Two are being held in the Washington, DC area, and they couldn't be more different; one is a simple Second Amendment rally, whose organizers are deliberately keeping out anyone who might actually bring a gun into the District or threaten the government.
The other one, being held just across the river in gun-legal Virginia, is more or less the exact opposite:
According to the Washington Post, protesters at the "Restore The Constitution" rally will take advantage of new gun laws signed by President Obama allowing the carrying of firearms in national parks to make an armed stand for liberty today.
Rally organizer Daniel Almond put the event together "because he is upset about health-care reform, climate control, bank bailouts, drug laws and what he sees as President Obama's insistence on and the Democratic Congress's capitulation to a 'totalitarian socialism' that tramples individual rights," the Post reports.
Almond will be packing heat, and he's calling on others to join him. The park is just a few miles from downtown D.C. and, on a clear day, the Capitol dome is visible from the location.
This second rally is so extreme in its orientation that even the organization calling for the military to mutiny against the federal government withdrew its support:
An Oath Keeper's board member explained his group's decision to pull out of Almond's event April 12 to the Post.
"It had gotten to the point that it would be dangerous to attend," the Oath Keeper told the paper. "There are people out there willing to do anything to create chaos in an uncontrolled situation, and [the event] is wide open for disaster."
Yeah, when an organization that waits with breathless anticipation for civil war with a "tyrannical" federal government doesn't want to be part of an armed anti-government rally, you can bet there's trouble.
The thing to remember, though, is that this second protest is absolutely NOT an isolated fringe group. It's part and parcel of the modern conservative movement- and especially the Republican Party. Remember, these people elect representatives who call for their constituents to be "armed and dangerous" in opposition to federal laws, who appear in the South and praise efforts to "rise again" in either ignorance of history or support of rebellion.
And, of course, these are the voters without whom the Republican Party would fall to the ranks of the "third" parties. In part, the armed rally within sight of the capitol is a reminder of this: do as you're ordered, or next time we won't bother with an election.
These are people who, more and more, are coming round to the idea of an armed rebellion against the elected government of the United States.
Granted, there is a little bit of good news about this. In my home state, the governor who said Texas might need to secede is in a tight race against a Democrat... and, by the way, that three-point lead is from a polling outfit with a six-point Republican bias, as (repeatedly) proven by FiveThirtyEight.com . And the Democrats are on the attack, mocking the neo-secessionists and militiamen:
Barnes, in particular, took aim at what he characterized as Republicans’ frivolous pursuits since they took power, such as making it illegal to implant a microchip in a person without his permission and threatening to secede from the U.S.
“Do they not know that the Yankees have got the atomic bomb now?” he joked. “We won’t make it through Bull Run.”
So perhaps there's hope.
But in the meantime... maybe it's time to organize gun owners who SUPPORT the currently elected government for a rally of our own.
Someone needs to make it clear that, if these loonies go to war to overturn an election, they WILL be opposed.