August 18, 2009

About Those Open Carry Advocates in Phoenix, and the Liberals Who Loathe Them

As I hopefully made clear last night, I think that open-carrying firearms at political protests—even when perfectly legal—is needlessly provocative and counter-productive. While the open carry advocates are attempting to get across a message that open-carrying guns is legal and hope to normalize the practice, doing so at an event where there is already political controversy is going to have the opposite effect and polarize those who might otherwise be more accepting of their message.

But while I disagree with the idea of open-carrying at political events, I must say that I was impressed with how these open carry advocates conducted themselves. They coordinated their display with the Phoenix Police Department, who provided them with a liaison officer. They were also courteous to those around them, remaining calm and well-behaved (with the exception of the mysterious "other" rifle-carrying man that only one CNN employee seems to have seen).

And despite the shrieking we're hearing for the hyperbole-prone left, there is not a double-standard at play between the security afforded this President and the last.

One blogger at Firedoglake whined:

Once again we see how irony deficiency maims the conservative's ability to reason: those most terrified of The Negro Socialist Non-Citizen Grandmother-Killing President taking away their assault weaponry [roll eyes here] are free who to openly carry them at Obama events without fear of reprisal.

Could you even begin to imagine that sort of apparently lackadaisical approach during Bush's Orwellian tenure? Contemplate what would have happened to audience members had they shown up at one of Bush's "socha scurty" town halls packing heat. People wearing even vaguely anti-Bush t-shirts were summarily ejected from his little Potemkin village affairs and those whose cars brandished "liberal" bumper stickers were no doubt assigned to some DHS anti-American no-fly list. Anyone with a firearm at a Bush event would have found himself wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles faster than you could say "Dick Cheney's man-sized safe."

Maha wails a similar lament:

The forces of civility already are bowing to the pressure of the mob. We might remember that people wearing anti-Bush T-shirts were not allowed to be within view of Dear Leader, whereas law enforcement can do very little about visibly angry people carrying loaded firearms in the streets.

Both of these bloggers are making false comparisons, without any merit whatsoever.

The armed protesters at events in Arizona and New Hampshire were never "at" Obama's meetings. They were never inside of the security perimeter that the Secret Service establishes for Presidential appearances. They weren't ever close.

The protester in New Hampshire who had a gun in a tactical drop-leg rig was on private property well away from the Obama appearance (I've heard estimates of ½ to ¾ mile away) and was never in direct line of sight of either the venue or the motorcade. He never remotely a threat to the President, nor did he intend to be.

Likewise, those open carry advocates at yesterday's event in Arizona arranged for a police liaison the day before the event, and were constantly afforded security by the Phoenix Police Department and had at least one known Secret Service agent shadowing them to assure they were following the law. These citizens were never anywhere near the President, nor did they attempt to go anywhere near the Secret Service's security perimeter that cordoned off the event and the building in which it was held.

As for the citizens ejected by the Secret Service during President Bush's meetings in the past, I can't claim to know much about the specific instances they refer to, but they do make clear these were citizens inside the event location when they were ejected.

It is always well within the Secret Service's discretion to eject unruly citizens or suspected agitators from Presidential appearances as a matter of security, just as it is their duty to arrest and detain anyone who attempts to breach the perimeter with a potential weapon (As they did another protester in New Hampshire last week).

These mewling cries of left-wing bloggers that the Secret Service is somehow applying a double-standard isn't remotely "reality-based." It is an attempt to make an apples and oranges argument, and a weak one at that.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 18, 2009 11:19 AM

(with the exception of the mysterious "other" rifle-carrying man that only one CNN employee seems to have seen).

Shhhh, He is an Obama supporter.

A line of people in support of the new plan reached down Washington Street between Third and Fifth streets.

One sight was perhaps a little unnerving to those in charge of making sure everybody remains on their best behavior.

