Gun control proponents gathered for a rally today in front of Portland’s City Hall. Mayor Charlie Hales was there, too.
Protesters said their goal was to bring focus to the gun control debate while remaining respectful of Americans’ right to bear arms.
Portlander Betsy Powell revealed that this was the first rally she’d ever felt compelled to attend. But while she belongs to a hunting club, she feels recent events have convinced her some limits are appropriate.
“I was at the movie theatre the other day with my daughter,” Powell said, “and I was planning how I’d get her out of there.”
Another protestor, Mary Campbell, compares owning a weapon to operating a vehicle, or performing surgery.
“You have to be qualified, you have to have training and you have to understand the circumstances and have that judgment,” Campbell said.
The rally also gave an opportunity for gun rights supporters. One man came to the event with an assault style rifle slung over his shoulder. He was immediately asked by police officers to display his permit.
He said he sees the rally as an attempt by others to infringe on his rights.