NH - Man Open Carries At Obama's Speech!


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Little Wolf
August 12, 2009, 11:48 AM
A man open carries a pistol outside an event where President Obama spoke at in Portsmouth, NH yesterday. He was carrying a sign which read,

"It is time to water the tree of liberty."

A reference to the famous quote by Thomas Jefferson about how liberty requires the blood of patriots and tyrants to stay alive.

It is also nice to note that the chief of police of Portsmouth New Hampshire stood behind this man's actions, and reiterated that it was indeed his right to open carry there legally.


The following link contains the MSNBC news clip with the footage. I would post the video in the message here but I am unaware of how to do that (feel free to do it below for me if you know how for reader convenience).

http://gawker.com/5334956/lets-just-say-it-were-scared-someones-going-to-try-to-kill-barack-obama?autoplay=true?skyline=true&s=i


Here is the same gentleman being interviewed later, on "Hardball".

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/vp/32378192#32378192

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Mr_Rogers
August 12, 2009, 11:53 AM
Kudos to the sheriff. The Secret Service makes its own decisions.

CCWB
August 12, 2009, 11:54 AM
I'll watch the clips later, but he had a right to OC and have the sign. Probably a bad combo, but he didn't break the law it seems.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 11:56 AM
Speaking one's mind... No problem

Open Carry... No problem

Carrying a sign implying its time to assassinate the present... I think that is a problem. The Secret Service will be paying him a visit for sure. I think he is walking a fine legal line here.

tydephan
August 12, 2009, 11:59 AM
Carrying a sign implying its time to assassinate the present... I think that is a problem. The Secret Service will be paying him a visit for sure. I think he is walking a fine legal line here.
It's referencing a quote from Thomas Jefferson, not Lee Harvey Oswald.

Note the complete quote:

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Several threads on this already in this board, and all have been locked. I expect the same for this one.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 12:03 PM
Yea, I know the quote and I know it is from Jefferson. Jefferson was making that quote in reference to overthrowing the government, just like this man was. Making that quote while carrying a firearm at a presidential event is asking for trouble. If you like to play with fire, then do something like that. But I am pretty sure he is going to have some nice visits from the Secret Service.

This is a poorly veiled threat against the president, and an utterly stupid move on his part. It does nothing to help the cause of liberty. It didn't help Ron Paul for this guy to mention him in the interview with Chris Matthews.

3pairs12
August 12, 2009, 12:03 PM
He handled himself pretty well on Hardball.

rbernie
August 12, 2009, 12:05 PM
Popular subject:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=468306
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=468122
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=468233

Several threads on this already in this board, and all have been locked. I expect the same for this one. And that's because the threads seemed to quickly veer into the 'he's an idiot! no, he's a patriot!' back and forth arguments with no clear profit.

And so the thread is locked.

I have no quarrel with unlocking this if somebody can PM me with some idea of the profitability to the THR mission statement in debating the smarts of engaging in OC at political rallies (or find any other viable topic in all of this)....

rbernie
August 12, 2009, 01:23 PM
I have been convinced that there is some value in debating the nature of this specific OC event, since it occurred at a political rally *and* because of the way that the LEO presence reacted to it.

So - the thread is reopened for FACT-BASED discussion of the above-mentioned topics. Name-calling or chest-beating about 'OC-vs-no-OC' in general is not gonna be welcome.

Cosmoline
August 12, 2009, 01:32 PM
He's a brave fellow! The Praetorians do not care about local law, or any law. And they will most certainly help you water some trees with your blood if you actually constitute a threat.

Airman193SOS
August 12, 2009, 01:38 PM
It is enough that he exercised his rights in accordance with the law. However, while we recognize what he did as something he is entitled to do, others will not, so it is important to get past the rah-rah stuff and keep the rhetoric to a minimum.

Again, it is enough that he exercised his rights in accordance with the law. That should be all we have to say.

ChristopherG
August 12, 2009, 02:35 PM
Wow. This is the first I've heard of this incident and I have to say I'm a little shocked. The fact that this guy exercised a combination of legal rights is not to be disputed; but the police should evaluate his actions with an eye toward the totality of the facts and circumstances.

Does anyone dispute what the man's message really was? Regardless of the quotation's noble heritage, IN THIS CONTEXT, it was either a summons or a threat to kill the President of the United States, was it not? And a legal right exercised in the wrong context is no longer legal; examples should be easy to imagine.

USAFRetired
August 12, 2009, 02:44 PM
Is this a case of "Choosing Your Battles"? or perhaps "Winning the Battle but Losing the War"?

I believe a little more discretion could have been displayed here.

With our newly appointed SCOTUS "Justice", we're going to have to be VERY smart in the way we wage the on-going 2A fight.

KelVarnson
August 12, 2009, 02:52 PM
Regardless of the quotation's noble heritage, IN THIS CONTEXT, it was either a summons or a threat to kill the President of the United States, was it not?

I don't see it that way. I see it as a reminder of who is in charge, or at least who is supposed to be (The People). 1st Amendment and 2nd Amendment being exercise simultaneously. That's excellent. I would have been totally comfortable standing right next to this guy.

To assume that this is a summons or threat to the POTUS, you are essentially calling him (the President) a tyrant. Is that right?

It took some serious guts for this guy to make this statement, and I commend him. He also did an awesome job on "Hardball".

And a legal right exercised in the wrong context is no longer legal; examples should be easy to imagine.

I've tried to think of some examples, but failed, maybe you can help me out.

tydephan
August 12, 2009, 02:53 PM
Regardless of the quotation's noble heritage, IN THIS CONTEXT, it was either a summons or a threat to kill the President of the United States, was it not? And a legal right exercised in the wrong context is no longer legal; examples should be easy to imagine.
I do not believe it to be a threat against the POTUS. The quote specifically says "patriots" AND "tyrants." Meaning, both sides are spilling blood. It is a direct reference to conflict, or "revolution," if you will. Not an assassination of just a "tyrant" or just a "patriot." Of course, that's just my take on it.

I have no problem with what the guy did.

