HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It is a yearly tradition at the State Capitol. Gun-toting Second Amendment supporters rally for their right to carry firearms. However, just above them on the Capitol balcony, the First Amendment right of the lieutenant governor was all but ignored.
They brought their flags. They brought their firearms.
“Now is the time for the states to rise up and defend the Second Amendment,” Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R), Clinton/Centre Counties, said. “They continuously try to shove down our throats gun control.”
They brought their feistiness.
“30 years ago there were more pro-gun democrats in this building than there were republicans. The whole party has swung into the nutball realm,” Kim Stolfer, of Firearms Owners Against Crime, said.
But, the state’s second ranking democrat is also armed with flags and feistiness.
“They’re making their statement today and I’m making mine and I just wish it didn’t have to be this way,” Lt. Governor John Fetterman (D), said.
Lt. Governor Fetterman is flying the gay pride flag on his balcony.
“All we’re advocating for is equal protection under the law regardless of who you choose to love or how you identify,” Fetterman said.
Gays, who can be fired for their sexual orientation, do not receive equal protection in PA. Neither do Fetterman’s flags. Republican lawmakers inserted language into last ear’s budget that no flags can fly from that balcony. The GOP points out that Governor Wolf did sign off on it.
“That’s specious reasoning they know, well they attach it as a rider to the budget and not gonna jam up the entire budget over something like this,” Fetterman said.
Fetterman’s flag was up at 9 a.m. By 1 p.m. a state employee has come to take it away. Fetterman says he’s lost more than ten flags in the same manner. But where do they go?
“They’re confiscated and I don’t know the enchanted land of missing flags, I don’t know, I don’t know where,” Fetterman said.
Perhaps there is irony that heavily armed ralliers worry about guns being taken away, which has never happened, while right above them flags are seized whenever they’re flown.
“They have the constitutionally protected rights and I’m saying great, give that to members of this community, too,” Fetterman said.
A bill to let firearm owners carry concealed weapons without a license is expected to move this week.