A Texas woman called the police on a man wearing an offensive and concerning T-shirt while playing with his children at a local playground.
What are the details of the shirt?
The shirt in question is a cop-designed, pro-Second Amendment T-shirt that features an AR-style weapon graphic and text that reads, “I’ll control my guns, you control your kids.”
The company, Warrior 12, conceives and creates pro-law enforcement and American patriotism apparel.
A description of the T-shirt can be seen on Warrior 12’s webpage, which states:
Gun control is a touchy subject in today’s day and age. The issue isn’t guns, it’s people. If parent’s [sic] could just learn to control their kids and take responsibility, we wouldn’t have all the issues we do today. Instead, it is much easier to point the finger at proud gun owning Americans and attack our 2nd Amendment rights.
Gun Control – I’ll Control My Guns, You Control Your Kids! For a limited time only! Show your support for the 2nd…
And what are the details of the incident?
On Saturday, Blue Lives Matter reported that the man’s shirt was not only upsetting the woman, but reportedly others in the vicinity as well.
Troy Johnston was visiting a Benbrook, Texas, playground with his two daughters to play in late March.
Johnston, who was legally and openly carrying his firearm on a hip holster wore the above shirt to the father-daughter outing.
“I figured I might get some comments or looks,” Johnston told Blue Lives Matter. “[But] I was legally exercising my First and Second Amendment rights.”
A short while after Johnston and his daughters arrived, a man, along with his family reportedly, approached Johnston about his T-shirt.
The man reportedly told Johnston that, between his open carry and his T-shirt, a nearby woman was “fuming.”
“I thanked him for letting me know, and continued playing with my kids,” Johnson said, and he noted that shortly after, another family approached him.
This time, the second family wanted to read Johnston’s shirt, which was apparently creating waves in the park by this point.
The man from the second family reportedly told Johnston that the woman was contacting law enforcement over his shirt, adding that he personally “felt more secure knowing there was someone [in the park] that would protect them.”
What did the police say?
Blue Lives Matter reported that Benbrook Police Department Cpl. J. Reese said the woman did indeed call police on Johnston, and described him as a “suspicious person” who had a “gun holstered to his chest” and wearing the offensive T-shirt.
When Reese arrived at the park, he spoke with the woman, who said that Johnston was “was making other parents on the playground very uncomfortable with his T-shirt.”
“The subject did not act threatening to anyone, nor did he threaten anyone,” Reese noted, and later described Johnston as “polite.”
“She was not scared of the gun,” Reese added. “[She] was concerned about his T-shirt.”
According to Johnston, who “voluntarily identified himself” to Reese, he offered to show his gun permit to police.
“They didn’t ask,” Johnston told Blue Lives Matter.
Police said Johnston did nothing wrong and was able to leave the playground.
“I cannot believe how the media has convinced so many people that guns are scary,” he told the website. “This lady was having a literal panic attack.”
He added, “I love my shirt. I’ll probably order more just so I can wear them every day I’m off of work.”
The T-shirt’s original creator also faced heavy criticism for the shirt’s design in March.
The unnamed officer, who owns Warrior 12 clothing, said that he has been “flooded with hate messages” as a result of the shirt.
“I’ve been having people accuse me of being responsible for the school shootings, of having blood on my hands,” he said. “They are conflating a shirt about constitutional rights and personal responsibility with horrific acts of mass murder.
“Guns don’t cause violence,” the officer added. “If we can examine and work on the actual root causes of violence, then that’s when we’ll see a reduction in violent acts.”