|By Carley Dangona
The Massachusetts Oath Keepers conducted a rally April 19 on the town common in West Springfield. Right, speaker Dave Kopacz discussed the importance of the Second Amendment.
Reminder Publications photo by Carley Dangona
WEST SPRINGFIELD The Massachusetts Oath Keepers staged a rally April 19 that garnered the support of hundreds for its cause of upholding citizens' Second Amendment Constitutional Rights, which entitles Americans the right to bear arms. The rally took place on the town common amidst the rain, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing attack.
On its website, http://oathkeepers.org, the group states, "Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, peace officers, fire-fighters, and veterans who swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic . and meant it. We won't 'just follow orders.'"
Kirk Whatley, a local advocate from South Hadley, said, "We know that the mainstream media was hoping and praying that the bombers had either a Tea Party shirt or a Tea Party flag or an Oath Keepers shirt or an Oath Keepers flag, but they didn't. And the mainstream media is pissed. They're looking to frame us for something."
He continued, "What they deem as the biggest threat to America is not North Korea, it's not China, it's not Al Qaida; they see the biggest threat to America as us, freedom-loving Americans they don't get us."
Jim Lawless, executive director of the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts said, "Right now some people are scared, some people are angry there's a lot of emotions going on. The Second Amendment is about being ready when our nation needs us.
"My heart absolutely soared when I saw the civilians in Boston run towards the sound of an explosion. The first people over the fences were normal, everyday people rendering aid side by side with first responders. That's what we're about as Americans, period, he said."
Lawless continued, "They're telling people to bunker down in their houses in Watertown and Cambridge they're unarmed because cities predominantly do not like the Second Amendment. They discourage the Second Amendment and are now sitting, waiting, wondering what's going to happen and who's going to knock on their door and how they are going to protect their kids if something goes down. That's what the Second Amendment is about as well. Making sure that if, somebody comes knocking; you have a response that they're going to hear loud and clear."
Dave Kopacz said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security called him. "They called little old me, wondering what's up with the Boston bombing," he said, adding that the FBI also visited his house and his father's house.
He continued, "I told them what they needed to hear. I also told them not for one moment to hesitate to look to the extreme left we have Karl Rove and the Southern Poverty Law Center that would like to demonize Oath Keepers and Tea Parties and social conservatives. I want to know who these people are that did these terrible things. I think you do too."
Kopacz added, "Why don't we push for a blood toxicology on every single lunatic that kills somebody. I'd like to know if they're on a medication that has homicidal thoughts as a side effect."
He stated that the Second Amendment is a God-given right, not one provided by the government. He said that its purpose is to enable individuals to protect themselves. "I'd fight with sticks and stones if I had to," he said.
John Franceschi of the Rhode Island Oath Keepers quoted John Wayne. "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway."
He said, "Over the last few days as we mourn the loss of more innocent lives and the numerous life-altering injuries and traumas from the recent attacks in Boston, I've heard the remarks too many times to count 'that we will get through this because we're a strong people,' or 'that the terrorists have not frightened us, and they will not change the way we live our lives.'"
Franceschi added, "Well, judging by the security state we live in, they've already won. They have altered our former ways and not for the better."
While he agreed that the act was one of cowardice, he said that the worst kind of cowardice is the "shrinking spirit of liberty in exchange for security."
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