zZz Custom Works Gunfighter Gear

We all know that there isn’t a lack of kydex holster companies out there, it seems that new shops are popping up as fast as a Black & Decker toaster oven can be purchased.

A few months ago I did a review on some kydex gear sent to me by zZz Custom Works. I like the gear so much, that when the company’s owner asked me if I’d be interested in being their East Coast sales rep, I enthusiastically agreed.

Take a look at the current catalog, and be prepared for some unique new ideas coming soon. If there is anything I can help you out with, let me know!



The hypocrisy of the anti-gun movement

The hypocrisy of the anti-gun movement


If you listen to Bloomberg, Pelosi, Giffords and other anti-gun superstars out there the sure fire way to end so called “gun” violence is to ban guns. Take them away. Make them illegal to own. They’ve even produced commercials using some of the biggest names in Hollywood to push their cause. It’s interesting to see, that the people they use to push their agenda on the public prove that just because you make something illegal, that it means it’s use or abuse is going to end.

Laws concerning the use of drugs started showing up in 1935 (if you don’t count alcohol as a drug) when President Roosevelt hails the International Opium Convention and application of it in US. law and other anti-drug laws in a radio message to the nation. By 1970 the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain substances was regulated and the Controlled Substances Act was passed by Congress.

So for the past 43 years, manufacture, importation, possession and use of heroine, cocaine, LSD, and other opiates has been illegal. What has that ban done? Well according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, those bans and laws have pretty much done nothing. A 2010 study shows that 22 million Americans still use illegal drugs. At least $181 Billion a year is spent on enforcement, heath care, incarceration and productivity loss due to illegal drugs.

I’m not even going to talk about the fact that the illegal drug trade is responsible for a large percentage of the violent crime, the so called “gun” violence. But it’s pretty obvious that bans and more laws will not do a thing for any crime.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should….. OC causes chain to ask customers to leave guns behind

Over the past few years Starbucks has become sort of the retail symbol of Second Amendment rights. The first “Starbucks Appreciation Day” was formed in response to a planned boycott by anti-gun groups because the American coffee chain allowed, were legal, open carry of firearms in their stores. Tens of thousands of faithful gun owners marched into local shops with a handful of two-dollar bills and their sidearms and the “I love guns and coffee” movement was born. But the movement was supposed to show our support to a business that allowed us to exercise our rights, not shove a company into the spotlight with negative press.

The first year of the “Starbucks Appreciation Day” the employees didn’t even realize what was going on. I asked if they knew about the event, and they said that they wondered why everyone was paying with $2 bills but never noticed the guns.

Even with much protest from the gun-haters, Starbucks took a stance I considered neutral, their policy reflected local and state law. I can’t imagine how much increase in business the “I love guns and coffee” movement has translated into for the company, but no profits can compensate for piss-poor behavior and plain stupidity shown by some in a certain faction of the gun-rights movement.

Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.

Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening.

This is from an open letter addressed to Fellow Americans, by Howard Shultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer. Obviously, while the great many of us went into our local shops with our “I love guns” patches on our hats and our two-dollar bills, and discreetly  showed our thanks to a business, some decided that it would be a great idea to walk into a coffee shop filled with soccer moms and college students obnoxiously open carrying not only sidearms, but long guns as well. Again JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN, DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD.

Friends that know me ( and some people have decided not to be my friend because of my stance) know that I’m not a big fan of OC. I’m not going to get into tactics or even politics of my reasons. I’ve tried to be supportive because I believe that as gun-owners, we need to stand together to keep our right. But more and more, I see actions by open carry activists that are not only rude and unnecessary, but downright damaging to our cause of protecting the Second Amendment. You are not doing us (Americans who value our rights) any favors or promoting our cause by getting into confrontations with law enforcement officers just so you can play internet attorney on YouTube.  You are not educating the public, or making people feel more at ease around guns (love when I hear that line) while you are walking through Walmart with your SKS hanging over your back. You are creating fear. You are causing more citizens to support more gun laws. And you WILL be the cause of more restrictions of our rights.

To Starbucks, I offer my sincere apologies for the actions of a few who are putting you in this situation. I will continue to patronize our local stores and, as always, no one will know whether I am armed or not. I ask my fellow gun-owners to do the same. Don’t stop patronizing Starbucks because they were forced to make this decision.

Posted by Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer

Dear Fellow Americans,

Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.

From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a “third place” between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.

We appreciate that there is a highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding America’s gun laws, and we recognize the deep passion for and against the “open carry” laws adopted by many states. (In the United States, “open carry” is the term used for openly carrying a firearm in public.) For years we have listened carefully to input from our customers, partners, community leaders and voices on both sides of this complicated, highly charged issue.

Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.

Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.

For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where “open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.

I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose “open carry,” we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion “open carry,” please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.

I am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make today’s request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors.


Howard Schultz

zZz Custom Works Holster review


Anyone in the tactical, concealed carry, or shooting sports world knows that there are a ton of companies building kydex holsters and accessories. Some copy – if not make – exact clones of systems that are well-known and highly regarded. Others have unique ideas and sport great craftsmanship that separates them from the K-crowd. zZz Custom Works is one of the later.

Martin Zatrapa says that the decision to start creating his own kydex products came about because of long wait times, and/or the gear didn’t meet his standards. Many of the big-name kydex makers are still producing square holsters, magazine and accessory pouches with straight lines and tons of extra, unneeded material. Many are still using thin .060 kydex which, in my opinion, is fine for inside-the-waist holsters where a bit of flexibility and lighter weight is a plus, but not for use on first line gear or the trendy “warbelts” that nearly everyone wears for for the multitude of tactical shooting classes. zZz Custom Works is building their standard holsters with .080 kydex, and use .093 for their heavy duty holsters, large knife sheaths and tomahawk sheaths.

The holsters supplied to me by zZz Custom Works were each built for my full-size Smith & Wesson M&P 9. Martin sent me one of his standard, OWB strong side holsters in tan (or FDE if you only use “tacti-cool” colors), a matching double magazine pouch, and a matching single M-4 Speed pouch. Also included was a holster I wasn’t too sure about using when he and I talked on the phone… but more about that in a bit.

First impressions are important to me and, as the saying goes, “image is everything.” The holster and mag pouches are very nicely finished. The edges are smooth – nothing sharp to snag clothing or skin, and the zZz logo is nicely pressed on the outside. A drain hole is cut on the back of the holster as well in each magazine well. The belt loops are some of the strongest I’ve come across, built from .125 thick kydex. All the edges are cut close enough to the gun/magazine to minimize material, but there is plenty to provide a secure hold. One nice touch that I haven’t seen before is the use of allen-head screws instead of smooth or slotted ones like other makers use. You’ll need an allen wrench if you want to remove the belt loops, but I had no problem adjusting the tension screw by just holding the outside with my finger and using a flat-head screwdriver on the back.


As I said, the belt loops are made of a thick .125 kydex, and are built to the size of your belt – in my case 1.5 inches. The loops have enough depth to allow easy belt threading, but aren’t so overly large that the holster and mags sit too far off the body. They are angled, from top to bottom, which, as I’ve experienced, allow the holster/pouches to be snugged tightly against the body for concealment, but push the grip or top of the magazine out just enough to clear the tiny bit of “love handle” my 40+ year-old body carries. I have to say, it’s nice not to be poked in the side by the top of my magazines!


Retention on both the holster and magazine pouches are excellent. I had a bit of a problem with the double mag pouch at first, as the front magazine would pop right out if I turned the pouch upside down. But after a bit of discussion with Martin, I found it to be user error. Usually is with me! I messed with the tension screw just a bit and actually seated the magazine into the pouch, and now they stay where they belong, even with my 20 round extended mags.

PMAGS snap securely into the well-made M-4 Speed pouch. Like the holster and double pistol mag pouch, the M-4 Speed pouch features the same heavy duty belt loops. I have to be honest and say, other than a few minutes on the range one day, I haven’t had the opportunity to really run drills or use the M-4 Speed pouch. But I can compare it to other custom-made pouches I own and say the zZz M-4 Speed pouch is MUCH better. I have a carbine class coming up in a month or so and I’ll run it then and update the review.


