Practical Tips for the RTC Rally -- 19 April 2010 -- Fort Hunt/Gravelly Point Parks
From boots on the ground here in Northern Virginia, please consider the following suggestions as you prep for travel to the big show:
Weather: Good news -- current reports have conditions on Monday as mostly sunny, little chance of rain, and highs in the sixties. Still, it's a good idea to pack your rain gear, along with hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug juice, folding chair, and other sunny gear.
Food/water: There are no food/beverage concessions at either Fort Hunt Park or Gravelly Point. That means you should plan to be self-sufficient for food and drink for your entire time at the rally. Now, of course, it's not like you will be in the outer deserts of Fluoristan for necessities; in fact, there are two Safeway grocery stores within three miles of Fort Hunt Park. Pack your snacks/lunch/water and enjoy the day.
And please -- especially given the silly comments near the end of this local press account of the RTC event -- just like every other firearms event that you have attended all of your lives, no alcohol of any kind until you are off premises with your gear safely stored away for the day.
No Gear Drama: Date of arrival on scene is not the place to be working through the gear drama associated with new holsters, slings, or any other aspect of compliance with our event's rules of non-engagement. Do your rigging and mounting practice at home so that when you arrive on Monday morning, you just slip your gear on safely and competently like the professionals you are.
And don't forget your chamber flags!
Communications: It would be a big help if folks brought a couple of FRS/GMRS radios plus spare batteries. We'll lock down our commo plan on Sunday, but some spare radios which could be lent to event marshals would be helpful as a back-up. As previously noted, we plan to have some limited wifi access at each location, and of course voice and data cellular service will be available at both locations from all major carriers.
Still/video cameras: EVERYONE should plan to have digital still and videos cameras, plus spare batteries and memory cards, with them for use as warranted throughout the day. The good news is that the US Park Police continue to treat the event with professionalism, courtesy, and respect, and we have no indication that any of that will change. However, given the likely high media interest in the RTC rally (along with subsequent editing decisions) and the possibility of disruptive counter-demonstrators, we all will be well served by as many citizen journalists as possible running their own audio/visual newsgathering equipment for YouTube and other post-event uses.
- First step with any media inquiry on scene is to direct the reporter to Dan and the other event organizers. You can't make the reporter do so, and the reporter obviously isn't obligated to listen to you, but please -- help us stay on track here.
- Suggestion #1: After you have directed the reporter to Dan and team, if they insist on talking with you and you want to talk (obviously, you are not obliged to do so), stay positive and happy. The mainstream media "gotcha" story here is "angry people with guns"; being positive and smiling helps to thwart that stereotype.
It also confuses the media ;-) .
- Suggestion #2: First, remind them that the event organizers chose this date -- and you chose to attend -- as a celebration of the 235th anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. They'll want to talk about OKC. Don't play into their game.
Then pull out your pocket copy of the US Constitution/Bill of Rights (you ARE bringing yours, right?) and ask the reporter to show you the language in the Constitution that allows Congress and the President to:
- spend public money to bail out Wall Street brokers and bankers
- spend public money to bail out auto manufacturers
- restrict political speech at election time (remember McCain-Feingold?)
- require citizens to buy health insurance
- require citizens to pay into any social security system, let alone one which will be broke by the time you are eligible for benefits
- listen to cell phone conversations and read emails of citizens
- to ban firearms in DC or anyplace else
You get the picture. Keep your comments focused on the Constitution, and insist (politely) that the reporter answer you.
It will make their brains hurt.
Signs/posters: Once again, keep things simple and direct to thwart the "angry people with guns" meme. The mainstream media wants to tell a "stupid rednecks"/"cold dead hands" story.
You tell them instead:
WE SURROUND YOU
WE ARE EVERYWHERE
RESTORE THE CONSTITUTION NOW
I WON'T LET YOU HURT MY CHILDREN
STOP THE LOOTING & START PROSECUTING
WE KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING
COME & TAKE THEM
WHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION DOES IT SAY THAT?
Make them think.
Make them work.
Don't play into their racism, their bigotry, and their stereotypes.
All for now. Updates as possible/needed.
Travel safely, and make sure you are squared away on all relevant transport/carry laws on your journey.
We'll see you Monday morning.