Seattle Photographer Daniel Berman | Bellingham, WA | (206) 387-3767 daniel@bermanphotos.com

Guns Across America Rally at Washington state Capitol in Olympia | Gun owner portraits | Seattle editorial photographer

I had no idea what to expect when I made the long, early morning drive to Olympia on Saturday for the Guns Across America rally. I knew this is would be an important event to document given current events and the incredible fervor surrounding gun rights in this country.

I decided to focus on making portraits in front of a portable studio setup of some of the 1,500 people to attend the event. About half of the people I asked to photograph were interested and allowed me to do so, the rest rebuffed me, mostly citing their privacy and concerns of how the images might be used. I understood. That is all part of the environment these gun owners live in, and I respected their wishes and moved on. Still, I enjoyed the opportunity to meet and chat with passionate people involved in something they care about and believe deeply in.

A gun supporter raises their gun through the passenger window while heading down Capitol Way as approximately 1,500 gun owners and enthusiasts attended the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

A gun supporter raises their gun through the passenger window while heading down Capitol Way as approximately 1,500 gun owners and enthusiasts attended the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Former NFL player Clint Didier addresses some of the 1,500 gun owners and enthusiasts attending the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Didier told the crowd they should bury food, resources, ham radios and everything you will need to survive independently in an uncertain future. "This president is not my president," he said. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Former NFL player Clint Didier addresses some of the 1,500 gun owners and enthusiasts attending the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Didier told the crowd they should bury food, resources, ham radios and everything you will need to survive independently in an uncertain future. “This president is not my president,” he said. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

About 1,500 gun owners and supporters attended the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

About 1,500 gun owners and supporters attended the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Joining a boisterous crowd, Jonathan Swezey, Angela Wilcox, Olivia Perry, 10, Sydney Perry, 13, Abigale Haynie, 13, and Ellie May Haynie, 10, cheer on honking cars driving on Capitol Way past the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. About 1,500 people attended the event, to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Joining a boisterous crowd, Jonathan Swezey, Angela Wilcox, Olivia Perry, 10, Sydney Perry, 13, Abigale Haynie, 13, and Ellie May Haynie, 10, cheer on honking cars driving on Capitol Way past the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. About 1,500 people attended the event, to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

About 1,500 gun owners and supporters attended the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

