Update on July 4 Parade

I’ve received the following update on the parade from Mike Hess. Please take a moment to read this, since we’ve had a lot of confusion surrounding all the rapid-fire events regarding this year’s parade.

Greetings fellow Citizen-Patriots,

The Town of Westcliffe Mayor and Council Members voted unanimously to sponsor the Parade that had been canceled by 4 members of the Chamber of Commerce (the original sponsors).  So, everything is still a go for the SCPC to march as previously planned.  A more detailed message/map will be issued on Monday afternoon but some immediate planning info is provided below.

We are planning to hold a responsible, peaceful and lawful march to show our support for the Colorado Sheriffs that have joined the lawsuit and for our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights.  A group of local (and not so local) liberal and progressive citizens exercised their 1st Amendment rights to to trample and infringe on conservatives and tea party members’ 1st AND 2nd Amendment rights by trying to get the Independence Day Parade canceled or prevent the SCPC from marching in it.  They failed.  The courageous leaders and the good citizens of Custer County saw to that.

We want to make something PERFECTLY CLEAR here.  We have seen some internet postings suggesting that we are marching with civil disobedience or civil insurrection in mind.  NOTHING could be more wrong.  We are law-abiding citizens and patriots that love our constitution and our country and are marching, not to intimidate our fellow citizens, but rather as a lawful, peaceful and non-intimidating exercise of our rights to assemble, speak and do so with UNLOADED Open Carry firearms.  We know we don’t have to legally but we are doing this as a gesture of respect and as a small assurance to the courageous leaders of this community that so strongly and wholeheartedly supported us.  We want to march like this for many years to come.  If this seems unreasonable to you then maybe you should not participate.  This is what we did in Canon City and everyone that participated was OK with that rule. We will have local tea party members acting as marshals and we will not tolerate any type of bad behavior. The liberal progressives are the immature, irresponsible and lawless citizens (see any Occupy Wall Street event) and they would love nothing more than to bait us into a stupid act they could film or record.  We owe it to all responsible constitutionally-loving TEA Party brothers and sisters all over America.  We will be smart and not fall into their traps.

Please come around 9:00am, Parade now starts at 10:30am.  There will be 2 large trailers for those that need to ride. Open Carry is encouraged, all firearms to be slung or holstered and UNLOADED.  Flags and homemade signs are also encouraged and as always nothing racist or threatening.  Those kind do not help our important cause. Focus on our Sheriffs and our constitutional rights. Again, nothing to embarrass our important TEA Party efforts nation-wide.  We can “do our thing” and be positive.

Hope to see you all there to help us be united and make a strong public statement about the liberals attempts to mess with our guns, liberties and freedoms.  Let’s march TALL, PROUD and SMART!!  More detailed info on Monday.

Regards, Mike


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15 Responses to Update on July 4 Parade

  1. Robert F. says:

    Can you post some evidence that your rights were infringed, and what/who threatened to stop you from parading? Who tried to ” get the Independence Day Parade canceled or prevent the SCPC from marching in it.” and just how.

    Using unproven claims to further your cause is not anything but Fox News tactics. You know, those “Fair and Balanced” people who make up what they want to call news.

    Oh, one more thing, Costco has Aluminum Foil on sale and you can find hat diagrams and folding instructions on Google.

    Former Westcliffian

  2. Jeff Mowry says:

    Robert, you might want to ask these things of Mike Hess, whose contact info can be found on our contact page. You probably noticed I’m not Mike, and he may well know some things I wouldn’t know or be able to answer, since he’s been involved in making sure the parade isn’t outright canceled this year.

    But there are a couple of things that are openly known. The Westcliffe Chamber of Commerce—who had originally sponsored the parade—decided they would rather shut down the parade in its entirety than have folks with unloaded rifles marching in it. As seen in the editorial of the Wet Mountain Tribune last week:

    Rightfully, the Chamber recognized the potential danger this could pose to parade spectators; the long-term damage this could cause to our local tourist industry; and the obvious liability issues – civil and criminal – if something were to happen.

    . . .

    As we stated, we’re all for brisk and thoughtful discourse on the whole issue of gun rights as they apply to the Second Amendment. But the Tea Party’s blatant disregard for public safety, its attempt to thumb noses at common decency, and its tactics that can be deemed no less than playground bullying resulted on one of the Wet Mountain Valley’s great summer celebrations to be cancelled. Thanks, Party spoilers.

