RICHMOND, Va. – Photos of pro-gun advocates walking down the streets of Richmond carrying large guns prompted a CBS 6 investigation that sparked a firestorm on social media.
In fact, many responded on the CBS 6 Facebook page that the group was taking its constitutional rights too far –- and some went to so far to say they would do whatever they could to stop them.
However, there were no fireworks in Carytown Friday as only two men lumbered along carrying long guns and an American flag asking those out and about to support open carry laws.
“Excuse me ladies, would you like a flyer? We’re just educating people about the constitutional rights,” asked open carry supporter Scott Royle.
Some people took the handout, while others said no thanks and kept on walking.
However, the Independence Day rally did not go exactly since only two participates showed up, when a handful had been expected.
At the same time, there were no visible protesters after a flurry of anti-gun Facebook messages warning them about showing up were posted on the event’s page.
“I will presume you are a terrorist threat and call 911 immediately,” one person wrote. “ I encourage everyone else to do the same.”
The hostility upset open carry supporter Jason Spitzer.
“Why is it we get threatened like that, where we’re just exercising our rights like everyone else,” Spitzer asked.
Additionally, some people who do not agree with the men open carrying their long guns, do not agree with the posts either.
“I don’t support these people necessarily just totally lashing out against them, calling them out and just making references to Nazi’ and terrorists, because that’s not really what they are trying to do,” said Holly Sullivan, who works In Carytown.
Maeghan Glass, who frequents Carytown with her daughter, said that as long as the men are not harming anyone and do not bother anyone who does not want to be around them, then they are doing nothing wrong.
Some who knew about the Facebook messages were concerned there could be a clash..
“The Facebook posts is a little disturbing, because it makes me nervous that something could happen on the street,” said Paula Hanson, who works In Carytown.
However, others had no issues with the group.
“I think that we should protect our rights, the second amendment and I mean they’re not loaded, I don’t think they are hurting anybody,” said Annelise Borrell.