All across the country on Saturday gun owners and gun rights advocates celebrated the first ever Gun Appreciation Day.
While many flocked to gun stores and to shooting ranges to exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, thousands rallied together in public to protest President Obama’s controversial proposal to reduce gun violence.
In Brooksville, FL, a crowd of approximately 1,000 gathered, toting signs that said, “Stop the Gun Grabbers” and “Gun control isn’t about guns, it’s about control.”
One of the organizers of the Florida rally, former Marine Damon Locke, told Reuters “We are law-abiding citizens, business owners, military, and we are not going to be responsible for other people’s criminal actions.”
In Denver, CO, near the state capitol, around 500 people showed up to send a message to the political elites in Washington and elsewhere around the country that wish to gut the Second Amendment.
“I have earned the right to have my guns,” Don Dobyns, an Air Force veteran and former police officer from Colorado Springs, told Reuters.
And 31-year-old Jennifer Burk, who was wearing a “Girls with Guns” shirt, told a reporter from the international news agency, “My parents didn’t raise a victim and the government shouldn’t try and make me one.”
Gun Appreciation Day is a grassroots effort spearheaded by Larry Ward, the president of the conservative-leaning consulting firm Political Media, Inc. Sponsors for the national day of celebration included the Second Amendment Foundation, Special Operations Speaks, Revolution PAC and the Conservative Action Fund.
Earlier this week, in an interview with ABC News, Ward spoke about the impetus behind Gun Appreciation Day.
“We want to let people know that there is another side of the argument,” Ward told ABC News. “We had a week when it was just one side — ‘We have to have gun control’ — 24/7. People need to understand there’s another side, and there is logic to that side. This is not just an emotional, ‘Don’t take our guns.'”
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Gun Appreciation Day also coincided with Guns Across America, another pro-gun grassroots effort led by concerned gun owners, who are worried about federal overreach when it comes to our nation’s gun laws.
Whether gun owners were out celebrating Gun Appreciation Day or Guns Across America or both, the bottom line is that we made our voices heard. Hopefully, the momentum from these rallies carries over into political action from pro-gun lawmakers at the federal and state levels.
Did you go out and celebrate Gun Appreciation Day or Guns Across America? If so, what did you do to make your voice heard?
(I sat inside writing most of the day, about guns and politics. Guns.com has some cool interviews from SHOT Show 2013 we’re going to publish in the near future. Stay tuned).