    It seems editor Jim Little is quite interested in pinning dramatic blame for the parade cancellation on the “Tea Party”—by which I suppose he’s talking about the Southern Colorado Patriots Club. The facts, however, are that the leaders of the Chamber of Commerce made this decision—not the Patriots Club. And some other things he says doesn’t seem to make any sense.

    For instance, how would participants in a parade pose any risk of any kind to anyone by marching with unloaded rifles? Seriously? And this is also suggesting that something openly legal is a grave threat to public safety.

    In contrast, from what I understand, our own Sheriff Jobe plans to lead those participating in the march, as this march is in support of the Colorado Sheriffs, the great majority of whom have openly stated they will not (and cannot, in some cases) enforce recently-enacted gun/magazine legislation that infringes upon the second amendment rights of citizens.

    “Disregard for public safety”? An “attempt to thumb noses at common decency”? Really? I never knew marching in support of our local Sheriff—directly behind him—in a parade was such an evil, unsafe thing to do.

    Of course, for some, the mere sight of a gun not held by the hands of a State agent evokes inconsolable fear. Maybe what we’re dealing with here is the irrational nature of a phobia.

  3. T. Paine says:

    I noticed at the meeting that the many local (very local, people who’ve lived long in this Valley and have contributed much to the town) concerned citizens were booed, heckled and jeered at by your contingent and therefore had very little first amendment rights to use (and they expressed concern not against any 2nd Amendment right, but simply pointed out safety issues, which is indeed a community’s right to discuss). I am a conservative, but at that meeting your group make me feel ashamed of that affiliation. You do not practice civil discourse, but engage in bullying and intimidating behavior. Do you think Thomas Jefferson stooped to such disrespectful and disruptive rhetorical tactics? Certainly not….he know how to frame a logical argument….none of what I heard Friday night from this so called “conservative” crowd.

    You taunt people who do not wish to see assault weapon at a family event. You belittle people who express concern that a non-local will fire his gun in a crowd. Guns are indeed legal (though your group says we have no 2nd Amendment rights and they need to be restored), but they can be used in illegal ways. Do you know for sure that all the guns to be displayed at the parade, even those carried by outsiders who you have invited in, will be unloaded? Do you know for sure someone will not inadvertently or intentionally fire their gun?

    Most citizens in this town own guns and support gun rights, but do not wish to see have a political agenda foisted on a family-centered, community event. So far, none of your group addresses that core issue — the one of safety and the inappropriateness of guns in a town parade — in a logical, straight-forward way. Mostly you just bluster, yell insults and shout instead of listen.

    Part of being in a community is to engage in civil discourse, listen to each other, work through disagreements in a reasonable and responsible way, and then decide based on the good of all. Where did this group learn about democracy? From the folks who staged the Reign of Terror? They were a unruly and irrational rabble too.

    T. Paine

  4. Jeff Mowry says:

    T., (may I call you Thomas?),

    Admittedly, I cannot deny what you say of the conduct of others at that meeting. I wasn’t there. I’ll take it when you say “you”, then, in your comment, you mean my “contingent” rather than me, personally.

    One of my deep beliefs that the one who initiates force is always in the wrong—and I live by that standard. No man is right to violate the liberty of another. Therefore, with that belief is the belief that persuasion—rather than force—is the only way to change society—the battle lies within hearts and minds. Fail to persuade, and nothing will remain changed when the force has been withdrawn—and besides, the force thing tends to violate my core principles. Look how well “bringing democracy” has worked out in nations mowed over in our recent military adventures. Same problem. And the people remain in the same basic condition as previously instead of “free”.

    Further, I myself have expressed similar concerns of having lots of people from outside our community show up to march in our parade. Seems a bit disproportionate, doesn’t it? Might even be perceived as a show of force. And though it may be perceived this way, I don’t believe this is the real intention. The intention is a march of solidarity with our Sheriff, who joined the overwhelming majority of other Sheriffs in Colorado to protest recent gun legislation that either 1) expressly infringes upon our second amendment rights, or 2) literally cannot be enforced (I’m speaking of the limit of magazine capacity—unless you already had said over-capacity magazines before the ban goes into effect). Seen in this light, having folks from outside our community joining our parade isn’t so much a show of force as one of solidarity, uniting with the county Sheriffs of Colorado in protesting utterly ridiculous (and ineffective) gun rights restrictions. (After all, criminals will by nature ignore these laws.)

