Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) - 23–year–old Superior resident and Iraqi Freedom veteran Kevin Wehmeyer, who organized the rally on the sidewalk in front of the Douglas County Courthouse, said preserving our constitutionally protected rights is a fundamental part of his duty as a soldier.
"I swore an oath to the Constitution to protect it against all enemies—foreign and domestic—and I feel like I need to uphold that oath," said Wehmeyer.
Alan Kerr of West Duluth, who came out to support Wehmeyer's message, said he believes crime and gun–related violence is an issue, but that crime rates won't decrease with gun restrictions.
"But, they get worse or better based upon, really, the morality in society," said Kerr.
And while both men, along with many of those in favor of President Obama's call for reform, agree on the belief that the issue goes far beyond guns, Wehmeyer and Kerr say no solution can be found in altering the second amendment.
"I can't say I know the answer to everything. I know that it's our 2nd amendment right that we're allowed to own and possess firearms, and I feel like that's being infringed upon," said Wehmeyer.
"Back in the early 60s the government threw God out of the classroom, and that goes to a core of a lot of our problems we're seeing today—we have an erosion of our societal morality," said Kerr.
But not every sign on the courthouse corner was on the same side of the issue. Poplar, Wisconsin resident Brenda Albright says her husband owns what she calls an arsenal of guns.
"...and I'm not opposed to owning guns, [but] do we own high–capacity assault rifles? No," said Albright.
Albright says the NRA's announcement on Thursday that they generally approve of Obama's call for stricter background checks shows that there can be compromise.
"Lawmaking is all about compromise—each side has got to give," said Albright.
And while Albright and Wehmeyer represent both sides of the issue, both were able to set hostilities aside and talk; a sign that compromise might not be as far away as some think.
The Superior Police did have to get involved during the rally, but not because it was getting out of control.
Rather, it was just to remind Wehmeyer, who was carrying a pistol, that he couldn't be within 1000 feet of Superior Elementary, which meant they had to move to the opposite street corner.
- Posted to the Web by Billy Wagness