Hundreds to attend National 2nd Amendment Rally in Raleigh on Saturday

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Saturday, April 14, hundreds of North Carolinians plan to attend the National 2nd Amendment Rally at the Halifax Mall in Raleigh. The rally comes just weeks after the nationwide March for Our Lives protest in which students from across the country hit the streets to demand legislative action to curb gun violence.

David Blackwelder is one of the many who plans to attend the National 2nd Amendment Rally.

"This isn't a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. This is an American issue," says Blackwelder. He served four years as a school resource officer and is currently a crisis intervention officer.

"I feel like you have so many people that are so polarized on ban guns or no ban at all or anything it's getting lost in the middle that we need mental health resources for our children and we need to secure our schools."

Blackwelder says that he wanted to take part in March for Our Lives, but was denied having a table at the event by organizers.

"I wasn't going to talk about guns. I wanted to reach out to them and talk about mental health and try to find common ground on how to secure our schools." It was that denial that led to an idea already in motion, David would soon discover, by Michael Thompson.

Thompson is the official permit holder for Saturday's rally.

"I'm about Americans being allowed to have their rights as the Constitution allows. That goes for anyone that is an American citizen regardless of their race, religion, anything," said Thompson.

Hundreds have shown interest in Saturday's event, Thompson says that many others have reached out to him.

To be clear, David Blackwelder and Michael Thompson are not connected. The two only connected when Blackwelder searched for possible dates to hold a rally of his own. The two may not share the same ideas, beliefs, or solutions, but on Saturday, they will share a stage as speakers.

"We're all after the same thing, we all want it to stop, it's just how do we get there," Thompson said. "Ultimately, we all support the freedom of speech... the constitution especially as a whole, but also the second amendment to where we do not want to ban firearms," says Blackwelder.

Blackwelder says he's pro-state's rights in terms of weapons and restrictions. He believes it's a state's right to vote on restrictions on certain firearms or accessories (like bump stocks).

It's important to note that, per North Carolina law, it is illegal to carry at a permitted rally so attendees this weekend cannot be armed.
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