The Big Gun Rally and March For Our Lives Rally After Action Report

Luis Valdes with David Hogg, wearing a AR-15 t-shirt and of course legally CCWing while telling him Gun Control doesn’t work.

As promised, TTAG was at The Big Pro Gun Rally last week in Tallahassee from start to finish. Both sides were there. At the State Capitol were the Second Amendment supporters while at Kleman Plaza, across the street, were gun grabbers and their AstroTurfed March For Our Lives.

I arrived at noon while the stage was still being set up. Already in place, however, was the Utah Gun Exchange and their Bear Cat.

Across the street, Kleman Plaza was empty. Not a single soul or tent was in place. By 1pm, folks were starting to show up at the Capitol and were already showing their support for the 2nd Amendment and our civil rights.

Among the gathering crowd were Hickok45, Erich Pratt, CJ Grisham, Mark Robinson, and others. They were there mingling with the crowd. No evangelizing or  ‘holier than thou’ attitudes, common, everyday people showing support and defending the Second Amendment.

The sun, while brutal, didn’t deter the public. With shade at a premium; the elderly sat under the trees while the younger folks took to the steps.

At 2pm on the dot, Jon Gutmacher started the event. First welcoming the public for attending, then having the National Anthem sung by up and coming country music singer Krystal Walters, and finally thanking those that helped set up the event.

As for mainstream gun organizations, Florida Carry was out in force and helped inform anyone who asked what was the current situation in Florida with our gun laws and when there were going to be more open carry fishing events. Erich Pratt was there representing the Gun Owners of America.

Ruptly News was there to cover the event. For those who don’t know, they’re an international news agency based out of Berlin, Germany and are a subsidiary of RT (Russia’s state-owned news agency).

Utah Gun Exchange had members of the crowd sign their Bear Cat, something they apparently do at every stop on their tour.

One of Tallahassee’s local gun shops was also at the rally. Red Hill Arms is an establishment that has taken far too much of my money. It was good to have representation of the local industry there.

The two best speakers in my opinion were Mark “I AM THE MAJORITY” Robinson and Kaitlin Bennett of Kent State University fame.

Hickock 45 and Erin Palette addressed the crowd, too. Hickok45 towered over the podium and the majority of the people in the crowd. But in person he is welcoming and friendly. People asked for his autograph and he was delighted to sign.

Erin believes that 2nd Amendment civil rights and LGBTQ rights are both basic human rights. Of all the speakers, she got the most applause and the gun grabbers can’t spin it in any way to be negative.

Also was Pastor Luis Sterling. A man of the cloth who truly protected his church congregation. Pastor Sterling retold his horrifying experience when he had to defend himself from a violent attack and how now, as the Executive Director of  Ezekiel 317, he educates other churches and religious institutions on how to defend themselves and, more importantly, protect the flock, as he puts it.

CJ Grisham of Open Carry Texas raised a figurative middle finger to the gun grabbers who have refused to pass open carry in the Florida Legislature. He wore a open carry gun sock with an image of a GLOCK to “conceal” his openly carried sidearm. He told the crowd that didn’t want to walk around Florida looking like a bum with his shirt untucked.

He said we have a hard fight ahead of here in Florida, but encouraged the crowd not to give up.

Kait and CJ educated some of the March For Our Lives yoots.

Facebook Video of March For Our Lives being educated by Kait and CJ.

Mike Taylor, of Miami Beach fishing fame also attended the rally. The Capitol Police had a rule that flag poles and posts for signs couldn’t be brought onto the Capitol grounds. But Mike, being the legal eagle that he is asked if fishing poles were okay. They were.

All in all, it was a peaceful rally and I’d say the peak attendance was about 500 people on the Pro-2A side.

Across the street was a much smaller crowd. Kleman Plaza is a city-owned park where March For Our Lives held their Voter Registration Drive and anti-RKBA rally.

I’d say their attendance totaled about 150. The age group for the most part were college kids while the pro-2A side had people of all ages. Of course, hatred and blame for the NRA was prominently mentioned.

