Protesters gather Saturday in Salem for pro-gun rally

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SALEM, Ore. -- With handguns strapped to their thighs and rifles on their backs, opponents of gun control converged on the state Capitol to express their displeasure with proposals made by President Barack Obama in the wake of the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

The rally was part of a nationwide series of pro-firearms events Saturday dubbed as "Guns Across America," and included a reading of the Second Amendment.

Besides firearms, the protesters carried American flags and signs that read "Impeach Obama" and "Freedom."

Protester Bud Jones told The Oregonian that politicians should focus on mental health education rather than gun control. He fears Obama's proposals are a step toward greater restrictions.

There was no official crowd estimate. Rally organizer Tom Tharp said he hoped the crowd topped 3,000.