Gun rights activists will gather at state capitols across the country Saturday in a demonstration of unity following weeks of anti-gun rhetoric that included a call for the repeal of the Second Amendment by retired Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens that outraged gun owners.
A full roster of scheduled events may be viewed here.
Organized by a group calling itself the National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans (NCCPA), these rallies are a response to the anti-gun “March For Our Lives” protests last month. Those demonstrations brought forth tens of thousands of gun control advocates as a response to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida in which 17 students and adults were allegedly killed by suspect now in custody and facing multiple first-degree murder counts.
Revelations about the suspect and the failure of law enforcement to act on tips prior to the shooting have shown that authorities in Broward County, where the shooting occurred, and the FBI were not proactive. During the shooting, sheriff’s deputies reportedly waited outside a school building while gunfire inside was audible.
This Saturday’s events are intended to provide contrast with the demands from gun prohibition lobbying groups to ratchet down on the rights of law-abiding gun owners who did not commit any crime. A message on Reddit cautioned activists:
“This fight is a culture war. There is no winning path that involves infighting, particularly bickering amongst ourselves about how to appear the most palatable to the opposing side. They want your gun rights diminished, even if you show up in a tuxedo…Just go be a warm body in a large crowd that undeniably shows that the pro-gun rights side is not small…Bring plenty of water and have a good time.”
In Washington State, another rally is planned on Saturday, April 21, on the Capitol steps in Olympia. This is a separate event that, if attendance is strong, will remind Evergreen State lawmakers that gun owners will not stand aside while well-financed Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying groups roll over that state’s laws.
“This is an important time to join together and make sure we get a good turnout. More money than ever is flowing from powerful individuals’ personal fortunes into the antigun lobby. This is your chance to stand in the same spot as people who you mostly agree with on gun rights, and show our numbers. It’s not as easy as cutting a personal check to bus in thousands of people, but it’s your chance to stand and be counted.”—Activist’s message on Reddit
Elsewhere around the country, this Saturday’s scheduled events could signal a renewed activism by gun owners who now worry their rights face a serious threat. Those gun owners contend that wealthy anti-gun elitists including billionaire Michael Bloomberg have turned their money into a political weapon.
A federal judge, allegedly distorting language in the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller ruling, last week upheld a ban on so-called “assault weapons” in Massachusetts. The village council in Deerfield, Illinois voted last week to ban semi-auto rifles in that Chicago suburb, prompting an immediate lawsuit by the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association.