In a classic case of a group hurting their cause more than helping it, approximately 200 gun rights activists demonstrated at Washington’s state capitol building on Thursday morning to ostensibly protest the passage of I-594, a law that expands background checks in the state. A large number of the demonstrators brought assault rifles and holstered pistols to the rally. Eventually, after a number of speeches on the steps of the Capitol, some of the activists entered the building with rifles and made their way to the gallery shortly after that morning’s House session had ended.
A day after this display, Lt. Governor Brad Owen, a Democrat and President of the Senate, announced that openly carried firearms are now banned from the public viewing area. Owen pointed out that other forms of demonstrating are prohibited in the public gallery, such as applause, and they do not allow backpacks and umbrellas to be brought into the area. With that in mind, it would only make sense that guns are off limits.
Owen, a Democrat who also serves as president of the Senate, said a notice of the change will be posted outside the gallery at the Capitol, likely before Monday’s floor session.
“We’re just noting that open carry is a form of demonstration and it’s no different than carrying a placard or something else of that nature,” he said.
Owen said it didn’t make sense to allow people to openly carry firearms while banning backpacks, signs and umbrellas.
“We’re not going to treat them differently than everyone else,” he said of open-carry advocates.
Much like other open carry activists throughout the nation, the group in Washington wanted to make a spectacle out of carrying assault rifles and dressing up in military garb during their ‘protest.’ By doing so, they only helped the cause of gun control groups, as their tactics give the appearance that they are nothing more than unhinged wackos and gun fetishists. This was perfectly demonstrated earlier in the week when the Texas state legislature installed panic buttons in lawmakers’ offices due to the actions of an open carry group.
Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts sent out a tweet Saturday referencing the panic buttons and the gun nuts’ actions in state legislatures.
— Shannon (@shannonrwatts) January 17, 2015
Meanwhile, as open carry advocates and 2nd Amendment activists are doing their best to disgust normal people with their antics, another mass shooting occurred. On Saturday, a gunman opened fire at a Florida mall, killing in person and injuring two others. The mall shut its doors for the day so police could verify there were no other injuries or shooters.
Image via Facebook
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).