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News Guy carries firearm while attending town hall meeting

  1. Aug 12, 2009 #1
    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/08/11/2026745.aspx [Broken]

    Discuss. Did he pose a threat carrying a concealed weapon in his pocket? Do you think he had latent intentions other than opposing Obama's healthcare plan?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2009 #2

    Pengwuino

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    The Secret Service plans events like this months in advance and would have undoubtably had previous communications with the man beforehand. People don't typically get to walk around with a gun near a presidential event without getting carried off at gunpoint unless the SS knows about it.
     
  4. Aug 12, 2009 #3
    Just a nuisance IMO.
     
  5. Aug 12, 2009 #4
    That doesn't make sense to me. The SS could not possibly anticipate who would show up and who would not at these kinds of events; I pretty sure if they were predicting gun violence, they would have contacted New -hampshire police about telling their citizens not to carry gunds and would have told citizens not to bring guns to these events; The article says that the man didn't break any state laws concerning carrying a handgun and so I don't understand how he would possibly be arrested; There isn't any federal law that I am aware of that says you are not allowed to carry weapons to events where the president will be present;
     
  6. Aug 12, 2009 #5
    meh, so what? He's is just one man that is carrying that people know about. He just wanted to make a political statement.

    Most people who carry don't make it public information. Like myself. I don't appreciate it because it gives us who carry a bad rap. If the yuppies actually knew how many people actually carry concealed handguns around them, they would freak out.
     
  7. Aug 12, 2009 #6
    This is a good point. There was nothing illegal about it. The President or the SS cannot simply deny people their legal rights on a whim. This is the US for crying out loud. If it were in a federal building then of course, that's the policy for a federal building. But this was a church.
     
  8. Aug 12, 2009 #7

    Pengwuino

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    Events with the president are made far in advance. If this person wanted to have a protest or give out information, he would contact the police who would in turn contact the secret service. If you simply walk up out of the blue with a gun where the president is going to be, they will talk to you or bring you in. In either case, they will know who you are and where you are at all times. For all we know, he may have had an unloaded weapon and been searched prior to it. Just because the media was surprised doesn't mean the secret service was.
     
  9. Aug 12, 2009 #8
    He didn't contact police or make prior arrangements. And I'M SURE his gun was loaded. Carrying an unloaded gun in public is idiotic. Carrying an unloaded gun on your leg for any reason is idiotic. He was simply making a statement and doing so peacefully, though I don't condone it, he wasn't breaking any laws.
     
  10. Aug 12, 2009 #9

    Pengwuino

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    So carrying a loaded gun near an event with the president is the non-idiotic option...? Guess that's one way of looking at it...
     
  11. Aug 12, 2009 #10
    I think it's idiotic. But openly carrying an unloaded gun can attract gunfire that you are not equipped to return. If there is word worse than idiotic, that would describe the individual who carries an unloaded firearm openly, in public.

    But, I would have no problem carrying my handgun, concealed, to this event. I would call that "prudent".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2009
  12. Aug 12, 2009 #11

    Pengwuino

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    Ok, in pretty much every other situation I'd obviously agree. However, in this one very special situation, being surrounded by other people with weapons who aren't necessarily hoping to kill you and that you've consulted with... i think it's quite safe.
     
  13. Aug 12, 2009 #12
    The secret service can do what ever they feel is necessary, within reason, to protect the president. When ever the president is going to be present at a location the secret service set up well in advance, as Pengwuino points out, and they block off the streets for at least a block radius. Depending on the situation people may not be allowed into the area where the president will be unless they have been vetted by the Secret Service. Any person who is in the same room with the president has most likely been vetted before hand.

    Considering the circumstances if all he wanted to do was make a statement and he was told he would not be allowed to carry the firearm loaded I am sure that he would have gone along with it. Otherwise I seriously doubt that they would have let him in.
     
  14. Aug 12, 2009 #13
    Was carrying a loaded gun near the presence of the president a bad idea? Perhaps it was. Was it his right to do so (in a non-federal building)? Yes. Should it be? No.
     
  15. Aug 12, 2009 #14

    Pengwuino

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    Was I saying whether it was a good or bad thing to do? or that he did or didn't have the right to?
     
  16. Aug 12, 2009 #15
    I disagree with your last statement. We do not lose our rights just because the President is in our vacinity. The SS should have held the meeting in a more controlled environment IMO. Like a federal building. But if he is going to mingle in our "presence" he does so at risk.
     
  17. Aug 12, 2009 #16
    If our president is going to MINGLE in our presence he does so at risk. lol? Thats messed up.
     
  18. Aug 12, 2009 #17
    Lol... isn't that a bit rediculous? We have an agency devoted (mostly) to defending the president and spend millions on protecting him yearly but we are going to tell him that he ought to just assume the risk if he happens to go to a public place?
     
  19. Aug 12, 2009 #18

    cristo

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    If the secret service would have deemed him a threat, I think it's safe to say that threat would have been neutralised. Given the amount of effort you put into protecting your president, there is no chance that just anyone will be allowed to stroll around with a gun as the president walks next to him to a planned meeting. As it was, the worst thing that happened was probably the town paying for a few extra police officers to be on duty.
     
  20. Aug 12, 2009 #19
    It is a risk for the President to appear in public. Remember Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, JFK? That is 4 out of 44. It is extremely risky to appear in an uncontrolled environment, like a private church. The Presidency is the most dangerous occupation in America. I don't care how much money you spend on the SS.

    Editing the "attempts successful". I meant to say almost 1 out of 10 Presidents are assissinated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2009
  21. Aug 12, 2009 #20
    He wasn't a threat. He was just carrying his pistol on his leg in a completely legal nonthreatening fashion.

    If the President is going to appear in public, where the public has the right to carry openly...
     
  22. Aug 12, 2009 #21
    I understand that. But saying that appearing in public is inherantly risky is different than saying that he should simply assume the risks instead of doing all that can reasonably be done to minimize them.

    An assassin could just as easily carry a pistol in a completely legal and non-threatening fashion up until the point that he pulls it out and starts shooting. Again, I don't see how not having a weapon on ones person at such an event is an unreasonable requirement by the presidents security detail.
     
  23. Aug 12, 2009 #22

    cristo

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    Exactly. Which is why this guy will have had extensive background checks run on him before the decision to allow his "peaceful protest" to go ahead was made. It's naive to think that any old joe will be allowed to run around next to the president with a weapon.
     
  24. Aug 12, 2009 #23
    Just as many background checks as the rest of us old joes. He was legal begal to be armed but at the same time he was an anti-Obama protester. He was an armed civilian within shooting range of the President. Like I said before, it could just as well have been me in the room with my firearm, loaded, safety off. To think that extensive background checks were done on everyone in the meeting, before they attended, who could have been armed, is naive.
     
  25. Aug 12, 2009 #24

    ideasrule

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    If I were Obama, I'd feel threatened if I see a political opponent with a gun within shooting range of me. The constitution may allows citizens to bear arms, but this is a matter of safety, and it's not unreasonable to refrain from acting like an assassin.
     
  26. Aug 12, 2009 #25

    cristo

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    I disagree. Of course, none of this information is ever made public, so we'll never know who is right or wrong!
     
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