The latest effort to let the President and congressional civilian disarmers know that the People of the Gun are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more is the Day of Resistance, a series of pro-2A demonstrations scheduled for February 23. Or, to the horror of some in the media, 2/23. See what they did there? According to one of the organizers’ sites, they’ve lined up 53 rallies around the country so far. Conspicuously missing are states like Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and the seat of power, D.C. They say they’re working on it, though. But even if the protests draw the teeming throngs of peaceful pro-RKBAers the organizers hope they will, would everyone’s time be better spend calling and emailing their legislators? Or taking non-shooters to the range? Do photo ops on the evening news of gun owners shivering in the cold and holding signs move the gun rights ball forward?

72 Responses to Question of the Day: Do Pro-Gun Rallies Accomplish Anything?

  1. It’s hard to take people to the range when you can’t find enough range ammo to make it worth it.

  2. I’m out of town on business on 2/23, but part of my trip is to track down some pistol primers for the father in law.

    On topic: no reason why we can’t rally, contact our reps, and take new people to the range. We’re not lazy stoned college liberals.

  3. I think it does, because our rallies are bigger than theirs. And its gives a face to the movement. Also, its a break from the crap everyone sees on MSM. (if it gets covered that is)

    • More importantly to me, is that it gives the white redneck bible-thumpers something to think about when the guys standing shoulder to shoulder with them are a long-haired atheist metal-head on one side (me), and an affluent educated black man on the other.

      If there is one thing to take away from these rallies, and the “I am a Gun Owner” efforts, its that this is bigger than our small, individual and personal cultural differences.

      I kills me how often a rally in defense of our mutual civil rights quickly digresses into a much narrower and exclusionist platform. That has got to stop.

      • I call that the “Free Mumia conundrum”. A sufficiently vocal and single-minded subset can completely derail a larger, more broadly inclusive group that fails to anticipate the problem.

        For example, I support Open Carry, but frankly the Open Carry folks can be a PR nightmare when we’re trying to get the gun-uneducated to stop freaking out for a minute so we can get them up to speed.

      • affluent educated black man

        Unfortunately the poor ignorant black hood rats are the ones oppressed the most for exercising their 2a rights.

    • It won’t, except maybe for Fox. Not much we can do about that (in the short term). The MSM is so biased it’s slowly becoming a joke. If we don’t have some form of (completely) fascist government in the mean time, I predict that the MSM will lose much of its power in the next decade.

  4. I don’t know how effective they are, but what’s the downside? As long as the people at the rally behave responsibly, they are probably are no worse than doing nothing.

  5. They are helpful, yes. They’re good for morale – that may be the most important thing – for us. But they also help get the message out to America at large: WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET OUR RIGHTS BE NEGATED BY PUBLIC OPINION!!! NUTS!!!!

  6. I specifically remember reading Sen. Manchin (D-WVa) stated “his office had been picketed” by pro-gun folks, and it was in the contest of an article about how he had seen the light and would not be supporting an AWB. So at least in certain limited circumstances, it can work.

    And on shooting, I’m with Smiling Swordsman. I have not been shooting since all of Obama’s disarmament talk because I’m not sure I could replace the ammo I shot. The last local gun store I was in that had 5.56/.223 was charging $14/20 rd box, and it was a crappy foreign brand.

    • I ain’t shooting anything. The last 5.56 I could get (after 2 months wait, I’m but still grateful to have it) was 1 Re manufactured (by Lake City), 2 in paper boxes not in the usual sealed metal ammo box, AND 3 .20 a round more expensive. I think there is more to this ammo shortage than panic buying. I’ve heard that government contracts are about to be renewed, blah ,blah, But it smells funny. Unless all of you guys have 20,000 rounds per caliber stacked in the garage, fishy it be to me, yarrrr. (I’m so f’n board, I wanna go shootin’)

      • The current claim about the government buying 1.5 billion rounds isn’t much when you think about it: That’s less than five rounds for every privately held firearm in the US or about 300 rounds for each NICS check in November and December of last year.

        • 12 billion rounds is what American civilians go through on an average year from what I heard.

