Armed Pro-Gun Demonstrators Invade Oregon State Capitol, Occupy Building (VIDEO)

Fabruary 8th, 2013 Pro-gun rally in Salem, OR

Background photo from OregonTeaParty.org; Photos from L-R: OregonLive.com, OPB.org, and CTPost.com.

“I’m supporting my fellow patriots,” a young man explained, when asked why he was standing inside Oregon’s state Capitol building with an AR-15 assault rifle. The man — who only gave his name to Harry Esteve from the Oregonian as “Warren” — was among a handful of armed young men sporting baggy jeans, hoodies, baseball caps and [email protected] guns who had entered the rotunda last Friday. But don’t worry, the thing was only “technically loaded” — gun-freak-speak for “a full magazine’s in place, but there’s no bullet in the chamber.” Several of Salem, Oregon’s finest were stationed nearby, but — since carrying weapons inside public buildings is perfectly legal for Oregonians with concealed handgun licenses — police simply checked people’s permits and moved on. According to state police Lieutenant Terri David, “there’s been no concerns.”

Outside, another 300 to 400 demonstrators rallied from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to protest President Barack Obama’s proposed gun laws, and laws that have been introduced by Democrats in their state legislature. Although Democrats control Oregon’s house and senate, the idea of imposing background checks on private gun buyers, and banning assault rifles and high-capacity magazines doesn’t seem to be going over so well with the Republicans and a few DINOs. Turn-out for February 8th’s event was less than half of the over 1,000 ‘freedom lovers’ who gathered for a rally on January 19th, but the Capitol’s mall was still jam-packed. The previous rally had been held on a weekend, while this one was held on a Friday to ensure that the Capitol building would be open so protesters could enter with their guns and make their point.


Meanwhile, a gun safety counter-protest held in Portland, OR on February 9th drew less than 100 people. Perhaps would-be supporters confused the organizers — One Million Moms 4 Gun Control — with that OTHER way-less-than One Million Moms group that tried to save J.C. Penney from Ellen DeGeneris. Although Jim Redden from the Portland Tribune reports that two thirds of Oregon’s voters support tougher gun laws, the kind of people who would “peacefully” march on their state’s capitol while armed to the teeth are not the kind of people who will easily surrender their prerogatives.

Here’s a sampling of voices from the crowd.

33-year-old Arin Forrest — who was dashingly accessorized with an American flag and an AR-15 — told Jonathan J. Cooper from Associated Press:

“We’re out there, we’re going to fight, and we’re not going to lay down and take it. If they’re going to take our rights, they need to look us in the eye and tell us why.”

Um … because we’re afraid that you might kill us?

Meanwhile, Kim Boes, who was fetchingly clad in a raspberry fleece jacket and a Savage hunting rifle slung over her back with a bronze and carnation pink strap, wailed to Esteve:
“If we get to a situation where there’s civil unrest and we need to hunt, if our guns are taken from us, how’re we going to get our food or protect ourselves?”

Well, I suppose that if those predatory urban liberals loot all the kale and quinoa from your local Whole Pay Check, you can try the local Safeway.

Oh, and here’s this writer’s favorite gun slinger, Michelle Kirkendall. The young bother brought her adorable toddler daughter, Lexiana, to rally — in a stroller with a plastic, orange “second amendment symbol” of her very own — and burbled:

“It’s pretty neat to see how many people are out here to support our rights.”

Awwwwwww …. and widdle Wexi will be old enough for a widdle wifle of her vewy own in no time!

Kirkendall’s friend, 19-year-old Laura Morris, carried an exotic “Zastava” rifle from Serbia and chimed in:

“We shoot it for fun in our back yard.”

Wow. Good times!

Meanwhile, some protesters gave Dan Cassuto from KATU News the impression that they felt misunderstood, and just wanted their voices heard:

“I think there’s a certain section of America that does misunderstand,” said Tim Denny. “I hesitate to use pro-gun, but freedom-loving. I don’t think guns are the problem. They’re just tools like anything else.”

It’s sometimes really hard to understand people’s good and peaceful intentions when you’re suddenly confronted with hordes of heavily armed protesters. And if the crowd weren’t so overwhelmingly white, all heck would break loose. Can you imagine what would happen if a heavily armed group of Black Panthers marched on a state capitol? You’re right, Tim, I really DON’T understand. It’s been ages since the last Indian attack or slave uprising, and you don’t have much much big game up there in Oregon, so what the heck do you need a freaking assault rifle for?

The “Patriot Party at the Oregon Capitol Building” rally was organized by Tom Tharp and several others, and was organized mostly on facebook. Statehouse Representative Kim Thatcher and other supporters gave speeches to a cheering crowd, and musical entertainment was provided. The next event hasn’t yet been announced, but plans are underway for protests at local seats of government throughout the state for the month of March.

Here’s the video of the report from Dan Cassuto and KATU News:

 


Elisabeth Parker Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, “like” her on facebook, “friend” her on facebook, follow her on Twitter, or check out her Pinterest boards. For more Addicting Info articles by Elisabeth, click here.