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candlegal
Thousands Join Pro-gun Rallies in State Capitals
January 20, 2013 at 7:47 AM


Thousands of gun advocates gathered peacefully Saturday at state capitals around the U.S. to rally against stricter limits on firearms, with demonstrators carrying rifles and pistols in some places while those elsewhere settled for waving hand-scrawled signs or screaming themselves hoarse.

The size of crowds at each location varied - from dozens of people in South Dakota to 2,000 in New York. Large crowds also turned out in Connecticut, Tennessee and Texas. Some demonstrators in Phoenix and Salem, Ore., came with holstered handguns or rifles on their backs. At the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort, attendees gave a special round of applause for "the ladies that are packin'."

Activists promoted the "Guns Across America" rallies primarily through social media. They were being held just after President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping package of federal gun-control proposals.

The crowd swelled to more than 800 amid balmy temperatures on the steps of the pink-hued Capitol in Austin, where speakers took the microphone under a giant Texas flag with "Independent" stamped across it. Homemade placards read "An Armed Society is a Polite Society," "The Second Amendment Comes from God" and "Hey King O., I'm keeping my guns and my religion."

"The thing that so angers me, and I think so angers you, is that this president is using children as a human shield to advance a very liberal agenda that will do nothing to protect them," said state Rep. Steve Toth, referencing last month's elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Toth, a first-term Republican lawmaker from The Woodlands outside Houston, has introduced legislation banning within Texas any future federal limits on assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, though such a measure would violate the U.S. Constitution.

Rallies at statehouses nationwide were organized by Eric Reed, an airline captain from the Houston area who in November started a group called "More Gun Control (equals) More Crime." Its Facebook page has been "liked" by more than 17,000 people.

Texas law allows concealed handgun license-holders to carry firearms anywhere, but Reed said rally-goers shouldn't expose their weapons: "I don't want anyone to get arrested."

A man who identified himself only as "Texas Mob Father" carried a camouflaged assault rifle strapped to his back during the Austin rally, but he was believed to be the only one to display a gun. Radio personality Alan LaFrance told the crowd he brought a Glock 19, but he kept it out of sight.

At the New York state Capitol in Albany, about 2,000 people turned out for a chilly rally, where they chanted "We the People," "USA," and "Freedom." Many carried American flags and "Don't Tread On Me" banners. The event took place four days after Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the nation's toughest assault weapon and magazine restrictions.

Republican Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin said the new law was "abuse of power" by the governor. Some in the crowd carried "Impeach Cuomo" signs. Protester Robert Candea called the restrictions "an outrage against humanity."

In Connecticut, where task forces created by the Legislature and Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy are considering changes to gun laws, police said about 1,000 people showed up on the Capitol grounds. One demonstrator at the rally in Maine, Joe Getchell of Pittsfield, said every law-abiding citizen has a right to bear arms.

Capitol rallies also took place in Michigan, Montana, Wisconsin, Missouri and North Carolina, among other states.

Back in Texas, Houston resident Robert Thompson attended the rally with his wife and children, ages 12, 5 and 4. Many in the family wore T-shirts reading: "The Second Amendment Protects the First."

"What we are facing now is an assault weapons ban, but if they do this, what will do they do next?" Thompson asked.

William Lawson drove more than four hours from Wichita Falls and held up a sign reading "Modern Musket" over the image of an assault rifle and the words, "An American Tradition since 1776."

"I'm not some wild-eyed person who wants to fight in the streets," Lawson said. "This is a country of laws. But I want to protect our Constitution."

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson conceded that the Second Amendment sometimes leads to killings, but he told the crowd that the First Amendment can be just as dangerous. Patterson said news coverage of those responsible for mass shootings can spark copy-cat shootings.

"All of us here, together, are right about our liberty," Patterson said. "And we will not back down."

Replies

  • turtle68
    January 20, 2013 at 8:37 AM

     350 million and that was it....I mean how much is the population of NY?

     

  • candlegal
    January 20, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Ha, considering this was put together at the last minute and only through social networking, the showing wasn't too bad.

    Quoting turtle68:

     350 million and that was it....I mean how much is the population of NY?

     


  • turtle68
    January 20, 2013 at 8:51 AM

     If you think so....IMO it gives me hope for the majority of Americans

    Quoting candlegal:

    Ha, considering this was put together at the last minute and only through social networking, the showing wasn't too bad.

    Quoting turtle68:

     350 million and that was it....I mean how much is the population of NY?

     


     

  • Farmlady09
    January 20, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    They have a second rally scheduled for February 8th. I think a lot more people will be showing up since it's getting national attention and far more people will know about it. This one, given only social networking notice was bigger than I thought it would be.

  • candlegal
    January 20, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    I agree, I thought they did pretty good considering the small amount of notice.   How was the one you went to?

    Quoting Farmlady09:

    They have a second rally scheduled for February 8th. I think a lot more people will be showing up since it's getting national attention and far more people will know about it. This one, given only social networking notice was bigger than I thought it would be.


  • Farmlady09
    January 20, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    We had about 300 or so people there ~ I've talked to a lot who were either bringing friends along to the next one, as well as many who knew nothing about this before the articles about it showed up on the local news. Not everyone is on the internet or FB. I think the next one might make a lot of anti-gun people sit up and pay attention (especially the elected ones).

    I am glad to see more and more sheriff's, and entire states outright stating they will not comply with this. There are only 27 words in the second amendment, but thanks to the dumb down teaching for the past several generations there are a lot of people too stupid to understand those little words (or who think they can erase them and no one will pay attention or stop them).

  • candlegal
    January 20, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    That isn't too bad for such short notice and I agree the next one will be much larger.

    Quoting Farmlady09:

    We had about 300 or so people there ~ I've talked to a lot who were either bringing friends along to the next one, as well as many who knew nothing about this before the articles about it showed up on the local news. Not everyone is on the internet or FB. I think the next one might make a lot of anti-gun people sit up and pay attention (especially the elected ones).

    I am glad to see more and more sheriff's, and entire states outright stating they will not comply with this. There are only 27 words in the second amendment, but thanks to the dumb down teaching for the past several generations there are a lot of people too stupid to understand those little words (or who think they can erase them and no one will pay attention or stop them).


  • LoganTroyMom
    January 20, 2013 at 10:59 AM
    i hope they do one closer to me.
  • sweet-a-kins
    January 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM
    You know how many were shot at these rallies?

    Last I heard- 8
  • sweet-a-kins
    January 20, 2013 at 11:05 AM
    Yes, regulated militias ....

    No statement prohibiting restriction which Scalia upheld as Constitutional


    Quoting Farmlady09:

    We had about 300 or so people there ~ I've talked to a lot who were either bringing friends along to the next one, as well as many who knew nothing about this before the articles about it showed up on the local news. Not everyone is on the internet or FB. I think the next one might make a lot of anti-gun people sit up and pay attention (especially the elected ones).


    I am glad to see more and more sheriff's, and entire states outright stating they will not comply with this. There are only 27 words in the second amendment, but thanks to the dumb down teaching for the past several generations there are a lot of people too stupid to understand those little words (or who think they can erase them and no one will pay attention or stop them).

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