          So yeah… they get 1 and a half shots to our 12…

          Someplace else I read is that the average like, non special forces soldier, goes through only 1200ish rounds a year in practice. 1200 rounds seems like a day of shooting to me o_o

        • David W, it’s even less. That contract was, if I recall correctly, for a 5-year supply to be delivered over that time period.

    • If you’re hosting new shooters with something other than a .22, you’re probably doing it wrong. Sure, it’s great to bring along a 9mm pistol and an AR in 5.56 to try out once they’re comfortable, but most of their shooting should be with a .22.

      • Alpha,

        It has been my experience that a 20-gauge on the traps is even less intimidating than a .22 on the targets.

        • Could be! I can definitely see how that would be immediately gratifying for someone pulling a trigger for the first time.

          I haven’t started anyone off that way, personally — I like to get them going with a 22LR lever-action pointed at full-size target about 7 yards away. Hit rate is 100.0% on a stationary target, which I think is really important.

      • “…most of their shooting should be with a .22.”
        IF you can find any. As the domino tumbles, .22 is becoming scarce also.

  7. Why not. If were going to be marginalized as crazed nutjobs by the media no matter what, we may as well protest. When you have nothing ,you have nothing to lose.

  8. Yes. Without demonstrations, the war will be lost. Take a page from the 60’s protest movement. Take to the streets and show your rage. Stop being rugged individualists just this once. I know that all we want is to be left alone, but it’s not going to happen unless we fight this together.

    We are the counterculture now. Embrace it.

    • Take to the streets and show your rage.

      Bring the war home.

      We are the counterculture now.

      Thats cute, a OFWG lawyer thinks he is part of todays counterculture.

  9. Sadly, I am reminded of what happened in Australia and their pro-gun-rights Protests.
    The US Constitution is being used to wipe Zeke’s hiney, will protests make a differance or simply provide camera time for DHS?

  10. The purpose is NOT to “move the ball forwards”. The purpose is solidarity to let people know there are many and varied others who are we them on this.

    In other words: The purpose is to show how big the ball actually is, and that it is in fact too big to be willingly be moved backwards.

  11. The 2nd amendment is about so much more than firearms that it seems a shame to limit a rally to only one interest.

    When gun grabbers insist that “no person should violate the rights of others”, they are at the same time claiming that individuals HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO RESIST any illegal violation of their rights. (Rape, Murder, Robbery, etc.)

    Do we still have the right to run away when our life is threatened? Does running away not interfere with our potential mugging/murder?

    If what they say is true, if government alone gets to determine who is allowed to do what, then we really don’t have any rights. We have ‘Entitlements’.

  12. We had around 2,000 people show up in Sacramento on the 19th. It was good for moral, and it also started to bring people together to communicate. We are building our network so that as new legislation transpires we are able to get the word out quickly.

    • Daniel, please see my comment below about shooting our own pictures and video at the next rally in CA.

      One of the field camera guys for a Bay Area TV station is a shooter and preparedness-minded guy. I met him when I was interviewed for TV a few months back. At the very least, he might be willing to edit raw footage into a decent video.

      Let me know if this is of interest.

  13. I think it is important to show the soccer mom & her kid that we are not the inhuman beasts that the grabbers say we are. Harley riders are not stigmatized as they once were, someone see’s one now & the first thing that comes to mind is a lawyer with too much money. Randy

  14. They give me an excuse to make a nifty sign and show several hundred people a bumper sticker slogan opposing the MSM’s party line.

  15. “republiscum” is the same dumb crap as “demonrat” or whatever it is Freepers and Kos folks are saying now. Please go back to your dorm room and kill some more brain cells playing Minecraft. Adults are speaking here.

