By Carra Higgins
Rep. Nick Rahall — a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, firearms enthusiast and staunch supporter of an individual’s right to bear arms — stopped at Flat Top Arms in Beckley Tuesday to peruse some guns, including the highly-publicized AR-15 and to speak with owners Ron and Diana Wood and other patrons.
Rahall explained that more than a week ago he had attended the “For God and Country Rally,” organized by the Woods and co-sponsored by Flat Top Arms, to hear from and speak to average U.S. citizens about the issue of gun control. Rahall says he thinks the national media has politicized the gun debate, and that discussions should not be about guns and adding more laws on the “books.”
Instead of focusing on guns and violence, Rahall said he thinks prayer should be reinstated in schools to help instill values in youth instead of those portrayed by Hollywood.
“Let’s look at those issues,” Rahall commented.
Although there is a lot of debate about gun control, Rahall said he does not foresee Congress voting to limit the size of ammunition clips or reinstating the “assault weapons” ban.
“There are a lot of proposals that are not needed and won’t solve the problem,” Rahall said.
Rahall recalled that in 1994, President Bill Clinton called him three times in one week to ask him to support gun control legislation, and each time he told Clinton that he could not cast a vote in its favor.
If President Barack Obama should call him for support of similar legislation currently being discussed on Capitol Hill, Rahall said he once again will tell a president he won’t be on his side on this issue.
The Woods said they are pleased with Rahall and his pledges to continue to support Second Amendment rights.
“Let’s stand behind and support him (Rahall) with all we have,” Ron Wood said.
Diana Wood added, “I’m proud of the stand he (Rahall) has taken and I think it’s important for people to know he’s had those beliefs all along.”
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