(TheBlaze/AP) — Concerned citizens gathered in state capitals nationwide Saturday to rally against stricter gun control measures, days after President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping package of federal gun control proposals.
Roughly 800 people turned out in Austin, Texas, many carrying signs with messages like “An Armed Society is a Polite Society” and “The Second Amendment Comes from God.” Police in Connecticut said about 1,000 people showed up on the capitol grounds in Hartford, about 50 miles from the site of last month’s mass shooting at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Roughly 2,000 turned out in New York.
The event’s primary Facebook page lists more than 20,000 people as planning to attend.
Texas pilot Eric Reed, who organized the event, explained his motivation: “…I realized I’m part of the problem. It takes somebody to stand up and say, ‘Hey, we’re not going to accept this. We’re against it.”
He continued: “We want Americans who feel the same way to come out. We want to stand up, be united and get our point across.”
First-term Texas state Rep. Steve Toth is among attendees in Austin. He’s one of several state officials nationwide who’ve proposed trying to curb federal gun restrictions in states.
“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 said at the rally.
Texas resident William Lawson drove more than four hours to attend the rally with his family. Once there, they held a sign reading “Modern Musket” over the image of an assault rifle and the words, “An American Tradition since 1776.”
“I’m not some wild-eyed person who wants to fight in the streets,” Lawson said. “This is a country of laws. But I want to protect our Constitution.”
Authorities reported no problems at early rallies, which remained peaceful Saturday afternoon.
Here are some images from rallies across the country:
Speak your mind. Please be respectful of our rules and community. Asking people to upvote you or your post are not allowed. No spam, abuse, obscenities, off-topic comments, racial or ethnic slurs, threats, hate, comments that incite violence or excessive use of flagging permitted.
Please be respectful of our community and spread some love. Any of the following may result in a permanent ban:
Racial or ethnic slurs
Threats of any kind
Excessive use or the flagging (report as spam) feature
Asking people to upvote your comments or posts