Thousands rally for Second Amendment rights
AUSTIN — Thousands of gun advocates gathered peacefully on Saturday in state capitals across the United States 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 Obama presented 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 rifles or high-capacity magazines, though critics say such a measure would violate the 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 = More Crime. Its Facebook page has been “liked” by more than 17,000 people.
At the New York state Capitol in Albany, about 2,000 people turned out for a chilly rally, four days after New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the nation's toughest assault weapon and magazine restrictions.
Meanwhile, accidental shootings at gun shows in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio left five people injured Saturday.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Milwaukee officer won’t be charged in fatal shooting
- Judge says Ariz. sheriff’s challenge of immigration plan better left for Congress
- N.Y. GOP lawmaker to plead guilty to federal tax fraud
- Georgia prosecutor Yates tapped for No. 2 post in Justice Department
- Bush officials gave CIA wide latitude on interrogation tactics
- Ghostly snailfish found at record depth
- Coal mines near record low in worker deaths
- Senators vote to confirm Murthy as Obama’s choice for surgeon general
- Police: NYC cop killer invited people to watch shooting
- California downpours arrive with lightning
- Gray wolf decision reversed