Ban Guns

… at public rallies and events. For the record, these gun nuts showing up at Town Halls causes my normally middle of the road attitude about gun ownership to shift, one more time, towards enforced gun control. If this requires a change in the constitution, then so be it.

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Comments

  1. #1 JohnV
    August 18, 2009

    Yeah I have to say the laughable part is when they give the excuse “we’re just exercising our constitutional rights.”

    I don’t think they’re bringing the weapons to town hall meetings as a member of a well regulated militia protecting the security of the free state. If I had to guess, I’d say that they’re using firearms to intimidate people who have opposing political views. Which, if you view political discourse as a requirement for a well working democracy, means they’re actually diminishing the security of the free state.

    What’s really amusing is how anti-health reactionaries, such as the people toting weapons in these situations, are the ones calling pro-health people “brown shirts”.

    By amusing I mean it makes me want to look for jobs at the Sanger Institute.

  2. #2 D. C. Sessions
    August 18, 2009

    Greg, he was outside the hall and outside of the perimeter set by the Secret Service. Phoenix police knew he (and the others) were there and stated that they were keeping an eye on them as much to head off action by the unarmed as to make sure that the armed didn’t go postal.

    Phoenix police discussed the situation with reporters: no sweat. The Secret Service Presidential Protection Detail also commented: no sweat.

    If I were seriously concerned for Presidential security, I’d worry about why he made the trip to the Civic Plaza by car rather than helicopter, since the available routes by car are so limited and virtually impossible to secure. One fanatic with an RPG and we have President Biden. At least by air it’s possible to maintain operational security regarding the route.

  3. #3 JohnV
    August 18, 2009

    Presidential security is one thing, but who else in the crowd has a group of people whose job is to catch bullets headed his or her way? :P

    Has anyone reported about these people having loaded weapons/ammo? The stories I read on CNN did not mention it. If they did have ammo, I’d be curious how they feel they fit into the wording of the second amendment. If they do not, I’d be extremely curious how they feel they fit into the wording of the second amendment.

  4. #4 jake
    August 18, 2009

    D.C., it’s the other people, that do not have dedicated body guards and snipers, that are put at risk by guys like that.

  5. #5 Matt Springer
    August 18, 2009

    So lemme make sure I have this right. An African-American man asserted his constitutional rights, causing no disruption and no objection from either police or Secret Service, nowhere even close to the President, and your first instinct is “Damn the constitution, shut him down by force”?

    Good lord, didn’t you just crucify a cop for doing just that to this Gates fellow who actually was being combative?

  6. #6 JohnV
    August 18, 2009

    Can you explain how the text of the second amendment validates bringing firearms to the crowd outside of town hall meetings. To facilitate the process, I’ll provide the text. Also, nice race baiting.

    “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.”

    Was the townhall meeting in imminent danger of invasion by a foreign power? Are these people part of a well regulated militia?

  7. #7 Matt Springer
    August 18, 2009

    The second amendment is not about defense from a foreign power, it’s about self-defense against both crime and a possibly tyrannical government. In fact if you read up on early American history, you’ll see that guns as public events were an ubiquitous part of pre-Revolutionary public political discourse. Then as now nothing violent happened (until the Brits sent in the army, anyway).

    And yes, they are part of the militia. Federal law defines the militia as every male older than 18 years of age, though according to the 14th amendment that’s probably unconstitutional and everyone regardless of sex is part of the militia.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    August 18, 2009

    I’m not especially worried about these wacko gun nuts with respect to presidential security, though I do look forward to the day when the President strides over to the rope line unexpectedly and one of these gun nuts takes that moment to lift his pistol to scratch his nose with the barrel and finds five or six 22 caliber slugs in his “brain” from the agents watching him.

    Just for fun, of course. Just for spilling the blood of the morons to water the tree of whatever whatever .

