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Second Amendment Rally - downtown CHICAGO

Discussion in 'Activism' started by Megistopoda, Jun 19, 2008.

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  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Member

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  2. scout26

    scout26 Member

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    When handing out flyers, I found that if you addresses them as "Sir" or Ma'am", and made eye contact they were much more likely to take the flyers. I only had two people decline after asking if we were "for" or "against" guns.
     
  3. cherryriver

    cherryriver Member

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    Scout26, if you're inclined to expand on what you said in your post, and your real-life experiences on the street there, I'd think it would be helpful for all of us, not just Chicago activists, but pro-gun people everywhere.
    I know I tend to recede a bit and avoid the confrontation, and so, I'm a poor leafleter. I stayed in the crowd and listened, content with that.
    I also know that in ordinary social situations, the gun topic is as far away from acceptable as can be. So, I usually just sit quietly.
    What else did you pick up?
     
  4. ASM826

    ASM826 Member

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    I'm sure there were plenty of people in Massachusetts in 1775 that thought upsetting the applecart at the bridge at Concord was a very bad idea.

    I firmly believe you only have the rights you're willing to defend. If you believe the politicians in Illinois give a fart in a hurricane about a rally, you have a lot more faith in them than I do.

    I know they didn't do it, I know there is no support for such direct action, but I still think sometimes the lunch counter and bus ride examples of the 1960s have some value. Those people broke the law, at great personal risk, and brought about change. We don't have that courage of conviction that they had.
     
  5. Picard

    Picard Member

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    Some do have that courage and conviction. Don't sell us short, but breaking laws at great personal risk should be a last resort once other avenues have already been tried.
     
  6. scout26

    scout26 Member

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    I was handling out the small leaflets "48 States Can't Be Wrong".
    Like I said it was simply having the stack in one hand, and one ready in the other (extended) hand making eye contact and saying "Sir" or "Ma'am" while extending the leaflet toward them. I also smiled my best non-threatening smile. I avoided trying to give them to people with both hands full or talking on cellphones. I also said "Thank You" after they took one from me.

    I wasn't looking for nor did I seek out an agruement/discussion. I merely wanted to get people the leaflets in the hope that they would read it later.

    The two people who asked if asked if we were "For" or "Against" guns politely declined my offer of a leaflet, I again responded with "Thank You".

    I used, and relied on, simple politness and courtesy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  7. cherryriver

    cherryriver Member

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    Good show.
    As previously noted, nothing will more completely demolish the stereotype so many of our opponents cherish than civility and intelligence.
    Not letting our knuckles drag is upsetting to the antis. It undermines the presumed balance of power.
    Thanks for your efforts.
     
  8. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    There was a Tribune reporter there. I was a few feet away from a youngish black lady with a CT press nametag. She was taking notes.
     
  9. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    Look at the pictures. There were over 100 seats up front alone (I know, I counted them at the end of the day to make sure everything got returned.) Still look like only 200 people in that crowd?

    The simple fact is that we blew Pfleger and Jesse Jackson out of the water. Next time will be bigger.

    I thank all of you who helped, whether you worked that day, showed up, sent money or just told someone else about the rally.

    As for illegally carrying guns into downtown Chicago, ASM, you are of course welcome to organize your own event. At the event WE organized, sweated and paid for, we prefer to use OUR methods.
     
  10. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    So, the feedback so far is:

    • Weekend, not weekday
    • Much more lead time
    • Much more publicity, especially in concert with other interest groups

    What else? I'm putting together an after-action report that's being completed by every member of the committee right now, so if you want your idea to have a direct pipeline to the organizers, now's the time.
     
  11. Yas

    Yas Member

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    Don I think a short list of dress code suggestions (no camo, try to avoid fanny packs, open holster protest , unless specifically designated by the committee that it's the theme of the rally) would help. I-gold had so much more information prepared in advance about what when where.

    Transportation information, the meeting at the hotel, the march etc....

    The SAFR rally information was pretty much just the flyer for the basic announcement. Several members threw in some handouts, posters , tongue depressors that really helped fill in the rally to make it flow better with the theme. Thanks to Oleg Volk for his consent for use of his material!

    I think the appearance of the crowd was shocking to the press as they did not have an easy cheep shot of filming 400 "Larry the cable guys" at the rally.

    Things will be much better prepared for the next time.
     
  12. charon

    charon Member

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    A few thoughts.

