Second Amendment Rally - downtown CHICAGO


June 19, 2008, 07:44 PM
People, this is as huge as it gets for Illinois and gun rights.

Chicago Second Amendment Rally Flyer (

Next to Washington, DC, Chicago has the strictest gun control laws in the nation. It is time to end the madness that is citizen disarmament. It is time to come out of the shadows. It is time to tell Chicago that enough is enough, and that they are not going to violate you any longer!

Please ... this is the big one. Send this to everyone you know that might even be remotely interested. Print it up and drop it off at shooting ranges, sporting goods stores, gun shops, etc.

Attend yourself! (

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June 19, 2008, 11:44 PM
Also pointing out Suzanna Hupp of Texas will be speaking !

She testified to congress about the luby's cafeteria shooting

Don Gwinn
June 19, 2008, 11:54 PM
We had one thread on the SAFR rally before it was officially announced, which I had to hide, so if you wondered what was up--well, it wasn't called off, it simply wasn't supposed to be public at that point, because we're not Jesse Jackson and we aren't going to cry wolf.

Now it's on and it WILL happen, period. Would you like to stand in a crowd of thousands of law-abiding gun owners in downtown Chicago and hear Suzanna Gratia Hupp speak about concealed carry? This is your chance.

Chicago is truly the economic and political center of Illinois. This is another step in a serious campaign to get CCW here. I said a few years back, here on THR, that I estimated it would take us ten years from the time we somehow kicked off a "serious" CCW movement (based on Missouri's experience) and that we hadn't done it yet.

THIS IS IT. This is the grassroots movement we've all been wishing would start in Illinois, and we're in on the ground floor. Don't miss it! SAFR was the brainchild of a few gunnies getting together at with NO national or state backing or support. They ran with it, then the ISRA ran with it, and I expect national coverage.

We need every single gun owner, spouses, kids, friends, and even the curious and the fence-sitters! If you want to be counted, you have to SHOW UP.

Right now, I'm trying to find out whether anyone has a bus running from the Springfield area. If no one does, I'll probably try to put a ride together. If you'd like to get in on this, let me know ASAP.

Also, if you're from Illinois and you're not at least lurking at , here's what you've missed so far in the Illinois grassroots movement:
1. The grassroots end of IGOLD 2008.
2. The conception and planning of SAFR (Second Amendment Freedom Rally) in CHICAGO of all places.
3. The Winnebago County CCW ordinance grassroots.
4. The conception, planning and execution of the 2nd Amendment resolution "movement" following Pike County's original passage.

June 19, 2008, 11:54 PM
Suzanna Hupp is great!! Hope the rally goes well!!


June 20, 2008, 12:04 AM
I would suggest that organized transportation as with IGOLD, even from the nearby suburbs, would be worth it if it could be arranged. I have an option that works for me and makes the trip into the city easier, but with all the construction and parking it could help others.

Don Gwinn
June 20, 2008, 02:07 AM
The Chicago people are saying the Thompson Center is three blocks from the Metra station, so I think a lot of people will choose to ride in on the commuter trains. But I've got 12-year-old twins and a baby coming with me, and while it wouldn't be impossible, it'd be a hassle. We'll see.

June 20, 2008, 03:24 AM
I'd like to go but there's no way I am disarming in Chicago.

June 20, 2008, 04:33 PM
Id love to come, but unfortunately theres no way I can get off work on a Friday. Too bad its not on a saturday instead, though that would probably diminish the effect on people who would otherwise see it during their normal work hours in Chicago.

I wish all of the attendees good luck, and hope they can change some minds.

June 20, 2008, 05:22 PM
I will practically insist one and all use Metra from the outlying areas or the Chicago Transit Authority from closer in to get there.
Trust me, folks, you really, really, don't want to drive to the Thompson Center.
Amtrak's Union Station, shared with Metra, is an easy twenty-minute walk. The CTA trains stop practically right there. Parking is astronomical and scarce. Traffic is unbelievably awful.
Metra's cheap and reliable. Their outlying parking is usually free. They start in Kenosha, WI; Antioch, IL; Harvard, IL; Sleepy Hollow, IL; Fox Lake, IL; Elburn, IL; Aurora, IL; Joliet, IL; University Park, IL (Metra Electric), and South Bend, IN (South Shore Line). All of those are close enough for outlanders, I assure you.
I just can't imagine how the overwhelmingly anti-gun news outfits here (worse than CNN!) are going to do this one. When the Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day in the state capitol of Springfield drew nearly 3000 (I was counting), the big newsradio station WBBM 780AM reported that "almost a thousand" of us marched. The big newspaper, the Tribune, buried it in a sentence or two inside an article on a different subject.
As a former lover of newspapers, it should be an absolute riot. Imagine... ten thousand people in the veritable belly of the beast... only a few hundred yards from where the Little Big Man holds forth from the throne on the Fifth Floor...

June 20, 2008, 07:26 PM
Given the busted nature of the link in the OP it should be noted that the date is July 11.

Good on ya, residents of Mordor.
I'll give it a real try at getting there.

And thanks to Tamara for talking it up, complete with date.

June 20, 2008, 07:34 PM
I'll be there. I just sent the link to about 500 people on an email list that I had, hopefully many of them will come as well.

Spread the word guys!

June 20, 2008, 08:34 PM
AS John Nash would say "I have respect for the 2nd" (or words to that effect) I see that the rally will be in my home town of Chicago.Way
to go.ILL needs to restore the 2nd It's way too long when the people of Ill can stand up for themself's and say No more.

June 20, 2008, 09:49 PM
I sincerely hope to make it, and I've passed the word on to just about everyone I know.

June 20, 2008, 10:19 PM
Just be careful. Remember the 1968 Democrats' National Convention.

June 25, 2008, 12:19 AM
This is a chance to get even with Richard Daley, Jessie Jackson, "Snuffy" Flegler. Think of all those staged PR stunts they regularly throw every time a gang-banger shoots someone and they call for legislation to further restrict legal firearm ownership. It's a half a block away from Mayor Daley's office.

What a great chance to flip the bird to Daley!

June 25, 2008, 12:52 AM
Wow! I wish i could go to the gun owners' version of "The Million Man March" (on Chicago). Sounds good!

Don Gwinn
June 25, 2008, 04:01 PM
I'd like to go but there's no way I am disarming in Chicago.
That's a joke, right?
Well, it's up to you, but there are 8 million people in the Chicago area and roughly 4 million in the rest of the state. If you aren't willing to take the fight to Chicago, you've accepted mathematical elimination.

If you're from Illinois, the difference between your hometown and Chicago is, at worst, that you can't carry your unloaded handgun or a knife over whatever Chicago's arbitrary blade length is. . . . maybe 3"? Whatever. If you haven't accepted by now that Illinois doesn't change unless there's pressure on Chicago, I don't know what I can say to convince you. If you change your mind, you will be more than welcome.

Don Gwinn
June 25, 2008, 04:08 PM
Fixed the link at the top, and it's now a link to which has been updated beautifully and is now a great source of information.

June 25, 2008, 04:16 PM
I'm serious about the 1968 DNC. Daley is gonna send in his goons in riot gear, just hoping someone draws on them (like maybe when they are beating someone's skull in)

Be careful.

June 25, 2008, 04:42 PM
Speaking as a Chicagoan, who did visit the scene at the '68 Demo convention, I think it's highly unlikely there'll be any head-bashing.
Mostly because nowadays, there's video cams and YouTubers everywhere, and they link to lawyers. The CPD is under assault for their rough ways as it is, and bonking a bunch of gray-hairs on the noggin won't be good... For Obama, who might have his Chicagoness exposed if such a story got traction, and whom Daley desperately needs in the Oval Office.
I wouldn't be surprised if he cancels the permit the day or two before- that's well within his imperial mind-set- but no, I don't think there'll be a police riot.
Now, activist preachers shoving around innocent gun owners in a provocative way? Sure, happens here all the time. But Da Boss doesn't need the coppers to do that stuff, and so, stays out of court.
Anyway, to my outlander colleagues: don't try to drive a car or mototcycle to the Thompson Center. There's no there, there. Take Metra or whatever.
See you on the 11th.

