November 12, 2001
IN DEFENSE OF RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
MORAN-DN Staff Writer
knows Halloween was celebrated last month.
you might see Bird, a Rancho Tehama resident who never leaves home without
a sign reading "Gun registration: Just say no," displayed on the
back window of his station wagon, standing outside Raley's supermarket
dressed as Samuel Adams.
Adams was the original rebel," said Bird, 67. "He was a rebel
that won fame as the man who instigated the Revolutionary War."
own rebellion is against state officials who have passed gun control laws
that are, in his opinion, a clear infringement of every American's right
"to keep and bear arms."
this year, Bird single-handedly but unsuccessfully sued Gov. Gray Davis and
various California legislators, claiming they infringed upon his Second
Amendment rights with the passage of gun control laws.
dismissal of his case by a federal court judge didn't keep down Bird for
might have beat me in court, but they're not going to keep beating me down
the road," said Bird.
County man has joined forces with Brad Puckett, the co-founder of the group
Citizens of America, in circulating a nationwide petition that he says will
be sent to United States Attorney General John Ashcroft in January.
petition states: "Recognizing that infringement of Constitutional
rights in California affects liberty for the Nation as a whole, we the
undersigned Americans support the Petition for Enforcement of the Second
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States."
himself Bird collected nearly 300 signatures during the five hours he spent
at Raley's one day this week.
more signatures we get around the country, the more impact the petition
will have," he said. "We need to build some enthusiasm before
this is sent to the attorney general. We need to convince him that we have
a right to keep and bear arms in California and in the entire United States
retired contractor, said attorneys for the National Rifle Association in
Sacramento are reviewing the petition. He's hoping the powerful
organization will sign on in support.
all after the same thing," said Bird. "We all want to make sure
every American retains this very important right."
he plans to be at Raley's "occasionally" for the next two months.
He said he will definitely be trying to get some signatures on Dec. 15 -
Bill of Rights Day.
record, a panel of federal appeals court judges representing a three-state
district in the South ruled in October that individuals have a right to own
firearms and that the Constitution permits only narrowly tailored''
restrictions on such ownership. Some have hailed the ruling as an indicator
of a tide shifting against those who seek to prohibit firearms ownership.