First Shirt’s arrest led to Come and Take It activism

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The image that started it all – Sgt. 1/C C.J. Grisham arrested for the open carry of an AR-15 and licensed concealed carry of his .45 ACP

Bastrop, TX – This picturesque community nestled in a valley on the Colorado River near Austin is not far from the flash point of the Texas Revolution of 1836 at Gonzales.

A change in regimes at Mexico City had brought grief for Texian colonists in the State of Coahuila. The dictator Generalissimo Santa Ana called for his troopers to reclaim cannon and munitions from the colonial alcaldes – and they were not having it. Hence, the revolutionary slogan, “Come and Take It.”

Members of C.A.T.I. – in Texas and nationwide, have a similarly defiant attitude toward modern day efforts to disarm the people. “Without the Second Amendment, you have no other rights,” says Murdoch Pizgatti, a co-founder of the group that has faced arrest in communities all across Texas in order to openly carry long guns and handguns. Their activities have prompted mucho friction, but on Saturday, July 18, they fairly had to go knock on the door at the Bastrop Police Department – just to let them know they were in town and carrying their rifles.

Asked what turned him into a gun rights activist, Pizgatti told The Legendary it was the image of Temple, Texas, police officers jerking then Army Master Sergeant C.J. Grisham around for making a 10-mile hike with his son, who was working on a merit badge to become an Eagle Scout – armed with his rifle and handgun. A passing motorist, whom, as it turned out, is a social worker for the local branch of Child Protective Services (CPS), called police because she felt threatened by the firearm Grisham carried.

Prosecutors decided it was all perfectly legal, so authorities charged him with interfering with the duties of a public official. His conviction is still under appeal, and a judge has denied municipal authorities immunity from civil litigation for false arrest and official oppression.

Here’s an interview of Pizgatti and some of his men and women as they marched on the Bastrop police on Saturday.

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