  9. #9 NJ
    August 18, 2009

    There was very little chance of a spontaneous ‘tyrannical government’ appearance at these rallies; this was all about intimidating people whose opinions differ from the armed whackos.

    You should stick to the Maxwell’s equations, Matty. Non-math topics seem to give you trouble.

  10. #10 willie
    August 18, 2009

    I totally agree that this was about intimidation. Which of course just made me want to go to one of these rallies and punch out one of these suckers. Maybe take his gun.

  11. #11 Science Avenger
    August 18, 2009

    When do we get to see this middle-of-the-road attitude? It’s certainly not evident in statements like “the only purpose for handguns is to kill, or feed the fetishes of collectors” (that’s paraphrased from memory with the best of intentions), and of course “ban guns” is so way middle [snort].

    Here’s middle of the road for you: everyone on both sides of the gun control argument overstates it’s importance. They are not crucial for self-defense, are useless in fending off an intrusive government, and cause murders and accidental deaths that are proportionally miniscule (about 0.04% of the population annually accoding to the latest data I have). Guns are about as relevant to most of our lives as partial birth abortions. We have far bigger fish to fry with our limited political capital and energy.

  12. #12 Matt Springer
    August 18, 2009

    A few more points since I don’t want to make an all-day project of arguing (though it’d drive up the page views, Greg!)

    1. CNN ran a piece on this earlier today and interviewed the people involved. They’re libertarian activists who saw an opportunity for publicity, contacted the police beforehand and made arrangements, and viewed this specifically as an opportunity to show that guns and the public can peacefully coexist. In this they succeeded. They didn’t even care about Obama except insofar as it meant cameras would be there.

    2. While the second amendment tends to be a focus of debate, both practically and philosophically it’s a side show. The amendment as currently interpreted has very little effect on state and federal law short of preventing complete bans.

    3. I support the right of public open carry (and concealed carry), but in practice I would strongly discourage anyone from actually using the right to open carry. It’s probably counterproductive, as Greg’s reaction seems to indicate.

  13. #13 Sevesteen
    August 18, 2009

    There are contexts where open-carry protests are useful, this isn’t one of them. However, as far as I can tell, no laws were broken, nobody was harmed, and it should remain legal, despite the damage to a cause I support.

    There has to be a security perimeter around the president where civilian guns are not allowed–Unfortunate, but true. As long as the protester isn’t within that perimeter, and complying with existing law, he should be carefully watched but left alone.

    How far away from places the president will be at do we have to remain in order to keep our rights?

  14. #14 JohnV
    August 18, 2009

    Ok let me get this straight. Those people are walking around with fire arms at political events, just in case at that very moment either a)a crime breaks out or b)they need to strike down a government which chooses that exact moment to become tyrannical? I know the boyscout motto is be prepared, but seriously…

    If he’s really there with that weapon in case the President needs striking down, I’m not sure the secret service or police are doing their jobs very well :P

    Anyhow, is this ok because 300 years ago that’s how we rolled, so to speak? What other 300 year old traditions should we bring back? Would an african american have been allowed to do that 300 years ago?

    Good to know about the militia thing. Was he called up by the state or federal government to execute his duties as a militiaman? Were either of them concerned about imminent lawlessness or tyrannical governments? Or does “well regulated” mean show up whenever and wherever you want?

    Again, we get back to me being absolutely certain these people aren’t displaying their firearms to intimidate those who have differing political opinions.

  15. #15 CyberLizard
    August 18, 2009

    A firearm has one single purpose: to kill another living being. That is the reason it was created and the reason it continues to be produced. Just because people fetishize them and collect arsenals that would put a third-world dictator to shame doesn’t diminish the point that they are designed to kill. So bringing your killing device to a mass gathering of people in order to display your opposing view isn’t exactly going to be viewed as an attempt at promoting a peaceful discussion of differing opinions by most rational people.

