Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chris Matthews on Guns at Political Events

In this one, Ron Reagan made the point very clearly that the Secret Service officers might be busy watching one of these protesters when they should be watching something else. Don't you think that's a serious concern? (h/t The Gun Guys)


  1. Something to keep in mind MikeB...

    With everybody talking about what is happening outside these town hall meetings, noone is talking about what is happening INSIDE these town hall meetings.

    I think this was a calculated stategy to steal the spot light and it worked.

    It's actually quite brillant. Shift the focus on which Obama considers a political winner to an issue where Obama is politically weak.

    The media couldn't resist bashing gun owners, so they took the bait. Obama was hoping for wall to wall coverage of him talking to regular folks about how he's going to save health care and instead, we're all discussing 2A Rights.

  2. I'm not going to defend the guy caught inside the school, with his gun in a car parked on school property. Federal law forbids guns on school property unless state law overrides, and I don't remember if the federal law allows an override except when licensed. I don't think he counts as a protester.

    The guy with the AR-15 rifle in the beginning whose head they don't show is Black. Another MSNBC post showed very similar footage, and talked about "white people with guns".,0,1613427.story (I've also seen video of him being interviewed, can't find it at the moment)

    "To a presidential event" or "near a presidential event"? Distinct difference, especially if there is a defined security perimeter.

    Oddly, I'm not as against the protesters as Gottlieb, although in general I agree in this particular case. I don't know if what they were doing was tactically a good idea, but to say that the only good reason is self defense is too strict. Various groups have used open carry as part of a successful political plan, including a group I'm a member of, Ohioans for Concealed Carry.

    We haven't had similar protests with other Democrats, because Obama has the strictest anti-gun history of any recent president. The other element is that the Internet really took off while Clinton was in office, and was still mostly a geek activity. It also wasn't widely known until recently that open carry is legal in most states.

    As for the Book Repository and JFK--There is a difference between "near, outside the security perimeter" and "sniper vantage point".

  3. Thanks, Sevesteen, for your usual calm and reasonable comment. You and Sebastian and Joe Huffman, and probably others said about the same thing. Even Gottleib for that matter said although legal it's just not smart.

    kaveman, I wouldn't be surprised one bit if you just hit the nail on the head. That's why I tend to hate politics.

  4. I wouldn't open carry a firearm to one of these events for a number of reasons. And being identified as a risk by the secret service and possibly having a set of cross hairs on my noggin is one of them.

    But regardless of what Ron (could an apple fall any further from the tree?) Reagan says, unless the secret service agents are idiots they are treating EVERYONE in the crowd as thought they could be armed, whether they are showing a gun or not. While obviously they can't ignore the openly armed people, in many cases these people had informed the police ahead of time of their intent and thus could be considered a low level threat at best.

    But ... since guns aren't allowed in any actual venue the President is in (only outside on the streets) I doubt the Secret Service were even around these guys in any force. It's mostly local cops who handle the nearby protests with Secret Service overview.

    The whole thing is a non-security issue for the president and an attempt to get some press by individuals (which worked great). But I'm afraid it gave anti-gunners more ammo than pro-gunners.

    But bottom line is ... in the places these guys open carried, there were undoubtedly many more concealed carrying. Only they didn't get any press or notice.

    And just as a thought ... if you were the secret service, would you prefer all the armed people around the president have their weapons on open display or hidden beneath their clothing?

  5. Little Steve, I think you're right that the whole thing is overblown because none of these guys were actually near the President.

    Also I agree that what might have started out as a pro-gun stunt, backfired and gave the gun control folks the upper hand.