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After-Action Debrief: Rod of Iron Freedom Festival



In a world where carrying a gun at a festival is frowned upon, it’s nice to see an event where you are not only allowed to have one, but it’s encouraged. Yes, I’m talking about the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival located in Greeley, Pennsylvania, where I had the opportunity to attend the 4th annual event. Located at The Kahr Firearms Group‘s Tommy Gun Warehouse, the festival contains three days of amazing speakers, seminars, food, and fun, all without having to leave your gun at home.

We rolled into town early Saturday morning and made our way into the event via the vendors’ area. Aside from a bevy of local 2A-friendly businesses, we were pleased to see major Gun Rights groups working side by side, including both the NRA and GOA. While the stagehands were finalizing their setup and performing a soundcheck, I opted to grab a bowl of clam chowder provided by the local Boy Scouts. Is 9 am a little early for that? Not when you’re freezing your ass off. I don’t know if it’s the windchill talking, but it was the best bowl of soup I can remember in a coon’s age.

As we made our way front and center, we had a perfect view of MC Frank Scavo (President, Coalition for Election Integrity) as he kicked off the event by introducing the day’s speakers. Calling it “The CPAC of the North” wasn’t too far of a stretch, as folks like Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Alan Keyes, and Alan Gottlieb were in the lineup. Each delivered an impressive speech urging us to get involved in the election process by aiding our local candidates in their campaigns. During his speech, Mr. Keyes said it best: “We don’t have a government; we ARE the government.” With just 30 days out from the midterms, I thought it was the perfect time to remind everybody that we only get the government that we work to elect.

The secondary message that all speakers carried is that evil and oppression have many forms and, left unchecked, will continue to grow to reach an appalling power.

This was illustrated by Dr. Gorka’s emotional conclusion that recounted the tale of his father’s abduction and torture by the Hungarian government. This theme was later echoed by Pastor Sean Moon when he recalled his father’s 5-year imprisonment in a Korean work camp. Both men were sent away on questionable charges from a government that was allowed to become monumentally corrupt.

Above all, a message of hope permeated the entire event, particularly through speakers like Diana Muller and Alan Gottlieb, as they reminded us that it only takes one person to get enough of us moving toward a common goal. Furthermore, most of these goals are far more obtainable than initially envisioned. After all, the Heller decision and the DC project began with just one idea, brought forth by one person.

This brings me to an excellent point made by Mark Walters of Armed American Radio: We must never censor ourselves over the fear of persecution. If we lie down worried about “how we’ll be perceived,” we are merely rolling over and letting the opposition walk in.

This barrage of American spirit only marked the opening of the day’s events. Upon the last speaker’s closing, we were guided outside for an arial show by a team of Navy SEALS parachuting in and flying the flag as Dave Bray sang “God Bless America.” From here, we spent the rest of the day visiting vendors and local political candidates before test-firing special-edition firearms from Auto-Ordnance, Magnum Research, and of course, Kahr.

We wrapped the day up by supporting cash-only businesses and eating some of the best Taiwanese food I can say I’ve ever had before waddling back up the hill where we parked. The event represented everything I love about this country and hopefully conveyed a message to those who were solely there for the festivities. While the words of the speakers will likely saturate the interwebs, perhaps there is an even greater message here. Thousands of loaded firearms, openly displayed, and not a single incident to report…

Maybe it’s not the guns but the people who hold them.




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