BILLINGS – Two weeks after calls for gun legislation, supporters of the Second Amendment rallied in downtown Billings on Saturday despite the bitter cold.
Peter Siegel organized the pro-gun rally on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn.
“We’re law-abiding citizens,” Siegel said. “We’re gun owners and we’re tired of people yelling down our voices. We’re a silent majority. We don’t usually get our ire up and start raising our voices. But as you can hear every day, we’re raising our voice loud and clear.”
Siegel said guns are not the problem in school shootings.
“I’m agreeable to the background checks,” Siegel said. “But when people are mentally defective, the Florida massacre with the schools at Parkland happened because the government did not do its job.”
“Look at the gun free zones, 98% of all mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. You take the guns away, criminals know that they’re there. If they want to kill people, they know where people are defenseless. “
Students at the rally said gun restrictions will not make schools safer.
“We as a people have a right to protect ourselves from tyranny and all things evil,” said Declan Rous, a high school student.
“The right to bear guns was fought and bled for by our ancestors,” said high school student Jewel Wicks. “Sometimes at the ultimate costs of their lives.
Many spoke including Yellowstone Count Commissioner John Ostlund.
“Really proud to see a great crowd out here peacefully protesting our right to continue with the Constitution as it is,” Ostlund said. “I don’t believe it’s a living document. I believe it was written and intended to be interpreted by the courts as it is.”
“We have a constitution, the first 10 amendments were put into paper, because they felt so strongly that people might lose these rights,” Siegel said. “It’s God-given right to protect myself and my family. “
Siegel said the rally brought in donations that will help with transportation for speakers and go to Toys for Tots.