Appearing at a Colorado gun show and rally on Saturday supporting the recall election of gun control advocate and state Senate President John Morse (D), Republican blogger and Internet radio host Dana Loesch took the stage with a unique, weaponized cover of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
“On my way here this morning flying in from St. Louis, I thought of a civil rights leader,” Loesch said. “He made a very impassioned speech, a historic speech, in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. I too have a dream. I have a dream that one day we as law-abiding, God-fearing, America-loving, Second Amendment-exercising gun owners will be judged on the strength of our character and not the content of our magazines!”
Loesch was airlifted in to the “Farewell to Arms” rally by weapons-maker Magpul along with 20,000 extended magazines carrying 20-30 bullets each, which the company donated to benefit a group that claims to be running the recall effort. That effort recently turned in more than twice the number of signatures needed to land on the district’s ballot if they’re confirmed. Opponents say the group resorted to bringing in outside consultants and paying people to sign the petition.
Magazines that carry more than 15 bullets were outlawed by the state in a law that took effect Monday, but the magazines at Saturday’s gun show were sold just before the deadline and are therefore still legal.
“I too have a dream!” Loesch continued. “I dream that one day our lawmakers will leave us alone! Let us do what we want! Stay out of my gun case! Stay out of my bank account! Stay out of my bedroom! Stay out of my church! Stay out of my business! I’ll carry what I want to carry!”
Video of her speech was not published by Loesch’s website, which instead featured footage of her helicopter landing. In additional footage provided to Raw Story by a source who initially asked to remain anonymous but was later credited as a volunteer for with ProgressNow Colorado, Loesch announced that the proceeds from the event were going to a group called “Free Colorado,” which hopes to recall Sen. Morse. The organization’s website claims it is a “nonprofit” group registered in Colorado, but “Free Colorado” is not yet registered among the state’s charitable organizations.
For Loesch, who occasionally guest hosts on Glenn Beck’s Internet TV channel “The Blaze” — and claimed in May that gun control will put black people “back on the federal plantation” — her MLK cover sounded eerily similar to the former Fox News conspiracy theorist. Specifically, it sounded heavily inspired by Beck’s words at his infamous “Restoring Honor” rally, held in 2010 on the anniversary of King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
“This is going to be an iconic event,” Beck said, standing just two steps down from where King stood at the Lincoln Memorial. “This is going to be a moment that you’ll never be able to paint people as haters, racists, none of it. This is a moment, quite honestly, that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement. It has been so distorted and so turned upside down. It is an abomination.”
Beck later claimed on Fox News that he does not agree with the civil rights movement’s message of economic justice — yet to this day he calls his own audience “civil rights leaders” and says its up to them to “save the nation” from Democrats.
As it happens, the Colorado senator who Loesch wants recalled is elected by one of the most heavily Democratic constituencies in all of Colorado — which still holds true even after the district was redrawn to be more competitive in 2011. Senate District 11 in particular has a population that’s over 42 percent non-white, with a strong African American constituency [PDF] that Democrats count on, which played a key role in delivering the vote to Morse in 2010 by a narrow margin.
“Would King have been alive today had he been granted the right by the racist, Democrat south to own a gun? Who knows. But my point stands,” she wrote. “Gun rights are civil rights.”
This video is from Colorado’s “Farewell to Arms” rally, filmed Saturday, June 29, 2013.
David Edwards contributed to this report.
Correction: A prior version of this story mischaracterized the 2010 race for Senate District 11. The margin was much thinner than previously stated.