  16. #16 Russell
    August 18, 2009

    First, this would indeed be illegal in some states. Texas, for example. There is broad latitude for states to regulate how and when people go about armed. No court has found that the 2nd amendment requires allowing anyone to go armed everywhere. The law that needs to change to prevent this is state law.

    Second, I think these people are nuts.

    Third, Greg, wasn’t that your post a few weeks back that said we should outright ban pistols? If so, you shouldn’t count yourself in the “middle of the road” on gun ownership.

  17. #17 daedalus2u
    August 18, 2009

    Would this have been acceptable when Bush was president?

    Everyone knows it wouldn’t have been acceptable and anyone who tried would have been arrested. Hell, they arrested people for wearing tee shirts. Any state where wearing tee shirts is illegal and wearing guns is not is a failed state. A state not much different than Somalia.

  18. #18 D. C. Sessions
    August 18, 2009

    Can you explain how the text of the second amendment validates bringing firearms to the crowd outside of town hall meetings.

    Almost the entire world is “outside of town hall meetings.” Unless we’re going to use this as an excuse to ban firearms entirely, it’s necessary to draw a line somewhere. The Arizona Legislature drew the line, Federal law [1] drew the line — and the guys with guns were outside of it.

    HTH. HAND.

    [1] The security perimeter around the President is under Federal jurisdiction.

  19. #19 MadScientist
    August 18, 2009

    Well, perhaps legislators will consider limiting guns in public to those who have a permit to port arms in public.

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    August 18, 2009

    Science Avenger: What is the point of considering a middle between totally wrong and totally right? :)

    I think we agree that this is the 20th century and that toting around deadly weapons to make a point is a bit out of date.

    Matt: Making the accusation or inference that I make specific arguments to drive up page counts is obnoxious and juvenile. You should have left that kind of shit back in high school. Were you a cheerleader or something??????

    Yes, this was a planned publicity stunt, to make a point, which does not obviate my point that people toting around guns at public events should be removed from those contexts. Your point 3 is dead on, and is in fact the purpose of this post. It really is true that there are a lot of us out there (people like me) who would be perfectly willing to go along with a liberal gun policy, but who become less interested in doing so when this kind of shit happens. My intent is to help make showing up at public events carrying your AK counterproductive. Well spotted.

    Sevesteen: You are correct about the security perimeter, and you might expect to see the Secret Service expand that perimeter rather quietly over the coming days. For more info on that, simply view the provided video. I like Maddow’s question regarding air planes.

  21. #21 Russell
    August 18, 2009

    I think we agree that this is the 20th century and that toting around deadly weapons to make a point is a bit out of date.

    Here in Texas, it is the 21st century. That said, I’m not sure it ever was appropriate to carry guns to townhall meetings.

  22. #22 MadScientist
    August 18, 2009

    Are people really intimidated by the guns? Having grown up with people carrying guns all the time I never saw any threat. Of course in Arizona it’s unlawful to conceal a weapon – that’s just cowboy sensibility – if you’re hiding a gun you must be up to no good. I never did understand the states that force you to hide your guns when you’ve got them in public. Now while it’s not unlawful to carry guns in public in Az, I wonder if it’s still unlawful to wear a mask in public.

  23. #23 Stephanie Z
    August 18, 2009

    Another thing that’s interesting about Greg’s periodic gun posts is the shift in the tone of comments over the last year or so. The “over my dead body” yahoos seem to have made it less likely that people will come out with a strong, untempered pro-gun stance. It’s almost as though no one wants to align themselves with the wingnuts, which leaves this a wingnut issue.

  24. #24 D. C. Sessions
    August 18, 2009

    people toting around guns at public events should be removed from those contexts.

    Removed from … The Civic Center? Phoenix? Arizona?

    Sometimes details matter.

  25. #25 Sevesteen
    August 18, 2009

    you might expect to see the Secret Service expand that perimeter rather quietly over the coming days.

    How big can this security perimeter get legitimately? What happens when a protester is just outside this NEW perimeter? An entire city becomes the perimeter?