June 25, 2008, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the excellent link Don. I'm surprised at how nice the official website actually looks.

June 26, 2008, 05:03 PM
Good luck to all Chicagoans out there. I hope you can fight the Daley Empire.

As a refugee out here in New Mexico when I bought my 1911A1 in my local gun store I was amazed at not needing a FOID card, or a license. I've gotten over it now.

I can't be there in person or I would, well after stopping off at Portillos for a dipped Italian beef, or Manny's for a corned beef, or both.

June 26, 2008, 05:14 PM
I'd like to go but there's no way I am disarming in Chicago.

That's a joke, right?

Ummm, hardly. Chicago is one of the most dangerous cities in America. I do not live in Illinois. I live in Rhode Island. I have a CCW and I carry everywhere. I would love to show up and support the cause, but I'm not comfortable disarming in downtown Chicago. Period.

Don Gwinn
June 27, 2008, 03:08 AM
So you would have traveled from Rhode Island to Chicago to protest the Chicago gun ban, but you won't do it because Chicago has a gun ban? To each his own, I guess.

CherryRiver, as I understand it, we don't have a permit from Chicago. Our arrangements are all with the Thompson Center, which is state-owned. :)

Today I was buying computer parts at the Computer Deli in Springfield when one of the geeks noticed my "Support Concealed Carry" shirt. He started a conversation about whether CCW could ever pass. I told him about the efforts in Winnebago County (which are beginning to spread, by the way) and the conversation came around to SAFR.
"Oh, yeah!" he said, "I saw the fliers for that at Siddens Range. Sounds great."

I was the one who gave Mr. Siddens the fliers on Monday--it's Thursday and I'm already hearing the buzz.

Robert Hairless
June 27, 2008, 05:00 AM
I envy you people who have the opportunity to participate and to see Dr. Hupp in person.

She evidently has not refused to attend that rally on the grounds that she would not be permitted to carry.

She stands firmly on her principles and doesn't merely talk about them.

I wonder what possible use it would be to protest Chicago's restrictive gun laws if they weren't restrictive gun laws.

June 27, 2008, 06:44 AM
Don Gwinn-
I didn't know about the rally permit being from the state, but still...
Few of us up here think Daley doesn't have his hands firmly on those controls, too. Keep in mind Governor Blagoevich was a Daley-based Chicago alderman, who then ran for the state House (not the Big House, not yet). As a candidate for the House, his only campaign issue was gun control.
When he ran for governor, there wasn't much else, either, except "reform".
With Attorney General Lisa Madigan, yet another Machine operative, at the next level in the state, it's hard to imagine there not being some sort of problem with the permit.
It's da Chicago way.
Ought to be interesting.

June 27, 2008, 12:06 PM
When we first concieved of this rally and approached the county for permit, we saw the problems. We went around the problem by going to the state building, if they pull the permit, we will sue. And it is now too late to concoct a "reason" for us not to assemble. Any attempts to disrupt or intimidate us will be video taped. See you there!!:):):):)

June 27, 2008, 12:39 PM
So you would have traveled from Rhode Island to Chicago to protest the Chicago gun ban, but you won't do it because Chicago has a gun ban? To each his own, I guess.

I won't go because IL does not recognize ccw and it would be illegal for me to do so. It's not hard. I don't want to disarm. You all are used to it so I assume it's no biggie for y'all. If Suzanna Hupp is comfortable disarming good for her. I am not.

June 27, 2008, 12:48 PM
Another problem could come when a bunch of Illinoisans get a gander at the Thompson Center and see what a staggeringly expensive albatross their tax dollars helped build.
Meanwhile, at the risk of being repetitive, please don't drive there. You won't be able to. is the commuter train service that's cheap, timely, and efficient. It's an easy walk to the plaza. is the CTA rapid transit (elevated/subway trains) service. It's even cheaper and sort of efficient. The Clark/Lake station is a multi-line transfer stop and is adjacent to the Thompson edifice.
Sorry to be harping on this, but you'll hate yourself if you come in by almost any other method.

June 27, 2008, 02:40 PM
I've seen some concerns on web sites posted about going into evil Chicago unarmed. The downtown area is quite safe especially in the daylight hours.
I 'll use the example that Lil ole Suzanna Hupp is willing to go down there for us Illinoisans after what she went thru at Luby's...

It's good enough for me to get my posterior down there also. But hey, It's your personal choice. No problem.

But I'm looking forward to being able to say I was there that day!

June 27, 2008, 02:54 PM
I suspect Suzy will be armed (based on her carefully worded nonanswer to Tom Brokaw, or somebody like that, when she was interviewed once in NYC and he asked her if she had a gun with her.)

June 27, 2008, 03:54 PM
I regret I won't be able to join you in Chicago but I admire all of you for standing up for what you believe in. :)

June 27, 2008, 04:17 PM
All this talk is getting me really excited. I can't wait...

Don Gwinn
June 27, 2008, 11:13 PM
Look, Chicago has a terrible government, terrible laws--but it's just a big city. It has business districts, upscale neighborhoods, and ghettoes. It's not a teeming mass of murder unless you go to the wrong place.

I'll just go ahead and let everyone know that I'm planning to walk two miles from the Thompson Center to the Field Museum and back after the rally's over. With my wife, twins and the baby. People walk around Chicago every day. I'll have what's legally allowed as weapons to defend myself (I'm trying to remember their law on pepper spray) and I'll keep a sharp eye out. That should be plenty. You can't hide from the world.

June 27, 2008, 11:26 PM
No way I can make it, but is it o.k. if I copy the poster and hang it in the willing gunshops around here (South Metro Minnesota)?

June 28, 2008, 12:56 AM
Do all that you can to spread the word, whether you can make it or not. What more can you do?

June 28, 2008, 02:32 AM
As I can not be there my hopes, prayers and support go with you.

Don Gwinn
June 28, 2008, 11:41 AM
By all means, please spread the word. If you can't make it, but you tell ten people about it and one of them decides to attend, you've done as much as if you did attend. If two of them get there--you've done twice as much as someone who kept quiet and went by himself. B

Besides, how many people who don't come to the rally will see the flier and take heart that other people are doing it? I really think our biggest obstacle in Illinois (and especially Cook County) is that the average person who thinks concealed carry would be a good idea thinks he's more or less alone and it can never happen. That's what we're fighting right now.

June 28, 2008, 12:09 PM
Let's hear it for Travelocity. Flight and two nights hotel, $600.

I've heard plenty of times on this board the lack of support for Californian gun owners and our plight, let it never be said we hold a grudge.

See you there.

June 29, 2008, 02:49 AM
Awesome! People from all over the country will show up. I wonder how many of us will be there.

Ragnar Danneskjold
June 29, 2008, 03:09 AM
I'm from the Detroit area. I have school the previous day and the next day, but I'll try to get out there.

Don Gwinn
June 29, 2008, 02:24 PM
Let's hear it for Travelocity. Flight and two nights hotel, $600.

I've heard plenty of times on this board the lack of support for Californian gun owners and our plight, let it never be said we hold a grudge.

See you there.
AWESOME. I hope I do get a chance to shake your hand. We, too, are often accused by the heroes of freedom in other states of being collaborators and cowards living in occupied Peoples' Republics, so we know your pain.

June 29, 2008, 03:40 PM
I'll be there!

