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Gun Flaunted by Protester Near Obama Town Hall in New Hampshire

Gun

A man with a gun in a holster protesting near the Obama town hall got the attention of MSNBC today. Apparently this is legal in New Hampshire. The man, who is apparently not a law officer but a civilian, held a sign with a portion of a quote from Thomas Jefferson. The full quote is:

Protester "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

According to The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur, this quote was also referenced on a T-shirt worn by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh shortly before carrying out the attack on the federal building there.

Anybody have a clue why he'd be wearing an earpiece? Some on YouTube are saying Secret Service.

UPDATE: Chris Matthews talked to the protester on Hardball.

Both clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Maybe the earpiece makes it easier for him to hear the voices in his head.

    Secret Service agents aren't allowed to protest, so unless this was some kind of undercover test (which they don't do in public), it seems unlikely that he's an agent.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 11, 2009 5:48:20 PM


  2. It seems clear to me--he's listening to his Radio Masters egging him on to Victory.

    Posted by: David | Aug 11, 2009 6:06:28 PM


  3. Oh, he's just applying to be a member of the death panels.

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 11, 2009 6:06:44 PM


  4. was it illegal for him to have the gun? no. so whats the story?

    Posted by: pussyfoot | Aug 11, 2009 6:08:32 PM


  5. Oh, NO! Let's all go into hysterics because someone has a GUN! HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD WE DEVOTE TO THIS ON MSNBC?! A few hours should do it.

    He wasn't even near the entrance to the high school. What did you think was going to happen? He was going to go renegade and take out all the security, all the Secret Service, and then try to assassinate the President?

    What a joke this 'story' is.

    Posted by: Jordan | Aug 11, 2009 6:11:20 PM


  6. Pussyfoot, it's hard to tell if you're being sarcastic or not...

    Posted by: seeldee | Aug 11, 2009 6:11:35 PM


  7. The story isn't just the gun. It's the gun combined with the threat implied by the quotation. Duh.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 11, 2009 6:18:58 PM


  8. I hope we're not honestly going to tie Thomas Jefferson into terrorism and extremism now.

    This is the shit that happens when people feel marginalized -- they become desperate. When the first protestors, who seemed to be mainly the elderly, began to get publicity, cooler heads should have addressed their concerns and worked to calm them down. Instead, they were derided and mocked by politicians and the media -- labeled extremists, mobs and wackos. None of which they were.

    But as is usually the case, hearing mention of "crazies", "mobs" and "violence" perks up the ears of the actual crazies, mobs and Michael Jackson fans and draws them in for the excitement. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Instead of ordering their followers to "punch back twice as hard", Obama & Pelosi and company should have addressed the situation in a respectful and intelligent way...not made outright suggestions of impending physical violence.

    This has been so embarrassingly mishandled that it will be a miracle if they can ease the situation before serious violence occurs.

    Posted by: paul c | Aug 11, 2009 6:36:45 PM


  9. A President of The United States will be that close to a gun and some of you don't have a problem with that?

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Aug 11, 2009 6:49:14 PM


  10. "I'm advocating ... an armed society."

    Lord, help us.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Aug 11, 2009 6:55:28 PM


  11. The President of the United States is close to guns all the time, Derek.

    He wasn't close to this guy's, though. Nothing was going to happen. Nothing did happen. As expected. He had every right to strap that gun to his hip and protest. Deal with it.

    Posted by: Jordan | Aug 11, 2009 7:00:14 PM


  12. No Jordan, I won't "deal with it." I wouldn't even want Bush that close to guns. Remember how many shoes that Iraqi guy got to hurled at Bush before he was taken down? What if that been a gun. Obama can't dodge bullets.

    I have no problem with the 2nd amendment. I do have problems with people who don't see anything wrong with turning up to a Presidential visit with a loaded gun. If you don't have a problem with that, I feel sorry for you.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Aug 11, 2009 7:05:49 PM


  13. Oh please. "Apparently this is legal in New Hampshire"

    Actually, this is legal most everywhere. The Bill of Rights guarantees us that privilege. You remember, the same Bill of Rights that allows you to maintain this blog... Let's remember all of our rights, rather than pick and choose those that we like.

    Signed,
    Proud, gun toting homo who is for health care reform

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 11, 2009 7:06:43 PM


  14. Derek -

    The same bill of rights that allows you to post on this blog, the same bill of rights that allows this blog to exist, also allows this gentleman to carry a loaded weapon.

