Gun rally draws crowd

{child_byline}CARISA CEGAVSKE

Senior Staff Writer

The News-Review

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State Sen. Dallas Heard thinks it’s unlikely that two gun control initiatives will make the November ballot, but he said it’s important to get out the vote anyway.

Heard addressed about 200 people at the Second Amendment Support Rally on the Douglas County Courthouse lawn Tuesday. Attendees braved 93-degree heat to hear local politicians speak about the importance of gun rights and voting.

Heard, R-Winston, started off with a prayer for Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, who is fighting brain cancer.

Heard then spoke about Initiative Petitions 43 and 44, both measures being put forward by gun control advocates. He said IP 44 petitioners recently received the go ahead to begin collecting signatures, but only while IP 43 is still being challenged.

“The good news is it’s very unlikely that those two initiatives are going to make it to our ballots this November,” he said. But he urged listeners not to become apathetic, and to get out the vote in November. He said the big cities continue to make assaults on freedoms and liberties.

He called Gov. Kate Brown “one of the single worst governors in the entire country” and urged voters to choose Republican Knute Buehler, who grew up in Roseburg, even though he may not be as conservative as many southern Oregonians.

He also struck a moderate note, saying Democrats and Republicans shouldn’t hate each other, and that a love for liberty creates a bridge between people from different parties.

Ian Quimby, a Southern Oregon University student who works for the Douglas Forest Protective Association, said it’s important to educate youth about gun rights and firearms safety. He said young people need to become comfortable around guns.

“A gun is a tool. It’s just a tool. That’s all it is. I work for DFPA. I use a shovel. My shovel at DFPA is no different than my AR at home. It is a tool and it should be used properly,” he said.

He lamented the lack of youth in the audience, and indirectly addressed the youth gun control movement that has swelled since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February.

“I’ve never seen a generation, and this is my generation, fight so hard to have their rights taken away from them, and we need to change that,” he said.

Kendra Maddox, a Douglas High School student, said gun rights are women’s rights. Referencing statistics that one in five college women will be a victim of sexual assault, she recommended women be free to carry around guns instead of making campuses gun-free zones.

“Why don’t we try to lower that number by allowing campus carry, so women don’t have to be the victim?” she said.

Republican congressional candidate Art Robinson said America isn’t a democracy, it’s a constitutional republic, and that means a majority can’t vote to take away an individual’s rights to life, liberty and property. The Second Amendment right to own guns is the right to defend life, he said.

Those are God-given rights, he said, and that’s why the Founding Fathers included them in the Constitution.

“No force on Earth has any right to deprive us of those rights,” he said.

State Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, followed up with a rousing speech in favor of the Douglas County Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance that will likely appear on the November ballot.

“It’s a great day to be an American. We’re privileged to live in a country that continues to shine as a beacon of freedom for individuals, one in which we each have the right to form our own opinion, express that opinion and hold our government accountable to the will of you the people,” he said.

He said our foundational rights are free speech, freedom to bear arms and protection from unlawful search and seizure.

“Today I stand both amazed and distressed, watching as our governor and other liberal politicians are attempting to reduce or eliminate our Second Amendment rights,” he said. “I understand. People are truly afraid. They believe that if we get rid of all of the guns, that all of our senseless killings will go away. But the simple fact of the matter is criminals don’t obey the law. I believe it’s our right to protect ourselves and keep our families safe, away from evil.”

He said Americans have been asleep and it’s time to wake up to threats like IP 43 and IP 44. He urged listeners to support the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance, to become politically active and vote to ensure the future remains as bright as the past.

Before the speeches began, Clark Elliott of Sutherlin said he attended the rally because he wanted to stand up for gun rights. He’s a veteran who served as a military policeman in Germany and also a former Douglas County sheriff’s deputy. He said he doesn’t want to see any more gun control laws take effect.

“We have enough laws on the books now,” he said.

If current laws were enforced, he said, incidents like the Umpqua Community College shooting wouldn’t have happened.

Tom Smith and his father William Smith, both of Tiller, said they attended the rally because it’s important to ensure gun rights aren’t infringed upon.

The Second Amendment, William Smith said, is the right that protects all the rest of the rights Americans have.

He said he favors the proposed county ordinance because it will remind people that gun rights “aren’t given by government, they’re protected by government.”