Did his sign carry a thinly veiled threat? Absolutely. But it was a threat against the government in general, in my opinion. Not again President Obama. And in the end, isn't that our civic duty? To keep our government in check? We the people, and all... :D

RobNDenver
August 12, 2009, 02:54 PM
Actually simply having exercised his rights is not all there is to say about this story. I am a strong believer that goading law enforcement into an inevitable reaction is bad PR for the millions of responsible gun owners in the US. Seems like the local police in New Hampshire are pretty supportive of the RKBA until the law abiding citizen includes a veiled threat of violence. What then can happen is entirely predictable and offers yet another opportunity for the average citizen to discount our message as responsible gun owners.

I feel the same way about the goth teenager who walks around in a black t-shirt with the word F**K in big block letters. The constitution gives them the right to do it, but I don't like it and it forces me to: turn away and stereotype all goth kids as jerks.

This kind of in your face display of our rights as citizens will have no good result.

USAFRetired
August 12, 2009, 02:54 PM
Quote:
And a legal right exercised in the wrong context is no longer legal; examples should be easy to imagine.

I've tried to think of some examples, but failed, maybe you can help me out



Yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater is the classic example.

velojym
August 12, 2009, 03:04 PM
I read some of the comments on the msnbc link, and one stated that there's some natural human tendency to liberalize.

I'll agree and disagree. Using the classic term, yes. The human race, when allowed to progress naturally, tends to evolve into more individual responsibility, hence less need for government interference and control.
Unfortunately, as stated in another thread, Liberals have taken the term and applied it to just the opposite... complete government care/control. This, I would say, is DEVOLUTION, and not something any sane human should desire. What happened to kids wanting to grow up to be responsible adults? Seems like these people are merely wanting to extend their carefree childhood existence from the cradle to the grave, at the expense of those who still feel some responsibility to take care of ourselves (and our own families, of course).

How can one stand like that and proudly proclaim that they'd like to see the human race devolve to a mass of helpless infants? (rhetorical question, by the way)

Also, it oughta be obvious to all but a complete backbirth that an assassin probably won't be open-carrying and holding a sign two hours before his target arrives.

ChristopherG
August 12, 2009, 03:04 PM
Of course, "Fire". Or any use of "free speech" to intentionally disrupt a lawful assembly (goes by the name of "disorderly conduct" in my state).

And no, I don't believe President Obama is a tyrant; but I believe this man intends to dub him one--doesn't he? And his intention is what we're interpreting. To me, any attempt to avoid seeing the threat in this man's act/message is casuistry.

average_shooter
August 12, 2009, 03:04 PM
Yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater is the classic example.

And it's an absolutely horrible "classic example." There is absolutely nothing that actually prevents anyone from yelling anything they want anywhere they want. The catch isn't that something becomes illegal given a certain set of circumstances when otherwise it would be legal, the catch is that you are responsible for your actions. After all, what constitutes "crowded?" One other person, two, ten, every seat in the theater full? It's too ambiguous.

If the guy had the gun in his hand waving it around, he would be responsible for his actions. He wasn't waving it around, he didn't have his hand on it, it was just there. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Some people saying he should have been arrested or otherwise detained/questioned officially for this display is similar to saying someone should be arrested for talking in the aforementioned theater because after all, if their mouth is moving they might just yell "fire." It may be inconvenient, or even rude, but there's no real reason for it to be illegal.

6-gunfun
August 12, 2009, 03:04 PM
as far as i kno the police or secret service cant do a thing 2 that guy regardless of wer the presidents at as long as the guy dosnt pull that thing out of the holster he should be ok

velojym
August 12, 2009, 03:09 PM
I may be a lone chicken here, but I think it'd be great if the S.S. tried to detain this guy and were arrested in turn by the local constabulary.

Don't think it's gonna happen, though.

SharpsDressedMan
August 12, 2009, 03:12 PM
There were two groups of armed people at that rally. The Police/Secret Service, and one lone citizen (unless we hear about some others, not known at this time). What's the big deal? Forget all that you know about other states. That was NH, and open carry is as legal as walking down the street. Apparently, no one, not even the president and his protection, have the legal right to subvert NH state law, and the RIGHTS that their citizens are entitled to. No emergency, or martial law existed, and it should be this way: benefit of the doubt, innocent until proven guilty, and not "suspcious" or "dangerous" unless there is some "probable cause", and apparently, walking around armed, peaceably, is not suspicious or dangerous (by itself). I'm sure a Secret Service sniper had him in his sights the whole time, too. Good that neither one of them got "frisky". I applaude him (NH citizen) for exercising his rights, and defending his actions as well as he did on "Hardball". I'll bet he is now on somebody's watch list, though, for the rest of his life. For exercising his freedom, speaking his mind, all in a peaceful manner. On a list in Washington, for life. Now what part of that is RIGHT? You be the judge.........

travellingJeff
August 12, 2009, 03:13 PM
I like this guy a lot. He didn't break any laws.

As for those that think his sign was "threatening", what about those of us that would have that as our signature? We all own firearms, do we not?

ChristopherG
August 12, 2009, 03:19 PM
There is absolutely nothing that actually prevents anyone from yelling anything they want anywhere they want.

Yes, there is: this classic example comes from an opinion written by Oliver Wendell Holmes (i.e., the SCOTUS) in Schenck vs. US in 1919. Some speech is limited; you can't just yell anything you want anywhere you want.

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.

Schenck was subsequently overturned by Brandenburg v. Ohio, which limited the scope of banned speech to that which would be directed to and likely to incite imminent lawless action (e.g. a riot).

Threats are illegal. The threat this man made inheres in the COMBINATION of several things:

He was armed with a deadly weapon.
He was carrying a sign indicating that tyrants need to be killed for the good of the republic.
He was in proximity to someone he considers a tyrant.

mgregg85
August 12, 2009, 03:21 PM
I'm glad he wasn't busted but it sure sounds like he wanted to be. I would have considered that sign threatening if I was guarding the president. I'm willing to bet he had a secret service guy watching him the whole time.

velojym
August 12, 2009, 03:23 PM
If I were guarding the prez (any of the ones in my lifetime) I'd have practiced "duck and cover" quite a lot.

...they obviously wouldn't have hired me.

rbernie
August 12, 2009, 03:37 PM
Threats are illegal. The threat this man made inheres in the COMBINATION of several things:

He was armed with a deadly weapon.
He was carrying a sign indicating that tyrants need to be killed for the good of the republic.
He was in proximity to someone he considers a tyrant.
You are arguing presumed INTENT and not reality. Fortunately the 'thought police' are not quite among us yet.

