Thursday, May 23, 2013
An immigration debate is raging and a budget crisis looms in Congress, but the conservative activists gathered outside the New Hampshire Capitol had just one thing on their minds: Guns.
"The Second Amendment is there to protect us from losing the rest of them," said Adam Brisebois, 34, of Hudson, who cradled his 3-year-old daughter on his right shoulder and a rifle on the left. "If we don't fight, we'll lose our rights."
The rally, organized by leaders of the conservative tea party movement, drew nearly 500 people, many of them waving signs and carrying loaded weapons, to the state capital.
Conservative leaders elsewhere report a wave of similar protests as grass-roots activists from Florida to Colorado seize on a new rallying cry for a tea party movement, which is trying to recover from a painful 2012 election season.
Many protesters are hunters, but say access to hunting is not their prime concern -- just as a sign hanging behind the podium at the New Hampshire rally said: "The right to keep arms is not about deer hunting. It is about defending the republic from tyranny."
An Associated Press-GfK poll found last month that 58 percent of Americans felt the gun laws in the United States should be stricter.
Among Republicans, 53 percent want the nation's gun laws to stay as they are, while 2 in 3 women favor stricter gun laws, as do 60 percent of independents.
The fate of new gun legislation in Congress is uncertain at best. And as tea party activists clamor against any changes, the powerful gun lobby is echoing their argument.
Editorial by Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia