This past Sunday, at an anti-gun forum in the Chicago suburbs, veteran Kevin Tully stood up and delivered a defense of the Second amendments, and why men like him choose to go to war to defend those and other inalienable rights protected by our Bill of Rights.

The video has gone viral, as people have rallied around the impassioned defense offered by Tully:

Now, the thing I would like you to answer, sir. And I did go to war for this country….

And I went to war for your ability to have the First Amendment, to say what you stood up there and said today, to write what you want to write in your newspaper, and have whatever opinion you want to have. You can practice whatever religious freedoms you want. I would like you to answer the question, since you just said that one of the rights that I went to war over to defend, that is inalienable, to every American citizen. If this discussion was going on, about your First Amendment rights, would you still have the same opinion that we don’t need that any more either….

The threat of tyranny, today, is no less than at the turn of the century in 1900, in 1800, or in 1700!

Veteran New Trier Dem Gun Forum

I spoke with Tully Wednesday evening, after having spent the past days trying to identify him.

He told me he was surprised at all the attention the video of him has gotten, that he had expected maybe it would make its way to YouTube:

“This is what I’m most amazed about. It’s not that people are commenting and saying, ‘this guy is a Second Amendment supporter,’ or ‘this guy is a patriot.’ It’s how many people said, ‘finally, someone is standing up and saying something.’ I’m just doing what I was raised to do. At some point in time, someone made it a crime to be opinionated. To be a patriot. To tell right from wrong. When in our nation did the word ‘patriot’ become a foul world?”

Tully, an Air Force veteran who comes from a military family, said he grew up knowing he wanted to join the service. His father served in World War II, and three brothers all served in the military.

“My mother instilled in us morals, and at a certain time in our adolescence she started letting us make our own decisions. By 18, I wanted to see the world, and serve my country.”

So he joined up, first as an infantryman, and then crossed over to the Air Force, where he was with the Security Force. He was deployed in Operation Desert Shield and attended Raven combat school. That background stays with him to this day:

“I serve the people of this country, the people who want to burn American flags and the people who want to beat up the people who burn flags. Being a military person, I took an oath to this country and I don’t think my oath expired when I mustered out of the service.”

He doesn’t consider himself political, and won’t affiliate as a Republican or a Democrat. “I don’t like labels to begin with. I’m an American,” he said. “I think our Democrats and Republicans have both forgotten they are representatives to the American people.”

After moving from his home town of Dalton, New York, to the Midwest, Tully joined a National Guard unit in Wisconsin before having to devote himself full-time to running his business, Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle, where he and his business partner currently employ eight people. He now lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

As for why he said what he did, he says part of the reason he stood up was to defend the man who was being booed by the crowd, Lee Goodman, and his right to be heard:

“I seem to be getting more vocal and standing my ground, but I don’t want to be thought of as a bully. I genuinely like listening to other people…I listened to what they had to say. Some of it was uninformed, some of it was factual, some of it was factually incorrect. I listened as long as I could. Mr. Goodman was booed off the floor, but he has the right to say what he wants to say. I stood up first and I said no, I want to hear what he has to say. I had just been told the relevance of the Second Amendment was gone. I wanted to hear what he [Goodman] would say if this was happening to the First Amendment….No one seems to realize that the Bill of Rights is not on the table. They are eternal premises that would keep our nation free.”

As far as the New Trier Democrats and the way they addressed the crowd, “my impression of them is that they were very arrogant. I think Mr. Goodman needs to reflect on how he addresses people. His demeanor was such that he was an educated person, and we were just this side of baboons.”

“I was taught in the military that you don’t bring up a problem without at least one solution…my mother taught me, never bring yourself down to someone else’s level. Be well spoken, dress well; the best way to fight back is to be educated on the facts…stand up and take your place. The Founding Fathers guaranteed you the right that you’d be heard.”

Kevin Tully

Update with new videoAn Army of Davy Crocketts and Annie Oakleys