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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Guns At Obama Town Hall Meetings

It started of in New Hampshire last week.  A guy with a loaded pistol strapped to his leg in the protester crowd.  Law enforcement could do nothing; the guy had a permit.

It's happened a few times since then, culminating this past weekend in Arizona when some anti-Obama protester showed up strapped with a loaded semi-automatic rifle.  Again, all perfectly legal.

And why was he there?  His quote: "We will forcefully resist people imposing their will on us through the strength of the majority with a vote."

Yeah, I'm troubled.  This country has a rather prolonged history with political violence, and -- with the exception of some radical bombings in the 1960's -- almost all of it, and certainly all of it in the past 30 years, has come from the gun-toting NRA-loving right wing crowd.

I know, I know.  Second Amendment and all that.  But this isn't a discussion about rights.  The Second Amendment, very broadly, gives one the right to have guns for self-defense.  Well, what kind of self-defense is needed by right-wingers at an Obama town hall meeting?  It's not as if liberals arm themselves to the teeth, or froth at the mouth making violent protests.

It seems to me that the presence of guns at political rallies is intended to send a subtle, subconscious signal to ratchet up the already overheated political debates.  I mean, when a guy with an assault rifle shows up at a presidential event, saying that he will resist the will of the majority, he's not talking about self-defense.  He's talking about violent overthrow of the government.

UPDATE:  Yes, these people are dangerous:

Ernest Hancock, the online radio host who staged an interview with an assault rifle-wielding associate at the Obama event in Arizona yesterday -- and was himself armed with a 9 millimeter pistol -- was a vocal supporter and friend of right-wing anti-government militia members who were convicted of conspiracy and weapons charges in the 90s.

And in an interview today with TPMmuckraker, Hancock said he still believes the Viper Militia case was "manufactured" by the same government that manufactured Waco and lied to its people about 9/11.

Comments

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P.S. - check again. The Second Amendment ALSO protects the right of self-defense. In the most basic of terms, frankly, the Second Amendment protects the PEOPLE from a government takeover. Without the Second Amendment, all of the other enumerated rights are undefendable. What would YOU do to keep government from taking away all your rights, if a dictator were to come to power? Threaten not to vote for them? What could armed masses have done against Hitler? Saddam? Stalin? The first step to opressing the people is to disarm them.

"Frankly, the Second Amendment protects the PEOPLE from a government takeover".

No, democratic elections is what keeps the government in check. You ask what I would do "if a dictator were to come to power"? Well, if he's a dictator, elections would stop. And yeah, THEN guns would be necessary.

But we're no nearer to that stage than we were 5 years ago, 20 years ago, or 50 years ago.

Unfortunately, people are ALREADY proclaiming that we have a dictator -- an actual dictator. And these people are too paranoid to own guns, because they've obviously got itchy trigger fingers.

Quote "People are already proclaiming that we have a dictator -- an actual dictator"

I see, much like you leftist wackjobs did with Bush. Which is really funny because those of us on the right didn't like him (Bush) anyhow. You go right on and swallow the pill and drink the juice this guy (Obama) is selling, he is doing exactlly what you guys claimed Bush was "trying" to do in regards to liberty. While it is stupid and poor judgement on this guy's part to bring a gun to a rally, he is in fact within his rights to do it. Much like it was the right of the lefties to protest as they did when the Globalist Bush was in power. Its a double standard with you guys as usual, picking and choosing what rights fit your needs (maybe you can bust out the "the antiquated the 2nd amendment" schtick). I doubt you have the guts to leave this post on your site, there is to much logic in it. Either we keep all rights sacred or none of them matter. Here is the real kicker to all of it: The guy brought the gun, and nothing happened! No violence! No threats! Just a bunch of liberals crying about how scared they were at the idea of it.

The difference between "lefties" proclaiming that Bush was a dictator and what is going on now, is that lefties knew the "dictator" stuff was just rhetoric. Righties -- many of them -- actually believe the dictator blather and carry weapons.

Anyway Todd, if you read my post, I have nothing against the Second Amendment or the right to carry guns. It's about the wisdom (or lack thereof) to carry guns to a political rally. Even YOU admit it was poor judgment.

You're right when you say there was no violence, but "no threats"? Carry a loaded semi-automatic rifle IS an implicit threat, especially when one shouts about the necessity of spilling blood to water the tree of liberty. How is that NOT a vague threat?

And by the way, I'm not scared at the idea of guns. I'm not even scared of right wingers with guns. I'm scared of paranoid right wingers carrying guns, thinking that if they kill the "dictator", they will be heroes. They get pumped on the Fox News rhetoric, believing that such homicides are justified. You can scoff, but this has happened before (Oklahoma City, Tiller murder, Unitarian Church killings, etc).

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