As Gwinn says Chicago during the daylight is pretty safe. If you cant recognize a ghetto then yeah, maybe avoid cities all together :D

Prince Yamato
June 29, 2008, 03:56 PM
This is truly amazing. It's like history in the making.

Len S
June 30, 2008, 09:21 AM
I managed a trade to get the day off and I will be there. Some things to consider. 1. Chicago is not a dangerous place if you are not a gangbanger or drug dealer. I will not even be bringing a pocket knife. 2. Do nothing to provoke the police or the antis. I will bet that there will be some people there from the antis for the express purpose of causing trouble. 3. If you talk to the press do not give them a sound bite that they can use to make us look bad. Think about what you are going to wear. Death to Tyrants or Come and Take Them may be understood here but on the news it looks bad. Try to look like the people that you are trying to convince. have good day people. Remember, the news, Daley, Jackson , and snuffy will use anything they can against us. If we give them no ammo they shoot blanks.


Don Gwinn
June 30, 2008, 11:08 AM
Len, you don't own a range in Buckhart, do you? It's an off chance, so don't think I'm weird, but you have the right initials.

June 30, 2008, 11:45 AM
This weekend the Chicago "Gay Rights" parade had an estimated crowd of 500,000. Stevie Wonder performed a free concert at the Taste and drew est. of 350,000. The crosstown ball games drew 40,000+ each day. How many will come on July 11th! :what:

Don Gwinn
June 30, 2008, 11:56 AM
That depends. Can you get me Stevie Wonder and a piano?

June 30, 2008, 02:27 PM
Absolutely fabulous. Go Chicago! People wanting their rights. How very Constitutional!

Len S
June 30, 2008, 04:35 PM
Sorry Don not me. I am just a poor paramedic going to nursing school. Hope to run into you on the 11th

June 30, 2008, 05:51 PM
There in spirit. Good luck and God speed.

June 30, 2008, 05:55 PM
Can't make it all the way from TX - gotta work that day - but I'll be watching for you on the evening news.

What luck have you had getting media coverage? In light of Heller and the already-filed lawsuit against Daley-land's gun ban, they ought to be there with cameras rolling.

Good luck.

Don Gwinn
July 1, 2008, 02:13 PM
I think the coverage that day should be intense, too, but people from the area are handling that. I've been trying to get some national coverage, without a lot of success. I did get Lars Larson to agree to talk to our spokesperson for IllinoisCarry on air, and I'm sure she'll do a great job. Lars is heard on the biggest station in this area, but I don't know about Chicago.

I got through to a producer during the Glen Beck program the other day and told her I wanted to mention Illinois gun laws and a Second Amendment rally in Chicago in July--she told me "Great, I'll bring it up!" and hung up on me before I could say anything about where or when or how to get information.

Right now I'm concentrating on how to get word out to the maximum number of people. I think everybody is.

Don Gwinn
July 1, 2008, 03:06 PM
Donate to SAFR (

If you can't join us, and you'd still like to help, the ISRA has a link for donations specifically intended to help with the Second Amendment Freedom Rally. You can also send a check, which would mean none of your donation goes to the credit card companies. Don't feel bad if you don't have it to spare, but if everyone who can't come would donate the cost of parking in Chicago, we could probably pay for the event from donations alone.

July 1, 2008, 03:44 PM
Just called and donated.
Good luck and G-D bless.
Maybe this can help jumpstart a rally here in the land of fruits and nuts.

Don Gwinn
July 2, 2008, 10:36 AM
Thanks, we needed that!

This is an expensive proposition, and if we can pay our way, the ISRA should be a lot happier about doing it again next year.

July 2, 2008, 11:02 AM
It would help if you had a $10 and $20 option on that donation page. Some of us would like to help but can't swing a $50 minimum.

July 2, 2008, 11:14 AM
Too Bad that I'll be out of town.... My thoughts will be with all in attendance....

July 2, 2008, 03:21 PM
What a great country this would be if we saw 2 nd Amendment rallies instead illegals in the streets wanting more.

July 2, 2008, 03:26 PM
^ Enough of the former will discourage the latter.

July 2, 2008, 03:41 PM
And of course don't forget to wear empty holster on open carry day/weekend!

July 2, 2008, 04:22 PM
Posted this over at FALFiles to spread the word - have a good (and safe) time, fellers.

Don Gwinn
July 2, 2008, 08:29 PM
It would help if you had a $10 and $20 option on that donation page. Some of us would like to help but can't swing a $50 minimum.

I can't change it--it belongs to the ISRA. But you CAN donate by phone or send a check by mail, and in either case you can set the amount that works for you.

To donate by phone, just call this number: 815-635-3198

To send a check or money order by mail, here's the address:

Carmi Rifle Club
c/o Valinda Rowe for SAFR
1615 Co. Rd. 325 E
Enfield, IL 62835

July 3, 2008, 12:38 PM
$50 check sent
good luck

July 3, 2008, 07:49 PM
Heck - if the rally were a week later I could make it. I have business in Chicago the following week and would definitely have taken a later flight just to be able to attend.

Robert Hairless
July 4, 2008, 12:51 PM
I'm with Big45 on this.

I'll attend an anti-gun control rally in Chicago after there's no gun control in Chicago and it's entirely safe for me to be there. :)

July 4, 2008, 05:54 PM
What a way to get things to change. :(

Robert Hairless
July 4, 2008, 06:56 PM
Well, but I catch cold very easily.

July 5, 2008, 03:13 PM
instead illegals in the streets wanting more.

Illegals want more?, such as more AIR CONDITIONING on the buses that will deport them back to their own countries?:neener:

That we can give them:neener:, but if they want to remain in the States, then, NO!

Don Gwinn
July 5, 2008, 06:26 PM
I still need Marshals for the rally, if anyone is interested. We give you a free hat and in exchange, you help people find what they need, hand out literature, smile a lot and remind people not to do things like take signs inside the building or hang papers on the walls.

I don't foresee it being terribly challenging, but it's a way to be part of something big, and the more people I get the less each one will have to do.

They roped me into being "Head Marshal" (all the responsibility, none of the pay!) so if you'd like to join up, shoot me a PM or an email at

July 6, 2008, 09:33 PM
why are these things always on weekdays?

Len S
July 6, 2008, 10:10 PM
we do these on Weekdays because that is when the political critters scurry around their offices. They like their weekends off also.


July 6, 2008, 10:16 PM
I'll be there.

Don, if you need a Deputy to the Assistant Undersecetary of the Vice Head Marshal. I'm your man. ;) e-mail sent

Don Gwinn
July 7, 2008, 04:16 AM
You can see the Thompson Center from Daley Plaza and the City Hall, so we want to have our party when the Mayor's there. He might even decide to come join us. :D

Actually, I don't know if he'll be there on a Friday or not. If we were talking about The Boy Governor, I'd be pretty sure he wouldn't be around. Blagojevich has offices in the Thompson Building, since he lives in Chicago and only flies to Springfield when he can't avoid slumming in the capital of the state, but the odds of him being at work on a Friday are slim to none, I think. He seems to be keeping college hours. The party starts on Thursday and ends on Monday.

Don Gwinn
July 7, 2008, 04:17 AM
Actually, I don't know whether Blagojevich has a working office at Thompson or not. But mail to his office is addressed to Suite 16, 100 Randolph St., so he's got at least some staff based there.

July 8, 2008, 11:35 AM
I am positively giddy, last minute details and away we go!!!!!! For those of you coming, whom I don't know by face, please, please introduce your real self to me. I'll be the one with the NRA name tag and the large smile on. (Yes, i'll have clothes on as well, perverts!)

Marc Albertario:D

I'll be handing out stickers!

