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Local gun rally sparks debate

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 14 2013 05:19:01 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 15 2013 05:17:21 AM CDT

Local gun rally sparks debate

BELVIDERE, N.J. -

As the gun control debate rages on in Washington, rallies are being held locally in protest saying the legislation threatens the American way of life.

A group in New Jersey gathered Sunday to show support for gun rights and the second amendment: "All law abiding citizens should always be allowed to possess firearms."

For more than two hours Sunday, close to 150 people stood silently outside the Warren County Courthouse in Belvidere, New Jersey.  They listened to speakers talk about the value of freedom and liberty.

"The second amendment is not about guns but it's about love, love of family, love of liberty and love of life."

Local politicians, police and fire officials took to the mic to call for action.

"Urge our lawmakers on the federal and state level to take their time as they consider any other laws that impact on the right to own firearms."

Folks here say the gun control bill facing the US senate is heavy handed, and they want their voices heard.

"I'm just scared of what's going on," shared Bill Murphy.  "I don't think people have respect for the second amendment or any other part of the constitution these days, and I think they need to see the people in the streets holding signs and just screaming that they're not gonna get away with it."

"I think it's important that we're able to protect ourselves from criminals," added Liza Thomas.  "The only people any more laws are going to hurt are the law abiding citizens."

The fight for new gun laws appeared lost earlier this month before intense lobbying by some parents of Newtown, Connecticut shooting victims.  President Obama's usual Saturday web address this weekend was instead delivered by Francine Wheeler, who lost her son at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"Our youngest son, Ben, age six, was murdered in his first-grade classroom on December 14th, exactly 4 months ago this weekend," said Wheeler.  "Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."