  16. Do rallies do any good? It’s a toss up. I won’t cower to the Bradys of the world, but I think rallies that have open carry of handguns and especially AKs an ARs just freak the intimidated souls out. They suspend students with PICTURES of the ARs and AKs, so what do you think the reaction will be when they are confronted (threatened, in their mind) with a real “Assault Weapon”? First they will suspect that at least some of them are loaded. Then they will feel their view of us being wing nuts is correct. Then there is the opportunity of a “Reichstag (Negligent) Fire” by some kool aid anti. 1 shooting at a rally and we can pretty much hang it up. I think the more we display ourselves for what we are, just normal people, the better. Women, kids, and (sorry, no offense intended) ethnic diversity are golden to our image. The race division bit has already been played (Harry Belefonte). Minorities need access to self defense as much if not more than others. I mention minorities only because I’ve seen too many references to OFWG in anti gun posts. I don’t take offense, but gun ownership is being sold as a “white” thing by a lot of trolls of all colors and hues. The support for the Second Amendment crosses all segments of society and that must be part of the message.

    • Good PR is critical at this point, and as you say, open-carry demonstrations with AR- and AK-class rifles is Very Bad PR because it freaks people out.

      • There is no way to get good PR from the mainstream. The game is rigged.

        If 2nd amendment supporters make a valid point, the media conspires to ignore it completely.

        • Cowards, the lot of you, if I could OC here in IL I would OC my evil black rifle. Feeding the flames and accelerating the inevitable is exactly what needs to be done, otherwise our rights will slowly be whittled away.

  17. I think it’s great. People sat on the sidelines and scoffed at the futility of the Tea Party protest several years back; dismissing them as so much sound and fury, signifying nothing. Yet, it’s Tea Party activity that snatched back the House and trimmed the Dems majority in the Senate in the 2010 shellacking. It’s only the House, the People’s chamber, that is serving as the backstop against rapacious statism right now. Lord knows we cannot rely in the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Benedict Roberts. So go exercise your rights peaceably to assemble and to petition the Crown, I mean, the Government, for redress of grievances.

    • Because the Tea Party was oh so successful in their mission to reduce the deficit, spending and ensuring that the federal gov’t respects the constitution. Just a FYI but those Republicans in the house are all for statism too, they are politicians after all.

  18. If they get any camera time on the MSM, then yes.

    But more often then not if turns out to be another “Look at these nut jobs” piece, when 20 people at a Million moms march get cleverly angled shots and “These concerned citizens are protecting the children through disarmament” anyway….

    But screw it. Get out there and make some crooked politicians nervous when they look out their window and see a few hundred firearms on pissed off citizens hips and shoulders

    • The solution to this is within our reach: we supply our own camera teams and stage our own shots, get a semi-pro or pro to edit the results into an effective clip, post it to YouTube and Facebook, and get everyone to spread the word. If it’s professionally done and PR releases are sent out to the news orgs, you can further amplify the effect by getting them to run your footage.

      • You forgot “jury box”, which is perhaps the most powerful tool we have at our disposal. It just takes longer than the other options.

        I would prefer that we try “jury box” before “bullet box”, please…

        • I think demonstrating is useless, at this point.

          The bank bailouts were passed in spite of what the general public thought.

          Obamacare, same thing.

          Patriot act still exists, though most people think it should go away.

          TSA is a grotesque violation of civil rights and should be gone.

          Homeland Security still exists.

          Forget the jury box, because prosecutors will push hard to get a plea bargain and judges will do everything in their power to avoid a jury trial. Judges and prosecutors pretty much take the attitude that they are the law, which is pretty much true.

          Which leaves us the last option. Unfortunately.

        • Judges dont really permit jury nullification anymore, so the jury box is out.

          And if you want to go bankrupt in court before reaching for your cartridge box, go right ahead. Plus if you end up in court in the first place, there is a good chance they’ll preemptively grab your guns and cartridge boxes just in case you are convicted.

  19. Rallys are all about the visual. It shows we really exsist to the politicians and to the uninformed public. The bigger the turn out the better.

  20. I like rallies, calling representatives, and taking people to the range.

    Speaking of rallies, no one has really had much time to plan these rallies and they are happening during awful weather for much of the country; thus attendance isn’t as large as I would like to see.

    Let’s start planning a huge, unprecedented rally on the most symbolic possible day for such a rally: July 4th of this summer. If we could get something like 10,000 people to demonstrate at every state capital in the nation, that would really be significant. And since it is on a national holiday, most people should be able to attend because many people have that day off from work.

  21. YES They are useful

    The Pols on the fence have their staffers carefully counting and crunching the voter numbers. Heavy turnouts make the politicians much more careful on how they vote.