The speakers for the March For Our Lives rally were all behind a roped off area and at no point did they really interact with the crowd. It was like the VIP section at a night club. Unless you were connected, you weren’t getting in.

During their rally, David Hogg decided to leave the comfort of his roped-off safe space and venture into the crowd. I approached him and told him that I’m sorry for what happened in Parkland, but that gun control would in no way have prevented it.

I asked for a photo with David, being that I was polite and I was wearing a AR-15 t-shirt, legally carrying, and even wore my urban MAGA hat I of course got the photo and even managed to get a smile out of him.

The message from the anti-gun side was typical. A lot of it was anti-Trump, anti-NRA, and anti Second Amendment. They preached that a disarmed society is safer and that they can trust government to protect them. The very same government that stood by and took no action in Parkland while Nikolas Cruz murdered people.

Kait Bennett decided to see how far they actually believe in their ideals.

Jordan Edwards‘ father spoke against the Second Amendment and claimed that it was racism that caused the death of his son.

The physical manifestation of almost every pet leftist cause was represented.

At the end of their rally. David Hogg again ventured out into the crowd with his security detail. Utah Gun Exchange and Kait Bennett tried to interview him, but he left in a big hurry at the behest of his security people.

comments

  1. avatar Binder says:

    Wakanda is a feudal warrior isolationist society. Did the guy in the Black Panther outfit actually see the movie?

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Ummm OK…carry on! Sorry but taking your picture with satan jr. shouldn’t have been a goal.

    1. avatar Ingenero says:

      I took it more as friendly trolling. Luis was clear about who he was, and by getting his picture taken with David Hogg clearly demonstrated the kid isn’t “afraid” of guns or gun owners. He’s pushing the same old tired “progressive” twaddle – guns for my bodyguards, but not for thee.

  3. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    My big question is was his security detail armed?

    1. avatar Bummer Dude says:

      Oh, you…

      I think we can safely take a swag at that one.

  4. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    Hogg is still a douche canoe.

  5. avatar bontai joe says:

    I am glad to read that it was a peaceful event. I always worry that events like this can escalate into something messy.

    1. avatar WCC says:

      This begs the question: What is the formula for escalation to violence? I was going to say it generally happens where two Democrat constituency groups collide, such as Antifa and the KKK, but recent one-party riots demonstrate that the actual key ingredients are one Democrat constituency group and a strongly Democrat municipal government. Having a second, opposing group of Democrats is just an extra catalyst.

    2. avatar Aleric says:

      They normally don’t get violent when the Conservatives are allowed to protect themselves with concealed and open carry. See the Antifa scum are brave when they have 10 to 1 odds and they know the Conservatives are disarmed. When they lose the police protection, and cant tell who has weapons to defend themselves suddenly the table turn.

  6. avatar TexTed says:

    Wow. The “big pro gun rally” turned out a whole 500 people. Paltry. You normally see about 5x that many at any weekly gun show in Texas… And you have to PAY to get into those.

    Gun folks aren’t good at the public rally thing apparently.

    Maybe when should start advertising gun shows as “rallies”. Then the media might write about them and we could have some video evidence of engagement on our side.

    Thanks to the 500 who showed; at least you outnumbered the grabbers.

    1. avatar Anita Hanjob says:

      Location, location, location. Tallahassee is a pain in the ass to get to for just about everybody in Florida. It’s more convenient for folks in Alabama and Georgia than it is for the folks in the central and southern part of the state. Orlando would have been a better option, as it’s situated in a more central location and easily accessible for Florida’s legion of gun owners. The State might not be friendly to guns, but gun culture and American values thrive down there anyways. More thoughtful planning in regards to the logistics of putting together a massive pro-gun rally would yield better results.

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        I don’t know Florida geography but what you say makes sense. It’s like that Texas Firearms Festival that TTAG used to host — why the hell would you hold it in Austin? Either Dallas or Houston would have 4x.the metro population, and hub airports for cheap flights for out of towners to come in cheap. So yeah, location is everything.