To use the 'fire' analogy correctly in application to this situation, he would have had to be carrying a sign stating his intention to kill the president. He did not. You are stretching the truth to suggest what you FEAR - that he (and his sign) were bona fide threats.

Fortunately for him (and sadly for your argument), both the local LEO and the USS protective detail did not believe him to be a credible threat. Since they were there, and you and I were not, I will presume that they were in a better position to determine if this was a bona-fide threat or not.

In the end, he did nothing illegal, was not adjudicated as a threat to anyone, and he actually managed to get his point across. We may not all agree with his point, much less his means, but the fact remains that at least he demonstrated that it is possible to be openly armed in public without being nutzoid or a raving threat. The more that the anti-RKBA folks hyperventilate over this, the more that they actually present that argument for us.

Reid73
August 12, 2009, 03:39 PM
I am a strong believer that goading law enforcement into an inevitable reaction is bad PR for the millions of responsible gun owners in the US. Seems like the local police in New Hampshire are pretty supportive of the RKBA until the law abiding citizen includes a veiled threat of violence. What then can happen is entirely predictable and offers yet another opportunity for the average citizen to discount our message as responsible gun owners.

I feel the same way about the goth teenager who walks around in a black t-shirt with the word F**K in big block letters. The constitution gives them the right to do it, but I don't like it and it forces me to turn away and stereotype all goth kids as jerks. I agree 100%.

This fellow was exercising his legal rights; which is fine. He was also deliberately provoking and giving ammunition to those who wish to eliminate such rights; which is not cool.

And threats of violence, however implicit, are simply not on.

velojym
August 12, 2009, 03:49 PM
The constitution gives them the right to do it

Careful, there. This is a misunderstanding the grabbers want us to embrace, and many freedom-loving folks are giving in to it, maybe without even realizing it. Once enough people have accepted that it's the government that grants rights, it'll follow pretty handily that they may also delete them.
Yeah, it sounds nitpicky, but folks need to be reminded that the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are pre-existing, rather than being merely granted by that document.

ChristopherG
August 12, 2009, 03:51 PM
Okay, RB, well stated. As far as local LE, I'm frankly assuming that the guy had a prior conversation with them. OC is perfectly legal (though not very common) in my state, but I will say without any doubt that, here, he would have swiftly been placed in 'investigative detention.' Maybe allowed to do his thing afterward--but not just showing up cold with a gun and that sign.

How about if instead of calling his combined actions a THREAT, we call them an INCITEMENT to imminent lawless action?

Would it be a 'misreading' of this man's action if someone were to draw inspiration from it and shoot the President? And if the answer to that is "no" (as I think it is), then isn't it an INCITEMENT?

Lou McGopher
August 12, 2009, 03:53 PM
Does anyone dispute what the man's message really was? Regardless of the quotation's noble heritage, IN THIS CONTEXT, it was either a summons or a threat to kill the President of the United States, was it not? And a legal right exercised in the wrong context is no longer legal; examples should be easy to imagine.

The quote is, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

The man's sign read, "It is time to water the tree of liberty."

Not sure how watering a tree is equatable to spreading manure around it. For those unfamiliar, manure and water are not the same thing, so it could be argued he's not really referencing the Jefferson quote.

For all we know based on that information, this man wants our military to invade another country.

His message really is vague. He might as well have held up a sign that read, "It's time to get medieval on some ass," and it would have made about as much sense.

Mr_Rogers
August 12, 2009, 04:20 PM
A strange quirk here is that allowing the individual to walk around with a sign and a gun actually can, and will, be used to show that the Obama administration is not anti-gun or anti-liberty.

You can bet that within seconds of this man being seen the word was all around the area. SOMEBODY, somebody VERY high up decided not to intercept, SOMEBODY took a heck of a lot of responsibility. My guess is that somebody made a very politically calculated decision. The secret service would have wanted this man out and the area locked down. The secret service would have to have spoken to someone in the Presidential party about the threat. SOMEBODY said no.

velojym
August 12, 2009, 04:22 PM
I think they really knew, deep down, than a legally open-carrying fellow was not really a threat. Besides, they have snipers anyway. If the Chosen One was threatened by anyone else, this poor guy may have gotten tagged regardless.

USAFRetired
August 12, 2009, 04:25 PM
Mr Rodgers:

Very good observation! No one on this forum will dispute the notion that the Obama camp has some VERY savy players

Col. Plink
August 12, 2009, 04:28 PM
That guy was just interviewed on Alex Jones' radio show. Good news source, always gives his citations and has the experts on to talk on economics, etc.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 04:40 PM
Does anyone know how close the Secret Service let this guy get to the President?

rbernie
August 12, 2009, 04:42 PM
That's three edits in a row, removing poly tick comments. Some of y'all are working hard to get this thread shut down, and I'd prefer that you not.

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 04:44 PM
geniusiknowit,

On Hardball, the man admitted that his inspiration for the sign came from Jefferson's quote. Plus, there was that recognizable snake emblem.

By the way, there is some good discussion here, let's try to keep this thread open, people. The legal discussion is particularly useful.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 04:48 PM
What if he had shown up carrying a sign reading "sic semper tyrannus"... would that be any worse than the Jefferson paraphrase?

Superlite27
August 12, 2009, 04:52 PM
It always falls back on intent.

Can anyone guess what his intent in going there OC was? I can. He stated it on MSNBC. As a political statement.

Last time I checked, making political statements was legal. 1st Amendment.....about the 2nd Amendment.

Yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater is the classic example.

Once again....INTENT. The intent of someone yelling "fire" is to cause public disturbance.

The intent here was clearly to exercise his right to carry, and do so in a manner to make a statement. (It is this statement that keeps getting brought up and argued about. What is meant by "watering the tree....etc. This is irrellevant. Not only irrellevant to the gun discussions here at THR, it's irrellevant...period.)

If he had held the sign without the firearm, nobody would have even noticed. But, since he was OC'ing WOW! Now we're arguing that OC'ing is a threat!

I thought the purpose we are united on was to defend the right to keep and bear arms? By trying to insinuate that this responsible citizen who is merely making a statement is a big bad criminal, you fall right into the anti's hands.

They want you to think this guy is bad.

Too bad there are some here who agree. How sad.

