He wasn’t born with the right to bear arms, but Robert Benedict appreciates it now that he has it.
To show how he feels, Benedict will be on Town Square from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday to honor the Second Amendment and its declaration that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” He’ll be packing. He urges people who share his respect for the right to carry firearms to join him. And to also be armed.
The British citizen who lives in Jackson said the public gathering is “a celebration, not a protest.”
“It’s something I’m doing myself,” he said. “I love America; that’s why I live here, and I love the rights we’re afforded.”
Benedict said he has “seen what’s happened in England where rights are being disregarded, and I’m thankful for what I have here in America.”
Benedict envisions a quiet gathering with some speeches and signs in support of the Second Amendment. A respectful attitude by people who open-carry their weapons is part of the event, he said.
“If people do choose to conceal or open-carry, they should do so legally; that’s most important,” he said.
Benedict came to the United States five years ago and lived two years in the Salt Lake City area. He came to Jackson three years ago and works in information technology. His wife and two daughters are American citizens; the girls attend school here.
Jackson police Lt. Roger Schultz said Benedict informed the department about the planned gathering. Schultz said Benedict doesn’t need a permit just to gather and express an opinion and do so while carrying firearms, but that police appreciated the heads-up.
Benedict has advertised the meeting on his website, JH2A.com, and with flyers pinned to supermarket bulletin boards. He said he has received “overwhelming” support online but wasn’t certain how that will translate to actual people on the square. Benedict said he invited Jackson Mayor Pete Muldoon and hopes to see him there.
Benedict said he hadn’t decided the particulars of his firearm choice.
“I’ve got many,” he said of the personal collection from which he can choose. “It depends on what I wear.”