The group Gun Rights Across America issued a nationwide call for gun owners to stand outside their homes with firearms in their hands on October 19. The event urges the armed protesters to “pass out candy or lemonade to the kids riding their bikes, and playing in the neighborhoods.” As of this Wednesday, 2,000 people have RSVPed for the event, “Guns Next Door,” on Facebook. “We want you to strap on a holstered handgun to your hip, and give one hour of your day to making our presence as law abiding gun owners known. This is a family event too. Feel free to strap on a plastic red gun onto your children as well,” the group wrote for its Facebook event. After other protests gained notoriety for asking people to do the exact opposite of abiding by the law, Guns Next Door is encouraging participants to abide state laws that don’t allow weapons to be openly carried. But armed events don’t often end the way organizers hope. At gun shows earlier this year, five people ended up being accidentally shot. And more recently, patrons of a Starbucks were furious when armed advocates descended on the Newtown location. Ask gun activists why some think gun violence prevention is unnecessary, and they will explain that owners would never allow children near a loaded weapon and would never resort to violence unless it were absolutely necessary. The disclaimer at the bottom of the Guns Next Door protests may say it all: “Gun Rights Across America is not responsible for any laws that are broken as a result of this event.”
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