Gun Rally

One under gun: Firearm advocates rally at Coos Bay Boardwalk

2013-02-02T07:00:00Z 2013-02-02T08:20:32Z One under gun: Firearm advocates rally at Coos Bay BoardwalkBy Thomas Moriarty, The World Coos Bay World
February 02, 2013 7:00 am  • 

COOS BAY — The December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School shocked the nation and sent gun owners into a defensive position as state and federal lawmakers consider new restrictions.

Gun rights advocates plan to gather at 2 p.m. today on the Coos Bay Boardwalk to protest what they say is increasing government encroachment on their Second Amendment rights.

Christopher Ashford of Coos Bay is the founder of Coos County Gun Rights, and the primary organizer behind the rally.

Ashford said the possibility of a new ban of assault weapons — military-pattern semi-automatic firearms — is one of gun owners’ biggest fears.

“It’s one of the reasons why I don’t live in the state of California,” Ashford said.

In 1989, the California Legislature passed the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act, which banned several dozen semi-automatic firearms by name. In 1999, the state expanded the ban to include any semi-automatic firearm with a detachable magazine that had more than one designated feature.

Oregon has long taken a balanced approach to firearms ownership.

The state allows military-pattern semi-automatic firearms and ownership of National Firearms Act weapons, such as automatic firearms, short-barreled shotguns and silencers. It’s also a shall-issue state for concealed handgun licenses, meaning law enforcement officials are required to issue a license if they can’t find a legally disqualifying reason.

But Oregon also requires all sales at gun shows to go through the National Instant Check System, and is one of a few states that submit their mental health records to the national background check database.

According to U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., the state’s gun owners have little reason to fear a new federal ban on military-pattern semi-automatic firearms. “It’s very unlikely to happen,” DeFazio said.

What is more probable is the expansion of the types of mental health records included in national databases. But DeFazio said it would be important to balance medical privacy issues with public safety when considering  who to add to the database.

But the mere mention of new regulations makes many Coos County gun owners bristle.

“Any kind of further firearms regulation is not going to curb the real threat — the criminals — by virtue of them being criminals,” said Connie Martin, a Coos Bay firearms instructor.

Martin has been an NRA-certified handgun instructor for several years, and is one of the administrators of the Emerald Coast Defensive Shooters Association.

She said she became a gun owner after buildings on her mother’s property were repeatedly burglarized.

“I had no interest in shooting prior to my property being vandalized,” Martin said.

The rally’s backers aren’t all motivated solely by personal defense concerns, however.

Rob Taylor of Bandon sees the gun control debate as a bellwether for a broad range of libertarian policy issues.

Taylor  is the founder of the Coos County Watchdog group, an organization best known for its opposition to the Bandon Marsh expansion.

“It’s not about gun rights — it’s about civil rights,” said Taylor. “The biggest minority out there is the individual.”

Reporter Thomas Moriarty can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 240, or by email at Follow him    on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty.

Copyright 2015 Coos Bay World. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. Ironmanpb
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    Ironmanpb - February 08, 2013 7:36 am
    also you are more likely to be killed by a doctor than a gun........
  2. Ironmanpb
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    Ironmanpb - February 08, 2013 7:34 am
    stevenjs- the top 5 accidental deaths in a home are 1- Falls 2- poisoning 3- Fire and burns 4- Airway obstruction 5- Water Having a gun at home not only increases the risk of harm to one's self and family, but also carries high costs to society- this is because of all the gang violence in the cities with strict gun control......not to mention Two-thirds of all gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides
  3. StevenJS
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    StevenJS - February 05, 2013 5:22 pm
    My second entry is from and not my own.
  4. StevenJS
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    StevenJS - February 05, 2013 1:02 pm
    Sandman450, doesn't it concern you at all that one of your family members is much, much more likely to be injured or killed by one of your guns than an intruder? You need to consider your families safety. Protect them by making your home unattractive to thieves. Equip your home with good locks. Dont let brush and tall weeds grow up around you house where bad guys hide before breaking in. Keep your homes exterior well lit. Common sense stuff.
  5. sandman450
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    sandman450 - February 05, 2013 10:08 am
    The sign on my property saying " This property is protected by a legaly armed citizen" has eliminated vandalizim and tresspassing completely! I hope to NEVER have to shoot a person in personal defense, however, the knowlege and security that I can protect myself and my family is one of the most important liberties granted by our Constitution! IMO
  6. Sujameco
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    Sujameco - February 04, 2013 1:16 pm
    I am curious regarding "the right to bear arms", why is it legal nowadays to carry a gun in public, but illegal to "bear" a sword? Suchs "arms" certainly must have been included in what the Framers intended that term to mean, but the NRA doesn't appear to think outlawing swords or even having too long a pocket knife unreasonable, much less unconstitutional.
  7. StevenJS
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    StevenJS - February 03, 2013 10:33 am
    Having a gun at home not only increases the risk of harm to one's self and family, but also carries high costs to society, concludes an article in the February Southern Medical Journal, official journal of the Southern Medical Association. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy.

    "Firearm-related violence vastly increases expenditures for health care, services for the disabled, insurance, and our criminal justice system," writes Dr. Steven Lippmann of University of Louisville School of Medicine, and colleagues. "The bills are paid by taxpayers and those who buy insurance."

    Guns at Home Increase Dangers, Not Safety
    Based on a review of the available scientific data, Dr. Lippmann and co-authors conclude that the dangers of having a gun at home far outweigh the safety benefits. Research shows that access to guns greatly increases the risk of death and firearm-related violence. A gun in the home is twelve times more likely to result in the death of a household member or visitor than an intruder.

  8. StevenJS
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    StevenJS - February 03, 2013 1:57 am
    So Connie, are you going to shoot the next person that vandalizes your property? Or the next person you think might vandalize your property? What about the kids who think they are TP'ing a classmates house and they show up at your place by mistake, are you going to fire away at them? Put away your gun and call the police.
  9. gemsinger
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    gemsinger - February 02, 2013 3:20 pm
    I don't think connie has anything to worry about at least in terms of assult on her person!
  10. Pat
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    Pat - February 02, 2013 10:00 am
    While I can understand the fear and resentment one might feel after being intruded upon and stolen from, I strongly question whether its a good idea for a mad 100yr old person to be able to buy an arsenal of machine guns and ammo.A shot gun blast in the air would scare anything away short of Godzilla. Just my opinion.
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