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York, PA -
Robin Bobula didn't used to own a gun.
"I had a threat on my life many years ago and I did not have a gun, and I spent a weekend in terror," the York Township resident said, noting she was a single mother and pregnant then.
Bobula has since become a gun owner. She said her "deep, deep concern for the loss of liberties in this country," specifically gun control measures -- many of which have been highly debated since the Dec. 14 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., -- brought her to Red Lion Saturday.
Bobula was one of roughly 75 Second Amendment supporters who took part in a Day of Resistance event in Red Lion. The event was one of more than 100 nationwide scheduled that day.
"We're trying to raise awareness that the Second Amendment is under heavy attack and that people need to wake up and stand together and make their voices heard instead of just thinking that somebody else will somehow magically protect our rights," Bobula said.
Chris Ross, of Yoe, said he has been wanting to do something in support of the Second Amendment and found the national Day of Resistance website while doing research. He applied to be a rally organizer.
Ross said he has been around guns all his life and when he was growing up, never thought there were people who didn't support the Second Amendment. "I'm very outspoken about it," he said of his support. "Some people just do not believe we should need to own guns for any reason."
But, he clarified, "our fight as a whole is not about guns. It has nothing to do with guns -- except for the attacks on our guns. It's about our rights."
With a gun slung across his back, Ross grabbed the bullhorn and addressed the crowd, split on either side of the intersection of routes 24 and 74.
"We are gathered here today for one reason," Ross said, as passing cars honked in support. "That is because we have a government on both state and federal levels that is blatantly trampling over our rights as American citizens under the constitution of the United States of America to keep and bear arms."
As he spoke to the crowd, Ross referenced the "small few unstable criminals" that have set off the gun debate. He called for an end to the "useless anti-gun legislation" that he said is being pushed through in some states.
Bruce Becker, of Manheim, Lancaster County, said for him, supporting the Second Amendment isn't a gun issue, "it's a freedom issue."
"I believe the Second Amendment protects the others, especially the First Amendment," Becker said. "In the Constitution, it was designed to be self rule. We're all given God-given rights. Man likes to take over."
And, he noted, the government "is using the gun tragedies (like Newtown, Conn.) against us. It's not the guns, it's the people that are using the tools."
James Steffee, a Vietnam veteran from Red Lion, said "we have never known the resistance or the push to control us as we are now. I've been looking for a way to push back."
Steffee said he fought to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, "and now this is the thanks we're gonna get?"
Jesse Garver, of Glen Rock, drove past the rally on his way to get new tires for his truck, but he turned around.
Day of Resistance
According to the Day of Resistance website, the event on Feb. 23 was created in response to the 23 executive orders issued by President Barack Obama on Jan. 16 "against your 2nd amendment Constitutional right to bear arms."
The Day of Resistance was designed for Second Amendment supporters to "stand together in defiance to protect the right that protects ALL of our rights." Four events in Pennsylvania were among the more than 100 nationwide posted on the website, www.dayofresistance.com.
According to Reuters, Obama "launched the biggest U.S. gun-control push in generations" on Jan. 16, "urging Congress to approve an assault weapons ban and background checks for all gun buyers to prevent mass shootings like the Newtown school massacre."
'It's a trusting government problem'
Gene Lau didn't know a rally was planned in front of his business on Saturday.
But when he saw several dozen Second Amendment supporters with their signs and flags gather in front of Red Lion Karate, Lau got out his ladder.
He climbed to the top and put a message of support of his own on his marquee.
"I want to support what's going on here," he said. "I don't own any guns, but I'm gonna be a gun owner soon."
Lau said he "doesn't like the way the country's going."
"It's a trusting our government problem," he said, explaining he wants to purchase a gun for personal protection and to push back against the government.
He said it was appropriate that the rally came together outside of his karate studio.
"I'm teaching people to defend themselves," he said. "Think about the beauty of what these guys are doing."
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