Downtown rally supports gun rights
The signs on the trees in front of the old Mesa County Courthouse Saturday said: “Open carry welcome! No chambered rifle rounds. Please exercise safe handling and proper etiquette.”
So, there were rifles slung over shoulders or across backs and handguns holstered at belt-level, and there was a sense of taking a stand.
“This is a watershed moment in the history of our republic,” Jeff McCloskey, president of Mesa County Patriots, told the assembled audience. “The right to defend ourselves is under attack.”
A group of more than 300 gathered at noon outside the old courthouse for a rally to commemorate the first National Gun Appreciation Day and to send the message that they do not want the Second Amendment right to bear arms altered or eroded.
The rally came days after President Barack Obama proposed a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
“Basically, they’re trying to take everything away from us,” said Shane Fuchs, a U.S. Army veteran and member of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. “These firearms are the only thing in the way of these socialist utopiaists. I refuse to register or turn in my weapons.”
Kevin McCarney, chair of the Colorado Freedom Alliance, cited the Second Amendment as something envisioned by constitution framers who’d “just lived through decades of too-controlling government.
“Folks, we won that revolution because the citizens were armed with arms that British soldiers had.” He added that when the founding fathers wrote the Second Amendment, “yes, it did mean assault weapons and yes, it did mean large clips, even though they didn’t exist back then.”
Colorado House Dist. 54 Rep. Jared Wright told the assembled audience that “we have today a president who is a tyrant and a government who is close following behind him,” then cited Martin Luther King Jr.
“On Monday we’ll celebrate the life of a godly and great man,” Wright said. “Martin Luther King Jr. himself kept guns for self-defense.”
Wright said that he will co-sponsor legislation this year to arm school teachers and legislation to “let business owners defend themselves and their businesses with lethal force, if necessary.”
Wright concluded by saying, “Let us not forget that our right to free speech and our right to be armed, to protect our right to free speech, go hand-in-hand.”