“A lot of people think the government gives the right to keep and bear arms. It doesn’t. You have that right without the government,” he said.

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Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213 or ccegavske@nrtoday.com.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(8) comments

Suzan Mesik

Funny how our three County Overlords are always, always yammering away about wasting taxpayers' money. How much is this pointless SAPO measure on our ballot going to cost? And we all must also realize that these measures will not effect at all any gun laws already in place. The complete lack of any kind of familiarity with our Constitution is staggering.

S

Maybe one of these days Douglas County's elected leadership will evolve beyond knuckle-dragging morons.

mysteron

Nope, aint gonna happen.

fryguy

The constitution and the bill of rights are the foundation for our republic. The founding fathers were extremely concerned that the people and states keep thier freedom and liberty God given rights not to be taken away by the federal government. They knew that if the government had the only weapons they would seek to force thier will upon the people. We have seen this happen over and over again through the years property rights schools many other examples to numerous to list here. It was very refreshing to hear Mr. Leif that criminals don't obey laws if fact that is the definition of a criminal. We know that the police have been stretched thin and cant prevent all crime. It is important that law abiding citizens be able to defend our homes and property. We can look any where in the world to know that outlawing guns does not eliminate crime instead it emboldens power hungry politicians to take away more freedom from thier own people while lining thier own pockets. We have made gun free zones and God free zones as well what are we thinking. Guns are not the problem people who have become hard hearted full of hate and bitterness no moral values are the problem. We have left our values that our nation was founded on and flourished for many years. The freedoms we have were made for a moral nation were every made had the opportunity to make a better life for his family by hard work. I know the that some of the founding fathers had slaves but we got through that. That doesn't change the wisdom of the ideals that set up in our Constitution Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Lets remember and teach these documents again. Lets teach our children to " treat others the way they want to be treated " lets teach them that you work for what you want not deserve what they want. Its time we vote our values and our morals not for people who promise to give free stuff. There is no free stuff some one is paying for it grow up people. Vote in every election they are all important

mysteron

God given rights? Prove to me this God you speak of exists. Did God come down from the mountain to deliver the Amendments to the constitution and the Bill of Rights, or were they voted on by the US Government which I'm guessing means they were man given. If these were given by God, they should apply to all people of the Earth shouldn't they? Why would your God only single out Americans? This claim needs to be thought about just a little bit more don't you think?

NJ

I've never read more misunderstanding of the Second Amendment, and have to question whether anyone speaking at the rally has actually read it. In part, it reads: "The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals, while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices. State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right, per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights..." This means that while the process of collecting signatures for petitions to have Oregonians vote to revise it's gun statutes, it's frivolous in the Constitutionality to do so. This amendment has been tested over and over and will continue to be tested in the courts if any State law is passed not in compliance with Supreme Court Decision.

Dallas Heard is being duplicitous when he states his opinion that Oregon's Governor is "one of the single worst governors in the entire country", followed by: "saying Democrats and Republicans shouldn't hate each other, and that a love for liberty creates a bridge between people from different parties." You can't have it both ways Heard, you either stop the dirty political campaigning, or choose to act in the manner of your speaking to building bridges.

Lief is rallying for Douglas County Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance which, if passed, will most certainly be immediately tossed into the courts regarding its Constitutionality. I question both Heard's and Lief's understanding of the Second Amendment. It would seem their politics lean toward the continued misguided notion, fostered with the nation's most powerful lobby, the NRA, are merely attempts to gain funding to take those misguided notions into our State's Legislature.

Oregon has a State Militia. The National Guard of Oregon is controlled by our State and the Second Amendment speaks to the right of this well armed Militia. It does not speak to individuals' right to keep and bear arms WITHOUT ANY FURTHER governance from the State and National level.

Read the Second Amendment and its history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Momos

No young people for a reason. All they see is a bunch of fear mongering old people trying to drag us backwards to the last century. They should put that kind of effort into our budget deficit and landfill issues. Young people are more concerned with not getting shot at school. More guns will not reduce gun violence. That's absurd.

I'm surprised our constitutional sheriff didn't give a rousing speech, just like an old western rerun.

S

re: the Sheriff . . . he was probably looking for his pants.

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