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Second Amendment supporters rally at Augusta Common

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 7:16 PM
Last updated Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 11:58 AM
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One banner best expressed the sentiment of many at a pro-Second Amend­ment rally Saturday who fear their constitutional right to bear arms is threatened by proposed federal legislation: “Don’t tread on me.”

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Richmond County sheriff's Deputy Walter Ashley (left) and Sheriff Richard Roundtree (right) listen as Don Edwards speaks during the Second Amendment Rally.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Richmond County sheriff's Deputy Walter Ashley (left) and Sheriff Richard Roundtree (right) listen as Don Edwards speaks during the Second Amendment Rally.

The rally at Augusta Common drew more than 100 people, many of whom came with weapons, ranging from an 1863 Springfield rifle to a crossbow to an AR-15 semiautomatic.

The prevailing theme among those attending and speaking was that President Obama’s plan to, among other things, reinstate a ban on assault weapons and limit rounds in an ammunition magazine, represents another unwanted – and unnecessary – government intrusion.

“It’s none of their business why they need it or they don’t need it,” Neil Weems, a Harlem resident, said when asked why someone needs a high-capacity magazine. “The government has no right to ask that question. We are private citizens and have rights under the amendment. … It’s never justified for the government to require citizens to do things they have no business in. It’s just overextension of government.”

Tom Taber, a friend of Weems, said he takes issue with what he considers a sometimes unfair media portrayal of people who believe strongly in the Second Amendment and are law-abiding gun owners.

“I think there’s a purposeful effort by the administration and the press, the so-called mainstream media, to portray people like me – and I have a few guns – as some kind of a wild-eyed gun nut who is anti-government to the extent that I’m going to barricade myself in my house and hold off any government official that might try to talk to me, and that’s not the case,” said Tabor, an Augusta resident and Vietnam War veteran. “However, there is that aspect that can’t be forgotten and I again think that’s why the original Second Amendment was written: to protect the citizenry from a tyrannical government.”

Event organizers told attendees to bring weapons they are legally able to carry under Georgia law if they so wanted. Weems and Taber didn’t have a weapon on them, but Erik Jensen came with his Ruger Mini-14 scout rifle with a 30-round clip strapped across his back and a Sig Sauer P250 pistol on his hip, both semi-automatics.

“I want to show my support for these type of guns that are out here,” said Jensen, a Waynesboro resident and Army veteran. He said the guns were not loaded because he didn’t want any accidental discharge.

Marjorie LaPan did come loaded, carrying a Remington 12-gauge shotgun that can hold eight rounds. LaPan, who co-owns FastSigns on Washington Road with her husband, said they keep the weapon at the store for protection because of break-ins in the area around their business.

She said she didn’t want to see the Second Amendment infringed on, but she does support background checks to restrict guns from certain people, such as those with mental illness.

“I think we should be able to keep whatever kind of arms that we want,” LaPan said, adding that she has been a gun owner for more than a year.

As she spoke, Marie Vargas interrupted to question LaPan’s objection to gun control. Vargas said a nephew and his friend had been killed in Chicago about six months ago, and she believes something should be done to get guns off the streets.

“I’m not saying we should give up the rights to bear arms, but there’s got to be some kind of control,” Vargas said.

LaPan said she agreed that criminals should not have weapons. When Vargas brought up “crazy kids” killing students in schools, LaPan responded, “If there were people that were armed at the schools, they would take care of that.”

Vargas replied, “That’s what bothers me. I believe in the right to own arms, but too many arms are running the streets.”

After walking away from the nearly 10-minute conversation, Vargas said she mistakenly thought the rally was going to be about gun control.

“I don’t think I belong here,” she said.

GEORGIA LAW ON GUN CARRY

O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126

Having or carrying handguns, long guns, or other weapons; license requirement; exceptions for homes, motor vehicles, and other locations and conditions; penalties for violations

(a) Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun may have or carry on his or her person a weapon or long gun on his or her property or inside his or her home, motor vehicle, or place of business without a valid weapons carry license.

(b) Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun may have or carry on his or her person a long gun without a valid weapons carry license, provided that if the long gun is loaded, it shall only be carried in an open and fully exposed manner.

GUN LEGISLATION FORUM

Georgia Regents University’s Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Social Work will present “Gun Violence and Gun Legislation: A Public Panel Forum” from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, at the Maxwell Theatre. The program is free and open to the public.

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Conservative Man
5578
Points
Conservative Man 02/10/13 - 10:33 am
5
2
There is no "gun show loophole"....

