Pro-gun group causes controversy, asks gun owners to pass out candy to kids during demonstration

The pro-gun organization “Gun Rights Across America” is calling on the nation to show its support for the Second Amendment on Saturday, Oct. 19, by asking law-abiding citizens to have mini gun-rights rallies in their own front yards.  

“We want you to strap on a holstered handgun to your hip, and give one hour of your day to making our presence as law abiding gun owners known,” the GRAA Facebook page reads.

“Feel free to hold up signs in your yards for the passing motorists. ‘Obama must go, Save the 2nd, Molon Labe,’ etc,” the GRAA Facebook page continues. “Pass out candy or lemonade to the kids riding their bikes, and playing in the neighborhoods.”

In other words, be responsibly armed, be active in the community and be civil during, what’s been dubbed, the “Guns Next Door” demonstration.

Eric Reed the founder of Gun Rights Across America and the man behind the nationwide demonstration spoke to the Eagle Tribune about the event, which runs between 5 to 6 p.m. EST.

“People will see armed Americans outside their homes with signs everywhere they look,” Reed said, adding “This is a chance to show people gun owners are not bad people.”

Well, it didn’t take long but critics of the event were quick to harp on Reed and GRAA for recommending that demonstrators pass out candy and lemonade to children.

Jessica Lee of PolicyMic.com noted the following in an article entitled, ‘Guns Next Door’ Protest: Gun Owners Take to the Streets to Indoctrinate Children:

As gun owner Bobbi Hughes-Millman wrote on the event page, “What kind of message are we sending by wearing a weapon and handing out candy to children? ‘Look kids, there’s a man with a gun. He can be trusted!'” Whatever the group’s intentions, this protest is not only a horrible idea and poorly thought out, but it also demonstrates a wider disregard from gun supporters for what is morally acceptable.

Consider, for instance, that most responsible parents regularly warn their children against taking candy from strangers. Whose bright idea was it to encourage gun owners to emulate kidnappers and pedophiles? How is Guns Next Door supposed to send a message to federal and state lawmakers when all these armed protesters are acting like major creeps throughout the neighborhood?

“Emulate kidnappers and pedophiles.”  “Major creeps.” — Really?

Reed, according to the Eagle Tribune, is a former police officer.  The notion that he’d be intentionally advocating pedophilic or creepy behavior seems far-fetched.

Though, some might argue that perception is reality and that Reed and GRAA should have settled on a more diplomatic or politically correct way to tell gun owners to be friendly to their neighbors and their neighbors kids.

Perhaps they should have not gone any farther than this statement, which appears in the GRAA announcement:

“If you’re lucky enough to live in a state that has legalized open carry, we encourage you to open carry the entire day (except in any prohibited places of course), wear a 2nd Amendment T-shirt, hold up signs, etc. in support of our 2nd Amendment rights. Be creative, and have fun with it.”

“Be creative and have fun with it,” — that’s about as non-controversial as it gets.  Plus, it encourages the gun owner to make the call on what is most fun and appropriate for his/her community.  Maybe that does involve passing out candy to kids.  Maybe it doesn’t.

Whatever the case may be, it seems that all Reed and the GRAA want is for participants to be nice, follow the law and responsibly show their support the Second Amendment.

What are your thoughts?