    Unfortunately, a weekday will have far more impact if we can get sufficient numbers to peacefully fill, or better yet, overfill the plaza and actually disrupt traffic. Hard to marginalize or ignore that. The coverage will also be more effective during the week from a readership/viewer perspective. Generate more buzz.

    More lead time would help.

    More pulbicity would help. I would imagine that gun owners who were not members of ISRA or Concealed Carry or who frequent this and other boards did not know about the event. Now, it's hard because outside of a FEW friendly talk radio outlets you can't expect media promotion in advance of the event in this market. Just think if we could get WLUP to make a mention during a morning or efternoon drive.

    What we really need is a much more expanded e-mail list particularly of Cook County gun owners, but that involves a whole, major project in itself. Perhaps fliers or brochures year round at gun shops and ranges promoting ISRA with no strings attached up front-- just sign up to receive important information, but please join if you feel its worthwhile. Kind of a shareware approach. I believe ISRA currently sends out information to lasped members, but the trick would be to get people who haven't joined ever on the list. IMO, it would be a great marketing approach for ISRA as well with a good bang for the buck.

    Parking and travel will always be an issue. One idea I though of too late to post before the event is you can go to O'Hare and park in whichever lot you want for price or convenience then take the Blue Line right to the event. Plenty of capacity, and fairly easy, affordable and convenient.
     
  13. cherryriver

    cherryriver Member

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    I, too have been thinking about what might be able to be improved.
    The weekday-weekend thing is the toughest. As previously mentioned, I rely on my wife and her extraordinary people skills and intuition- it's almost unearthly.
    She went with on the 11th and pronounced that in her view, the weekday issue was tops. I'm not sure I agree, but that's what she said, and she's almost always right when it comes to reading a large group's pulse.
    I'm just sort of glad it's not my call.
    One thing that I also return to often is that this was the first. Should it be possible to put together another or more, the word will naturally spread and the delivery will be more complete.
    Consider this: I shoot at a club in southeast Wisconsin and a regular attendee is a full-time gun-rights lobbyist in that state. He was right in the middle of the nearly-won right-to-carry attempt there in the last few years. He's tuned in and knows stuff. But Tuesday evening when we squadded together and I mentioned the rally, he said it was the first he'd heard of it.
    That suggests the wider-area groups like the NRA, SAF, GOA, and so forth might be recruited earlier and more heavily to assist the word-spreading.
    The lead time was another thing that my wife mentioned, and I think there's agreement all around that something intended to be large needs at least a couple months of promotion. Nothing surprising there. The '08 IGOLD was a good success with months of planning. CGOLD (as a guess for a name) would turn out a larger throng with three months of advance work.
    But that points to the hard part. It's work. I tend to see the ISRA as the main sponsor and the most effective instigator/coordinator. Not to slight any other group, but that's how it looks from this vantage point.
    The ISRA has done a phenomenal job here and with IGOLD. It has risen to the occasion extremely well.
    But it's volunteers, for the large part, and they have their limits. Expanding the volunteer base will help; success will help expand the volunteer base. Here, the chicken and egg seem to be arriving on the same train.
    That leads to my last observation, that the location was good. Public transportation, we understand, is either alien or anathema to most folks who aren't from around here. Metra, the commuter rail system, is outstanding, one of the best on the continent. Where it can be used, it's way the best: cheap, fast, reliable, and close. We walked from Ogilvie (the old Northwestern station) in an easy twenty minutes. Union Station (Amtrak/Metra) is only ten minutes further. If this could be laid out more explicitly, it would probably encourage a good number of fence-sitters to come on down.
    CTA is good, too, but doesn't reach as far out and so doesn't help our outlander friends as much. Amtrak has value, especially in the Bloomington/Springfield/East St. Louis corridor, not to mention the north-to-Milwaukee Hiawatha line.
    Just laying out transportation options will be an easy way to make attendance more viable for people who (with a bit of justification) view central Chicago as a don't-go-there kind of place.
    I'll venture to say our non-Chicago friends who did make the effort and came down via Amtrak or other public transportation means will testify that it wasn't hard, it wasn't scary, and it really turned out to be effortless.
    Here's hoping enough of us can put together enough of this excellent effort to make it happen again. It really will matter.
     
  14. Noxx

    Noxx Member

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    I dunno, I probably shouldn't say much more because if I'm honest with myself I'm still a bit put out by the whole thing, HOWEVER....

    I'm reading all this feedback and input, and I'm thinking to myself "Don't we, as active, outspoken gun owners inherently make ourselves avatars of the "personal responsibility" we espouse in nearly all of our political and social leanings?

