I am a gun owner, and have been for many years. I enjoy recreationally shooting guns and support the “right to keep and bear arms.” I have also long opposed government intrusion into citizens’ privacy and liberty, which is part of why the Bush Misadministration alarmed me, as well as why I still oppose the so-called “Patriot Act,” strongly support civil rights, and oppose bigotry, racism, sexism, and jingoism. Reverence for freedom is also part of why the Evangelical influence in politics unsettles me: mixing religion and politics usually entails efforts to force Christian mores on everyone. Endorsing freedom to express only ones own mores does not reflect a reverence for liberty; it merely reflects a reverence for self. Liberty matters to me, for all of us.

Recently, in the name of liberty, people have begun to attend speaking engagements of President Obama’s sporting firearms. While I agree that this is technically within their rights, and while I don’t share the alarmist reaction some have had to it, this behavior strikes me as callow and idiotic. Any reasonable person should realize that carrying a weapon in modern society is perceived by most Americans as dangerous and threatening, and doing so in this incendiary political climate is especially intimidating, and irresponsible. Flamboyantly packing at a presidential speaking engagement, whatever your underlying logic, does more to threaten liberty than foster it. Why?

Well, to the armed protestors, I say consider this: the “tough on crime” crowd, historically comprised mostly of febrile conservatives, has long advanced the argument that what’s most expedient for law enforcement and national security is also in the best interest of “law abiding citizens.” Bending a few rights and laws for the sake of the greater common good, they have frequently argued, is a small price to pay for a safer society. After all, who gives a damn about the civil rights of some scumbag crook, right? So goes the argument (In my view, a weak and wrong-headed one, for myriad reasons). But, by carrying a firearm to President Obama’s speaking engagements, you frighten and further alienate folks who have not been around firearms or are uncomfortable with them, and you provide impetus for liberals (who have, you should note, often stood up for liberty in the face of criticism from conservatives) to adopt that foolish safety-over-freedom point of view — only this time, rather than people you would have called criminals having their rights ignored in the name of your safety, you will be called the criminals and have your rights ignored in the name of someone else’s safety, Niemolleresque. To understand, imagine how conservatives (and perhaps others) would have reacted had a group of outspokenly anti-Bush activists showed up strapped to Dubya’s speaking engagements, especially if the armed protestors were black, gay, atheist, socialist or some other minority group. Be honest: what would you have said about that?

Coming armed to these events is foolish, hypocritical, callow, divisive, and counter-productive. So, unless these armed protestors simply crave attention, hope to foment conflict, or want to inflame anti-second amendment fever, and thereby threaten actually substantive liberty, they should stop it. Pick your battles, and wage them intelligently. See, even though environmental issues are definitively pre-eminent (if we destroy the only place we have to live, how important will the issues of rights or freedom or justice be anyway, and to whom?), I don’t identify myself as an environmentalist. Why? Because chest-beating zealotry does not facilitate solutions. It facilitates conflict and diminishes the odds of developing a real solution — just as showing up armed to President Obama’s speaking engagements does. Nice work, fellas.

40 Responses to “Strapped”

  1. rans tiptropato says:

    How does this fool know FPSRussia on a personal level? He doesn’t even know how to shoot an M16A1 Carbine. Let alone hold a shotgun. Granted his other videos are funny but i like FPS way more.

  2. son blummunzbu says:

    Greensboro_NC: Obama to stop in Triad to talk jobs, economy – President Barack Obama will be making a stop Monday in… –

  3. moring tad says:

    that is so cool your taste in music is awesome especially for your age. just curious though by the meaning of the song you mean his girlfriend cheating on him?. the song is supposed to be about a girl im pretty sure george still denies being gay back then.

  4. ronchison says:

    Human Rights in Africa: From the OAU to the African Union: This work examines the role of the Organization of Af…

  5. The right way stun guns for women Would be able to Help You And as well as Stable Your future

  6. Because in most states you show a persons picture until charges have been filed or they are already well known publicly. Also, why would they release the pictures of people they already caught, they could be trying to arrest more people!

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  8. morskowski pen says:

    yes and more training for our police. I here the police will be getting guns placed in lock boxes. So we have to monitor that

  9. Live video: President Obama delivers remarks on tax cuts plan and on the state of the economy in Kansas –

  10. shiesemps says:

    “Economic freedom is one factor but they make it seem like its the only factor.” That’s very true. Another factor are the of a countries population and it takes decades, if not centuries, to ruin a people thoroughly. Germany, for example, used to be among the pinnacle of the world in craftsmenship and intellectual brilliance, and even the welfare state, let alone Nazism and Communism, didn’t manage to destroy all of that, though it clearly took a toll.

