Meet Hell’s Saints, an open carry group in Michigan. They’re earnest, friendly, and come across as gently zealous — just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses who sometimes knock on our doors — only they’re heavily armed and not nearly as well-dressed.
But instead of going to church on Sundays (or perhaps they do this after church), the Hell’s Saints open carry group strolls through neighborhoods in various cities throughout Michigan packing heat and preaching the joys of freedom, moar guns, and open carry to all who will listen.
But there are a few things that make Hell’s Saints seem different than a lot of the open carry groups we normally hear about… which definitely makes them more worrisome for those who’d rather not see
fake d*cks guns displayed in public:
(1) They’re scary-friendly, unflaggingly courteous, and even charming… to everyone, always; (2) Their paranoid “sovereign-citizen” schtick seems un-tinged with the racism we often see in open carry groups; (3) They come across as smart, rational, and legal-savvy; and (4) They nearly always carry a video camera with them during their wanderings for documentation. And the Hell’s Saints produce video documentation in abundance.
Hell’s Saints take an open carry stroll through Detroit.
On September 9th, they took a 5.4 mile walk through the streets of Detroit, the “murder capital of the USA,” following their usual script (they’ve got 78 videos of their weekly Sunday wanderings on the Hell’s Saints’ YouTube channel), which usually consists of the following plot points:
- Casually sauntering through some neighborhood in Michigan with their assault rifles prominently displayed, while giving legal advice on how to get felonies expunged so the folks with whom they’re chatting can legally get their hands on a gun;
- Waving at cars and chatting up the neighbors about how “white, black, it doesn’t matter, everybody’s free!” — or, at least, they manage to chat up those neighbors who haven’t already fled to their basements in a state of terror after barring all the doors and windows.
- Getting stopped and questioned by police officers responding to calls from the neighbors they haven’t been able to distract with their winning charm;
- Engaging in long-winded conversations with police officers, in which the cops explain that the display of guns makes people nervous and risks inciting violence, and the Hell’s Saints cheerfully and courteously assert their legal rights to openly carry weapons in the state of Michigan.
Seriously, if we Democrats pursued getting voters registered with the kind of patient, consistent, dogged determination Hell’s Saints devote to their open carry cause, we wouldn’t have to worry about Republicans winning the Senate in November.
Sometimes police give the Hell’s Saints open carry folks a hard time, but — since they know their legal rights and when not to cross over the line — they rarely if ever get arrested…. Until the following weekend.
While three of the Hell’s Saints were busy sauntering through the ‘hood in Muskogee — and then getting forced to the ground and frisked at gunpoint by cops who really had no tolerance for this nonsense — their friend Elijah Woody got arrested in Detroit. And yes, of course Woody’s the black guy.
The thing that totally confuses this writer about all this open carry gun stuff is …. why would someone open carrying get arrested on a concealed weapon charge? Isn’t “concealed” the opposite of “open?”
In any case, this writer was unable to look up the arrest, because the police department for the GOP-appointed “emergency manager”‘s privatized, post-apocalyptic, libertarian hellscape of Detroit no longer provides crime summary reports. To obtain crime reports — which are generally available online and at least provided to local newspapers for free — Detroit’s Finest now requires you to physically walk into their office, pay $4.00, and provide an ID and 10-digit CRISNET or official complaint number.
Here’s the video with the Hell’s Saints’ open carry saunter through Detroit on September 9th — complete with a tense police confrontation.
And here’s the video with the Hell’s Saints’ ill-fated open carry stroll on September 14th in Muskegon, MI with police who don’t seem to appreciate autonomous, heavily-armed citizens roaming about.