July 8, 2008, 11:45 AM
Depending on how many people are there, I'm not sure you'll be able to find any of us. I bet you won't be the only one with the NRA name tag and smile on.

July 8, 2008, 11:51 AM
I added to my post. I may be registering voters also, but I believe most right thinking gunnies are already registered.:)

July 8, 2008, 12:06 PM
I'd like to toss out one more thought for attendees-
There is some, not-too-large chance you might be verbally accosted or challenged by someone convinced that the NRA is evil incarnate.
I'd like to suggest, if I may be so bold, that the responses need to be extraordinarily calm, in the most pleasantly conversational tone possible.
Things that you might care to point out to such a person would include that this particular event is not organized by the NRA, nor does it have an official affiliation.
Then, if by some tiny likelihood you're challenged about specific concepts, such as that handguns are only for killing, that you, the gun owners and rights activists, are responsible for some such bloodshed and crime, and so on, I might suggest you start by calmly, not derisively, telling your challenger that they need to do some more research on the subject, and learn more about it, and, if appropriate, that they've been misinformed.
Should it go to that point, you might then introduce a fact or two, but slowly, patiently, and without rising to any instigation.
I'm not predicting such things, but speaking as a Chicagoan, I am presented with this sort of moment more often that I care to consider. Some dinner events become, indeed, an exercise in tongue-biting, especially here in the northern part of the metro area.
Stay away from being accusatory or hostile; it's the most effective thing we can do, since being calm, thoughtful, and polite destroys the stereotype Hollywood and the New York news brigade has fed the public for decades.
My apologies for the presumptuousness of lecturing my forum-mates.

lee n. field
July 8, 2008, 12:28 PM
I fully intent to be there.

Don Gwinn
July 8, 2008, 12:55 PM
Cherryriver, it's worth repeating. Expect dirty tricks. Expect counter-protestors. There may be none, but expect them anyway.

Expect them to be loud and mean. Expect them to call you a racist, a gang-banger, a murderer, a Nazi. That's OK.

Remember that we are not there to have an argument with anybody. We are there to have a good time at OUR party.

July 8, 2008, 04:35 PM
I can't make it but I'm in for 50.00.

Too bad. I'll miss the pizza.

Joe Cool
July 8, 2008, 05:37 PM
Do great things people!
I'm out of the country but I'll watch the internet chatter...

July 8, 2008, 05:51 PM
Will be with you there in spirit. Someone scarf down and Italian Beef sandwich for me. :D

July 8, 2008, 05:57 PM
This is a couple blocks from my office. I will free up some time on Friday to head over. :)

July 8, 2008, 08:02 PM
Cherryriver, it's worth repeating. Expect dirty tricks. Expect counter-protestors. There may be none, but expect them anyway.

Expect them to be loud and mean. Expect them to call you a racist, a gang-banger, a murderer, a Nazi. That's OK.

I'll go one further, and yes I know it may come off as a tad tinfoil hat but still, I wouldn't be surprised if some agent provocateurs showed and stirred up trouble while posing as being part of your group.
Keep an eye on who is saying what, especially to the media. It's probably not out of Daley's ability to send in some goon to give a local interview about how everyone should be allowed to have machine guns or some craziness.

Just sayin.

July 8, 2008, 08:09 PM
Sadly, Daley won't have to provide embeds saying those things... likely enough, we'll do it ourselves.
I heard that stuff at IGOLD, and things less strident but still inappropriate to the ears of non-shooters.
I'm afraid I found myself cringing more than once, inside the capitol building.
The more laid-back we are, the more effective we'll be.
I'm going to take a nap...

July 10, 2008, 04:45 PM
Unfortunately, I have to work. I tried to get out of it, but summer school is hard to talk your way out of once you accept the position months ago.

I hope there is a substantial turnout.

July 11, 2008, 02:15 PM
Any updates? How did the rally go? :)

July 11, 2008, 02:26 PM
Went great. There was a big turnout, in spite of threatening rain clouds. Speakers did an very nice job, and there were no counterprotesters, as far as I could tell.

July 11, 2008, 02:38 PM
wait its over? updates? pics? news coverage?

July 11, 2008, 03:14 PM
I've been searching the web for coverage of this event, and so far there isn't any.:confused:

July 11, 2008, 03:39 PM
No Media Coverage

I've noticed that too. Blacked-out worse than Ron Paul. (who?)

July 11, 2008, 03:57 PM
Went great. There was a big turnout, in spite of threatening rain clouds. Speakers did an very nice job, and there were no counterprotesters, as far as I could tell.

I would have to disagree. There were probably less than 150-200 people that showed up. Not only were the streets in no danger of being blocked by the crowd, but the sidewalks were in no danger nor was there any danger of filling the small space to the point of being packed.

The media were there, the speakers were great but Illinois gun owners were a no show. Perhaps 1/10 of IGOLD.

There was no coverage because it was a non event. I did hear this coverage on WBBM radio on the drive home though: "They came by the DOZENS, mostly older men wearing hats... " yep... Translation: "A handful of gun nuts showed up wanting to carry guns..."

As much as I dislike the Chicago media that was an accurate statement.

For that matter the head of the ISRA was a no show. Apparently Don Pearson was too busy at the National Matches to take part in this historic non event.

July 11, 2008, 04:15 PM

I would guess from the pictures more than 150 people showed up.

Whatever the number is, it is a start. IGOLD started with a few dozen people the first year.

July 11, 2008, 04:25 PM
I would have to disagree. There were probably less than 150-200 people that showed up. Not only were the streets in no danger of being blocked by the crowd, but the sidewalks were in no danger nor was there any danger of filling the small space to the point of being packed.

The media were there, the speakers were great but Illinois gun owners were a no show. Perhaps 1/10 of IGOLD.

There was no coverage because it was a non event. I did hear this coverage on WBBM radio on the drive home though: "They came by the DOZENS, mostly older men wearing hats... " yep... Translation: "A handful of gun nuts showed up wanting to carry guns..."

As much as I dislike the Chicago media that was an accurate statement.

For that matter the head of the ISRA was a no show. Apparently Don Pearson was too busy at the National Matches to take part in this historic non event.

Wow. Too bad. No wonder King Daley gets his way there. Maybe next year Illinois.

July 11, 2008, 04:28 PM
I would guess from the pictures more than 150 people showed up.

Well, there might have been 200 or so, and it is a start. It was nice to hear the speakers. But if you look at first photo in post 1 of your link (in fact I can see myself in that one), and the last photo in post 11 they show the crowd density. It was packed in the first 20 feet behind the chairs then it thinned to the point were I never rubbed an elbow or came close to it. I based my numbers guesstimate off of the people in the chairs (I believe about 50) and then looked for that degree of density in the crowd behind them. [edit: it's always hard to tell such things, but we came nowhere near maxing out the capacity of the rally area -- which was not all that large.]

I think we have to have an IGOLD style turnout to -- maybe at least half -- to get any attention.

1776 Rebel
July 11, 2008, 05:42 PM
Not much coverage...I am still looking for video reports but here is on text story from a TV station.

July 11, 2008, 06:23 PM
I do want to clarify my tone a bit. I have the greatest appreciation and respect for those that organized the event, promoted it then showed up. My disappointment is with gun owners who might have had the option but failed to attend. I took a vacation day and grabbed an umbrella in case I had to walk and stand out in the rain to be there and made the trek into town. A PITA, but come on. After all the calls to the state reps and worries over all the bills and seeing The little dictator and his minions spewing all their crap for years... what more could you ask for?