    Yes, this was a planned publicity stunt, to make a point, which does not obviate my point that people toting around guns at public events should be removed from those contexts.

    Does a public event include a pro-gun rally, organized with the understanding that most of the attendees have carry licenses, and will be carrying a gun, many of them openly? How about if the Governor and other politicians accepted invitations to speak, knowing the deal? (I was at that one…)

    Does this apply to licensed concealed guns not there to make a point?

    Are only political events covered, or is the car show at the mall also covered? It is an event, in public…

  26. #26 Greg Laden
    August 18, 2009

    Here in Texas, it is the 21st century.

    I’m a palaeoanthropologist. A century here, a century there…

    MadScientist:

    I was just thinking about Arizona and guns earlier today. I lived in Phoenix for a couple/few months. While I was there, a family (father, two brothers, something like that) was being arraigned for armed robbery. The uncle showed up in the courtroom toting his guns.

    Hed killed the judge and the bailiff and tossed some guns to the guys who were being arraigned. They shot their way out of the courtroom, got in their cars, and drove out of town. They robbed a drive-through ammo place for the ammo, killed the clerk there, and spent the next several weeks out in the wilderness being tracked by state, city, and federal authorities, until they were finally run to ground. A major gun fight ensued.

  27. #27 Siamang
    August 18, 2009

    I’m sorry, but this sounds like a threat to me. We’ve gone beyond protected speech, and now this is threatening speech.

    Scary times, people.

    Also that “watering the tree of liberty” shit is downright chilling. These folks are zero steps away from trying to pull off a lynching.

    These folks are attempting to intimidate. This is glen beck “we surround THEM!” shit.

    Shame on them.

  28. #28 Siamang
    August 18, 2009

    “Hed killed the judge and the bailiff and tossed some guns to the guys who were being arraigned. They shot their way out of the courtroom, got in their cars, and drove out of town. They robbed a drive-through ammo place for the ammo, killed the clerk there, and spent the next several weeks out in the wilderness being tracked by state, city, and federal authorities, until they were finally run to ground. A major gun fight ensued.”

    …. yeah, but at LEAST they had freedom of expression! Not like us all in the Union Of Soviet Socialist Democratic Obamanians!

    He’s just like Hitler and Stalin, combined! Death panels for babies with Down’s Syndrome! That darn foreign-born hawaiian.

  29. #29 Matt Springer
    August 18, 2009

    “Matt: Making the accusation or inference that I make specific arguments to drive up page counts is obnoxious and juvenile.”

    I did not make that inference, and to the extent it appeared that I did, I absolutely apologize. My (apparently badly executed) point was a joke on myself – that my leaping headlong into an internet argument may in fact be ridiculous, but at least is partially made up for by the fact that my hitting F5 to see the new comments might drive up views. I know that your opinions expressed here are yours in sincerity, just as mine are when I post.

  30. #30 Monado, FCD
    August 18, 2009

    Logically, the perimeter for carrying loaded guns to a political event featuring the head of state should be out of sight of the venue, in case of hot-heads or accidental discharge of firearms. It’s much, much safer for spectators and of course for the gun-toters.

    Actually, banning pistols (except for those stored at gun clubs or homes) is middle-of-the-road: you still have long guns.

  31. #31 Thee Desecrator
    August 18, 2009

    I’m sure state laws are different, but when I had a concealed weapons permit in ND we were not allowed to have firearms at public events (I had to learn all the carry laws for the written test). Generally, I like my gun freedoms, but I am with you on this one. There is a good reason ND does not allow firearms at public events and that should be law everywhere.

  32. #32 Mike H
    August 18, 2009

    If this requires a change in the constitution, then so be it.

    Yeah …. lets see how far you get with that jackass.

    Anyhoo, its times like these that make me turn to one of the orignal angry right wing radicals for some guidance.

