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bobbymalone

Man brings AR-15 to Obama opposition rally

79 posts in this topic

PHOENIX (AP) — 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.

The man with the rifle declined to be identified but told The Arizona Republic that he was carrying the assault weapon because he could. "In Arizona, I still have some freedoms," he said.

Phoenix police Detective J. Oliver, who monitored the man at the downtown protest, said police also wanted to make sure no one decided to harm him.

"Just by his presence and people seeing the rifle and people knowing the president was in town, it sparked a lot of emotions," Oliver said. "We were keeping peace on both ends."

Last week, during Obama's health care town hall in Portsmouth, N.H., a man carrying a sign reading "It is time to water the tree of liberty" stood outside with a pistol strapped to his leg.

"It's a political statement," he told The Boston Globe. "If you don't use your rights, then you lose your rights."

Police asked the man to move away from school property, but he was not arrested.

Fred Solop, a Northern Arizona University political scientist, said the incidents in New Hampshire and Arizona could signal the beginning of a disturbing trend.

"When you start to bring guns to political rallies, it does layer on another level of concern and significance," Solop said. "It actually becomes quite scary for many people. It creates a chilling effect in the ability of our society to carry on honest communication."

He said he's never heard of someone bringing an assault weapon near a presidential event. "The larger the gun, the more menacing the situation," he said.

Phoenix was Obama's last stop on a four-day tour of western states, including Montana and Colorado.

Authorities in Montana said they received no reports of anyone carrying firearms during Obama's health care town hall near Bozeman on Friday. About 1,000 people both for and against Obama converged at a protest area near the Gallatin Field Airport hangar where the event took place. One person accused of disorderly conduct was detained and released, according to the Gallatin Airport Authority.

Heather Benjamin of Denver's Mesa County sheriff's department, the lead agency during Obama's visit there, said no one was arrested.

Arizona is an "open-carry" state, which means anyone legally allowed to have a firearm can carry it in public as long as it's visible. Only someone carrying a concealed weapon is required to have a permit.

Paul Helmke, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said people should not be allowed to bring guns to events where Obama is.

"To me, this is craziness," he said. "When you bring a loaded gun, particularly a loaded assault rifle, to any political event, but particularly to one where the president is appearing, you're just making the situation dangerous for everyone."

He said people who bring guns to presidential events are distracting the Secret Service and law enforcement from protecting the president. "The more guns we see at more events like this, there's more potential for something tragic happening," he said.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said armed demonstrators in open-carry states such as Arizona and New Hampshire have little impact on security plans for the president.

"In both cases, the subject was not entering our site or otherwise attempting to," Donovan said. "They were in a designated public viewing area. The main thing to know is that they would not have been allowed inside with a weapon."

Representatives of the National Rifle Association did not return calls for comment.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Your thoughts? I think these guys might as well be getting a paycheck from the gun control nuts. There is a time and place for anything but AR-15s in broad daylight near the president might not be the best way to support your cause.

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I support their right to bear arms, but this probably isn't the best idea. How about they bring toy guns instead as symbols? The safety issue of having guns at a political rally is legit, even if I believe in their right to do it.

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Wow! There is a guy who only cares about himself. Loony tunes are coming out in force!

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Your thoughts? I think these guys might as well be getting a paycheck from the gun control nuts. There is a time and place for anything but AR-15s in broad daylight near the president might not be the best way to support your cause.

Maybe they are getting a paycheck from the anti-gunners.. Looks like they are deliberately trying to make it look bad for responsible gun owners.

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some of the ideas that are being opposed are more of threath to our freedoms and dangerous then a person excercing thier right to openly pack. Funny how you don't see Obama venturing into some of the neighborhoods in the big cities. Wonder wwwwwhy?

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You guys ain't seen nothin' yet, we've got over seven more years of the crazies coming out of the woodwork. wink

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START THE REVOLUTION WITHOUT ME!!!!!

Makes Daffy Duck look normal...

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Good for him.

He broke no laws.

Doesn't sound like he killed anyone. Doesn't even sound like he threatend anyone.

The only "loonys" involved in the story at all are the panty wastes that feel threatend by a law abiding citizen doing something he has every right to do.

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Good for him.

He broke no laws.

A situation for you:

A man who is your enemy stands just off your property line in front of your house with an assault rifle and a pistol. It just so happens that it's legal for him to do it-he has the right. He stands there all day,all night,watching you and your family. He thinks about all the things he's heard on the radio-how you're stealing from all of us and it needs to be stopped. He doesn't like you-at all. You know it,he knows it. He despises every thing you stand for and he thinks you are stealing things from him. Maybe some of his friends show up that don't like you either. They just mill around out there and talk about you-about how they hate what you're doing. They talk about how they can make it stop. But standing in front of your house with those weapons and a bad attitude is right and it's proper-because it's legal.

Many disgusting things in this world are legal-but people don't do them-because we're human. [some of us]

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These people are gone, I'm all about the 2nd but you also need to use your head.

