During the spring of 2023, J’den McAdory, in Maryland, has been openly carrying a long gun in protest over Governor (D) Moore’s push for infringements on Second Amendment rights.
For weeks, maybe months, people ignored J’den’s protests. WBALTV interviewed McAdory, and then the governor responded and called McAdory’s brave protests an “act of cowardice.” Whatever else is true, for a young man to stand against the entire state apparatus in Maryland and assert his First and Second Amendment rights is not the act of a coward.
The man, J’den McAdory, told the I-Team on Thursday he’s protesting the governor’s new gun control law. He said he began walking the sidewalks in Severn a few months ago, first with his shotgun strapped to his back, and now, with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle in his hands.
“I grew up in this community,” McAdory said. “I’m 20 years old. I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life. I really want people to understand: I mean no harm to no one.”
McAdory told the I-Team he has gone out twice a week to remind people of their Second Amendment rights and to protest the governor’s new gun control measures, which take effect on Oct. 1.
WBALTV interviews parents who say they are scared and their children are scared. When they attempt to justify their call for McAdory to stop protesting, in the face of the apparent legality of McAdory’s actions, their only response is: You should not do something which makes people uncomfortable.
After the bill passed, numerous lawsuits were filed against it in federal court. The bill obviously violates the Second Amendment.
The question is: If McAdory had been wearing a uniform, would the parents have been uncomfortable?
When the Black Panthers engaged in far more provocative actions in the 1960s, Leftists claimed it was racism that provoked an anti-open carry bill that Governor Reagan eventually signed. When a Democrat governor in a deep Left state signs an anti-Second Amendment bill, protested by a young, armed man, it is not racism, but “courage.”
Some Second Amendment activists will say Mr. McAdory should not engage in his open-carry protest. It might make people mad. Those people who claim McAdory offends them are of the same political party which pushes “Gay Pride” parades and “Flag Burning.” The offense is all in their own head. No one can control what another person is offended by. No one has the right “not to be offended” in the United States of America. Being offended and free speech is inseparable. Anyone in any society can speak when the speech does not offend anyone. Only speech that offends someone requires protection via the First Amendment. J’den McAdory’s open carry protest is a classic example of how open carry is strong, symbolic, protected political speech.
Maryland will not become more anti-Second Amendment because of J’den. Some people will be educated. More people are likely to join in future protests because J’den McAdory showed he was fully within his rights to do so. Some black Americans will see they have the same Second Amendment rights as the rest of the population, rights that must be protected and fought for. This correspondent’s advice to Mr. McAdory would be to add a sling to the AR and a sign explaining the protest. Both would do wonders to remove doubt and make the protest more effective.
J’den McAdory should be saluted for his educational actions. They are much like the celebrated refusal to ride in the back of a bus, only more spontaneous and not backed by the Communist Party. J’den obviously believes in his First and Second Amendment rights. Surprisingly, he has not been arrested in deep leftist Maryland. Rights that are not exercised are lost. J’den paves the way for other Second Amendment supporters to follow.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.