Pro-gun activists are planning to march from Virginia into Washington, D.C., on July 4 as part of an open carry demonstration that could bring thousands of illegally displayed weapons into the nation's capital.
The event, coordinated by libertarian radio host Adam Kokesh and advertised as an "Open Carry March on Washington," is hoping to bring upward of 10,000 demonstrators ready to say "in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees."
The subtlety will apparently be exhibited by breaking Washington, D.C., law, which does not issue any permits to carry firearms openly or in any other manner.
"We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny," the event's description reads on Facebook. "This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free."
While an earlier version of the event's listing described it as an "act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event," according to an update on May 6, there will be "coordination with D.C. law enforcement prior to the event" now that the march has gained momentum.
"I will recommend that they do the best they can to honor their oaths and escort us on our route," Kokesh wrote on Facebook. "Failing to provide that commitment to safety, we will either be informed that we will only be allowed up to a certain point where we would be arrested."
Warning of a "remote chance" of violence, Kokesh said supporters must be prepared to "submit to arrest without resisting," if law enforcement attempts to shut down the event.
Over 1,000 people have so far RSVP'd to the event on Facebook. While Kokesh and supporters have been quick to defend the event as a completely peaceful demonstration, Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald reports that the former GOP congressional candidate "seems to have become increasingly radicalized" as he's taken his libertarian message to online radio. Seitz-Wald points to a recent tweet from Kokesh:
When the government comes to take your guns, you can shoot government agents, or submit to slavery.
— Adam Kokesh (@adamkokesh) May 3, 2013