Denver gun rights rally Saturday, 1/19
Posted by Richard on January 18, 2013
UPDATE (1/19): It was a great rally! I got there a little after 12 and estimate there were about 1500 people in attendance. Many were families with children. The highlight was definitely Robert Wareham, the attorney for James Mapes, the man whom Thornton police falsely arrested and imprisoned for carrying a pistol into a Thornton theater (entirely legally) a week after the Aurora theater shooting. He’s a terrific speaker — engaging, forceful, articulate, and persuasive (not that his audience needed persuading regarding his powerful defense of the Second Amendment and our right of self-defense).
Other fine speakers included: James Mapes himself; a woman whose name I don’t recall (sorry, I didn’t take notes) who provided an at times funny and at times moving account of how she transitioned from hard-core liberal to gun newbie to nationally competitive shooter to staunch defender of the Second Amendment and self-described “Constitutional conservative”; and state Representative Chris Holbert (R-44) from Douglas County, who last year sponsored the “Constitutional Carry” bill (HB1205 making a concealed carry permit optional), which passed the Colorado House with a bipartisan majority, but was killed in a senate committee.
UPDATE 2: Reuters claims “about 500” attended the Denver rally, which is total BS. Even the Denver Post described it as “Almost 1,000,” and they have a long history of low-balling the attendance at tea party and gun rights events. About 1:45, a few minutes after the rally ended with someone singing the 3rd and 4th verses of the national anthem, I was policing the area, picking up what little litter there was. There were at least two people (one with a video cameraman) interviewing attendees — clearly the media. A couple of state troopers on bikes were near me, and one of them pointed to one of the media people and chuckled, “They got here just about the time it was all over.” A civilian standing with them replied, “That way they can downplay how big it was.” The two troopers smiled and nodded.
UPDATE 3 (1/20): Last night’s 9News report on the rally agreed with the Denver Post — 1000 at the rally. Billll agreed with Reuters (when’s the last time that happened?), and has a picture to back him up. But the picture was taken about 1 PM. When I approached the capitol at noon, the crowd came about half-way down the hill toward Lincoln St., and there were many more people on the sidewalk with signs. I suspect a lot of people left shortly after Robert Wareham’s speech, which had already started when I got there (I’m guessing, because I stayed near the capitol steps listening to the speakers). He was certainly the highlight of the rally, and while I enjoyed several of the subsequent speakers, they certainly weren’t as captivating. I suspect even more left when Rep. Holbert was introduced. I’ve noticed this phenomenon at past tea party and gun rights rallies: when they start bringing politicians to the microphone, no matter who they are, a bunch of people walk away. Based on his CUT rating and affiliation with RMGO, Holbert is one of the good guys. But he’s still a politician, and a significant segment of the pro-freedom movement just doesn’t want to listen to politicians. I suppose that’s a good thing. 🙂
Sorry for the short notice. January 19th has been designated Gun Appreciation Day, so there’s a rally at the State Capitol in Denver (and at other state capitol buildings across the country).
If you can’t make it to a rally near you, visit a shooting range or gun store, buy some ammo or that Springfield XD you’ve had your eye on, …