The final piece of gear sent to me by zZz Custom Works is their C.A.C (Concealed Appendix Carry) holster, designed in partnership with Falcon Operations Group in Huntington Beach, CA (www.falconops.net). I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical of a.) being able to conceal a full-sized pistol in the front of my pants, and b.) having said pistol pointing at the family jewels. Now, I do have experience with AIWB (appendix inside the  waistband) holsters, I’ve been carrying a Kahr CW9 that way for several months now, but I really thought the longer barrel and much larger grip of the M&P would be not only impossible to conceal, but down right uncomfortable. Boy, did zZz Custom Works prove me wrong.


The C.A.C. Holster is a simple but effective design that is held in place with a single belt loop that can be adjusted to position the holster in that “sweet spot” that everyone who carries AIWB knows about. The holster sits deep in the waistband, but still provides plenty of purchase for a proper grip and draw. Re-holstering is easy, though I still feel the need to look down and make sure my shirt isn’t getting caught up In the trigger as I do. And yes, I can conceal my full-sized M&P easily under a polo shirt with the C.A.C. Actually, it conceals far better than with my old tried-and-true Raven Concealment Systems holster.

I’ve been carrying the M&P quite a bit in the C.A.C. holster and am happy to be carrying a full-sized gun. Even more importantly, I’m happy to be carrying a full-sized magazine – especially on those days when I’m doing high-risk activities, like shopping at the local Bakara market (ie Walmart). After practicing with an empty gun (as to not blow my nuts off), I recently put the holster through some draw-and-shoot drills. And, as I have experienced in the past with AIWB carry, draw and presentation of the gun is FAST from the C.A.C. rig! The C.A.C. is quickly becoming one of my favorite concealed carry holsters.


Overall, I am extremely pleased with the design and quality of zZz Custom Works products. Their team has extensive military, law enforcement and nuclear security experience and it shows in the care and workmanship they put into their holsters. Not that I expect to need it, but zZz Custom Works provides a limited lifetime guarantee on their products and their customer service is wonderful.

You can contact zZz Custom Works at:


or call at



Gear Review – Vigilance Tactical appendix belt clip holster

The Appendix Carry belt clamp holster


Quicktuck magazine holder


Vigilance Tactical

Vigitac Appendix-2

Several months ago a friend showed me his new kydex holster from Vigilance Tactical while on a range trip. The holster looked very well made and Mark was real happy with it so I touched base owner Chris Moon about having some work done. I’ve been carrying my Kahr CW9 in a Galco leather holster, and while well made, the holster didn’t do a very good job of concealing my tiny 9mm.

After a bunch of missed attempts to drive over to Manheim to meet with Chris, I finally got to visit Vigilance Tactical about two weeks ago. Located in a beautifully remodeled barn, the shop is small but neat, and very well stocked with enough nylon to excite a gear whore like me. Chris showed me some of his recent work, and we talked in detail about my holster design. I decided to go with an appendix carry, inside the pants rig because it just seemed to offer the best concealment available. I also ordered a holster for a spare mag.

I was lucky to hit Chris up between projects and since I left him my daily carry gun to wrap, he made extremely quick work of putting together a quality holster for me. A few days later I was back at the shop and picking up the new kydex gear.

Vigitac Appendix-1

The appendix carry belt clamp holster is made of a single piece of kydex, this one being .60 in thickness. Chris usually uses .80 or .93 thickness kydex, but since this is an inside-the-pants design, the thinner material is perfect. The first thing I noticed about the holster was the lack of “extra” kydex that a lot of makers include. The holster is cut very exactly to the shape of the gun and the front of the holster is cut down to the ejection port. The trigger mechanism is completely covered, a feature that is required for a holster that carries my firearm so close to the “family jewels,” and there is a full-length slot for the front sight, which will reduce wear on the little plastic front sight that Kahr uses on the CW9.

A single belt “clamp” is located directly behind the trigger guard. The way the clamp is designed, the holster is held in place by looping over the top of the pants, and behind the belt. Instead of a solid belt loop, the clamp is “C” shaped when viewed from the side, and while having plenty of purchase to hold the gun in place during wear and draw, it is very discreet, showing only the tiniest amount of black plastic above and below the belt. With a black belt, this would blend right in and by utilizing the built-in slot, you can actually tuck your shirt in and be concealed.

