During recent protests marking the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, the Oath Keepers gun group sent armed members to Ferguson, Mo. to provide “security” to journalists and local businesses.
Local law enforcement criticized the move, calling the Oath Keepers’ presence in Ferguson “inflammatory and unnecessary.” Many in the gun rights community also condemned the group’s actions, saying they did nothing but raise tensions and fan the flames of an already dangerous situation.
Now the Oath Keepers have announced they will return to Ferguson to stage an open carry demonstration, which they say will be joined by African-American Oath Keepers and members of the Ferguson community. An Oath Keepers leader also went on the record saying he believes the Ferguson protesters should be armed.
While the Oath Keepers’ prior activities in Ferguson — which included a “peace-keeping” visit in 2014 following grand jury decision not to indict Brown’s shooter, officer Darren Wilson — may have led to increased tension, their new plan could actually cause someone to get hurt.
There are many law-abiding gun owners in the Ferguson community who should have every right to defend themselves, including residents who have banded together to protect businesses from looting and keep the community safe.
But there are also a large number of looters and violent criminals who have no business being anywhere near a firearm. These protesters have already destroyed property, fired on police, and caused permanent damage to the community.
Who, exactly, are the Oath Keepers trying to arm?