With the memory of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting still in their minds, anti-2nd Amendment protestors have attempted to bring attention to their gun-control cause by way of demonstrations and rallies across the country. Sometimes, they even cause a commotion, which is what one recent anti-gun rally did in Santa Rosa, California, in early September. Though polls show that gun owners are more passionate and engaged in the gun-rights fight than gun-control ideologues, that’s not stopping special interest groups like Organizing for Action.
In Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square, community organizers like Shirley Gillham read some of the names of those killed by gun violence, focusing particularly on young children to use emotionalism to drum up support for gun control. In spite of being harshly criticized by conservatives for this tactic, anti-gun groups have nonetheless made a habit out of reading the names of people killed due to gun violence at their public rallies.
To hear Gillham tell it, her bleeding-heart liberalism is particularly upset when she hears news of young children being gunned down. Conservative critics counter that—since people kill people, not guns—the efforts of ideologues like Gillham are misdirected toward punishing law-abiding gun owners with tougher gun control while criminals are unaffected.
Attending this raucous anti-gun rally was Representative Mike Thompson, a Democrat from California’s 5th congressional district and also the chairman of the House’s gun violence prevention task force. Thompson is a hardcore supporter of background checks on firearms at the national level. He seriously believes that said background checks can be instrumental in keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals despite evidence that shows that criminals buy guns on the black market, where everything is illegal. Such beliefs strengthen conservative talking points that tougher gun control will do nothing against criminals, but simply work to punish law-abiding gun owners.
Other prominent figures from the local scene who attended the rally were District Attorney Jill Ravitch, a supporter of tougher gun control, and Sonoma County supervisor Shirlee Zane.
In spite of the support of prominent, local Democrats, the raucous rally was only able to attract a few dozen gun-control ideologues. Some of them marched in circles, holding signs that read “How Many Madmen Will It Take” and “How Many Deaths Will It Take.”
Recent polls show that the liberal gun-control side is losing the public argument when it comes to tougher gun control. According to the latest Gallup Poll on gun control completed from September 17 to 18, the number of Americans who support stricter laws on firearms dropped by 9 percent from a poll conducted late last year.
Still, the gun-control battle continues to simmer on, even as President Barack Obama is distracted with the out-of-control Syria debacle and his various scandals. Activists on both sides are fighting the battle on the local and state levels, too.