July 11, 2008, 07:07 PM
I will have more later, since we just got back, but we were counting and doing grids from our vantage point towards the east end. There were over 150 just in the close-in seating area. Remember, ten rows of ten people is a hundred. Now, recall the fifteen-across seating twenty rows plus deep. There probably, given the empties, were an easy 200 just there.
One thing that made good estimates hard was the kidney-bean shape of the crowd.
While I was disappointed, I would say that overall there were more than 400, possibly closer to 500 at the peak as lunchtime attendees made an appearance for the better part of the middle hour.
Incidentally, Valinda Rowe and Suzanna Hupp were especially good, and the overall consistency of the speakers was actually quite good.
WBBM-AM 780, the news radio station, normally quite hostile to gun owners, actually made a perfectly good report during the five o'clock hour.
I understand WMAQ-7 ABC local news has a video report somewhere. I'll try to come back with the link later.
More later.

July 11, 2008, 07:08 PM
>what more could you ask for?

The only thing I ask for (if there is any chance for another such event in the future) is that it NOT be on a workday. I'm sorry, but it was impossible to take this particular day off. I knew that weeks ago. Deadlines must be met.

What's wrong with Saturdays?

I'm sorry the turnout was so dismal.

July 11, 2008, 07:34 PM
I'd not use "dismal"... that would be more like 25-30, like a Jackson media event.
I was, it's true, disappointed at the turnout, hoping for at least something close to 2000. But then, recall the beginnings of IGOLD, and how it grew.
Perhaps this was just the freshman newbie thing. If this can happen again, I'd venture to say it could draw a multi-thousand crowd just like IGOLD did last March.
And, lest we forget:
A huge thank you to all those who busted their various parts making this happen. It was efficient, smart, and slick.

July 11, 2008, 07:34 PM
There is a video here now:

July 11, 2008, 08:22 PM
Shockingly neutral. I think even the drive by's are starting to see that the tide has turned against them.

July 11, 2008, 08:32 PM
Hey Guys. This is great coverage! Congratulations.

July 11, 2008, 08:40 PM
1) I caught WBEZ's (local NPR station) report at 5PM and it was remarkably neutral. They claimed a crowd of "hundreds" and used a very positive audio clip.

2) I also caught what I think was Channel 2's 6PM news, and they ran a neutral report. They gave the attendance at 200. I can't find a link.

Good job, people! I wish I could have been there.

July 11, 2008, 08:40 PM
Regardless of how many people were there the media did have a presence and the speaker selection was excellent. I wouldn't be surprised if a few producers at least finally got exposure to the other side of the equation.

The ABC report was good, especially considering some of the crap they have produced in the past. There were also one of the few ones to stay there until almost the end.

The Univision reporters and crew were also particularly active.

July 11, 2008, 08:45 PM
As a former "land of liberals" resident, I was hoping for a much larger turnout. However, Da Mare rules Chy town and IL with an iron fist. It's a start, we must keep the pressure on everywhere at all levels of government and the media. The Leftists that are against freedom and liberty will be on the attack all across this nation. If the gun grabbers get greater control of legislatures, Governors, Mayors, Congress and the WH, it will be a bad day for those of us, who stand for our "Bill of Rights" and the Constitution.

lee n. field
July 11, 2008, 09:55 PM
Any updates? How did the rally go?

Went OK.

There was a big turnout, in spite of threatening rain clouds. Speakers did an very nice job, and there were no counterprotesters, as far as I could tell.

Weather was weird. Was looking seriously nasty as I was driving to catch the Metra in the morning. Cleared up beautifully for the rally.


Yeah, I got some. I got video for practically all the rally (note to self, next time, bring a laptop with usb2, not usb1 It took me close to 15 minutes to dump a filled up camera to disk). I'll sort through what I got, maybe post some later. (I was the nerd trying to steady a tiny digital camera on an antique tripod.)

July 11, 2008, 10:09 PM
I'm sorry, but it was impossible to take this particular day off.

Understand completely, and again, not busting on anybody who had the day locked up. I missed IGOLD myself this year. I was out of town on business. No way out of that.

I guess a pet peeve has been the whole spin of pitting the good people of XYZ against the "evil gun lobby." The goal is to dehumanize gun owners among the neutral. You would think there are no actual legal, responsible gun owners in Illinois if you listen to da mayor and da media. Numbers help illustrate that we do exist.

In fact, it's the other way around. We have the numbers and the grass roots, the other side has the Joyce Foundation, JJ, Father Mike, Sarah Brady and George Soros and typically all the airtime and print they need.

July 12, 2008, 03:55 AM
The Second Amendment was actually written to ensure Americans (individuals) could be armed to defend or over throw the current government

Robert Hairless
July 12, 2008, 01:42 PM
The Second Amendment was actually written to ensure Americans (individuals) could be armed to defend or over throw the current government

I wonder what the result would be if you carried a banner saying something like "I want a gun so I can overthrow the U.S. government."

July 12, 2008, 02:45 PM
Daggumit, I never notice these things until after they are over.

Joe Cool
July 13, 2008, 09:12 AM
I am glad it got some press coverage, which at least looked fair and impartial for once.

Now where was Senator Obama - who now claims he has "always supported an individual right", but not for handguns? Maybe he and the Mayor were busy planning their next gun-grab law barrage?

Best of luck to my brothers in arms in Chicago - keep up the pressure and write letters to your representatives whenever you can!

swan hunter
July 13, 2008, 11:03 AM
I might be a bit prejudiced since my wife was one of the main organizers and the first speaker at the event.
First off, the 200 number is no where correct. It is very hard to judge a crowd that is that spread out but, conservatively, I put the number @ 5-700. Just imagine all those people sitting in the pews at church! There were 100 chairs!!! The attendees were fantastic! Cautious, well behaved, and a tribute to us all.
The speakers (my wife included) were outstanding and Hupp was fantastic!
The volunteers couldn't have been better. When we left the center, it was better than we found it. What a great bunch of volunteers we have had helping on this project.
The media...I was blown away by the amount of media there...I would guess 6 video teams and several print reporters were there. We were walking on air!!! But, by the next day, and nearly no news stories on the air or print, our "air" bubble burst!!! We were VERY disappointed at the failure of them to air anything about the event. We are going to do some followup to see just what happened to the stories. I have to wonder if the media might be intimidated by "the machine" and fear reprisal if they cover such a positive pro-gun event? Also, I wonder if they were just there to try to catch some "dirt" or negative statements that would make us look bad and since there were non, they killed the stories? I just don't get it!
So, bottom line...for a first time event in Chicago...EVERY thing went well except the failure of the news outlets to do their jobs.
PS...There still a lot of folks to the left and right of the camera lense coverage that didn't get caught in the picture and there is no way to see the ones in the far back! It was a VERY good day!

swan hunter
July 13, 2008, 11:39 AM
Just some more pictures from the event...
Also, we took Hupp to WLS that morning for live interview. I think there were four pre-event radio type of interviews along with one impromptu interview with the "public radio" station with my exhausted wife right after the event. She was almost bushwhacked by an anti via an employee's cell phone. My wife said she thought she "did a lot of good" before she was finished with the interview...Man! there is a lot of work to be done in Chicago!

lee n. field
July 13, 2008, 02:03 PM
Some pics and video here (, hosted by one of the illinoiscarry members.

The video with my name on it is what I took with my little $100 Sony. It's also not all there yet -- I'm uploading slowly to an FTP site. Some are junk, a few MB as I pan the pre rally microcrowd. Those from the rally proper are sizeable files - - up to the 5-600MB range. There's also (going to be, when it's all uploaded) about 15 minutes in the middle missing (the time it took to dump a full camera to a laptop).

July 13, 2008, 03:27 PM
Now that would have made the statement. Everyone shows up carrying arms, as is their right. Would they have tried to arrest everyone? Would the people have resisted?

lee n. field
July 13, 2008, 04:32 PM
Now that would have made the statement. Everyone shows up carrying arms, as is their right. Would they have tried to arrest everyone? Would the people have resisted?

