Second Amendment rally in Belchertown draws ‘toughest sheriff’
By NYSSA KRUSE – June 17, 2017
BELCHERTOWN — Joe Arpaio said Saturday that Massachusetts has produced three good things: the Boston Tea Party, the Minutemen and himself.
Arpaio, the controversial former Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff who hails from Springfield, spoke as the headliner of a rally in support of Second Amendment rights in Belchertown.
For about 45 minutes, Arpaio spoke on gun rights, illegal immigration and his pending federal trial on charges of contempt of court.
“I asked Sheriff Joe to come up here because we have good people on the borders of this nation being killed by illegals coming over,” said event organizer Dave Kopacz. “Sheriff Joe is enforcing federal law.”
Arpaio has styled himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” He became nationally known in the last 15 years for his hard-line stance on immigration, for battling findings of racial profiling in his sheriff’s department, and for his campaign to prove that former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate was forged — a long-ago debunked claim he continued to assert on Saturday during his speech.
The rally took place at the Swift River Sportsman’s Club and the 200 to 300 attendees each purchased a $25 ticket to enter.
The main point the former sheriff made regarding the Second Amendment was that he believes people should carry firearms to protect themselves, especially if a mass shooting unfolds in front of them.
Arpaio referenced recent mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and San Bernardino, California, and asked how it was possible there was no one armed in the area to take the shooter down before law enforcement arrived.
Some people argue an onlooker firing at a mass shooter might catch more innocent people in the crossfire, a point to which Arpaio responded during his speech.
“Sometimes, you have to take risks in life to save life,” he said.
Read more at Daily Hampshire Gazette: http://www.gazettenet.com/Joe-Arpaio-speaks-at-Belchertown-gun-rally-10776177?fb_action_ids=1828979797112969&fb_action_types=og.comments
Photo/video credit: GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS PHOTOS