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If your asking what I would do personally......, I would confront the guy and ask him to leave. If he didn't, and it became too much of a burden for me, I would beat him to within an inch of his life and pay my own consequences.

If you find a man legally exercising his constitutional right disgusting, I would suggest that you are pretty much a lost cause. I would guess more so than not, you just enjoy pulling chains on here for the chuckles.

Touche' laugh

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sticking a finger in a live light socket is legal too, but still not a smart move.

PS: God bless the police and bystanders who respect the man's rights and alow him to carry on in a peacful manner.

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Sounded like the authorities handled it verry well. Almost like they knew what to expect.

Right now I'm waiting for naked man from Family Guy to come running out.

Like I say the loonies are coming out of the shadows.

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I think it goes a bit too far. There is a time and a place and there is a responsibility that goes along with the right to carry. Those guys aren't casually exercising their right to carry or bear, they're intentionally antagonizing everyone around them and that is not only foolish, it puts another nail in the coffin for those of us that don't want to lose that right. Our constitution can be changed. If enough people get convinced that we don't need 2nd amendment, it and and WILL become abolished.

Like we've talked before about carrying. It's perfectly okay to do so but to intentionally flaunting it in itself could be construed as threatening and once that happens, you are violating other people's rights and then you lose the right. We only have our rights under the bill so long as we are not using them to violate another person's rights.

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What happened is Obama followed his campaign promise to honor legally observed gun rights, as opposed to his predecessor who wouldn't even tolerate critical t-shirts at his public appearances. Give that much credit and get this thing in perspective.

BTW for those who think gun rights advocates would not be willing or able to do this sort of thing on their own, you all gotta get out more. I know quite a few of them who would do this very thing without being plants by any gun control advocates to make "responsible" gun owners look bad.

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If your asking what I would do personally......, I would confront the guy and ask him to leave. If he didn't, and it became too much of a burden for me, I would beat him to within an inch of his life and pay my own consequences.

If you find a man legally exercising his constitutional right disgusting, I would suggest that you are pretty much a lost cause. I would guess more so than not, you just enjoy pulling chains on here for the chuckles.

Touche' laugh

If you would beat a guy for legally exercising his rights simply because that was a burden for you, the rest of your statement is pretty much just worthless hot air. BTW he would then have the right to shoot you in self-defense which is exactly why he had the right to be armed in public in the first place.

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If you would beat a guy for legally exercising his rights simply because that was a burden for you, the rest of your statement is pretty much just worthless hot air.

Darn you half-dutch! I had to leave for awhile and you found him in the trap!

Amen half-dutch,he proved my point effortlessly:if someone is excercising their "legal right" in front of his house-that person needs to be beaten up-doing it anywhere else,to anybody else-well,that's just hunky dory.

Hypocracy in it's most blatent form.

Touche'? if Touche' means you just went down in flames,yes! Touche'! grin

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how would you like to tell your wife what your about to do if your that guy. well hunny ive got the gun on my leg to express my political views... What I do agree with is these people not being scared to express their opinions but guns arent needed. Although I bet politicians listened a lot harder during the revolutionary war because the patrons had firearms.

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maybe but the smartest way to go about things, but once again he broke no laws and in regards to people standing at the edge of your property with assault rifles, I guess they won't know how many of others are behind them or walking by with a concealed weapon, if that scenerio from a few posts ago is your reality I would be afraid as well if I had that kind of enemies... whistle

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Didn't say I was right... .

You asked me what I WOULD DO... .

Just said I personally would crush the guys skull and take responsibilty for my own self. Suppose I could go sit on the edge of my property with the HBar locked and loaded, but I'd feel better just breaking some bones.

Unlike those that feel big brother should take care of them in every aspect of their lives.

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maybe but the smartest way to go about things, but once again he broke no laws and in regards to people standing at the edge of your property with assault rifles, I guess they won't know how many of others are behind them or walking by with a concealed weapon, if that scenerio from a few posts ago is your reality I would be afraid as well if I had that kind of enemies... whistle

The scenario represented the leader of our country and how he must feel. I didn't expect too many people to care or understand-and you fit the bill nicely. frown

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The threats to our freedoms come from these brownshirt facists who think liberty means brandishing loaded weapons at political events. Try reading the health care reform proposals before you let the monied interests like the insurance companies manipulate you through idiotic claims.

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You asked me what I WOULD DO... .

Oh my gosh! You'd do that? Do that to someone excercising his constitutional rights?

And if the secret service would have "crushed the skull" of that guy doing it in Phoenix you would have cried bloody murder for them doing something like that to a law abiding citizen.

If you're gonna step in it again,I'd suggest putting on some hip boots! laugh

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When you have lax gun laws the lunatics get to be armed and dangerous just as much as you rational, law-abiding folks. Support for the NRA means supporting maniacs like these. It's hypocritical to say these guys are giving the anti-gun law folks a bad name. These ARE the anti-gun folks. This is the face of the NRA.

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