[Ed: Back from Dallas, we’re posting our presentations this week. You can also watch us in living color at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmyEJ7KJMIs]
Do we need crisis in this country to pull us together? It seems that the citizens of this country pull together after a tragedy. What has been happening over the past year is a travesty and personally, I would say un-American. When supposedly peaceful demonstrators begin to attack other demonstrators, that’s not demonstrating that’s rioting. At times it seems that law enforcement does not intervene as soon as they could to halt acceleration of that violence.
When did it become acceptable to riot in this country, anyway? Oh yes, I remember, as soon as Donald Trump won the Republican Party presidential nomination. Since that time there have been more violent demonstrations then we have seen in decades. Sure there have been demonstrations like in Ferguson, MO where demonstrations over a specific incident have gotten out of hand. I don’t think that is at all the same as what has been happening in our country and specifically what happened in Charlottesville last month.
The SAF came out against this violence and specifically about bearing arms at demonstrations after the Charlottesville incident stating, “Firearms serve a purpose, and the purpose is not a mouthpiece. It’s to defend yourself. If you are carrying it to make a political point, we are not going to support that.”
I have to say I agree with that statement, but I also have a different point of view on some armed demonstrations. Sometimes the gun is the point as in “open carry” demonstrations, as long as these demonstrations are kept peaceful and not as aggressive protests I agree with that. I think if you are carrying a gun in an attempt to add power to your position or intimidate or harm any opposition, then you are definitely crossing the line.
It does seem that at least one group at the Charlottesville demonstrations may have been responsibly armed. According to the Washington Times “a contingent of armed demonstrators attended the event, and in some cases were described as having done a better job than police at breaking up skirmishes between rallygoers and protesters.” Was this a responsible expression of the right to bear arms? One leader of this group “called both sides protesting in Charlottesville “Jackasses” and said his group was there only to guard the First Amendment”. It appears they were not actually demonstrators and that they were peacefully armed.
So what does it take to bring us together? Certainly the onslaught of hurricanes hitting the US and surrounding areas has brought us together. It has brought out the greatness of our country again. Does that always have to be true? Can we work together and help each other even when there is no crisis?
I saw a video of a September 18th pro-Trump rally. A Black Lives Matter leader was invited to come to the microphone and say a few words. Not all the crowd agreed with all that he had to say, but in the end the two groups came together. They took pictures together, even with their children. It appeared that they understood each other better, maybe only a little but that’s progress.
Isn’t this what we are all doing here at GRPC, for all of us to get together and talk about what we are doing to support the second amendment? Yes, we have a common goal but we come from many different backgrounds and we are still working together.
Can we be like those militia members at Charlottesville standing up for the bill of rights no matter what the subject? Whether it is freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, or any of the rights we should enjoy in this country. As we stand up for our rights and the rights of others, whether open or concealed, at a demonstration or in our everyday life, we can do so peacefully armed. Even if at times we are only able to be armed with peace (due to weapons free zones and the sort), we can be the peacemakers whenever that is possible. We are certainly still working on peace in many places, for example Chicago. The left certainly does not see how that peace is going to happen. But as more Americans realize the power of the second Amendment and more law abiding citizens are peacefully armed on an everyday basis, I believe we can make America great again.
— Dr. Sean Brodale is a family practitioner in Iowa. He is pursuing the right to carry in hospitals for eligible medical personnel. At DRGO he is involved in membership and public engagement projects.