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Late Night: Guns Don’t Kill People – Tee Shirts Do!

Know what’s funny, in a "hey, does this milk smell bad to you" kind of way? Watching the wingnut brain trust rationalize the behavior of their gun-toting brethren at Obama’s health care reform rallies. Take the Pantload, for example. Despite the fact that he was for censorship, now he’s sorta against it, advocating for the "squishy" middle (I’ll refrain from the obvious joke):

Nonetheless, the simple fact is there’s no epidemic and attempts by liberals to make this into a bigger deal than it is betray not only the usual anti-gun bias, but a bit of desperation as well. As far as I can tell, it has happened twice. Last week in New Hampshire, a gentleman had a gun strapped to his thigh. And yesterday a dozen gun-rights activists carried some weapons at an Arizona event. It was all perfectly legal and the Secret Service was hardly worked up about it.

I believe in gun rights, but I also think sporting guns at what are supposed to be peaceful, democratic protests sends the wrong message. But from what I’ve seen so far, I can’t get super worked up over it, either.

Ah, I see. These Second Amendment activists were merely exercising their right to bear arms as a form of political speech. It’s a Constitution twofer!

The First Amendment does protect other forms of "perfectly legal" political speech, like, say, a slogan on a tee-shirt. Remember how easy it was to wear one in the lions’ den of Wingnutopia?

Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and thrown out of the President Bush rally at the Jackson County Fairgrounds Thursday night, after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Protect our civil liberties."
. . .
All three women said they were carrying valid tickets for the event that they had received from Republican Party headquarters in Medford, which had been distributing event tickets to Bush supporters.

Thrown out for the menacing act of wearing tee shirts. Under Commander Bunnypants, these bullying tactics were hardly an isolated incident, either:

A former White House official who ordered three activists expelled from a 2005 Denver public forum with President Bush says it was White House policy to exclude potentially disruptive guests from Bush’s appearances nationwide.
. . .
The activists had done nothing to disrupt the forum. . . .

"Potentially disruptive guests" is a pretty broad description, n’est-ce pas? I’d even go so far as to say that angry people with loaded AR-15s marching around in crowds might be considered "potentially disruptive." But I’m weird that way.

And here’s a newsflash for Jonah: the Secret Service actually is pretty worked up about the loons with guns, no matter how he tries to spin it. According to Nice Polite Republicans:

Rick Sanchez of CNN interviewed a retired Secret Service agent today who lamented that the gun carriers distract the attention of the local police who could be better utilized by keeping their eyes peeled for higher level threats against the president. He opined that the presidential protection team might have to push back the perimeter around the events.

As an aside, the rest of this craptastic piece from NPR is a study in cognitive dissonance:

By openly carrying their weapons, the gun toters are at least easily identifiable to law enforcement, including Secret Service sharp shooters who, for all we know, are watching them intently through the cross hairs of their scopes.

So there’s an upside to the "open carry" types, even though they cause a lot of other people great unease. Since they can’t be prevented from appearing outside the events, the rest of us will just have to learn to live with them.

Tell ya what — I’ll "learn to live with" these batshit crazy tweezerheads when they learn to accept the fact that Reconstruction ended over 130 years ago, and that by parading around outside these events, armed to the teeth and undisturbed by law enforcement, they’re enjoying the very liberties they’ve been so quick to deny others.

I’m not holding my breath, though. Acceptance would decimate their collective "victim" status, and then what would they need their guns for?

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NYC-based aquatic feline that likes long walks on the beach, illuminating the hypocrisies of "family values" Republicans, and engaging in snarling snarkitude.