As this Saturday’s “March For Our Lives” – the student protest against “gun violence” that has turned into something of a business venture with merchandise and marketing – looms, another less noticed effort is underway in the firearms community.
This effort uses a hashtag – #WhyICarry – to unite the firearms community. One of the people involved is Kim Cahalan at Media Direct, a widely-respected Illinois-based public relations firm, who told Liberty Park Press via telephone, “This is basically a way to get the firearms community on the same page, sticking up for our rights and letting people know it’s okay to carry and speak out and stand up for Second Amendment rights.”
Gun owners nationwide are being encouraged to use the hashtag, especially through this coming weekend, March 23-25.
Backers are encouraging firearms industry companies to incorporate #WhyICarry into any social media pushes for the coming weekend. Ditto for any gun rights activist.
That may be no small task, and if successful, no small accomplishment. Since the Feb. 14 Florida high school tragedy, gun owners and the firearms industry, gun rights organizations including the National Rifle Association and more recently the Second Amendment Foundation, have been under attack from anti-gunners.
High school student activism has erupted – and many argue expropriated – by the gun prohibition lobby, which has remained remarkably silent in the wake of Tuesday’s shooting incident at Great Mills High School in Maryland. In that incident, a “good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun” and the only fatality is the dead teenage shooter.
This incident, involving a single school resource officer, a deputy with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department, did not fit the anti-gun narrative. Many in the firearms community have long believed that the reason there is so much resistance to armed security or armed teachers is because the notion of “good guys with guns” was first highlighted by the NRA.
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”—Language of proposed amendment to Iowa state constitution
In the midst of this activism, the Iowa House earlier this week passed on a 54-42 vote that got no Democrat support a House Joint Resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to delineate the right to keep and bear arms in the Iowa State Constitution. Iowa is presently one of only six states that does not have a specific RKBA tenet in its constitution. The others are New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California and Minnesota. By no small coincidence, with the exception of Minnesota, the other four states have some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation.
Opponents of HJR 2009, sponsored by Republican State Rep. Matt Windschitl, complain that the proposed amendment would contain a strict scrutiny clause requiring local gun control laws in Iowa to meet a strict scrutiny requirement.
Anti-gunners despise strict scrutiny of gun laws, because many such laws wouldn’t pass the constitutional smell test, and they know it.
The tidal wave push against gun rights is daunting, but not overwhelming. With hashtags and maybe a constitutional amendment in the Hawkeye State, the tide can shift.