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Locals Turn Out For National Gun Appreciation Day

OAKHURST – Horns honked and flags waved as area residents gathered at the corner of Highways 41 & 49 in support of National Gun Appreciation Day on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Some 40 people came out with signs, flags and determination to bring attention to what they see as the eroding of their right to keep and bear arms, and to protest the recent executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence.Vets for the 2nd AmmendmentThe nationwide-event, which organizers say is the 1st Annual, was organized by a group called Political Media, according to their website http://gunappreciationday.com.

The website called on everyone, “On 01.19.13, go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your Constitution, American flags, and your ‘Hands Off My Guns’ sign, to send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama.”

There were folks on hand from the local group Caring Vets, the National Rifle Association, the Tea Party, and others who wanted to make their voices heard in opposition to what they see as an attack on the 2nd Amendment.

Steve Hall with fellow rallier Laura 1-19-13

“Tell the legislature to go after the people who disobey the laws,” said Steve Hall, retired Naval Commander who participated in the rally. “I’m out here to protest the 23 executive orders trying to circumvent the three branches of government and keep people from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.”

Hall says the answer to gun violence is not stricter gun control laws. “Criminals commit crimes without guns. Our elected officials should be addressing the issues of those few who break the laws already in place, not attacking the rights of the majority who don’t.

“Our founding fathers clearly spelled out our absolute right to bear arms for our defense,” Hall said, “and some 60 million Americans do it responsibly every day to our benefit.”

Oakhurst Vet John HendricksJohn Hendricks of Oakhurst, and member of the Caring Vets organization, said the support during the day was very encouraging.

“There are like-minded people up here,” he said as some people in passing vehicles honked and waved.

One man who didn’t wish to be identified, said he generally doesn’t protest, “but it’s time. I have been an NRA member all my adult life, and this is something worth getting out and standing up for. We’re not out to protect criminals, but to do the right thing and make the streets safer for everybody.”

Below is a list of the 23 executive actions signed by President Obama on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013:

Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions

Today, the President is announcing that he and the Administration will:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

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