Around noon today at Gravelly Point, there they were, together at last: about 65 flag-waving, sign-holding and gun-toting Second Amendment advocates, swarmed by a slightly larger crowd of photo-snapping and microphone-wielding members of the media.
Off to the side, under the shade of some tall trees, about two dozen police officers looked on. Further in the distance, CNN’s John King chatted up a young man wearing nylon cargo pants, a florescent vest and a large rifle.
Nearly all the rally participants had rifles or handguns, and a solid minority had both.
From the bed of a pickup truck, in the middle of the park’s large grass field, people started giving speeches.
“I want to thank the media for coming out, as much as I dislike the media,” said Tom Fernandez, co-founder of a group called Alarm & Muster.
Two counter-protesters held handmade signs criticizing the timing of the rally — on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. Fernandez thanked them for exercising their First Amendment rights.
Further into the program, another speaker compared the government’s bailout of banks to the hijacking of United Flight 93.
“Does our government not act like suicidal hijackers?” he asked, later shouting the newly-minted term “commie-kazies” as a commercial jetliner roared overhead (it was, at best, a poorly thought-out venue for speeches).
As the speeches continued, reporters conducted one-on-one interviews. Pointed questions were asked.
“What constitutional rights do you think are being violated?”
“What do you think about President Obama?”
“What kind of gun is that?”
Amid the media circus, joggers and bicyclists continued on with their daily routines, some shooting quizzical looks at the gathered crowd.
“I think it’s another Tea Party,” one bicyclist said to another.
Lot of photos, after the jump.
Good Thursday evening, Arlington. Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 6802 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today…
A new historic marker has gone up at the 138-year-old Mount Salvation Baptist Cemetery, honoring the final resting place for a number of early Halls Hill leaders.
Holiday parties are in full swing and RSVP Catering provides buffet entrees, hors d’oeuvres and more for office and family affairs.
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Grab some friends and sign up for Parks & Rec’s Eugene J. Green Memorial Winter Basketball League! Adults 18+ can register teams of up to 12 people for the ten-game season. Cost is $765 per team. Games are Mondays and/or Wednesdays at Arlington Mill Community Center starting the week of Jan. 4. Sign up here by Dec. 11.
Join us as we celebrate the holiday of Chanukah! Enjoy delicious Latkes, hot cocoa, donuts and more!
Clarendon Menorah Lighting and Community Celebration
Experience the festival of lights!!
*Lighting of a giant 9 foot Menorah