Today at the Oregon State Capitol a “Pro-Second Amendment” (See Facebook group/event page HERE) rally happened on the front steps. Now I think anyone that’s known me for any amount of time, knows that I am as strong a supporter of guns and gun rights as anyone who’s ever been in this building. I have fought hard to protect our rights. I’ve introduced bills to add more to our rights and protection of those rights. I am “gun guy” as much as anyone. I have a concealed handgun license and frankly, I carry just about every day.
Today these people entered a whole new world of horrible wrong. They didn’t just rally, they didn’t just give a speech, they did something SO deplorable I am loathe to even post it here. THIS DOES NOT HELP OUR CAUSE!!!
They hung an effigy of Gov. Kate Brown….and burned it. I am not a fan of Gov. Brown POLITICALLY, but I am a fan of her as a person, a citizen, a human being. I happen to like her very much. Just because we disagree on almost everything in politics, doesn’t mean we don’t respect nor care for each other. I hope she feels the same about me.
Folks, this is NOT appropriate. And to the man who wore the “Guy Fawkes” mask: you sir are a coward.
I completely disassociate myself from this group. I had been in support of their “open carry” rally and in fact invited them to come talk to me in my office. Then I saw these pictures. I am ashamed of this behavior and first apologize on behalf of the firearm community to Gov. Kate Brown, and apologize myself personally to Gov. Brown.
This is NOT representative of the firearms community….and if it is, consider me OUT of that community.
For those who attended this rally but did not engage in this particular activity and agree with me on the horrible nature of this turn, I am excluding you, but I hope that you will publicly condemn this activity. Yes, the First Amendment guarantees our right to “free speech” but this is NOT how we express that right. I will continue to fight for our rights but will not allow anyone who supported this part of the rally or who think that this is proper behavior, to be a part of my work.
Photos from Mike Bivins, citizen journalist.