Early last week S.C.O.P.E. (Shooters Committee on Political Education) told us that we needed to contact our government officials STAT which I did immediately. Then last week we New Yorkers were treated to the State of the State address by Governor Cuomo and it became very, very clear that I needed to become even more involved. I drafted a letter to be sent to our 600+ Club members via email to call them to action and decided right then and there that I needed to not only attend the our local gun show that was under protest, which we had already planned on doing to show our support, but to attend the pro-gun rally! I just couldn’t allow the antis to steal the show.
To be quite honest, I was a little nervous leaving the house yesterday morning. I’ve never made signs or gone to a rally before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. From what the media reported about Saratoga over the last few weeks I was expecting a gigantic crowd of anti-gun protestors.
We got there around 8:30 and at that point the line to get into the gun show was pretty long, longer than most said they had ever seen it—it wrapped around the side of the building. When our friends came around 10 they said the line was all the way down to the parking lot. It was at least an hour wait to get it.
At first it was the rally organizers, hubby, me, and a few other people but it really picked up pretty quickly. Pro gun people were on one side of a larger electric sign in front of the City Center and the protestors on the other side holding very large angels to represent each victim of Sandy Hook. I can honestly tell you that I never felt mad, or angry at the protestors. I loved that we could all be there to voice our opinions. Another great thing about America!
I made 4 signs which was great because a lot of people didn’t make signs so it really worked out for those of us who made extra ones. The support from cars passing by was amazing! One of my signs was “Honk if you’re Pro-2A”. It was almost a constant stream of beep, beep, beep…it was great!
Over the past few weeks the local media made it seem like the area was against guns and against the gun show and clearly that was not the case. I was absolutely thrilled with the turnout.
This is what my husband had to say,
The best part about today was the outpouring of community support. One of my goals was to inspire others to action only to find myself inspired by the actions of others. I was awestruck by the sheer number of honking horns and thumb ups not only from the citizenry at large but from the Army and Marines, EMTs, Firemen, Court Officials, Bus Drivers, Taxi Drivers, Security Guards and local businesses.
It was more of an emotional day than I had expected. We originally had planned on “rallying” for an hour and then going in with Club members that were meeting us there. That didn’t happen; Hubby and I discussed it and felt that because the turnout for the gun show itself was so good with thousands of people showing up with anywhere from a 1-2 hour wait to get in, that our time was best served being outside.
We were standing right in front so we could see right into the cars and one of the best things for me was to see so many women honking and showing their support! Many people driving by were thanking us for being there, giving us thumbs up, honking, gun show attendees were coming out to visit us after going into the show to say “thanks for being out here why I got to be inside”, a Jewish woman stopped to say thank you to a man who was holding the “Guns didn’t kill Jews” sign and told us her story with tears in her eyes. Military people stopping their cars and everyone standing at the rally telling them “thank you” for their service and them telling us thank you right back. People rolling down their windows and yelling FREEDOM!!!
Don’t get me wrong we had our fair share of looks of disgust, being called crazy, some guy stuck his tongue out at us, and we were flipped off as well. Sometimes it was quite comical, but it didn’t bother us, I think that you have to expect that not to mention that because there was so much negative press I honestly thought that there was going to be a huge turnout for the anti-side and that just didn’t happen. I’ll be generous and say that they had 50 people. Being there from 8:30 until 3:30 non-stop I would still say that that the Second Amendment supporters far outnumbered the other side.
I did learn some things from yesterday for the next rally we attend.
- Make more signs than you think you’ll need because not everyone will make their own yet they still want one to hold!
- Use the huge black Sharpie marker
- Make signs with less words (easier to read)
- The Honk for Pro-2A sign was extremely effective
- Be prepared to talk to the press – or designate someone as a spokesperson for the group. Not everyone is a good speaker and it only takes one bad comment to make the entire group look bad.
- Bring gloves! We hadn’t planned on staying out for the rally for more than an hour so that is why I was unprepared! I was frozen!!
- Keep your cool. No matter what the other side says do not engage. I must say that the local police on duty were fantastic and did not tolerate that at all. They were kind and polite but were like NO; go back to your side.
Overall it was an extremely inspiring day for me. I’ve decided that I can no longer remain silent; too many gun owners are doing just that because they feel this legislation will not affect them. Apathy is troublesome and I can’t help but think of this quote by Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Gun owners, are under a massive attack here in New York and I can’t just sit here, I have to do something. If the legislation is passed I will have done all that I can; I don’t want to be that person who is crying in a month saying, “I wish that I had…”. I’ve written, emailed, and called our government officials and plan on attending another rally down in Albany next weekend. I’ve been posting links so my friends and followers can read the proposed legislation. I invited people to the gun show and to go to the rallies with us. We’ve joined the NRA and NYSRPA.
If you are a gun owner, in New York or not, please take action now!