....it is no more illegal to sell a gun to an individual at a gun show than it is to sell a gun to your neighbor....Don't like the law? Lobby to have the law changed...but to keep calling it a loophole is asinine...it's not a loophole, it's the law.
Let's be honest, the intention by gun control advocates is not make it harder for criminals to get guns...the intention is to effectively ban ALL private gun purchases even by law abiding citizens...
Funny how gun control advocates seem to have many many ideas about how to keep guns from law-abiding citizens but not many of how to keep them from the hands of those who should NOT posses them...
As one speaker said at the rally...."if they can deny us this right, then they most assuredly WILL eventually deny us the rest..."
And for once I may have to give "County" credit....he is probably right that Chicago does not have the highest murder rate in the country, but it is high enough for my point to be the same.....that the cities with the strictest gun laws usually have the highest murder rates....
Yesterday's rally was a testament to law-abiding citizens...We assembled peaceably, we spoke our minds and most were armed...three essential rights not granted by, but protected by our Constitution and not a single shot was fired....A great day indeed...

boomhauer
650
Points
boomhauer 02/10/13 - 11:11 am
0
0
The clueless is all I can say
Unpublished

The clueless is all I can say about this topic.

KSL
143271
Points
KSL 02/10/13 - 11:47 am
3
3
I had the cap pistol when I

I had the cap pistol when I was 4-5 years old in Athens,GA, when my dad was in law school and then asked to stay and teach. It seems he had been the most brilliant student they had had to date.

Geez, small daughter allowed to watch Hop Along Cassidy on TV and have a cap pistol. Horrors.I am surprised the City of Aiken encouraged me to get a weapon for self defense and taught me when and how to use it.

countyman
21621
Points
countyman 02/10/13 - 12:29 pm
4
4
Figures below

KSL.. I thought I would join in with the crowd on here an express my opinions as facts.

I always have the facts to back up my statements.. The murder rate of Cleveland, Stockton, DC, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Atlanta, Detroit, Memphis, Kansas City, Philly, New Orleans, Oakland, Saint Louis, Newark, etc are higher compared to Chicago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate

KSL
143271
Points
KSL 02/10/13 - 03:17 pm
2
2
Thanks for the list of places

Thanks for the list of places not to move to.

Darby
29170
Points
Darby 02/10/13 - 04:12 pm
4
1
"There was a larger turnout than some of us expected...."

And a smaller turnout than some of us had hoped for.

No, that's not a criticism, just an observation. I can't criticize because I wasn't there myself. Would have been except for the fact that I had two other conflicting events.

Another observation/analysis... I'm wondering if inviting folks to bring and "brandish" their weapons may have scared off some timid souls who may be in our corner with regard to the 2d Amendment.

I know there are many, many Americans who support the movement who don't carry but are glad that others do. These same folks tend to become nervous when surrounded by folks they don't know, flaunting various firearms.

Darby
29170
Points
Darby 02/10/13 - 05:20 pm
4
1
One thing you can't honestly argue about...

. is the fact that the cities with the worst murder rates are run by Democrats, they vote Democrat and they all went for Obama in the last two elections.

The vast majority of the killers are black and the vast majority of the victims are back. And NO, there's absolutely NOTHING RACIAL in what I have said. (Skin color has nothing to do with crime.) It's all about culture.

They live and die the in the lifestyle that "progressive" politics has given them. It's not racial, it's simply an acceptance of reality. Blacks have been used by Democrats who make promises they know they can't keep. History and a fawning media has given Democrats a unique political asset. An asset they cynically exploit at every favorable occasion.

The promise of equal opportunity by conservatives is trumped every time by the illusive and impossible promise of equal results, proffered by liberals.

Deep inside, they know things are never going to get better. Nor, for the same reason, will the violent crime and murder rate.

Unless people wake up to reality.

harley_52
25783
Points
harley_52 02/10/13 - 05:25 pm
3
2
Darby...

The turnout wasn't bad, but a few hundred more would have been better. I'm pretty sure there were many more who wanted to attend, but they probably had conflicting events as well.

I agree about the "brandishing" concern. There were many of us who were carrying. Some of us were carrying concealed, lots of others were "brandishing." Some were brandishing multiple weapons of various types. I was pleasantly surprised with the pictures published by the AC. They could have been a lot worse. As is usually the case, some people tend to take the "brandishing" part a little farther than necessary.

Still...I saw no arguments, no drinking, no problems of any sort. People were polite, didn't spit on any old ladies, and they picked up all their trash before leaving. All in all, much different from most gatherings of lefties.

harley_52
25783
Points
harley_52 02/10/13 - 05:52 pm
3
1
@Darby's 5:20 PM Post...

Absolutely right on target.

Darby
29170
Points
Darby 02/10/13 - 08:49 pm
4
1
"The bulk of Chicago's illegal guns come from rural.....

....Illinois and Indiana, along with quite a few from MS, KY, MO, and AR, again following the Interstate System."

