All along the #RoadtoChange Tour, Poli Pix has observed audiences sometimes numbering over four, five, or six hundreds people; good folks wishing to learn from the experiences of the Parkland Shooting survivors and other gun safety activists while our nation remains gripped by inaction on gun violence.
At the event hosted at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy, Utah, pro-gun control supporters were met by a sizable contingent of some 200 participants of the Utah Gun Exchange – an online firearm retailing platform. Their presence created a tense situation for the event. Only days before its scheduled curtain time, at least one venue backed out of their commitment to host March For Our Lives, citing possible security concerns.
Additionally, we witnessed at least 7 shouting matches between gun activists on either side of the issue, and one poor sod who took it upon himself to decry – in the middle of the event – the panelists for allegedly offering false information on gun deaths. His actions were spurned by a thousand death stares and suggestions he get the f*$k out.
To be fair, Sam Robinson, one of the Utah Gun Exchange’s top brass, surprised at least this observer with what I took as a meaningful, if not PR-based, entree by offering to work with the activists on reducing gun deaths as long as it didn’t infringe on an American’s Second Amendment rights. Given the nature of what the Road to Change is about, we suggest they find ways to come together around tackling red-flag laws, instituting reasonable mandatory waiting periods to purchase a firearm, along with other commonsense reforms without the need to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens. That said, he and Bryan Melchior, another of the groups leaders, followed the activists around the nation in it signature armored and branded military style truck, normally outfitted with a replica machine gun which was removed.
Among the attendees were Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Democratic candidate for U.S. House in Utah’s 4th Congressional District, Ben McAdams.
See below for a sample of the event images we provided to the organization (23/127 images).
Updated 09/04/2018: An earlier version of this post stated incorrectly the leaders of the Utah Gun Exchange were driving their company truck for MFOL events with its regular machine gun replica. That was amended to as written above thanks to additional information provided by the group.