    IF they want to be reelected!

  22. Do rallies accomplish anything other than preaching to the choir? No, they do not. Much like the libertarian party. Especially when you bring your guns to the rally. The rallies are suppose to be the exercise of the 1st over the 2nd. Having a show of force (openly carrying your gun) takes away from that.

    The media will just ignore and down play it if they can. Only when it benefits them to “report” about the rallies, they will do so.

    The only thing that matters currently is the “Law” and future laws. You can cry all you want over how your rights have already been infringed and you can cry even more when they are further infringed. It doesn’t matter how angry or sad you are about it, no one is going to help you, the law is the law.

    Until people stop talking amongst like minded people. Until people educate others about guns via hands on experience. Until good people run for office and win or good people hold their current representatives to their responsibilities and duties. Until the laws and agencies that have brought us to where we are today are removed. We will not have any true restoration of our human rights in this country without leading to violence.

    When you cannot take your gun outside without putting it in a bag that looks like a guitar case just to go to the range. When you open carry there is more than one person calling the police even though they saw you pay for the merchandise. When you have to hide the fact you have guns, especially anything like an AR, AK or FAL from your neighbors or family. You should already know America has lost a lot of its greatness and you will have to spend your entire life helping pick up the pieces with a very small minority.

    Considering people think a standard magazine is a high capacity, assault clip, for fully automatic, high power, killing machines, that have no place in 2013, because the government will protect you. It is clear there has been generations of failure to educate and failure to protect human rights.

    What a shame.

    • “Do rallies accomplish anything other than preaching to the choir. No they do not”

      My exact reasoning for saying this site should calm down on the rhetoric and get back to gun reviews and news.

  23. it is important to expose the public to guns as much as possible, because the more common a sight guns become the less likely people will freak out and call the cops when they see one. which is why i now OC everywhere i can.

  24. I noticed the fascist garbage in charge deleted a bunch of my comments.

    Again I see that this forum is less about gun advocacy than it is right wing extremism. Leftists own guns too, you just don’t want to hear about it. 🙂

  25. 2/23 happens to be the day when Bolsheviks got their @$$es kicked under Pskov and Narva (1918) and the Battle of the Alamo started (1836). Just pointin’ the symbolism out…

  26. Considering ALL of this is in the realm of ‘perception equals reality’ to counter the dumb-ed down sheeple populace, I’d say YES. They accomplish a visible public resistance to their ‘perception equals reality’ propaganda meme.

    None of us would have to ‘convince’ anyone, if PR propaganda didn’t bring Constitutionally, historically, economically, philosophically amnesic and imbecilic Amerikan Sheeple populace to be literally going apeshit to actively give up their own Constitutional rights.

    Some rally, some blog, some write, some show up, some agitate, some go “1776 will commence again, if you try to take our firearms,” some bitch, some financially support those who agitate and speak up more than they are comfortable with, and some just go Gulch.

    While it’d be more powerful to have a singularly focused project that ALL pro-2A activists can get behind, but seeing as how there’s the NRA, Gun Owners of America, SAF, RKBA, Firearms Policy Coalition et al all going about it in their own ways, I’d say the more de-centralized the better. In some sense, it’s ‘good’ that to the majority of uninformed masses, the NRA has become their OBL like bogeyman.

    While NRA visibly takes the heat, all the smaller pro-2A groups can outflank, mobilize and keep the pressure and even on NRA to come more toward our way.

    Considering the fact that NRA basically wrote the 1968 GCA which Sen. Dodd’s Nuremberg Trial attorney father translated Nazi gun confiscation act word for word from, which the CONgress passed it as if it wholly originated in DC, I’d say NRA has come a long way.

    So keep on my people. Every which way you see fit. We’ll coalesce to forge together as events and issues become necessary to do so. That’s the beauty of it.

    Regardless, the gungrabbers will ALWAYS lose, because we actually have physical, tangible things that they’re trying to ban and confiscate. Whereas the gungrabbers want to ‘gain’ some nebulous idea of never-existent-in-the-real-world abstract sense and emotion of ‘safety.’

