Gun rights supporters gathered in front of the Georgia Capitol this morning and early afternoon for the "Georgia Second Right Rally." This afternoon's planned speakers included the leaders of gun-rights organizations, military veterans, and state Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, and state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville. A Capitol Police officer estimated approximately 250 people listened to this morning's speeches. (An organizer put that figure closer to 100 people.)
This morning, a fired-up Ray McBerry of Georgia First stood under a red, white, and blue banner and denounced President Obama. "We don't intend to allow a foreign-born Marxist in the White House, or his Marxist attorney general, to destroy 200 years of American liberty," McBerry said. He added that "We don't plan on allowing them to use staged crisis events to have pretext for destroying American liberties." He was answered with applause and cheers.
When asked after his speech if he was referring to the recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., as "staged crisis events," McBerry said he would "let people take it how they want to." He urged us to watch a YouTube video in which he says current Attorney General Eric Holder said it was "necessary to create propaganda" to build support for limiting the Second Amendment.
Many people in the crowd came toting semi-automatic weapons, including Dwayne Locklear. The Rome, Ga., resident stood with his AR-15 across his chest and placed his hand over his heart during the morning's Pledge of Allegiance. "I am practicing my Second Amendment rights," he said. "You gotta keep the government in check and protect my home, family, and property."
Capitol Police Sgt. Jack West, who stood near an officer also carrying what looked like a semi-automatic weapon, told CL that no guns are allowed inside the Gold Dome but that people are allowed to have loaded handguns outside the Capitol. However, "long guns" must be unloaded with the muzzle pointed toward the ground.
Scott Evans of Marietta attended the event holding a poster with pictures of assault rifles and the words "OBAMA COME TAKE IT."
When asked what he would do if somebody came to take his guns, he said, "I think I would have to empty them first ... here they are using drones and they are trying to take away our guns." Evans added that he owns 30 guns, 25 of which are semi-automatic. He said he needed the guns because "there is always going to be guns and there is always gonna be crazy people."
John Monroe, vice president and board member of Georgia Carry, said there are no more mass shootings now then there were 50 years ago. He said there is just more reporting about it as part of an agenda to "take away our guns."
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