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Fired Up: Food truck in flames and gun rights group at Denton Community Market

Fired Up: Food truck in flames and gun rights group at Denton Community Market

Fired Up: Food truck in flames and gun rights group at Denton Community Market
August 10
12:29 2013

Warning: this article references several obscene words in a direct quote, lower in the post. We used hyphens instead of the actual word to imply meaning.

Nadia Hill/Editor-in-Chief

About 10:30 a.m. at the Denton Community Market, at Carroll and Sycamore streets, smoked barbecue took on a whole new meaning. The back of new food truck Kendrick’s BBQ and More was engulfed in flames after a recently fixed generator blew. Two workers inside made it out just in time and a nearby vendor called the fire department. There were no reported injuries or damages other than the truck.

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Both workers attempted to extinguish the fire with water, but the smoke and flames only intensified. Bystanders took photos and videos as fire truck sirens were heard nearing the scene.

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Firefighters extinguished the flames in less than a minute. Two trucks were on the scene as well as a handful of Denton police officers. Officials inspected the food truck to make sure there were no other outstanding safety hazards.

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An hour later, the owners left the market and drove the truck to a repair shop.

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In an unrelated show of political beliefs, the grassroots organization Open Carry of Denton marched into the market from behind the burnt barbecue truck armed with unloaded rifles and assault weapons, while carrying a “Come and Take It” flag and an American flag.

The group, comprised of members from all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area, organizes awareness-gathering outings. This was the first time it made the trip to the community market. There were no incidents of violence.

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Divenchy Watrous

“We’re here to support the second amendment. Federal gun laws directly infringe on the second amendment,” said Divenchy Watrous, a 25-year-old Dallas resident and Open Carry of Denton member. He was carrying an AR-15 Windham. “Like with drinking, the government had to make a constitutional amendment to make it illegal and legal, which to me, is a testament to make a constitutional amendment for everything else. Any other law is unconstitutional.”

About 10 participants mingled among market customers and perused the stands. Residents and customers, for the most part, ignored the group or even asked them questions about why they were there.

“In the hands of lawful people, these guns reduce gun violence,” Watrous said. “When someone breaks into your home, and sees one of these, they get scared and back off.”

Three-year Denton resident Michael LaMontagne was the only customer who protested the group’s presence. LaMontagne approached the group and heatedly argued with a member.

“To pretend that they’re a peer of this community, this little subset of Denton, is just insane. It is confrontational,” he said. “I took the bait, but it’s in my nature. The second amendment, as far as the right to bear arms, does not apply to everything all the time. What would you say if they showed up with a nuclear weapon, or a hand grenade with the pins out. Are they a militia? What the f— is going on here? They’re here to threaten us and impose their insane, illogical, unfounded, dangerous vision.”

LaMontagne is employed as a scientist, and referenced the American Journal of Public Health and New England Journal of Medicine as his sources of data and beliefs that gun violence is attributed to quick access to assault weapons.

Despite LaMontagne’s argument, group members stayed at the market and a few purchased local goods. Matt Bauman of Earthwise Gardens said one member bought produce from their stand.

“They were very kind, cordial. They just bought peaches and olive oil,” Bauman said. “A lot of people that hang out here probably just have different beliefs.”

He said he heard quieted concerns from customers that someone might “tick them off,” but overall, no one paid the small group any attention.

“One of them joked, ‘I’ve never bought peaches with an assault weapon before,'” Bauman said.

While the vendors did not seem upset by the organization’s presence, and most customers did not display any positive or negative displays of attention, a few did approach the armed members with general questions about why they attended the market. Though none were heated aside from LaMontagne’s encounter.

“I just think by coming here, they’re trying to pick a fight,” LaMontagne said. “When I come here to get my pears on Saturday morning, I don’t want a–h—- here to pick a fight with me. I’m not going to logic or reason or debate with them. These guys came here and I’m just ‘standing my ground,’ cause this is our turf. If they were doing this in the town square, fine. But they came here for a reason.”

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