By John Toole
CNHI News Service
DERRY, N.H. — Gun Rights Across America, a gun owners organization, has called for a nationwide demonstration by every gun owner in the country on Oct. 19 to highlight what it calls the right of citizens to own arms under the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
“We want you to strap on a holstered handgun to your hip, and give one hour of your day to make our presence as law-abiding gun owners known," the group said.
The day would be called the “Guns Next Door” demonstration and would differ from state to state, depending on local gun laws. The purpose would be to show America that gun owners are good, law-abiding citizens.
In New Hampshire, gun owners are asked to wear holstered handguns in the front yard and carry unloaded rifles outside their home. Californians will wear empty holsters because that state’s laws are so strict there.
“This is a rally with a twist,” said Eric Reed, Gun Rights Across America founder. "People will see armed Americans outside their homes with signs everywhere they look."
He said the hour-long demonstration will be staggered by time zone so all gun owners can participate simultaneously. It will run in the Eastern Time Zone from 5 to 6 p.m.
Reed, 38, an airline pilot from Texas, said he formed Gun Rights Across America after the rush to enact gun control laws at the federal and state levels in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre of school children by a gunman. He said President Obama's embrace of stricter laws "just angered me."
Reed said his heart goes out to the families of the victims of the Connecticut school tragedy and other mass killings, but stricter gun laws are not the answer in a country where gun ownership is guaranteed by the Constitution.
“I’ve always believed the Second Amendment was put there to protect our freedoms and the basic right to self defense,” he said. "When people's rights are infringed on, that upsets them."
John Toole is a reporter for The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.