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Gun Owners Crash Anti-Gun Violence Rally in Concord

Chants and counter-chants, arguments, and one arrest at Mayors Against Illegal Guns event at the Statehouse.

CONCORD, N.H. – With dueling chants, what was supposed to be a respectful presentation of the names of those lost to gun violence since the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, CT, turned into bedlam on June 18 at the Statehouse.

The No New Names bus tour, sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, was parked outside the plaza, to read the names of thousands of victims of gun violence and hold a rally later in the day.

ALSO READ: Police Taser Gun Rights Advocate at Anti-Gun Violence Rally

AND: No More Names Anti-Gun Violence Bus Tour Visits Concord

At 9 a.m., clergy members, including two from Concord, began reading names of the more than 6,000 who have died since the Newton shootings.

Later, at 3:30 p.m., one gun control advocate, John Cantin, dropped of a list of the names of those killed by guns at U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s Manchester office, pressing the case that the country needs better background checks. 

At 5 p.m., anti-gun violence advocates stopped reading the names and began to talk about why they were there.

Judy Stadtman, the co-founder of NH Project for Safer Communities, of Portsmouth, said the event was held to memorialize and mourn those that died, deaths that were preventable, had there been laws that kept guns out of the hands of dangerous and irresponsible people.

“The one thing that we can know for certain is that the epidemic level of gun violence in the United States is not an inevitable, naturally occurring feature of contemporary civilization,” she said. “It’s a form of death and destruction invented and practiced exclusively by humans, using weapons designed by humans, to increase our capacity to kill.”

About two minutes into her speech, as Stadtman began to criticize Congress and Ayotte for rejecting new laws that she said would ensure that only those who were qualified and intended to do no harm would own guns, counter protesters began to boo. Stadtman asked members of her side to close in ranks in a circle. 

Protesters began to yell at each other with Stadtman and others chanting “background checks” and the other side chanting “freedom” and later, “go home.”

The Rev. Steven Silver of Lebanon began to read more names while gun advocates yelled “shameless.” A few anti-gun violence advocates yelled back, "Have you no respect for the dead?"

Cantin of Manchester, who was injured by gun fire while his daughter was murdered by an estranged husband in 2009, began to speak about his efforts trying to convince Ayotte to support the Toomey-Manchin background check bill. He was approached by Daniel Musso who challenged his speech for a few minutes and then walked away. Later, Musso was Tasered and arrested by Concord Police, and he faces charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and simple assault.

The back and forth continued throughout the rally, with more names being read and more chanting. There were a number of side arguments between both sides. State representatives like J.R. Hoell, R-Dunbarton, were trying to explain their positions while SEIU activist Kenneth Roos stepped in to make sure the No More Names supporters stayed out of trouble. 

Jack Kimball, of Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC, who assisted in throwing together the counter protest, said he was surprised at the lack of gun advocates who were in attendance for the event.

“I thought that their turnout would be much larger,” he said. “I think, probably, we have as many as they have, and we’ll have more.”

He said he hoped to see less animosity and emotionality around the issue in the future.

“Believe me, everyone feels terrible,” he said. “(Sandy Hook) was tragic … I shed tears watching that, the whole week … (but) if the teacher at Sandy Hook had a weapon, I don’t think we’d be here today.”

Jeff Grappone, speaking for Ayotte, criticized the group for spending millions on “false attacks against” New Hampshire's junior senator. The gun control bill desired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the group’s supporters, “Unfortunately … wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy in Newtown,” Grappone noted.

“Senator Ayotte voted for legislation that had bipartisan support to fix the current broken background check system, increase the prosecution of those who illegally seek to obtain firearms, and provide additional resources for school safety, while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” he said via email. “She also worked across party lines to pass an amendment to strengthen the nation's mental health system.”

