I’m not sure why so many people on the Right seem to confuse issues and conflate things which are separate and completely unrelated to one another. For instance, during our local Tea Party II this July (Tea Party II, Electric Boogaloo?), instead of sticking to the point of the group (Taxed Enough Already), and only discussing tax-related issues, they wandered off into the fringe areas of Birthers and illegal aliens and any number of other things. The birthers are insane, and the other issues, even if legitimate points to discuss, are just clouding the waters of their own rally. Want to protest high taxes, ignoring the lower taxes on all but the very rich? Go for it. Bring up birth certificates and migrant workers and NAFTA and every other John Birch Society conspiracy theory? Not helping your case, buddy.
Now, we have the 2nd Amendment folks coming to protest health care reform. Huh? I’m a great fan of the Constitution, with all its amendments. It is the supreme law of the land, and is able to be modified through force of great will by the citizenry, so reflects the ideals of the country to a great degree. Those ideals include the government not infringing on our rights in the areas of speech, religion, gathering, trials, and yes even bearing arms. I spent 12 years defending the Constitution; good for anyone who follows its guidelines. When a photographer gets treated as a terrorist for taking a picture of a public structure from a public place, I am thrilled to see people rise up and proclaim that photographer’s rights – defending others keeps our own rights intact as well.
But, why are these people bringing weapons to a health care reform protest (leaving aside why anyone not employed by insurance companies or already on government-subsidized health care would protest the minor and remarkably toothless reforms that will likely get passed)? Are these just normal citizens, who normally take their weapons wherever they go? That seems unlikely. I doubt the fellow in the tie with an AR-15 slung over his shoulder will be taking that rifle to work with him. He deliberately brought it to this event. If it’s not an implicit threat of violence, what is it? I may be looking at things rather simplistically, but this sure looks like someone saying, “if you don’t do what I say, I’ll shoot someone.”