'Guns Across America' pro-gun rallies kick off in 49 states


One of two pro-gun activists protests against the Gun Buyback Program organized in the traditionally liberal Los Angeles during the LAPD Gun Buyback Program event in the Van Nuys area of north Los Angeles on December 26, 2012. By noon the LAPD had collected more then 420 handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault rifles.


Joe Klamar

"Guns Across America" has organized rallies in 49 states across America, which kicked off at "high noon" on Saturday.

The rallies, which are mostly happening in state capitals across the country, are a reaction to the White House's recent pushes for tighter gun control in the wake of a series of horrifying shootings, Reuters reported

On Wednesday, Obama introduced a sweeping $500 million plan and put forth 23 executive actions, including allowing for government research on gun violence and making federal data available for background checks, the Associated Press reported

The recent school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT which left 20 children dead have spurred President Obama and his Vice President Joe Biden to take a tough stance on preventing gun violence. 

"Guns Across America" founder, 38-year-old Texas airline pilot Eric Reed, said that a protest was slated for every state except Alaska. As of Saturday afternoon, the group's Facebook pages had over 18,000 people attending country-wide, according to Reuters. 

The protests comes just days before Obama and Biden are set to be sworn in for their second term in office, which also coincides with Martin Luther King day. 

Many have criticized the pro-gun protesters' poor timing as lining up with MLK day, including the Orlando Sentinel, which wrote an op-ed criticizing the move.

"President Obama may be their target, but today's organizers shot their cause in the proverbial foot," wrote the Orlando Sentinel. "Let us remember King, who indelibly changed this nation through nonviolent means, was killed by an assassin's bullet. [...] Protecting the Second Amendment is one thing. Showing one's ignorance of American history and the life — and death — of a great man is something else entirely." 

Gun-control activists are planning to hold a "National Gun Prevention Sabbath" on Sunday in response, Newsday reported. 150 houses of worship will reportedly ask their constituents to support Obama's "actionable plan to prevent gun violence."

More from GlobalPost: Gun control: Obama signs 23 executive actions (LIVE BLOG, VIDEO)

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