    I hope you find my reply logical and reasonable, free of any blustering or shouting. And I’m sorry if you encountered folks who behaved that way. But maybe I’m not necessarily part of that “contingent” anyway, eh?

  5. Pingback: Colorado Patriots Club to carry unloaded guns in Westcliffe's 4th of July parade

  6. Peggi C. says:

    Robert F. – Several members of our local Democratic Party complained about the guns being in the parade. As a result of their complaints, the Chamber of Commerce voted to cancel the parade in its entirety. The Democrats wanted to take over sponsorship of the parade and refuse to let the Tea Party Patriots march. Fortunately, the Town of Westcliffe took over the sponsorship, instead.

  7. Paul L says:

    I would very much like to see you folks post a copy of the flier that was handed out, encouraging people to show up to the parade with their firearms. I’ve heard varying descriptions of the wording but I’d like folks to see it, rather than forming opinions on hearsay. Thanks.

  8. Lather says:

    You guys are nothing more than terrorist! Thanks for screwing up the 4th you Un-American fools, why to prove a point, a fake point because nobody is coming to “git yur gunz” you fricking hillbillies!
    YOU are what is wrong with America.. if you are so scared of the “guberment” why don’t you GTFO!

  9. Jeff Mowry says:

    Paul, have you seen our home page? It’s got a couple of links to the original PDF flier, which is still posted there.

    I appreciate you checking the facts for yourself.

  10. Jeff Mowry says:


    Thank you for your illuminating comment.

    This is an excellent example of some of our less supportive fan mail, and very well-reasoned, too. You’ve done a great job illustrating exactly why we’re terrorists, why we’ve screwed up the “4th”, why we’re “Un-American fools”, why we’re hillbillies, why we are what is wrong with America, and how we’re scared of the “guberment”. Poignant. Weather getting too hot in L.A.?

  11. Bob Jones says:

    I’m in Orange County in California, and I love reading about this. It’s been nothing been nothing but an uphill and losing battle in California to keep what little remains of our gun rights.

    Unfortunately, many of the idiot socialists who’ve ruined this state once profitable and beautiful state started emigrating to places like Colorado and screwing up that state as well.

    Hopefully, those in Colorado who still remember history and why upholding the US Constitution has and will be the key to our continued success as a nation will prevail at the end of all of this fear mongering and idiotic legislating that is going on today.

    They continue to strip away our rights, while bankrupting us. It’s time we all fight back.

  12. Richard says:

    It’s well noticed that those against pro-gun folks marching in the parade are just loaded with facts to back up their rants and bogus information. Kudos to the Town of Westcliffe Mayor and Council Members for not turning away from the Constitution. Way to go Southern Colorado Patriots – keep the message clean and simple.

  13. Vet63 says:

    The Westcliff march has drawn national attention via “The American Thinker”.
    That rant by “Lather” actually sounds very much like the “Tribune” editorial of June 13th which initiated the hysteria. Imagine a newspaper editor tryingto deny a citizens group their first amendment right of peaceable assembly and protest.

  14. Jeff Mowry says:


    Yes, we’ve had a huge amount of national interest in this little parade. I’ve really been surprised in this, figuring it wasn’t really such a big deal. But perhaps nothing similar is happening anywhere else? I wouldn’t think so, but maybe that’s what’s going on.

    Regarding the hysteria, it seems controversy “sells” news and the paper it’s printed on. (Maybe I should figure out a way to “sell” blog news?)

  15. Paul L says:

    Howdy folks. Just checking in but I see there is not much new on your web site since the 4th Parade brouhaha. Thanks for pointing out the copy of the flier that was distributed inviting folks to show up with their firearms to our local parade. You certainly had every right to do that and in no way should anyone have thought that you did not. But part of freedom is the freedom to exercise poor judgement, isn’t it?

    My opinion is that the extremists on both “sides” exercised poor judgement. The extreme left had every right to petition the Council to ban guns in the parade. The Council had every right to cancel their sponsorship of the parade. The extreme right had every right to recruit folks to show up to our little town with the kinds of guns that incite negative reactions, an act that violated the spirit of our local parade.

    All three instances I’ve cited are covered by a pretty basic concept … Just because we “can” doesn’t mean we “should.”

    Paul L

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