MisterMike
August 12, 2009, 04:52 PM
We may not all agree with his point, much less his means, but the fact remains that at least he demonstrated that it is possible to be openly armed in public without being nutzoid or a raving threat. The more that the anti-RKBA folks hyperventilate over this, the more that they actually present that argument for us.

I honestly don't think I'd have done what this guy did, but I think this is the appropriate way to address this. While the MSNBC commentators were hyperventilating over the fact that the guy had a gun, the irrefutable fact is that he did nothing to threaten the President or any other person.

I think this also illustrates the danger in conceding any portion of a fundamental right, such as the RKBA, to the concerns of handwringers in any particular situation. The logic would go like this: if the Second Amendment is diminished in the presence of a Presidential visit, maybe we should be worried when a congressman is in town. Then, perhaps the fact that an alderman lives down the street becomes a justification to disarm others. And so it builds, until each and every concern about the potential for the misuse of a gun is sufficient to prohibit being armed.

The term is overused, but it really is a slippery slope to concede that the right to be armed should be constrained in any particular set of circumstances.

velojym
August 12, 2009, 04:56 PM
What if he had shown up carrying a sign reading "sic semper tyrannus"... would that be any worse than the Jefferson paraphrase?

At the very least, they're admitting that Big O is either a tyrant, or for some reason a large chunk of the populace is somehow seeing him as one... and probably for good reason.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 05:01 PM
The logic would go like this: if the Second Amendment is diminished in the presence of a Presidential visit, maybe we should be worried when a congressman is in town. Then, perhaps the fact that an alderman lives down the street becomes a justification to disarm others. And so it builds, until each and every concern about the potential for the misuse of a gun is sufficient to prohibit being armed.

I think it would make the job of the Secret Service more difficult if more people were armed at presidential events, and lead to them recommending that the President not go out in public. Do we really want to isolate the president more than he already is?

It is his right to show up armed if he wants, but I think he was being intentionally inflammatory. I do not think the Secret Service should let an unknown protestor get anywhere near a POTUS while armed.

TravisB
August 12, 2009, 05:11 PM
Does anyone really have any doubt that this guy considers Obama a tyrant?

I don't think he did anything that could (or should) get him convicted in a court of law -- it's not a crime to send a vague message that you're getting almost angry enough to participate in armed revolution.

But come on, we all know that his demonstration was an anti-Obama message with an intentionally violent undertone.

It will be interesting to see if open-carry by protesters becomes a trend. The most motivated and active political protesters in our country right now are the Tea Partiers, and I'd guess there's a considerable amount of gun ownership in their ranks. What if political protesters routinely decide to strap on sidearms (where legal) to go out and march? At what point will "armed mob" become an accurate description?

rbernie
August 12, 2009, 05:17 PM
Anyone who thinks that this is a unique approach should go back and research the Black Panthers and their interactions with the California State Legislature on/about May 2nd, 1967. We can reputedly thank this armed protest, in part, for the sweeping Gun Control Act passed one year later (although clearly the assassinations of MLK and Bobby Kennedy gave real political high cover to the GCA). The difference between that example and this is the nature of the protest, and the degree of perceived threat.

My point is that this instance is an example of how to do it properly, in that he refrained from any overt threats in his actions while still presenting himself as a supporter of the RKBA.

velojym
August 12, 2009, 05:18 PM
How many folks just automatically assume that merely carrying a defensive tool constitutes a threat to anyone?

...and does exercising one Constitutionally "protected" right negate any of the others?

Erik M
August 12, 2009, 05:20 PM
Just think, if a group of individuals like this man were to behave like Cindy Sheehan during early years of the second term of the Bush administration. This guy and 20 supporters all open carrying, living in tents and carrying picket signs in front of the white house. Would the media protray thier cause in a righteous light like they did Sheehan?

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 05:24 PM
The man's demonstration had an intentionally strong undertone. It was not a "violent" undertone.

The man was standing front and center and expressing the Second Amendment in a real world 3-D example. Whenever someone does that, it takes strength because most of the public is not used to seeing an actual utilization of the right to bear arms.

This man was literally bearing arms. Listen to the Hardball interview. How many people today have the strength to bear arms openly? Few people do. Most people approach the Second Amendment at an angle, rather than straight on. For example, most people talk about carrying a gun for self-defense. That's not exactly what the Second Amendment is about.

Lou McGopher
August 12, 2009, 05:26 PM
On Hardball, the man admitted that his inspiration for the sign came from Jefferson's quote.

Yes, but that was after his protest.

Plus, there was that recognizable snake emblem.

That emblem is not directly related to the quote.

Gadsden Flag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadsden_flag)

Furthermore... whatever happened to "We need the Second Amendment to guarantee the respect for the other nine?" Or, "without the right to bear arms, we can't ensure our other rights?" Is there something inherently wrong about exercising two rights at once? There was nothing threatening about his actions or speech. His weapon was idle by his side, and his speech nothing but a vague metaphor.

Jefferson was making that quote in reference to overthrowing the government, just like this man was.

Jefferson was referring to Shays' Rebellion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shays%27_Rebellion), not overthrowing the govt.

"God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. (http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/96oct/obrien/blood.htm) The people cannot be all, & always well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13 states independent 11 years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & a half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure."

Superlite27
August 12, 2009, 05:29 PM
We can reputedly thank this armed protest, in part, for the sweeping Gun Control Act passed one year later (the GCA '68).

This is the reason I wouldn't advocate OC'ing at political events as helping our cause.

It has become cliche, but this guy has probably "frightened the sheeple".

Even though they are sheeple, when they cry loud enough, legislators will appease them. Whether what they're crying about makes logical sense or not.

Therefore, while this guy meant well, he is not a BG as some here claim. But I won't agree with his choice to OC. Not because he's a BG, but because he's frightening the stupid sheeple. Possibly leading to what rbernie has pointed out: more ignorance like the GCA.

rbernie
August 12, 2009, 05:30 PM
I edited my post to make my point clearer:

My point is that this instance is an example of how to do it properly, in that he refrained from any overt threats in his actions while still presenting himself as a supporter of the RKBA.

It would be very difficult to portray his actions as threatening in any way.

