OAKHURST – Tea Party members, veterans and mountain area citizens gathered at the corner of Highways 41 & 49 on Saturday, Feb. 23, as part of the national Day of Resistance, protesting any potential threats against Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights.
Local Tea Party chairman John Pero said he was pleased with the turnout, with nearly 60 people joining in the rally, waving signs and flags.“This is not about guns, it’s about control,” said Pero. “The government wants to control everything.”
U.S. Army veteran Brandon Murray was appreciative of all the support, as motorist honked and waved.
“I hope we get this much support when it’s time to fight these new laws,” said Murray. “As veterans, we all love our country, and took an oath to protect our rights. Now the government is trying to take them away.”
Local Tea Party members at the rally were not specific about which of the 23 Executive Actions issued by President Obama on Jan. 16 they were opposed to, or which pieces of proposed legislation they would be fighting. They said they were uniting under a common cause to keep their freedoms and constitutional rights from being trampled on and stripped away by the government.
We don’t need any new gun laws,” said Murray. “We need the government to enforce the ones we already have. More intrusion into our rights is not the answer.”
One notable attendee at the rally was Mary Carpenter. She, along with her sister Caroline, have made it their mission to share the story of the murder of her grandchildren in Aug. 23, 2000.
In what has become known as the Pitchfork Murders, a naked intruder, armed with a pitchfork, stabbed to death Ashley and John Carpenter, ages 9 and 7, in their home in Merced.
Mary Carpenter wants people to know that all five Carpenter children were trained in the safety and proper use of firearms, but due to California’s safe storage laws, the family’s guns and ammunition were store in such a ways as to be inaccessible to the kids who were under attack.
“Instead of suing gun manufacturers, I am of the opinion it is our lawmakers who need to be sued,” said Carpenter. “It was the lawmakers who created the laws that kept my grandchildren from being able to defend themselves with any weapon greater than their bare hands. All of my son’s children had been trained in the use of firearms but were unable to get to their dad’s weapon because of California state law.
“You think it won’t happen to you. Do not forget the Carpenter Story – the Big Bad Wolf does not come to the front door and knock, he hides in the garage and jimmies the kitchen door lock with a butter knife.”
Organizers of the Oakhurst rally say they will be doing this type of event as often as they feel it necessary to bring attention to what they see as government intrusion into their lives and their freedoms. This is their second Oakhurst rally in as many months.