Today about 100 anti-gun student activists assembled outside the capitol to rally for what they call “common sense gun laws” and have a “die-in” demonstration. The activists dropped to to the ground and played dead for 12 minutes. The duration of 700 seconds was meant symbolize the approximate number of lives lost due to mass shootings since the Pulse Nightclub Massacre.
This figure relies on a definition of mass shooting as a single incident with four or more injured or dead.
About a dozen counter demonstrators with “Patriot Picket” showed up to silently protest in favor of gun rights. Holding American and Gadsden Flags, the group conversed and debated with some participants. Dick Heller, plaintiff in the Supreme Court District v Heller, attended. In that case, the majority ruling held that “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”
“I’m gathering today with fellow patriots to defend our constitutional rights and take a stand for the second amendment,” explained Tyler Yzaguirre, organizer of the counter demonstration and President of the Second Amendment Institute. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. Well, that generation is here.”
About eight members of the animal rights organization PETA showed up to support the gun control activists with signs reading “Stop Gun Violence, Ban AR-15’s” with images of animals like bears and ducks.
PETA Senior Outreach Coordinator Daniel Carron says violence against animals, like hunting, predicts societal violence against humans.