“Black guns matter! Black guns matter!” chanted a coalition of pro-gun activists outside the Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon.
Pro-gun activists including leaders of the Second Amendment Institute and Gun Owners of America gathered to celebrate District v Heller, a supreme Court decision that held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia or a government agency.
The decision effectively forced Washington DC to issue permits to carry concealed firearms to private citizens. Before Heller, carrying firearms was effectively banned.
“On page after page, the court demolished the left’s legal position and documented just how wrong their position was,” said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America.
Congressman Thomas Massie kicked off the rally, asserting that politicians still fight against the right to bear arms every year, citing in particular laws that would raise the age to buy a gun to 21.
“I’m worried about unconstitutional legislation that has been proposed to raise the legal age to buy a gun from 18 to 21,” he explained. “Folks, you’re an adult. If you’re 18, you can die for our country, you can vote, you should be able to defend yourself.”
Hundreds of counter-demonstrators confronted the activists, many of them having participated in a nearby rally against the Supreme Court’s decision upholding a Trump Administration Travel Ban.
“DC laws for DC people!” one demonstrator with left-leaning activist group CODEPINK chanted repeatedly, supporting the idea that the nation’s capitol should be able to pass its own, stricter gun laws.
“We know we have haters, but haters are going to motivate us to do great things,” said Diante Johnson, President of Black Conservative Federation. “Hates are gonna motivate us to say that you cannot take our guns away!”
As counter-protesters chanted “No ban, no wall,” the gun rights supporters retorted “Black guns matter!” in a chant led by Maj Toure (who wore a shirt that read “Make the good great again”), the founder of an organization also called “Black Guns Matter.”
“Whether you’re gay or straight, the Bill of Rights protects us all!” added Gregory T. Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBT conservative group. “No amendment protects us more than the second amendment!”
Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the original case, closed out the event, highlighting the hundreds of cases siting DC v Heller in the past decade. “These are proof that the struggle of evil and tyranny will rage on against liberty as long as some parties show that they hate our country as much as we love our country, love our lives, and love to protect our family with our second amendment freedoms.”
Tyler Yaguirre, who organized the rally, called it “very patriotic, very American.”
Of the counter-protesters, he has some harsher words. “They’re honestly just petulant children, little brats. If they actually cared about healing the nation, they’d wanna work together.”
Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the original case, told News2Share that the counter-protesters are “confused” and he respects their first amendment right to speak just has much as his second amendment right to carry a gun.