Thursday, August 20, 2009

Twelve Carry Guns -- Including Assault Rifle -- Outside Obama Event

From Talking Points Memo courtesy of Eschaton:

About 12 people were carrying guns, including at least one semi-automatic assault rifle, outside a building where President Obama was speaking today.

No one was arrested outside the VFW National Convention in Phoenix, according to the Associated Press, where hundreds of people demonstrated both for and against health care reform. There are no reports that the 12 were part of an organized group.

The man spotted carrying the assault rifle and a pistol, who gave his name only as "Chris", was asked why he was armed. "Because I can do it," he said. "In Arizona, I still have some freedoms."

More here.

Because he can do it.

Okay. That's a bullshit response. The gun's clearly a threat to the President. Period. I mean, this idiot may have had absolutely no intention of taking a shot at Obama, but he definitely wanted people to see him carrying around his assault rifle; he definitely wanted to send a symbolic message. Same with the other eleven there. Same with the two who showed up at a similar Presidential event last week in New Hampshire.

You put these high-profile right-wing displays of weaponry together with the Tiller murder and the shooting up of that Unitarian church in Tennessee, and an extraordinarily disturbing picture starts to emerge. Back in the 90s, these violent conservative weirdos were dressed in fatigues and mostly confined to their paramilitary "patriots" compounds: today they're running around in public, menacing Americans with whom they disagree, and sometimes killing them.

Not only am I worried that one of these psychos might kill President Obama, I'm also worried that they might kill me. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think civil society has been so bad since the decade immediately preceding the Civil War. Are these motherfuckers going to force me to do what I currently believe to be unthinkable? Will I have to buy a gun?

I don't really think I want to live in a country where I have to arm myself for fear of political violence. What the fuck is happening here?