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.