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Guns Across America - A Pro-Second Amendment Rally - Liberty on Display at Texas Capitol
On the north steps of the Texas Capitol at high noon on a cool January afternoon, between 1,500 and 2,000 liberty loving Texans gathered to use their 1st Amendment Right to Free Speech to protect their 2nd Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Despite the presence of many law abiding citizens carrying concealed handguns, not one single person was shot or in any other way injured. People ranging in ages from small children to our most senior, people of many races and ethnicities, men and women gathered to show their support of our rights and liberties and sending a message to Washington D.C. and President Obama - "Don't Mess With Texas and Texan's Guns".
This rally was replicated in 49 states across our nation and in Washington according to event organizer, Eric Reed. If the other rallies were anything like this one, the message should be loud and clear. But, while the voices of protesters from countries like Egypt and Libya are often well received by our president, the voices of his own citizens often go unheard. Thus is the nature of our current government of Obama, for Obama and by Obama.
This report will be an initial summary of the event. More details, pictures and video will follow in future postings.
Texas Land Commissioner and author of the 1995 Texas Concealed Carry Law, Jerry Patterson, delivered a passionate speech about the obstacles he faced in passing legislation that returned Texans' ability to carry a firearm concealed to protect themselves. He told the audience that there were predictions of gunfights at every four-way stop and that violence would increase if we passed concealed carry laws. Patterson also explained that some legislators told him they would support his bill if he would exclude the citizen's right to carry inside the state capitol. Patterson stood fast and today CHL holders are still permitted access to the halls of the legislature proving, yet again, the government has nothing to fear from law abiding citizens with guns.
"All of us here, together, are right about our liberty," Patterson said. "And we will not back down." Patterson admitted that many would say we don't need a license to exercise a constitutional right, Patterson said, "We didn't lose our rights overnight and we won't get them back overnight, but we are making progress!"
He reported that exactly the opposite happened here as gun violence dropped from 1993 to 2010 by a very significant margin. Patterson repeated the historic words of Charlton Heston in reference to a threat of gun registration saying they could take his guns from "my cold dead hands".
While every speaker received messages of strong support from a very vocal audience, perhaps the loudest support came to State Representative Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands). Toth is the author of The Firearms Protection Act introduced last week in the Texas Legislature. The Act, if passed and signed into law, provides for fines and criminal penalties for any federal officials who would come into Texas to enforce any unconstitutional gun control laws or executive orders. Toth asked the crowd to take action by contacting their state legislators and senators to let them know their support of this legislation.
McLennon County GOP Chairman Ralph Patterson spoke to the crowd about the importance of a woman's right to choose - to defend herself from violence. He talked about the impact of the mere presence of a weapon in a woman's hand in greatly reducing the success rate of attempted rapes and sexual assaults. Many women in the crowd strongly agreed with Chairman Patterson. As the GOP Chairman from Waco, Patterson has seen what lengths Government can and will go to take guns away from American citizens. He said that as a political party chairman, he is the only elected official in McLennon County that does not have a responsibility to represent liberals and Democrats and encouraged any Democrats in the audience to talk to their party's chairman and request a "change of party" form.
Legendary Sheriff and defender of the Constitution Sheriff Richard Mack spoke about the rapidly growing number of what he calls "Constitutional Sheriffs" that are coming forward to defend the 2nd Amendment and tell the federal government to stay out of their counties. Mack said he even heard from a sheriff in the liberal land of California. More and more sheriffs are loudly stepping forward to defend their citizens.
He spoke about the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and the rate of growth and support in that group for defending the Constitution. Mack is the author of "County Sheriff - America's Last Hope" and several other books about the Constitution and gun control.
Alan LaFrance, owner of Texas Gun Talk, a firearms related discussion forum, addressed the large and excited crowd about the definition of assault rifles and how the media uses phrases to scare the public about guns. Others spoke of the state of mental health treatment in this country and its relation to gun violence. Earlier this week, Texas Governor Rick Perry said "It takes a finger to pull a trigger," referring to the need to look at the people behind these shootings and gun violence rather than the hardware used in the shootings.
Generations of Women Supporting the 2nd Amendment
This is a lot to say about this rally and this issue and I will be providing much more extensive coverage of it through this next week. Videos and transcripts of the speeches will be available on this site in the near future so please come back and stay involved in this important issue. More photos from the rally will be available on the TexasGOPVote Facebook Page later this week. Be sure and click the "Like" button when you stop by.
The First and Second Amendments are uniquely intertwined as tools to protect the liberty and rights of American citizens. Throughout our nation's history, the Second Amendment has been the guardian of our rights and provided a limit on an over-reaching federal government. Now it is equally important that all liberty-loving Americans use their First Amendment rights to express to our Legislative and Executive branches of government that we expect, no, we demand they keep their hands off of the rights that were given to all Americans by God and protected through enumeration in our founding documents.
Stay vigilant and stay involved. We can and will prevail.
Come and Take It!