Liz Pierce June 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM
I am sorry. until Mayor Bloomberg has zero gun deaths in NYC, he should park his bus and focus on that.
rick barasso June 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM
I heard the funniest thing last night on The Daily Show. Part of the new immigration reform requires people to learn English. I find it amusing, the same party that insist owning a gun is a right, would deny someone the right to speak their own language and embrace their own culture.
Andrea June 19, 2013 at 01:42 PM
I want the option of owning a weapon or not owning one..... I am hopefull in problems reaching compromise without violence, but really, if someone tries to hurt myself or a loved one, I want a way to protect myself.
rick barasso June 19, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Do you believe you would need a hundred round clip to accomplish that? Do you think the crazy guy down the street should be able to do the same?
rick barasso June 19, 2013 at 01:47 PM
If the answer to these two questions is no, welcome to the Democrats ideology.
JPF36 June 19, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Do you believe that Rick is just an antagonist that doesn't really care what anyone that opposes his beliefs thinks??? Just click on his name and you will be able to see the RANTS that come from him.
rick barasso June 19, 2013 at 02:27 PM
LOL. Don't you just hate sore losers? When faced with facts that don't agree with their rhetoric. They resort to demeaning statements. As always jpf feel free to debate me on any issue you'd like. But it's going to take more than name calling, BRING FACTS...Have a wonderful day
JPF36 June 19, 2013 at 02:27 PM
rick barasso, For someone that lives in Tampa Florida (and has for quite some time) I am not quite sure why you feel the need to comment on happenings in Concord NH. I also recall something from not to long ago about your involvement with a pier being built on a public beach.
JPF36 June 19, 2013 at 02:30 PM
rick barasso Checking out your history of Rants on Patch should suffice as proof of what you are all about.
JPF36 June 19, 2013 at 02:31 PM
rick Where are YOUR FACTS??? All I see are your rants?
Keith F Thompson June 19, 2013 at 02:38 PM
These were not gun rights advocates, these were ugly bullies with not one iota of common human decency. The have reached the moral level of the Westboro Baptist Church. These brownshirt thugs heckeled a gun violence survivor who lost his daughter. They shouted down a clergyman, and when they attempted to sing God Bless America to drown out a prayer, A PRAYER, they forgot the lyrics. These gun fetishists have made me ashamed of my state.
rick barasso June 19, 2013 at 02:42 PM
I guess to a conservative, asking someone if they feel they would need a 100 round clip to protect themselves already a crazy person should be allowed to own a gun is antagonistic. As far as my facts our concern. if you question the validity of anything I say, feel free to challenge me. to ask me for facts without telling me what is your questioning is as absurd as most of your contentions
Reality Geezer June 19, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Once again, ignorant gun owners show their ignorance and total disregard for human life. Please go to the middle east, they are looking for gladiators to save them.....
Diane Raymond June 19, 2013 at 03:41 PM
I'm sick of hearing this. Gun violence is a national issue, not a city or state issue. Until Marco Rubio moves to New Hampshire, perhaps he should park it, too.
Diane Raymond June 19, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Well said, Keith! There's really nothing else to say. That crowd was subhuman. And the guy behind me smelled like he was wearing Eau du Beer-Soaked Cigar.
Concord Resident June 19, 2013 at 04:18 PM
THAT'S ASSAULT, BROTHA!
robert smith June 19, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Wait a minute. A bunch of armed gun nuts were there aggressively intimidating people and no one was shot, in fact no guns were misused. Think about it, doesn't that fly in the face of the anti gun arguement.
steve forte June 19, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Alright Rick , lay some facts on us. How many gun owners have 100 round clips ? Ive always wondered about that. Glad ya can clear it up for me.
Keith F Thompson June 19, 2013 at 09:34 PM
No, because those peaceful protestors at the vigil reacted with courage and grace and did not escalate the situation. They left that to the lawful actions of the police. That's how civilized people do it. You people will use any twisted, illogical argument to make your point, won't you?
robert smith June 19, 2013 at 11:25 PM
But I thought that if people were allowed to carry guns, the result would be wild west shootouts. Here was a situation where armed "gun nuts" were supposedly acting aggressively and yet no guns were drawn and not a shot was fired. These people, as uncivilized as they were, did not resort to gunplay. Imagine that. Rational thought and reason prevailed over imagined dangers.
David Screeton June 20, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Who thought it was a good idea that Mayor Bloomberg's (a New York Mayor) send an anti Gun group to rally in New Hampshire? Really?
clarita June 20, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Diane Raymond 11:41 am on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 I'm sick of hearing this. Gun violence is a national issue, not a city or state issue. Until Marco Rubio moves to New Hampshire, perhaps he should park it, too. ++++++++++++++++++ has it ever occurred to both you and yours.WE'RE SICK AND TIRED OF THE SCATOLOGY from you and YOURS ? exactly WHAT does rubeeO have to do with IT ? and please EXPAND YOUR BS on gang bangin deaths afflicting NH and HOW A CLEARLY ENUMERATED RIGHT is negotiable- and last but NOT LEAST-what gives YOU and THEM the RIGHT to INTERFERE with a clearly ENUMERATED UNITED STATES CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT ? ..........oh yeah,BECAUSE YOU'RE sick and tired ....you better PRAY to the god of YOUR CHOICE that constitutional adherents DON'T GET SICK AND TIRED of the left and all their true believers and brainwashed minions. threat ? NO. a simple declarative sentence.
JPF36 June 20, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Diane, Bloomberg can't even take care of the City he controls. So why then should we let this rich moron tell us in NH what we should do??? Have you ever heard of the saying "LEAD BY EXAMPLE"??? The definition isn't do what I say not what I do
clarita June 20, 2013 at 02:14 PM
brassO wants facts ? read the Constitution of the United States of America brassO and write back. brassO wants facts ? take out the stats from chicago,detroit,newoleans,LA,nyc which are ALL due to gangs, make the stats truly REFLECT AGES as all under 21 are listed as CHILDREN and last but not LEAST-brassO needs to write back on the FACTS of gun free zones which have PROVEN to be VERY successful.......SUCCESSFUL IN THE CREATION OF KILLING FIELDS- so brassO thinks he'she is so superior via the liberal mind set ? write back brassO with the FACTS and YOU PRESENT THEM. from the Constitution crime stats deaths due to crimes true ages of the dead etc. and again LIST CRIMES AS CRIMES. those are the FACTS on "gun violence"
M Abbott June 20, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Glaring dishonesty and misrepresentation-They start out acting as if this was nothing more than reading of names by the anti-gun crowd, a "memorial"(despite its underlying agenda) and it was callously interrupted...That is a typical smoke screen tactic. The memorial suddenly switched to POLITICAL agenda and speech against gun rights, gun owners, and rival politicians. At that point counter protest was fair game. If they expect 2a supporters to stand by and not exercise thier rights out of fear of the left and thier agenda on guns and other "causes" they need to hire alot more "private police," becasue they can expect alot more counter protest. Interestingly, Hitler came to power using his own "private security force" as well. It was called the SA, nothing more than politically motivated street thugs used to enforce a agenda.
Wonk June 20, 2013 at 08:45 PM
NYC is the safest big city in the country, with incredible low gun violence. More than 90% of guns recovered in crime in New York came from out of state. So what he is doing IS important to the citizens of New York.
steve forte June 20, 2013 at 08:54 PM
But NY state still has a homicide rate that is more then double NH Theirs 4.0. NH 1.3 http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state
annonymoous July 12, 2013 at 05:47 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v14kLw-TV6k ammust watch video

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