Second Amendment Rally

John Fox, left, joins about 10 other Second Amendment supporters Monday afternoon on the Town Square in solidarity with a gun rights rally in Richmond, Va., the same day that attracted an estimated 22,000 people. “I’m here to support our friends and patriots in Virginia to make sure the Second Amendment stays,” Fox said. “There’s a Virginia politician — the governor — who wants to mess around with that.” See page 10 for coverage of the Virginia rally.

Gun rights advocates took over the southwest corner of Town Square on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, showing support for the thousands of demonstrators who rallied outside the Virginia Capitol building that morning.

The 22,000 or so East Coast protestors opposed a slate of gun control measures favored by the newly Democratic-controlled state legislature. Though concerns of violence from suspected white supremacist groups led Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to declare a state of emergency and ban firearms on the state’s Capitol grounds, the Virginia rally remained largely peaceful.

So did the gathering in Jackson, which attracted about 10 people and lasted about an hour.

Some attendees came from Star Valley. Some wore guns on their hips and, occasionally, the group, which the Jackson Hole Tea Party organized, broke into patriotic chants.

“I like my rights protected,” said Trish Herasme, who moved to the valley from Virginia.

She said she had dropped by to “chit chat” with the demonstrators because she supported the cause. Herasme spoke while the group behind her said the Pledge of Allegiance. At various points, the crowd got honks from passing automobiles.

As states like Virginia have considered passing restrictive gun laws, some local governments have passed so-called “sanctuary” resolutions saying they won’t enforce new gun control measures. There is debate over whether the measures have legal basis, or if they are purely symbolic gestures.

Nonetheless, Bob Culver of the Jackson Hole Tea Party said the Lincoln County Republican Party Central Committee had passed one such resolution. Advocates plan to present another to the party’s state committee in February.

Culver said he was not concerned about gun control measures passing soon in Wyoming, but he felt it was worth drawing attention to the debate in other states.

“There's a storm approaching Wyoming. It's coming from the East, it’s coming from the West, it’s people bringing their ideals that are antithetical to our way of life,” Culver said. “It’s not here yet, but it’s time to start thinking about it.”

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7062 or

(2) comments

Steven Kardas

I would like to make a correction to the statement made by the reporter in this article  "The Virginia rally remained largely peaceful".  The truth is the rally was completely peaceful and the participants cleaned up the area and left no trash too. To say the rally "remained largely peaceful"  implies  there was some sort of violence was caused by the group but the reporter fails to tell us readers what "un-peaceful" events happened.  I also take issue with the statement " gun rights advocates took over the southwest corner of Town Square".  That statement is quite odd since apparently it was 10 folks standing around "chanting".  Did the participants set up a patrolled perimeter with their firearms and prevented others from entering  ? That would constitute "taking over" the area and even I would call the police to intervene. 

bob culver

For those who are curious about the "Storm Warning" reference, here is the original Letter to the Editor from 1999.

March 1, 1999

Letter to the Editor, the Jackson Hole Guide

"Gun Control; Severe Storm Warnings Posted"

I live in Maryland and am a part time resident in Jackson. I am a

member of the Jackson Hole Gun Club and regularly shoot there on my

summer visits. I recently attended the Friends of the NRA dinner with

my wife, two other couples and their teenage children who we invited.

In Wyoming "gun control" truly means keeping on target, or as the

popular bumper sticker back here says, "gun control means using both

hands". Why is it so common to see second amendment political bumper

stickers here in the east and not so many in Wyoming? Why is it easier,

and more enjoyable I might add, for me to pack up a case of firearms and

travel all the way to Jackson to shoot? Because there is a severe storm

rising and it is making life hazardous here in the east. It is sweeping

across the country and it is making its way far into the heart of the

country, even as far as Wyoming. Like the usual prevailing storms this

one has a front approaching from the west, California mostly. But this

is just a feint, the stronger storm approaches on a second front from

the east.

The eastern storm is lead by a hateful - poll driven - president, an

easily cowed congress (both houses), a compliant or even co-conspirator

media, and an easily mis-informed and complacent populace. Most of the

states from Maine through Illinois to Florida are caught up in the furry

of this developing storm. The lies condemning guns and their owners are

constantly repeated and through this repetition are taken to be true.

Some of the lies, false statistics and fraudulent research can clearly

be refuted and shown to be false. But the forces backing the gun

control myth ignore the truth and just repeat or rephrase the lies; and

they are eventually believed.

Maryland is caught in the center of the storm. We suffer from a deluge

of misguided laws offered to protect the children or police officers or

some other group that has been told they need the safety of a new law.

