This is our situation, and who will may know it. By perseverance and fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils —a ravaged country —a depopulated city —habitations without safety, and slavery without hope —our homes turned into barracks and bawdy-houses for Hessians, and a future race to provide for, whose fathers we shall doubt of. Look on this picture and weep over it! and if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who believes it not, let him suffer it unlamented.—Thomas Paine, Crisis Paper No. 1
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (August 31, 2009)—The flyer for the Tea Party Express proclaimed “Reclaim our Constitution.” for the Flagstaff Tea Party Rally which was held on the site of a former car lot. “Wake Up America before it’s TOO LATE!!” the flyer further states. The event was covered by Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times and the Washington Post. With that kind of press in Arizona, you are bound to attract a crowd carrying firearms to a “Constitutional” rally.
Three of us traveled east from the small communities of Ash Fork and Williams in Arizona to the Tea Party event in Flagstaff. Of course, we carried our firearms. I must admit I felt a little “overdressed” when we arrived and only Fox News was there. They don’t care about guns. I was kind of hoping CNN would interview us. I would have invited them out a range, that I know of, to shoot with me. When you do that, their fears usually dissipate because the soon realize that not every gun owner is maniacal. CNN, however, was traveling on the bus so I did not get to meet with them at all.
In fact, I was really disappointed that I did not get to meet with Kenneth Gladney who was attacked by Obama supporters at a Health Care town hall meeting where he handed out “Don’t Tread on Me” flags. Recently, the liberal blog sites have accused him of faking his injuries. The point is that he was attacked by Obama people calling him the “N” word. The liberal press could not get enough people to believe that a conservative would beat up a conservative at an Obama protest, so they had to turn their attention elsewhere.
As I understand it, now, carrying a gun to a rally is threatening and intimidating. However, attacking a black man and calling him the “N” word is not intimidating and, in fact, okay if he opposes Obama. Nope. Can’t figure it out. Been to public school.
The reason that I did not get to speak with Mr. Gladney is that I was asked to disarm, so I disappeared.
I had an intense emergency to attend to so I had to go back to my friend’s vehicle and get his phone. When I returned, I passed by security and police officers without a problem. One of the participants told me that someone had arrived with a semi-automatic rifle—known as an assault rifle to the unenlightened press—and the police were asking people to disarm. I shrugged it off as a joke and went on through the crowd taking videos of the event (which I will release when I get the time to convert them and upload them).
I began to wonder about my companions and went looking for them. As I passed by an officer, he politely told me that I would have to take my weapon to my car. I asked by whose order? He told me the event coordinator. Because we were on private property, I had to comply. I will stress that the Flagstaff officer was polite and maybe even a bit apologetic. I had no problem with the officer. So, I guess my youtube video won’t be that exciting. At any rate, I returned to my friend’s car and found them waiting, so I could not ask them to wait while I got a statement from the event coordinator John Echols.
I will say that when I arrived, Mr. Echols got me an interview with a candidate for Congress for the First District and the State Treasurer of Arizona, for which I am grateful, and none of them seemed the slightest bit concerned about my firearm. I support a grassroots effort that has blossomed so well. I can even sympathize, slightly, with the recent “bad press” guns and events have received. I wonder what would have happened, though, if the founding fathers had said that We are going to hold a revolution, but, you know,those flintlocks really aren’t necessary.
If you have an event to “Reclaim the Constitution,” one must wonder if you mean all of it, or just the parts that you want to support? Or worse, your own interpretation of it. After all, that is why we are in the mess we are in today. Because we have not followed the Constitution as it was intended, or twisted the wording of it to suit our “safety” needs.