Yesterday a rally entitled “Guns Across America” was held at each state capitol to demonstrate to the government that our rights are not up for “discussion”, nor are they to be sold to the highest bidding politician.
My brother and I joined the crowd gathering at the Denver state capitol, enjoying the sunny 60° weather, and as we made our way up the main path we crossed a young man with horn-rimmed glasses, lots of facial hair, and skinny jeans who said, “Why does anybody even need a gun? Take ’em and shoot yourselves in the head.”
How very tolerant of other opinions. Not only did he display an unwavering commitment to violence, he also uttered one of the biggest fallacies tossed around today: “You don’t need a gun, so you shouldn’t have the right to own one.” I’ve heard even some of my more reasonable, gun-tolerant friends say, “Nobody needs an assault rifle.”
The first major fallacy is suggesting that people are allowed to buy fully automatic assault rifles, but in fact the laws surrounding the purchase of “class 3” weapons are very restrictive and make it very difficult to purchase them. The second is equating semi-automatic weapons that have “scary features” to semi-automatic weapons with no “scary features” (my family’s M1 Garand is just as dangerous as our M4 Carbine — see image). The biggest fallacy, of course, is the normative statement that you “shouldn’t” have the right to own one (not many people add this second clause to their statement, but it’s generally implied). If we allow the government to cross the line into the realm of legislating what we can and cannot do based on what they decide we “need” or “don’t need”, then we’ll see that control expand into many other areas of our lives: Cars, homes, jobs, food, etc. You don’t need that SUV you’ve been saving up for, so the government will only allow you to purchase a smart car. You don’t need that 3,800 square foot ranch-style home in the mountains, so the government will generously allow you to live in their subsidized condominiums in a downtown area (monitored by camera 24/7 for your safety). You only need 8,000 calories of sustenance for your family, so you’ll need a permit if you want to buy more than just a loaf of bread.
Yesterday, I had the unique opportunity to join millions of Americans across the country to remind the government that we will not silently give up our right to bear arms. Some may say that we’re not at risk of losing that right today — and maybe they’re right — but I can tell you this: Never is it a bad idea to remind the government that they cannot take those rights from us.
As you browse the photo slideshow below, you may be surprised for two reasons: First, the turnout was much higher than expected, bringing in upwards of a thousand people to demonstrate. Second, you’ll see the diversity displayed at our state’s capitol, which may confuse those who assume that all gun-toting 2nd Amendment supporters are hillbillies, rednecks, or some bastard combination thereof. Instead, we saw a lot of affluent people of many backgrounds in the crowd, which isn’t surprising considering roughly 54% of Americans own a gun and 74% believe handguns should not be banned.
I’m proud to have been part of the movement for liberty in America. No matter what the majority votes the right to bear arms shall not be infringed and these peaceful demonstrations are a reminder to our government that the tyranny of the Executive Branch or of the majority will not be tolerated.