A few liberty activists dropped in on a gun rights haters' rally. On a nice Sunday afternoon, March 9, 2014, they had the Team 26 bicycle riders stop at Buckingham, PA near Philadelphia. Here is the reception I received:
There was no excuse for these people's behavior at the rally. If they had any regard for freedom of speech they wouldn't have interfered with our respectful outreach. Notice how at 0:42 a woman laughs delightedly at the verbal abuse the activist in the red coat is dishing out. It is obvious from the video that many in the crowd agreed with her abusive behavior. Contrast this to the behavior of members of the Brandywine Peace Community when on Good Friday 2011 a libertarian brought a gun to their civil disobedience at Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia, PA. They were outraged but remained civil. Their nonviolence discipline specifically states, "We will observe with co-actors, police, Lockheed Martin employees, and passers-by, the rules of human courtesy. We will exhibit no violence or hostility - physical or verbal - toward anyone." [emphasis added] The people running the rally can learn from the good folks at the Brandywine Peace Community.
In fairness as I started handing out fliers one woman did say that even though I was on the other side she was glad I was there. She even thanked me for attending. The woman at 2:02 in the video seems puzzled by the spectacle of the red coat insulting me and taking my fliers. Perhaps she wondered, why the intolerance? I ask those of you who oppose gun rights to think about the kind of people you're following. Can you really trust them? Is the behavior you see in the video something you approve of? Don't you think that free speech should be defended rather than attacked? Please don't support these rights destroying groups anymore.
"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning, but without understanding.”
-- Judge Louis D. Brandeis
Speaking of hypocrisy, notice how the red coat in the video threatens to call security. To my mind this was threatening me with force. (I'm sure there wasn't any security she was just making a pathetic attempt to intimidate.) Off camera she said "the police know you're here". Again, the threat of using force against peaceful outreach. Strange that these gun rights haters claim to be the peaceful ones. They claim to be against guns and violence yet they didn't ask the gun toting police to leave. I'm sure the opposite is true, the police were there at their request. Remember that the police are the ones whose job it is to use force and more often to threaten to do so. It isn't consistent with pacifist principles to want armed men who are legally empowered to use force around.
Sometimes law enforcers come up with a good idea. Such is the case with Law Enforcement Against prohibition (LEAP), a group concerned with the war on drugs and neutral on guns. The text of the flier I was handing out is from a page that was, but is no longer, on LEAP's website. Link to text of the flier: http://bit.ly/1njNedS
On a humorous note I can now add "parasite" to "disgusting creepy crawly thing" on my activist resume. Keep the insults coming, haters.
The above hate mail was a reaction to this presentation: