Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- The sky was blue, the wind light, the temperature mild, and there were thousands of Second Amendment activists at the Rally for the Second Amendment on the 2nd of November, 2019.
Counting was imprecise without a good overhead image of the crowd. About half an hour before the rally I counted a quarter and estimated about 500. The crowd swelled as the start time approached. My best estimate was over 2,000 activists were in the crowd at peak attendance.
Rob Pincus was concerned the Nationals' world series victory parade might impact the turnout for the Second Amendment rally. If it did, the thousands that showed up were committed and prepared. There were numerous flags, dozens of placards as well as hundreds of themed shirts, buttons, and stickers. One of the favorites was the Guns Save Lives stickers. Individual activists from the VCDL were handing them out on their own initiative, at their own expense.
There were a plethora of individually made and carried signs and placards, often variations on a theme. It was clear this was not a mass-produced rally with barely interested participants bused in. The participants I talked to came at their own expense. Many drove in from hundreds of miles away. Some flew; they came from as far away as Hawaii and California. It showed a deep commitment to showing up at an event with only six weeks' notice. The Gadsden Flag, yellow with the “Don't Tread on Me” logo, was popular.
Themes chanted by the enthusiastic crowd were:
We will not comply!
We are the Gun Lobby!
Shall not be Infringed!
No more restrictions!
There were about 30 speakers who were enthusiastically greeted by the rally members, including a surprise guest speaker Dan Gross, Former President of The Brady Campaign.
There was a strong showing of women activists and a number of black activists.
Attendees ranged from babies in strollers to senior citizens. There were men and women and people of every color. Activists tended to be young and middle-aged, but there were a significant number of seniors. The rally showed the support to restore the Second Amendment is not a dying movement of old, white, men.
The crowd knew its history. It cheered when speakers reminded them, in the Constitutional legal scheme, rights came from God, not from the government.
There were scattered Christian references. One modernized a command from Christ, changing a sword to a gun: “If you do not have a gun, sell your cloak and buy one!”
Another common theme from the speakers was the need for unity. Flags in the audience echoed the theme with the Revolutionary war message: Join or die!
A few things may have prevented the crowd from being larger. The rally was announced with only six weeks notice to prepare. That is not a lot of time for people who have commitments at work, at school or for family. The fevered pitch for more restrictions on the right to arms by the media has died down, as the latest outrage of the day is focused on the impeachment spectacle, created in the House of Representatives by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff. President Trump and Vice President Pence both vowed to defend the Second Amendment.
There were numerous NRA hats present, but the NRA had no appointed speaker. The rally was organized while the NRA was undergoing significant internal and external attacks that have yet to be resolved.
Numerous smaller organizations supporting the Second Amendment from national to state, to the local level, attended and were enthusiastically received.
The organizers and funding for the rally were anonymous, but it was clear Rob Pincus and Jeff Knox had a major part in putting the rally together. Rob and Jeff were the primary masters of the ceremonies. They were efficient and effective. The rally wrapped up a little before 4 p.m.
As expected of a rally whose themes featured individual responsibility, respect for the law, and fidelity to the Constitution, the crowd picked up after itself. No trash was left behind.
There wasn't a single counter-protester noticeable during the entire event.
The estimation of the number of attendees was from pictures taken. My math: The crowd was on a front of about 125 people, with a depth of about 50 people. The shape was irregular, deepest in the center and tapering to the sides. The density was variable. There were about 300 attendees along the retention walls, behind the speakers, and behind the main crowd. 125 x 50 = 6250. Reduce by half because of the shape = 3125. Reduce by 40% for density = 1825. Add 300 for those along the retention walls, behind the speakers, behind the main crowd = 2125. Estimate, over 2000 attendees at the peak.
Four hours are a long time to stand and listen to 30 speakers. The speakers were passionate, the crowd enthusiastic, the weather, perfect.
It was a good day for supporting the Second Amendment on the 2nd of November, 2019.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.