Gun lovers become bullies at political rallies
Gun-rights advocates showed up during presidential town hall meeting carrying firearms. One of them sported a military style AR-15 rifle amid protesters outside the Phoenix Convention Center as President Obama spoke. These gun toting demonstrators insisted they are simply exercising their constitutional right to bear arms while protesting the event.
Arizona is an “open carry” state which means that if you legally own a firearm you can openly carry it in public. In light of this law Phoenix police monitored the owner of the assault weapon and others.
Doesn’t this story beg the question: Is this behavior within the bounds of normal, healthy protest? If you answer yes, please seek professional help.
The president at least has the Secret Service to look out for him. What about all those other people around that convention center?
As Northern Arizona University political scientist Fred Solop observed, “When you start to bring guns to political rallies, it does layer on another level of concern and significance.”
Over the past several years we have been hearing stories of schoolyard bullies who intimidate, frighten and harass other children. By definition, bullies seek to assert themselves without one whit of compassion or empathy for the other children in school.
The problem is that a tiny minority of gun owners are nuts—more precisely, bullies.
How do we as a people stand up to the bullies? What can we as a people do to stand up to those who say they want to exercise their right—before they do something wrong?
This is not a story about gun rights.
This is a story about the abuse of gun rights.
Let’s say it’s November 22nd, 1963 and we are in Dallas, Texas. President Kennedy’s motorcade is on its way through the city. There’s a guy named Lee Harvey Oswald who is standing on the grassy knoll with his rifle. He says he has brought his rifle to the event because he is protesting the president’s policies and is simply exercising his constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
In America, everyone has the constitutional right of self expression. But when self expression becomes an obsession that bullies others the in the same society it must be stopped.
Remember, America is not about just ME as a person, but finally about WE as a people.
Or as Jesus put it, “the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and the second is like the first—love your neighbor as yourself.”
To put it in the vernacular of this culture: "when going to a political rally, leave your guns at home".
Do this for the safety and security of fellow Americans and the President of the United States--even if you don't like him.
This is the American way.