Approximately 2,000 people rallied for gun rights Saturday at the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol.
Many of those in attendance were carrying handguns or rifles. American flags and Gadsden flags were carried by many attendees as well.
The Star Tribune reports the rally was an organized push-back against ongoing gun control campaigns launched in the wake of the February 14 Parkland school shooting. Event organizers included Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, and the National Rifle Association.
NRA board member Willes Lee spoke at the event, echoing some of the left’s catch phrases but using them against gun control rather than for it. He said, “I call B.S. on the government … taking our civil rights. The Second Amendment affirms my God-given right of self-defense.”
The crowd broke into applause when Lee praised President Trump, describing him as “the most pro-gun … president in history.”
Lee stressed that he and others in NRA leadership “were heartbroken over the senseless murders” in Parkland, but refused to turn a blind eye towards the way he believes gun control supporters have exploited the heinous attack. “The ‘antis’ most recent tactic is to use the undeveloped emotions of children to advance their cause.”
Other speakers at the rally included state Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan, state Rep. Marion O’Neill, R-Maple Lake, and two Republicans who are running for congressional seats.
Rally attendees booed when the names of gun control proponents Gov. Mark Dayton (D), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and state Sen. Ron Latz, (DFL-St. Louis Park) were mentioned.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.