“Repeal this law,” he said, repeating the sentence several times until the crowd took up the chant.
Mentioning the counties he serves, including parts of Delaware, Chenango and Otsego, he described their residents as “good, honest, law-abiding citizens; good, honest law-abiding gun owners.”
“We are not criminals,” he said. “We are criminals here in this crowd. We refuse to be called and made criminals by taking our Second Amendment rights away.”
Several speakers estimated the crowd size at 10,000 for the noon rally, but the state police put its size at a more modest “5,000 plus.” It filled most, but not all, of the park. In any case, the crowd was large enough and recent rains heavy enough to turn the park into a shoe-sucking expanse of mud.
After nearly two hours of intermittent showers and with the sky darkening about 1:45 p.m., many of the participants started leaving, even though there were still speakers.