The Brady Campaign – the also-ran of gun control groups of late – tried to revitalize their name, reputation and fundraising ability with a nationally-publicized rally Saturday right here in Illinois. It was billed as a rally against America’s gun stores, and they singled out Chuck’s, a gun store and indoor range located just outside of Chicago in Riverdale, IL.
It didn’t go so well for them.
First off, their permit to hold an event was denied by Riverdale. Oops. Seems that city’s leaders wanted the Brady Campaign in front of a successful, taxpaying business as much as they wanted the Klan or Westboro Baptist Church to visit. Why was that significant? It meant the Brady clowns were forced to keep their rally on the sidewalk and to keep moving in front of the business without an electronic PA. Even worse, their rallying point has isolated itself almost a block from the store, not near the front of the establishment.
Sticking to the sidewalk wasn’t really much of an issue as the Brady’s turned out about fifty, or about one bus load of folks from inside Chicago. It was actually a pretty paltry turn-out for the Brady’s.
Those present each got a free t-shirt, donuts and there was some talk overheard of financial compensation on the way home (“When do we get paid again?” one woman was heard asking her friend as they went went through the motions walking in front of Chuck’s).
We told you it was Astroturf for the most part.
astroturf (Urban Dictionary) -Creating the impression of public support by paying people in the public to pretend to be supportive.
Worse than the event organizer’s problems with the police in Riverdale were the one hundred plus gun owners who turned out to counter-demonstrate. Both Guns Save Life and the Illinois State Rifle Association put the word out to members to show up. Scores did, taking time away from loved ones and other activities to drive their own cars, trucks and motorcycles to spend the morning promoting freedom, liberty and our civil rights.
It was looking like the pro-gun folks were going to badly outnumber the Brady astroturf folks until Chicago’s activist priest Father Pfleger showed up with another fifty or so in a bus from his St. Sabina’s parish.
Oh yes, and the media was there, eating up the Brady drivel like the lap-dogs they are. They had no problems getting in close, given the weak attendance of the red-shirted rent-a-mob.
Meanwhile, over in front of Chuck’s Guns, controlling the real estate that matters, were the pro-gun folks.
We made sure the Brady folks knew Illinois gun owners weren’t going to sit idly by as out-of-towners come in and gin up momentum to attack America’s gun stores and take away our gun rights.
Yes, Brady gun-control fanatics came from across the nation – from Washington State to Washington, D.C. to try to make hay in Chicago.
The Brady campaign’s leader Dan Gross came all the way from Washington D.C. to lead the event.
Remember how we said the PA system was off-limits, per the police?
They tried to overcome that challenge by using a bullhorn for their rally speakers. They pointed it straight up while trying to talk into the microphone.
It was a sad spectacle.
And Dan Gross? He should have brought a step stool. See below.
How did it go?
The event went well for civil rights advocates. We took away a public relations freebie from the Brady Campaign. With the Brady’s PA system side-lined, their “talkers” were quite vulnerable to heckling from the pro-gun side.
One remark, shouted from yours truly on the pro-gun side, left a very pregnant pause from the Brady troupe.
“ARMED BLACKS DON’T GET OPPRESSED!”
You could have heard a pin drop for a moment – on both sides. (Thank you to The Truth About Guns commenter who suggested a similar slogan.) It was as if the pro-gun people were thinking, “I can’t believe you just said that!” and the Brady Campaign event coordinators were speechless – while their overwhelmingly black protesters seemed a little uncomfortable.
There was also some discomfort when it was pointed out how out-of-towners were coming to Chicagoland to take away people’s rights – with an SUV with Washington State license plates offered up as exhibit #1.
When someone on the Brady camp asked a rhetorical question, “Why are we here?”, the pro-gun side began chanting “Why are you here?” repeatedly, drowning out the Brady’s speaker.
Several of the gun folks heckled the Brady bunch relentlessly, including two African-American women, interrupting each and every speaker the Brady clan put on. One in particular was telling the event’s out-of-town organizers to “go home!”.
The rental group paraded in a giant circle in front of Chuck’s, chanting half-heartedly, while some of their members utilized improvised “drums” to keep the beat.
It was after the event was officially over that some of the discourse became rather extra-heated.
Here’s what passes for civilized discourse from the Brady camp and Pfleger’s mafia:
Here’s some more of the paid cast of characters at the event:
Who is this guy?
This guy was present.
He looked very out of place.
He was close to Pfleger. But he didn’t seem like a bodyguard. Was he a speaker? An interested party? A Bloomberg-shill?
He drove away in this car.
If you have an Illinois Concealed Carry License, you probably already know that carry is prohibited at events that have a demonstration permit issued.
Did you know that if you’re counter-demonstrating against a permitted event, you can carry to your heart’s content?