Updated 03/20/2013 04:36 PM
Gun Law Opponents Voice Their Opinion at Rally to Support SAFE Act
It began as a rally in support of the New York Safe Act, but when local gun law opponents found out, they made sure their voices would also be heard.
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"I want to thank you all for coming out here to support the SAFE Act."
The noontime rally drew passionate support.
"We're talking about common sense legislation today."
And equally passionate opposition.
"It's not called the bill of needs, it's called the Bill of Rights. It's the Bill of Rights!"
On the steps of City Hall, supporters of New York's tough new guns laws made their case.
"We are not talking about bullets for a duck. We are talking about bullets that are killing our children out here," said Maudine Brown.
In the crowd, people on both sides argued the issue.
"Why are you afraid of my guns?"
"People like this gentleman here might want to walk down the street with a machine gun or a bazooka but I don't think we need that in our society."
"We are not talking about taking things away from people. We are talking about common sense," said Rosemary Rivera, Citizen Action.
Passed in the name of tragic shootings, the gun law has divided New Yorkers. Some see the law as a political ploy.
"Cuomo wants to run in a national election. He's attempting to gather support from all sides of the Democratic party," said Ken MacArthur, gun law opponent.
Don't tell that to Rochester's mayor.
"Quite frankly, I think it's a minor ask that we make some accommodation to the fact that people shouldn't get shot, and I personally am sick of dealing with the issue," said Tom Richards, (D).
"My son could have been the next doctor. Life was wiped away," said Nina Beacoats.
Nina's son was shot to death. The gunman used an AK-47. She supports tough gun laws.
"What about you not knowing how it feels to ever have that knock on your door?" she asked.
The Safe ACT hasn't gained support of all branches of government. Several county legislatures have passed resolutions opposing the law.
"The only thing it does is restrict law-abiding citizens," said Bernie Verhagen.
That's one reason why opponents remain so vocal.
"It does nothing to deter criminals. It does nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals," Verhagen said.
They agree to disagree on an issue that has people fired up, and taking sides.
"That's the beauty of America. We all get our say."