Demitrios
August 12, 2009, 05:35 PM
A lot of people are viewing this in terms of legal remifications for gun owners, however I like to view this from a bit of a different angle. In this case who is the patriot and who is the tyrant? I like to believe the tyrant is more symbolic in our loss of our rights while the patriot would be this gentleman, who will probably pay a heavy price in some way or other for his actions which were completely peacful and legal. I'd like to thank William Kostric for putting his freedom on the line to exercise not only his but all of our rights. And I'd also like to thank him for being as well-spoken and composed under such rapid fire questioning.

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 05:38 PM
geniusiknowit,

This is what you said:
Not sure how watering a tree is equatable to spreading manure around it. For those unfamiliar, manure and water are not the same thing, so it could be argued he's not really referencing the Jefferson quote.

The response to that is "Incorrect". You can't argue he was not really referencing the Jefferson quote. The man admits on Hardball that he was referencing the Jefferson quote. Evidence doesn't get much clearer than an express admission. Keep it simple, man.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 05:43 PM
His message was very clear to me as well. The Secret Service needs to scrutinize him closely. Anyone want to bet he gets audited by the IRS next year?

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 05:48 PM
The man shouldn't be persecuted for referencing the Jefferson quote. The sign's message, which was not an exact quote, was just a metaphor. I thought the use of the sign was a poor judgment call, but the man shouldn't be persecuted for having merely poor judgment.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 05:50 PM
Yes, but the metaphor was assassination or at least armed rebellion.

Both activities are illegal.

I agree that the sign was poor judgement, and don't think being questioned by the Secret Service would be persecution.

Lou McGopher
August 12, 2009, 05:55 PM
The response to that is "Incorrect". You can't argue he was not really referencing the Jefferson quote. The man admits on Hardball that he was referencing the Jefferson quote. Evidence doesn't get much clearer than an express admission. Keep it simple, man.

Right, but the Secret Service or anyone else there couldn't know what he was going to say later on Hardball.

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 05:57 PM
Yes, but the metaphor was assassination or at least armed rebellion.

The connection to assassination is not that direct. You have to make at least two assumptions before you get to the sign being a metaphor for assassination. We can toss around assumptions all day for anybody at a public event.

Right, but the Secret Service or anyone else there couldn't know what he was going to say later on Hardball.

Yes, but I'm looking at this case as if the Attorney General is considering the evidence in present real time.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 05:59 PM
The connection is not that direct. You have to make at least two assumptions before you get to the sign being an assassination threat.

Sorting out real threats from harmless people with poor judgement is what the Secret Service is for.

He does not appear to have broken any laws, nor does he appear to be a real threat. But if someone shows up with a gun and a sign that could reasonably be interpretted to be a threat, then it is the duty of the Secret Service to investigate. That is really all I am saying.

atomd
August 12, 2009, 06:03 PM
Making that quote while carrying a firearm at a presidential event is asking for trouble.

Doing something while legally carrying a firearm anywhere is no different than doing something without legally carrying a firearm.

His message was very clear to me as well. The Secret Service needs to scrutinize him closely.

Wow, fan of big brother are you? It's obvious he didn't threaten anyone or do anything illegal...or else he would have been arrested. He was exercising his first and second amendment rights. Someone here actually has a problem with that?

Maybe anyone seen in a "Vote from the rooftops" t-shirt should be detained and investigated too. Same with anyone waving a gadsden flag....or wearing a "Ron Paul 08" button. How about the militia members? Or the Minutemen? What about you...or me? :banghead:

Lou McGopher
August 12, 2009, 06:08 PM
Yes, but I'm looking at it as if the Attorney General is considering this case in present real time.

And from that angle, I'd agree with you. I was referring to how he should have been perceived at the time of his actions.

Yes, but the metaphor was assassination
It has nothing to do with assassination, unless you count the four rebels who were shot and killed initial the initial skirmish (no one else was killed). The rebels were shutting down courts, not killing people.

Both activities are illegal.
It's generally legal to advocate illegal activity.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 06:09 PM
It's obvious he didn't threaten anyone or do anything illegal...or else he would have been arrested. He was exercising his first and second amendment rights. Someone here actually has a problem with that?

There is no way to know if someone with a gun (or any other dangerous object) who shows up at a presidential event is a threat or not until he is investigated by the Secret Service. That is what the Secret Service is for. The fact that he was not arrested does not mean he was not suspicious and worthy of Secret Service scrutiny. He broke no laws, and ends up not being a threat. But I would expect the Secret Service to make sure he is not a threat. So everything worked like it should have.

Whats the problem?

It has nothing to do with assassination, unless you count the four rebels who were shot and killed initial the initial skirmish (no one else was killed). The rebels were shutting down courts, not killing people.

I dont remember this guy saying anything about shutting down courts. He did not use the quote in the context of the Shays Rebellion, or the courts. You can beat around the bush all you want, but his message was clear. He just wasn't serious. After all, he had a gun, and he wanted to water the tree of liberty....

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 06:14 PM
I wish the man had been open carrying while his sign had a message about health care. The issues are getting convoluted because of the sign. If the sign had to do with health care, then the debates would be focused on carrying at Presidential events. That's an important discussion.

TravisB
August 12, 2009, 06:14 PM
If he'd carried a sign saying, "It's time for blood to flow, and I have a gun," he would have likely been arrested.

He managed to say exactly that without getting arrested.

Very savvy guy. And he handled himself extremely well with Chris Matthews, who came off as a raging maniac who angrily demanded that Kostric answer his questions while not giving Kostric a chance to answer.

If the sign + gun was a knowing over-the-top stunt designed to get himself interviewed on TV (where he knew he would be calm and articulate), than it was all well done, from a media-tactics standpoint.

But if an unintended side effect becomes a trend of open-carry by protesters -- both demonstrators and counter-demonstrators, facing off angrily in the street -- well, yikes.

Yo Mama
August 12, 2009, 06:14 PM
This is the reason I wouldn't advocate OC'ing at political events as helping our cause.

It has become cliche, but this guy has probably "frightened the sheeple".


Who cares about the sheeple. Maybe they need to see what real men and women are like.

Gun control only came to signal you better not question authority or else. It always happens. They should have kept demonstrating and kept demonstrating and kept demonstrating. Maybe if they did, we would have to work so hard to regain lost ground.

The 2nd is a right. It's not a priveledge, legal jargon, or suggestion. It's a right. Society became this way because we were to scared to stand up for our rights, God given to us.

atomd
August 12, 2009, 06:14 PM
There is no way to know if someone with a gun (or any other dangerous object) who shows up at a presidential event is a threat or not until he is investigated by the Secret Service. That is what the Secret Service is for.

