rifle

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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1. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
If you see a firearm or pick up a firearm, always treat it as if it is loaded. If you remove the ammunition, check the chamber and you are certain that it is unloaded, still treat it as if it is loaded. If you go to a gun show or a gun shop and are looking at a firearm that is given to you by the clerk, make sure there isn’t any ammunition in the weapon and visually and physically check the chamber. If you don’t know how, ask.
2. Never point the muzzle at anything you aren’t willing to destroy.
Note: Just in case you might not know what the muzzle is, it is the front of the weapon where the bullet comes out.
This is a big one. I remember one time I was at work, and I received a call along with several other officers to a house reference a subject with a gun. There was some yelling and screaming from the neighbors at the houses and in the end we had to take a Yugoslavian SKS Rifle out of the house for safekeeping. The officer that secured the weapon, took it to the rear of his cruiser and I went over to see if I could help. After removing the magazine and clearing the chamber, he then began swinging the muzzle around and swept it past me. I grabbed the side of the barrel and told him to be careful. He said the gun was empty in an attempt to reassure me. I told him that I was “allergic to muzzles” and asked him to point it away from me. Don’t ever assume that anyone with some perceived knowledge about firearms from Law Enforcement or military backgrounds will know how to be careful. You have to protect yourself at all times.
3. Be absolutely certain of your target and what’s behind it.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to use deadly force, there is more to it than just having the justification to shoot. You must also be able to justify where and why each of your spent rounds were fired. Even if you have the justification to use deadly force, but the background behind the threat or your target isn’t clear, meaning, someone else could be in the line of fire, you bring yourself into a liability situation that may be impossible to get out of and would prove to be extremely costly, literally and figuratively.
4. Keep your finger off the trigger guard until you are on target and ready to shoot.
This sounds simple, but if it was always followed, it would prevent a lot of accidental shootings. There has been extensive studies done that if a person is startled, one of the involuntary things that their hands will do is to clench up into a fist. If your finger is on the trigger of a firearm and you are startled enough, BANG. Keep your finger on the outside of the trigger guard, well away from the trigger. You wouldn’t want to stumble and have your finger slide onto the trigger. The next time you watch a television show or movie and see someone holding a firearm, check and see if you see them rest their finger outside of the trigger guard while they are standing or walking around. This will give you some indication if the actor received any training in the use of firearms.

Always Remember…you don’t have permission to quit.

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

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