Saturday saw nationwide protests over Donald Trump’s family separation policies — you know, the ones that Melania doesn’t really care about.
One of these protests was marred by counter-protesters who support the child internment camps.
When a counter-protester who had been shouting “womp womp” brandished a gun, however, things got downright scary.
The Keep Families United protest in Huntsville, Alabama was admittedly not the nation’s largest.
It took place at a gazebo in a park. It comprised of only 100 or so protesters.
Episcopal priest Kerry Holder-Joffrion was a speaker at the protest, where she delivered a prayer.
“Holy and ever-loving God …” she said, only for her words to be punctuated and interrupted by 34-year-old Shane Ryan Sealy.
Sealy, a counter-protester, would answer her words with “womp womp!”
“Womp womp” is, in a vacuum, simply a phrase to say when mocking someone else’s misfortune.
Famously, it was used in recent weeks by Trump surrogate Corey Lewandowski, who used the phrase to mock the story of a 10-year-old girl with Down Syndrome being separated from her family.
It seems clear that, as Sealy chanted that phrase, he was mocking the suffering of thousands of innocent children in Trump’s internment camps.
He was also carrying a sign that read “ICE ICE Baby,” the title of a Vanilla Ice song (the one with the conspicuously similar music to “Under Pressure”).
The sign was clearly a reference to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the organization founded in 2003 that has recently become so controversial that some of its own members wanted it disbanded.
Seaily’s thoughts on human rights may be horrifying, but they’re not cause for arrest.
Brandishing a gun, however, was another matter.
According to police, Sealy is accused of having picked a fight with one of the Keep Families United protesters and of then pushing the protester.
Police say that, when a protester responded by pushing him back, Sealy produced a pistol from out of his waistband.
“Gun, gun, gun, gun!” someone in the audience cried out in alarm.
Rally organizer Ava Caldwell described her reaction: “I got down on my face on the other side of the gazebo right here and just cried, I was so in shock.”
That sounds absolutely terrifying. Any public gathering, but especially a political one that aims to oppose Trump’s policies, could be a potential target for a shooting.
Fortunately, no one was shot, but it’s good to see that the crowd responded by making themselves more difficult to target.
Sealy left, then, pursued by one of the protesters. Sealy did not make it very far.
First one, and then two police cruisers pulled up to prevent his escape.
He was arrested on charges of possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of a protest.
At the time of his booking, he faced misdemeanor charges of menacing and reckless endangerment
His actions prompted some very real fear in a lot of people, with a young girl who had been scheduled to speak too frightened to go on.
As you exercise your First Amendment Rights, don’t forget to stay safe, folks.