  11. sade clars says:

    eaturbrainz on Cenk Uygur: Why I Love Santa: America isn’t the greatest country on because we are a Christian nation. We are the greatest because we were the first country to make sure we didn’t base our nation on religion and ancient hatreds. We based it on reason, and capitalism. –

  12. Could this be the reason retail sales were up on Black Friday? Could some Americans be preparing for a revolution?

  13. jennaputte mosickelet says:

    lots of you asked for it.. here it is FREE stream for opening of tonight’s show! sign up and watch

  14. “- ABD meclisine sunulan bu yasa teklifinin destekçileri kimler? Hangi gerekçeyle destek oluyorlar?
    _____________
    – SOPA, geçen yıl Kongre’den geri dönen COICA’nın (Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act – Çevrimiçi Telif Hakkı İhlalleri ve Taklitlerle Mücadele Yasası’nın – ısıtılıp yeniden piyasaya sürülmüş hali… Başta Hollywood olmak üzere telif hakkı lobileri tarafından desteklenen Temsilciler Meclisi üyesi Lamar Smith ve “12 arkadaşı” tarafından gündeme getirildi. Bu arada, telif hakkı lobisi mensubu şirketler ve buradan para kazanan danışmanlık şirketlerinin yanı sıra yasayı destekleyen (başta Microsoft ve BSA’sı -Business Software Alliance- olmak üzere) birçok teknoloji şirketi de var. Ama SOPA’yı destekleyen teknoloji şirketlerine karşı kullanıcıların boykot kampanyaları bir çok şirkete geri adım ve desteklerini çekmek zorunda kaldılar. (Şurada yasanın destekçilerinin tam bir listesine ulaşmak mümkün: “

  15. “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaugh6Np

  16. johndrand jeandeckin says:

    attn left: Fire arms purchased online must be shipped to a local federal firearms license dealer. They are not sent to peoples homes!

  17. If we are to champion “freedom and democracy” abroad why are we destroying civil and deifying the State at home? –

  18. If you like Charice, pls nominate her at the Awards (pls google) for #actress, etc. She deserves it.
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  20. This is a great knife. I carry it everyday at work and home. Like you, I really like how they designed the clip. It never gets in the way.

  21. giorekidam haolognac says:

    Too many – both in and out of gov – close their eyes to the issue of personal #Anonymous –

  22. kle albrey says:

    Does your God not stand for freedom? Does he not stand for justice? Then why the hell are you not revolting?

  23. I polished off a bottle of gin while cleaning my firearms for What did you do? “Sleep” is not the right answer.

  24. vbadge dec says:

    gives mixed ruling on Arizona immigration law The Supreme handed the Obama administration a victory Monday in a fiercely contested battle over immigration, finding that three of four provisions of a controversial Arizona law improperly usurp the federal government’s broad authority over immigration policy. In a 5-3 ruling that divided the conservative majority, the justices struck down of the law that barred illegal immigrants from working, as well as a catchall section permitting arrests of suspected illegal immigrants without warrants. […] the justices unanimously upheld the 2010 law’s “show me your papers” requirement, which directs police to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop, detain or arrest on other charges if there is reason to believe the person is an illegal immigrant. […] Kennedy said the requirement to check the status of detainees suspected of illegal immigration can be carried out quickly by contacting federal…

  25. maino taliwetz says:

    Freedom of choice is something some women have never experienced in their lives.Please allow and give chance, it really is that simple.

  26. dee tomorretos says:

    Batman costumes now banned in US. Guns, ammunition still not. Because (all together now) Guns don’t kill people. Batman costumes kill people

  27. yamarclai says:

    How the Rep know what the Dnc want or pick and if so why they did’ent know Bush was taking us off a cliff so you Blame Obama

  28. BF3 Gun Sounds Song Concept Idea by Nick Bunyun

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    Time: 01:07 More in Gaming

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    New Ffl Kit To Help You Get Your Federal Firearms License. Buy Guns Wholesale. We Are A Licensed Dealer. New Updates Plus Bonuses

  30. sana keen says:

    You guys need to fix Terminal for PS3. In the FFA Gunplay playlist, only 18 Guns pop up. No AoN or OIC. maybe? lol

  31. Obama fell flat – He made a seemingly deliberate choice to keep his remarks chained tightly to the politics of 2012.

  32. bousen dow says:

    Just saw a Romney NRA commercial. Why do I feel like Mitt probably doesn’t know a damn thing about firearms, hunting etc…

  33. era willa says:

    TSA Week in Review: 39 Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Baggage This Week: 39
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  34. guillell nak says:

    Ashley Cole fined £90k by the FA over comment on Twitter Not even keen on him but what happened to freedom of speech?

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  36. Let’s change the world young people…..we can’t depend on Obama and Biden, but in all that we do acknowledge God!

  37. Get Your Federal Firearms License
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  38. Boyer: Open data needs to be of FOIL
    Auburn Citizen
    Freedom of information laws have always been an essential resource for journalists and members of the public seeking records about their government. In a democracy, voters need to have access to information about how their representatives are working, …
    and more »

  39. dittennenb volard says:

    Seems Romney didn’t just try to steal the election from Obama, he also stole it from Ron Paul with RNC shenanigans: ht … –

  40. You know the IDIOTS who would turn their guns in DON’T DESERVE TO HAVE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. Too Stupid for

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