SOURCE: The Daily Star.

NORWICH — A silver SUV sat outside the Bring Back America Festival on Saturday, next to East Park, barnacled with an array of bumper stickers that read “Confuse a Liberal, Use Facts and Logic,” “Annoy a Liberal, Take Personal Responsibility,” and “The Founding Fathers Would Be Shooting by Now,” among many others.

Organized by Southern Tier S.C.O.P.E. (Shooters Committee on Political Education), the rally featured a slate of speakers that ranged from former gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino to current state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney kept “the people’s right to keep and bear arms” front and center throughout the program.

“I bring greetings from my Glock 17, who had to stay home today,” Astorino told those gathered in the park. Fresh from the Republican National Convention, where party members had “partied like Republicans should,” Astorino assured his audience that “Donald Trump believes very firmly in the Second Amendment,” and told listeners that “everything is at stake for us” in the 2016 presidential election. Astorino assured the crowd that Trump can win New York state in the general election against Hillary Clinton.

Assemblyman Bill Nojay, who acted as the event’s master of ceremonies, sought to persuade Republicans with reservations about their party’s presidential candidate that “elections are not referendums,” insisting instead that issues such as future Supreme Court appointments should take precedence. Commenting on the Court’s narrow 5-4 decision in the District of Columbia v. Heller case, Nojay claimed that the United States government had been “one vote away from hitting the delete button on the Second Amendment.”

State politics was also featured, as Wendy Long, the Republican and Conservative opponent to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, made an appearance.

“Wouldn’t it be great to say goodbye to Chuck Schumer, and say hello to Senator Wendy Long?” Nojay asked his listeners.

“He’s got 27 million dollars because he’s bought and paid for by Wall Street,” Long said of Schumer. She declared Schumer to be the “No. 1 enemy of the Second Amendment,” and characterized the Constitutional provision as “hanging by a thin thread.”

Signs that spelled out “Repeal the S.A.F.E. Act” in red letters sprang up out of the park grass and Nojay warned attendees that the recent legislation did not represent “the end” of gun control efforts, but rather “the beginning.”

Tenney took the stage in jeans, a pink Remington cap, and a black Marines shirt, but she briefly brandished another T-shirt that read “Hillary for Prison 2016.” Incarceration became a recurring theme for Tenney; she also discussed former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, recently convicted on accusations of federal corruption, and sentenced to several years in prison.

“And I’m not going to be visiting him, by the way,” Tenney said.

Tenney encouraged her supporters to be “cheerful, positive, happy warriors” in their campaign to, as Tenney put it, “save the republic.” Tenney referred to herself as a “student of Lincoln,” and other speakers reached back even further into American history, citing statesmen like George Washington, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton as they made their arguments.

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