Libertarians lead rally in Cedar City in support of Second Amendment gun rights

Attendees discuss a vintage rifle during a Second Amendment rally sponsored by Libertarian Party officials, Cedar City, Utah, April 14, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, Cedar City News/St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Approximately 50 people attended a rally in support of the Second Amendment Saturday morning at Cedar City’s Main Street Park.

Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee and a candidate for mayor of Phoenix, speaks at a Second Amendment rally, Cedar City, Utah, April 14, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, Cedar City News/St. George News

The event was organized by Libertarian Party representatives who were in town for the party’s statewide convention to nominate candidates for Utah’s 2018 general election ballot.

“I’m here today because I love guns,” said Cedar City firearms instructor and military veteran Kent Mitchell.

“As a civilian, I like to teach safety,” he said. “I like to teach how to use your gun for self-protection and things of that nature. But the Second Amendment is very important to me for one very simple reason. Nobody today is taught what it actually means.”

After explaining some of the language and history of the amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Mitchell said it was designed to protect people from the government itself.

Speaking of the early founders, he asked, “Was it first and foremost on their mind that 200 years later, I’d have the right to carry a firearm that I can protect myself, my friends and my family with? Or was it first and foremost on their mind that I’m able to have a firearm that I can protect myself from my government with? That’s what they were thinking about, because that’s what they had just had to go through.”

Attendees at a Second Amendment rally sponsored by Libertarian Party officials, Cedar City, Utah, April 14, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, Cedar City News/St. George News

“We can’t allow the Second Amendment to be watered down, because the minute it does, our rights to protect ourselves become useless,” Mitchell said.

Also addressing the crowd was Nicholas Sarwark of Arizona, who is chairman of the Libertarian National Committee and is currently running for mayor of Phoenix.

“The Libertarian Party stands for all your freedoms, all the time,” Sarwark said. “One of those is the freedom to defend yourself and open carry.”

Sarwark said the personal decision to carry a gun should not be based on violence.

“We are the party of peace. We are nonviolent,” he said. “We believe fundamentally that you don’t initiate force or fraud against other people, and that as long as you don’t hurt other people and you don’t take their stuff, I don’t care how you live your life, and you kind of stay out of mine. And that’s a good way to be. One of the things that keeps that for us as Americans is the Second Amendment.”

“It’s not a threat,” Sarwark added. “It’s not people going out and trying to brandish firearms or intimidate people. It’s the idea that being a free people means being free to defend yourself. It means that if the state isn’t there, if the police aren’t there, if there is a problem, you take that personal responsibility for yourself and your family, and it’s something I take seriously.”

Barry Short, Libertarian candidate for Utah House District 72, speaks at a Second Amendment rally, Cedar City, Utah, April 14, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, Cedar City News/St. George News

Jeffrey Whipple, who later on Saturday won the Utah Libertarian Party’s nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart in his bid for re-election for Utah’s second congressional House district, also addressed the crowd.

“We need to support and defend our freedom to carry,” Whipple said. “We need to advocate for policies that work.”

Barry Short, the Libertarian party nominee for State House District 72, spoke of the “shot heard round the world” during the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, saying the event was “the day that completely changed the world”

“There has to be the right to keep and bear arms,” Short said.

Following the handful of short speeches, members of the crowd lingered for another half hour or so, visiting with each other and showing off their firearms to one another. Some carried pistols in their belts, while others showed off vintage rifles.

A few hours after the morning rally, Libertarian Party members met at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Cedar City, nominating several candidates for local, statewide and federal races. Utah State Libertarian Party secretary Justin Bake, who is running for Tooele County Commissioner, said it was the first time in many years the party has chosen to hold its statewide convention in a place other than Salt Lake City.


Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • Mike April 15, 2018 at 12:58 am

    I don’t understand the use of the word “civilian” in this article.

    Unless we are talking about “military police,” the police we pay salaries and deal with in our communities are also “civilians.”

    Learn more at And carry on!

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic April 15, 2018 at 7:54 am

      Kent Mitchell is a military veteran and perhaps is using the term to distinguish the role from which he teaches gun safety – in his capacity as a civilian not as a military veteran. Notice the term is used in his direct quote.

      I hope that helps and appreciate your attentive eye as terms do matter.

      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • Wolverine April 16, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Can 50 people really be called a “rally”? No matter the group or the cause…a gathering maybe, but a rally?

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