    Ask yourselves, what are humans more motivated by? Fear and pain of losing a physical thing that you can touch, feel and smell, or work to gain something that’s not a ‘thing’ at all?

    People always work more to avoid losing something, than to gain something they’ve never had.

    That primal psychology alone, is why in the end, we’ll win. Always.

    It’s just a minor bump, a political tribulation. They’re making the mistake by ‘going for broke’ now: I suspect when NY SAFE act reaches SCOTUS, Miller vs. US will be brought up again, as well as DC vs. Heller, and McDonald vs. Chicago, and will be declared UnConstitutional based on the grounds that 8~19 rd mags are now common, as are 30rd mags for AR, once and for all eliminating ALL mag capacity limit.

    Now if we can get to abolishing the ATF and fully repealing NFA, GCA, FOPA, and Brady NICS…

    I give it 2~7yrs. LOL. Well… one can be cautiously optimistic, no? But at current trajectory, despite the 24/7 mad dash daily propaganda against guns and gunowners since Dec 14, 2012, the REAL reality clearly states that more Americans are buying guns and ammo and accessories, more than ever. Our dollar vote is clearly counter to their push-polls.

    That shows the gungrabbers frustration and desperation. That’s why there’s much more MSM propaganda against guns right now; it’s NOT because they’re ‘winning,’ it’s clearly because they’re losing.

    I’d say it’s time to go full bore on our end as well. I think all and any pro-2A public civil resistance is a good thing.

  27. I don’t believe there’s any law prohibiting carrying an EMPTY rifle case or bag to a public demonstration in a non OC state. Might be fun to have the cops try and check that everyone is really empty.

  28. I have to believe that pro-gun rallies do advance our cause. If I choose to accept that such rallies do nothing then I must also believe that ALL other rallies are meaningless and thus my First amendment right to freedom of speech has become purposeless.

    Rallies in favor of protecting and extending our Second amendment rights are important, just as the rallies (throngs, mobs?) against the Townshend Act, the Tea Act in the 1770’s were important. Even if the politicians don’t listen friends, neighbors and countrymen will overhear; how can they not? These individuals who remain undecided on an issue are the true target of such rallies. If each of these rallies converts, to corrupt the words of President Obama, “just one” to our cause then they will have been a rousing success.

    The only way to ensure our own eventual defeat in this matter would be to give up our resolve, to answer this particular question of the day with an apathetic – “Meh…”

    During the late 1950’s and 1960’s such rallies as these led to marches and to protests, finally to civil disobedience and the affirmation of Rights for a group of people who had long been neglected. While of course these rights were preexisting apathy and ignorance coupled with selective interpretation of the letter of the law allowed many to be repressed and abused for decades.

    Such is the situation that American gun owners find themselves in today.

    That’s why we need to rally and to march and to protest. The fact is however that we’re winning, these rally’s are accomplishing their purpose already such demonstrations and efforts by pro-2A groups have backed our Chief Executive and his ilk off of legislation. This of course has forced him to show his true colors in a way that can’t be equivocated as he attempts to expand the Executive branch’s power above it’s peers through government by executive fiat.

    So yes. I believe that these rallies just like the countless rallies throughout American history ARE accomplishing their purpose slowly and surely. This victory will not be pretty it will be one of attrition, we do not need to retake ground at this juncture, but instead we must fight a war of attrition on this and other issues by being willing to fight as hard as needed simply to prevent our political opponents from gaining ground.

  29. I believe the rallies do a lot of good. As the State Coordinator for Arkansas’s GUn Rights Across America Rallies and the Sheriffs Outreach Program we have been heard by the politicians in our state. At our rallies we have had Fox, ABC, CBS and radio coverage an interviews. It has helped.
    Arkansas has a law which allows the release of names and zip codes of CHCL holders in the state. We have protested, called and written our Senators, Reps and the Governor and hopefully he will sign the bill today or tomorrow repealing the release of info law.
    He realizes now that it puts all of us gun owners and even non gun owners in more jeopardy, especially in rural areas.
    And we have gotten our politicians to bring a new open carry law before the Senate yesterday. Crossing fingers as it will allow open or concealed carry both.

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