On Saturday, about 300 people gathered at the Gladys Buroker Building at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to participate in a rally supporting the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. A number of those in attendance openly carried pistols, shotguns and rifles, causing one speaker to call it the safest place in town.
"Welcome fellow domestic terrorists," said former Bonner County Commissioner Cornel Rasor. The greeting, a clear slap at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who called Bundy ranch supporters "domestic terrorists," was well received by everyone present. Rasor went on to define Reid's "domestic terrorists" as polite, kind people who love their country.
A number of people spoke at the event, including Serenity McKie, a 15-year-old home-schooled teenager who gave a passionate defense of the Second Amendment. McKie, proudly displaying her rifle, later told Examiner she has been hunting since age 13, when she first received her hunting permit. Her mother, Enola Gay, expressed pride in her daughter, telling Examiner she did a "great job." McKie told the crowd the speech was her public speaking final.
Brent Regan, a local engineer and former Coeur d'Alene school trustee, told the crowd the Second Amendment is about freedom, not firearms. He also addressed land issues, which he called perhaps the "least understood" issues westerners face.
"The Idaho lands issue is probably the least understood, but probably one of the most important things that we've got," he told the Coeur d'Alene Press. "I wanted to correct some of the misinformation that's going on about the state exchange. Those are the two big things."
During the meeting, Regan said it is time to "extinguish" federal title to public lands. On Friday, over 50 leaders from nine states gathered in Salt Lake City, Utah, to discuss their goal of wresting millions of acres of land from the federal government. Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke was among those present at the meeting.
"It’s time the states in the West come of age," he said. "We’re every bit as capable of managing the lands in our boundaries as the states east of Colorado."
The rally, put together by Oathkeepers, also included a tiny "First Amendment" area outside the building, marked with tape and handmade signs. Speakers jokingly said the area was intended for the so-called "mainstream media."