Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pro-Gun Supporters Overwhelm Anti-Gun Rally

Pro-Gun supporters
Pro-gun supporters rallied to counter-protest a planned ‘orange walk’ by supporters of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety on Sunday in downtown Las Vegas. A rally, hosted at the Ramirez Group offices on 7th and Bonneville, culminated in a walk down 7th Avenue around the Container Park. The highlight of the sunset walk was the fire-breathing preying mantis sculpture that spat fire accompanied by staccato machine gun bursts. The ‘shooting’ was followed by a clip from the infamous “say hello to my little friend” scene from the film Scarface. Pro-gun supporters outnumbered the anti-gun crowd by about a third; about 120 to 70-80 respectively.

Orange walks are a hallmark of former New York Michael Bloomberg’s affiliate groups, one of which, Nevadans for Background Checks, is leading the charge for banning private gun sales in a 2016 ballot initiative. Supporters dressed in orange clothing, mostly t-shirts bought from online from Bloomberg group web stores. The bright orange color was chosen as it is used to denote safety items, such as live preservers. The various groups believe that gun control can promote safety and such ‘orange walks’ are intended to raise awareness of their cause. The orange walkers were clad mostly in pre-printed shirts from Everytown, along with pre-printed signs and orange candles.

Many of the supporters prattled on about "gun violence", mentioned relatives shot or killed, and spoke about tragedies like the Sandy Hook massacre. None offered any solutions to actually stem crime and violence. Media reports and statements made by the orange walk participants were vapid and limited to talking points. Statistics given to curious attendees was laced with misleading statistics and bad information.

Supporters of the universal background check initiative used the term "unlicensed person" without defining the term, leading some to believe that buyers may not legally own a firearm without a license. In reality, the license is a federal firearm dealer's license; a license for those conducting the business of buying and selling firearms. Nevadans may legally sell firearms to each other privately as they may any other private property. None of the recent high profile shootings involved firearms that universal background checks would have stopped.

Despite virtually all of the pro-gun supporters being armed, there were no incidents of violence and no police response. When the crowds did mix, organizers quickly separated them. The cold weather and late afternoon schedule kept many of the pro-gun crowd away, yet even so, respectable enough numbers attended the counter-protest to mark the hard fight gun control supporters will have in Nevada.

On the pro-gun side, supporters included women, parents with their children, and members of every major demographic group. Mothers held signs like “Moms Demand Defense” while children held signs proclaiming “My parents are my first responder.”  Battlefield Vegas’ promotional Hummvee drove by, causing the pro-gun crowd to erupt in cheers for the machine gun range.

Pro-gun protest organizer Earl Loewen of Nevada Nevada 2A, a group which is opposing the 2016 ‘universal background checks’ ballot initiative, said:

“Nevada 2A would like to thank everyone for coming out to show support for their Second Amendment rights. We also want to spread the message that peaceful, law abiding gun owners want to end violence but we don't feel disarming the law abiding will accomplish this. Instead we encourage people to stay armed, vigilant and train to be their own first responders.”

NBC 3's cameraman 'coincidentally' wearing orange
Interestingly, NBC 3 Las Vegas sent a cameraman to film the Everytown/Moms event. While they gathered some footage of the counter-protest, which outnumbered the original rally participants, the pro-gun side was not covered. Nevada Carry believes that NBC 3 was invited to the Everytown/Moms event because their station, KSNV, is sympathetic to their cause. NBC 3 previously aired a segment on the background check initiative that was widely criticized online for being biased and inaccurate.

The cameraman showed up wearing an orange Denver Bronco’s sweatshirt, which he denied was meant to show support for the anti-gun rally. He also refused to answer any questions on how and when he received his assignment. For a news organization which claims to be objective (Nevada Carry does not pretend to be), it seems inappropriate for their staff to be dressed in such a way that would lead the reasonable person to assume NBC 3 was endorsing one particular viewpoint. The camera crew also spent an inordinate amount of time covering the private rally on the Ramirez Group’s property while none of the pro-gun supporters were interviewed by their reporter.

NBC 3 did deny matching shirts was intentional, however, for a news organization which prides itself on being objective (and under heavy accusations of pro-Bloomberg bias), any appearance of impropriety should have been avoided. NBC 3 has made no effort today to correct the deficiencies in their coverage.

On the anti-gun side, the rally and walk had a distinctive air of being more about publicity and media exposure, rather than a meaningful way to stem violence and promote domestic security. Nevada Carry did not feel it was appropriate to attempt to cover the private rally of the Moms/Everytown supporters, but will debunk any erroneous or misleading claims made in other media outlets.

The 2016 ‘universal background check initiative’ will ban all private gun sales and require all gun sales or transfers to be conducted through a federally licensed dealers. It will also require that those dealers conduct their background checks through the federal system rather than through the Nevada Dept. of Public Safety clearinghouse, which has access to in-state records the FBI center does not. Nevada currently has free, voluntary background checks for private firearm sales. Nevada Firearms Coalition president Don Turner has called the initiative an infringement “on Nevada’s private property rights.” 

Updated: 12/14/15 3:43PM


  1. Wonderful turnout, although I was on the way,,, I was called for an emergency. So many support the right to own and carry,and we saw it today!great job!!

  2. Please, "Pro-Rights," rather than "Pro-Gun." We are pro-rights, they are anti-rights. They want to restrict and deny rights, we want to promote and protect rights.
    Also, were the local news outlets invited by the pro-rights rally organizers? Too often we assume that we won't get coverage, or if we do it will not be fair, and we fail to do everything we can to get our message to the media. The Bloomies have professional PR flacks constantly engaging the media. We must do that too.
    Good job guys. We're with you all the way.