Monday, December 9, 2013
By Christopher Sherman
(Continued from page 1)
Gun rights advocates gather at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 19, 2013 to demonstrate in support of a Texas law that permits the open carry of long arms, such as rifles and shotguns. Organizers said a local ordinance restricting the carrying of firearms in public conflicts with state law.
The Associated Press
He did express doubts though about the location. “Why here? Why come out in an open park? Why in front of a monument? I do think that’s a little inappropriate.”
It was a question raised earlier by the Alamo Defenders’ Descendants Association. Lee Spencer White, its president, said her group considers the Alamo its family cemetery and as hallowed ground should remain free of demonstrations, which historically have been held on the adjacent plaza.
From 1905 to 2011, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas were the Alamo’s custodians. But in 2011, lawmakers gave the state’s General Land office control of the monument where Col. William Travis and 200 Texas defenders famously died in a siege with the Mexican army in 1836. It was Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson who approved the rally here.
“I respect the opinions of folks who say this is not the right place,” Patterson said to the crowd on Saturday. “But I submit to you there’s one standard we should apply to gatherings here at this sacred cradle of Texas liberty and that is whether our activity and our purpose would be supported by those men who gave it all.”
Patterson, who is running for lieutenant governor, did ask attendees to not block the path to the mission and to leave their rifles and signs outside when entering the chapel. “Even though you can lawfully do that, we have a reverence for that location where those men died.”