LAW ABIDING CITIZENS ARE UNDER ATTACK
From Our August 2016 Printed Edition:
by Lonnie Brennan
BOSTON – Despite the high humidity, searing sun and oppressive heat, nearly 3,000 constitutionalists gave up a precious July Saturday morning to travel to the State House to protest the recent actions of Democrat Attorney General Maura Healey who, on the eve of her Party’s National Convention, went headline grabbing at the expense of legal firearm owners.
In a move that many claim marks yet another chapter of political ambition, the highly controversial attorney general issued a decree outlawing many legal firearms.
“Instantly, thousands of previously legal firearm owners became felons in waiting,” said Gun Owners’ Action League’s (GOAL) Executive Director Jim Wallace. He warned: “Everyone, whether you own a firearm or not, you should know that if they [politicians] can do this to us [strip away our constitutional rights], they can do it to you.”
The attorney general took it upon herself to unleash a decree crafted in secrecy, with no warning, no public hearing, no notice, which ended the sale of many firearms in the state, and placed many others in an unknown classification. Most damning, it put current gun owners into a legal limbo: they can’t sell or trade their weapons, and they could be prosecuted for possession, or at the very least, required to somehow prove their “grandfathered” rights. Healey stopped short of confiscation.
“Maura Healey interpreted this law, and twisted it around, like a cockroach in the night. That’s all she is, a cockroach,” rally attendee Roger Kernozicky of Kingston said before the rally began. “Hang Healey,” he said as he looked over at the many signs pointing out how in one day, law-abiding citizens were stripped of their constitutional rights.
“Welcome, felons in waiting,” GOAL’s Wallace greeted the crowd. “I think that hell just came to Massachusetts,” he joked in reference to the heat wave, “and the devil is sitting over at One Ashburton Place,” referring to the office of the attorney general. Wallace explained the bill, the actions, and how legal gun owners – in one fell swoop – became open to prosecution. One day legal, the next in limbo. He cautioned that even though the attorney general stated in a letter that she wouldn’t personally prosecute any current firearm owners, that letter is no guarantee of her office’s future actions, nor those of others who may be involved in government, or who may follow her in office – if this decree is left unchallenged.
Representative Randy Hunt, 5th Barnstable District (Cape Cod), headed off the event, sharing that he is a GOAL member, an NRA member and that he supports “every single one of you.” He said, “Our attorney general, with one swipe of the pen, has caused millions of dollars of inventory, and manufacturers and resellers, to go poof. She has changed business retailers’ plans instantaneously.” The rep. detailed how a particular shop near him will lose 30% of its sales.
“This was not announced ahead of time,” Rep. Hunt explained. “It had no public hearings. It was a big secret and it was thrust upon us, and now, we are going to suffer the consequences of that, and we need to change that.” He noted the vagueness of the edict, and warned that this is just the first step to then go after pistols and shotguns and other firearms, and said that this is “an infringement of our Second Amendment [rights] and we won’t stand for it.”
He asked the gathering to do one thing: Hold each and every candidate from this point forward accountable, and if they support the attorney general, vote them out of office.
“To turn this around in November of 2018, we can have lawsuits, and we will,” Hunt said. “We can have demonstrations, and we will. We can have legislation and try to pass that, and we will. But the ultimate change will be a different attorney general in 2018!”
“This isn’t about guns, this isn’t about safety,” State Representative David Vieira told the crowd. He said, “This was about a frat party that’s going to take place in Philadelphia next week and the attorney general wanted free advertising.” The frat party was a clear reference to the Democrat National Convention, at which the attorney general was lauded for her stance against the 2nd Amendment.
Republican Governor Charlie Baker was booed in his absence, repeatedly, at the rally. A chant broke out of “cluck, cluck, cluck,” referring to his nickname “Chicken Charlie,” given to him by Boston talk show host Jeff Kuhner. Speakers pointed out the governor’s lukewarm response to the attorney General’s action and urged the governor to speak up and show leadership in protection of their 2nd Amendment rights.
Democrat Senator Ann Gobie had “a very simple message to the attorney general: Reverse. Reverse.”
Republican Representative Geoff Diehl, the lone elected official in Mass. to endorse Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, noted how Trump was the ONLY presidential candidate endorsed by the NRA. He then noted that, unlike Trump, this attorney general was against gun rights and was promoting her own extremist personal agenda.
“This is the same attorney general who is telling me that my daughters have to ‘hold it’ if they go into a bathroom, if they’re not comfortable with a man going to the bathroom in there,” Rep. Diehl noted, referencing the attorney general’s major push to allow men into women’s bathrooms and showers. “We need to stop this constitutional problem of an attorney general who wants to impose her own interpretations and vision of a progressive liberal Massachusetts that takes your rights away, each and every day.”
“So I understand that there is some bi-partisan support here today, but I have to tell you something: it’s the Republican Party that has been standing with you every time, and we’re a super-minority up there [at the State House]. Please support Republicans out there who are trying to protect your freedoms,” Diehl concluded.
Republican Representative Marc Lombardo emphasized that even if someone does not own a gun, does not care about guns, this issue is still critical because “the overreach of government matters. Because – what happens when they come for something that YOU care about?” He challenged everyone to step off the sidelines and get involved in elections, and emphasized that “on Wednesday we realized that elections have consequences. So on November 8th, make sure that you support candidates up and down the ticket who support your rights. My name is Marc Lombardo, and I will stand by you!”
Republican Representative Keiko Orrall asked everyone to look around at the signs and said, “there should be no re-interpretation without representation,” referring to the single-sided edict by the attorney general. “We can make a difference, each one of you,” she said, as she urged everyone to stand up for their rights. She pointed out a list of nearly 20 representatives who stood alongside her on the steps and recognized each one for supporting 2nd Amendment rights.
Republican Senator Bruce Tarr thanked everyone for coming out on a hot Saturday, “when people are doing all kinds of things and you are here defending democracy, and we thank you for that.”
The seemingly record-breaking crowd contained a mixture of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, with many women and children. In contrast to several chants of “Charlie…..Charlie…” with thousands of voices chanting out the governor’s name, calling out to the State House and chastising the governor for ducking this issue, rally attendees stood shoulder to shoulder in the Pledge of Allegiance and in recognizing our police officers, at one time chanting “Blue Lives Matter.”