Sunday, February 10, 2013

Citizens Report from Second Amendment Rally at AZ State Capitol (8 February, 2013)

Pro-Constitution and Second Amendment Rally at Arizona Capitol, 8 February, 2013

I attended the Rally on 8 February at the Arizona Capitol that was aimed at protecting the Constitution, especially the Second Amendment. I and my brother arrived about half an hour early and were able to find parking. Some other reformers looking to protect the Constitution and roll back some of the infringements on citizens rights were arriving just as we got there. They had an extra Gadsden flag for my brother to carry, and I had brought a megaphone because of the lack of organization and an audio system at the last rally. Next time, I will bring a soap box.

The rally seemed completely spontaneous from various calls for a rally on the internet. There was no organization. There were no invited speakers. A couple of people had written speeches that were heartfelt and valid, but it was clear that they were ordinary citizens who felt compelled to come forward, not practiced politicians or public speakers.

The media wanted a spokesperson, and I was wearing a suit and carrying a megaphone, so I was drafted. I wish that I had been better prepared. My remarks were extemporaneous. But I have had a bit of public speaking experience. They were well received by the crowd. I answered a number of questions by the media. I think I did not make horrible mistakes, because I did not see any of that footage used. I tried to keep it to a few simple points. We are here to protect the Constitution and the Second Amendment. The Bill of Rights all protect each other. We are using our First Amendment rights to protect the Second Amendment. Universal Background Checks are unacceptable because they move toward registration and confiscation. Governments are far more dangerous than individual criminals.

I only found one report on the local news. They showed the rally and had a few words from me, and they quoted my brother as well. I said an attack on the Second Amendment is an attack on all the Bill of Rights.

My brother said we were there to stop infringements on the Second Amendment.

Then they gave a coverage to an anti-rights politician from the legislature.

The power of the editor was awesome. Our words were more convincing if they were written down and read, but the anti-rights politician was shown strolling with the reporter, relaxed, full body shot, with complete questions and answers given in complete sentences. His only real answer was "we must do *something*, without any explanation of how the *something* would do any good. He claimed that "universal background checks" would not keep anyone from owning guns who should not. Our responses were of close up head shots of extreme short cuts of a few words. It made us look much less credible. The visual appearance that was given was old extreme white guys versus reasonable leftist legislator.

I did not go up to give a statement. But, the point of the rally was to show opposition to the unconstitutional laws that are being pushed. Once there, and seeing that the rally was virtually spontaneous, with no organization, I felt compelled to try to make the best of it.

Lessons learned: Be prepared to give a statement. Know that you will be edited. The words were not bad, the dress was decent, but the editing of the visuals was biased. I will lose the hat while being interviewed next time. The shot of me shows the hat tilted back (no mirror), and barely shows me wearing a suit.

This morning, I saw the written story to accompany the visual clip. The written story was relatively balanced, and we came out fairly well.

Dean Weingarten

Link to video report of AZ Second Amendment Rally on 8 February

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