The nation’s first ever “Run 4 Guns” event might be more aptly called “Run With Guns.” A gun-rights group in Utah is organizing a 5K as well as an “0.5 Mile Armed Dash” in Spanish Fork and asked runners to bring their holsters.
Run organizer Macgregor Whiting, 26, told the Associated Press the September race is to celebrate Second Amendment rights.
“Our purpose is to create more awareness and to make a difference,” Whiting said Friday. “We want gun owners and the right to bear arms to be seen in a true light and to be respected. And we also want to show our concern, and show that we, as citizens, we value giving back and making a difference in our community.”
Proceeds from the event are to go to victims of gun violence, Whiting said. According to the event website, run4guns.com, they are still seeking a charity to donate to.
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Gary Sackett with Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah said the event sends the wrong message and could lead to tragedy.
“Raising money for victims of violence of any kind is a worthy cause and should be supported,” Sackett said. “As to the necessity or even the symbolism of strapping on your guns to do so, seems to us to be at best, sophomoric and juvenile.”
Sackett said running with loaded weapons is “just asking for trouble. And there’s no particular point to it.”
Runners will have to secure their firearm in a holster or zip tie so it is disabled and the trigger cannot be pulled.
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Whiting said anyone who thinks there could be an accident does not have enough experience with firearms. He said the run is meant to dispense with the stereotype that gun-rights activists are “extreme and insensitive.”