It was ignored by all but the local media, but thousands of gun rights supporters joined ranks in Connecticut’s capital over the weekend in a rally to demand lawmakers repeal the state’s law banning so-called “assault weapons” from private hands.
The rally was organized by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League but drew activists from neighboring New England states and farther afield.
Estimates of the crowd varied from 3,000 to 5,000 — which would have gotten the it on the national news if if it had been a pro-abortion rally in Austin, Texas, of course, but doesn’t merit a word in the Connecticut-covering New York Times.
No matter where they came from, though, the message was the same: The Second Amendment is the defender of all the others; and of the Constitution itself.
“We’re the Constitution State and they passed a law that was completely unconstitutional,” said Lenny Benedetto, vice president of the citizens defense league, according to the Hartford Courant.
The rally in Hartford was targeted at the gun control law known as SB1160, which was passed during the national hysteria that followed the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Scott Wilson, president of the citizens league, said liberal lawmakers in his state used the killings as an excuse to implement an anti-gun agenda.
“A tragedy in a small, quiet town in Connecticut gave these lawmakers plenty of cover,” he said.
But even Newtown residents could see through that.
At the rally, Newtown resident Bill Stevens said the deaths of 20 children and six adults at the hands of a maniac could not be blamed on gun rights.
“It wasn’t the AR-15 that killed 26 innocent people in my town,” he said, according to CBS News. “It was a mentally ill shooter who pulled the trigger and this law does nothing to address that.”
Speakers at the rally included Jack Kimball, a former New Hampshire state representative and former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, whose fiery speech declared the Second Amendment wasn’t intended to guarantee Americans the ability to hunt — or even for self-defense against criminals.
The founders had something more important in minds, Kimball said.
“We can fight off a tyrannical government,” he told the crowd. “That’s the reason for the Second Amendment.”
And as to incidents of violence like the Sandy Hook massacre? Kimball said government restrictions aren’t the answer. Armed and trained teachers are.
“If you really want to protect the children, you abolish ‘gun-free’ zones in the United States of America,” he said.
Check out Kimball’s speech here.
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