T Nation

Sometimes I Really like America


#1

Man carries assault rifle to Obama protest -- and it's legal

 PHOENIX, Arizona (CNN) -- A man toting an assault rifle was among a dozen protesters carrying weapons while demonstrating outside President Obama's speech to veterans on Monday, but no laws were broken. It was the second instance in recent days in which weapons have been seen near presidential events.

Video from the protest in Phoenix, Arizona, shows the man standing with other protesters, with the rifle slung over his right shoulder.

Phoenix police said authorities monitored about a dozen people carrying weapons while peacefully demonstrating.

"It was a group interested in exercising the right to bear arms," police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill said.

Arizona law has nothing in the books regulating assault rifles, and only requires permits for carrying concealed weapons. So despite the man's proximity to the president, there were no charges or arrests to be made. Hill said officers explained the law to some people who were upset about the presence of weapons at the protest

"I come from another state where 'open carry' is legal, but no one does it, so the police don't really know about it and they harass people, arrest people falsely," the man, who wasn't identified, said in an interview aired by CNN affiliate KNVX. "I think that people need to get out and do it more so that they get kind of conditioned to it."

Gun-toting protesters have demonstrated around the president before. Last week, a man protesting outside Obama's town hall meeting in New Hampshire had a gun strapped to his thigh. That state also doesn't require a license for open carry.

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan acknowledged the incidents in New Hampshire and Arizona, but said he was not aware of any other recent events where protesters attended with open weapons. He said there was no indication that anyone had organized the incidents.

Asked whether the individuals carrying weapons jeopardized the safety of the president, Donovan said, "Of course not."

The individuals would never have gotten in close proximity to the president, regardless of any state laws on openly carrying weapons, he said. A venue is considered a federal site when the Secret Service is protecting the president and weapons are not allowed on a federal site, he added.

In both instances, the men carrying weapons were outside the venues where Obama was speaking.

"We pay attention to this obviously ... to someone with a firearm when they open carry even when they are within state law," Donovan said. "We work with our law enforcement counterparts to make sure laws and regulations in their states are enforced."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/17/obama.protest.rifle/index.html


#2

I love that guy! i especially love the fact that he is obviously a well educated black male that chooses not to follow all the Obama rhetoric just because he happens to be the first black president...BRAVO


#3

THis is a watershed event for exercising state-specific rights in the open. Totally up front and balls out all the way. I'm sure more of the same will follow elsewhere. The SS must be freaked out even though they won't admit it. Hey, what other "security" group used those same initials?

BG


#4

Obviously a racist.

mike


#5

Had nothing to do with race. I just like seeing folks with guns out in the open like that. Good for that guy for exercising the right.


#6

pretty sure mike was poking fun


#7

Damn, those gangbangers are brazen these days. Seem to be dressing nicer, though.

(Oh stop. That's actually self-deprecating humor. Just imagine me doing a good "slack-jawed yokel" impression.)


#8

I'd be very surprised if that was an assault weapon. It is almost certainly a semi-automatic rifle...no full auto or 3-round burst, and therefore not an assault weapon.

That's not to say that he couldn't have an FFL...but I think it is probably just a semi-automatic, civilian AR-15.


#9

Good for him, and others who do the same thing. Just the mention of this in the news is great for the people who feel like they are untouchable. Now I'm not suggesting anyone go on a politician popping spree, but if it creeps in thier minds that that is a possibility, they might, just possibly, fuck us a little less hard. POSSIBLY.

V


#10

I love how he's relatively low-key... Glasses, dress shirt and tie, slacks, chewing gum. He just happens to be exercising his right to strap on a rifle and enjoy the sunshine. I'm just glad the articles I've read are correctly representing the legality of the act and that the law enforcement in the area made no fuss about it.

I'm from Indiana, and with our License to Carry a Handgun (LTCH) we can legally carry openly or concealed. I have half a mind to grab my AR and head out on my motorcycle for a mid-day cruise.

Good to know there are other proud Americans on this board.


#11

Classification of "assault" weapons are based solely on looks.


#12

That's why I posted it. I thought it would be, "Evil gun lover who kills puppies in downtime points assault rifle at black president."


#13

But on an interesting note it is funny that the racist card was not used against this man because he was black. A white man shows up with a gun and he is a racist who hates Obama; a black man shows up with an assault rifle and he's just exercising his 2nd Amend. right.

Obvious double standard is obvious.


#14

A delightful surprise from CNN. Check this "different" perspective from the Huffington Post (think Fox News, but the opposite). The Twitter Comment section at the bottom is hilarious.

I find it absurd that there are all these people chomping at the bit to scream 'right-wing fanatic' when a humble citizen packs heat in public. Yet, they make no qualms about BHO's secret service agents and their undoubtedly full-auto firepower. He gets protection and if we try to protect ourselves we're made out to be conservative nutjobs hell-bent on 'terrorizing society' with images of violence?

"So is this what we are reduced to? If we peaceably assemble to voice our support for universal health care, thugs with with semi-automatic guns are going to police us? This what the second amendment means? This nation is disgusting with its violence and intimidation and its racism. Fuck Arizona."
--- That's a direct quote from one of my old college professor's facebook page regarding the rally in Phoenix. She's a caucasian lady from Hawaii and looooooves to throw out BS like this all over the interwebz. It's pretty sickening to think she's influencing a whole generation of kids to fear freedom and independence.


#15

from indiana as well bro, if u c another guy on his bike with his AR it might be me!


#16

I have full respect for the Secret Service, but I'm not familiar with this law. If the president came to my house for dinner last night, was it temporarily federal property? Or was this poor journalism and they misquoted secret service?


#17

FightinIrish26, I've always respected you for being a pro-gun Democrat. It takes balls.


#18

He was speaking from a jurisdictional perspective, and yes he's correct. No, your house is not considered federal property per se, but federal law applies. Since firearms are not permitted on a federal site, Secret Service agents would inventory, remove and secure all firearms on the premises before Obama (or Bush before that. Sorry, but this isn't an Obama thing) set foot on your property. If you object I guess the motorcade keeps rolling past your driveway. By the same token if you did something stupid during dinner, then you're dealing with US Marshals instead of the local cops.


#19

She's a professor? When you say "Caucasian," you mean "white," right? As in she's "European American?"

"Caucasians" are people like Armenians, Turks, etc. They tend to display a lot more common sense and a lot less self-loathing than liberal whites.

The SS gets to pack full auto UZIs and other SMGs that you and I have to pay $300 to register under the NFA and we still don't get to carry them.


#20

I'm definitely pro-gun, and I don't support any bans in any sense (maybe except for high explosives), but I have to question the end goal here. The first guy who did it got a lot of press, and he made his point about having the right to carry, but guns have a function that function is not as an accessory. In the end I think if this catches on, we'll only see some serious backlash by those who are easily frightened.