Gun Nuts

Texas Man With AR-15 Rifle Terrifies Protesters At Confederate Memorial

Question: When you go to a protest or rally, do you carry a semiautomatic weapon with you? No? Me either, but then again I’m not one of these open-carry nutjobs who feels it’s necessary to put their Second Amendment rights in everyone else’s face.

Stephen Passariello, however, did this recently at a protest in Denton, Texas. The protest was to remove a memorial to the Confederacy (which, history shows us, lost the Civil War) from a public place and put it in a museum. So Passariello showed up to “counter-protest” while carrying a fully loaded AR-15 assault rifle.

As you can imagine, he frightened the living daylights out of those who were there to peacefully express their opinions.

One of the protesters, Willie Hudspeth, was carrying a sign that read:

Some of the other protesters then called police while Passariello told them:

“Why should we move this, why is this just now a big deal? Why weren’t you out here months ago?”

Hudspeth informed the young man that he had protested at the memorial at least 50 times since 2000.

The 22-year-old Passariello said he had never seen Hudspeth before, then added:

“I’ve been out here every week for the past 22 years.”

A few minutes later, police finally arrived and told Passariello he needed a sling for his assault weapon. But the young man later disagreed and complained:

“I was encouraged to open carry with a sling, although it wasn’t required. I was told that I can stay, but they would appreciate it if I got my sling so people wouldn’t feel so threatened.”

Others who witnessed what happened said Passariello acted oddly. Adam Rinkleff reported:

“He was, like, angry and he was jostling [the gun] like this (motioning as if moving a gun at his hip). I didn’t know if he had the safety on, I didn’t know if that gun was going to go off at any moment. I would say he was pointing the muzzle toward people as he talked. I was worried.”


On Facebook, Passariello has made blatantly racist remarks such as this one he posted during a discussion of a black suspect and white victim:

“Get the f*cking lynching ropes out. I’m tired of this bullshit.”

Yeah, what a great idea open carry is.

This article was originally published by the same author at

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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