The East Contra Costa T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) Party’s first Veterans Hall meeting on Tuesday included a talk by Gus Konstantaras of East Bay Open Carry, a group that campaigns in support of the right for all American citizens to carry properly-holstered, unloaded handguns.
Konstantaras told an audience of approximately 60 attendees that if citizens don’t stand up for their right to bear arms, as stated in the Second Amendment of the Constitution, the government will take that right away. In California, the state legislature is expected to vote early next month on Assembly Bill 1934. If passed, it will ban Open Carry, an outcome Konstantaras and many members of the audience hope to never see.
“Let me tell you,” Konstantaras told the audience. “A gun doesn’t kill someone. You kill someone. People kill people. Guns don’t kill people. Guns are only a tool. A carpenter can use a hammer to kill someone, so it’s only a tool. It’s how you use it. We’ve got to dispel this myth that a gun carried by a person is bad. It’s not bad.”
Fellow East Bay Open Carry member Jon Schwartz also implored the crowd to take the Open Carry issue seriously and contact their representatives to make sure AB1934 doesn’t pass, as all Americans have a “God-given right to self defense.”
To the applause of the crowd, Konstantaras called upon his fellow Americans to stand up for the right to protect themselves. If they don’t, he said, dark days could be ahead.
“We’ve got to activate,” Konstantaras said. “We need to pull together because they (the government) are taking our rights away. Day by day these politicians, these Obama lovers, are taking our rights away and pretty soon, we’re gonna blink, and it’s going to be 1939 all over again.”
As members of the crowd whispered among themselves and nodded in agreement, Konstantaras developed his point further, explaining that online reports have suggested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is creating concentration camps to hold those who oppose the government. He urged guests to log on to YouTube to view videos about the alleged camps, which are rumored to be located in Montana. He also hypothesized that the oil spill in the Gulf was deliberately created to distract the public from what is really going on, and urged T.E.A. Party members to open their eyes and stay vigilant.
“This (activism) is a very important piece of my life in these days – I’m sorry I’m going to say it – these Obama days, these Osama days,” Konstantaras said. “I’m appalled about what’s happening today in our country, and I’m all for what the T.E.A. Party means and this movement in Brentwood and ECC (East Contra Costa), and you guys have my support.”
East Contra Costa T.E.A. Party organizer Jill Price said she hopes these presentations will help educate the public even if they are not T.E.A. Party members. “People can make good decisions when they have the right information, so it’s important to educate the public about important issues that face our daily lives,” Price said. “We are the people, and we are the government, and presentations like this help spread the word and get people involved.”
Price stressed that the T.E.A. Party is a nonpartisan organization whose members are upset with conservative and liberal politicians alike and expect elected officials to represent their constituents properly by aligning themselves with core conservative or liberal values. If that doesn’t happen, Price said members of the T.E.A. Party would hold these politicians’ feet to the proverbial fire and vote them out if T.E.A. Party members don’t feel truly represented.
The East Contra Costa T.E.A. Party meeting for the month of August will feature a candidate forum with David Harmer, who is running for the 11th Congressional District, and Gary Clift, who is running for the 10th Congressional District. Price also hopes to schedule John Dennis, who is running against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her seat to represent California’s Eighth Congressional District.
The East Contra Costa T.E.A. Party holds meetings on the last Tuesday of the month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Veterans Hall, 757 First St. in Brentwood. The next meeting will be held on Aug. 31.
For more information, e-mail Price at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 925-550-2359 or visit www.eastcontracostateaparty.org.