BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield native, who gained national attention for his controversial politics, returned to western Massachusetts Saturday.
Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is best known for his anti-immigration tactics, but on Saturday, he came to talk about a different controversial topic he’s passionate about, Second Amendment rights. “I had a posse of 3,000 people, I armed 500 to carry weapons. I believe citizens, private citizens should be able to carry weapons,” he said.
Arpaio was one of several gun activists invited to speak at the fourth annual Second Amendment Rally at the Swift River Sportsman’s Club in Belchertown Saturday.
Lou Hermanson told 22News, their goal is to educate others on what the right to bear arms means to them. “There are so many people who are fighting against it, and not enough people for it. I think a lot of it is education, people don’t understand what weapons can do, or what their use is for,” he said.
One man from New Hampshire told 22News, he’s a supporter of Second Amendment rights, but accepts the fact that many other New Englanders are not. “Unfortunately, they’re misunderstanding the fact they’re law abiding citizens just like them. We respect their right if they don’t agree with the Second Amendment, but they should respect ours that we do agree with it,” he said.
The debate over the Second Amendment has continued to heat up in recent years. According to the National Violence Archive, there have been 154 mass shootings this year alone.