A small but determined group of demonstrators urged stricter gun laws during a rally Friday afternoon in downtown Mooresville that attracted some shows of support and some very vocal opposition.
About a dozen people from a fledgling group called OFA – Organizing for Action – held signs and handed out literature decrying gun violence, advocating stricter gun laws and otherwise championing the slate of gun measures laid out by President Obama earlier this year and in the wake of the shooting massacre of 20 young children in Connecticut a week before Christmas.
Most of those gathered – at the corner of Main Street and Center Avenue – were, unabashedly, Democrats. But Geri White described herself as a “recovering Republican” who is now registered as unaffiliated.
And she said the gun issue, like many others, should not be one of partisanship but rather of something much more basic to civilization.
“This is about simply being sane,” White said. “Both sides need to be sane and work together on this. I truly don’t understand how letting anyone get an assault weapon is sane. An assault weapon is a machine built for murder. It’s not for protection. It’s not for hunting. It’s for murder: it’s for hunting people, like what happened at Sandy Hook.”
Lyn Reese said she has never been a fan of guns but that her aversion to them was crystallized by the elementary school shootings.
“The death of those Sandy Hook Angels is what broke the camels back for me,” she said. “I’m here to question why those angels had to die but I am against all violence and especially all gun violence. And I don’t think anyone can question the fact that something has to be done.”
Others had a different view.
The reaction from passing motorists was about split during the two hours the protestors occupied the corner in front of The Depot.
And while those supporting the cause typically honked their horns and gave a thumbs-up or a peace sign,some of those against what the crowd of mostly middle-aged to seniors stood for were a bit more demonstrative.
Not less than five people yelled out expletives and one person threw an egg at the crowd but missed them.
But the group remained upbeat.
Protestor Donna Brice even joked about the poor aim of the egg-thrower.
“If his aim is that bad that he couldn’t hit any of us,” she said, “maybe he’s ok to have a gun permit.”
For more information about future OFA events, contact the group’s organizer Anne Cerutti by email at Cerutti.Anne@gmail.com