    “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good” – George Washington

  33. #33 José
    August 18, 2009

    @Mike H
    That’s not a real George Washington quote, jackass.

  34. #34 Colin
    August 18, 2009

    When one of the gun-totters fires the gun unnecessarily/unprovoked/etc. (i.e., reasonably at fault) then I’ll entertain your position. Until then I consider it hyperbolic.

  35. #35 Paul Murray
    August 18, 2009

    Australian here.

    Your second amendment was a dumb idea, a mistake pure and simple. You need to get over this deification of the plutocrats who wrote it. Our own constitution borrows heavily from yours, but I’m glad we had the sense not to copy that bit.

  36. #36 Russell
    August 18, 2009

    Stephanie Z writes:

    It’s almost as though no one wants to align themselves with the wingnuts, which leaves this a wingnut issue.

    Being an atheist and politically moderate civil libertarian who supported Obama in the last presidential election, I find it pretty easy not aligning myself with the wingnuts. Nonetheless, I cheer the Heller decision. Until the 2nd amendment is repealed, it should be taken seriously by the courts. That doesn’t mean — and never has meant — that states can’t seriously regulate how and where arms are carried. Those demonstrations in Arizona would be illegal here in Texas, to the extent that I understand the law.

  37. #37 Mike H
    August 18, 2009

    @José

    Hey Jose … look it up jack ass.

  38. #39 Armed Bohemian
    August 18, 2009

    I don’t think these people are particularly threatening. If the opposite side (though I don’t think being a gun-owner puts you firmly on one side or the other) started packing at these (or any other) event, I’d embrace it. Why? Because there is nothing to fear from the armed man, anymore than there is to fear from any other man.
    People are dangerous, the tools make little difference.

    It says a lot about people, and the strength of their convictions and personalities, when they are so easily shaken by appearances.
    Most people who carry, do so concealed. You probably know them, work with them, have even had dinner with them and weren’t frightened, or disturbed, or worried, by their presence.
    What difference does a public view of their armament make? How does that fundamentally change the person?
    It doesn’t.

    If a person has the intention to do harm, it can be done myriad ways. Firearms are not necessary, and in nations and localities where firearms are harder to obtain, the tools of assault, murder (even mass murder) are different – But the acts still happen.
    And if one of these openly armed individuals opened fire in a crowd, who do you suppose would be likely to respond? Another legally armed citizen.

    And, if you think that the various security and police agency snipers in position around the event wouldn’t have taken the shot against an active shooter in the general crowd, you’re sorely mistaken. It is almost guaranteed that anyone committing a violent act within their range would be dealt with as a threat to their protectee, and considered a problem with a “shooting solution”.
    Though I do think the perception that these professionals wouldn’t respond sets up an interesting situation. The state, in this scenario, is not regarded as interested in the safety and security of the individual citizen – But the armed citizen is regarded as a threat. What’s the solution? Who here is responsible for the safety and security of the individuals in the crowd?
    The individual can’t be responsible – That’s assumed by saying the individual can’t be trusted to be armed.
    The state isn’t responsible, they’re taking care of the heads of state and other privileged persons.
    So, who is? Who can be?
    And don’t just say if no one was armed, no one would need to be. That’s nonsense – Rocks, sticks, automobiles, flammable or caustic household chemicals, fists and any number of other items plus bad intentions still present a danger to individuals. And individuals in large groups are excellent targets, and provide many inspirations to the unstable (in these protest/rally type cases).

    I choose to be responsible for myself, by myself. Sorry that threatens all of you, it’s really not intended to even when publicly displayed.

  39. #40 Greg Laden
    August 18, 2009

    [28]but at least is partially made up for by the fact that my hitting F5 to see the new comments might drive up views.

    Does that really work!!?? Cool!!!

    [30]Actually, banning pistols (except for those stored at gun clubs or homes) is middle-of-the-road: you still have long guns. But we need to defend ourselves form the deer!!!

