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Gun-dhigiri? US activist invokes Mahatma for gun rights

A US gun rights activist is invoking Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence, in asking 1,000 supporters to march into the American capital on its 4 July Independence Day carrying loaded rifles.

Activist Adam Kokesh, 31, who according to media reports, ‘has a history of rabble-rousing and self-promotion’, has vowed to respond ‘with satyagraha,’ if the capital police block the protesters against ‘tyranny’ from crossing into Washington.

‘Invoking Gandhi while advocating the carrying of loaded firearms is typical of Kokesh, who in his six years as a professional rabble-rouser has embraced positions on every side of the political spectrum,’ the Washington Post said.

Kokesh’s pro-gun protest ‘to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated,’ will, as laid out on a Facebook page, begin at Arlington Cemetery across the Potomac River in neighbouring Virginia.

Crossing over into the capital, his group, with loaded rifles slung on their backs, will march peacefully around the Capitol and the White House before returning to the starting point.

But the police in Washington, where carrying a loaded weapon, concealed or unconcealed, is forbidden, have said they won’t let it happen. ‘There’s a pretty good chance we’ll meet them on the DC side of the bridge,’ Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a TV interview this week as cited by the Post.

Asked by the Post if his response of ‘satyagraha’ meant violence is unacceptable, Kokesh responded with a text message: ‘Only if absolutely necessary in defence of life or limb.’ But earlier, Kokesh had used Facebook to take a more confrontational stance, the Post noted.

‘Break whatever unconstitutional law you choose,’ he wrote, saying July 4 should be a day of massive civil disobedience citywide. ‘Law Enforcement’ has made it clear they have no respect for the Constitution and so we will shut them down by overwhelming them.’
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