Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Man Carries Assault Rifle to Obama Protest

At this point, it seems like someone wants to see something bad happen to Obama. I don't care if you're not breaking the law, you should not have a gun/weapon around Obama at any time, especially a rifle as large as this. I try not to always bring race into the equation (as if you could tell from my previous post, ha!) but seeing that it's a black man that's doing this is quite disturbing to me. Arizona is quite conservative and the home of John McCain so I guess it shouldn't be that much of a surprise. CNN reports:

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.
A man is shown legally carrying a rifle at a protest against President Obama on Monday in Phoenix, Arizona.

A man is shown legally carrying a rifle at a protest against President Obama on Monday in Phoenix, Arizona.

Video from CNN affiliate KNXV shows the man standing with other protesters, with the rifle slung over his right shoulder, a handgun in a holster on his left hip and a bullet clip in his back pocket.

"I'm exercising my rights as an American in Arizona," the man, who refused to give his name, told KNXV.

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. Video Watch the rifle being legally carried at rally »

"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 said. "I think that people need to get out and do it more so that they get kind of conditioned to it."

The man, wearing a shirt and tie at the health care rally, added that he was unhappy with some health care reform proposals.

"I'm absolutely, totally against health care, health care in this way, in this manner," he said. "Stealing it from people, I don't think that's appropriate."

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.
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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 close 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 said.

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."


  1. This shit is getting out of hand. I mean, granted, I know there is atleast 3 snipers wit eyes on a cat carrying an assault rifle, but the simple fact that this is happening is really telling of the respect ppl have for Obama.

    And I know, "its within their rights"..yeah, what the fuck ever. haha

  2. First off, the man in question would be an idiot if he thought he could cause harm to the President by open carrying a large rifle. If he had planned to do any harm he would have made himself a smaller target (concealing a weapon).

    Second an AR-15 is not an assault weapon as the media portrays. It is a semi-auto rifle. To condone the term "assault rifle" a single feature is required on the rifle; select-fire capability(ie. semi, burst, full).

    That man presented no threat to the President and would likely deter violence from occuring in his vicinity. The media has demonized guns as evil when properly trained and armed civilians would likely present a safer environment, as criminals would then be facing someone trained in defense and not a soft target.

  3. In this world, perception is reality. Misguided Angered people and one miscommunication could lead to a fight. one itchy trigger finger and you have a problem. No reason to bring a rifle, handgun, any gun to a healthcare meeting. plain and simple.