By Alton P. Chiu
About 2500 gun rights supporters attended the annual Arizona 2nd Amendment Rally yesterday in Phoenix at the capitol.
As the Arizona Republic reports,
The annual rally saw its largest turnout on Saturday with more than 2,500 people gathering to celebrate people’s right to bear arms, according to RidersUSA vice president and event spokesperson Mike Sullivan.
There did not appear to be any counter protesters at the rally.
Before Saturday’s rally, the event’s largest turnout was about 500 people last year, said Sullivan. He explained that this year’s increase is likely due to several gun-control bills introduced at the Arizona Legislature this session, including ones that would expand background checks for firearm purchases and ban high-capacity magazines and so-called assault weapons.
Highlighted below are some organizations and candidates dedicated to right to keep and bear arms at the individual, city, county, state, and federal levels.
The Well Armed Women
With 17 chapters in Arizona and approximately 375 nationwide, TWAW focuses on educating women about firearms. Founding in 2012, this “Twister-hood” builds camaraderie and facilitates learning not just firearms, but taser, first aid, and situational awareness. A victim of violence may be intimidated by an overwhelmingly male demographic, and TWAW bridges that gap. As one of the rally speakers addressed, gun rights are women’s rights and victim’s rights.
A TWAW member I interviewed indicates that direction is driven by each chapter, and that her direction is reaching out to college women and campus carry.
Arizona Second Amendment Sanctuary Movement
Following the sanctuary movement in Virginia, the nascent Arizona Second Amendment sanctuary movement is gathering steam. Apache, Mohave, Yavapai Counties, Bullhead City, as well as at least one Native American Nation have joined. The movement needs volunteers to help pass 2A resolutions in all AZ counties and cities.
Arizona Citizens Defense League
Through the 1990s, gun rights were slowly eroded and firearm pre-emptions were Balkanized so that cities like Tucson were banning firearms from parks, as well as instituting other carry restrictions.
The ACDL was thus born as self-defense is a human right. Their current goals are mostly aimed at concealed carry expansion, but I expect them to expand with the emergent “assault weapons” ban threat.
The ACDL booth was packed throughout the rally.
As election season heats up, candidates require nominations to appear on the ballot. These nominations are specific to legislative and congressional districts at the state level, and open to all Arizona registered voters at the federal level.
Resources from ACDL are helpful in making an educated choice for nomination, primary (August 4) and the general (November 3).
Bill Tracking: https://www.azcdl.org/html/bill_tracking.html
Legislator voting record: https://www.azcdl.org/html/voting_records.html
Subscribe to Alerts: https://www.azcdl.org/html/subscribe_to_alerts.html
Daniel McCarthy, Senate candidate
Republican McCarthy is a longshot US Senate candidate who’s entered the primary against the incumbent, Martha McSally.
McCarthy considers himself a constitutional originalist. With anti-2A Mark Kelly — Gabby Giffords’ husband — leading the Democratic side of the ballot, McCarthy believes the way forward is not to be “purple,” but solid red instead.
Currently, McCarthy has the requisite number of petition signatures to appear on the August primary ballot, and is looking for support to beat McSally in the primary and Kelly in the general.
I spoke with Fabian, above, who specifically put his sign in both English and Spanish to help reverse the perception that firearms are only associated with criminals in both US (e.g. Telemundo) and Mexican TV productions.
The “Cartel Soap Operas” such as Escobar and El Rey de los Cielos associate firearms only with criminals, whereas, in reality, Mexican citizens from Guerrero formed militias and defended against criminals as well as a government that longer serves the citizenry. In his words, this rally is “my time to step up and right those wrongs”.
I also spoke with Jack, a construction electrician, who views firearms as just another tool. Just as he relies on a tool appropriate to his electrical tasks, he relies on a firearm as appropriate for his self-defense needs.
Growing up in California, his farming father used firearms as a tool for pest control, but also taught Jack shooting because of crime and distant police help. Jack said that he recognizes that the Second Amendment guarantees everyone a balance of power and a defense against tyranny in America.
Some Personal Thoughts
As a teenager, I read Captain Aubery recount how Lord Nelson did not require a coat at night, for he is warm with zeal for King and Country. That scene from Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World sounded like rubbish at the time, but I felt that warmth yesterday amongst my fellow Americans.
By the virtue of reading this website, we are attuned to matters of firearms and liberties. We are all Second Amendment ambassadors, and should do a good turn daily to ignite this fire in others. That includes helping to grow other shooters’ skills, share the importance of protecting our civil rights, and yes, thinking about how our actions might reflect upon our fellows.
Some would interpret Thomas Jefferson’s words that the “tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” as a call to pop PMAGs. I choose to interpret it as liberty requiring constant scarifies from all of us to flourish.
Instead of slumbering for four years only to panic during national elections, we the people should consistently engage at the individual, county, state, and federal levels. That progression moves from easy to difficult in terms of opportunity cost, but also increases in reward as well.
Each reader can easily introduce a new shooter and instill a sense of civic pride and duty in that person. Given our federal system of government and the Tenth Amendment, state and local governments hold immense power with the added bonus that these politicians are much more accessible.
At the federal level, our voices may be drowned out in the deluge of emails, but this can be overcome with in-person meeting, attending town halls and highlights the importance of growing the 2A community at the individual level. These drops of “blood” constantly refresh the tree of liberty for future generations to come.
Here’s a Trump supporter carrying a 91/30 PU sniper rifle. Russian collusion confirmed.
A few signs . . .
Gun rights crowds don’t chant “F–k the police”, unlike supporters of the recently elected DA of San Francisco.
A few of the 16 speakers . . .
The ARFCOM crew . . .
A wide variety of openly carried firearms were, of course, represented . . .