Hundreds amass in defense of Second Amendment - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Hundreds amass in defense of Second Amendment

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Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 10:00 am

COEUR d’ALENE — Hundreds amassed at a Second Amendment rally on Saturday, many hefting signs blazoning their stance on potential federal gun regulation.

As encouraged by nonprofit Oath Keepers that organized the event, many who gathered outside Black Sheep Sporting Goods were packing. Most carried handguns and semi-automatic rifles. One touted an ArmaLite AR-50.

Several legislators and activists took the stage, all condemning Congress’ pursuit of a ban on assault weapons, or the creation of a gun-owner registry.

“I have trained about 9,000 out at our facility (on gun use),” said Ed Santos, owner of Center Target Sports, as he addressed the crowd by a massive American flag.

“I see that as 9,000 reasons for criminals to go somewhere else, or think twice before thinking to rob or injure an Idahoan.”

Santos further defended that semi-automatic weapons are “overwhelmingly” popular, and often used for hunting and target shooting.

Local lawmakers lauded preserving current gun ownership. Among them were Sen. Steve Vick, Sen. Bob Nonini, Rep. Vito  Barbieri and Rep. Ron Mendive.

Each assured the state is pursuing legislation to block federal gun regulation.

“We’re working in the Legislature to protect your rights in Idaho,” Nonini said.

Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, said assault rifles are essential to forming militias that the bill of rights describes.

“Yes, it’s a weapon of war. That’s what it’s used for,” said Rhodes, who had traveled from Kalispell, Mont., and had a semi-automatic over his shoulder. “And it’s supposed to be in your hands.”

Requiring gun owners to register their names is equating them to criminals, Rhodes added.

If you add your name to a gun registry, “what you’ve just done is handed in your balls,” Rhodes said. “And ladies, handed in your ovaries, too.”

Bill and Kristie Kiley of Coeur d’Alene, each with a handgun holstered at their hips, held signs at the front row of the crowd.

Kristie doesn’t want to see guns taken away, she said, adding that her whole family shoots for sport.

“They know the safety of firearms. That’s first and foremost,” she said.

Bill said stripping folks of their semi-automatics wouldn’t prevent mass shootings.

“An assault rifle is only an assault rifle if the operator chooses to assault with one,” he said.

Todd Hoffman of Coeur d’Alene attended the rally with his AR-15 rifle, he said, to give the message that Idaho residents are well armed.

“I think they should tread lightly,” Hoffman said of government officials seeking regulation. “Because North Idaho will become North Ireland if they take it too far.”

Dale Heimbigner, lugging his ArmaLite AR-50, said the key to reducing gun violence is to teach proper use, he added.

“Don’t point it at something unless you intend to kill it,” Heimbigner said.

His friend Arnold Marquardt added that most who own guns are peaceful.

“The point of a gun is to protect life, not take it,” said Marquardt, also of Coeur d’Alene. “The only time to take it is to protect yourself or your country.”

Robert Elder, armed with an MP 5, said a ban on assault weapons is groundless.

“What are you going to do next? Ban cars? Cars kill more people than guns every year,” the Coeur d’Alene man said.

Elder would never give up his gun ownership, he said.

“It’s a part of me. They’ll have to take it from me,” he said.

Taylor Nagrone said guns have always been a part of his life. He and his girlfriend Megan Hardaway, who was wearing a .300 Winchester Magnum, have already gotten a BB gun for their 6-month-old boy, he added.

“We’re the greatest nation not because of our army, but because of our armed citizens and their right to form militias,” Nagrone said.

He is ready to take arms to defend his country when necessary, he added.

“We’re not white supremacists or radicals. We’re just civilians. Patriots,” Nagrone said. “Looking out for the future of our country.”

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  • Old Cop posted at 3:47 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    Old Cop Posts: 3259

    My guess would be very few own guns. After all why buy one when you can steal one from your mother.

  • MichaelN posted at 2:51 pm on Wed, Jan 23, 2013.

    MichaelN Posts: 502

    Bill, you ask some good questions. I would add only one. "I wonder how many OWS protesters own firearms?" Now THAT is a scary thought.

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 2:32 pm on Wed, Jan 23, 2013.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    @Bob Wynhausen - post of 11:09 - I've been to Tea Party, 2nd Amendment and OWS gatherings and seen many more on t.v. Although I'm not a big fan of any of these 3 I will say that the OWS gang is by far the dirtiest, unruly, disrespectful and unlawful group of all of them. I'm wondering how much crime there has ever been at a Tea Party or 2nd Amendment group gathering?? We all know what the OWS people do to a city when they land. Just ask L.A., New York, Oakland and Cleveland.

    It's nice to know that Wynhausen has so much disdain for those that protest and yet he joins the loser OWS gang when they stand on the corner with their complaints and concerns. I guess you can tell a bug by its smell.

    I wonder what % of the OWS gang are employed and free from a criminal history compared to the Tea Party and 2nd Amendment groups??? I wonder what the difference in the unemployment rate is between the Tea Party people and OWS.

    It also amazes me how many liberals I know that have made thier first firearm purchase since Obama was elected. Actions generally speak louder than words.

  • MichaelN posted at 9:58 am on Wed, Jan 23, 2013.

    MichaelN Posts: 502

    Ahh Bob, I knew you weren't there. But I did see you at the Occupy protests. lol.

  • Bob Wynhausen posted at 4:48 pm on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    Bob Wynhausen Posts: 9738

    Michael I wasn't there. Are those the indicia of insanity? However, being nutty is not a crime. Good thing too.

  • Here's What I Say posted at 12:48 pm on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    Here's What I Say Posts: 1240

    Is this Bonner County news?

  • MichaelN posted at 11:20 am on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    MichaelN Posts: 502

    Bob, were there any rapes, robberies, drug activities, dirty needles, murders at this gathering? Or were you thinking this was another OWS meeting. Sounds like a bunch of people gathering to express their opinions and doing it free of any violence, something we are guaranteed under the law of the United States. In fact, I would think this little media outlet would have reported if there was any crime reported.

  • Bob Wynhausen posted at 11:09 am on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    Bob Wynhausen Posts: 9738

    If the feds are looking to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental health issues, they ought to show up as these rallies.

    Be sure to bring several psychiatrists' couches, we don't want anyone denied due process.