Vigitac Appendix-3

Using an appendix carry rig is a bit of a pain, literally, at first. If you are not used to it, which I wasn’t, the first few days of wearing it will cause a bit of discomfort. I’ve been wearing my daily for the past week and am getting used to it. This is not a problem with the design of the holster, it’s a problem with body shape. If you have flat, six-pack abs, you will no doubt, take to carrying an appendix rig quickly. I’ve got a touch of the 40 plus year old gut, and while I don’t overhang my belt, it’s enough to put added pressure on the top of the gun, pushing it into my groin.

Concealing the holster and gun is amazingly simple with the Vigilance Tactical appendix rig. A t-shirt or polo will conceal the gun easily and unlike a traditional inside-the-pants holster behind the hip, your gun will not print while bending over or stretching above your head. Matter of fact, the only way I can print with the appendix rig is to do a near back-bend, and I guarantee you, I won’t be doing that out where the public can see me!

Deployment from the Vigilance Tactical appendix holster is fast, like really fast! I haven’t had a chance to do a range trip but I have run a bunch of dry-fire drills wearing it and I can attest to the fact that an appendix carry holster is a much faster draw, at least for me, than a traditional hip holster. Chris knew I was concerned with having the ability to get my fingers around the small grip of the CW9. Most inside-the-pants holsters hold the CW9 way to deep to be able to get a secure grip on the draw. He designed my holster to hold the gun a bit higher from the belt enabling me to get three full fingers around the grip on the draw. Removing the gun is smooth and the holster stays put on even the most rapid draw strokes. Re-holstering is just as quick and easy once I remembered that my holster was now in the front of my pants instead of behind my hip bone (did I mention I never used an appendix rig before?)

Vigitac Appendix-5

Vigitac Appendix-4

The Quicktuck magazine holster is just as well thought-out and made as the appendix rig. While designed to be used inside-the-pants, Chris suggested I place the mag holster between my belt and my pants, it is just as secure and it’s one less thing taking up space inside my waistband. The suggestion is a sound one and after fiddling around a bit with placement, the mag holster is just as concealing as the appendix rig.

 Vigitac Appendix-6

Vigitac Appendix-7

After a week or so of use, I have to say that the Vigilance Tactical appendix holster with the belt clamp is by far my favorite concealment holster I’ve tried. It is a well thought-out, well made holster that complements the concealablity of my Kahr CW9. Of course, after seeing how well Chris constructed the appendix rig and mag holster, I dumped my Olight T25 and Leatherman tool on his desk for him to wrap and I have plans for him to build a custom holster for my grand-dad’s S&W Highway Patrolman .357.

If you are looking for a quality holster or have an idea for a custom rig, give Chris at Vigilance Tactical a ring!

Vigilance Tactical



A few short weeks, and now the NRA was right.

A few weeks ago the Main Stream Media blasted the National Rifle Association for the recommendation of putting armed guards in every school. The idea was scorned, ridiculed and flat out laughed at by CNN, MSNBC, Piers Morgan and Joe Biden.

But quietly, at least in the national media’s view, schools around the country started reviewing their security and some schools, Texas and California come to mind, decided the idea was a good one.  In Atlanta this week, an armed guard disarmed and took into custody a young man who shot a fellow student.


And yesterday it was announced, again very quietly, that the school district in Newtown CT, the site of the most recent mass shooting incident, has voted to have “two eyes and ears — one armed, one unarmed — at each Newtown school,’ reports Bronxville Patch’s Davis Dunavin.”


I know in many school districts, having a full-time school resource officer is a burden on the district budget. Having an armed officer at every school in the district would probably mean the loss of a teacher or staff member at each of the buildings.  While I applaud school boards for realizing that having armed guards is a good start to keeping our children safe, I question why our teachers, who have to undergo a State Police background check just to be employed, can’t be trusted to defend the students?

I know for a fact that there are more than a handful of teachers and administrators in our school district that have their License to Carry Firearms. For less than $200 per teacher (that was already licensed and chose to do so) a bio-metric gun safe could be installed in their classroom for their firearm to be secured. Teachers who volunteer could be provided with additional, low-cost training, and a policy could be developed for transportation of firearms to and from school to ensure that our children are never accidentally exposed to a gun in school or have access to them. Of course, the National Safe Schools Act (Gun Free School Zones) would have to be changed but I fully support our teachers who chose to legally arm and defend themselves.

