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News & Editorials


by Rich Altrath

March 25, 2002 -- (BLOOMFIELD, NJ) When Donna Dees-Thomases organized the Million Mom March in 1999, her mission was to make life more difficult for gun owners. Little did she know that she would instead bring unprecedented unity to supporters of the Second Amendment - including a marriage. On June 1st, 2002, Deborah Wasilewski (a founding member of the Second Amendment Sisters), and Richard L. Altrath (NRA Senior Training Counselor and founder/training director of the School of Defensive Firearms, or SDF) will tie the knot to a 21 gun salute.

Ms. Wasilewski and Mr. Altrath, both New Jersey residents, met when Ms. Wasilewski decided to take self-defense training with handguns at SDF. "It was the Million Mom March that motivated me to help get Second Amendment Sisters up and running, and that led to my interest in getting firearms training," said Ms. Wasilewski.

The ceremony will take place at an undisclosed shooting range in New Jersey, where students and staff from SDF will fire three volleys of seven rounds each with bolt action rifles.

The happy couple is giving consideration to sending an engraved announcement to Ms. Dees-Thomases as a statement of thanks. "It's the least we can do, especially since the Million Mom March is fading into the sunset," said Mr. Altrath. "We'd like to let her know that at least one good thing came out of her efforts."

In addition to the shared interest in guns and gun-related issues, the couple is also artistically inclined. She is a stained glass craftsperson, and he is a sculptor and jewelry designer.)

Rich Altrath, Training Director of the School of Defensive Firearms in New Jersey and NRA Senior Training Counselor


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Our Founding Fathers were proud that Americans were trusted with arms because they knew that only when people are armed could they truly be thought of as free citizens. And that's where the circle closes. Those who want to deprive you of your right to keep and bear arms are intending to deprive you of your freedom, period. Like the criminals their policies encourage, these elitists know that it is always best to disarm victims before you enslave them. Charley Reese

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