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Gun-toting Oregonians hold peaceful rally

By   /   February 8, 2013  /   News  /   9 Comments

By Shelby Sebens | Northwest Watchdog

SALEM – Kodey Kinder handed his 18-month-old daughter a long, orange plastic gun before she waddled through a crowd, making a beeline for a dog she wanted to pet.

FREEDOM: Gun rights advocates listen to speakers at a rally in Salem.

The toddler weaved her way through a crowd of adults toting AK-47s, handguns and other weapons slung around their shoulders and belted to their hips.

Activists on Friday packed the open space across the Capitol to rally for gun rights. Many carried their weapons openly, as is allowed by Oregon law. The Capitol was open and signs on the doors reminded gun owners they could only bring their weapons inside if they have a conceal carry permit.

Most stayed outside, listening to speakers, drinking coffee from a small vendor cart, pushing children in strollers and waving signs at drivers. From signs that read: “Keep your laws off my guns” to “Free people own guns,” their message was clear.

“A right that I’ve been living with is about to be taken away from me,” said Kinder of Pacific City, who said he grew up with guns and owns several himself.

Gun activists came from all over Oregon, afraid both of proposed state and federal legislation. They waved signs and drivers honked in support.

Oregon lawmakers will consider proposals this session to ban or limit assault rifles, limit clips to no more than 10 rounds and expand background checks.

Kinder, who advocates on OpenCarry.org, said he wants to change the stigma society carries about gun owners and gun-rights activists.

“We’re educated and proficient with our weapons,” he said.

Kinder advocates for educating gun owners from the start, much like you teach a teenager to drive a car. He said gun owners should be required to take classes and know the weapons they intend to use.

He argues restricting gun use will not solve the problem.

“Disarming the innocent isn’t going to protect the innocent,” he said.

He pointed to man carrying a large, somewhat menacing looking gun at the rally. It was an AK-47. He said people often attribute that gun to the “bad guys” because it’s often used in the movies. But Kinder, a former Marine Corps marksman, said banning the number of rounds a clip or magazine can hold, or prohibiting so-called assault weapons will not stop killings.

“They’re looking at this the wrong way,” he said. “It’s not the weapons, it’s society.”

The gun debate is ramping up nationwide as Congress and several states look to tighten gun control in the wake of the massacre in Connecticut and the mall shooting in Oregon.

A few gun-control advocates stood outside the Capitol, holding signs that read “All the arms we need are for hugging, not killing.” One Million Moms for Gun Control plans to hold a rally in support of commonsense gun regulations at 10 a.m. Saturday at Portland City Hall.

Despite the large number of weapons on display during the rally,the atmosphere was calm and police appeared at ease as the crowd  filled with people from all walks of life. A  group of leather-clad men riding motorcycles revved their engines as they drove in front of the Capitol before parking near the rally. A small boy carried a star-shaped American flag balloon as he held an adult’s hand walking through the event.

“I think you’ll find it’s pretty low key, a good group of people,” said Sgt. Jon Hardy of the Salem Police Department.

He said the police department was working with the Oregon State Police to provide patrols in and around the Capitol, a common step for large rallies. He said he didn’t expect any issues.

One cop on a bike stopped to chat with a friend who spoke at the rally.

The rally, organized as a grassroots effort, was more a party for guns than an angry protest.

“We’ve got a lot of responsible gun owners. What we need is responsible lawmakers,”  said Kevin Starrett, executive director of the Oregon Firearm Federation.

Contact Shelby Sebens at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter @ShelbySebens. For more Northwest Watchdog updates, visit NWWatchdog on Facebook and Twitter.


Shelby formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • brentondadams

    Hell yes!

  • disqus_l2Ds7AKFIR

    I was the emcee at this rally, and a speaker at this one and the one on the 19th8th of January. Theae are good people, with good lives. I was asked by a radio interviewer at the rally what I would say to the Million moms march folks. What I would say is this, how does taking my rightful property from me protect you? Criminals DO NOT obey laws, I do. So if I cant protect myself, how does that help protect my child? In a nutshell, it doesnt.
    great article! You are more then welcome at our rallies in the future!

  • John Freeman

    “Good people with good lives?” To me, none of these knuckleheads have the ability to rub two brain cells together and come up with the truth of their situation: A chickensh*t with a gun is still a chickensh*t. I figure the gun nuts are certainly True Americans…..scared to death and afraid to live without their little blankies. (Whoo-boy, I can hear ya howling already! )
    Veteran ’66-68

  • John, my husband was murdered back in 1986 (leaving me with three small children) because the restrictive gun laws of the time prevented him from being able to defend himself. Rather than hurling silly insults, perhaps you should do what I did and research the subject. If you’re intellectually honest, you’ll change your mind. If you’re not, there is nothing more I (or anyone) can say.

    The anti- gun advocates have the blood of my late husband on their hands just as assuredly as the person who pulled the trigger.

  • troll is a troll

  • It’s “beeline”

  • John Freeman

    Ah, so any ‘honest’ person must agree with your position? Here are some facts for you. 275,000 people have died of gun violence in this country since 9/11….we went to war (two of ’em, actually) over the first 3000 casualties, though not with the country who suppied 17 of the terrorists. (They were from a country who was already selling us their oil) Here’s another fact: more gun owning people get shot or shoot themselves with their weapons than ever manage to protect anything. That is not including the homeowners who think they are cops and run around outside their homes shooting people. Don’t think I don’t know how to use guns…after being trained Recon in the Army during the 60’s, I was a gun owner myself and I have also served in Public Safety. My opinion is they were a hazard to me and those around me….and I was trained specifically in their use.
    P.S. Does having a divergent view automatically mean someone is a ‘troll’…??
    Veteran ’66-68

  • I’m not interested in arguing with you. “Intellectually honest” is not the same thing as “honest,” for example, and if you’re not capable of reading comprehension it’s pointless to address your insults,

    Additionally, your statistics are flawed, and largely based on false premises, but you anti- gun nuts operate on emotion instead of logic, so that’s not surprising. I guarantee I am far more conversant with the actual facts than you.

    If you truly are a veteran, which I doubt, you are the type our government currently rails against as psychologically incompetent to be armed. You say you “were” a gun owner, so if your grammar is correct, that means you no longer are one. Good! You and your ilk are the sort who give gun owners a bad reputation.

  • Its kinda sad how antigun people seem to be the violent anti rights hate group here. You cant have that gun cause it has potential to kill a lot of people.. other then a protest when is the last time you saw someone legally with one of these rifles on our streets? Most law abiding people here keep them off our streets when we leave them at home cause it isnt real practicle to try and conceal these rifles for personal protection. That being said how dare you! How dare you even think that you have the right to determine what my rights are when they are already outlined in the constrtution! How would you like it if i demanded you get licensed to have children.. im not saying you cant have them.. im just saying you are required to have classes before you have one.. anti gun people are no better then any racist. Your semi auto rifle has to go.. why not say blumacks? Or mexicans? Or whites? Look at the facts.. ignorance is at the heart of all discrimination. I cant believe all the hate i see coming from anti gun people. How can you justify saying all hunters should be shot? How can you justify saying i cant own a a semi auto rifle cause i dont need it. Why do you have whatever car you drive? You dont need it. Im sure you could manage with a bicycle. This country is suppose to be a free country. Free means you have the ability to be able to get the things you want, not what you need. If that were the case then we would be living in a communist state. Personally i li