East Texans rally for gun rights on "Gun Appreciation Day"

TYLER (KYTX) - As talks of gun control continue, people across East Texas are rallying to show their support for their second amendment rights on "Gun Appreciation Day."

"The survival of this document rests in the hands of we the people," said JoAnn Fleming with Grassroots America at a Saturday morning rally at Lock and Load in Tyler.

With the U.S. Constitution in hand people of East Texas showed up for Fun Appreciation Day  in numbers.

"Our situation scares me," said Dinah Miller, who attended the rally.

Scott Allen also attended, and said, "I believe we need to stand behind the constitution because it is the law of the land."

State and local lawmakers addressed the gun control talks in Washington.

Representative Matt Schaefer said, "We look at these new laws that they want to pass. The first question we need to ask is, 'Are people going to have more freedom or less freedom?' When they want to restrict our gun rights, the answer is clearly, they want less freedom."

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith voiced an opinion similar to those of other politicians: "The firearm issue would be better left to each individual state rather than the federal government going against the constitution."

Senator Kevin Eltife refers to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that spurred the gun control talks.

"Gun control is not the answer to our problems. You're just punishing law abiding citizens," he said.

Eltife asks for a bigger focus on violence in movies and video games, but mainly on mental health.

"The number one focus in this state and in this country should be on mental illness," Eltife said. "We do not properly fund mental illness in our state and we don't properly fund mental illness in this country."

East Texans didn't just celebrate Gun Appreciation Day at the rally. The gun show at Harvey Convention Center in Tyler drew hundreds who stood in line for hours to get in.

People waited, even though prices inside the gun show were 200 to 300 percent higher than usual.

"If I want it, I'll pay it," said Fred Browning, who stood in line for the gun show - and he wasn't alone.

Lots of other gun show goers were willing to pay that much too.

The lines and the rallying were a strong message from East Texans, who are standing behind their second amendment right.

"It will be our freedom in the long run," Allen said.

Promises from East Texas representatives showed that they're ready for a fight.

Schaefer closed his speech with, "An invading army once demanded that the Texians at the Alamo give up their cannon, and the phrase 'come and take it' will long be remembered."

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's gun control plan includes criminal background checks on all gun sales, the reinstitution of an assault weapons ban, and a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.


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