April 17, 2013
A permit secured by the Massachusetts Chapter of Gun Rights Across America to hold a pro-Second Amendment rally at the Lexington Battle Green, the site of the opening shots of the American Revolution, was revoked Tuesday because of alleged “security risks” associated with the Boston Marathon bombings.“In an emergency meeting, Lexington’s Board of Selectmen [Tuesday] evening voted to issue a moratorium prohibiting the use of the Battle Green or Tower Park for events from April 17 to May 1,” wrote Patrick Ball of the Lexington Patch .
Arguing that the rally may provoke “security issues,” the Board of Selectmen and Lexington police department officials cited “public safety” as the main reason for curtailing the First Amendment.
“I think it’s certainly prudent for the town to take a look at that rally and discuss it further, and how it may impact out security issues,” Lexington Police Captain Manny Ferro told the Lexington Patch. “Public safety is at the forefront of anything that we do. There will be discussions, and there have been discussions about how we’re going to approach this.”
According to WickedLocal.com , federal authorities have also advised against allowing the rally to proceed: “Police Chief Mark Corr said he asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for counsel to see if Lexington should still allow the rally on the Battle Green. He said both state and federal authorities strongly recommended against it.”
“I am struggling because we don’t want the terrorists to prevail and not have them infringe on the freedoms we all cherish,” said Lexington Board Chairman Deb Mauger, adding, ”At the same time we expect a high degree of safety by elected officials and public safety officers.”
Steve Redfern, the Gun Rights Across America member who secured the permit, fears that the town of Lexington, once a prominent symbol of American freedom, has allowed fear and terror to override liberties enshrined by the Constitution. Redfern asked selectmen, “By canceling this event aren’t we showing we are afraid? That they’ve won? …I think it’s important for our country, especially Lexington to stand our ground …I want nothing but a safe rally.”
Affirming, “We will not sacrifice liberty for security,” Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers and an invited guest scheduled to speak at the event, says they and others still fully intend to assemble at the Lexington Battle Green with or without a permit as individuals.
“Our response is to do an oath ceremony anyway. We will still go, still gather… We will not let our free speech be killed in the name of security…”
The Boston bombings have seemingly provided the perfect excuse to keep liberty lovers and others wishing to protect the Second Amendment by exercising their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble from exercising that very right.