Kanawha County resident Terry Knorr said he “no options” but to attend a rally on the steps of the state capitol Saturday morning in support of 2nd Amendment rights.
Knorr says proposals to take away some gun rights are worth rallying against.
“What the government is talking about doing is in direct violation of that amendment,” Knorr told MetroNews. “There is nothing in the Constitution that permits them, without another amendment, to violate that amendment.”
Knorr is a 22-year veteran of the military and he joined about 300 men, women and children at the “Guns Across America” rally led by state lawmaker Josh Nelson.
Del. Nelson, R-Boone, says many West Virginians are scared that a chipping away of the 2nd Amendment will one day lead to a taking away of personal ownership of guns used for protection.
“A lot of us especially here in West Virginia live quite a ways away from any kind of civilization—so the comfort it brings to be able to protect your family means a lot to people,” the freshman delegate said.
Nelson told the crowd through a bullhorn that when he goes to work as an underground coal miner in Boone County and leaves his wife and two-year-old daughter at home she should able to have a gun with more than seven rounds to protect herself.
Knorr says he agrees with President Barack Obama that no single act is going to solve the gun violence problem but he says infringing on a constitutional right isn’t the way to go.
“When you give up one right what’s to stop them from taking another. You’ve got to draw the line before you start,” Knorr said.
Berkeley County Del. Larry Faircloth says it’s a very emotional issue for many West Virginians.
“They’ve learned generation after generation that ‘Hey we’ve got guns in the home. We can hunt with these. We can go to sporting events with these. We can use them for recreation. And now you want to take them away from us? What did we do wrong?’” Faircloth said.
Knorr admits it’s a difficult issue.
“I don’t know the answer,” he said. “But I know taking away the rights or infringing on that right is unconstitutional. It’s unconscionable!”
Del. Nelson says those who took the time on a Saturday morning in January to come out to the state capitol to voice their concern and rally for the 2nd Amendment were mostly just regular West Virginians who don’t like the way things are going.
“People are afraid. It’s just as simple as that,” Nelson said.