    2. avatar Jim Bullock says:

      “Maybe when should start advertising gun shows as “rallies”. Then the media might write about them and we could have some video evidence of engagement on our side.”

      That’s actually not a bad idea. At least include an advocacy / educational event associated with the show — maybe across the street or something. Let one side of the press know it’s happening and the other will have to cover it with the opposing messaging. Either way the fact of it gets out there.

  7. avatar stateisevil says:

    Can’t wait to see what gun control laws the Florida GOP brings us next year!

    1. avatar DoomGuy says:

      Probably something “moderate” that “keeps our communities safe” while “protecting the second amendment” such as an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, licensing system to be able to own a firearm, and a May-issue CHL scheme.

      In other words total sellout.

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        They will bring you anything that that gungrabbing billionaire (forgot his name) wants them to. That one guy said he would quit writing checks to repubs who wouldn’t pass gun control and … Surprise surprise, you got gun control.

        Best thing for the country that I have ever seen was last week when Trump told the amnesty-loving Koch Brothers to go to hell. I don’t know how bad the fallout will turn out to be, but breaking up the open-border forces behind the Rino’s was a bold thing to do, good on Trump for daring to.

        1. avatar DoomGuy says:

          There were two. Al Hoffman was the only name I can remember, the other one was that Cuban jagoff who loves to own machine guns but detests the thought of us peons being armed ourselves.

          So you see kids, the real constituents of the GOP are anti-American globalists like these billionaire mega-donors and the chamber of commerce.

        2. avatar Ingenero says:

          The Koch’s aren’t RINOs. They’re libertarians who focus their PAC mainly on economic issues. And they told Trump to eff off first, they aren’t fans of tariffs or trade wars.

  8. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Wow. they had the Transgender Thingamabob and Joseph Goebbels attending the Rally!

  9. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Thanks for the report and pictures. But, I would have thought Tallahassee could have provided 500 gun owners all by itself (maybe I didn’t understand that the crowd WAS all from Tallahassee). Whether the crowd was all local, or mixed with people from other parts of Florida, what are we missing here? 500? Is that all we can field? On a Saturday? Tallahassee is not unique. None of the “big gun rallies” are attracting thousands of gun owners. On the national scene (which is all that really counts), is our messaging persuasive with small crowds like this?

    1. avatar TexTed says:

      Exactly what I was concerned about.

    2. avatar Robert says:

      Unfortunately the gun crowd in Florida just don’t get it. They all hide in their homes and refuse to be a part of these rallies. Many of them claim it only makes us look bad. They also say that they have jobs unlike those that support anti gun rallies. So many excuses by people that are not real 2A supporters. When they realize they should get off their butts, it will be too late.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Got to thinking about it last night. For as far as the eye can see in my neighborhood, everyone is “liberal” (based on yard signs during elections). I don’t interact much with anyone on the block, so that also means “stealth mode” regarding guns. Maybe POTG in general do not want to be identified, so they avoid photo ops such as pro-2A rallies. Presents a stark dilemma: be identified and harassed, or take the punishment from the anti-gun crowd.

    3. avatar george lortz says:

      The folks from my range here in Brevard Cty. had a busfull that went to the rally. Health problems prohibited my participation, but there was a gun rally in Tallahassee, back before Fla. had concealed carry, and the attendance was far greater than this recent action. I attended that one with 3 of my compadres. I would venture the attendance was far greater than this one.

  10. avatar dph says:

    I misread that one sign twice as “no more ass” and thought, that’s why so many of these anti-gun dipshits are anti-gun.
    http://cdn0.thetruthaboutguns.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/20180728_153018-700×525.jpg

  11. avatar GunGal says:

