Crowd marches for Second Amendment in Franklin Park

In response to anti-gun violence walkouts staged at more than 2,000 schools across the country on Friday, a group of gun advocates in Spokane staged a constitutional demonstration of their own.

The March for Our Rights Rally brought a large crowd to Franklin Park, already crowded on a sunny Saturday with youth soccer games. The event’s Facebook page encouraged attendees to bring and display their weapons, so long as they did so responsibly and within the confines of state laws.

“Let’s not be handling, fondling, playing show and tell with our firearms,” rally emcee Tadd Howard told his crowd.

Several members of law enforcement were at the rally to ensure safety, as well.

The audience heard from local and state elected leaders, including 4th district state Representative Matt Shea and Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan, who led his audience, more than once, in a chant of “The Second Amendment shall not be infringed.”

Shea pointed out that the crowd was using the First Amendment in the name of the Second..

“Let it be very clear- if you try to take that away from us, we have the Second Amendment to make sure that all the other amendments are protected as well,” he said.

Other speakers mentioned an Initiative they’re working to put on a ballot- Initiative 1621 would, according to its text, “amend the current Revised Code of Washington for the possession of dangerous weapons on school facilities to allow licensed concealed carry permit holders to possess a pistol while on public or private school grounds.”

Howard was quick to dispel what he said were misconceptions about their purpose at the park today.

“For some believe we are gathered here today to invoke fear, but that could not be farther from the truth, could it,” he said.

DIsagree though they might with the ideas behind walkouts held yesterday, Howard says school safety is a common goal.

“Everyone I know, no matter what side of the table they fall on, wants greater safety in our community. The bickering and the virtue signaling must stop and solutions must be brought forth,” he said.

During both the National School Walkouts and the March for our Rights, heavy emphasis was placed on voting, and taking whichever message participants supported to both the polls and directly to their elected representatives.