A man, who decided not to give his name, was walking around the pro-health care reform rally at Third and Washington streets, with a pistol on his hip and an AR-15 (a semi-automatic assault weapon) on a strap over his shoulder.

Posted by: TS at August 18, 2009 11:34 AM
A man, who decided not to give his name, was walking around the pro-health care reform rally at Third and Washington streets, with a pistol on his hip and an AR-15 (a semi-automatic assault weapon) on a strap over his shoulder.
Gah! Idiots! Posted by: Pablo at August 18, 2009 11:54 AM

Another major difference between these demonstrations and the ones against Bush is that these ones coordinate with the police in order to comply with the law, not violate it. Civil disobedience is a hallmark of the leftists, and they consider it a mark of honor to get arrested. Weapons mixed with law abiding citizens is one thing. Weapons mixed with citizens intent on breaking the law is another thing all together.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at August 18, 2009 11:59 AM

This must really drive the left nuts. Just the thought of an American citizen with a gun drives them into epileptic seizures. I can't imagine how insane they get when citizens carry them out in the open.

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 18, 2009 12:55 PM

I think these shows are a tactical mistake. The chances are much higher that the action will push average people away from their position concerning carrying a firearm.

Let me put it this way -- Larry Flint going down south and personally selling a porn magazine and getting arrested for it is an in-your-face act that stood a good chance of highlighting the issue of censorship.

These guys with the guns are rallies are not really proving a point. They are more about just being in-your-face.

Posted by: usinkorea at August 18, 2009 02:45 PM

korea, are you talking about the pro Obama one's with guns or the anti Obama one's with guns?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 18, 2009 04:15 PM

The presence of armed protesters at this rally resulted in greater security costs footed by taxpayers. If open-carry advocates want to further their cause, they shouldn't do so at the expense of hard working Americans.

Posted by: Robert at August 18, 2009 06:44 PM

The Racistdogfakes blogger should have renamed the piece "Does this post make my head look fat?"

Posted by: daleyrocks at August 18, 2009 06:48 PM

Iím not going to try and convince liberals or those that donít understand why we have the 2nd Amendment or why people are taking guns to rallyís. It would be impossible because they donít want their minds changed. It would be folly to try and convince them otherwise.

Instead I will just give you my thoughts and feelings about this but tell you I would not do it because of the MSM that we have now. They lie, cheat and steal and twist not only facts but intentions.

Americans donít like to be told what to do, when to do it, where to do it or how to do it. That is just how Americans are.

I believe in the 2nd Amendment no matter when, where or how, if it doesnít break existing state or local laws. Even then, if the laws need changed, I will fight legally to change them.

I carry concealed and have a permit to do so. In Texas you can not open carry unless under certain circumstances. You can carry a weapon in your vehicle if it is concealed and unloaded, it used to be only if you were "traveling" but that law has been modified (I believe in 2007). But some local law enforcement officials will still take your gun and possibly lock you up. Also if stopped, you must inform the Law Enforcement Agent that you do have a weapon in your vehicle. Some other local restrictions apply. These restrictions and laws need to be changed in my opinion, and they will be, just as law officers will stop taking guns for no reason (I hope).

In open carry states such as Arizona, which I have visited (there are others), the laws vary. In some, the weapon must be unloaded and is subject to inspection to make sure it is. In some that is not true, it can be loaded.

I believe every state in our Republic should have the right to open carry weapons without permits.

Loaded, as an unloaded weapon is useless if you don't have the time to load it.

I would hesitate to carry concealed in Texas at a political or public rally of any kind. But that is not because it is illegal (except if your asked not to, or it is posted). If it wasn't, I just wouldnít. There is a long list of where you can not carry a concealed weapon in Texas, and you had better know it and follow it. I don't want to draw attention to my having a weapon. Surprise is a weapon in itself.

American gun owners usually obey the law because to not do so, they would get in trouble and/or lose their weapon (or have a devil of a time getting it back).

Thugs, criminals and crazies (or radicals of any kind) donít follow the law. Bad people carry guns for different reasons and none of them good.

If I lived in Arizona with all of the Mexican Drug Cartel members I would carry concealed, open and loaded for whatever could happen. The South West is rapidly becoming part of the battle ground of the Drug Cartels.

Americans need to protect themselves and their families. The law only shows up later to count the bodies and call the ambulances.

Let me leave you with a quote and I want everybody to read it and think hard on it:

"The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed - where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once".
2009 Judge Alex Kozinski

Papa Ray
West Texas

Posted by: Papa Ray at August 18, 2009 06:51 PM

>>"The presence of armed protesters at this rally resulted in greater security costs footed by taxpayers."

What do you base that claim on?

Posted by: Steve at August 18, 2009 07:35 PM

Just chill. I think even CNN realized it was legal and explained that to the viewers. I think it is a net positive for open and concealed carry.

Posted by: Federale at August 18, 2009 10:09 PM
The presence of armed protesters at this rally resulted in greater security costs footed by taxpayers. If open-carry advocates want to further their cause, they shouldn't do so at the expense of hard working Americans. Posted by Robert at August 18, 2009 06:44 PM

How about those people who drive cars? Do you have any idea what they cost us?

Posted by: Pablo at August 18, 2009 11:30 PM

They should have used Pink Pistols as a front - free speech, gay, and packing, flamboyant in all at the same time - everyone knows you cannot exercise more than one right at the same time (except the original Black Panthers)

Posted by: Druid at August 19, 2009 12:37 AM

Speaking of the Black Panthers, they were also there and were carrying open firearms. Why no complaints against them?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 19, 2009 01:17 AM

If we really want to make everything comperable to Bush then all the journalists surrounding Obama need to have their shoes confiscated.

Posted by: Pinandpuller at August 19, 2009 03:33 AM

Nobody would ever confuse me with a liberal --- and I find the carrying of guns to a political protest stupid.

I'm in favor of guns and what we have right now in terms of regulations. But carrying guns to a protest is - stupid.

Since someone asked if that is the same for liberals and conservatives alike, I guess I'd have to say considering the liberal's goal of banning guns, their carrying them to a protest might be tactically sound if underhanded --- if they pretend they are conservatives.

If they show openly they are liberals and carrying weapons to a protest - they are stupid too.

Posted by: usinkorea at August 19, 2009 08:04 AM

I can't see how people conclude that gun's rights activists carrying weapons to a protest is a good move for the movement.

Again --- I am not a liberal and I am not in favor of banning guns, handguns, whatever. I am not against laws in some areas that allow concealed or open carrying of guns.

But these guys are only going to turn some people off to their cause when they carry them to a protest like this. It gives good ammunition to the liberals who want to ban guns.

The average American is not going to look favorably on the gun carries. It is going to do more to dampen support for the constitutional rights. It certainly won't help...

Posted by: usinkorea at August 19, 2009 08:09 AM

korea, so it's bad when conservatives carry guns but good when the black panthers do?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 19, 2009 11:10 AM

Con Yank, you disappoint again. The whole point of openly carrying at an anti gun rights presidential appearance is to be provocative. It is to draw attention to the fact that people want to keep their rights. That scaredy cat libs and incurious onlookers tsk tsk is no reason to run and hide. Let's get the cards on the table. Do you think the situation will be any more favorable for gun owners a year from now?

Papa Ray, your judge did not list all the doomsday scenarios for which he ascribes the dutiful right to brandish firearms: such as a government that stands for election when it is rigged. Or a government whose dishonesty and intentions is covered up by a complicit media. Just two examples of many - it's best to keep the issue up front at every opportunity - as long as it's legal and respectful of course.

Posted by: Jayne at August 19, 2009 11:54 PM

"The presence of armed protesters at this rally resulted in greater security costs footed by taxpayers."

Hey imagine that. A liberal complaining about spending the tax payers money. Give me a break.

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