This Michigan baseball team had a night celebrating the second amendment.
As the gun control debate rages across the U.S., one baseball team in Michigan decided to hold an open-carry night where gun owners could celebrate the second amendment at an evening ball game.
A collegiate summer baseball team called the Battle Creek Bombers held their open carry handgun night last Friday. It was a game where the Northwoods League team invited CPL owners to bring their handguns to the ballpark. Needless to say, the planned mixing of America's pastime with such a hot-button topic had its critics.
A petition was started by a local minister who criticized the decision to have the event a little over three months since the Kalamazoo mass shootings that made headlines. "Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, Mich., are still reeling from a recent mass shooting," Rev. Nathan Dannison said in an online petition.
In spite of the petition, the event went forward anyway and actually also coincided with Boy Scout night. Eagle Scout and Michigan Open Carry president Tom Lambert was on hand to throw out the game's first pitch. Owners of gun shops were also present and argued the night was about educating people.
"Tonight's all about education and safety," Freedom Firearms owner Joel Fulton told Mlive.com. "We've got a lot of conservation clubs, we've got educational stuff for the kids, we're passing out free trigger locks."
Controversy aside, the night appears to have been a success. Mlive.com reports the stadium was nearly full and between scouts and gun owners, more people appeared to show up wanting to celebrate their second amendment rights. Extra security was also on hand as the Bombers faced off against the Rochester Honkers.
Fulton noted the gun owners in attendance were only so obvious because everyone was open carrying at the game.
"Most of the time, because they have concealed pistol licenses, they cover it up so you don't ever see it," he told Mlive. "But tonight the only way we can legally carry is open carry, so you see it out in the open. Sure, today you get to see it out in the open, but it's around you all the time."
Other notable groups who made an appearance at the game included groups like Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey federation and Well Armed Women. Mlive.com also reports some other firearms vendors made an appearance at the game. No actual sales of firearms were allowed. Gun owners did get discounted tickets however.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, the home team won the game 3-2.