You were suggesting that they need to scrutinize him (present tense). That would mean that he would be harassed by them after the fact....when I don't believe he did anything threatening to begin with. Why should you be harassed by the secret service if you didn't do anything wrong in the first place?

By suggesting he needs to be investigated you are suggesting he did something wrong. That's what I'm getting at.

Erik M
August 12, 2009, 06:16 PM
There is no way to know if someone with a gun (or any other dangerous object) who shows up at a presidential event is a threat or not until he is investigated by the Secret Service. That is what the Secret Service is for.
Whats the problem?
I dont think they care much for on the spot investigations. It may be my skepticisim acting up but I think the Secret Service subscribes to "guy with a gun, protect the president at all costs", shoot first, ask questions later ect.


I agree that what the man was doing was completely within his rights. Would I take a loaded weapon around any politician? Im sorry Johnny, I have to say no. I dont want to see what the federal agent is hiding behind door number 3.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 06:18 PM
You were suggesting that they need to scrutinize him (present tense).

Yes, present tense. He needs to be scrutinized. He came with a sign that in the context used, implies killing elected politicians. The gun is not important in that regard.

So the Secret Service needs to investigate and determine if he is a harmless political protestor with no sense of judgement or if he is a real threat. If he is not a threat, and has not violated the law, then the investigation ends, and they quit messing with him.

scndactive
August 12, 2009, 06:23 PM
While I agree that this individuals actions may be looked upon negatively by opponents of the 2nd, I believe if we could come together on this it could become a movement.

Omg!!! man with a gun shows up at town hall meeting.

Then 3 people show up oc'ing at the next meeting. Then 10 at the next, and 30, 40, or 50 at the next.

lanternlad1
August 12, 2009, 06:25 PM
His message was very clear to me as well. The Secret Service needs to scrutinize him closely.

Ironic that someone with the handle of "Lone Gunman" (ref to the JFK assassination) who lists his location as "The United Socialist States of Obama" would be calling for Secret Service scrutiny. For someone so against Obama, you certainly seem concerned about his safety... It's hard to figure out what side you're on.

What's that? I'm misinterpreting the facts? I don't know anything about you so how could I jump to conclusions like that? Imagine that.

This man wore a gun and held a sign. THAT'S ALL. There WAS NO INTENT. He didn't touch the gun, he didn't make a big raving spectacle of himself, nothing at all out of the ordinary was done.

I want all of you to think about this from a different angle.

Q: IF this man was out to assassinate Obama, WHY WOULD HE CARRY OPENLY?!
A: HE WOULDN'T. He'd turn himself into a giant target and be the FIRST one suspected of such an action. Any smart assassin tries to keep things quiet and low-key. Strutting around on national TV with a gun on your hip is NOT low-key. You can bet that after the police checked him out, they gave his info to the SS who ran a background check on him. I'm betting that checked out too.

Seriously people, be logical about things.

TravisB
August 12, 2009, 06:26 PM
"Then 3 people show up oc'ing at the next meeting. Then 10 at the next, and 30, 40, or 50 at the next."

Legislation by intimidation. Now that's democracy!

Lou McGopher
August 12, 2009, 06:26 PM
I dont remember this guy saying anything about shutting down courts.

Do you remember him saying anything about killing someone?

He did not use the quote in the context of the Shays Rebellion, or the courts.

Then he used the quote out of context.

You can beat around the bush all you want, but his message was clear. He just wasn't serious. After all, he had a gun, and he wanted to water the tree of liberty....

The only thing that was clear at the time is that he had a gun and he thought the tree of liberty should be watered. At no time did he display any violent intentions or thoughts.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 06:28 PM
Do you remember him saying anything about killing someone?

Thomas Jefferson was not talking about watering plants. He was talking about killing people.


The only thing that was clear at the time is that he had a gun and he thought the tree of liberty should be watered.

Now that is funny! You really think he wants to water plants!

The gun is less disturbing that the sign.

Mr_Rogers
August 12, 2009, 06:32 PM
I would think that the lessons from Lincoln to JFK would justify that guns at Presidential functions be treated with suspicion. Yes, we all know about inalienable rights, patriotism, protection against tyranny - all very good stuff. However, bearing history in mind, the choice to turn up armed at a Presidential event can not be seen as anything other than either provocative or foolhardy depending upon your viewpoint.

Were this man's actions intended to be provocative? Surely.
Were they foolhardy, probably not to someone who gets drunk in a Zoo and throws empty beer-cans at the tigers.

Hey, you make your choices and stand your stand but once you make your choice you live with the consequences. Heads of State have never in history been treated like normal people, even the best of them have been subject to hate and violence and they have often times been surrounded by bodyguards who are expected above all other things, to guard the boss's body. If you want to put yourself in a position where one little misinterpretation ends up with you weighing 55 grains or so extra - your choice.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 06:35 PM
I think Mr Rogers is correct.

Like I have said, he had a right to carry a gun. He hasn't been charged with a crime. Other than being investigated, no harm will come to him.

But the American people also have the right to not have the political process subverted by an assassin. That is why the SS should investigate.

Lou McGopher
August 12, 2009, 06:38 PM
Thomas Jefferson was not talking about watering plants. He was talking about killing people.

Sir, I invite you to follow the link I posted above and read Mr. Jefferson's entire letter. Nowhere does Jefferson say people should go out and kill elected officials, which is what you are saying this man's sign advocated.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 06:50 PM
I have read it. Jefferson is talking about killing people. He talks about taking up arms and lives lost.

ChristopherG
August 12, 2009, 06:53 PM
Sir, I invite you to follow the link I posted above and read Mr. Jefferson's entire letter.

Hardly necessary. The sentence IMMEDIATELY PRIOR to the one alluded to by this man is:

What signify a few lives lost in a century or two?

To deny that the man was using the allusion--whatever Jefferson meant to say about Shay's rebellion--to hint at killing Barak Obama is pure obfuscation.

Nate1778
August 12, 2009, 06:58 PM
Chris Matthews is an idiot.....He's always been................

Lou McGopher
August 12, 2009, 07:05 PM
To deny that the man was using the allusion--whatever Jefferson meant to say about Shay's rebellion--to hint at killing Barak Obama is pure obfuscation.

