Approximately 50 people participated in Saturday’s rally to resist federal gun control legislation and government overreach. A group of people marched from the downtown parking lot to the capitol steps holding signs. A number of the participants carried a variety of weapons including AR-15 rifles, shotguns and hand guns.
“We are just ordinary American citizens. We’re not nutcases. We’re your neighbors and your fellow Americans,” said Woody Hunt, one of the participants.
The rally’s organizer Thom Buzard addressed a number of topics ranging from Sandy Hook, Homeland Security and the Bill of Rights. One member of the crowd adding “without the second, the rest of them aren’t worth anything.”
Looking out at the crowd Buzard addressed the number of guns at the rally:
“I feel pretty safe here don’t you?”
Senators John Coghill, Fred Dyson and Lesil McGuire each addressed the crowd. A number of participants also took the opportunity to speak.
Don Beattie said he joined the rally because he felt “concerned about all the current gun legislation.”
Following the speeches, the rally continued marching past the governor’s mansion to the Federal Building and back to the parking garage.
Militia groups across the U.S. are holding a national day of resistance Saturday to protest proposed gun control regulations, and what they call tyranny and overreach by the federal government.
Four similar rallies are scheduled in Alaska – in Juneau, Anchorage, Wasilla and Delta Junction.
Political blogs call the resistance rallies much bigger than militia groups and claim that hundreds of law abiding gun owners will attend.
Thom Buzard is an organizer of the Juneau .223 Day of Resistance.
“It’s a day for all people to come together to protest the increasing soft tyranny that we are seeing from our government and this talk about more gun control laws, we feel that the law abiding and legal citizen that is being tethered with more laws and more restrictions is the wrong group to be going after,” Buzard said.
The Juneau rally begins at noon at the state capitol building. Buzard said it’s OK for people to bring their guns.
He said the .223 Day of Resistance is named after the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. There are no restrictions on ownership in the U.S., but it’s an example of the type of guns proposed for more controls.
“223 is the size of the caliber used for the AR-15 and the M-16,” Buzard said.
He said gun control is the wrong answer to mass shootings, like that at a Connecticut elementary school in December. Like the NRA, Buzard would arm school authorities.
“So that, when seconds count and the police are minutes away, you have an opportunity to respond. You take the people at Sandy Hook, the murder of 20 innocent children. All that school had were bodies to put in front of the bullets. Had somebody at that school had a sidearm, they may have had an opportunity to if nothing else reduce the carnage,” he said.
Buzard cites the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms. He said every American has the opportunity to be a member of the militia.
- High schoolers tackled a serious topic at this year's annual student government conference: gun violence at school. They listened to a presentation from an organization called Sandy Hook Promise learned about their peers efforts to prevent gun violence on campus.
- Visitors to military bases who don’t have compliant IDs will have to be accompanied by military personnel, which the leaders say will be impractical.
- Southeast Alaska’s independent ferry system is working its way out of a ridership slump. Numbers are up on the Hollis-to-Ketchikan route.
- For most of the state, the entire month of March has been clear and cold.