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IGOLD 2015 in pictures

March 20, 2015

The 2015 Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day event was held Wednesday, March 18th in Springfield.

Roughly 1500 gun owners from throughout Illinois turned out to spend the day as full-time gun rights activists, rallying, marching, lobbying and making themselves known to the members of the Illinois General Assembly.

The event started off at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, and then we marched through the streets of Springfield to the State Capitol complex.  Springfield police escorted the group, blocking traffic and helpfully ensuring everyone made it safe and sound.

We rallied at the Capitol steps at the Lincoln statue, and then went inside, saturating the entire complex in a sea of gun owners there to communicate their demands for easing the concealed carry law’s prohibited locations, to legalize suppressors and to say “NO!” to any anti-gun proposals.

Here are some of the sights.  Click on the photos to see a higher resolution version.  Permission is granted to reproduce these photos in other pro-gun websites, with credit.

Permission is specifically denied to anti-gun websites, including the bed-wetters at Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Inside the Prairie Capital Convention Center…

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Steve Davis is behind bars!

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Say “hi” to Valinda Rowe (of Illinois Carry).  She is the spokeswoman for the IGOLD event.

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Lots of people, all happy.  Here’s our new GSL Secretary Lois Morton behind a GSL banner.

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There were LOTS of groups participating.  It’s truly a credit to ISRA’s leadership for opening it up to all organizations to promote and participate in an event that benefits us all while at the same time allowing the respective organizations a share of ownership in a way.

It is this spirit of inclusiveness, fostered by Gene Martin some years ago, which has allowed the event to grow exponentially and with that growth, IGOLD’s influence upon legislators. It’s also made ISRA one of the most notable state NRA affiliates in the nation, and proves that working together, we can accomplish so much more than working apart.

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Tom Shafer gets the crowd warmed up.

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That’s Rhonda Ezell holding the banner at the end.  She’s responsible for killing Chicago’s draconian ban on shooting ranges.

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Valinda with Third Power’s daughter.

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Getting underway.

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It seemed like the throng of people just went on, and on, and on…

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The people were upbeat and in great spirits, despite the chilly weather.

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The march went on, and on, and on.

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The Springfield Police, as always, did a great job blocking traffic and making the march safe and fun.

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Note that this parade is about 100% more orderly and well-behaved than those in Ferguson.

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Lots of people stopped to see what the big crowd chanting and marching through the city streets was all about.

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Three generations of Burma sign program chairmen:  Tom Menner (center) was first, then John Naese, left and now Rachel Puckett.

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18 Responses to IGOLD 2015 in pictures

  1. Wendala on March 20, 2015 at 11:15 am

    GREAT PICTURES!!! It’s like a Where’s Waldo in seeing familiar faces.

  2. Patrick Peterson on March 20, 2015 at 11:28 am

    There were a lot of good people the Capitol that day.

  3. Dyspeptic Skeptic on March 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I couldn’t make it. Looks like I missed a great time.

  4. KK on March 20, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Once again, it looks like the lame News-Gazette had not story covering the rally. Meanwhile, the Mattoon paper had a front page story with a large picture.
    Anytime you find one of the guys in the local store trying to sell subscriptions to the N-G, tell them you never will purchase one, as long as they keep censoring the news. Let that get back to management.

  5. Sam Whittemore on March 20, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Hey, why wasn’t the GSL banner up front during the parade?

    I heard there was some scuffling and pushing. What happened?

    Great pictures!

    Sam

    • jboch on March 20, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      In a nutshell, the ISRA’s leadership told GSL’s president and E.D. that one banner up front would be just fine, and the rest should hang back for the march.

      Mike and Valinda Rowe were unaware of the ISRA’s discussions with GSL – and pushed our people off the front of the march.

      Mike Rowe told us that Guns Save Life is the only organization contributing cash support towards IGOLD expenses. That’s in addition to premium real estate in GunNews on the front page promoting the event in 20+k copies distributed throughout Illinois, multiple bus sponsorships, Internet promotion on the state’s highest-trafficked gun blog and promotion at our meeting locations for months on advance. Despite all that, Mike Rowe didn’t believe that was enough to merit a place at the front of the march.

      We’re in discussions to avoid something like this happening next year.

      John

      • Sam Whittemore on March 23, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        *All that* wasn’t enough to get a place at the front?

        Jesus.

        Something’s going on there that isn’t rational or reasonable.

        Hope it’s all fixed before next year.

        Sam

  6. Parabellum on March 20, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    So, may i ask what Illinois Carry did to earn its spot in front?

    • David Lawson on March 20, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      Sad to say we weren’t able to make the march this year. As a member of GSL, ISRA, and Illinois Carry, I hate to see this kind of thing happening. I hope it gets fixed.

      Now, to answer Parabellum, what did Illinois Carry do to earn its spot in front? How about creating IGOLD in the first place? Of course IGOLD has always been a coordinated effort between (mainly) ISRA, IC and GSL, it happens every year due to the tireless and unpaid efforts of Valinda Rowe. She has had help from many, including, of course, leadership of ISRA, GSL and IC.

      I’d also like to echo the credit given to Gene Martin. Gene was a founding father of Illinois Carry and a GSL member as well. When FCCA passed we toasted to the memory of Gene Martin.

      • Sam Whittemore on March 23, 2015 at 7:56 pm

        Tireless efforts on behalf of Mrs. Rowe? No argument there.

        Ditto for a whole lot of people in Guns Save Life, Illinois State Rifle Association, the Sangamon County people I met passing out stuff and acting as guides/helpers, and several groups in near Chicago.

        Seems like some animals are more equal than others for no good reason IMHO.

        Looking forward to hearing the real skinny on this.

        Sam

  7. jboch on March 21, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Thank you for that explanation, Mr. Lawson. You were not only up later than I was, but you offered some great insight.

    Thank you.

    John

  8. Brain on March 22, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Was it my imagination – or was there some sort of disturbance in the lobby of the Prairie State Convention Center during the speeches? I swear I heard some sort of confrontation – but I could not see anything.

    • Thirdpower on March 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      A number of flags/signs which had been set against a wall fell down from what I understand.

      • David Lawson on March 22, 2015 at 11:44 pm

        Were any of them fringed?

    • markthesignguy of IllinoisCarry and ISRA on March 26, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      I was there and the “disturbance” was at the Adams street exit. Some stuff fell over. Period. A bunch of Flags. I watched the “disaster” unfold. Flags had been lined up against a wall like dominoes, depending upon a precarious balance, and partially covering a pedestrian accessible floor area. Pedestrian wanders along, lost, and bumps one. KA zaaaaaapppppp… in slow motion no less…

  9. Josie on March 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Looked like a terrific huge group showed up! That’s fantastic. I got sick and was in no condition to join in. Maybe next year. This is the kind of groups we should have in most of our gatherings. That should leave no doubt in their mind that the people are upset and paying attention. It was especially interesting to see the group of African American citizens that joined in. Happy to see that they are finally stepping up to help save our liberty.

  10. Sam Whittemore on March 23, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    We should all work together.

    Sounds almost like there’s some turf wars going on. Let’s put the kibosh on that crap, gents.

    Sam

    • Dyspeptic Skeptic on March 25, 2015 at 9:31 am

      Here here. Isn’t that the whole point of IGOLD, to work together to get our gun rights back an set aside differences big and small?

      I hope it was a misunderstanding that will be clarified for all involved before next year.

      Here’s an idea: Put GSL at the front next year and rotate “who is at the front” from year to year. Or, make room for three groups at the front. Or just have ISRA at the front perhaps?