View Full Version : CNN: Gun rights advocates rally in Washington, Virginia

04-19-2010, 12:28 PM
Don't think this is a re-post..


Gun rights groups gather at Fort Hunt Park for an 'Open Carry Rally' April 19 in Alexandria, Virginia

Washington (CNN) -- They're angry at the government and are taking to the Washington area to protest what they see as the trampling of the U.S. Constitution. Their specific fear: Americans' right to bear arms under the Second Amendment will be taken away.

"We're in a war. The other side knows they are at war, because they started it," said Larry Pratt, president of the Gun Owners of America. "They are coming for our freedom, for our money, for our kids, for our property. They are coming for everything because they are a bunch of socialists."

Pratt was one of the speakers at the Second Amendment March in Washington on Monday. The crowd -- made up almost entirely of men -- used language about war and fighting. But when pressed, they are quick to point out they don't mean actual armed violence.

Pratt said they'll be able to get rid of their opponents and "get some fighters" -- election fighters.

"That's why we have some primaries this year, and we need to send them a message that we are coming for the Republican RINOS [Republicans In Name Only], not just the Democrats ... that's the second event in November," he said, referring to midterm elections.

Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia, said that "we must declare war against oppression and against socialism, and you are the people to do that."

Across the Potomac River, in Virginia, another group of protesters are defending the Second Amendment with a show of arms -- holding an "Open Carry Rally." Signs in the crowd pointed to the role of government, with one reading, "My rights come from God, not from the government." Protesters had large rifles and other weapons strapped to their bodies.

Restore the Constitution Rally event organizers said they chose certain areas in Virginia -- like Gravelly Point Park and Fort Hunt Park -- because they are "firearms carry-legal [locations] as close to D.C. as possible."

In Virginia, it is legal to openly carry certain weapons. But it is illegal to openly carry a weapon in the District of Columbia.

Opponents say that gun rights advocates' worries are unfounded; that there are no proposals coming from the White House or Democratic leaders in Congress for new major gun control laws.

Monday's events come on the anniversary of the battles at Lexington and Concord in the Revolutionary War, when the British moved to seize colonists' supplies. It's a point protesters say is the impetus for their call to action.

"This was one of the first displays of American spirit as the colonists united to defend their way of life," according to the Second Amendment March Web site.

But April 19 also has another significance: the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. It's a point one speaker was adamant to dispel.

"They want to make this about [convicted Oklahoma City bomber] Timothy McVeigh, which really pissed me off," radio personality Erich "Mancow" Muller said at the Washington rally. "How about mentioning that this is patriot's day?"

The anger at the government -- and specifically the Obama administration -- has been rising over the past year, seen with the rise of the Tea Party movement, at health care reform rallies and with other protesters.

One group, Oath Keepers, said its allegiance is to the Constitution and not the president.

The group's founder, Stewart Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper and staffer for GOP Rep. Ron Paul, told CNN that his members recite a revised version of the oath that's used for enlistment in the armed services. However, they exclude the phrase, "I will obey the orders of the president of the United States."

"Our role is not to be obedient to who happens to be the leader," he said. "Our role is to defend the Constitution and the republic."

The Oath Keepers call on members to disobey any orders, as they put it, "to disarm the American people" or "to force citizens into detention camps." It's a pledge Rhodes recites in an anti-Obama DVD called "Fall of the Republic."

Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, told CNN that the Oath Keepers are exploiting false rumors found on fringe Web sites.

"Many of the Oath Keepers are people who believe that martial law is about to be imposed at any moment. It is right around the corner," he said.

But Rhodes says that his group is not anti-government and not anti-Obama. So, who's talking about taking guns away?

"So, we have to wait until someone talks about it before we can say we won't do it?" he shot back.

04-19-2010, 2:20 PM
And Sacramento:


Related To Story

* Images: 2nd Amendment Advocates Rally In Sacramento

Calif. Gun Advocates Rally At Capitol
Group Opposes Bill To Ban Openly Carrying Unloaded Guns

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- With guns in holsters and rifles strapped to their chests, Second Amendment activists converged Monday outside California's Capitol to demonstrate their right to bear arms.

Most of the 50 protesters who gathered brought guns and rifles, although they said their weapons were not loaded to comply with the state's open-carry law.

"The Second Amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms," said rally organizer Kent Sandhagen, who wore a pistol in a leather holster on his hip.

Sandhagen, of Los Banos, said he and other gun owners organized the gathering to coincide with a similar rally in the nation's capital.

They also were protesting a bill pending in the California Legislature that would ban gun owners from openly carrying unloaded guns in public. One man carried a sign reading "Patriotic legislators do not permit infringement."

The bill by Democratic Assemblywoman Lori Saldana of San Diego is scheduled for a committee hearing Tuesday. She has described the proposed ban as a public safety issue.

"I have a Constitutional right I need to exercise."
- Sacramento resident Ryan Johnston

It would make California the fourth state to ban people from wearing guns openly, according to the Legal Community Against Violence, a public interest law center based in San Francisco.

Ryan Johnston, a 32-year-old mechanic from Sacramento, said he doesn't make a habitat of carrying his Smith & Wesson rifle in public but made an exception for Monday's rally.

"It's more important that other people don't tell me not to," Johnston said. "I have a Constitutional right I need to exercise."

Only gun owners with a concealed-weapons permit can carry a loaded weapon in California, a restriction protesters also argue violates the Second Amendment.

The Saldana bill would not impact concealed-weapons permits. The proposed open-carry ban is backed by the California Police Chiefs Association.

04-19-2010, 3:29 PM
Yes, it is Patriots' Day... gotcha.

But with the anniversary of OKC and statements like this:

They are coming for our freedom, for our money, for our kids, for our property. They are coming for everything because they are a bunch of socialists.

Could you make it any easier for yourself to be painted with the wrong brush?

I can honestly understand saying it loud & proud, but I'm not sure if I'm seeing the net benefit here.

04-19-2010, 4:01 PM
Love the last part of the article saying, "The Saldana bill would not impact concealed-weapons permits.", yet fails to mention that its almost next to impossible to get a CCW for even trained citizens that want one.

04-19-2010, 4:35 PM
I'm watching CNN right now and apparently the leader of the "Oath Keepers" agreed to go on CNN for a debate yet canceled at the last minute because he didn't like CNN's coverage. What does that say about them to the average viewer. That they are a bunch of whiny pansies? Cant back up their beliefs with an argument? Thats a sure way to get anyone on your side, stand them up at the last minute. :sarcasm: