Thousands people with loaded pistols on their hips and rifles slung across their backs stare across the Potomac River, standing ready on the border of Washington D.C. On the other side of the Arlington Memorial Bridge, the air is stale and tense. The scene is so quiet that the sound of police lights spinning are clearly heard. Formed in equal force is the D.C. Metro Police, armed with loaded pistols and rifles of their own. Clad in riot gear, tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and blast shields, the front line of the police block aid sends an ominous signal to the potential intruders. If you cross into the District of Columbia openly carrying loaded weapons, you will face violent resistance at the hands of The State. Not wavered and not a word said, a single step initiates one of the most daring demonstrations of Second Amendment Rights in recent times.
This will be the likely scene on July 4, 2013 as thousands of protesters plan to march across the Arlington Memorial Bridge from Virginia to D.C., openly carrying firearms, in support of Second Amendment Rights. Open carry of firearms is legal in Virginia but Washington D.C. is a very different story. Even though a 2008 Supreme Court case determined it unconstitutional, open carry is still illegal in D.C. Also, private ownership of firearms, even for home defense, is nearly impossible to obtain.
It will be a day that will never be forgotten if Adam Kokesh has anything to say about it. “We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny.” Kokesh is quoted as saying on the Facebook Event page where supporters can RSVP to the event. As an avid Libertarian Podcaster and War Protester with a large internet following, Adam is no stranger to controversy. Back in 2011, Kokesh was body slammed and arrested by U.S Parks Police at the Jefferson Memorial for dancing, earning the video of the incident over 1 million views on YouTube.
When the Chief of Police of D.C. Metro, Cathy Lanier, was asked about the event and how her police department would react, she chuckled and stated “There’s a very good chance we’ll meet them on the D.C. side of the bridge. There’s a difference between civil disobedience, which I think this is being portrayed as, as civil disobedience, and actual violation of the law.” Kokesh, like many other Libertarians that support the protest, rebut by claiming it is the D.C. Metro Police that will be in violation of the law. By not allowing free and law abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment Rights in their own nation’s capital, the D.C. Police will violate the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court decision.
This comes on the heels of announcements by the Pew Research Center and the Bureau of Justice Statistics that many Americans, whether cognitively or not, believe gun crime is higher than it actually is. This will not come to a shock to many gun rights activists who have screamed the stats to anyone that would listen, but the studies noted the number of gun killings dropped 39% and gun crimes that weren’t fatal fell by 69% between 1993 and 2011. It is very coincidental that these studies are released only after major gun control legislation is defeated in Congress. This is a blatant example of the power of the mainstream media to hype up certain events and create a false reality.
There are mixed emotions about the protest in the Libertarian community, but no one can deny it is a bold move. On the May 6th episode of the Alex Jones Show, Lew Rockwell warned that the protest could go terribly wrong. Alex Jones also warned of a provocateur event that would demonize the protest and pervert its meaning, but went on to applaud the protest saying “This is the stuff that history is made of!” On the same day’s radio broadcast, Kokesh defended the protest. “Putting the government in a lose-lose situation is a huge victory for Liberty.” He goes on to explain that no matter the outcome, whether they are arrested, blocked from entering D.C., or have violence initiated upon them, it will only highlight the fact that free individuals are not welcome in the capital of the United States of America.
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