not following what you’re asking here. I don’t see them being made “uncomfortable,” but saying exactly what I said above – that there’s decorum and personal responsibility that was not a part of these people’s equation. They also provided more details into the group and its leader. So I’m a bit confused.

        • GWB says:

          What is it actually about? A lot of it is about people being jerks when practicing OC. The rest of it seems to be about one of the people behind all of this OCIYF.

          These folks are NOT working “in service of the cause”. They’re being attention-whores. If you really want to make people feel comfortable around OC, you don’t pose for ‘hero pics’.

    • GWB says:

      You’re hearing a lot about it because you are the one that brought it up, not the VG.

  • A. Barnes says:

    http://danaloeschradio.com/chipotle-to-customer-not-a-ban-on-guns/

    The whole premise of this blog post is faulty from the get-go! I think the Victory Girls owe OCT a retraction, much as I doubt they’ll provide one.

    • Nicki says:

      From what I can see Chipotle is doing exactly what Starbucks did. “As it stands, we are strongly and respectfully asking that our customers not bring any guns into our restaurants.”

      Yes, they comply with state laws. But they’re also “strongly” asking customers not to bring guns in. So what’s next? Will OCT “strongly” ignore the request, since they don’t technically HAVE to?

      The point is that where the restaurant was friendly to gun owners, it is no longer so.

      • A. Barnes says:

        So what? Who cares? This is not a 2nd amendment issue. The manager of the Chipotle in question, a franchisee from what I understand, said that OCT was welcome back there any time and that the “strongly worded” statement didn’t speak for him.

        They followed the law before, and they will follow the law now. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

  • NDB says:

    Yeesh, I post my thoughts and a link then spend the day working on a whole bunch of other matters . . .come back to find all sorts of commentary!!

    My final thought on this?? Those guys who went into Chipotle and posted their photos have led everyone to believe that they are members of the OCT group. Therefore, unless someone leading the OCT group states unequivocally that their actions were a bit over the top/in your face . . and irresponsible (look how the one on the right is holding his weapon) – then any thinking member of the public would presume that OCT condones the actions of those two.

    Our Founding Fathers stated multiple times that with the freedoms provided by the Constitution comes great responsibility. Our Founders used words and deeds to make people THINK and change course. But did they do so in such a manner that made every single person around them uneasy, uncomfortable, or even scared to be in the same room with them? I don’t think so.

    If we are all going to be advocates of the 2nd Amendment, then I firmly believe we should be advocates and extremely knowledgeable of the ENTIRE Constitution of the United States, writings of our Founders, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers. We should do so knowledgeably, reasonably, responsibly, respectfully, courteously, and appropriately firm of conviction.

  • Jermaine Mason says:

    I served with Cj Grisham from 2008 to 2010 with 308th MI BN. TOP GRISHAM is one of the finest NCO’S I served with. He is the living definition of put soldiers needs ahead of his own. He is the NCO Creed. It is very rare to run into a NCO like that some talk the talk, but CJ always walk the walk too. Thats why when he step down as our 1SG it was that much harder to say farewell. He step down to take care of his own issues with PTSD that he was pushing to the back burner because he was living the NCO creed like good NCO’S should. Its takes a lot for us as NCO’S to take time and take care of ourselves, but that’s what CJ had to do in order to be a better Soldier, Husband, Father, and Man. Its just that simple he stepped away to finally take care of CJ for once. I am proud to say I served with him, and even more proud that he took time out to take care of himself even if it meant we had to lose a great 1SG in the process.

  • Tom RKBA says:

    “How Open Carry Texas Forced Chipotle to Ban Guns”

    Incorrect. They REQUESTED customers do not bring guns into their stores. This is very different from a ban.

    This is from Phil Van Cleave of VCDL (vcdl.org):

    “2. Thoughts on Chipolte’s new position on carry in their establishments
    *****************************************************************

    Based on the headlines in the press, you’d swear that the Chipolte restaurant chain is now banning guns on their premises. Lazy, biased reporting does not change the facts, however.

    Chipolte has simply taken the same road as Starbucks and Jack-in-the-Box: REQUESTING that gun owners do not carry in their establishments.

    That is a night and day difference from banning guns. Clearly all they want is for the anti-gun group Moms Demand Action (MDM) to quit whining and go eat a burrito.

    Based on their press release, it is clear that gun owners can continue to legally carry in their establishments – openly or concealed, same is with Starbucks and Jack-in-the-Box.

    The MDM call it a victory in an effort to seem relevant, but I can’t quit yawning.

    Here is an article with a correctly worded title:

    “Chipotle asks customers not to bring firearms to stores”

    From theguardian.com: http://tinyurl.com/nfwszpl

    • GWB says:

      The difficulty, Tom, is that that request in most states means you cannot now carry in their establishment. (Admittedly, this depends on franchisees following that particular corporate memo.) If they say “please don’t bring your weapons in our stores” it is the same as posting a “No guns” sign in their window as far as the laws are concerned.

      The one big difference would be that you could claim ignorance of their stand if they don’t put the sign up – until someone says something to you.

  • Jami Wingerter says:

    I served under 1SG Grisham at Redstone Arsenal, AL. I worked in his orderly room as his company’s human resources manager. He was in NO way DEMOTED! As a matter of fact, he pulled me aside personally and told me his reasons for leaving before he made his announcement to the rest of the company. After his deployments, he suffered pretty severe PTSD. Even after his diagnosis, he still maintained compete control of his unit, and ensured his Soldiers were taken care of. The Army needs more NCO’s like him. 1SG Grisham was dedicated to his Soldiers and his family. I was very sorry to see him go, but understood his need to take care of himself. My children also attended the school mentioned in this article, so I know first hand how difficult the staff can be. Before you so quickly judge someone, get the facts about them. C.J Grisham’s true character is NOT AT ALL represented here.

  • […] a vast majority of top responses to Sykes and others who shared the picture ridiculed the man identified online as C.J. Grisham of Open Carry Texas. It was the actions of Grisham and similar pro-gun activists in […]

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