What an amazing day we had Friday in Tallahassee. Campaign team members Alex, Danielle & I started off the chilly, blustery morning on the steps of the Old Florida Capitol Building, preparing to do a live remote broadcast of the Liberty Underground show to cover the Second Amendment Rally. A handful of people gathered as we finished setting up our equipment and doing our sound check, readying to go on the air at 9am.
Campaign Manager Danielle Alexandre and Adrian broadcasting live from the Old Capitol steps.
As the show started, we talked about our experience last weekend at the Hillsborough County gun buybacks (video) and what a huge success that was. More people trickled in, and we began interviewing them. One gentlemen was a retired circuit court judge, and was very supportive of the Second Amendment.
By 10am, the crowd in front of the capitol was still pretty sparse. I have to admit, I was starting to get a bit disappointed.
But then, we saw the flashing blue lights of the police escort. They were blocking off traffic directly in front of the capitol building.
My spirits were lifted as I saw the first glimpse of a Gadsden flag peek between the trees. Then the parade of people began marching toward us, some 200 of them, all carrying signs and flags. It was a beautiful sight. As the marchers approached the rallying point, we read the signs and flags as if we were covering the Macy’s Day Parade.
The parade circled the capitol, chanting slogans and singing for the assembled Florida Legislature to hear, before assembling in front of the Old Capitol steps. Though none of our state representatives came out to speak with The People, a large group of well-dressed lobbyists scurried by at one point. The lobbyists were careful to avert their eyes and remain silent.
When the show ended, I began to mingle with the crowd to speak with the protesters. I had no plans to give any formal speech, I just wanted the opportunity to talk with some folks one-on-one. As I introduced myself and shook hands, a few people gathered around and began asking my positions on various issues.
Adrian (center) speaking with Second Amendment supporters
As I spoke, the crowd began to grow, as more people approached to hear the conversation. I raised my voice to be heard as people gathered around. Before long, I was surrounded by a large crowd. They were responding to my answers with cheers and applause.
The discussion was frank and honest. They asked tough questions, and I gave them straight answers. Many thanked me for being the only politician who came out to talk to them, and show support for the Second Amendment. I thanked them for standing up for our Constitutional rights.
In the end, we signed up dozens of new campaign volunteers. We collected nearly a full box of signed petitions, and several people took stacks of blank petitions to get signed. I want to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who volunteered to help the campaign.
Overall it was a great day for liberty. Special thanks to Wyllie For Governor Regional Campaign Coordinator Judy Thacker and 1787 Network Tallahassee Correspondent Alan Brooks for your help and support.