We all knew it was coming…..

The wicked witch of the west finally dropped her big, bad gun ban bill on the Senate this week calling for an “assault weapons” ban.  Senator Feinstein (D-CA if anyone didn’t know) has been waiting for her 15 minutes of fame but I really think she is off the deep-end on this.

The highlights of Feinstein’s bill are as follows:

~ Ban the sale, transfer, importation or manufacturing of about 150 named firearms, plus certain rifles, handguns and shotguns fitted for detachable magazines and having at least one military characteristic.

~ Strengthen the 1994 ban by moving from a two- to a one-characteristic test to determine what constitutes an assault weapon.

~ Ban firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons.”

~ Ban the importation of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

~ Ban high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The bill would grandfather in weapons legally owned on the day of enactment and exempts over 900 specific weapons “used for hunting or sporting purposes.”

I’m assuming that the grandfathering clause would not cover high capacity magazines.


We all knew it was coming. Hopefully, during the past month or so, we have been writing and calling our representatives in Washington, taking part in peaceful Second Amendment rallies and making our voices heard. I know we are doing it here in Pennsylvania. The sad tale of demise of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor show is proof that our passion to keep the Second Amendment is strong.

But why “assault weapons?”  The liberal paranoia over modern sporting rifles is an entirely emotional response to their fear. The facts PROVE without a shadow of doubt that modern sporting rifles are used in a very small percentage of homicides and other firearm related crimes. Even in Sen. Feinstein’s home state of California the statistics prove the such firearms just are not used in very many crimes (2011 report)Cali Gun Crime

FBI statistics show that in 2011 there were just 323 homicides by rifles of all types (that is everything from a single shot 22 rifle to battle rifles), less deaths than by hammers. Here in PA, we had TWO murders last year with a rifle that falls into Feinstein’s ban list.

Mr. Obama and that goofy VP of his have said in the past few weeks that no one “needs” an AR-15 or AK-47 for self defense or hunting. But twice in so many weeks, responsible citizens of this country used ban-list firearms to defend not only their own lives, but the lives of their friends and siblings.

In Harris County Texas a 15 year old boy grabbed his fathers AR-15 to shoot at two men who tried to break into his family’s home. The boy feared for the safety of his sister and opened fire on the men, hitting one three times.


And just yesterday a RIT student came to the rescue when two intruders, one with a gun, confronted his roommate after they broke into the basement of their apartment. The student grabbed his AR-15 rifle and caused the would be robbers to flee before anyone was hurt.


Of course we won’t see these kinds of news stories on CNN or NBC of splashed on the front pages of  USA Today.

Long story short, the Obama Administration and their supporters will continue their attack on our rights, but if I were a betting man, I’d say there is a snowball’s chance in Hell that Feinstein’s bill will ever make it off the Senate floor let alone to Congress where it will most surely die. Yea, there is still that list of 23 executive actions that Mr. Obama wants to unleash, and I have to admit, there are one or two that I support (dealing with mental health). His universal background checks would not be of issue to me IF the federal government actually was doing their job with the current gun laws. But since VP Biden admitted that the feds don’t “have time” to charge and prosecute every person who lies on their background check, what is the point of more?

I’m close with a humorous interview with VP Biden. I’d love to know where he, a liberal politician from upstate PA who has only ever fired a shotgun a few times and has 24/7 armed protection, came to be a subject matter expert on defensive firearms.

In an online Google+ discussion on gun violence, a blogger asked Biden how the rights of those who prepare for extreme emergencies aren’t being trampled on with his gun safety legislation. The vice president responded that shotguns would be the weapon of choice.

“Guess what? A shotgun will keep you a lot safer – a double-barrel shotgun – than the assault weapon somebody’s hands who doesn’t know how to use it,” Biden said. “You know, it’s harder to use an assault weapon and hit something than it is to use a shotgun, ok? So if you want to keep people away in an earthquake, buy some shotgun shells.”



Second Amendment supporters gather at PA Capitol

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

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.

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

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.

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

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.

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

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.

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

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.

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013

Guns Across America Rally, Harrisburg PA, January 19, 2013