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Gun owners come armed with message

By Joseph Weber, The Washington Times

Gun owners came out in force on both sides of the Potomac on Monday to proclaim their Second Amendment rights, but only those on the Northern Virginia side of the river came bearing their handguns and rifles.

Hundreds of pro-gun activists rallied near the base of the Washington Monument on the National Mall and at Gravelly Point Park in Arlington, Va. Those in the District protested city laws that prohibit them from displaying their guns in public.

The daylong event in the District attracted gun-rights advocates from across the country. They included Mark Easterday from Kentucky and Dick Heller, the event’s keynote speaker and the plaintiff in the landmark 2008 Supreme Court case that overturned the District of Columbia’s restrictive gun laws and established for the first time an individual right to own firearms.

“I’m not the message,” Mr. Heller said. “The people are the message.”

He added that recent moves by Congress and the D.C. government to chip away at his victory “are not an episodic event.”

“This is incremental. You see these kinds of things at every level of government. The larger message today is: We’re still here. We’re not going away and we’re going to fight back,” Mr. Heller said.

Mr. Easterday, 48, said a sense of duty compelled him to drive to Washington from Kentucky’s Hart County with his wife and many of his 16 children.

“Our forefathers died for these rights we take for granted,” said Mr. Easterday, who owns handguns and rifles. “I’ve got nothing against [President] Obama. Bush wasn’t much better. We haven’t had a good president in a long time.”

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/20/gun-owners-come-armed-with-message/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_politics-government

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