Gun rights advocates gather at Western Park - Uintah Basin Media: News

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Gun rights advocates gather at Western Park

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Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013 11:06 am

The right of the people to keep and bears arms is identified in the Bill of Rights as the Second Amendment, a sovereign right superseded only by free speech, Second Amendment advocates say.

No entity may impinge upon this freedom under the Constitution that they may arm themselves to protect hearth and home.

But, after a series of gun-related deaths this past year, a broad-scale move to restrict gun ownership has some Uintah Basin residents concerned.

On Saturday, Aug. 10, supporters of gun ownership participated in the first-ever Vernal Second Amendment Protection Rally at the Western Park amphitheater.

Keynote speaker James “Mitch” Vilos, attorney and expert in self-defense law, drove home the point by raising and firing his pistol into the air.

Billed as Utah’s Gun Attorney, Vilos, opened the evening rally, saying Vernal’s “air smells like freedom.”

He was followed by Colorado State Sen. Steven King, R-Mesa, who has lead a challenge against a bill that would avoid criminalizing law-abiding people who borrow or lend firearms within their own family.

King is also the co-sponsor of a bill to allow Coloradans continued access to large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Included on the slate of speakers were Sutherland Institute President Paul Mero, Utah State Rep. John Mathis, Uintah County Sheriff Jeff Merrell, Utah State GOP President James Evans, Uintah County GOP Chair Duane Shepard and Utah Congressman Rob Bishop.

The event was sponsored by the Vernal Hay Company, ZECO, Jiffy Pawn, Bad Boys Auto Body, Uintah County Western Park and the staff of KVEL.

Crowds were small for this first-time rally, perhaps due the short notice of the event, but the organizers say their spirits are not dampened.

They hope to make the Second Amendment Protection Rally a yearly event.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • George in Georgia posted at 2:11 pm on Mon, Aug 19, 2013.

    George in Georgia Posts: 1

    This fool is hurting his cause by casting gun owners as irresponsible fools.

    Regardless of the legality of discharging a firearm illegally, has he considered where the projectile will land? Here in Georgia, as is true in much of the South, celebratory gunfire is a part of holiday festivities - Christmas, New Year's, the Fourth of July, etc. Every year or so the fact that what goes up must come down is tragically verified by the death of someone struck by the descending round. Disregarding air resistance, physics tells us that the round will strike the earth - or some unfortunate person - with the same velocity and energy it possessed when leaving the gun's muzzle.

  • Emophiliac posted at 6:31 am on Mon, Aug 19, 2013.

    Emophiliac Posts: 3

    Unless VIlos was firing blanks, does anyone know whether he was cited by the Vernal Police? I can't imagine the Sheriff being in attendance and doing nothing. So, does anyone know the real story?