    If you are willing to say that this guy didn't have the right to carry his gun, you must also be willing to accept if someone else says that you shouldn't have the right to state your opinion on this blog - or for this blog to exist.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 11, 2009 7:10:58 PM


  15. logcabinites

    The supreme court INTERPRETS it as one's right to bear arms

    the actual constitution read strictly says otherwise

    "A well REGULATED militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    strictly read without judical activism of repub judges = citizens can bear guns as members of STATE run/ sponsored/ maintained/ and regulated militias

    Not doing state militia duty under the supervision of the governor or someone designated by the duly elected governor then you have NO right to bear arms

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 11, 2009 7:14:49 PM


  16. PS

    it is not for individuals to rebel against their government, but it is for the states led by their governors to rebel against the fed government.


    sorry folks. No guns for U

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 11, 2009 7:16:18 PM


  17. That Jefferson quote is the same one Timothy McVeigh used to justify his blowing up the Murrah Federal Building.

    This guy is dangerous. I trust the Secret Service is keeping tabs on him.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 11, 2009 7:20:24 PM


  18. Yes, carrying a weapon is legal in most states with a permit and I am most certain that secret service is better at their job than MSNBC so I sincerely doubt that Obama was anywhere near in danger. This is just MSNBC's attempt to demonize the people who are protesting health care reform, painting them as extremists and lunatics. It's a shame that standing up and screaming for what you believe in has become something of disdain. I don't tolerate threats of violence, but I'll fight for the right of every moron in this country to stand up in a town hall and yell as loud as they want before I'll live in a place where we have "change" railroaded down our throats and have no right to express our disdain for it.

    I think unfortunately a lot of crazy people have clouded the legitimate arguments there are against Obamacare. But overall I think it is working. So maybe these people aren't as dumb as MSNBC (or this blog) would paint them as.

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 11, 2009 7:20:39 PM


  19. Oh and I don't know if any of you have been to New Hampshire, but welcome to the wild Northeast my friends. I'm shocked they only found one person proudly displaying their gun.

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 11, 2009 7:22:15 PM


  20. "This has been so embarrassingly mishandled that it will be a miracle if they can ease the situation before serious violence occurs."

    So if a violent act did occur it would be the fault of "Obama & Pelosi & company" and the media for making people feel marginalized and not the fault of the person who carries a loaded weapon to a public event involving the president? Wow.

    These people talk about their rights being taken away, but what rights are these exactly? They have been allowed to speak. They have been allowed to carry their guns. Would a person with a loaded gun have been any more acceptable in the vicinity of a Bush town meeting? Of course not. (Dissenters of any kind were usually kept far away from Bush town meetings.) If people are going over the edge because of their inability to comprehend or constructively add to a debate about health care, it's not anyone's fault but their own.

    Coming to terms with the fact that someone you virulently disagree with is president is part of what being a US citizen is about--many of us managed to accomplish it during 2 Bush terms. They need to accept that Obama is president and act like mature citizens.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 11, 2009 7:23:44 PM


  21. Jimmybono = better interpreter of the US Constitution than the Supreme Court.

    Don't get me wrong, I tend to agree, but that is besides the point. Federalism would still say that if New Hampshire allows its citizens the right to bear arms, they still have that right. And clearly New Hampshire does. And if you've ever been there, you'd know that even absent a 2nd Amendment, that state would still allow its citizens to bear arms.

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 11, 2009 7:31:12 PM


  22. Whats going to happen when national black leaders start telling black people to arm themselves against people of this nature? It's only a matter of time before the next "Shot heard around the world"...I hope I'm wrong...

    Posted by: greg2 | Aug 11, 2009 7:36:22 PM


  23. Carrying a gun is not a threat of violence, and given the way police have violently treated protesters at the RNC and DNC protests in recent years, I can understand why someone would want to carry a gun to an event like this. It's ridiculous to say that he is making some kind of statement by just carrying a gun along. He also hasn't done or said anything that makes him seem dangerous. (I would hope that most Americans would be willing to violently bring down an oppressive dictator if one were in power).

    Jimmyboyo, there are strong constitutional reasons for the Supreme Court to uphold gun rights in interpreting, just as there were strong reasons to strike down sodomy laws.

    The media should do a better job covering the pros and cons of Obamacare rather than pretending like the 40-50% of Americans who are sceptical of it are just Astroturf and fake.

    As for the quote, the specific part he took was obviously harmless, and I've never heard anyone demonizing someone for quoting Jefferson before.

    Posted by: Paladin | Aug 11, 2009 7:37:49 PM


  24. Amen, Ernie, amen! You said it all for me.

    Posted by: DJ | Aug 11, 2009 7:44:06 PM


  25. "Coming to terms with the fact that someone you virulently disagree with is president is part of what being a US citizen is about--many of us managed to accomplish it during 2 Bush terms. They need to accept that Obama is president and act like mature citizens."

    Are you kidding me? And how did you like those 8 years? Give me a break. The right to assembly and protest and express your disagreement with your government is the foundation of a healthy democracy. As long as these people are not breaking the law, you, nor MSNBC nor anyone here has a right to say they are wrong for doing what they are doing. You may no more agree with them than they do with Obama's healthcare plan, but simply because you think you are right about an issue doesn't mean these people have to sit down and shut up.

    Obama is president. The Dems control Congress. If they can't grow a set and pass healthcare in light of strong public dissent to it, then that only demonstrates what everyone knows. Democrats are incompetent pussies. Great ideas but no balls to back it up. I'd certainly rather see them fail than compromise. Some half assed revision to the healthcare system will do nothing for anyone but increase taxes with nearly no results to show for it.

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 11, 2009 7:51:54 PM


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