This is a resurrection, not only of my long-quiet blog, but of a call to arms, so to speak, as citizens of our country come together to use their First Amendment rights to protect the Second.
Everyone in this country is aware of the tragedies in Aurora, Colorado, and Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Those horrible acts of cowardly men have not only devastated families, but are tearing a seam between those who think that gun control is the solution and those who know that no gun control will keep a violent person from doing harm.
I’m not going to get into the whole debate over gun control. The country is pretty much divided into two camps now. There is the ban, ban, ban to save the children camp who base their entire agenda on emotional responses to an issue that is not about an inanimate object, but their own fears. The other is the group who, regardless of their portrayal in the media, is trying to use fact and reason to come up with true “common sense” solutions to the violence in our country.
Within hours of the last breaths of more than twenty children, the familiar anti-gun faces were on TV calling for more gun control. Within a day, the main stream media filled the airways with those same faces as they cried for a renewed ban on “assault weapons,” high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons. We heard from one polished face after another about the high-powered assault rifle with 30 round “clips” and the dreaded pistol grip. And we heard from politicians who have been waiting, patiently I might add, for just such a tragedy.
All of that has past, and now our future gun rights are in the hands of a president who has long been a supporter of an assault weapons ban – and gun control in general, a Senate made up of a strong group of anti-gun democrats, and a Congress that may be the final line in the sand.
Today, Saturday, January 19, 2013 was the first of what I believe will be many gatherings of like-minded individuals who came together to support our Second Amendment rights. Organized by Guns Across America and held in conjunction with events in almost every state capitol in the country, the rally drew more than 500 people from all walks of life – black and white, male and female, young and old – a mostly conservative crowd with a few gun-toting liberals in there too. One thing I noticed right away is that this was a family event. Parents brought their children, and those children weren’t just there to hold signs. I spoke to a few who “got it,” and knew that what happens now will affect their rights when they grow up.
Several speakers took to the podium including a pastor, an NRA representative and others. Overall, the speakers were articulate and knew the facts concerning the current gun rights debate and gun control in general. There were a few things that bothered me, one being the use of the F-bomb a couple times by one of the speakers. (Did I mention there were lots of kids there?) The second was when the same speaker made a call for violence, and several people in the crowd yelled, “off with his head,” referring to the President. I cringed when I heard it, and I prayed that the local television stations weren’t rolling when it happened. Actions like these will be used by our opponents to further the idea that we are maniacs preparing for blood-letting.
Aside from that awkward moment, the entire event was a peaceful, positive rally. One speaker asked who, aside from the dozen or so citizens openly armed, was carrying a firearm, and nearly 250 hands raised in the air. “I never felt safer,” he then said. There were a few people who, regardless of the request not to open-carry, decided to fully represent their Constitutional right and had their pistols openly displayed in hip holsters or thigh rigs. About a half-dozen decided to open-carry their rifles, and to my surprise, the vast majority with AR-15′s slung over their shoulders were women. Contrary to what the paranoid anti-gunners would have you believe, none of the evil black rifles sprayed hundreds of bullets into the crowd, and the Capitol Police officers let them be. Honestly, I was happy to see the folks openly armed, as I know from experience that rallies like today’s are often targeted by anarchists. Thankfully there was only one lonely voice of discontent at the rally, and she shut her yap pretty quickly when everyone turned their backs and ignored her. Following the rally, hundreds of people lined up to sign a petition to protect gun rights.
Overall I’d say the rally was a great success. My only hope is that future speeches from the podium do not include foul language or a call for violence. Through all of this, we are trying to prove that the actions of a few do not represent the whole, so please, don’t say stupid things that misrepresent our cause. Now is a time for action, for calling and writing our elected officials. It is a time for making our voices heard that we will not stand for more laws, especially when the Vice President says that they don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute those breaking the current laws. The Vice President has suggested to President Obama that background checks need strengthened, yet only 60 or so people out of more than 80,000 individuals who failed a background check to purchase a firearm last year were investigated, and only twenty or so of those were prosecuted.
The politicians, with the help of the main-stream media, have convinced a portion of the public that the answer to the gun violence problem is to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. The facts, provided by the FBI, show the contrary – that more people were killed last year with hammers and knives than by rifles of any type. And if they truly wanted to use “common sense” to curb violence, they would see that the facts prove that gun-free zones only effect law-abiding citizens, and provide a safe killing zone for criminals. The fact is that gun ownership in this country has risen dramatically in the past decade, but violent crime has fallen, in every city except those with strict gun control. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that gun control doesn’t work.