Not too long ago, I referred to open carry protesters as being comparable to terrorists. The reasons are obvious: in an age when armed madmen routinely blitz through schools and movie theaters, gunning down innocent people, it’s not such a smart idea to promote your fringe movement by wandering through a Target store with the Sandy Hook weapon, locked and loaded and nestled between your man-boobs.
No matter how these self-identified protesters might justify such a thing, this isn’t peaceable assembly as protected by the U.S. Constitution, unless the founders included the brandishing of loaded firearms as somehow “peaceable.”
Seriously, how the hell can the carrying of loaded semi-automatic military style rifles that resemble something out of an Expendables movie be considered in any universe “peaceable?” The mission is clearly to terrorize and intimidate. Nothing else. Wherever there are loaded semi-automatic weapons and untrustworthy strangers willing carry them in a public place, there’s a strong likelihood that one or more of those weapons could discharge in anger or otherwise, and no one wants to be a bystander trapped in the line of fire.
Late last week, a Colorado teenager marched through the streets of Aurora carrying a loaded Stoeger P-350 12 gauge shotgun. Aurora of all places, where James Holmes murdered 12 and wounded 58 other innocent people inside a crowded movie theater. These days, when a teen with a loaded weapon (or anyone fitting this narrow profile) marches through a public place, no matter his intentions, he’s doing one thing and one thing only: scaring the piss out of anyone in his path. Now, again, imagine a Muslim-American marching through an airport terminal waving a box-cutter, you know, in defense of his constitutional rights.
Sorry if not everyone can see the distinction between a would-be terrorist and First Amendment protester. Put another way: if your goal is protect your rights, and you believe that in order to do so you need to stockpile the deadliest weapons available and to carry those weapons in public, you’re doing it wrong.
I’m not too far off the mark with my assessment… CONTINUE READING