That's the one thing that I think we must not do.

July 13, 2008, 07:59 PM
I definitely expected a lot more support. Chicago is one of the cities we need to have a very strong and visible presence in ATM.

Maybe it's just because I'm monstrously tired, but I feel a little bitter. I mean you hear this, and you hear that, but when you ask people to get out in the street well, suddenly everyones' dog is fire. Sigh.

July 13, 2008, 08:16 PM
As disappointed as I was that the turnout didn't even make 1000, there's a couple of mitigating factors.
For one thing, this was the first. I recall IGOLD didn't do nearly so well the first time, either. That's a harder, and in some ways more unpleasant bit of work, but IGOLD 2008 made 3000.
Secondly, I've come to realize the notice was indeed short, for most people. The internet's a marvelous thing, but it's not total. I went to a steel match this morning, ran into an acquaintence who'd taken a day off and traveled down to Springfield back in March, but didn't even hear of SAFR until I told him. And that's a guy who's tuned in.
I look to my wife for advice on the popular world, and her take is that the weekday thing is too hard for too many people. Contrast that with the hope of getting official and media attention by holding it on a working day. I can't say I know which factor is more important.
Another push-pull is the downtown Chicago location. For a lot of people, that's simply no-go territory. I can see that. It's a crowded, intense place with a whole different set of rules of ordinary life than the rest of the state. Many just aren't comfortable there. I get that.
I also confess I caught plenty of concern about a reaction from King and his minions. Even as a native, I have to admit such stuff crossed my mind, just a little. It was utterly unfounded; there was no need for any backlash, since it would have only generated more ink and screen time, the exact opposite of our esteemed opposition's intent. In other words, hassling the rallyers would been have counter-productive. And so it was; there were no waves, and the professional journalism class developed a huge case of blindness and deafness.
Finally, this represented a huge effort falling on a very small group of volunteers. I don't know how much more these folks could have done, and to even suggest they reload and blow another huge chunk out of their lives and paycheck next year is presumptuous in a grand way. Don't forget, this is on top of the huge effort for the ongoing IGOLD.
It really was an excellent start, and here's hoping it can be done again and gather some momentum.

lee n. field
July 13, 2008, 09:21 PM
Another push-pull is the downtown Chicago location. For a lot of people, that's simply no-go territory. I can see that. It's a crowded, intense place with a whole different set of rules of ordinary life than the rest of the state. Many just aren't comfortable there. I get that.

"no-go" because we're unarmed? I saw a few posters from out of state express that. Folks, that's what we're trying to fix.

I was not particularly comfortable there, just because I was some out-country hick staring at the big buildings. I did not feel unsafe. And it was not at all difficult to get to, once I worked out how to get there via commuter train (the only way to go).

July 13, 2008, 10:33 PM
Didn't make 100? There were about 500-600 people there. The media lied and said that there were about 200. The Thompson Center wasn't packed but I feel like we made a pretty decent presence, especially since this was the first such event.

I really enjoyed it. The speakers were excellent and I can't wait till next years, hopefully their will be one.

July 13, 2008, 11:19 PM
Chicago is a lot easier, if you use the trains.

The Thompson center is under a mile walk from union station.

Len S
July 13, 2008, 11:47 PM
It took me less than 15 minutes to get there from Olgivie station. One thing I noticed was that people were more likely to take the flyers from youngsters and women. Middle aged men were given the stay away look from some of the suits and a lot of the women. I stopped trying unless they looked a little interested in a positive way. There was some open hostility from some of the people walking by. The tongue depressor thing got to a bunch of the women. I heard more than a few say "That is just stupid". THere is hope.


July 13, 2008, 11:56 PM
From what I can tell the Trib never covered it (no surprise there). But of course they fell all over themselves covering an anti gun violence rally today...,0,994849.story

July 14, 2008, 03:37 PM
When handing out flyers, I found that if you addresses them as "Sir" or Ma'am", and made eye contact they were much more likely to take the flyers. I only had two people decline after asking if we were "for" or "against" guns.

July 14, 2008, 04:29 PM
Scout26, if you're inclined to expand on what you said in your post, and your real-life experiences on the street there, I'd think it would be helpful for all of us, not just Chicago activists, but pro-gun people everywhere.
I know I tend to recede a bit and avoid the confrontation, and so, I'm a poor leafleter. I stayed in the crowd and listened, content with that.
I also know that in ordinary social situations, the gun topic is as far away from acceptable as can be. So, I usually just sit quietly.
What else did you pick up?

July 14, 2008, 06:45 PM
Now that would have made the statement. Everyone shows up carrying arms, as is their right. Would they have tried to arrest everyone? Would the people have resisted?
lee n. field
That's the one thing that I think we must not do.

I'm sure there were plenty of people in Massachusetts in 1775 that thought upsetting the applecart at the bridge at Concord was a very bad idea.

I firmly believe you only have the rights you're willing to defend. If you believe the politicians in Illinois give a fart in a hurricane about a rally, you have a lot more faith in them than I do.

I know they didn't do it, I know there is no support for such direct action, but I still think sometimes the lunch counter and bus ride examples of the 1960s have some value. Those people broke the law, at great personal risk, and brought about change. We don't have that courage of conviction that they had.

July 14, 2008, 06:47 PM
Some do have that courage and conviction. Don't sell us short, but breaking laws at great personal risk should be a last resort once other avenues have already been tried.

July 14, 2008, 07:40 PM
I was handling out the small leaflets "48 States Can't Be Wrong".
Like I said it was simply having the stack in one hand, and one ready in the other (extended) hand making eye contact and saying "Sir" or "Ma'am" while extending the leaflet toward them. I also smiled my best non-threatening smile. I avoided trying to give them to people with both hands full or talking on cellphones. I also said "Thank You" after they took one from me.

I wasn't looking for nor did I seek out an agruement/discussion. I merely wanted to get people the leaflets in the hope that they would read it later.

The two people who asked if asked if we were "For" or "Against" guns politely declined my offer of a leaflet, I again responded with "Thank You".

I used, and relied on, simple politness and courtesy.

July 14, 2008, 07:52 PM
Good show.
As previously noted, nothing will more completely demolish the stereotype so many of our opponents cherish than civility and intelligence.
Not letting our knuckles drag is upsetting to the antis. It undermines the presumed balance of power.
Thanks for your efforts.

lee n. field
July 14, 2008, 08:46 PM
From what I can tell the Trib never covered it (no surprise there). But of course they fell all over themselves covering an anti gun violence rally today...

There was a Tribune reporter there. I was a few feet away from a youngish black lady with a CT press nametag. She was taking notes.

Don Gwinn
July 15, 2008, 01:34 PM
Look at the pictures. There were over 100 seats up front alone (I know, I counted them at the end of the day to make sure everything got returned.) Still look like only 200 people in that crowd?

The simple fact is that we blew Pfleger and Jesse Jackson out of the water. Next time will be bigger.

I thank all of you who helped, whether you worked that day, showed up, sent money or just told someone else about the rally.

As for illegally carrying guns into downtown Chicago, ASM, you are of course welcome to organize your own event. At the event WE organized, sweated and paid for, we prefer to use OUR methods.

Don Gwinn
July 15, 2008, 10:36 PM
So, the feedback so far is:

Weekend, not weekday
Much more lead time
Much more publicity, especially in concert with other interest groups

What else? I'm putting together an after-action report that's being completed by every member of the committee right now, so if you want your idea to have a direct pipeline to the organizers, now's the time.

July 17, 2008, 11:38 AM
Don I think a short list of dress code suggestions (no camo, try to avoid fanny packs, open holster protest , unless specifically designated by the committee that it's the theme of the rally) would help. I-gold had so much more information prepared in advance about what when where.

