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Pro-gun activists plan rallies to oppose Obama's proposals
January 19, 2013 at 8:22 AM



(Reuters) - Angered and afraid that President Barack Obama's proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are a ploy to strip them of their right to own weapons, pro-gun activists plan to rally across America on Saturday.

Using Facebook and other social media, a group called Guns Across America plans rallies in 49 states, mostly at state capitols and all at "high noon" local time.

"There is no question in my mind that if the federal government could get away with it they would keep passing gun laws until the Second Amendment has gone," said Eric Reed, an airline pilot in Texas who launched the group. "We as a people have to stand together on this."

The contentious debate over American gun rights was revived in December when a gunman used an assault weapon to kill 20 young school children in Newtown, Connecticut.

In the wake of the mass killing, Obama and gun control advocates have begun a push for an assault weapon ban. Gun control advocates say American civilians have no justifiable need for assault weapons or high-capacity magazines.

The reaction has been fierce from gun supporters such as the National Rifle Association, who have long argued that their right to bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Reed, 38, said he had an epiphany on December 14 after hearing President Obama talk about gun control on the day of the massacre at Sandy Hook.

"I thought if all American gun owners and freedom lovers could come out on the day, it would send a strong message to Washington," he said.

Reed will attend an event in Austin, Texas, whose speakers will include the head of the Waco Tea Party. He said the only state with no organizer for a rally is Alaska.

As of Friday afternoon, the national Facebook page for Guns Across America listed more than 18,000 people who have confirmed they would attend events.

Don Dobyns, 56, a former police office who is organizing an event outside Colorado's capitol building in Denver, said the last estimate he had was that 1,500 people would attend on Saturday.

"But now I don't have a clue because this has exploded," he said. "I can't even keep up with the emails and phone calls."

"A lot of people are afraid that this is nothing more than a power grab by the government."

In Idaho, Russell Thruston, 27, said that when he spotted the Guns Across America Facebook page two weeks ago, he "watched it for a few days."

"When no one volunteered to organize an event in Boise, I thought 'why not me?,'" said Thruston, an electrician, who added that 384 people so far had confirmed on the state event's Facebook page that they would attend. "Gun control is a very slippery slope that we need to avoid."

While Guns Across America has the hallmarks of a grassroots effort, Reed and other organizers say they are unpaid volunteers, a Washington-based Republican consulting firm called Political Media has launched Gun Appreciation Day.

The Washington-based group also uses social media, and its Facebook page includes a number of statewide events, plus rallies at smaller venues including the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

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Replies

  • rfurlongg
    January 19, 2013 at 8:32 AM
    They really should be called anti-gun control supporters rather than pro-gun. There are many people who are pro-guns AND pro-gun control. Dh and all his hunting buddies as well as the vast majority of our community support gun ownership WITH regulation.
  • IhartU
    by IhartU
    January 19, 2013 at 8:45 AM

     "A lot of people are afraid that this is nothing more than a power grab by the government."

    This says it all. Bunch of paranoid freaks is what they are. They are so wound up in conspiracy theories that they're incapable of thinking logically- or caring about how many lives they could save if regulations were put in place.

  • lizzielouaf
    January 19, 2013 at 9:10 AM
    I don't agree with them but they're just exercising their right to free speech. If you don't agree with the government you have a right and responsibility to say so. Questioning the government, no matter your stance, is not a bad thing.


    Quoting IhartU:

     "A lot of people are afraid that this is nothing more than a power grab by the government."


    This says it all. Bunch of paranoid freaks is what they are. They are so wound up in conspiracy theories that they're incapable of thinking logically- or caring about how many lives they could save if regulations were put in place.


  • krysstizzle
    January 19, 2013 at 9:19 AM
    This exactly.

    Quoting rfurlongg:

    They really should be called anti-gun control supporters rather than pro-gun. There are many people who are pro-guns AND pro-gun control. Dh and all his hunting buddies as well as the vast majority of our community support gun ownership WITH regulation.
  • IhartU
    by IhartU
    January 19, 2013 at 9:23 AM

     

    Quoting lizzielouaf:

    I don't agree with them but they're just exercising their right to free speech. If you don't agree with the government you have a right and responsibility to say so. Questioning the government, no matter your stance, is not a bad thing.


    Quoting IhartU:

     "A lot of people are afraid that this is nothing more than a power grab by the government."


    This says it all. Bunch of paranoid freaks is what they are. They are so wound up in conspiracy theories that they're incapable of thinking logically- or caring about how many lives they could save if regulations were put in place.


     

      I never said free speech or questioning the Government was a bad thing but there comes a time when paranoia becomes dangerous. Some people are so consumed with the idea that they need to protect themselves from their delusion of a tyrant King Obama  and a Government that will soon need to be overthrown that they are actually turning dangerously crazy.

  • TruthSeeker.
    January 19, 2013 at 9:28 AM

     Ditto

    Quoting krysstizzle:

    This exactly.

    Quoting rfurlongg:

    They really should be called anti-gun control supporters rather than pro-gun. There are many people who are pro-guns AND pro-gun control. Dh and all his hunting buddies as well as the vast majority of our community support gun ownership WITH regulation.

     

  • UpSheRises
    January 19, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Assholes like these people make all decent, normal gun owners look bad.

    It's terrible that over zealous freaks have been allowed to dominate this national conversation in a way that makes their fanaticism seem patriotic. It's sick.

  • Farmlady09
    January 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Sounds to me as though a lot of you (at least the first 7 replies) aren't at all happy with the possibility that those polls you keep citing showing that most people favor gun control will be proven wrong if the turn out is big enough ... or that those who have been elected into office to do the bidding of their constituents may very well get the message that if they vote wrong on this they are voting themselves right out of a job.

    I have no problem with making sure that people who purchase guns are mentally stable. I absolutely believe that people who own guns should know how to use them and practice frequently. The real control that I want to see is very severe punishment for everyone that uses a weapon to commit any crime, and with regards to mental health care (and not a tattle tale system that causes people to avoid care). Since O has seen fit to shove health care down our throats and dictate things that must be covered, then he should be dictating that insurance companies cover ALL mental health issues as well.

    And ~ for anyone interested ~ yes, I will be at my state's rally.

  • meriana
    by meriana
    January 19, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I keep wondering how long it's going to be before some of these people feel the desire and believe they have the right to own rockets and rocket launchers

  • lizzielouaf
    January 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    As the author of the third reply, I disagree. Try not to generalize.

    Quoting Farmlady09:

    Sounds to me as though a lot of you (at least the first 7 replies) aren't at all happy with the possibility that those polls you keep citing showing that most people favor gun control will be proven wrong if the turn out is big enough ... or that those who have been elected into office to do the bidding of their constituents may very well get the message that if they vote wrong on this they are voting themselves right out of a job.

    I have no problem with making sure that people who purchase guns are mentally stable. I absolutely believe that people who own guns should know how to use them and practice frequently. The real control that I want to see is very severe punishment for everyone that uses a weapon to commit any crime, and with regards to mental health care (and not a tattle tale system that causes people to avoid care). Since O has seen fit to shove health care down our throats and dictate things that must be covered, then he should be dictating that insurance companies cover ALL mental health issues as well.

    And ~ for anyone interested ~ yes, I will be at my state's rally.



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