2nd

On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, I attended my first rally at the state capitol building in Michigan. I’ve been to rallies before but never here. This rally was for the support of the 2nd Amendment and against any infringements being proposed.

Initially there was a march for several blocks before the rally started. By my estimation there were several hundred people in the march and even more when we arrived at the Capitol and began listening to the speakers. After all was said and done there was an estimate of 1100 in attendance. Not bad for a briskly cold day on the first day of Spring.

There have been a couple of rallies in the past two months. I had every intention of making the last one on February 8th. I took the day off and everything. Only one problem, six (6) inches of snow started falling at about 7am that morning, right around the time I need to get going. I wanted to go and even got on the road and headed that way. All was good for about 5 miles then, I started seeing nothing but white-out conditions with the snow blowing across the expressway. Just a few days before this there was a big multi-car pile up about 20 miles from my home due to a white-out. I stopped, called my wife  and told her I wasn’t going to risk it and went to Gander Mountain to look around a bit.

Well back to the rally. It started out with a short speech by one of the organizers. This rally was more than just us getting together and voicing our feelings on the particular subject. All along it was planned that we would not only meet but would go and speak to our respective legislators in the State House of Representatives and State Senate. We were essentially dismissed and suggested that we go to the offices of our state representatives and speak with them about our feelings on subjects related to the 2nd amendment.

I was planning to go to my vehicle that was parked in a local garage and didn’t expect many to go to the offices to speak with their representatives. Going to the garage happened to be passing the same way that the offices were located. I was shocked. Not only did a few people from the rally go to the offices, a LOT of people went. I found myself, jumping in line and going in as well. We packed the joint. There were so many of us that it took seemingly forever to get on the respective elevators to go to the floor that one might need. It was so ironic all these men and women,  many carrying openly either a pistol on their hip or a long gun of some sort across their back. Personally I had both.

My representative wasn’t in, although I wasn’t surprised because he is slanted for gun control. I did meet a guy that lives near me. We picked up on a bit of conversation and not surprisingly had many things in common regarding this issue.

Afterwards we all returned to the rally and listened to a plethora of speakers. The thing I found ironic was being in one place with so many people open carrying, pistols and rifles. This was my first experience with that. I didn’t feel nervous. On the other hand most everyone was overwhelmingly kind and respectful. Reminds me of the saying about, “An armed society is a polite society.” A running joke among the rally participants was that it was amazing with all those scary “Black Rifles”that we didn’t all kill each other.

During one of the breaks, a guy asked me and a few other guys if we wouldn’t mind taking a couple pictures in front of a few statues on the property of the capitol. The guy that took the pics and asked us to pose for them is a new friend of mine, Max Dollarhite. Here is a pic of him. If you haven’t guess it yet…I’m the black fella.

I had a nice time meeting all of the folks there and I look forward to participating in the next one.

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This is somewhat of an answer with no  end. There are many in our society that feel compelled to take the latest trajedy, whatever one it may be, and put their political playbook in play so to speak. Where does this leave us as American citizens, fighting battle after battle with no end in sight.

I haven’t always owned firearms in my life, but I never had any particular problems with them. Frankly it is never a conversation that came up in my family or with my friends families very much. I’ve always considered myself a student of history and all this talk about the 2nd Amendment had me doing a lot of research on our constitution and the beginning years of our country.

As a black man, I am quite aware that when the Constitution was created, it didn’t include my ancestors or people that look like me. Call me an idealist though; I still feel that the document was written for me. As I’ve been reminded so many times, the rights that were conveyed in the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights, weren’t created by men. The only thing that occurred by these rights being included in the document was affirming what we all have a number of rights including  a right to defend ourselves from those that would want to hurt us…and that includes our government(s).

In the past two months I’ve written to my state and federal law makers more times than I have in my entire life. Although there are so many parts of this that I have no control over, I believe it is important to do my part.

 

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