    34: Oh, no, we would not want any hyperbole. Like strapping a fucking gun to your leg and carrying a sign that it is time to spill the blood of tyrants to a presidential fucking town hall. GMAB, Colin.

    Well, I’m assuming that was hyperbole. If not, he should be arrested this instant for conspiracy.

  40. #41 Roadtripper
    August 19, 2009

    “…my normally middle of the road attitude about gun ownership…”

    Thanks, Greg. I needed a good laugh. That one was a real cackler.

    Rt

  41. #42 TexasSkeptic
    August 19, 2009

    To paraphrase an old bumper sticker:

    Great-looking gun, dude! Sorry about your penis.

  42. #43 Someone
    August 19, 2009

    A firearm has one single purpose: to kill another living being.

    Sadly, that is a legitimate purpose, though it is not the only one. Guns can be the ultimate equalizer. I will never have the strength of the majority of men unless I make it my life’s work, but learning how to use a firearm for defense requires only relatively simple training. I have lost a family member to a murder where the other guy had a gun and he didn’t, and the murderer was never supposed to own a gun because of prior felonies, so banning guns wouldn’t have protected him and won’t protect us (it works in relatively insular, island countries like Japan but would never work in the US). Another argument I have heard is that you would never have any chance to shoot back anyways. I’ll spare you the details but that was not true in my family member’s case and in many others. Before you paint a picture of me, I am not your average gun nut. I do not believe in unnecessary killing, I do not believe in the death penalty (and I hate it when unknowing people say “But what if something happens to someone you love?”), and I don’t think that guns are an intrinsically good thing. I just don’t think that genie is ever going back into the bottle, and I would like the right to take what I believe is a very safe and reasonable step to protect myself when I believe it is necessary without being made to feel like a criminal. I don’t think what these people did was a good idea, but I don’t think that rhetoric about how intrinsically evil guns are gets us anywhere either.

  43. #44 Bob
    August 19, 2009

    [Let's see if this makes it past moderation; no URLs in this post]

    IIRC, the crime is disturbing the peace or breach of the peace or something along those lines. You can openly carry legally many places and you won’t get arrested for having a gun, you’ll (justifiably) be towed off for spooking others. No need for bans or other hyperbolic bullshit – just jail the morons for the actual crime of twitching people out.

  44. #45 José
    August 19, 2009

    Are people really intimidated by the guns?

    I’m not. I earned my riflery merit badge, and many of my best friends are hunters (Does that sound too much like “some of my best friend are gay”?). I live next door to a gun club (Does that sound to much like “I have a black friend”?), and I’m never intimidated by the people going in or out of there. However, the few times I’ve ever been in the presence of people with guns who clearly held some animosity towards me, you’d better believe I was intimidated.

  45. #46 MadScientist
    August 19, 2009

    @Greg: That’s pretty slack for that guy to be able to get into a courtroom with guns; everyone knows you don’t take guns into court houses or federal buildings and I’m surprised the courthouse wasn’t guarded better; even in Prescott (which had a population of about 2000 back then) I’d have to empty my pockets and hand over my pocket knife and about half of the police on duty seemed to be at the courthouse. Way back when I was in Phoenix the news stories always went on about how dangerous a city it was but it always seemed a pretty good city to me. Old friends tell me a lot has changed in 20 years and that I wouldn’t recognize the place anymore.

  46. #47 Philip H
    August 19, 2009

    Greg,
    I think the most important part of the Amendment, and the least discussed, is the “well regulated militia” part. The NRA has gotten too much mileage out of the later half. Well regulated means registration of purchases, it means firearms training so you don’t accidentally shoot off your own toe, and it means secure storage requirements. it should also mean permits or licenses to carry outside your own home. And well regulated DOES NOT mean that a citizen should take an assault weapong to aprotest, even as a publicity stunt. Stuff like that makes the wearer/carrier look like a wackaloon, and likely causes most of use to dismiss them and any legitimate points they make.