    I'm sure co-ordinating a future event with the feedback received would result in a larger turn out, but I'm also at odds with the idea that we of all people, are the ones who need to be led by the hand to stand up for our rights. Honestly, those participating in this discussion are obviously literate, and internet savvy, isn't it enough to say that at this time in this place we'll be mounting a demonstration, and expect folks to take care of the rest? If it's not, it should be. Look I got myself down there because it was important to me. I'm not wealthy, I'm not a captain of industry or a mogul of overnight travel, and frankly it cost me the equivalent a new pistol to do it.

    Now I'm not applying the same level of financial commitment I made to everyone, that's my own choice to make. But when I hear things like "I don't go to Chicago because it's skurry", well, I hate to criticize, but that really chaps my nether regions.

    What's scary to me, is millions of my fellow american citizens living in cities that wholly deny them a perfectly reasonable measure of personal self defense. If we can't take risks ourselves to stand up for those people (and statistically we're talking an infinitesimal risk here), who can we expect to stand up for us?

    I know I'm the nag in this thread, and I hate to put it so bluntly, but I really wish more of "our people" were less talk and more git.

    Hokay, got that off my chest.
     
  15. Len S

    Len S Member

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    I believe there are a few dynamics working in the larger cities they we must not overlook.1. There are people like Emil Jones, they are in politics for what they can get. They either get enough pork for their districts to "buy them off" each election and or have the chicago democratic machine backing them. There are also others like Monique Davis who come up with little jems like "the people of southern Il want to stoke crime in CHicago because it will keep their down state jails filled.http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2008/07/16/news/doc487e73c828083431185423.txtA

    The people of their districts really believe this stuff. The other dynamic is people feel that they have no right to guns in the city so it is either not a big issue with them or they have the if I cant no one can attitude. This is what we are fighting. I do not think it is hopeless however. When the gun ban in Chicago gets lifted there will be more people that have the ability to get firearms and with that will go the desire to exercise those rights. The other thing to remember especially with the dysfunctional Il government is the more people like Davis, Jones, Madigan, and Blaggo mouth off the deeper the division between Chicago and the rest of the state. I have no illusions that the people in the district of Jones, Madigan et all will vote them out. But I do see a time when the people outside of Chicago demand of their politicritters that they stand up to Chicago and Block anything that is just for Chicago. I would love to see a political wall set up around Chicago and the rest of the state saying TOO BAD SOO SAD DEAL WITH IT. The way the state is going and the way Stroger in Crook county, Emil Jones withthe pay raises I do not think it will be long before it becomes the state of IL vs Chicago,,


    Len
     
  16. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    Absolutely. The hardest part was figuring out how is was all going to work. Finding the schedules, figuring out where the railhead was, finding the address, using maps.com or google to figure out how to get from where I'd land to where I'd need to be. That was the hardest part of the whole thing.

    That, and walking off in the wrong direction once I got to the Ogivly train station. :D
     
  17. cherryriver

    cherryriver Member

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    Lee-
    Next time, I'll expend more effort to ease the travel issues. I'll plan on doing up a web page just with access/travel information from someone inside the Cook Curtain.
    Good to know.
     
  18. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    It's confusing to people who don't live there and ride them every day. And frankly, I had a hard time trusting their schedules. We walked from the Field Museum to the rally and back. We briefly considered riding the CTA, but it was supposed to take three minutes on a bus, after which we'd have all of two minutes to make it to a train, on which we would spend an additional four minutes--and for that, we'd pay $16 each way. No thanks.

    The walk back was nasty hot, and there were some old injuries gnawing on me (plus perky tourists on Segways zipping around us) but that just made us appreciate the air-conditioned museum all the more.
     
  19. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Good thread, but we've probably run to the end of it.

    Is there going to be a condensed lessons learned somewhere that others can look at to be aware of problems to work on for their own events?
     
  20. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    If there is, I'll open this back up and put in a link to it. Don't worry about closing it.
     
  21. bogie

    bogie Member

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    I'm just disappointed that we don't have any pix of the Gwinch on a Segway...
     
  22. JKimball

    JKimball Member

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    Sounds like it was a great event. Congratulations to those of you who made it happen!

    Here's my ideas of what to do to get more people next time:

    1. Make a list of all the stores that sell guns/ammo and all the gun ranges in Cook County (or the entire state.) I assume there is a list available somewhere of FFL dealers. Maybe Ammo manufacturers could also provide lists of their customers.

