Thursday morning, August 15th was when I first learned about a gun control rally scheduled for Saturday, August 17th in Great Falls at the band shell in Gibson Park, starting at 3:00 PM. The rally was sponsored by ‘Moms Demand Action’ and was in conjunction with other rallies nationwide.
The first thing that concerned me about this event was the way it was being spun as a ‘gun safety’ rally, as if firearm safety was the mission of ‘Moms Demand Action’. It isn’t. MDA is a political organization that advocates and lobbies for much stricter gun control legislation, including a ban on many semi-automatic firearms.
No one is fooled any longer when groups like MDA try to hide their real agenda by using the now transparent tactic of saying “no one’s trying to take your guns away, we’re just trying to promote gun safety”. If that were the case they would be supporting the longest standing gun safety organization in America, the NRA.
The other thing that caught my attention about their rally was that Great Falls city commissioner Bill Bronson would be the main speaker. And of course there were other local politicians there supporting gun control.
By Thursday evening I had decided to organize a pro-2nd Amendment rally. Within less than 48 hours we had a sizable group of folks gathered on Saturday afternoon, exercising our 1st Amendment rights of free speech and to peaceably assemble in order to express our unapologetic, unequivocal support of our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
We started at 2:30 PM on the steps of the Civic Center and walked down to Gibson Park with signs to show our solidarity and support of our constitutional rights. All of this in spite of the rumor being spread by some that our rally had been cancelled due to lack of interest. As the turnout proved, nothing was further from the truth.
We proved that pro-Second Amendment folks aren’t a bunch of “crazed gun nuts”.
We don’t hate anyone. We didn’t threaten anyone. We didn’t confront anyone with rude behavior. We didn’t come bristling with big scary guns.
We were civil, organized (on very short notice), peaceful and respectful. That’s because we are not “the other” – we are your friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family members.
We love our community, our children, and our great country.
That is why we will never compromise or equivocate in our unapologetic support for our constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms, which SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, regardless of the whims of politicians or the current direction the winds of public opinion are blowing.
We did what we came to do and finished our rally in the park at at about 3:20 PM in order to allow the MDA sponsored gun control event to proceed with their main program unimpeded.
I didn’t organize our rally to gain media attention, or to be a ‘big 2nd Amendment hero’ as one of the gun control advocates put it. And I certainly didn’t expect fair local media coverage.
I organized the rally so that those of us who cherish our constitutional rights had an opportunity to stand together in celebration of those rights.
(Editor’s note: thanks to Lynne Pitts, Pittstop Photography, and Jonah Shirley for photos.)