Spell-check. It has saved many a student from the wrath of teachers. Could it save the Republic from gun-snatchin’ liberals?
Organizers of a gun-rights demonstration at the State Capitol over the weekend, wary of public-relations faux pas, seemed to think so. Guns Across America, which contends that wide availability of firearms leads to less crime, urged followers to look the part: Don’t wear camouflage, spell-check those signs and no rifles. “They wanted to promote kind of, like, ‘everyday folks’ dressed in their normal clothes,” says Mike Novak, a volunteer with the group’s Pennsylvania chapter. “We aren’t a bunch of weirdos.”
It didn’t go over well with some protesters, who saw it as infringing on their Second Amendment rights. “All of us aren’t in camo, running through the woods, causing problems,” says organizer Ryan Wallace, from the Northeast. Bickering ensued on social media. Guns Across America dropped its request to lose the camo. Both sides hugged it out and claimed a successful rally.
Likewise, a Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association web forum was alight with plans for a Jan. 23 protest by PA Responsible Citizens to showcase “responsible and ordinary” gun owners. That was set to coincide with a rally by anti-gun-violence group CeaseFire PA — which itself is calling for responsible “common-sense reforms.” Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFire PA, says she hopes gun advocates’ shift goes beyond aesthetics, to real consideration of issues like requiring reporting of lost or stolen guns. “There are things in our agenda that responsible, law-abiding gun owners … should be able to get behind.”