Grass Roots North Carolina had a decent turnout in Raleigh for their Second Amendment Freedom Rally on Tuesday. Given it was in the middle of the workweek and that there are no major gun control measures expected to be passed by the North Carolina General Assembly, 600 to 1,000 people was a good turnout.
The report from GRNC is below as is the streaming feed from WRAL.
GRNC Second Amendment Freedom Rally
Observers estimate that—even on a workday—between 600 and 1,000 gun owners mobbed the legislature Tuesday at GRNC’s Second Amendment Freedom Rally. Held in the Halifax Mall, under the office windows of lawmakers during a legislative day, GRNC supporters delivered a coordinated two-fold message to legislators, the media, and the world:
1. At a state level, it is time to expand the 18-year success of our concealed handgun law to include restaurants, educational property, and other areas.
2. Absolutely nothing about federal gun control proposals is acceptable, and gun owners will not compromise on the issue.
GRNC volunteers made the difference
Organized by GRNC Director of Development Josette Chmiel, more than a dozen GRNC volunteers efficiently set up the event, signed up members, recorded photos and video of the event, and beginning at 10:00 AM, directed gun rights supporters to legislators’ offices. As hundreds of gun owners visited the offices of their House and Senate representatives as well the leadership of both chambers, the lime green “Guns Save Lives” stickers they wore seemed to flood the complex.
Politicians and media got the message
Unlike rallies held at unoccupied capitols on weekends, the media swarmed this event. Most Raleigh-area TV outlets were present, plus the Associated Press and National Public Radio. WRAL-TV ran live streaming coverage of nearly the full event on its website (to see it, check GRNC’s home page at www.GRNC.org). AP coverage of the event ran as far as San Francisco.
In addition to legislators who addressed the enthusiastic crowd, numerous others state lawmakers attended the rally, up to and reportedly including Lt. Governor Dan Forest (GRNC ****). Inside the legislature, representatives, legislative assistants, and staff were all keenly aware your presence.
Speakers energized the crowd
Opening the rally, Pastor Rod Chaney (who ran for House 50 in 2012 and earned GRNC’s highest 4-star evaluation), led the group in prayer by urging them to be drawn to action in defending the rights of free people. Josette Chmiel then got up to reiterate GRNC’s “no compromise” position. Jay Delaney, Executive Director of the Voter Integrity Project, spoke of the impact of voter fraud on gun rights.
Next, the keynote speaker and nationally renowned WPTF conservative talk show host Bill LuMaye discussed the historical perspective of the Second Amendment in preventing tyranny, describing how states should nullify unconstitutional laws and calling upon Republican leadership to “walk the walk.”
Other speakers included Rules Chairman Rep. Tim Moore; Sen. Andrew Brock, who called upon gun owners to be ever-vigilant and to stand and fight for the Second Amendment; former Rep. Glen Bradley; Sen. Jeff Tarte; and Rep. Larry Pittman, who described his proposed amendment to the North Carolina Constitution, which would strengthen the right to arms and would require the State to resist federal attempts to disarm the citizenry.
As rally participants became increasingly energized, GRNC President Paul Valone took the stage to remind them of the lessons of 1994, when “compromise” on relatively benign gun control proposals led to the introduction of the draconian gun ban known as “Brady II.” As the crowd’s fervor grew, he said:
“But make no mistake: These “reasonable” universal background checks are designed to create the beginnings of a national gun registration system. And registration is the necessary prelude to confiscation.
“So tell people who support this “reasonable” measure that the Clinton administration already tried to turn the National Instant Check System into a defacto gun registration system by failing to expunge transaction records, in violation of the law.
“They lied to us last time. Will we trust them this time?”
The crowd’s cry of “NO!” was so resolute that it not only rang but actually echoed off the windows of the Legislative Office Building.
Said Valone, “This is not 1994. Born of fire, scores of gun rights organizations like Grass Roots North Carolina have spent nearly two decades preparing for JUST. THIS. MOMENT.” Building to a crescendo, he said, “So now I want you to deliver a message that shakes the politicians behind these windows…”
The resulting three chants from the crowd, repeating with increasing volume to literally rattle legislators’ windows were:
“WE. WILL. NOT. COMPROMISE.”
See photos and video of GRNC Freedom Rally
Photos are available at: http://grnc.org/second-amendment-freedom-rally (Please note that photos showing only a few dozen participants were shot during setup for the event.)
The video of Valone’s speech is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR54-ixNm6s
Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler says private sales will continue
After GRNC dropped hundreds of emails into the office of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, asking whether he would support statements made earlier by Agriculture Police Chief Joel Keith that private gun sales would no longer be allowed at state-run facilities hosting gun shows, Troxler’s office asked GRNC for a meeting. During the meeting, Troxler described complexities of safely holding gun shows at the state fairground, but promised that details were being worked out with gun show promoters to allow private sales to continue.
‘2nd Right’ rally
Patriot and Second Amendment supporter Rona Herman is helping to organize an assembly at the NC State Capitol in Raleigh to support gun rights. This assembly is being conducted concurrently with groups across the country who will gather at state capitols in support of freedom.
These coordinated demonstrations will take place Friday, February 8th from 10 am until 1 pm. The North Carolina contingent will gather in Raleigh at the Bicentennial Plaza, 1 East Edenton Street. Maps of the gathering area and parking are available here: http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=35.7816552&lon=-78.6383664&z=18&l=0&m=b. Ms. Herman is coordinating this event through Facebook. More information is available here: https://www.facebook.com/events/316601425126403/.
GRNC encourages members to participate in this coordinated, nation-wide event to support the right to keep and bear arms! Let our legislators know that we will NOT COMPROMISE OUR RIGHTS!