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UPDATE: Wisconsin Gun Owners Rally in Madison for 'Gun Appreciation Day'

Hundreds of armed gun owners are expected to show up at the state Capitol as part of nationwide movement to support gun ownership.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. Saturday with crowd estimate

A conservative group is hoping that tens of thousands turn out nationwide to show their support for gun ownership with their pocketbooks and picket signs the day before President Barack Obama is sworn in for a second term.

The group, a coalition brought together for the event, declared Saturday as "Gun Appreciation Day." The hope is Americans nationwide will show their support for gun ownership by turning out en masse at gun stores, ranges and shows from coast to coast.

“The Obama administration has shown that it is more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people,” said Gun Appreciation Day Chairman Larry Ward in a press release. 

In Wisconsin, a rally that took place at noon Saturday outside the state Capitol in Madison drew more than 500 people, the Journal Sentinel reported.

The organizers of the Wisconsin rally encouraged gun owners to bring their guns to the rally, but are issued some warnings on the rally's Facebook page.

"Please keep weapons holstered at all times. Do not remove your weapon to show a new friend. Capitol police might mistake this for “brandishing” or another reason for alarm," the page says. Organizers also are reminding participants that guns are prohibited inside the Capitol building.

Capitol police said there were no problems on Saturday, the Journal Sentinel said.

The day comes as the gun control debate becomes more divisive.  On Wednesday, Obama signed 23 executive actions aimed at curtailing gun violence and called on Congress to make tougher punishments for gun trafficking and place limits on magazine sizes.

The issues is back on the front burner after several recent high-profile mass shootings, including ones at an , at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek and a spa in Brookfield.

"Gun Appreciation Day" is modeled after this past summer's " the answer to a boycott of the fast food chain after CEO Dan Cathy declared his support of what he termed "traditional marriage." According to ABC News, Chick-Fil-A posted record-setting sales during the "Appreciation Day."

A counter event has also been formed by a group called Parents Against Gun Violence (PAGV), which has declared January 19 as Child Appreciation Day.

"Organizing a 'gun appreciation day' so soon after the Newtown Massacre is in poor taste. In response we have decided to promote a 'Child Appreciation Day' to honor our children and the victims of Newtown," said Jennifer Caldera, a member of the PAGV Steering Committee, in a statement to the press. 

Gun Appreciation Day is scheduled the day before Obama's second inauguration, and two days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which honors the civil rights leader who was slain in 1968.

Were you at the Madison rally? Add your photos to this article. 

