EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is the second of two about Citizens Meeting No. 8 speaker Ray McBerry and his position on state sovereignty. The first one was published on Feb. 14.

THOMASVILLE — There is nothing subtle or nuanced about Ray McBerry’s stances on the issues that affect Georgians. The differences between him and other gubernatorial candidates are stark and dramatic.

“The thing that makes me different from my opponents in the Republican race for governor is that I’m not an elected official,” he said. “I’m a full-time businessman and a full-time daddy. My positions have excited people because they are glad to hear someone say what the general public is wanting instead of the usual establishment answers to problems.”

McBerry’s campaign platform is built on the nation’s founding principles. He is set to share his push for limited government as the keynote speaker at Citizens Meeting No. 8 on Tuesday. The event at the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium will start at 6:15.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the folks in Thomasville,” he said. “It’s a blessing to see so many people finally waking up to this war that is being waged against us.”

McBerry is a strong advocate of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which reads, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

“What I have told many people as I have traveled across the state is that the greatest threat to our liberties does not come from the deserts of the Middle East. It comes from the federal leviathan sitting on the banks of the Potomac (River),” he said. “Although I understand that the Second Amendment is not the only liberty we have under attack, it is the guardian of all our other liberties and we absolutely must defend the right of our people to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment does not give us the right to keep and bear arms. It is a God-given right that the Second Amendment merely acknowledges.

“If we lose that right, all our other rights will be imperiled immediately. Our founding fathers did not put the Second Amendment into the Constitution for sporting purposes. They put it there because they had just fought a tyrant from across the ocean and knew the day might come when they had to do it again against their own out-of-control government.”

McBerry is convinced President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder are determined to abolish the right to own a gun.

“(Holder) is more anti-gun that even (former Attorney General) Janet Reno in the Clinton administration,” McBerry said. “By the way, (Georgia) Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson voted to confirm him, which was very disappointing. Nevertheless, we are faced with a very anti-Second Amendment Administration and Washington has already made it clear — whether it is two years down the road, four years down the road or something else — they intend to take away our right to bear arms.

“We had better find a governor who is willing to stand up to all threats to our liberty, even if it comes from Washington.”

McBerry bristled while discussing the actions of federal agents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2006. Some went door-to-door to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens determined to protect their belongings from looters.

“When I become governor of Georgia, I will put Washington on notice that the first time I find a federal agent in my state trying to disarm any law-abiding citizen — that federal agent will find himself sitting in a Georgia jail waiting for someone to bail him out. I believe that is what it is going to take to secure our liberties,” McBerry said.

McBerry said other Republican candidates squirm when he voices his strong gun position during debates across the state.

“(Widely regarded as the front-runner) John Oxendine’s face turns as red as it can get,” he said.

McBerry is a lone ranger on taxation, too.

“My opponents have made no bones about the fact that I am the strongest fiscal conservative and strongest constitutional conservative in the race,” he said. “I am the only candidate, Republican or Democrat, to publicly state that here in Georgia — if nowhere else — we should repeal the income tax and property tax and replace them with a simple sales tax.”

McBerry described his tax position as “similar to the Fair Tax proposed at the federal level.”

“There are two reasons we ought to do that,” he said. “One is because the graduated income tax and property tax are Marxist to the core. They never were part of America’s founding principles that made us great.

“If we are going to get back to being great, it will be because we got rid of all those vestiges of socialism, Marxism and communism that have crept into our system over the last 150 years.

“The other reason is, at least until we can get rid of the illegal aliens who never should have been allowed here in the first place, they will finally have to start paying for all the services they are using here in Georgia.”

McBerry thinks federal officials have purposefully turned a blind eye to border security.

“I genuinely believe it is intentional because the ones who pull the strings in Washington are trying to flood the population with third-world immigrants so that — even if we are successful in waking up Americans to what is going on — it will be too late because we will be outvoted even in our own state,” he said. “Washington has no intention of fixing the problem. We will have to do it right here at home in Georgia.”

McBerry believes a government that respects the individual liberties mentioned in the Constitution is the key for all Americans to reach their economic potential. He knows everyone does not see it that way, however.

“For the longest time, even the term ‘racist’ was used if you stood up and talked about the Constitution,” he said. “Even some of the Tea Party groups, at first, encountered the same thing. That’s ridiculous because the Constitution is here to protect all of us. It doesn’t matter what color anyone is.

“It is here to protect all Americans.”

n BRIEFLY: Tuesday’s citizens meeting will also include campaign updates by Second Congressional District candidates Bobby Brown and Mike Keown, and a debate among Georgia House District 173 candidates Heather Abbott, Ryan Lee and Darlene Taylor.

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