Transportation information, the meeting at the hotel, the march etc....

The SAFR rally information was pretty much just the flyer for the basic announcement. Several members threw in some handouts, posters , tongue depressors that really helped fill in the rally to make it flow better with the theme. Thanks to Oleg Volk for his consent for use of his material!

I think the appearance of the crowd was shocking to the press as they did not have an easy cheep shot of filming 400 "Larry the cable guys" at the rally.

Things will be much better prepared for the next time.

July 17, 2008, 01:22 PM
Weekend, not weekday
Much more lead time
Much more publicity, especially in concert with other interest groups

A few thoughts.

Unfortunately, a weekday will have far more impact if we can get sufficient numbers to peacefully fill, or better yet, overfill the plaza and actually disrupt traffic. Hard to marginalize or ignore that. The coverage will also be more effective during the week from a readership/viewer perspective. Generate more buzz.

More lead time would help.

More pulbicity would help. I would imagine that gun owners who were not members of ISRA or Concealed Carry or who frequent this and other boards did not know about the event. Now, it's hard because outside of a FEW friendly talk radio outlets you can't expect media promotion in advance of the event in this market. Just think if we could get WLUP to make a mention during a morning or efternoon drive.

What we really need is a much more expanded e-mail list particularly of Cook County gun owners, but that involves a whole, major project in itself. Perhaps fliers or brochures year round at gun shops and ranges promoting ISRA with no strings attached up front-- just sign up to receive important information, but please join if you feel its worthwhile. Kind of a shareware approach. I believe ISRA currently sends out information to lasped members, but the trick would be to get people who haven't joined ever on the list. IMO, it would be a great marketing approach for ISRA as well with a good bang for the buck.

Parking and travel will always be an issue. One idea I though of too late to post before the event is you can go to O'Hare and park in whichever lot you want for price or convenience then take the Blue Line right to the event. Plenty of capacity, and fairly easy, affordable and convenient.

July 17, 2008, 01:50 PM
I, too have been thinking about what might be able to be improved.
The weekday-weekend thing is the toughest. As previously mentioned, I rely on my wife and her extraordinary people skills and intuition- it's almost unearthly.
She went with on the 11th and pronounced that in her view, the weekday issue was tops. I'm not sure I agree, but that's what she said, and she's almost always right when it comes to reading a large group's pulse.
I'm just sort of glad it's not my call.
One thing that I also return to often is that this was the first. Should it be possible to put together another or more, the word will naturally spread and the delivery will be more complete.
Consider this: I shoot at a club in southeast Wisconsin and a regular attendee is a full-time gun-rights lobbyist in that state. He was right in the middle of the nearly-won right-to-carry attempt there in the last few years. He's tuned in and knows stuff. But Tuesday evening when we squadded together and I mentioned the rally, he said it was the first he'd heard of it.
That suggests the wider-area groups like the NRA, SAF, GOA, and so forth might be recruited earlier and more heavily to assist the word-spreading.
The lead time was another thing that my wife mentioned, and I think there's agreement all around that something intended to be large needs at least a couple months of promotion. Nothing surprising there. The '08 IGOLD was a good success with months of planning. CGOLD (as a guess for a name) would turn out a larger throng with three months of advance work.
But that points to the hard part. It's work. I tend to see the ISRA as the main sponsor and the most effective instigator/coordinator. Not to slight any other group, but that's how it looks from this vantage point.
The ISRA has done a phenomenal job here and with IGOLD. It has risen to the occasion extremely well.
But it's volunteers, for the large part, and they have their limits. Expanding the volunteer base will help; success will help expand the volunteer base. Here, the chicken and egg seem to be arriving on the same train.
That leads to my last observation, that the location was good. Public transportation, we understand, is either alien or anathema to most folks who aren't from around here. Metra, the commuter rail system, is outstanding, one of the best on the continent. Where it can be used, it's way the best: cheap, fast, reliable, and close. We walked from Ogilvie (the old Northwestern station) in an easy twenty minutes. Union Station (Amtrak/Metra) is only ten minutes further. If this could be laid out more explicitly, it would probably encourage a good number of fence-sitters to come on down.
CTA is good, too, but doesn't reach as far out and so doesn't help our outlander friends as much. Amtrak has value, especially in the Bloomington/Springfield/East St. Louis corridor, not to mention the north-to-Milwaukee Hiawatha line.
Just laying out transportation options will be an easy way to make attendance more viable for people who (with a bit of justification) view central Chicago as a don't-go-there kind of place.
I'll venture to say our non-Chicago friends who did make the effort and came down via Amtrak or other public transportation means will testify that it wasn't hard, it wasn't scary, and it really turned out to be effortless.
Here's hoping enough of us can put together enough of this excellent effort to make it happen again. It really will matter.

July 19, 2008, 12:14 PM
I dunno, I probably shouldn't say much more because if I'm honest with myself I'm still a bit put out by the whole thing, HOWEVER....

I'm reading all this feedback and input, and I'm thinking to myself "Don't we, as active, outspoken gun owners inherently make ourselves avatars of the "personal responsibility" we espouse in nearly all of our political and social leanings?

I'm sure co-ordinating a future event with the feedback received would result in a larger turn out, but I'm also at odds with the idea that we of all people, are the ones who need to be led by the hand to stand up for our rights. Honestly, those participating in this discussion are obviously literate, and internet savvy, isn't it enough to say that at this time in this place we'll be mounting a demonstration, and expect folks to take care of the rest? If it's not, it should be. Look I got myself down there because it was important to me. I'm not wealthy, I'm not a captain of industry or a mogul of overnight travel, and frankly it cost me the equivalent a new pistol to do it.

Now I'm not applying the same level of financial commitment I made to everyone, that's my own choice to make. But when I hear things like "I don't go to Chicago because it's skurry", well, I hate to criticize, but that really chaps my nether regions.

What's scary to me, is millions of my fellow american citizens living in cities that wholly deny them a perfectly reasonable measure of personal self defense. If we can't take risks ourselves to stand up for those people (and statistically we're talking an infinitesimal risk here), who can we expect to stand up for us?

I know I'm the nag in this thread, and I hate to put it so bluntly, but I really wish more of "our people" were less talk and more git.

Hokay, got that off my chest.

Len S
July 19, 2008, 01:32 PM
I believe there are a few dynamics working in the larger cities they we must not overlook.1. There are people like Emil Jones, they are in politics for what they can get. They either get enough pork for their districts to "buy them off" each election and or have the chicago democratic machine backing them. There are also others like Monique Davis who come up with little jems like "the people of southern Il want to stoke crime in CHicago because it will keep their down state jails filled.

The people of their districts really believe this stuff. The other dynamic is people feel that they have no right to guns in the city so it is either not a big issue with them or they have the if I cant no one can attitude. This is what we are fighting. I do not think it is hopeless however. When the gun ban in Chicago gets lifted there will be more people that have the ability to get firearms and with that will go the desire to exercise those rights. The other thing to remember especially with the dysfunctional Il government is the more people like Davis, Jones, Madigan, and Blaggo mouth off the deeper the division between Chicago and the rest of the state. I have no illusions that the people in the district of Jones, Madigan et all will vote them out. But I do see a time when the people outside of Chicago demand of their politicritters that they stand up to Chicago and Block anything that is just for Chicago. I would love to see a political wall set up around Chicago and the rest of the state saying TOO BAD SOO SAD DEAL WITH IT. The way the state is going and the way Stroger in Crook county, Emil Jones withthe pay raises I do not think it will be long before it becomes the state of IL vs Chicago,,


lee n. field
July 19, 2008, 04:10 PM
I'll venture to say our non-Chicago friends who did make the effort and came down via Amtrak or other public transportation means will testify that it wasn't hard, it wasn't scary, and it really turned out to be effortless.

