Two groups converge on Dover, Equal rights and pro0-gun folks (Scott Goss)
Two unrelated events are combined in a single story, with the gun rights portion (and picture of their demonstrators) being relegated to a continuation buried in the middle of another section of the newspaper.
(A) The equal rights group was supporting the previously failed proposal for an amendment to the Delaware Constitution that would prohibit the denial or abridgement of “equality of rights under the law . . . on account of the sex of the person.” It is reported that “a few dozen people” were involved including some of Delaware’s top elected officials. House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear) is quoted: “Today is the day that we break through that glass ceiling. We will show you what it means to fight like a girl.” Also quoted: Sen. Stephanie Hansen (D-Middletown). Other supporters: Gov. John Carney and the three members of Delaware’s congressional delegation.
For earlier coverage re a federal version of such an amendment, see DC rally a reminder of unratified Equal Rights Amendment, Nicole Gaudiano, 9/12/14. Our comment at that time: “Isn’t pay discrimination based on gender already illegal? [And] the potential for endless litigation from such an amendment should be obvious, and the need for it is increasingly less apparent as women forge ahead in the workplace.” The logic still seems to apply.
(B) The guns rights group entered Legislative Hall from the other side (number not stated, and can’t be surmised from the picture given the angle from which it was taken). No prominent politicians are mentioned as supporters of their efforts, although it is said that the members of the group fanned out inside the building and “visited dozens of lawmakers to voice opposition to pending gun control bills they say would strip them of their rights protected by the US Constitution.” One of these bills would be an “assault weapon” ban, which would outlaw “about 60 specific makes and models of semi-automatic rifles and handguns, along with so-called ‘copycat weapons’." Current owners of banned weapons would not be compelled to surrender them, but “using and transporting those grandfathered firearms would be strictly limited.” A second bill, HB 330, would raise the minimum purchase age for rifles from 18 to 21 (matching the current federal law for handguns). This measure was moved out of committee, despite the opposition, and may soon come up for a final vote in the Senate and be signed into law. Comments are quoted by Mitchell Denham of Lincoln, DE (who helped to organize the rally), NRA lobbyist Rick Armitage, and Jeff Hague, president of the Delaware State Sportsman’s Association.