CONCORD, N.H. – Hundreds of gun owners took to the steps of the Statehouse again Thursday to rally for preservation of personal liberty and the right to keep and bear arms.
The event, put together by the Rochester 9/12 liberty group, Granite State Patriots, and other organizations, was better planned than a previous event two weeks ago in the wake of President Barack Obama’s numerous Executive Orders about gun safety and regulation, with a public address system, sign-up tables, and a list of speakers quoting the Founding Fathers to make their points about the importance of preserving gun rights.
Dressed in colonial garb, "Patriot Pastor" Garrett Lear of the Well of Living Water in Wakefield called on everyone to defend the Constitution and stand up for the rights of the individual. Pointing to comparisons of gun control advocates to other countries, Lear said it didn’t matter what other countries decided to do with their policies or laws, whether they banned hair dryers or adapted socialist policies.
“This is a sovereign Republic, these of states of America united,” he said. “Different, exceptional, and proud of it … I want to live here in peace, unmolested, as every American should.”
State Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, wondered out loud why Homeland Security was buying millions of rounds of ammunition and why generals were being let go in the Defense Department. He suggested it might have something to do with a citizen’s gun rights, to protect themselves and the state.
“It will take a cold day in hell before somebody takes my weapon,” he said.
Baldasaro said Democrats were swept into office in November even though most people didn’t know they would be trying to take people’s rights away. He pointed to “stand your ground” provisions he sponsored last session that were now being reconsidered in a new bill, HB 135. Baldasaro called on everyone to contact their state senators to create a firewall around the reconsideration.
Jerry DeLemus of the Rochester 9/12 Project called on veterans and others to stand by the oath they took to honor the Constitution. He said it was important to remember that not only did the federal Constitution protect gun ownership, but so did the New Hampshire Constitution. DeLemus read from Article 2A, the Bearing of Arms provision, and Article 10, the Right of Revolution, adding that it was important to draw a line not in the sand, but in granite.
“Our Founding Fathers were so wise, they put an article in there for us, for today, for this day,” he said of the Right of Revolution. “They’re slapping us … over 200 years ago, they left a slap in our Constitution, to wake us up, to defend our Constitution when our government steps on it. It’s time to take that horse by the reins and ride that horse.”
Former state Rep. Bob Giuda, R-Warren, said gun owners were there to “raise the alarm” against the power of the executive branch. He rattled off a number of policies approved by President Barack Obama and George W. Bush that had “eroded our liberty and violated our individual rights,” including the PATRIOT Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Defense Authorization Act, and executive orders, to chants of “tyranny” from the crowd. Giuda, who offered “molon labe,” Latin for “come and get them,” said citizens should be most worried about Executive Order 13603, which Giuda alleged allows Obama to take over just about every sector of the economy if he declared a national emergency.
Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Testerman also spoke at the rally. She said the violence against children in shooting incidents was primarily caused by Americans turning away from God.
Quoting Abraham Lincoln, Testerman said it was important for citizens to ask for repentance and plead for mercy, especially in light of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade that she said led to the deaths of 55 million children via abortion.
“Folks, it’s time to turn back to God,” she said. “It’s time to take an oath but it’s not just an oath to your country. It’s an oath to wife and to your children … to your husbands and your children. It’s time that we quit breaking that contract and start caring about the future of this country.”