    All that said, as some one who owne a weapon or two, and shoots recreationally, you’ll pry my shot gun out of my cold dead hand before I let the state tell me I can’t have it.

  47. #48 Greg Laden
    August 19, 2009

    Michele Bachmann’s town hall is coming up. I’m looking for volunteers. I want 12 to 15 young African American males. They must dress in the current “inner city ghetto” fashion. We will purchase realistic looking side arms and assault weapons, and each man will carry one side arm strapped to his waist and one assault weapon strapped to his back. I know some guys with lowriders, we’ll borrow the lowriders and the volunteers can drive up to the rally with B.I.G. cranked on the cd player.

    I want these guys to hang around outside the rally with whatever crowd is there. They should be carrying a couple of signs that say things like “The blood of tyrants bla bla bla….” and so on.

    See how that goes.

  48. #49 Sevesteen
    August 19, 2009

    @Bob:
    Some people are disturbed by men kissing each other…That isn’t disturbing the peace either. In most (if not all) places where open carry is legal, merely carrying an exposed gun is officially NOT disturbing the peace, with supporting court rulings.

    If you wave it around, point it at people, or make threats that is another matter entirely, and should be prosecuted.

  49. #50 Jim Thomerson
    August 19, 2009

    The most successful Obama stimulus plan, at no cost to the taxpayers, was the plan for the firearm and ammunition industries. Gun prices have gone up 200-300%, and they sell like hotcakes. Ammo is in short supply. Dealers at gun shows sell out immediately. My cousin, who shoots cap and ball blackpowder, told me he cannot get caps. His dealer has them back ordered and there is a waiting list. People who sell guns are making out like gangbusters, but have the problem of restocking, whis is both difficult and costly.

  50. #51 Travis
    August 19, 2009

    The ultimate outcome of carrying around a gun is pulling the gun out and waving it around. Why carry it otherwise?

  51. #52 Ian
    August 19, 2009

    I’m with comment #17:

    Would this have been acceptable when Bush was president?
    Everyone knows it wouldn’t have been acceptable and anyone who tried would have been arrested. Hell, they arrested people for wearing tee shirts. Any state where wearing tee shirts is illegal and wearing guns is not is a failed state. A state not much different than Somalia.

  52. #53 Bob
    August 19, 2009

    @Sevesteen: I don’t care about people openly carrying provided they’re minding their own business. Buying a latte’? Fine. Strolling through the park? Sure. A bunch of guys in a bad mood openly carrying at a presidential appearance? Not cool. Where’s the line between freedom and imminent danger?

    And this isn’t solely about protecting the president or bystanders, it’s also about protecting the idiots from the inevitable company of snipers on rooftops ready to take down anyone they seriously perceive as a potential assassin.

    @Jim: The rush on gun sales may not just be NRA-stoked fear among the Caucasian underclass. I’d wager that some of the stockpiling has to do with the economy. I knew people in Texas who’d buy guns when times were good and sell them when times were bad; they tend to hold their value and there’s always a market for them if you decide to sell. Guns and tools are for the lower class as gold is for the upper – a financial hedge and security blanket.

    I’m torn between ignoring these bozos because they’re just attention-seeking twits and hauling them in for being a public menace. It’s much less about the guns than the aspect of keeping public order and preventing unnecessary, unintentional death. I’d have the same concerns if they were armed with broadswords and baseball bats.

  53. #54 bobh
    August 20, 2009

    #22 “Are people really intimidated by the guns?”
    Oh you mean “guns don’t kill people, people (with guns) kill people” Its obviously not about being intimidated by guns. I was once in a bunker with a number of 150 Kt nuclear weapons. I wasn’t intimidated by them, I was in awe of their destructive power but I wasn’t intimidated. But then they weren’t being carried by an angry screaming lunatic carrying a sign with a slogan the Oklahoma bomber had on his T-shirt.

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