    The old guy with the sign “The 2nd Ammendment made more sense in the 1800’s”
    As a 67 year old woman, The 2nd Ammendment makes plenty of sense to me.
    Carrying a handgun in my 20’s
    Then I was assaulted and that changed everything.
    When I turned 21 years, got my first handgun, a Colt Mustang 380. Have since added GP100 3.25” 357WC model. Too heavy for “pocket carry” so have a holster & Gun belt. Pocket carry is Ruger SP101 snub nose 9mm Parabellm 5 round with Crimson red dot laser grip with extra rounds in a 5 round Ruger Moonclip
    I only carry what is readily available replacement handgun. Self defense shooting will have LEOs are going to take your weapon. Do not say anything other than “I was in fear of my life and will need to call my attorney” You may beat the rap but you won’t likely beat the ride.
    Your call is to your attorney not your best friend.
    Your attorney can have his secretary call your family or best friend.
    The saying “You may be the rap but you can’t be the ride”

  12. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Unfortunately I couldn’t take off work to make it, so I sent Florida Carry more cash. I’ll be happily voting for DeSantis this election. Hope he wins.

  13. avatar Anita Hanjob says:

    There’s no point in disparaging the “Big” Pro-Gun rally. Criticism of the turnout is more than warranted but it should be directed at the planners of the event for placing it in Tallahassee instead of a more easily accessible location like Orlando. Geography played the biggest factor in turnout for this event. Make it a 2 or 3 hour drive for most of Florida’s gun owners instead of a 5-7 hour drive, and you’ll probably get more people. A 10-14 hour round trip for a rally? That is a lot to ask considering most have to do this out of their own pockets. That’s a lot of gas for most of us who probably drive some kind of truck/suv with at least 6 cylinders(most likely 8, at least 5L of displacement). We would need serious funding and logistical planning to get the kind of turnout that frightens people and causes a real stir. Maybe get some pro-gun performers and have a concert. Bring out the best that our fellow PoTG have to offer and put gun culture on full display. Shit, POTUS wanted a military parade. I wonder if he’d settle for the well regulated militia. And Ms. Bennett is right. Gotta get young people involved. College campuses may be leftist petry dishes but there are plenty of free minds being honed there as well. Causing a stir gets counter-protesters to show up. Counter-protesters showing up is a good thing if you’ve got a speaker that can engage with them and make them look foolish(not very hard to do) without sounding like a lunatic to the fence sitters in the crowd who are just there because their friends are there. Winning them over is big because it further isolates the rabid anti’s where we can then divvy them up and try to turn them against each other on other issues(essentially shoving their politics up their own urethras). Let’s do it…

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Why are planners to blame? Are there only 500 gun owners in Tallahassee who have a free Saturday? If all the other gun owners are working on Saturdays, that is probably a good thing, but somehow that doesn’t ring true (all but 500 gun owners working Saturdays).

    2. avatar Texan Trapped in FL says:

      There were tons of buses sponsored by organizations that left from Tampa, Orlando, Miami, etc. There were lots of people there from down south. The event had it’s own website, Facebook page, and was very heavily promoted. The people who wanted to be there were there.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “The people who wanted to be there were there.”

        Agree entirely, but isn’t that the troubling part?

    3. avatar Robert says:

      Hate to tell you that no matter where this was located, you still would have low numbers of folks turning out. The gun community in FL and many other states don’t get it. They all sit at home behind their keyboards and whine about this or that but refuse to get off their butts and show their support. Oh they also claim they don’t go because they have jobs. Funny, this was announced many many months prior and folks could have made the time to go.

      There were folks from as far south and Miami that came. There were buses that you could ride for $20 to get there. 2A folks just don’t get it and when they do, too late.

  14. avatar Fudds Mckenzie says:

    Well, it was cool of Mr Hogg to talk and stand for a pic. He didn’t become a public speaker/ policy expert in senior year of high school. It’s fine, that’s a job where the average age is probably about 48 and most are still full of crap. But if he’s willing to engage with the other side maybe he’ll get there.

  15. avatar Robert says:

    For all of those complaining about the location, if it was in your backyard you would still find an excuse as to why you wouldn’t have gone. It’s so easy to sit back and complain from your keyboard than it is to take a drive. I know folks that I stood by there that were from Miami and they scraped together money for gas to be there. So shame on anyone criticizing the location. BTW, why don’t you put together a rally! Yeah, too lazy to do that I bet!

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