Pennsylvania Patriots United hosted a Second Amendment rally on the Capitol steps Friday, consisting of numerous organizations, private citizens and guest speakers who discouraged extensive gun control.
Holly Cardasso, an administrator of Pennsylvania Patriots United, said the rally was necessary to educate pro-gun control individuals on why guns are an instrumental aspect of the nation’s security.
“There have been so many rallies in support of changing gun laws, and we wanted to hold this rally to show tell people that they have no idea what will happen [if guns are taken away],” Cardasso said.
Before introducing the first guest speaker, a member of the audience led the crowd in prayer and the singing of the National Anthem.
“We pray for our fellow citizens of Pennsylvania, safety in our schools and a return to traditional values,” she said.
The first guest speaker claimed that the U.S. Constitution was not a contract between the 13 colonies and was instead supposed to be a compact that gives U.S. citizens, as well as state governments, authority over the federal government. He emphasized that many people automatically blame the American flag and constitutional amendments for the abuse of American rights.
“We live in a society with a mental problem, not a gun problem,” he said. “It’s easier for Democrats to focus on an inanimate object. They’re so quick to judge all gun owners for the actions of a few.”
He also took time to highlight other societal issues, including immigration and the struggle to create a yearly budget. The speaker asserted that politicians are great at finding “shiny penny distractions” that distract the public from the real issues facing society.
While the speeches continued, a Republican petition on Second Amendment protection circled the crowd.
Bobby Lawrence, a former Republican U.S. Senate candidate, stressed that issues such as mass shootings cannot be fixed by adding more governmental influence.
“Every time government falls down we can’t fix it with more government,” he said.
Lawrence also shared his support for arming teachers, but asserted that he does not believe all teachers should be armed.
“Teachers don’t cease to be American citizens [in the classroom],” he said. “We need to make schools the 17th critical infrastructure protected by guns. We don’t need more government - we need more liberties and personal freedoms.”
Lawrence emphasized that the best way for Americans to protect their Second Amendment rights is to band together and vote for politicians who share their pro-firearm beliefs.
“In order for us to save this country, we need to band together and vote for people we know will protect our liberties,” he said.
Dale Kerns, a Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate, also advocated for an extension of personal liberties. He questioned why the public finds it acceptable to protect politicians with firearms, but not children, and cited a history of Americans hurting one another before guns were in the picture.
“We have a long history of humans hurting other humans before guns,” Kerns said.
In conclusion, Kerns vowed to do everything possible to win U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s seat in this year’s election cycle, while also claiming that Sen. Casey is not a true advocate of the Second Amendment.
“Bob Casey was a Second Amendment advocate when it was good to get votes,” he said.
“Big Sarge,” a Central Pennsylvania radio DJ, condemned Democrats for not taking stronger action against gang violence in cities like Compton and Detroit, but instead taking a strong stance on gun control.
He also compared Americans to sheep and claimed that they will be destroyed without strong protection from the “wolves” of society, before corroborating Lawrence’s assertion that finding pro-gun legislators is the one of the best ways to protect the Second Amendment.
Former Juniata County Commissioner Jerry Leach described his region of the state as “God’s country,” and said the county’s residents are “firmly happy to clutch a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other.”
He asserted that going back to the root of the issue is important when trying to determine the Founding Fathers’ stances on gun control. Leach then recited a list of quotes of Founding Fathers who were in support of arming Americans – including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.
Leach spoke critically of America’s education system and claimed that today’s children are being incorrectly taught about gun control and the meaning of the Second Amendment.
“These kids are clueless because they’re not being taught correctly,” he said. “If our education system is going to twist the language, we need to correct the record for the next generation.”
Simon Grill, a Reading criminal defense attorney, opined that the best way to stop a shooter is to make sure someone is someone there to enforce school security protocol. He cited several programs in place in other states, including Texas, and mentioned the National Rifle Association (NRA)’s Student Shield Program as examples of positive preventative measures.
Grill also described Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine and argued that a provision should be added to Section 505 to give school districts additional protection in emergency situations.