I did not think that I would be recycling so soon, but in a recent post I asked: What would happen if 1000 persons showed up with guns where the president was appearing? When the first lone gunman appeared at a health care meeting, his actions were defended on the basis that he had a legal right to have a gun and had committed no criminal act. Recently, several more people appeared with guns--one with a semi-automatic weapon. So I renew my question: What will happen if a thousand show up with guns or even 20? Incredibly, the head of Gun Owners of America (on the Chris Mathews show) believes that they should all be admitted!
And why would you bring a gun to a meeting where the president is speaking? As I outlined before, these are not members of a well-organized militia (and no longer need be); the need for self-defense is minimal (except from others like-minded); target practice cannot be the goal; and neither wild animals nor other untold fears of the national parks are likely to be present. None of the ostensible reasons for the possession of guns applies. On the other hand, there have been assassinations and attempted assassinations of presidents. Arguing that the gun toters have not committed a crime is ludicrous. Does it mean that the Secret Service will have to wait until someone actually attempts to shoot the president or someone else at the gathering before they can take any action? Gun owners purport to be such strong advocates of law and order, why would they put law enforcement officers in this untenable and possibly dangerous situation?
The explanations for the presence of guns at these gatherings should embarrass all reasonable and sensible gun owners. The ones I have heard: the persons are making a statement; or they can defend themselves in case violence breaks out; the crowd would be safer if everyone had a gun; concealed weapons would be even better, etc. So you have won the right of the individual to have a gun. Doesn't a certain amount of responsibility and common sense come with that right?
The spokespersons for the NRA, Gun Owners of America and gun owners in general, instead of attempting to justify this conduct, should be out there condemning it. Issue a statement: Just Say No to Guns When the President Is Present! If we can keep licensed drivers away from the White House, we certainly should be able to keep licensed gun owners away from the president. The Second Amendment granted the right to bear arms--not to be idiots.