It's not so much about where they come from as it is who gets them and what they do with them. Chicago does a lousy job of people control. They're, unfortunately, great at keeping guns out of the hands of honest, law abiding folks.

harley_52
25783
Points
harley_52 02/10/13 - 09:03 pm
4
1
GiantsAllDay...

Hate to see you go. I have no idea why your post was pulled, do you? Heck, I don't know why most of mine get pulled, but it's often just a misunderstanding, I think.

Hope you change your mind.

P.S. I hope you don't think I'm Harley Drew....I'm not.

TK3
562
Points
TK3 02/10/13 - 10:23 pm
2
1
Shall NOT be Infringed !

Wishes are one thing but what part of "Shall NOT be Infringed" does Vargas not understand about the Second Amendment ?

“I’m not saying we should give up the rights to bear arms, but there’s got to be some kind of control,” Vargas said.

"It doesn't matter that you say your advocacy for gun control is "rational" and "sensible" and that your intentions are "good," you're still punishing innocents for the actions of the guilty.

In the process, you're instigating coercion, intimidation or fraud.

Asking government people to do those things in your name still makes you guilty of coercion, intimidation or fraud because you're aiding and abetting it.

It becomes clear that many of you who talk about "gun violence" and "gun control" are so terrified of guns that you would rather risk being killed by one than overcome your phobia and learn how to use one in defense of yourselves and your loved ones.

Yet you call those of us who are competent, proficient and trained in the use of guns to defend ourselves from gun violence "radical gun nuts."

And then, in the process, you keep blaming the gun itself, an inanimate object.."-Garry Reed, LP

Truth Matters
8077
Points
Truth Matters 02/10/13 - 10:52 pm
2
1
KSL @ 7:41

The operative words here are, "You don't know...."

And regarding another's post that there are armed guards at the president's kid's school, that is true now but not before according to Wallace when his children attended. In this case I will take Wallace's word over LaPierre.

harley_52
25783
Points
harley_52 02/10/13 - 11:19 pm
2
1
"And regarding another's post that there are....

.... armed guards at the president's kid's school, that is true now but not before according to Wallace when his children attended. "

Your point?

We're talking about now, not sometime in the past.

karlsruhe13
23
Points
karlsruhe13 02/11/13 - 01:26 am
0
1
Illinois. the state with the strictest gun laws
Unpublished

Mrs. Vargas, first you go to the wrong rally, then you oppose gun rights and blame gun laws for the death of your nephew and his friends. Why don't you tell us that your nephew and his friend belonged to a gang and that their deaths were the result of gang activities. Also, Illinois, up untils last month. had the strictest gun laws in the nation which were struck down by a federal court. The law in question was the ban on concealed carry. So, if your nephew was a victim of gun violence, it happened six months ago when strict gun laws were in place. Don't forget that you left the norh to come to Gunland, the south. In Puerto Rico, where the only way to own a weapon is through illegal means, more than a thousand people die each year on gun related incidents. People kill other people not guns. Leave our right to carry alone. Find your own rally and pay attention were you go.

myfather15
56269
Points
myfather15 02/11/13 - 03:23 am
1
0
Techfan actually defeated

Techfan actually defeated their own argument by bringing up prohibition; that worked really well to get rid of alcohol didn't it? Gun bans will do the exact same if passed. They will just push guns to the black market, criminals will still be able to get them, just as easy as now!

augustalibertarian
31
Points
augustalibertarian 02/11/13 - 01:12 pm
1
0
"Brandishing" weapons? I saw

"Brandishing" weapons? I saw a lot of people carrying firearms holstered and openly. I spent a lot of my time walking around and through the crowd observing how people were handling themselves and I never saw anyone "brandish" their weapon. I did not notice anyone unholster a holstered handgun and I never noticed anyone even remove their rifle or shotgun from its slung position to "show it off" to others. Everyone showed utmost respect for themselves, each other and for their weapons. Good job.

Darby
29170
Points
Darby 02/11/13 - 05:04 pm
2
0
There are several definitions to the word brandish.....

One is to display openly. Another is characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others.

And there are several others.

One need not be aggressive in his open display of a weapon to be considered to be brandishing it.

I stand by my original statement that a great many folks who support the 2d Amendment are thankful for those of us who carry, but are made nervous by the open display of weaponry in a crowd, particularly with their children, among people they don't know.

"Brandishing", like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

I'm a little surprised that you would not acknowledge that.

Darby
29170
Points
Darby 02/11/13 - 08:59 pm
1
0
"Gun bans will do the exact same if passed. They will.....

....just push guns to the black market..."

Just getting a visual here of a "speakeasy" for firearms....

I can just picture it...

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