Armed group marches on Katy Trail

An armed group took to Katy Trail to march in support of gun rights. Jason Wheeler reports.

On the best known trail in Dallas, a group of people showed up Saturday to exercise their right to carry.

"We are encouraging people down here to be armed," Murdoch Pizgatti, the president and founder of Come and Take It Texas, said.

This group, purposely clad in what they called "silly workout gear" so as not to intimidate, arrived with guns in hand near the Katy Trail to make a serious statement, said demonstrator Matthew Short.

"Dallas is not going to be Paris," he said. "We are not going to have an environment where people can murder 150-plus people because the public is not armed.

"We want the criminals to know that the public is armed and will take care of themselves."

But some who frequent the running track are not in step with that idea.

"I don't think the problem is going to be resolved by everyone carrying a gun on the Katy Trail," jogger Loren Bassett said.

As much as anything, though, organizers of the carry rally intended to aim their defiance at Dallas Police. In October, after a series of recent armed robberies on the trail, two men walked the path carrying toy guns that looked like rifles. Police acknowledged that carrying real weapons like that would be legal, but they encouraged people not to bring their firearms to this public space.

"What they did was tell the criminals that there are free pickings down at the park," Short said.

There was a noticeable police presence watching over the armed demonstration Saturday. And that just gave the marchers more rhetorical ammunition.

"We're not here to battle the police, but they are here in force today when they should have been in force out here weeks ago when people were being robbed on the trails," Short said.


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