Passion for guns, disdain for D.C. at Kingman rally
Organizer Zanna, others share views during event
Luca Zanna, armed with unbridled passion for his adopted country and a rifle, handed out yellow flowers to a few of the more than 100 people who showed up for a pro-Second Amendment rally Friday in front of the Mohave County Sheriff's Office.
They came to share their enthusiasm for gun ownership, God and freedom - and to voice a universal disdain for President Barack Obama, the current political climate in Washington, D.C., and liberals they believe want to confiscate every gun in America.
A motorist would occasionally honk their horn in support as they drove by, including the driver of a school bus.
"The gun is just a tool," Zanna said. "Like a hammer. The flower is a symbol of love and peace, but if you touch my flower the gun might go off."
His message was well received by attendees, most who were armed with a rifle or handgun, or both.
Several participants shared their opinion, with Zanna videotaping the entire event.
Zanna was born in Italy, but has since gained American citizenship. "My dream was to be like one of you guys," he said. "Like your grandfathers who came and rescued my family on the beaches of Anzio (during World War II)."
Several people briefly spoke at the gathering. The theme varied by degrees - the country is halfway to becoming Nazi Germany; if you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns; God entrusts me not to sell my children into slavery; Obama belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood.
But Patricia Koch shared a more tangible reason for advocating gun ownership. She said about a year ago a man tried to break into her home one night while she was home alone, knitting.
Armed with a handgun, she was able to scare off the intruder.
"I said, you get that door unlocked and you will not walk away. I have a gun aimed right at you." She held her fire and the man fled. She said police pointed out his footprints in her front lawn.
Kevin Jackson was there to support Sheriff Tom Sheahan, who earlier this week told the Kingman Daily Miner he would not enforce gun laws if he considers them unconstitutional.
Keith Nelson said the nation's Declaration of Independence is a document that "declared to the world we would be a free and independent people."
He said the federal government in its current incarnation is this generation's King George.
Another man who didn't give his name reminded those in attendance that brutal world leaders were responsible for more bloodshed in the last century than all other causes.
"The number one cause of death in the 20th century was government killing (its) own people," he said. The man mentioned the genocide committed by dictators and despots like Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler and Pol Pot, the man responsible for the deaths of millions of Cambodians in the years following the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam.
Not everyone was there to support Zanna, Sheahan or, for that matter, unchecked gun rights.
"I may be 90 years old, but I still have my opinion," said Alyce Hughes, who stood in the crowd holding a sign that read, "Harm Reduction equals No Assault Weapons, No High-Capacity Gun Magazines."
Hughes is not a gun owner, but neither does she want all guns banned. Said her daughter, substance abuse counselor Deborah Torres: "Basically, it's please don't kill 26 people in a few minutes."
Citing her occupation, Torres said, "It doesn't take much for anyone to get unhinged."