MORE armed people, bigger guns observed at Obama Event 8.17.09

Crossposted from DailyKos; thanks, xxdr_zombiexx! Promoted. -- GH

Healthcare Town Halls Need a Second Amendment Zone

Recently, some wingnut tweeted that people should bring their guns to these contentious 'town halls'.

a health care protester in New Mexico had been encouraging those following him on Twitter to bring their guns to town hall meetings — and use them if provoked. “If ACORN/SEIU attends these meetings for disruptive purposes, and you have a license to carry....carry,” Scott Oskay wrote in one tweet. In another, he suggested, “Stop being peaceful, and hurt them. Badly.”


Man carries assault rifle at Obama protest

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 - the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president. Gun-rights advocates say they're exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and protest, while those who argue for more gun control say it could be a disaster waiting to happen. Phoenix police said the gun-toters at Monday's event, including the man carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder, didn't need permits. No crimes were committed, and no one was arrested.

No Peace Signs. No pot. Just assault rifles near the President. No big deal. Guns legal. Cops kept an eye on him, though.

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. "Because I can do it," he said when asked why he was armed. "In Arizona, I still have some freedoms." Two police officers were staying very close to the man. "What he is doing is perfectly legal," Det. J. Oliver, of the Phoenix Police Department said. "We are here to keep the peace. If we need to intervene, we will intervene at that time."

It's not just cranks on Twitter. It's cranks high in the Republican party, like this one from my state:

Guns - ASSAULT RIFLES - at healthcare debate...near the president these people openly don't like. Because they are "free" to do so.

The full blown batshit craziness of rightwingers on complete and public display and Republican politicians are ENCOURAGING it.

People are going to get really hurt before this is over, if nothing is done to quell this needless crap.

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What Can Be Done?

Frank Schaefer wrote Crazy for God well after he abandoned a movement that claimed to be all about stopping the harm of abortion but whose actors were willing to violent means to achieve that goal. 

Along with C. Everett Koop and his father (who wrote The Christian Manifesto), Schaeffer had created the movement.  So, I find it very powerful to read the response to his rhetorical question (I recommend that you read the whole article!)::

It's time that this whole shabby (and insane) business be exposed, vilified in run out of town on a rail by whatever responsible Republicans -- if any -- that are still in the party and who want to see the fortunes of their party revived. Republican leaders taking insurance industry money via lobbying firms and using it to organize what amounts to roving bands of thugs not only need to be exposed but thrown out of the public debate forever.  They should become absolute pariahs.  

It's time to give this garbage a name: insurance industry funded fascism.

[Schaeffer's emphasis, not mine.]

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson