Lincoln, NE, January 19 - UFAA organizers intervened at a “Gun Appreciation Day” rally at the Nebraska capitol in Lincoln, injecting a call for programmatic economic reform as a way to counter growing social unrest and discontent with Washington.
Speaking to a crowd of hundreds of largely mainstream, predominately Republican, gun enthusiasts, and a large representation of Tea Party supporters, this writer called for a Wall Street Sales Tax on transactions of over one million dollars, nationalizing the Federal Reserve for the purpose of issuing credit, and reindustrializing America, along with other programmatic reforms.
Bright yellow Gadsden Flags, some altered from the original message of “Don’t Tread On Me” to the words, “Tea Party,” flew alongside the Stars and Stripes, while protesters held dramatic placards affirming their rights under the Second Amendment. Most of the attendees appeared to be from the urban areas of Lincoln and Omaha. While whole families were abundant, men outnumbered women by at least two to one.
“Take Back the Fed” and “Make Wall Street Pay” UFAA signs competed with other slogans ranging from the clever to the banal. One protester made a very intellectual appeal with a misattributed (if not amusing) quote from Sigmund Freud reading, “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.”
In the crowd as many men had cell phones on their belts as empty gun holsters.
One speaker said, “I was afraid I might have missed some law or the law might have changed too quickly,” so he didn’t carry a gun in his empty holster.
Almost all in attendance received a UFAA flyer calling for a 1% Wall Street Sales Tax.
Demonstrators by and large graciously accepted them, with one gun owner enthusiastically saying, “A Wall Street tax wouldn’t affect any of us at that level. Nobody would feel it, not at a million dollars.”
Other attendees were less responsive.
A young, rigid, tall, pale, blond man with glasses reacted strongly against this writer, confronting me as I handed out pamphlets, and confusing a 1% tax on Wall Street with Occupy Wall Street cries against “the 1%.”
Another intense young man in a suit and tie who claimed to “work for Wall Street,” demanded his friends not take UFAA “trash” and appeared somewhat frustrated when they all nonetheless accepted the leaflets.
Many attendees identified the rally as their first time to ever demonstrate politically, and those people were especially open to the introduction of economic issues into the day’s events.
Mention of a large segment of the rally being first time protesters was left out of local media reports.
The grassroots nature of the event could not be ignored. Speakers from the crowd participated during the length of the event. A young, cherub-faced preschool teacher with short yellow, orange, and green hair acted as master of ceremonies and organized the event. He was helped from a self-described “conservative professional hypnotist” who supplied the sound system. While at least one legislative representative and many gun group spokespersons and lobbyists addressed the assembly, no speakers were turned away.