Protesters defend their gun rights at Statehouse

By Marc Kovac


Dan Rodgers stood outside the Statehouse on Friday with a WASR-10 semiautomatic defense rifle slung over his shoulder.

“I use it for personal defense of property and myself and my person,” said the Akron man, who runs, a YouTube channel devoted to the Second Amendment. “It’s just an exceptionally adequate personal-defense rifle.”

Rodgers hasn’t had to use the firearm to defend himself, but he and many more advocates from across the state held signs and made it clear to passers-by where they stood on gun control.

“We have the right to keep and bear the best possible defense tools made available to us,” Rodger said. “We shouldn’t have to worry about risking losing the ability to purchase said firearms.”

Others participating in the demonstration echoed those thoughts.

Tom Thacker of Defiance held a sign that read, in part, “I will not comply! I will not lie down! I will not go quietly!”

He said he made the trip to Columbus to “protest to protect my Second Amendment rights.”

“If they can just enforce the laws that are already on the books; it’s more than enough,” Thacker said. “They just need to put the manpower and the money into doing the background checks the way they should and just making sure everybody keeps safe.”

Thacker said he would not support limits on large-capacity magazines, moving from 30 rounds to 10 or fewer.

“What if you’re facing multiple attackers?” he asked. “If you’ve only got 10 rounds and you miss eight times and you hit two attackers and you’ve got five attackers, you’re still going to die.”

Eric Newport, a college student and pizza- delivery driver from Portage County, said he didn’t think the government should limit firearms.

“The genie is out of the bottle,” he said. “The problem is just how to live with the genie. ... My view is that if we can’t learn to get along with all of the capacity that we have as individuals and humans, then there’s no real chance for peace inevitably.”

He added, “To limit one’s ability to be able to defend themselves against tyrannical nations or an aggressor is no way to really proliferate freedom.”

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