Second Amendment Rally Draws Substantial Crowd

Pete Brownell, President of Brownell’s Inc holds up a t-shirt stating “Government Didn’t Build My Business, I Did” in reference to a comment made by President Obama in a Virginia speech that has become a touchstone phrase during this Presidential election cycle.

Searsboro, Iowa – The Iowa Firearms Coalition along with the National Rifle Association held their third annual rally at Brownell’s big Springs range. 1600 people came to see and learn more about the latest firearms along with a healthy dose of politics.

The founder of the Iowa Firearms Coalition or IFC is Steve Hensyel and he was also serving as the event coordinator on Saturday.

Hensyel said the main purpose of the day was to help bring more awareness to second amendment rights. “Were bringing Iowans together to get them aware of those rights and get them educated and get them in support of those rights.”

An area that Hensyel says his group will be focusing on involves silencers. Silencers are best described as suppressors, where they suppress a portion of the sound generated by the discharge of a firearm.

Hensyel says that suppressors are legal in 42 states, “Iowa, they are currently not.” Hensyel says that they are trying to educate people, “that they [suppressors] are like mufflers on cars,” saying they are a good courtesy. Hensyel says he believes they have remained illegal in Iowa because of media misconceptions and Hollywood myths.

Hensyel stated that they will once again visit the ‘stand your ground’ laws along with Castle doctrine. Both of those will be on the IFC agenda for the coming legislative year.

Second Congressional District Candidate John Archer was at Saturday’s event where he was scheduled to speak. Archer is one of the scheduled speakers for the Republican National Convention on Monday. The convention has had to alter some plans as Tropical Storm Isaac skirted Florida before turning northwest.

Archer said “this election is about big issues. That is, do we continue to move down the path of failed European Socialism or do we embrace freedom. That means free individuals that are allowed to carry across state lines empowering individuals to do what they need to do with little government interference as possible.”

Also in attendance was Iowa Congressman Steve King. The Republican congressman has been in a pitched battle against challenger Christie Villsack for Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District.

Congressman King said we need to exercise our Second Amendment rights in order to help protect them. “Raise our children with gun safety and bring them out to the range, get them comfortable with guns and make sure they understand both the danger and the responsibility with it.”

“And they understand the danger of a country that could be taken over by tyranny one day if we fail to do our job.” King said this, as well, about the responsibility of protecting Second Amendment rights.

During his speech to the crowd, Congressman King described how he gave an interview on a radio show while his sons sighted in a new rifle. During that interview King said you could hear the report of the rifle. “The report of that rifle echoes through three generations of our family, and more if my grandchildren are raised in the same fashion I was, my grandmother was, our children were.” King said the sound of that rifle has echoed over a century in his family.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was the headline speaker for the event. Jindal was on the list of possible VP candidates and many within the Republican Party consider him to be on the short list for a future Presidential run.

Governor Jindal said that the Second Amendment is important and is a “cornerstone of our freedoms”.

Jindal spoke to the crowd about the experience he had in a post Katrina.

Jindal spoke about first responders being stretched beyond capacity,“You couldn’t just call 911. Tragically, after Katrina we saw some government officials go door-to-door to take away guns from law-abiding citizens, who then couldn’t protect themselves. That should never happen in New Orleans. That should never happen in Louisiana. It should never happen in America.”

Jindal said that during his time as a Congressman, he brought forth bi-partisan legislation “to make sure that never happens again.”

Jindal echoed the theme of the day when describing the Second Amendment. “Freedom,” Jindal said. “It’s about making sure that not only do we protect or freedoms for ourselves, but we preserve our freedoms for our children and grandchildren. What makes us a great country? It’s not our federal government. It’s not our state government. It’s our people.” Jindal went on to say that it’s also important that we teach our children the value of our freedoms. “Those aren’t just words on a piece of paper, we need to teach them that people sacrificed tremendously. People have given their lives so that we can live in the greatest country in the history of the world.”

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