Defenders of citizens' Second Amendment rights to own and bear arms gathered for what they called "high noon" rallies across the United States on Saturday in response to threats by President Barack Obama and some lawmakers to enact more stringent gun-control laws and regulations.
In cities throughout the country, hundreds of thousands of Americans demonstrated their support for the U.S. Constitution and American traditions. Organizers said they were sending President Barack Obama a clear message: "Keep your hands off of our guns."
The debate over gun control took center stage in December when an armed suspect killed 20 first-graders and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. However, in spite of some members of the news media and some politicians claiming the shooter used a so-called assault rifle, police reported he never used a rifle, only the semiautomatic handguns.
Obama and gun control advocates have begun a push to reinstate a federal assault weapons ban following the Connecticut school massacre. In addition, states such as New York have taken up additional gun legislation with the strictest provisions in the nation.
Obama is also demanding a ban on the number of rounds allowed in gun magazines as well as more indepth background investigations for potential gun buyers.
While gun control advocates say U.S. civilians don't need assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, advocates for gun owners such as attorney and talk show host Mark Levin notes that there are many things Americans don't need but want.
"It's none of their business what I need or want. It's my Constitutional right and the Second Amendment says nothing about needing or wanting," said Iris Aquino, a former NYPD police officer
The reaction to Obama's rhetoric and the rhetoric of news media elites has been fierce from gun supporters such as the National Rifle Association, who point to the right to bear arms that is enshrined in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and which they do not want to see watered down. Some supposedly "unbiased" news people have compared the NRA to the Ku Klux Klan or gun owners to Nazis.
On Friday's edition of Fox News Channel's The Five, Democratic Party operative Bob Beckel called the NRA thugs without explaining why they were thugs. He later backed away from his statement by saying he wasn't talking about the NRA members only the leaders.
"In just days, President Obama will cross his fingers and swear to uphold the United States Constitution at his second inauguration ceremony. In the meantime, he and his anti-gun pals are scheming to shred it," said U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ark.)
"Just this Wednesday, President Obama announced his 23 anti-gun initiatives -- even going so far as to use Executive Orders to bypass our gun rights and our Second Amendment," noted the son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul.