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Skeet shooters celebrate Second Amendment at GOP event
Sen. Isakson among attendees, stresses constitutional rights
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Sen. Johnny Isakson speaks with Debra Pilgrim, chairman of the Hall County GOP, during the organization’s second annual skeet shoot Saturday in Lula. The skeet shoot was held as an advocacy event for Second Amendment rights. - photo by FRANK REDDY

Shouting to each other over the din of rifle fire, elected officials and Second Amendment advocates took aim at clay discs soaring over an expansive field in rural Hall County.

Sporting jackets and rain boots, the group of more than a dozen stood shoulder to shoulder in a large deer stand. The shooting stopped, and it grew quiet as all eyes turned to Sen. Johnny Isakson. Some removed their safety-cone-orange earplugs, eager to hear what the senator had to say.

“The greatest rights we have are the first 10 Amendments,” Isakson said. “We wouldn’t have a Constitution if not for those amendments, because nobody was willing to agree to a government that didn’t have the right to bear arms and didn’t have freedom of speech.”

Isakson gestured toward a row or holstered rifles on a gun rack.

“We’re bearing arms and exercising our free speech, so two of the amendments are represented today,” he said.

Despite unrelenting rain Saturday morning, the second annual Hall GOP Skeet Shoot on a private farm in Lula topped last year in number of participants and money raised for the local political organization’s events throughout the year.

“It went very well considering the weather,” Hall GOP Chairman Debra Pilgrim said. “It’s important for us to really take a stand on what our rights are ... and get involved and protect those rights.”

Pilgrim said Saturday’s event was relevant and timely, given the number of recent mass shootings.

“It’s important, especially in today’s world with so many issues right now,” Pilgrim said. “In the cases of these shootings, every one of these cases has to do with someone who has an emotional or mental disturbance ... we should place emphasis on how to reach out and help those types of people. The shooting in Oregon was tragic, but it had nothing to do with people having guns. It had to do with somebody having emotional issues.”

She said having Isakson attend and speak at the event was ideal for the organization’s purposes.

“Sen. Isakson has always been very supportive and protective of Second Amendment rights, and he’s very well respected,” she said.

Following the event Saturday, Isakson said he was glad to attend.

“This focuses on the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, which is so important and a cornerstone of our Constitution and our party,” Isakson said.

He also took part in the skeet shoot, but the weapon he tried to fire jammed (not his gun, he clarified).

“My 410 (shotgun) is at home.”

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