A determined group of local citizens gathered once again on Saturday to express their concerns about federal government intrusion upon individual rights.
The crowd at Market Square in downtown Durant heard from local and state lawmakers as well as activists who seek to defend the Constitution – specifically the second and tenth amendments. It was the third such gathering in Durant this year.
“We’re not feeling properly represented, even from our own elected officials. So we’re done,” said Benjamin Philpot, the recently elected chairman of the Bryan County Republican Party. “We’re going to start making some stands and engaging in civil disobedience.”
Speakers included State Senator Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow, Howard Houchen and “Get America Back” co-founder Cyndi McArtor of Grove. Also at the rally were State Sen. Josh Brecheen, State Rep. Dustin Roberts and Durant city council candidate Stewart Hoffman.
“We’re a very gun-friendly state and we need to continue to be that way,” Dahm said. “We know what’s best for the people of Oklahoma, not Washington D.C.”
Philpot echoed the Second Amendment defense sentiments: “We have heavy support for the Second Amendment. We don’t want any bans,” he said. “The consensus shows that the more heavily armed a society is, crime rates plummet.”
Flags bearing the patriotic phrase “Come and take it” showed an assault rifle and a cannon.
The rally also served as a voter registration drive and a chance for people to hear from opponents of “Common Core” curriculum, a proposed federal standardization of academic criteria for public schools which some claim is illegal.
McArtor’s message was to urge people to get involved in the process of liberty, Constitutional discussions and the free market. “We need to get involved and be informed citizens in all levels of government,” she said.