    2. Get on the forum at Illinoiscarry.com and start a thread asking for volunteers to contact the gun stores/ranges. Send out a letter to everybody on the email list at Illinoiscarry.com asking for volunteers. Make assignments until every store is assigned.

    3. Provide the volunteers with flyers and forms. (Even if it is only electronic copies that they can print.) This could be as simple as one or two flyers per store that encourages people to add their email to Illinoiscarry.com so they can be notified of demonstrations and events. Provide forms that people can use to fill in their email address at the store. It doesn't even need names on it. I'm picturing each form having space for 25-50 people to write in an email address. Talk to the store manager about getting cashiers and folks at the gun counter to ask people to sign up so they can be notified of grassroots activities. I'd guess that most people that are interested in looking at a pistol would be interested in getting involved to protect (establish?) their carry rights.
    Provide pre-addressed, stamped envelopes (stapled to the form so it doesn't get lost) so that when the email list form is filled up the store owner can send it back to someone at Illinoiscarry who can enter it into the system.
    Depending on what you can get for a budget, you could possibly provide business card sized handouts or tear off slips of paper pointing people to register at Illinoiscarry. But ideally they would just write down their email address right there.

    4. It might even be possible to talk to the people at the big internet stores (cdnn, brownells, cheaper than dirt, etc.) and see if they would be willing to send out a mass email to Illinois resident customers encouraging them to register at the Illinoiscarry site.

    5. Contact the NRA to see if they can send an email to Illinois residents pointing them to the site.

    6. I noticed on the forum at Illinoiscarry there is a discussion about putting an ad on a billboard in Chicago. That is a great idea and a very realistic way to get the word out to gunnies and non-gunnies alike. And you don't have to rely on the media or worry that it won't be presented how you want it. Once you find a good billboard and get a price, send out a mass email to the hopefully increasing base of supporters and tell them the plan and the cost and ask for donations, nothing is too small. When you get the billboard in place, take a picture of it and email it out to everybody to show them their dollars at work.

    Do the trains in Chicago have advertisements in them? Maybe that is another viable option.

    7. Send out an email to the base of supporters encouraging them to get their gunny friends on the list. None of them should have any gunny friends that don't know about the site.

    8. Start planning now for next year's rally. Keep people posted with a monthly email and weekly emails in the month or two prior to the event.

    9. Find a local Chicago celebrity/athlete who is pro-gun who will come out to the rally. That will increase chances of media coverage dramatically.

    Someone out there needs to lead these efforts. I don't know how Illinoiscarry is organized, if there is a president who can delegate or nominate someone to this. For all I know there is already somebody working on it. If anybody knows who that is, maybe pass these thoughts on along to him/her.
     
  23. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    Thanks, those are good ideas. Some are being done, some are new (well, to me at least.)
     
  24. IllHunter

    IllHunter Member

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    I took a little time off...

    and for those who don't know, I was part of the SAFR committee. I originally contacted Illinoiscarry after attending IGOLD in March. I thought this was a natural in Chicago and I envisioned crowds that resembled Pinocchiobama's berlin assembly. I have organized many FNRA events and was champing at the bit to publicize this to the max. In fact some of you (Don) know that my announcement on this site was removed as being to "early". This was occasioned by ISRA being involved with filing lawsuits when Heller came down. And their desire to stay under the radar and not get our assembly permit pulled by the anti forces arrayed against us. I agree that we need more time, money, volunteers, space, money, celebities, and money. We afforded Ms. Hupp through donations and god knows I tried long and hard to get NRA to send a "luminary". Seems "everyone was busy" and we got Mr. Glen Caroline the Director of the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division. Not a household name but an engaging speaker. I wanted Tom Sellek or Wayne LaPierre. Can any of you remember the last time an NRA board member made an appearance in Chicago? Wind radio 560AM helped promote and Cisco Cotto half the morning team of John& Cisco acted as our Emcee, Thanks to them and hm. I asked for Cabelas' support, they let me put flyers in the gun department. Woo Hoo. As if this means nothing to them. Dicks' also let me put flyrs in gun dept. Bass Pro waffled long enough to make it moot.
    My lessons learned are: Week day is right, more lead time,publicity needed. I know the media were all there and chose to minimize it if reported at all. That's the way it has always been, no surprise. I hope to have them ignore us next year when thousands again assemble. Thanks to all who came and helped make this possible and successful.
     
  25. cherryriver

    cherryriver Member

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    IllHunter-
    You have our most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your efforts.
    We'll be there with you next year and do whatever it takes.
     
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