It's that time of year again: time for gun rights advocates in Illinois to set aside a day to let Springfield know that shall not be infringed isn't a suggestion, and it's definitely not a request. That day is March 10, and the event is Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD). From the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):
All Illinois gun owners are invited to join in Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD) in Springfield in 2011. This is an annual event where everyone goes to lobby their representatives in the Illinois House and Senate. The ISRA is partnering with local and internet organizations in Illinois to increase attendance and make a bigger & better impression in Springfield. The other participating organizations are Illinois Carry and Champaign County Rifle Assoc. Get your local organization involved as well!
We will meet at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center - Doors open at 10:45 with the program set to begin at 11:30 am. We will have a legislative briefing, then we will all march to the Capitol Building to locate and talk with our representatives.
ISRA's web page dedicated to IGOLD '11 is in its formative stages still; soon, there will be much more information (about buses, itinterary, etc.) available, but now that a date has been set, it seemed best to get that information out there, so Illinois gun rights advocates can start making plans.
It's important to note what an event like this says about "the gun lobby." When advocates of forcible citizen disarmament refer, in tones of barely disguised revulsion, to "the gun lobby," they--nearly univesally--mean the NRA (as if the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, etc., don't exist). And sure, those organizations lobby for gun rights. IGOLD, though, illustrates the fact that the real strength of "the gun lobby" is the tens of thousands of concerned gun owners in Illinois, and scores of millions nationwide.
We don't receive millions from the Joyce Foundation, in a carefully coordinated campaign to spread our message, and thus don't give up on that message when the money dries up. Ours is a genuine grassroots movement. Theirs, not so much.
March 10. Be there.