Yesterday’s Eagle Tribune in North Andover, Mass., reported that a fledgling organization, Gun Rights Across America (GRAA), is pushing a national "Guns Next Door" demonstration of gun rights on Saturday, Oct. 19 “with hour-long sessions staggered by time zone so Americans participate simultaneously.”
In Massachusetts and neighboring New Hampshire, the hour for this public display of firearms is slated 5-6 p.m., putting the time for demonstrating here in the Pacific Northwest between 2 and 3 p.m. and it is guaranteed many people will be packing firearms at that hour, on that day, in full view of anybody who happens along.
That’s the second weekend of the general big game hunting season in Washington. There will be visible guns all over the landscape.
According to the GRAA website, founder and president Eric Reed – in an open letter to President Barack Obama – says the organization was created “right after the Sandy Hook tragedy” last December. He says the group “motivated 150,000 Americans” to join in demonstrations across the country last Jan. 19 at state capitols, and today he claims “nearly a quarter of a million followers nationwide.”
His message boils down to this: “We don’t want any new gun control laws in this country.”
One might guess that folks at Open Carry.org are already circling the date on their calendars. Those not out camping with guns may find themselves at coffee shops or other public venues, or – as the newspaper suggests – may simply conduct a “guns next door” effort by wearing holstered handguns or having long guns outside in the yard.
The story notes: “Differing gun laws mean the “Guns Next Door” demonstration will take different forms in each state.
“In New Hampshire, gun owners are asked to wear holstered handguns in the front yard and carry unloaded rifles outside their home.
“The plan for Massachusetts is unclear, but will fit within the Bay State’s gun laws.
“Californians will wear empty holsters because that state’s laws are so strict.”
Perhaps many activists will use the day to gather signatures for Initiative 591, the simple measure that requires background checks must comply with a uniform national standard, and it prohibits government confiscation of firearms without due process. It is up against I-594, the 15-page gun control measure promoted by the well-financed Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a Seattle-based group.
I-591 has statewide support from firearms rights groups, gun collectors, hunters and law enforcement firearms instructors.
Meanwhile, grouse, mourning dove and rabbit hunting seasons opened Sunday, as did archery deer hunts in many units. Think safety, and for those non-hunters who will be afield enjoying the changing colors, donning a bit of fluorescent hunter orange is worthwhile. Read the regulations.