Up in arms

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Of the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, few are as contentious as the Second: The right to bear arms. Although many of the amendments, and the Constitution in general, are variously interpretable, the Second contains a concentration of debatable terms. What is “well regulated”? Or a “free state,” let alone the “security” of that state. About 150 people assembled (see First Amendment) at Vance Monument on Feb. 23 for a “Day of Resistance,” a retort to the recent developments in national firearms legislation born of such incidents as mass shootings — especially the Dec. 20 incident at Sandy Hook Elementary. Xpress Photographer Max Cooper documented the event in a photo blog, where the debate continued in the comments section. Visit http://avl.mx/qn to add your say to the still-lively discussion. — Jaye Bartell

This is why the First Amendment is more powerful than the Second. — Jason

So to all you folks out there in favor of gun rights, and loving signs that say "shall not be infringed" and such, may I ask you a couple of questions? (1) If the government can't infringe on gun ownership, should free people be able to sell guns to anyone? (2) Should free people be able to sell guns of any sort at a convenience store, for example? What if the convenience store is next to a playground or a school, is that still OK? What if the guns are loaded and ready to fire, isn't that still OK because we are a free people, right? (3) Since you're so committed to the U.S. Constitution, are there other parts of it you're willing to speak up about as vigorously? Such as the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment and civil rights cases? Do you believe in real and full equal protection under the law for all people? Including gay people, for example? If not, and speaking of "liberty and justice for all", what part of it that would be so abhorrent to you — the Liberty part, the Justice part, or the for ALL part? — Johnny (a gun owner)

I'll add one more thing that they should be protesting: Our state's 9.2 percent unemployment rate along with the Tea Bag/Republican government we have in Raleigh and their "solutions for fixing that … None at all. Nah … It's better to sleep broke and hungry but have a semi by your side to defend. What were they all defending against again? — Lamont Cranston (another gun owner)

The God given right to self defense is more powerful than any law or document created by man. Molon Labe [Come and Take] — Todd

Molon Labe: Wasn't that King Leonidas' (of Sparta) battle cry during the Battle of Thermopylae? Weren't the Spartans dealt a good old fashioned arse-whupping by the Persians after saying that? … Two words: "well-regulated" — it's in the Constitution. See 2nd Amendment. — Boatrocker

It's great that Asheville has its priorities straight; breasts that nurture life are obscene and must be barred "for the children," yet yahoos who feel the need to strut around with guns, designed only to do one thing, which is to take life, are welcomed. — Dionysis

This is terrific. Especially in prissy-pants Asheville! — scottt668

The statistics of gun ownership show that a gun is 30 times more likely to be used on a friend or family member than it is on an intruder. Fear or neglect takes a huge toll on our society. Negligence probably is responsible for about half of those accidental, suicidal deaths. — D. Dial

Wasn't it amazing that those guns didn't kill anyone? Or just maybe just maybe they were responsible gun owners exercising their first amendment. Stop trying to make law abiding citizens into criminals. Ewwww they’re so scary! — Tonya S Chandler, via Facebook

The carrying of weapons was absolutely illegal under Asheville's laws. Failure to enforce the law is a serious problem. — Cecil Bothwell, Asheville City Council, via Facebook

Worth noting that the rally organizers specifically asked those individuals who were armed to move to the non-city-park side of the street. I saw no one armed on the wrong side. — Max Cooper, staff photographer, Mountain Xpress, via Facebook

It's also worth pointing out that they could have simply protested with their picket signs. There was no need to pack heat, and violate the law. [And] the number of misspelled words on these signs is absolutely astounding. — Michael Jones, via Facebook

The fact that anyone would say the right to own a gun is "their God Giving right" is APPALLING! What the hell kind of religion is that? — Christopher C Nc, via Facebook

Christopher: That religion would be Christianity: Luke 22:36. Jesus: "Then said he to them, But now, he that has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his money: and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." If you do not want a firearm, [then] by all means do not own one. I'm sure you sleep well at night, knowing deep in your heart that people like me — a sheepdog if you will — are standing guard. Even though you despise my mere presence in your comfortable world. — Phil Flack, via Facebook

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people… Jesus said [to Judas], “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Jesus then healed the wounded man. As for Luke 22:36, there is a little more nuance that follows in Luke 22:37. Maybe you missed the full context. Your understanding of the true message of Jesus Christ is disturbed to say the least. — Christopher C Nc, via Facebook

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