Bay County Gun Rights Activists Rally on Gun Appreciation Day

By  | 

With signs in hand, hundreds of 2nd Amendment activists took to the sidewalks of 23rd Street in Panama City Saturday and their message was clear.

"I'm supporting my fellow Americans who believe in the protection of their way to defend themselves. I have an inalienable right to protect myself from whatever," said Gun Rights Activist Bobby Lago.

"We're here to say no more government interference in free peoples' lives," added another activist who didn't want to be named.

The demonstration was a part of a nationwide Gun Appreciation Day. It's the latest move in an ongoing battle in the United States over gun control, fueled most recently by President Obama's signing last week of 23 executive orders aimed at tightening gun rights.

Even though the demonstrators showed up to defend their second amendment right, it was evident in talking to many of them that the issue is about more than just guns.

"That flag that we fly everyday. It wasn't automatically given to us. It was blood, sweat, and tears. And if we continue the path that we're on, our Constritution is bring trampled on," Gun Rights Activist Ted Cook said.

Following December's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, it was immediately evident this conversation was certain to happen, and as expected it's been heated, both sides passionate in their beliefs.

President Obama, representing the pro-gun control side, has pledged to do whatever he can to curb gun violence. Saturday gun rights activists across the country, including in Bay County, stood firm. Neither side at the moment shows signs of backing down.

"Ask them what's more important, doing whatever it takes to get a "A" grade from the gun lobby, or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade?" President Obama said last week during his executive orders speech.

"Are you comparing President Obama to Hitler?" NewsChannel 7's Bryan Anderson asked Gun Rights Activist Captain Ric Corley Saturday.

"Yes sir I am. I thoroughly believe he has a similar agenda. He wants to be dictator," answered Corley.

President Obama's executive orders went into effect as soon as he signed them Wednesday. He also called on Congress to reimplement a military-style assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.