There are already more than 20,000 firearm laws on the books. The few

that are potentially the most effective are being ignored. Judges and

juries are regularly setting violent criminals free to continue their

profession. Law enforcement officers who must repeatedly run these

career criminals to ground are, to say the least, discouraged and all

too often killed by repeat offenders. Citizens who read the eager media

reports of repeat offenders honing their skills and graduating to their

most horrible crimes, are easily swayed by the argument that "something

has to be done - just pass one more law". Is this a deliberate pattern

of criminality, continued weak enforcement of existing laws and the "do

nothing" response of another useless law? Are these small but

cumulative slices at personal freedom and self defense a purposeful

scheme? I hope not, because that would signal an ultimate storm of

Constitutional proportion.

I take some small comfort in recent events relating to the actions of

the president and his being called to task for some of them. The

outcome, so far, is perhaps as predicted and the general citizen apathy

for the criminality of the president is discouraging and foreboding.

One small ray of hope shows through, however, by the comments and

reasoned discussion of these latest events. An undercurrent of

discussion of Constitutional law, the clear debating of the words of the

Constitution and the dedication to the Constitutional duty of

impeachment may indicate a return or at least a resurgence of

Constitutional thinking. This is an idea which must be strengthened.

Our country would do well to apply a serious Constitutionality test to

its laws and conduct of affairs.

I can tell you from personal experience of some of the squalls spawned

in the gun control storm, against which I have fought, that have swept

through Maryland and are headed west.

Recently local counties have passed 100 yard preclusion zones

prohibiting certain firearms and activities. The zones are centered

about "places of public assembly" and the activities included selling,

transporting, storage and at one point even possession of firearms. It

is now illegal for friends to bring firearms to my home to look at, work

on, or for any other reason because I live across the street from a

park. A patch-work of preclusion areas, impossible to detect or know,

now exists throughout the area.

For almost a year it has been required for all firearms sold in some

counties to also be sold with a trigger lock, T one I was given could be

opened by a child with a bent paperclip. This is a useless law,

mandating one safety procedure, rather than one which I may choose to

apply on my own or some other more suited to my needs. How many

children will be killed or injured because a one-size-fits-all law might

substitute a forgotten or broken or mis-applied lock, thus leaving

safety training forgotten and lessons unlearned. The unintended

consequences of aspirin bottle "safety caps" should be studied by the

gun controllers. Credible studies by Harvard economist W. Kip Viscusi

has shown that the "child resistant" caps have resulted in 3,500

additional poisonings each year for children under age 5 because

consumers have been lulled into a less safety-conscious mode of behavior

by the caps.

For over a year now, it has been illegal for one family member to give

a firearm as a gift to another without subjecting the transfer to a

state criminal background check, paperwork and fees. It is now required

that every citizen must prove he is NOT a criminal before obtaining a

firearm, even from a spouse or parent. The firearm gift giver must not

violate existing law by knowingly transferring a firearm to a prohibited

individual. But now the state wants to know just who will be receiving

and owning firearms.

From the west come calls for bans on the sale of magazines of certain

capacity, and now for confiscation of magazines already in existence

which do not meet those bans. The "Brady Law" waiting period, replaced

by the NICS "instant" background check, is now sought to be reinstated.

Why? Because NICS does not have all the answers, it does not list all

the prohibited individuals. Who will that list include and for what

crimes? I can only tell you that the list of crimes will not get

shorter. How many of your friends and acquaintances have run afoul of

NICS in the few short months it has been in operation?

I am sounding this storm warning because, in my travel from the center

of the storm to the relative calm of Wyoming, I do not see sufficient

awareness of the approaching danger. The recent anti-gun trial decision

from Brooklyn, New York should make you aware. The bizarre "horse

trading" the jury undertook to find guilt and damages in that case are

unbelievable. Especially so for Freedom Arms which had no part in the

actions of the criminals responsible for the acts which fueled the

suit. Perhaps I am being selfish because I hope to seek shelter in the

more hospitable climate of Wyoming, and do not want the storm to sweep

the entire country clean of its Constitutional and civil rights. It is

difficult to rally a fight against a storm you do not yet feel. It is

more difficult to reinforce the fight against a storm you are in the

midst of, as we are here in Maryland. But it is impossible to fight the

storm after it has swept through, destroying all in its path, for then

you will have nothing left to fight with. Our country is defended by

those who stand by three boxes; the soap box, the ballot box and the

ammo box. Use the first two now, for if we must turn to the last

ultimate defense of the ammo box, then all is nearly lost and we are

truly in the storm of Constitutional proportions. The Second Amendment

is not about the state National Guard, sporting use or duck hunting, it

is about individual freedom.


Robert and Cathy Culver

Silver Spring, MD. 20905


Jackson, Wyoming

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