Never stand between a gun supporter and the 2nd Amendment

This is one of those “Only in America” stories. On Gun Appreciation Day in the US, five people have been shot at gun shows across the nation. Three people were shot at a show in Raleigh, North Carolina; one man was shot in Indianapolis, Indiana, and another at a gun show in Medina, Ohio.
They were all accidents, and thankfully, no one was killed. The Day was organised by Political Media, a Republican New Media consulting firm, to protest against President Obama’s gun control proposals.
A former National Rifle Association board member, Dave Workman, described Gun Appreciation Day a success, despite the mishaps. (http://bit.ly/10Jjj3U)
In other “Guns Across America” rallies, thousands gathered at state capitals to protest against the plan to impose stricter limits on firearms. In some demonstrations, advocates carried rifles and guns, while in others, they displayed hand-painted signs supporting the Second Amendment, giving Americans the right to bear arms. One read: “The Second Amendment Comes from God.” http://bit.ly/W8uxua Another sign in Oklahoma City read: “I will not register my guns/I am a law abiding citizen/Not a sex offender” (See photo above from Associated Press).
From sea to shining sea – Oregon to South Dakota and Montana to Michigan, Texas, Tennessee and Kentucky and North Carolina, and New York and Connecticut (the scene of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre) – gun lovers were expressing their anger that governments should place any limit on their right to possess weapons.
In this report from Will Weissert of the Associated Press in Austin, the most vociferous protesters were in Texas, where a state congressman, Steve Toth, accused President Obama of using the children killed in the Connecticut massacre to advance his gun control cause: “The thing that so angers me, and I think so angers you, is that this president is using children as a human shield to advance a very liberal agenda that will do nothing to protect them.”
Toth has introduced legislation banning within Texas any future federal limits on assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, though such a measure would violate the US Constitution.
Another Texan, Eric Reed, an airline captain from Houston, organised the nationwide rallies, but asked his fellow Lone Star State protesters not to expose their weapons: “I don’t want anyone to get arrested.” Texan licence holders are allowed to carry handguns anywhere.
And to complete the Texas trifecta of gun supporters covered by AP, the state Land Commissioner, Jerry Patterson, admitted the Second Amendment sometimes leads to killings, but he told the demonstrators that the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, can be just as dangerous. Patterson said news coverage of massacres can spark copy-cat shootings: “All of us here, together, are right about our liberty. And we will not back down.”
Why am I writing about this only days after my last blog on President Obama’s courageous decision to take on the NRA and get Congress to pass gun control laws? Last week I wrote: “It’s difficult to say if there is majority support across the US for banning certain weapons, although after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, I believe there is.”
I still believe there is support, but you can see from the above that gun advocates believe God and the US Constitution, viz the Second Amendment, are on their side, and will fight tooth and nail – possibly even, lock, stock and gun barrel – to stop any measures to limit weapons ownership. And the rallies were held two days before Barack Obama’s second inauguration, which will enable his supporters to celebrate his re-election and remind his opponents of the mandate he received for his second term.
They obviously feel the newly sworn-in President has a chance, slim though it may be, to make gun control work in the US. For once, I hope they’re right!
And finally, I’d like to say farewell to an American hero. Last year, I wrote a blog about two heroes from my childhood (http://wp.me/p1Ytmx-5I). The first was Bill Bradley, basketball star, former US Senator and presidential candidate, and the second was one of the legendary baseball players of all time, Stan “The Man” Musial of the St Louis Cardinals.
Musial died at the weekend, at the age of 92. He had received the Medal of Freedom in 2010, the nation’s highest civilian award from President Obama, who called Stan “untarnished, a beloved pillar of the community, a gentleman you’d want your kids to emulate.” http://nyti.ms/13S8JX5
Stan the Man belonged to a different era of sport: he didn’t get a superstar salary until near the end of his career, he never sought publicity, he was never thrown out of a game, and he didn’t take performance-enhancing drugs.
Stan Musial had a funny batting stance that looked like a corkscrew at the plate, but it never stopped him from hitting home runs, leading the League in batting, and winning three Most Valuable Player awards.
But he will always be remembered as one of the true gentlemen of America’s national pastime. It’s a shame Lance Armstrong didn’t have Stan Musial as his hero.

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