By Calvin Palmer
A certain section of American society seems determined to have the finger of scorn pointed by the rest of the civilized world at the United States.
A few dozen Second Amendment rights activists toted handguns and semi-automatic rifles at a gun rights rally held today at Gravelly Point Park in northern Virginia.
The protesters were within the bounds of the law — a law recently passed allowing people to carry firearms in national parks — but promised to keep the weapons unloaded.
Former Alabama Minutemen leader Mike Vanderboegh told the crowd armed confrontation should be reserved only for instances of the government threatening people’s lives.
However, he said it might be justified if people face arrest for refusing to buy insurance under the health care reform package recently passed by Congress.
“If I know I’m not going to get a fair trial in federal court … I at least have the right to an unfair gunfight,” Vanderboegh said.
Gun control advocate Martina Leinz dismissed Vanderboegh as a bully.
“If they wanted to have dialogue, they don’t need to bring a big weapon with them,” she said of the protesters.
About 75 protesters were at Gravelly Point by noon, and there were nearly as many members of the media there.
Organizer Daniel Almond said he wanted to hold the rally in a place where “we can exercise our rights.” He pointed in the direction of Washington and said, “Over there the constitution is being violated and in that we can no bear arms.”
Almond said April 19 was chosen because it represents the anniversary of the Revoluntionary War battles of Lexington and Concord. He said it was not meant to commemorate the Oklahoma City bombing, which took place on April 19, 1995.
In Washington, D.C., a gun rights rally at the National Monument brandished signs with “Which part of ‘shall not be infringed’ confuses you?” and bright orange stickers saying “Guns save lives”.
Speakers urged the crowd to vote in this year’s elections for candidates who will support gun rights.
Gun owner James Everett, 71, traveled with 40 other people from Battle Creek, Michigan, to attend the rally.
“I believe it’s a right but sometimes you have to defend our rights with actions,” Everett said. “Let the people who represent us know that I don’t want them to tread on my right to bear arms. A lot of people died for that right.”
And a lot of people have also died needlessly because of it.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia told the crowd that Second Amendment rights have been eroded over the years and that it’s time to “take this government back from the socialists.”
“We have to have a revolution — a revolution at the ballot box this November,” he said. “You’re going to be the agent of that change.”
People in civilized America and the rest of the developed world just shake their heads with a mixture of disbelief and despair.
In other countries, the only people allowed to gather in a public place bearing arms are the police and military. If a group of citizens were to do so, they would be arrested for insurrection or an act of terror at the very least.
Naturally, I did not attend the rally at Gravelly Point Park but I will wager that the 75 protesters were exclusively white, predominantly male, finished their education at 18, if not sooner, and had an average IQ of 80. They also probably support the tea party, think Sarah Palin eminently suitable to be president and never miss a Rush Limbaugh broadcast.
I will also wager that the crowd at the National Monument in Washington, D.C. also had a similar demographic profile together with an Antebellum mentality that has no place in 21st Century America.
[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]