Photo by Theo Welling Jeffry Smith: armed, but, he says, not at all dangerous.
There, five police officers stand guard near the turnstiles. Just down the sidewalk a dozen people — nearly all women — wave signs reading "Animals not Ammo" and "Gun-Free Zone." The protesters stare daggers toward Jeffry Smith, a towering, pot-bellied bear of a man stuffed into a pink polo shirt and white shorts. He wears a maroon visor cap stenciled with the name of a Florida country club. He also wears a pistol holster on his waist, but it's empty. It looks like a chunky cell-phone case sold at a mall kiosk.
Smith, 56, has stationed himself in a patch of shade beneath a pedestrian bridge near the entrance, a slightly more comfortable spot to field questions from the gaggle of reporters on scene. He's surrounded by cameras and microphones.
"So, it's my understanding that you're from Cincinnati," begins a FOX 2 reporter. "Why come all the way here to Missouri to make this statement?"
Smith, who at six-foot-nine looms over the man, grumbles back, "I didn't."More »