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.
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.
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.
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.
This feminist at David Hogg's March For Our Lives rally said she both supports the #2A AND wants to ban AR-15s. While I was correcting her about how that's contradictory, she let a man drag her away from our conversation. So much for being a strong, independent woman 🤷♀️🤔 pic.twitter.com/109yI9FTnN
— Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) July 31, 2018
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.
.@davidhogg111 literally RAN AWAY from me when I tried to have a conversation with him yesterday. It's pretty cowardly that the face of the gun control movement isn't confident enough to have his views challenged.
Watch him run away from me here: https://t.co/tBoGXwlJcP pic.twitter.com/hzERTKfOxV
— Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) July 29, 2018