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Gun owners push back against gun, ammo control

Rally in Montpelier, Jan. 19

Dick Phillips, owner of Vermont Field Sports in Middlebury, holds up large caliber bullets during an ammo shortage in early 2009. The shortage was triggered by the first election of President Obama. Vermont gun sellers are seeing a brisk trade in guns and ammo following threats by Obama, and others, for stricter gun controls that many say threaten the Second Amendment.

Dick Phillips, owner of Vermont Field Sports in Middlebury, holds up large caliber bullets during an ammo shortage in early 2009. The shortage was triggered by the first election of President Obama. Vermont gun sellers are seeing a brisk trade in guns and ammo following threats by Obama, and others, for stricter gun controls that many say threaten the Second Amendment. J. Kirk Edwards photo

— More than 300 pro-gun supporters, including hunters and other citizens, turned out for a vocal rally in support of the U.S. Second Amendment. The supporters in Vermont joined forces with others for the national Guns Across America rally held at the state capitol in Montpelier, Jan. 19.

Eric Reed, the national event coordinator, described the events, including Vermont’s, as “a peaceful demonstration against any, and all, future gun control legislation that would restrict gun rights.”

Rally attendee Tom Marcal, 53, of Williston said he was there because he is a responsible gun owner. He has three girls ranging in ages from 15 to eight.

“I am law abiding citizen like the others here today. We care about protecting our families from mentally ill people and criminals carrying illegal guns. We want to protect ourselves, our families, and our property. The police are not able to do it all.”

“Restricting the constitutional right to bear arms will not stop gun violence,” Reed said in a national address. “It will endanger their lives and property. We hope we inspired law-abiding gun owners to get more involved on a local, state, and national level in protecting their second amendment rights,” said Reed.

The Montpelier rally played out predicted; it was a peaceful event and displayed the faces of a cross section of law-abiding Vermonters—including Republicans, Democrats and Independents, who value the Constitution of the United States and the safeguards provided by the Second Amendment.

U.S. Patrick Leahy, a liberal Democrat on most issues, was quiet Jan. 19 about his party’s push for more gun control. Leahy is a gun owner and maintains a private shooting range on his Vermont property.

Petitions were available for attendees to sign, which were sent to both U.S. Senators Sanders' and Leahy's offices.

According to Vermont-based Second Amendment advocate Anthony Commo, “Stricter gun control will not solve the greater problems of violence, and mental illness in our society today.”

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