Saturday, January 19, 2013

Report from the Second Amendment Rally

A crowd of about 1000 people gathered at noon today in Memorial Plaza across the street from the State Capitol building. I was surprised at the size of the crowd. I subscribe to lots of conservative websites and email list and groups and have conservative friends on my Facebook page, and yet I did not even learn of the event until today. I was expecting maybe a quarter that many.
Ken Marrero

While the temperature was in the low 50's at noon, the sun was shining bright and there was very little breeze on the Plaza and it was a pleasant day.  This was a sparse affair. There was no stage, or podium, and no elaborate PA system. I got there a little late, but with no elaborate set up, there must have not been an opening music act which is often normal for these public protest rallies. The small PA system they did have was either malfunctioning or simply inadequate and speakers used a bull horn to address the crowd.

I would assume there were opening remarks, a prayer and a pledge of allegiance to the flag as is common at these type of invents, but arriving late, I missed it.

Ken Marrero served as the emcee of the event and did a great job. Ken is a tea party leader and blogger at Blue Collar Muse. He quoted verses of the  Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and spoke about how our liberties have been preserved by the vigilance of the common people.

When I got there John Harris of the Tennessee Firearms Association was speaking. He ended up speaking longer than any other speaker, or maybe it only seemed like it.  He had not mastered the art of speaking into a bull horn and he spoke in a monotone that was hardly audible at the back of the crowd. He crowed about how the TFA had beat Debra Maggart in her primary, threatened other Republicans who did not tow the pro-gun lobby line and was critical of Governor Haslam, Ron Ramsey and Beth Harwell.

Hithcock 45
The next speaker was Representative Mike Sparks and I was proud of him. He politely and diplomatically took issue with John Harris and said as conservatives we must stand together and stay united. He praised Governor Haslam, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and had kind words to say about Speaker Beth  Harwell.

Senator Bill Ketron next spoke and explained SB0040 and urged the public to help get it passed. SB0040 is the bill know as HB0010 in the House sponsored by Representative Jeremy Fasion. In the Senate it is sponsored by Senator Nicely with Senators Ketron and Tracy as prime co-sponsors.
Following Ketron, the next speaker was "Hitchcock 45." I had never heard of him, but he was a crowd favorite. He was not inflammatory but had a down-home, county, likable manner. He apparently is a prolific poster of YouTube videos and is somewhat of a celebrity. After he left the stage of lot of people posed with him to have their picture made. Here is a sample of a video of his called Glock 30, that has garnered over 260,000 views.

Rep. Joe Carr
Representative Joe Carr was next, and if they had not already been standing he would have brought the crowd to their feet. He has a good firm delivery and was saying what the crowd wanted to here. He was urging defiance and asked the crowd to contact their state legislator and demand they support HB0042. This is the unconstitutional bill that ignores the supremacy clause of the constitution and calls for local deputies to arrest Federal agents enforcing any new gun laws in Tennessee. He read from the bill and it went like this:
" Any federal law, statute, rule, regulation, or executive order implemented or
executed on or after January 1, 2013 shall be unenforceable within the borders of this
state (cheers and applause) if the law, statute, rule, regulation, or executive order attempts to:
(1) Ban or restrict ownership of a semi automatic firearm, firearm
accessory, or ammunition; (wild cheers and applause) or
(2) Require any firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition to be
registered in any manner.(cheers and applause)
(b) No public employee, public official, or dealer selling any firearm in this state shall enforce or attempt to enforce any federal law, statute, rule, regulation, or executive order as described in subsection (a). (applause)
Nikki Goeser
The last speaker was Nikki Goeser. In 2009, Nikki witnessed her husband Ben’s murder while in a bar where they were both working. She told her story. She is a licensed concealed carry permit holder but was unarmed because at that time state law in Tennessee prohibited her from bringing her firearm into the building. Since then she has been an advocated for guns rights and in demand as a speaker.

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