Prior to the man's appearance on Hardball, it would have been far more reasonable to infer that the man was hinting at wanting Obama to quash a rebellion, such was the ambiguity of this man's sign.

To witness that man with his sign and assume he wanted someone to kill Obama is to imagine too much.

Mr_Rogers
August 12, 2009, 07:06 PM
Please understand my comment does not apply to the present event - it applies to my interpretation of the Jeffersonian saying and the use of force to defend freedom in general.

There is a difference between a single individual attempting assassination because he does not accept the results of a democratic election and a band of patriots choosing to fight when it is clear that no other action can maintain their freedom.

The first case is dealt with initially at the ballot box. Only when "democracy" is clearly subverted at the ballot box, or subverted by the suspension of the ballot completely, is the Jeffersonian "watering" justified.

My own feeling is that the sign of the man in NH was ludicrously melodramatic.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 07:07 PM
Chris Matthews came across as a scared shrill blissninny in the interview.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 07:09 PM
To witness that man with his sign and assume he wanted someone to kill Obama is to imagine too much.

Fortunately, I don't think most people see it your way.

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 07:35 PM
I did not assume the man wanted someone to kill Obama.

I would have had to make at least two assumptions before getting to that thought.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 07:46 PM
I do not assume he wants to kill Obama either.

Thats why I would not have advocated the Secret Service shooting him, just asking questions.

Lou McGopher
August 12, 2009, 07:54 PM
To witness that man with his sign and assume he wanted someone to kill Obama is to imagine too much.
Fortunately, I don't think most people see it your way.

To take that as some sort of threat against Obama requires one to completely misconstrue what Jefferson said. You're taking "the tree of liberty" from the man's sign, matching it up to the same phrase in Jefferson's letter, and then cherry-pick a few other words from the letter and use them completely out of context.

As lanternlad1 said, are we to assume by your username, stated location, and signature that you are threatening to assassinate the president?

Let's not jump to inaccurate conclusions regarding someone's speech the same way antis jump to conclusions about the ownership and possession of firearms.

And with that said, I'm off to have some beer and brats. Been nice chatting with ya.

Tinpig
August 12, 2009, 08:02 PM
What was interesting to me about the Hardball interview was that Matthews began the interview thinking he would goad and bully Kostric into coming across as a scary psycho right-wing gun-nut.

It blew up in his face when Kostric was articulate, intelligent, well-informed and a persuasive advocate for limited government and both the 1st and 2nd amendments.

At that point Matthews couldn't bail out fast enough. :rolleyes:

Tinpig

N3810F
August 12, 2009, 08:04 PM
Winners:
Local police
Barack Obama
Thomas Jefferson
People who make Gadsden Flags

Losers:
Chris Mathews
Kostric's stylist

sohcgt2
August 12, 2009, 08:20 PM
I personally think the man was wrong to show up at an event where the president was in attendance armed and more so for being armed and carrying a sign/banner that could be taken as threatening. I liken it to taunting the fire dept as they try to save your house from burning. Having said that, his voice was ultimately louder than any other at that town hall meeting. It was ballsy and IMO stupid but it earned him his 15 min.

Zoogster
August 12, 2009, 08:47 PM
Anyone who thinks that this is a unique approach should go back and research the Black Panthers and their interactions with the California State Legislature on/about May 2nd, 1967. We can reputedly thank this armed protest, in part, for the sweeping Gun Control Act passed


It is the same issue. The blacks marching with firearms resulted in legislators insuring that was not legal in the future. They passed laws not only in California, but many other places. Oregon for example also passed essentially the same prohibition in response to the California armed demonstration.

It is now a major crime to protest or strike while armed. For everyone, even police.
It became illegal to have firearms at the Capitol building, the Governors mansion, and numerous state government buildings.
Open carry of loaded weapons suddenly became restricted. Both long guns and handguns previously being open carried freely in the state.



It was all in response to the exact type of actions taken by this guy with his sign.
They intentionally scared the legislators with guns, and the legislators made the ability to scare them with guns in the future illegal. While crushing the prior freedoms of their citizens.

DammitBoy
August 12, 2009, 08:54 PM
Kudos for his great performance on Hardball, with matthews trying to goad him into a reaction...

21bubba
August 12, 2009, 09:50 PM
I'm sorry but i see this as no more than a very well coreographed event for someone benefit.
Personally i hope that a s.s. sniper did have a lock on this guy the whole time.I know he did nothing illegal, i know he was within his rights, but to believe that he wasn't grandstanding is foolish.
I don't like the idea of someone using my second ammendment right to be used as a theater prop hoping that it gets them their 15 minutes.

rbernie
August 12, 2009, 09:55 PM
In a past life, I spent a lot of time (seven years?) around/in proximity to/hanging out with both the protective detail agents and the uniformed division officers of the Secret Service. I can absolutely guarantee you that if they thought that this individual was in any fashion a potential threat - they would have acted. Those folk just do NOT mess around. Great folk, and they are seriously funny when off-duty, but scary deadly serious when on the job.

The fact that he was unmolested tells me that he was adjudicated to NOT be a threat. I do not grok why we keep feeling the need to spin it into something that it was not...

daniel1113
August 12, 2009, 09:56 PM
It's threads like these that make me worry about the future, not only in terms of gun rights, but individual freedom and liberty in general.

If half of supposed second amendment supporters don't get it, how can we expect everyone else to?

21bubba
August 12, 2009, 10:07 PM
This guy wanted attention and we have given it to him.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 10:09 PM
The fact that he was unmolested tells me that he was adjudicated to NOT be a threat.

I agree, but the point I am making is that he was most likely adjudicated NOT to be a threat.

Maybe he got no where near the president (most likely).

Or maybe they talked to him and determined things were OK.

But in any case, I doubt the SS said, "oh here is a guy with a gun, what a great supporter of the 2nd Amendment, lets ignore him."

rbernie
August 12, 2009, 10:13 PM
Absolutely true. But I have to ask - so what?

I'm sure that I get the stinkeye from Officers of the Law plenty of times. As long as I am legal and not makin' a fuss or otherwise actually/really/I mean really disturbing the peace - I don't expect to get molested nor do I expect to be told by my freedom-loving like-minded compadres that perhaps I shouldn't drive that ugly red car after all.

atomd
August 12, 2009, 10:14 PM
The gun is less disturbing that the sign.

