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Hullabaloo


Monday, February 11, 2013

 
Protesting with a loaded gun makes a joke of the Bill of Rights they supposedly love so much

by digby

I feel so free:
Some gun-toting demonstrators have taken their protest and their weapons inside the Capitol building.

Oregon law allows people who have concealed handgun licenses to openly carry weapons inside public buildings, including the Capitol.

Among those who ventured inside from a pro-gun rally across the street was a man who would only give a first name, Warren.

"I'm supporting my fellow patriots," he said. He was carrying an AR-15 slung across his back. "It's technically loaded," he said, meaning a full magazine was in place, but no round was chambered.

He was approached by a state police officer -- about a half dozen were posted directly inside the Capitol rotunda -- who asked to see Warren's concealed handgun permit. The trooper looked at the permit and walked away, while Warren took photos of the Rotunda art work.

Several hundred gun enthusiasts are rallying in the Capitol Mall to support the Second Amendment and to protest efforts to restrict gun ownership.





You'll notice the third picture, taken at the protest outside, features a sign that says that it's irrational to fear firearms. Really. I guess the fact that there have been 1695 gun deaths just since the Newtown massacre means that we're being silly for thinking they are dangerous. Maybe this person needs to come live in a big city for a while and hear some gunfire near his house to understand why the idea of more and more guns in circulation is scary.  It's too late to fire back when a bullet comes through the wall of your house or hits an elderly man by accident who was just walking down the street. (That happened in my neighborhood not too long ago.)

I'm fairly sure these protesters understand very well why average people fear the proliferation of guns or they wouldn't carry their guns to a political rally, an act obviously designed to intimidate the opposition. After all, like any other Americans they could protest these gun laws without carrying loaded guns. They could carry signs, they could march around, they could occupy a building or participate in civil disobedience, which requires that one submit oneself to the law. But they don't. They carry loaded guns to protests and political events. And that means these protests and political events are not opportunities for people to freely debate and disagree. After all, protests and political events are by their nature often contentious, angry and emotional. When one side is armed with automatic weapons, I think the other side can be forgiven for being reluctant to engage them.

That is obviously not what was intended by our bill of rights.  Basically what these folks are saying by arming themselves in this political context is, "nice little First Amendment right you have there. Go ahead, make my day."

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