Monday, August 17, 2009

Things have changed

A dozen people showed up with guns outside of the event center in Phoenix where Obama spoke yesterday. Two even had SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLES in addition to the dozen or more with handguns.

A man (later updated to 2 men) was seen carrying an assault rifle and a pistol outside the VFW Convention in Phoenix where President Obama spoke today, a local newspaper reports. (Click through for a photo.)

Local police said it's legal under Arizona law, but two officers kept close by him.

"If we need to intervene, we will intervene at that time," said Detective J. Oliver.

"Because we can" seemed to be the reason. Seriously? While yes, technically, these people could carry guns in public in Arizona, they decided that having them at a presidential event was a good idea? Wanting to exercise your right to bear arms is one thing, making a "statement" by carrying one to a presidental speech goes beyond that.

Can you imagine what would have happened if someone had showed up to a Bush event carrying an assault rife? For pete's sake, they hauled people away for wearing threatening T-SHIRTS whenever Bush spoke. There were "Free speech zones" for that sort of thing, you know.

To what purpose are these people bringing guns? I'm sorry, but I would be inclined to view this as an imminent threat, especially considering some of the signs being waved in the same vicinity and the not-so-subtle threats against the president aired by the teabagger brigade. Who do these idiots think they are? I'm sure they style themselves as some sort of patrioric freedom fighters, but I cannot see any purpose to their actions but intimidation and provocation. Why?

Let's put this in perspective, shall we? Wear an anti-Bush t-shirt to a Bush speech and get arrested. Carry a frikking RIFLE to an Obama rally's ok? Wow. Things really have changed. And not for the better.

And, in case you are wondering, I'm not an anti-gun fanatic. I don't agree with the NRA, but I believe that rational gun ownership is fine.

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