In the world of guns and gun control, all eyes seemed focused on Richmond. That’s understandable, of course, as gun rights advocates from across the state flooded the streets of Richmond in an effort to make their voices heard. An estimated 20,000 or more showed up for a peaceful protest and, when it was over, went home hopeful that lawmakers heard them.
However, they weren’t alone.
While battle between the two sides raged on places like Twitter, a group of gun rights supporters in Michigan did a little more.
About 100 gun rights supporters rallied on the steps of the state Capitol building in solidarity with Virginia, as a lineup of speakers warned the heavily-armed crowd that the gun control measures proposed in that state could happen in Michigan, too.
“They could literally be at our doorstep tomorrow here in Michigan with those same bills,” said DeeDee Dubose, one of the event’s organizers from Jackson. “That’s why we’re here to stand with Virginia, and our people saying, ‘No, no, no, that’s not right.’”
There’s a strong sense in this community of activists (both those who showed up in Lansing and those who are part of the online group that organized the event, Michigan for 2A Sanctuary Counties) that they’re under siege, and that they’re the last line of defense for these individual freedoms.
Lawmakers, however, weren’t there to see the rally, because the Capitol was closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “They’ll see it on the news!” one man shouted, when Dubose mentioned that during her speech.
Honestly, that was great.
Reading this story, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if every state capital got flooded with thousands upon thousands of gun rights supporters similar to Richmond. What if we all mobilized and showed lawmakers that no, we’re not interested in compromising our rights any further.
Anyone else remember the Tax Day Tea Parties?
Regardless, I applaud these gun rights supporters for doing more than I did. I slapped around stupid people on Twitter, but these people braved the cold to make their voices heard. Regardless of whether lawmakers were there or not, they still spoke and that was the whole point. They called out for justice and the preservation of our rights.
In this day and age, those they wanted to hear them didn’t need to be physically present. They could hear them just fine.
Of course, much like Richmond, we know they heard them, but will anyone bother to listen?
Luckily, Michigan is predominately Republican, but as we all know, that’s not a slam dunk on anything at all. Rights are always in peril, if not at the state level then at the federal. By speaking out, these folks made sure everyone knew where they stood. That’s something we all should do.
Never let them think that taking your rights is something you’re not going to get worked up over. Make sure they know quite well that you view all your rights as passionately as humanly possible.
Even if there’s minimal direct threat to them.