Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dumb Ideas: Taking an assault rifle to a presidential address...

Man carrying assault weapon attends Obama protest

By AMANDA LEE MYERS and TERRY TANG, Associated Press Writers

PHOENIX – About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday.

This is the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president.

Full story here.

It's considered incredibly politically incorrect to use the term 'retard' in describing stupid people, but I struggle to find a more appropriate word in this case.

Taking an assault rifle? To a presidential speech? Seriously - the sort of person who does that must be mentally retarded in some way. Anybody in full command of their faculties would realize that it's a dangerous, offensive, inflammatory and unbelievably stupid thing to do.

Oh, I can already hear the reasoning from the gun nuts: "I'm just exercising my 2nd Amendment rights." Well, maybe - but point that thing the wrong way and half a dozen Secret Service officers are going to exercise their gun-toting prerogative - straight into your chest.

The longer I live in America, to more sympathetic I get towards gun owners (until I read crazy stories like this.)

I mean, I get it. Owning a gun to defend your family is a right (despite the reams of statistical evidence suggesting that it might actually make your home more dangerous.) The other day, when we had strangers walking onto our driveway at 2am, even I figured the security of a little 'home protection' might be nice.

But there's a time and a place to carry your guns - and a presidential speech is not it.

These idiots who carry loaded handguns and rifles to presidential speeches are clearly just loudmouthed idiots, making a desperate cry for attention (and totally shooting to pro-gun movement in the foot as they do so.)

Private gun ownership is a constitutional right - but gun owners should remember that it's one which has been curtailed and limited across America. Most people's tolerance for maintaining 2nd Amendment rights is reliant on gun owners being safe, responsible and setting an example to others about how to properly keep guns.

These right-wing idiots, waving their rifles about, are just perpetuating the stereotype that gun owners are irresponsible, dumb and downright dangerous idiots - people who totally abuse their 'rights' and make the world more dangerous - and significantly more terrifying - in the process.

Personally, I think anybody who takes a loaded weapon to a presidential event should be arrested, have their guns confiscated and their weapon license revoked. They've clearly demonstrated that they lack the mental faculty to be safely trusted with a firearm.


ck said...

OK... so at one point I agree. In the current USA this is stupid.

However I think this is what is wrong with this country.

I'm sure back in the day for the MAJORITY of the audience at a presidential rally to be armed was very common.

Our founding fathers would turn in their graves to see what sissies we've become.

Tom said...

He wasn't at the presidential event. He was protesting outside. And since open carry is legal in Arizona, what he was doing was perfectly legal.

(Indeed, part of his protest was trying to point out to people that open carry is perfectly legal.)

How far away from the President does someone have to be for his rights to start applying?

Roland Hulme said...

But Tom, if openly carrying a gun in Arizona is legal, why did he feel the need to make the point that openly carry a gun is legal? If you ask me, it's counterproductive - most sensible people might start rethinking that particular liberty!

I still say carrying a gun to anywhere even NEAR a presidential even is deeply provocative and stupid. I've got nothing against the carrying of guns - but keep them AWAY from heavily armed secret service operatives and a large crowd. REALLY, REALLY dumb.

Tom said...

Because he wanted to raise awareness that open carry is legal. To quote him:

(from abc15)

"I'm exercising my right as an American in Arizona," he said. "I'm actually totally against healthcare in this way, in this manner, stealing it from people. I don't think that's appropriate."

The man also carried a hand gun on his hip and a round of ammunition in his back pocket, all completely legal.

He said he's fighting both health care and his right to carry a firearm in public.

"I come from another state where open carry is legal, but no one does it, so police don't really know about it, and they harass people and arrest people falsely," he said. "In America, people have the ability to fight back and resist."

Interestingly enough, the man appears to be black himself.

Little rambling Angel. said...

I think I agree with Roland here. If it's legal in that state then why did he feel the need? The secret service won't care if he's just exercising his right to carry it. They will just see the threat.

Roland Hulme said...

Hey Tom!

I don't think his color had anything to do with it - it just seems INTENSELY stupid and inflammatory to turn up in the vicinity of a presidential event with a loaded assault rifle.

There are KIDS there, and a bunch of nervous secret service agents made even MORE nervous by loud, angry men openly carrying guns. It's like pouring gasoline onto a bonfire and just hoping there isn't a spark.

It flies in the face of EVERYTHING responsible gun ownership should be about: Guns are supposed to be 'tools' and are supposed to be used for defense, not to make a political point or make unarmed people feel nervous.

Tom said...

From the pictures, it was pretty obviously not loaded.

Roland Hulme said...

I must have got him confused with a guy interviewed on TV. The anchor asked him: "Was your gun loaded at the Obama event?" and he answered: "Yeah. Who would be dumb enough to carry an unloaded gun?"

Awkward pause.

ck said...


Speaks for itself.

Roland Hulme said...

Hey CK!

I get that that MSNBC might have manipulated the footage to disguise the guy's ethnicity, but I don't know what that's got to do with the price of milk. So he was black? So what?

It's still wrong to take an assault rifle to a presidential event!