Conservatives and Tea Partiers plan to reignite the flame of 2010 next Saturday at rallies in cities and towns across America. The event is titled the “Day of Resistance,” and head organizer Dustin Stockton told Breitbart News that February 23 was picked as the date for several reasons.
“The first is one which I’ve been getting ruthlessly abused for and that is because the AR-15 caliber is .223,” Stockton said in a phone interview. “It’s also the day that we raised the flag in Iwo Jima and it’s also a Saturday, so people who work regular hours can also attend.”
More than 50,000 Americans have already signed up for 97 rallies in more than 30 states across the country. The rallies will focus on Second Amendment issues and President Barack Obama’s push for gun control, but they will also branch out into all aspects of oppressive big government.
“The main hook is Second Amendment defense and executive actions by Obama,” Stockton said. “At the same time, we feel like the GOP establishment argument on guns is that ‘this is all crazy talk, what you’re hearing doesn’t matter and they’re not going to actually come take your guns away.'”
Stockton claimed the average law-abiding gun owner believes the president is seriously pushing for gun control, among other left-wing policies, and cannot stand the establishment GOP’s unwillingness to fight back. However, guns are not the only issue that has conservatives upset: the gun control fight is a new launching pad for a bigger discussion, similar to how Obamacare sparked the Tea Party movement’s beginnings in 2009.
“We think that gives us an opportunity to talk about how Obamacare is affecting people’s personal privacy and all the other issues the Tea Party movement has to talk about,” Stockton said. “We’ll talk about over-regulation, bailouts, crony capitalism, Benghazi, Fast and Furious.”
“Fast and Furious is a big one for me,” Stockton explained. “When the top cop in the country is as crooked as Eric Holder, it really cements our argument that ‘yeah, you really need to not be counting on law enforcement for protection. You need to be taking personal responsibility.'”
Those interested in getting involved can either find a rally near them on the Day of Resistance website, or they can (through the end of this week) sign up to create their own event in their own town or city. “You have three options: You can sign up to attend, you can sign up to volunteer, or you can sign up to organize your own rally,” Stockton said.
Stockton has a Political Action Committee, Western Representation PAC, that is spending $25,000 from its cash reserves on the rallies in addition to money they have raised for the events; he said about $9,000 has come in thus far. TheTeaParty.net is sponsoring the events as well.
“We’ve got financial support if people need to pay for insurance, stages or whatever,” he told Breitbart News.
Stockton said there are lots of Americans around the country who want to get involved but have not had a place to start since the big Tea Party rallies and events back in 2009 and 2010. After watching Gun Appreciation Day rallies across the country in recent weeks, Stockton said he had an idea to fund five rallies with his PAC.
“I put out this video that I was going to do five rallies, and then all of a sudden I started getting emails from people all over the country,” he said. “Some asked me to come to Mississippi, to Minneapolis, to Louisiana and so many other places. I was like ‘Holy crap.’ This is way bigger than I anticipated.”
“So I started talking to folks and I realized this does have a very similar feel to 2009 and the Obamacare response. We’re up to 97 rallies and we have 50,000 people signed up to go and we haven’t really even dug into our marketing budget yet.”
Stockton hopes these new rallies can begin to rekindle the 2010 conservative magic. “For me, my big life-changing event was my first Tea Party rally,” he said. “I wasn’t politically active. I had all the conservative ideas, but I went to college in Eugene, Oregon, so I kind of learned to mostly keep them to myself. But when I physically went and saw the massive number of people who felt like I did, there was an inspiration level that drove me and everyone else all the way through 2010.”
“That feeling of community really generates a level of enthusiasm and volunteerism that we just didn’t see in 2012,” Stockton added.