Gays Against Guns will crash a gun show in Pennsylvania this weekend for the second time in less than a month as the gun control advocacy group experiments with new forms of protest in its second year of existence.
The group, founded in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting last year, will hold a demonstration outside the Split Rock Gun Show scheduled for Saturday in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania. Some protesters will wear a white veil and carry photos of local victims of gun violence, while others will hand out informational fliers containing statistics about gun-related deaths.
“We are firmly dedicated to the principle of presenting ourselves as educational — not confrontational,” the group said on its website this week. “We will not engage in arguments with anyone, and if we’re asked to leave, we’ll respectfully ask for a reason, but we will comply and we won’t be antagonistic.”
It’s the second protest of its kind for GAG. Last month, the group demonstrated on the steps of The Armory in Philadelphia as patrons filed in and out of a gun show being held inside.
Kevin Hertzog, co-founder of GAG, reflected on the experience for the group’s website, expressing his initial fear of approaching The Armory and describing himself and other activists as “easy targets for abuse and/or violence.”
“We were on ‘their’ turf and, as such, we’d decided not to engage in any arguments or conflict,” he said. “We were only there to pass out information and potentially start a conversation.”
The group’s more subdued approach to protesting follows a year of dramatic demonstrations held up and down the east coast — including staged “die-in’s” at investment firms across New York City, a video campaign against national reciprocity and a boycott of NRA-friendly companies on Cyber Monday.
“We hope that we were able to educate some folks about this issue,” Hertzog said of the gun show protests. “We hope that we were able to bring more general awareness to the issue. And we hope that we were able to let everyone know that Gays against Guns is committed to fighting the public health crisis that gun violence is creating in this country.”