Hundreds of people rallied in front of the Washington Monument on Monday in the name of the right to bear arms. But while the gathering had all the high-profile works – official NRA presence, a dramatic backdrop, a fully equipped stage – it lacked the powerful feature of a much humbler rally held across the Potomac the same day: openly carried weapons, reports Time magazine. The 100 or so gun-rights advocates gathered at Gravelly Point Park in Arlington gave up the glitz of the Mall to take advantage of Virginia law, which, unlike Washington, D.C., allows people to carry loaded handguns and unloaded rifles.
The spot was chosen by Daniel Almond, founder of Restore the Constitution, the five-month-old group organizing the Virginia event. Almond believes attention goes where guns go. The strategy appeared to be working. Photographers and cameramen swarmed the ralliers, who were all marked by yellow armbands, and journalists waited in line for interviews. Less successful was Almond’s attempt to spread a unified message now that his newly formed group had the media’s attention. The ralliers, many clad in camo and NRA stickers, took varied lines in linking their grievances to guns rights, which have, if anything, been expanding under the current administration.