Armed Citizens and Downtown Protesters Find Common Ground
Referencing an earlier story, Missoula police and City Hall had recently received several calls from Black Lives Matter protesters who were nervous about armed citizens in the downtown area.
Last week, there were genuine fears that Antifa would come to Missoula to perhaps start a violent protest.
One of the armed citizens who chose to make his presence known is Missoula attorney Quentin Rhoades who agreed to tell his story to KGVO News.
“We expected that if Antifa showed up that they would come prepared for violence,” said Rhoades. “So, consequently we exercised our right of ‘open carry’ to insure that if people were violent towards us they would know that we had the ability to defend ourselves if that became necessary.”
Rhoades was sensitive to the fact that some of the local protesters would be uncomfortable with those who chose to bear firearms in public.
“I’m sure that there were some people who were nervous,” he said. “I was scared on Tuesday night because we had no idea what was going to happen. We had just heard what was going to be there and we saw on the news media what had happened in other towns. However, by Thursday night the people present had built relationships and we recognized one another. We didn’t agree on politics, but everybody agreed in the First Amendment and the Second Amendment.”
Rhoades related a remarkable story that brought the two sides together during the protests.
“On Wednesday night, this happened,” he said. “The woman with the bullhorn who was part of the Black Lives Matter organizers, the ones who were the organizers, they expressly thanked us on the bullhorn for our efforts and asked the crowd to give us a round of applause, and they did.”
The protests were primarily held near the Missoula County Courthouse and City Hall.