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Pro-gun rally outside statehouse draws crowd, speakers, lawmakers

A pro-gun rally outside the statehouse on Tuesday drew several hundred participants, who heard a string of speakers urging the General Assembly not to cave in to gun-control pressures.

"We're not going to compromise. We're not going to be reasonable," WPTF radio talk show host Bill LuMaye told the crowd.

Sen. Andrew Brock, a Republican who represents Rowan, Iredell and Davie counties, vowed to keep up the fight, especially protecting the legal right to carry concealed weapons.

"Each and every day people are targeted because they cannot carry," Brock told the assembled.

Several other legislators were also in attendance.

A bill filed Monday would make a declaration of support for the constitutional right to bear arms. It specifies that President Obama's attempts at gun-control would infringe on that right. It was filed by Rep. Michael Speciale, a Republican representing Beaufort, Craven and Pamlico counties.

A petition circulated at the rally to oppose the president's recent efforts to clamp down on gun violence.

Burr: tea party is the 'cavalry'

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said the tea party movement is motivated by a desire to cut careless spending.

Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican, called into Bill LuMaye's afternoon show on WPTF Thursday afternoon and said he had spent part of his day meeting with North Carolinians who had traveled to Washington for a tax day rally.

"I see this as part of the cavalry coming," Burr said. "They're mobilizing for the right reason. We can't continue to spend like we're spending."

Burr said the $787 billion stimulus package isn't helping citizens.

"Nobody sees it," he said. "It stopped paving roads. It hasn't built any bridges," Burr said. "People are grabbing me and saying, 'Get me a job.'"

Burr: Bipartisan summit is partisan

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr says a planned televised bipartisan session on health care is a political play by the White House.

Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican, is helping craft the GOP strategy for the session, which is scheduled for Feb. 25. He told WPTF's Bill LuMaye on Tuesday that the event is an attempt to halt the bad news for President Barack Obama's administration.

"I think that the hemorrhaging that exists at the White House right now is so severe they're trying for a political game changer," Burr said. "I think this has very little to do with trying to reach an agreement on the policies of health care."

Burr said Republicans intend to demand that parts of the health care bill that are unacceptable be removed. They will pitch their own ideas. But as in a campaign debate, the format should be negotiated, he said. The White House has not yet formally invited Republicans, he said. 

"What's the format for it?" he said. "Are you going to have an exchange of ideas or are you going to stand up at a microphone and lecture us? This is something that the American people would be interested in watching if it's constructive."

Health care reform, the short version

Sen. Richard Burr says he doesn't need 1,000 pages to reform health care.

He told listeners of the Bill Lumaye Show on WPTF, 680-AM, agreed with a caller that the famously-long health care bill is too long and does the wrong things.

"The health care reform does not take 1,000 pages. I could boil it down to one word that makes a huge difference: portability," Burr said. "That gives you the ability to take your coverage with you."

Burr said such a system would ease the adversarial relationship between insurance companies and health care providers.

"We can use one word, we can use five pages, but we don't need a host of mandates on private insurance where states currently do that today," Burr said.

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