Video: GAG's Philly Gun Show Demonstration | Reflections | GAG In the News
July 25, 2017
In the past two weeks, 5 women have been murdered in Philadelphia.
GAG members decided to travel to the Philadelphia Gun Show on Saturday to peacefully hand out flyers with information on the depressing reality of gun violence against women and the lax gun control laws that add fuel to the fire.
Continued from Above
Many curious gun show attendees photographed our silent Human Beings holding pictures of local victims, one flipped us off, but we also had conversations with several others and we met a fellow GVP traveler from Operation Ceasefire.
The local NBC affiliate shot some great footage and the police were called but they arrived just as the action was over.
On a Personal Note
GAG Co-Founder Kevin Hertzog offered this reflection in the aftermath of the Demonstration at the Philly Gun Show on his Facebook Page:
"Yesterday, on the way to Brooklyn to return the fifteen-passenger van, I just started crying. Ever since GAYS against GUNS started, we've been trying different tactics and methodologies in order to bring attention to gun violence, and its effects on our country and our culture. The van ride itself was enough reason to have gone : on the way to Philly we talked politics, which is always informational and entertaining, given that we represent quite a cross-section of opinions and experiences. And on the way home we talked about movies and tv shows, with Jay W. Walker giving us all history lessons about Dynasty, amongst other things.
It was a blast!
I'd be lying to you if I told you that I wasn't scared when I was walking up the staircase to The Armory. There we were - some of us dressed all in white, with white veils over our faces and carrying placards with names and information about women who'd been killed by guns, most of them in domestic violence incidents. Some of us proudly wearing our GAYS against GUNS t-shirts and some, like myself, dressed in street clothes. All of us easy targets for abuse and/or violence.
We were on "their" turf and, as such, we'd decided not to engage in any arguments or conflict : we were only there to pass out information and potentially start a conversation.The organizer of the show came out and told us not to photograph anything in The Armory. We complied. Later, he came out again to tell us that he'd called the police because he wasn't sure whether we needed a permit or not. I didn't say what I was thinking, which was that I'm not sure there's a standardized form for gun violence prevention organizations asking to stage demonstrations at gun shows, but I was thinking it so loudly that I'm fairly certain he heard it right through my skull.
In any case, we stayed for around an hour and a half, and then decided we'd had enough, at which point we climbed back into the van and took off, literally passing the police cars on our way out of the parking lot. A little detective work would have revealed to them that we could be found 2 blocks away at Andy's Diner where $10.99 buys you a plate at the all-you-can-eat salad and omelette station, unlimited drinks included. Mozzarella sticks are an additional $5.99, if you must know. Everything was delicious, probably more so because I was ever-so-slightly astonished that we were all still alive.
While we were at the show we had a conversation with a former cop / Marine who had passionate ideas and almost no intersection with our point of view. We spoke to him with respect and he did the same. I'd proffer that nether side changed the minds of the other. But while that was happening, the real work of quietly passing out informational fliers (which contained statistics regarding domestic violence) to the women who attended took place at a slow but steady pace.
More than 1 in 3 women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime and, each year, more than a million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner.The presence of guns in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide by 500%. A woman is shot by a current or former partner every 16 hours, and 53% of women murdered with guns are shot and killed by a current or former partner.
To my knowledge, no other GVP group has even visited a gun show. Just think about that for a minute. Why not? There are anti-abortion activists out there in front of abortion clinics every day, torturing women about a decision that they've no doubt already agonized over enough for a lifetime. Yet here's the source of the problem - gun shows - and no one has ever challenged them there.
Perhaps the intimidation factor, coupled with the inconvenience, has worked to their favor in the past. But not anymore.We hope that we were able to educate some folks about this issue. We hope that we were able to bring more general awareness to the issue. And we hope that we were able to let everyone know that GAYS against GUNS is committed to fighting the public health crisis that gun violence is creating in this country.
I've quite literally never been more proud of GaG. We took the fight to the street, and I have so much love for everyone who made that, and this group in general, happen. XOXO"