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US Gun Owners Rally in Support of Gun Rights

Loading a pistol magazine

Loading a pistol magazine

Some came to the Washington D.C. area Monday to take out their guns in a show of support for gun rights. Others came for a rally in the shadow of the Washington monument "to support the right to keep and bear arms" and to protect the Second Amendment. They chose Monday since it is the anniversary of the 1775 battles that started America's Revolutionary War.

Concentration. Judgment. Accuracy.

For Rob Weaver, those words point to his passion.

"It's a really zen thing to do," said Rob Weaver. "When you're standing there. You have your handgun out. It's you and the target and your trigger finger and that's all there is."

Such is the love affair between many Americans and their guns. The U.S. Bill of Rights, specifically the Second Amendment, guarantees Americans the right to keep and bear arms. States determine the laws regarding the storage or carrying of guns.

Weaver says he would die to protect the Second Amendment if it is threatened.

"I think you very well may see a revolution in this country and it will not be a revolution to overthrow the government," he said. "It would be a revolution to restore government to its constitutional basis."

Gun owners worry that the Democratic administration will target the Second Amendment. As a legislator, President Obama did not favor unlimited gun rights. So this year, shooters decided to take their fight to the nation's capital. Before any changes could be made to those rights.

Gun owners say it's an issue that affects the entire nation.

"The Second Amendment is not a white [race] thing, a redneck [poor, rural] thing. It's an American thing," said Pennsylvania gun rights supporter Tim Mohn.

Verna Long flew three hours here to attend the rally. She says her message will get across at the ballot box.

"We'll just keep re-electing, re-electing and re-electing until we get people in there who understand what the constitution means to all of us," she said.

Other gun owners openly showed their weapons as they stood at the border of Washington on Virginia ground. Virginia's laws allow guns to be carried in public.

"If the government ever comes after the people in America, know that the people will fight back."

Others are angered by such talk.

"This is America. Love it, or leave it, and take your assault weapons with you."

Gun law advocates say they support the Second Amendment. Chad Ramsey with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says his group simply wants to strengthen the laws.

"What we are trying to do is make sure the wrong people don't get their hands on guns," said Chad Ramsey. "We think that you ought to have a background check at gun shows. We think you ought to have a background check so that people who are dangerously mentally ill aren't getting their hands on guns."

Back at the range, Weaver shares his secret to hitting the target.

"The last shot has nothing to do with the one you're taking right now," he said. "It never does. And if you get focused on the last shot, you just blow the next one."

That could explain why many gun advocates keep alert year-after-year, analyzing the next administration.

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    Carolyn Presutti

    Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters. She has also won numerous Associated Press TV, Radio, and Multimedia awards, as well as a Clarion for her TV coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, Google Glass & Other Wearables, and the 9/11 Anniversary.