“The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”
So says Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
On Monday, May 6, 2019, I had the tremendous honor of speaking in support of the Second Amendment at the Protect Your Right to Keep and Bear Arms Rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
According to 2ARally.com, this annual grassroots event was first established in 2006, and each year, responsible gun owners come together to support gun rights and send a clear and simple message to state lawmakers: “Unconstitutional and ineffective emotionally driven gun-control legislation has no place in this Commonwealth, and we will not stand by idly and allow our freedoms to be eroded or taken away by any means.”
The event “attracts some of the most famous and well-known speakers — from scholars to politicians to some of the biggest names in the pro-rights movement. In addition, every year the numbers of gun owners who join [together] in the Capitol rotunda swells larger and larger, often spilling out the doors and gaining [the] rally a reputation as one of the largest in Pennsylvania.” [2ARally.com]
This was the first year I’ve had the privilege of attending the rally, but let me tell you: The place was absolutely packed.
A Rally to Support Gun Rights for Everyone
According to News2Share, the crowd consisted of “a coalition of pro-gun, conservative and libertarian activists” who gathered at the Capitol “to condemn gun-control policies being considered by their state Legislature and others being passed in the city of Pittsburgh.”
The event was organized and led by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler County) and featured some incredibly impressive names in the pro-gun community, including Kelly Ann Pidgeon (Armed and Feminine LLC), Maj Toure (founder, Black Guns Matter) Joshua Prince (chief counsel, Firearms Industry Consulting Group) and Eric Pratt (executive director, Gun Owners of America), among others.
I have to be honest with you: I could literally feel the energy in the room.
What an Honor It Was to Be Invited to Speak
When it was my turn to speak, I got to share a little bit of my background, including how and why I set out on my own personal concealed carry journey and some of the roadblocks I ran into along the way (including that guy at the gun shop who asked, “What would a guy like YOU want with a gun like THAT?”). I got to talk about starting the USCCA and the power of responsibly armed Americans and why it’s so important to not only stand up for our gun rights but also share our stories from our hearts. THAT’s how we can help change minds!
If you’re interested, you can watch my full speech here:
And just like in that speech, I’d like to leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes from Margaret Mead that really puts our ongoing fight for the right to keep and bear arms in perspective:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”