Captain Midnight January 19, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Perhaps the "gun appreciators" participated in a live demonstration of circular firing squad?
scot January 19, 2013 at 10:37 PM
I Applaud you!
scot January 19, 2013 at 10:40 PM
NUITJOB, BLOB & ARCTURUS DR - You are pomp ass Asses.
Matt January 19, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Sorry to disappoint those of you who imagine "Child Appreciation Day" as some sort of hippy drum circle, but that's not at all what is described on the Parents Against Gun Violence website. There's no march, no rally, no protest. Parents Against Gun Violence suggests that people take this national day of service to participate in a volunteer project with your children, or teach your children a new skill, or just spend time with your children. And if you own a gun, Parents Against Gun Violence suggests that today would be a good day to double check to make sure it is stored safely, where it can't accidentally be accessed by young children. That's all. Outrageous liberal insanity, right?
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) January 19, 2013 at 10:45 PM
I'm sorry Scott, didn't quite get that diarrhea coming from you.
scot January 19, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Hey Nuitjob, Heres your Super Heros. http://www2.fiskars.com/var/fiskars_amer/storage/images/frontpage2/crafting/projects/entertaining-parties/themes-party-ideas/little-girls-tea-party/542815-1-eng-US/Little-Girls-Tea-Party.jpg
Matt January 19, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Sorry to deflate your expectations, Bob, but if you visit the PAGV website it explains that "Child Appreciation Day" is intended as a time for people to participate in a volunteer project with their children, or teach their children a new skill, or just spend time with their children. PAGV further suggests that if you own a gun, this would be a good day to check to make sure it's stored safely. That's all. There's no "Child Appreciation Day" rally, nor march, nor protest.
Matt January 19, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Aaron, "Child Appreciation Day" is exactly that--an effort to promote good parenting. There's no rally, march or protest for Child Appreciation Day. If you visit the Parents Against Gun Violence website, it says that the point of Child Appreciation Day is to spend time with your children, either volunteering (since today is a national day of service), or teaching them a new skill, or just being together as a family. Parents Against Gun Violence also recommends that today would be a good day to make sure that any guns at home are stored safely, where they can't be accessed by young children. So... what was that you were saying?
Bob McBride January 20, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Thanks. I wasn't planning on going to their website. You're not deflating my expectations. They honestly weren't very high for either "Gun Appreciation Day" or "Child Appreciation Day". CAD (put me down as the first to use that acronym) get's extra no-great-expectation bonus points for not showing up at the Capitol.
Greg January 20, 2013 at 01:15 AM
Right!
SAVAIL January 20, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Mock if you must, but there was a good amount of people at the rally today. If the government is allowed to change the second amendment, a right given to each American citizen at birth, then what is stopping them from changing others?
michelle January 20, 2013 at 03:24 AM
I'm not happy about this whole gun issue. But it sounds to me like it's getting out of control.
Keith Schmitz January 20, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Right. And the first amendment is a right given to each American to produce snuff films.
Brian Dey January 20, 2013 at 04:13 AM
Mark Maley- There are many pictures on the web that prove it was far more than a couple of dozen. Pictures on facebook by the people that hosted the event looks to be more than 3,000 which is the estimate by the Capitol Police.
Brian Dey January 20, 2013 at 04:14 AM
Keith- Time to sleep off your stuper.
Edward Willing January 20, 2013 at 04:28 AM
The Journal Sentinel is full of crap. This event was at least double the number they reported. Unless, they showed up at 2:15pm as everyone was leaving....
Edward Willing January 20, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Michelle, what exactly is getting out of control? The "control," or the peaceful exercise of supporting rights?
Edward Willing January 20, 2013 at 05:21 AM
Mark, I was there at 11:45. That person was flat out LYING to you. I sent you a personal email, and gave you pictures taken at 12:15. Funny how a couple dozen grew to 700+ by then, and over 1,000 by 1pm. Your source is a liar. Sorry.
$$andSense January 20, 2013 at 09:27 AM
Brian Dey What exactly is the dirt you and others have on Keith Schmitz about his alcohol consumption? This comes up all the time from you and others. He comes across as a coherent individual with a lot of good points, though which some of us do not always agree with. Please, be the squad point man and tell all the rest of us what the issue is or is it just pure speculation? If speculation, then that is called slander or worse libel.
Lyle Ruble January 20, 2013 at 12:53 PM
@Edward Willing...Who cares and what difference does it make if it were 10 or 10,000; it's all theater anyway.
scot January 20, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Hey Neutered Boy, You getting close to the diarrhea now. Just a little lower and you`ll be at the Nutsack.
Aaron Perry January 20, 2013 at 02:28 PM
@Matt I understand that's what it is. What is disappointing is to see the passion and time taken away from things like that to either fight against or support the 2nd Amendment rights. Yes of course everyone has the right to attend a rally but shouldn't our kids be our priority every day? Or why is there not a rally for Child Appreciation Day as well? Just seems efforts to make change for good are displaced in fighting or promoting guns. What does that teach our children?
Bottom Line January 20, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Another peaceful rally by citizens showing support for government restraint regarding personal rights. The attendance issue is pertinent, it shows that many citizens are so interested that they forfeit their free time to attend the rally. The media has consistently under reported attendance for these peaceful demonstrations, attempting to diminish the issue. Conversely ... speaking of theater ... they over report attendance at the less than peaceful rallies by bully blue fist ranters. Why do you suspect they position articles this way?
YAMATO January 20, 2013 at 05:32 PM
But if demoncrats were protesting lets say UNION non constitutional rights, it would be a human and righteously legitmate protest, not theactrics
Keith Best January 20, 2013 at 07:23 PM
I considered attending this rally in Madison, but then an offer came along to go target shooting at an outdoor range for rifles that I had never been at before. I had a fun time as it was in a heated trailer with 50 yard and 100 yard targets. I confirmed that the iron sights on my semi-automatic rifle were sufficient instead of investing in optics. Oh yeah, I am a proud responsible member of the NRA. I do NOT support a ban on mis-named "assault weapons" as they are already illegal. I do NOT support a ban on 30- round magazines as I just don't like to reload that much. That's my choice and my FREEDOM.
Bucky January 21, 2013 at 03:04 AM
$$andSense ... Brian Dey is a very hatefull person just read all his spew.
Brian Dey January 21, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Not really Bucky. I just hate freeloaders, whiners and people messing wih my rights. Might I add, a right provided in the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions. I seem to remember you spewing some pretty hateful dialogue in these blogs about you wanting to protect a right that is in neither the U.S. or Wisconsin Constitution. Funny how its okay when you lefties try to stand what you believe in, but if you are to te right of the aisle, its a different story. Difference is, what I am fighting for is an actual right.
Steve ® January 21, 2013 at 03:47 AM
Why are these far left personal attacks allowed here on patch?
morninmist January 21, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Yes, we must act to cut down on gun violence. Obama Inauguration @obamainaugural 30s “We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.”
Greg January 21, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Action without thought is disaster.

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