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Columbus -- Dan Rodgers stood outside the Statehouse Feb. 8 with a WASR-10 semi-automatic defense rifle slung over his shoulder.
"I use it for personal defense of property and myself and my person," said the Akron man, who runs firearmsfreedom2013.com, a YouTube channel devoted to the Second Amendment. "It's just an exceptionally adequate personal defense rifle."
Rodgers hasn't had to use the firearm to defend himself, but on Feb. 8 he and more than 20 other advocates from across the state held signs and made it clear to passersby where they stood on gun control.
"We have the right to keep and bear the best possible defense tools made available to us," Rodger said. "We shouldn't have to worry about risking losing the ability to purchase said firearms."
Others participating in the Feb. 8 demonstration echoed those thoughts.
Tom Thacker, from Defiance, held a sign that read, in part, "I will not comply! I will not lie down! I will not go quietly!"
He said he made the trip to Columbus to "protest to protect my Second Amendment rights."
"If they can just enforce the laws that are already on the books, it's more than enough," Thacker said. "They just need to put the manpower and the money into doing the background checks the way they should and just making sure everybody keeps safe."
Thacker said he would not support limits on large capacity magazines, moving from 30 rounds to 10 or fewer.
"What if you're facing multiple attackers?" he asked. " If you've only got 10 rounds and you miss eight times and you hit two attackers and you've got five attackers, you're still going to die."
Eric Newport, a college student and pizza delivery driver from Portage County, said he didn't think the government should limit firearms.
"The genie is out of the bottle," he said. "The problem is just how to live with the genie. ... My view is that if we can't learn to get along with all of the capacity that we have as individuals and humans, then there's no real chance for peace inevitably."
He added, "To limit one's ability to be able to defend themselves against tyrannical nations or an aggressor is no way to really proliferate freedom."
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.
Ohio Statehouse Firearms Protest 1 of 3
Tom Thacker, from Defiance, said he made the trip to Columbus to protest to protect my Second Amendment rights. He was one of more than 20 people who held signs outside the Statehouse for the demonstration.
Ohio Statehouse Firearms Protest 2 of 3
Eric Newport, a college student and pizza delivery driver from Portage County, was one of more than 20 people who held signs outside the Statehouse in support of the Second Amendment.
Ohio Statehouse Firearms Protest 3 of 3
Dan Rodgers, an Akron man who runs firearmsfreedom2013.com, was one of more than 20 people who held signs outside the Statehouse in support of the Second Amendment.
This is Erica Peterson, executive editor of the Hub. I shared the commenters' concerns with the writer, Marc Kovac. Here is his response: " I did not receive any advance word about this protest. I happened to look out the window at lunchtime, saw some people holding signs and flags and went out to see if there were any locals. According to the emails I am receiving, there were 100-400 people protesting earlier in the morning. I must have arrived as they were breaking up. I can't verify their numbers, because I wasn't there at the time."
This has got to be one of the most poorly written pieces I've seen. Thank goodness only 20 people are going to read it...To follow up on the previous comment, I doubt it was a typo on the part of the "journalist". It was an intentional move to marginalize the expression of free citizens exercising free speech on behalf of their rights. Of course those of us there know there were several hundred people who braved the frigid temps to come out for what we believe in. But alas, we have a media machine that panders to creating a division among the people in this country at any and every chance they can. So to make us out to be some fringe group of a handful of people, truly aids their cause. Then they can point and say, "See there's only 20 of them, the majority of Americans want gun control". I find it odd that an article written near an area that learned first hand in 1970 what the government can do to unarmed civilians who dare to speak their mind and protest.
Not sure if it was a typo or disinformation but there were at least 200 people there. I would like to see this edited to show the actual numbers please.