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6/20/2013 Party Spoilers

Just as the Tribune was going to press Wednesday afternoon, we received word that the Chamber of Commerce has cancelled the Fourth of July parade due to community dissention regarding the local Tea Party’s attempts to turn the parade into a gun-toting spectacle.

Chamber of Commerce co-director Rene Smith confirmed Wednesday that the Chamber board took that action following a lengthy meeting earlier that day. Apparently, all other July 4 activities will be held as planned.

In this space last week, we pointed out that the local so-called patriots had issued hundreds of invitations for people to bring all weapons – “especially the evil black ones” – and march in the July 4 parade here.

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.

Since last week’s editorial, a petition was organized by local residents on the website “change.org.” At last check, more than 150 comments were logged in by opponents to the mass display of weaponry.

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.