How dare Thomas Jefferson say such disturbing things! Who does he think he is anyways!?!

ConstitutionCowboy
August 12, 2009, 10:55 PM
In a past life, I spent a lot of time (seven years?) around/in proximity to/hanging out with both the protective detail agents and the uniformed division officers of the Secret Service. I can absolutely guarantee you that if they thought that this individual was in any fashion a potential threat - they would have acted. Those folk just do NOT mess around. Great folk, and they are seriously funny when off-duty, but scary deadly serious when on the job.

In light of the close association you had with the Secret Service, maybe you can shed some light here. What is the specific Code of Federal Regulations the Secret Service operates under, and are you aware of any law that would make it unlawful for a citizen to be armed within a certain proximity to the President or anyone else the Secret Service protects?

I ask because in all my research I can find no set of regulations or law.

If such a proximity to the POTUS while armed law existed, I would imagine that federal law would be superior to any state law and William Kostric could have been moved or disarmed.

Woody

There is a current wave of freedom being expressed in this great country of ours. We can join that wave in the political arena now or be forced to join it on the battlefield later.

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 10:58 PM
I'm sure that I get the stinkeye from Officers of the Law plenty of times. As long as I am legal and not makin' a fuss or otherwise actually/really/I mean really disturbing the peace - I don't expect to get molested nor do I expect to be told by my freedom-loving like-minded compadres that perhaps I shouldn't drive that ugly red car after all.

Most of the time when you get the stink eye, I doubt you have the potential to subvert American democracy and change the course of history forever by assassinating a president, right?

A man with a gun, holding a sign talking about killing tyrants, with the POTUS nearby is a greater risk than you looking a little cheesy in an alley.

RichieDubs
August 12, 2009, 11:01 PM
Excellent moment. Cheers to the sheriff for sure.

SharpsDressedMan
August 12, 2009, 11:03 PM
100% with lanternlad1...not with Lone Gunman. As I stated before, where is your "probable cause" to label this guy a threat? None of us on this forum ought to have a problem with a man acting in a peaceful manner, who happens to be wearing a gun (I'm assuming we all do that on occasion), when he attends a peaceful rally. I'm sure we could read ominous things into anything someone else does (I like to compare it to how the Canadians were made to look dangerous to the U.S in "Canadian Bacon"...."they walk among us!"). Somewhere along the way most of our society has lost the "freedom" to pack a gun openly WITHOUT being suspected of SOMETHING. I'm glad NH is still free, I'm glad President Obama chose to go there, and also glad this whole thing got some media attention. Thanks GOD, the man was not a Bernie Goetz. Just thought of this: What if the Secret Service didn't notice this guy at first, then thought it might be better to just monitor him after they spotted him, othewise they would have looked incompetent..........

Lone_Gunman
August 12, 2009, 11:06 PM
It is a bad idea to let unknown strangers with guns carrying signs that are making veiled threats near the president. Unless of course you don't care whether the president is assassinated. I don't like Obama. He won. He is president. He needs to be allowed to serve his term without some third party deciding to change history.

fireman 9731
August 12, 2009, 11:14 PM
Besides the fact that Chris Mathews was YELLING at him the whole time during the interview, I think that Kostric made one incredible point that the whole country needs to understand- If you don't exercise your rights, you will loose them.

Its that simple.

Kudos to Kostric for having the gonads to do what most of the people on here wouldn't do.

ChristopherG
August 12, 2009, 11:16 PM
None of us on this forum ought to have a problem with a man acting in a peaceful manner

That is a distortion of what he was doing. A man is not acting in an unambiguously peaceful manner when he carries a large sign that says "someone should maybe kill the President who is right over there." I find all arguments so far that the sign said something other than that thoroughly unconvincing.

To stop (i.e. detain, disarm and question) this guy, you don't need probable cause--you only need reasonable suspicion, which is a markedly lower standard. I have no doubt the courts would support a deputy who happened to be the first to notice this guy and detained him.

Mags
August 12, 2009, 11:20 PM
If half of supposed second amendment supporters don't get it, how can we expect everyone else to?

I agree whole heartedly with that statement. God help our Country.

SharpsDressedMan
August 12, 2009, 11:30 PM
ChristopherG, if Kostric had exercised his 5th amendment rights upon being questioned, would you then arrest him? Besides exercising a bunch of rights, what do you now have on him? I used to be a cop. If I didn't have anything on a guy, I figured I'd get him another day, when he was doing something wrong. If I was worried about him, I'd watch him. That's what you do when you don't have a case.

Lou McGopher
August 12, 2009, 11:30 PM
to subvert American democracy

Holding a sign doesn't subvert democracy. Nor would assassinating the president. We'd still have democracy.

and change the course of history forever

Let's not presume to know too much about the future, please? The only thing I know about the future is that I'm probably going to go to work, probably going to be bored for 9 hours, and probably going to come home and eat leftovers. Assuming to know what history will be would be too much.

A man with a gun,

Irrelevant, as the gun was holstered, not being brandished or pointed. It'd be like saying anyone who carries a gun into a bank should be treated like a potential robber, or anyone who carries a gun onto a college campus should be treated like a potential mass murderer. Someone who carries a gun in proximity to the president should not automatically be considered a likely assassin, even if that person is protesting the president. Besides, assassins usually try to be sneakier than that.

holding a sign talking about killing tyrants

That's not what the sign said. Let's stick to the facts, please. Even if it did read exactly that, what can you point to to show this man considered Obama to be said tyrant? If he were holding a sign that read, "Sic semper Obammis," and if he were brandishing his firearm in a threatening manner, then I'd be with you.

Are you advocating a restriction on firearms, speech, or both....?

rbernie
August 12, 2009, 11:38 PM
At the top of this thread, I stated:
the threads seemed to quickly veer into the 'he's an idiot! no, he's a patriot!' back and forth arguments with no clear profit.
And I closed it.

I was convinced to reopen it, in the hopes that we could do better. Sadly, we have not.

One hundred and seven posts into this thread, we are still stuck on the question over whether some lawful acts are inappropriate simply because the visible presence of a gun IMPLIES a threat that is not present *if* the object is not visible. I see no hope that the back-n-forth bickering on something that simple will be replaced with substantive dialog any time soon.

So we're done - again, and for good.

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