Absolutely. The hardest part was figuring out how is was all going to work. Finding the schedules, figuring out where the railhead was, finding the address, using or google to figure out how to get from where I'd land to where I'd need to be. That was the hardest part of the whole thing.

That, and walking off in the wrong direction once I got to the Ogivly train station. :D

July 21, 2008, 11:23 AM
Next time, I'll expend more effort to ease the travel issues. I'll plan on doing up a web page just with access/travel information from someone inside the Cook Curtain.
Good to know.

Don Gwinn
July 21, 2008, 11:39 AM
It's confusing to people who don't live there and ride them every day. And frankly, I had a hard time trusting their schedules. We walked from the Field Museum to the rally and back. We briefly considered riding the CTA, but it was supposed to take three minutes on a bus, after which we'd have all of two minutes to make it to a train, on which we would spend an additional four minutes--and for that, we'd pay $16 each way. No thanks.

The walk back was nasty hot, and there were some old injuries gnawing on me (plus perky tourists on Segways zipping around us) but that just made us appreciate the air-conditioned museum all the more.

July 21, 2008, 01:10 PM
Good thread, but we've probably run to the end of it.

Is there going to be a condensed lessons learned somewhere that others can look at to be aware of problems to work on for their own events?

Don Gwinn
July 21, 2008, 01:30 PM
If there is, I'll open this back up and put in a link to it. Don't worry about closing it.

July 21, 2008, 02:09 PM
I'm just disappointed that we don't have any pix of the Gwinch on a Segway...

July 29, 2008, 04:46 PM
Sounds like it was a great event. Congratulations to those of you who made it happen!

Here's my ideas of what to do to get more people next time:

1. Make a list of all the stores that sell guns/ammo and all the gun ranges in Cook County (or the entire state.) I assume there is a list available somewhere of FFL dealers. Maybe Ammo manufacturers could also provide lists of their customers.

2. Get on the forum at and start a thread asking for volunteers to contact the gun stores/ranges. Send out a letter to everybody on the email list at asking for volunteers. Make assignments until every store is assigned.

3. Provide the volunteers with flyers and forms. (Even if it is only electronic copies that they can print.) This could be as simple as one or two flyers per store that encourages people to add their email to so they can be notified of demonstrations and events. Provide forms that people can use to fill in their email address at the store. It doesn't even need names on it. I'm picturing each form having space for 25-50 people to write in an email address. Talk to the store manager about getting cashiers and folks at the gun counter to ask people to sign up so they can be notified of grassroots activities. I'd guess that most people that are interested in looking at a pistol would be interested in getting involved to protect (establish?) their carry rights.
Provide pre-addressed, stamped envelopes (stapled to the form so it doesn't get lost) so that when the email list form is filled up the store owner can send it back to someone at Illinoiscarry who can enter it into the system.
Depending on what you can get for a budget, you could possibly provide business card sized handouts or tear off slips of paper pointing people to register at Illinoiscarry. But ideally they would just write down their email address right there.

4. It might even be possible to talk to the people at the big internet stores (cdnn, brownells, cheaper than dirt, etc.) and see if they would be willing to send out a mass email to Illinois resident customers encouraging them to register at the Illinoiscarry site.

5. Contact the NRA to see if they can send an email to Illinois residents pointing them to the site.

6. I noticed on the forum at Illinoiscarry there is a discussion about putting an ad on a billboard in Chicago. That is a great idea and a very realistic way to get the word out to gunnies and non-gunnies alike. And you don't have to rely on the media or worry that it won't be presented how you want it. Once you find a good billboard and get a price, send out a mass email to the hopefully increasing base of supporters and tell them the plan and the cost and ask for donations, nothing is too small. When you get the billboard in place, take a picture of it and email it out to everybody to show them their dollars at work.

Do the trains in Chicago have advertisements in them? Maybe that is another viable option.

7. Send out an email to the base of supporters encouraging them to get their gunny friends on the list. None of them should have any gunny friends that don't know about the site.

8. Start planning now for next year's rally. Keep people posted with a monthly email and weekly emails in the month or two prior to the event.

9. Find a local Chicago celebrity/athlete who is pro-gun who will come out to the rally. That will increase chances of media coverage dramatically.

Someone out there needs to lead these efforts. I don't know how Illinoiscarry is organized, if there is a president who can delegate or nominate someone to this. For all I know there is already somebody working on it. If anybody knows who that is, maybe pass these thoughts on along to him/her.

Don Gwinn
July 29, 2008, 04:49 PM
Thanks, those are good ideas. Some are being done, some are new (well, to me at least.)

August 1, 2008, 03:46 PM
and for those who don't know, I was part of the SAFR committee. I originally contacted Illinoiscarry after attending IGOLD in March. I thought this was a natural in Chicago and I envisioned crowds that resembled Pinocchiobama's berlin assembly. I have organized many FNRA events and was champing at the bit to publicize this to the max. In fact some of you (Don) know that my announcement on this site was removed as being to "early". This was occasioned by ISRA being involved with filing lawsuits when Heller came down. And their desire to stay under the radar and not get our assembly permit pulled by the anti forces arrayed against us. I agree that we need more time, money, volunteers, space, money, celebities, and money. We afforded Ms. Hupp through donations and god knows I tried long and hard to get NRA to send a "luminary". Seems "everyone was busy" and we got Mr. Glen Caroline the Director of the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division. Not a household name but an engaging speaker. I wanted Tom Sellek or Wayne LaPierre. Can any of you remember the last time an NRA board member made an appearance in Chicago? Wind radio 560AM helped promote and Cisco Cotto half the morning team of John& Cisco acted as our Emcee, Thanks to them and hm. I asked for Cabelas' support, they let me put flyers in the gun department. Woo Hoo. As if this means nothing to them. Dicks' also let me put flyrs in gun dept. Bass Pro waffled long enough to make it moot.
My lessons learned are: Week day is right, more lead time,publicity needed. I know the media were all there and chose to minimize it if reported at all. That's the way it has always been, no surprise. I hope to have them ignore us next year when thousands again assemble. Thanks to all who came and helped make this possible and successful.

August 1, 2008, 05:17 PM
You have our most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your efforts.
We'll be there with you next year and do whatever it takes.

August 2, 2008, 05:14 PM
You gotta know when to hold them and when to fold them. Pick your fights. We can still change our government from the grassroots level without escalating issues, which would inevitably cause worse government atrocities than what is happening now.

[ . . . ]

I don't want to continue adding comments, so I'll just add to this one. We must protect the U.S. Constitution from enemies, both foreign and domestic. The government and the Constitution are two different things. We must not blindly protect the government if it is not in tune with the spirit of the Constitution. The two should be in mutual agreement, but when the government trumps the Constitution, then there needs to be reform.

[ . . . ]

August 7, 2008, 06:37 PM
Don Gwinn,

One more idea:

You guys might check out how much it costs to buy an ad in the hunting proclamation pamphlets. Use it to encourage hunters to register at

August 7, 2008, 08:34 PM
There will be a time in the future when those who were there for this event will know that The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

There will be more of these, but there is only one first event.

Those of you who attended, be not bitter that there were many who could have but who would not. Do not beg of them to stand beside you. Rather proclaim it, . . . That he which hath no stomach to this fight, . . . Let him depart;

I can imagine a T-shirt or a cap emblazoned with I was there -- at the first Chicago 2A Rally.

The tide will turn, and those who drove it from the beginning will be that happy few.

To those who stood up, who walked, rode, drove, and even FLEW in for this: thank you all for putting your time and money and effort into defending our rights.

I'm going to close this thread here.

Don may have more to add, but the event itself is now in the can, so let's take the win and prepare for the next one.

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