Saturday at high noon, supporters of the second ammendment gathered at capitols across the country. The rallies were in response to President Obama's executive actions to reduce gun violence issued last week. Here in Minnesota, it was a large crowd with the promise of more uniting and action. Via the StarTribune:
Like other events across the country, the St. Paul rally was largely a grass-roots event. It was organized by Michael Rieschl, a 31-year-old former manufacturing worker from Ramsey who isn't involved in politics or a leader in any gun-rights organizations. Rieschl said he felt compelled to make sure Minnesota wasn't left out of the national movement.
"The problem is we are now using our emotions to guide our actions," Rieschl told the crowd. "Gun laws do not work. Gun laws do not solve violent crimes. Gun laws reduce the rights of good law-abiding citizens to defend themselves."
Legislators supportive to the cause attended the rally:
Several legislators spoke at the event, including Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, who told the crowd that a number of bills unfavorable to gun-rights advocates could be introduced this session. Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, added that he'll instead push for legislation to allow teachers to be armed at schools regardless of a principal or superintendent's approval and to allow 21-year-olds to carry guns on college campuses.
Update 1/20: reader MG wrote to share her experiences Saturday:
The only media close to the truth about turnout appears to be KSTP Ch. 5 news [Saturday] night. People at the event tried to count. It appears there were somewhere between 1000 to 1200 participants at that event. That is what my husband and I thought as well. We have been to several rallies at the State Capital, so you kind of get to know crowd size. That is what KSTP reported. We saw NO protesters against the event. For such short notice and grass roots organization, it was extremely well organized. We saw a lot of young people: highschool and college age folk. There were alot of families with young children. It was a wonderfully polite and well-behaved crowd. That being said, it was a highly motivated and energetic crowd -- folks who appear invested in contacting U.S. and MN legislators.
My guess is switchboards will be flooded, emails and letters will be sent, and the goal is to do this day after day after day as well as show up at their offices. People are tired of not being listened to, so they plan on making sure they are heard. It was a really good turn out for such short notice and in the winter. Maybe with longer notice and again on a Saturday when more people can attend, there will be even more people. Several people drove 3 and 4 hours one way.
Sporting a shirt that read, "Girls with guns," 31-year-old Jennifer Burk said, "My parents didn't raise a victim and the government shouldn't try and make me one."
See more photos and comments at the Guns Across America Minnesota Facebook page. Sign up for Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance updates here, and AM1280 announced a rally at the Capitol on Friday, Feb. 8 at 10:00 a.m.
Cross-posted at FreedomDogs.