About 1,500 gun owners and supporters attended the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Kris Roadruck, of Olympia, sits with his AR-15 and stepbrother Kris Reeves, of Seattle, near the end of the  Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. "This is a bigger crowd than I expected, but I've spent time in the military so I'm used to being around this many guns," Roadruck said. "I think showing up says it all." Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Kris Roadruck, of Olympia, sits with his AR-15 and stepbrother Kris Reeves, of Seattle, near the end of the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. “This is a bigger crowd than I expected, but I’ve spent time in the military so I’m used to being around this many guns,” Roadruck said. “I think showing up says it all.” Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"I just think that the 1st and 2nd Amendments are equally important," said Matt Richardson, of Sumner. The Navy professor of philosophy and ethics was one of about 1,500 people to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. "I hope we change the laws as they affect mental illness," Richardson said. "But 99.9% of Americans who own guns do so legally and they should be left alone." Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“I just think that the 1st and 2nd Amendments are equally important,” said Matt Richardson, of Sumner. The Navy professor of philosophy and ethics was one of about 1,500 people to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. “I hope we change the laws as they affect mental illness,” Richardson said. “But 99.9% of Americans who own guns do so legally and they should be left alone.” Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"I'm here because this was a chance for the people, the law-abiding citizens who don't have much of a voice, to have their voice heard," said Seth Guyer, 23, one of about 1,500 people to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“I’m here because this was a chance for the people, the law-abiding citizens who don’t have much of a voice, to have their voice heard,” said Seth Guyer, 23, one of about 1,500 people to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Carrie Mann and her husband, Craig, of Belfair, were two of about 1,500 gun owners and supporters to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Carrie brought her 380 Millenium Taurus .380 ACP Pistol, and Craig brought his .357 S&W Magnum. "We just support open carry laws and want to support the rights of this state's constitution and our country's constitution," said Craig, a member of the Washington state Constitutional Party. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Carrie Mann and her husband, Craig, of Belfair, were two of about 1,500 gun owners and supporters to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Carrie brought her 380 Millenium Taurus .380 ACP Pistol, and Craig brought his .357 S&W Magnum. “We just support open carry laws and want to support the rights of this state’s constitution and our country’s constitution,” said Craig, a member of the Washington state Constitutional Party. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Craig Mann, of Belfair, was one of about 1,500 gun owners and supporters to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Craig brought his .357 S&W Magnum. "D.C. is handing down something that doesn't agree with Washington, and we want to apply pressure to the state of Washington to preserve state's rights," said Mann, a member of the Washington state Constitutional Party. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Craig Mann, of Belfair, was one of about 1,500 gun owners and supporters to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Craig brought his .357 S&W Magnum. “D.C. is handing down something that doesn’t agree with Washington, and we want to apply pressure to the state of Washington to preserve state’s rights,” said Mann, a member of the Washington state Constitutional Party. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"They say no one needs an AR-15, but I needed one to protect myself from overly aggressive poachers on a camping trip last year," said Darcy Rohde, of Federal Way, who holstered her boyfriend's handgun during the rally. "Our government is making hasty decisions and we should not be spending money we don't have." Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“They say no one needs an AR-15, but I needed one to protect myself from overly aggressive poachers on a camping trip last year,” said Darcy Rohde, of Federal Way, who holstered her boyfriend’s handgun during the rally. “Our government is making hasty decisions and we should not be spending money we don’t have.” Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"I just want people to know that our gun rights are important," said Kirk Parker, of Tacoma, during the Guns Across America rally that brought about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. "I liked what our state Constitution had to say on the matter," he said, of the sign he brought. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“I just want people to know that our gun rights are important,” said Kirk Parker, of Tacoma, during the Guns Across America rally that brought about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. “I liked what our state Constitution had to say on the matter,” he said, of the sign he brought. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"I was in Vietnam," said Rudy Pries, of Mossy Rock, "and I watched what happens when people lose their guns; whenever people lost what they had to fight with they lost their freedom." Pries brought along his 1100 12-guage shotgun to the Guns Across America rally, which drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. "Sometimes you feel like your alone in the world," Pries said. "Then you come to something like this and it does you right." Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“I was in Vietnam,” said Rudy Pries, of Mossy Rock, “and I watched what happens when people lose their guns; whenever people lost what they had to fight with they lost their freedom.” Pries brought along his 1100 12-guage shotgun to the Guns Across America rally, which drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. “Sometimes you feel like your alone in the world,” Pries said. “Then you come to something like this and it does you right.” Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"The 2nd Amendment is why I am here," said Marc Hokoana, 25, who brought his AR-15 to the Guns Across America rally that drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. "It's important to have this exposure and for the public to see people with guns that don't fit the stereotype of old white racists who own guns," he said. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“The 2nd Amendment is why I am here,” said Marc Hokoana, 25, who brought his AR-15 to the Guns Across America rally that drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. “It’s important to have this exposure and for the public to see people with guns that don’t fit the stereotype of old white racists who own guns,” he said. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"There are a lot of politicians who don't know handguns," said Lily Hokoana, 25, carrying a Glock 26 9mm pistol, as approximately 1,500 gun owners and supporters attended the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“There are a lot of politicians who don’t know handguns,” said Lily Hokoana, 25, carrying a Glock 26 9mm pistol, as approximately 1,500 gun owners and supporters attended the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The organization held events at capitol buildings in many states to show support for the 2nd Amendment and opposition to new gun control measures. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"We just wanted to stand in solidarity with people who share our same belief system regarding the 2nd Amendment," said Cathleen Lombard, of Puyallup, while holding the .357 S&W Magnum she received as a 50th birthday gift from her husband, David, three years ago. The Lombards were two of about 1,500 gun owners and supporters to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“We just wanted to stand in solidarity with people who share our same belief system regarding the 2nd Amendment,” said Cathleen Lombard, of Puyallup, while holding the .357 S&W Magnum she received as a 50th birthday gift from her husband, David, three years ago. The Lombards were two of about 1,500 gun owners and supporters to attend the Guns Across America rally at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"I own guns for my enjoyment, for my protection and for the protection of our liberty," said Gary Ehrheart, of Anacortes, wearing a constitution shirt he paid $2.99 for at a local Value Village thrift store recently. The Guns Across America rally drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“I own guns for my enjoyment, for my protection and for the protection of our liberty,” said Gary Ehrheart, of Anacortes, wearing a constitution shirt he paid $2.99 for at a local Value Village thrift store recently. The Guns Across America rally drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Gary Ehrheart, of Anacortes, speaks with his daughter Ellamina, 4, while attending the Guns Across America rally that drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.  "I own guns for my enjoyment, for my protection and for the protection of our liberty," Ehrheart said while wearing a constitution shirt he paid $2.99 for at a local Value Village thrift store recently. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Gary Ehrheart, of Anacortes, speaks with his daughter Ellamina, 4, while attending the Guns Across America rally that drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. “I own guns for my enjoyment, for my protection and for the protection of our liberty,” Ehrheart said while wearing a constitution shirt he paid $2.99 for at a local Value Village thrift store recently. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"They are going to try and take these things away, but they prevent evil on a scale that people cannot even comprehend," said Jesse Maxwell, of Yakima, who works for the gun supply store, Tactical Supply. In his backpack, Maxwell brought along a .416 Barrett, a 30-pound rifle that can propel bullets up to 3,050 feet per second, according to the manufacturer's website. The Guns Across America rally drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“They are going to try and take these things away, but they prevent evil on a scale that people cannot even comprehend,” said Jesse Maxwell, of Yakima, who works for the gun supply store, Tactical Supply. In his backpack, Maxwell brought along a .416 Barrett, a 30-pound rifle that can propel bullets up to 3,050 feet per second, according to the manufacturer’s website. The Guns Across America rally drew about 1,500 people to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

"My friends and I walked into the Capitol today with our signs and our AR-15s and someone told us we can't have protest signs inside," remarked Tim Carson, of Spokane. "I told her, 'Umm, we have semi-automatics on us.' That's liberalism for you." Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“My friends and I walked into the Capitol today with our signs and our AR-15s and someone told us we can’t have protest signs inside,” remarked Tim Carson, of Spokane. “I told her, ‘Umm, we have semi-automatics on us.’ That’s liberalism for you.” Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

The photos are available for license.

Thanks for looking,

Daniel

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5 Responses

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  1. Brian said, on January 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Thank you for your great photos and impartial attitude. We need more people like you in journalism. It was a great day. Did you ever feel afraid while you were there or did you feel as proud ad I did? Thanks again….keep up the good work.

  2. bermanphotos said, on January 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Hey Brian, thanks for taking a look. I think my only fear while I was there was that people would not give me the benefit of the doubt while photographing. Many people expressed concern that i might be with the liberal media, so just working past that was the biggest challenge i faced.

  3. Gary Ehrheart said, on January 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you for the artical. Well done.

  4. Tim Carson said, on January 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Nicely done.


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