MSNBC just aired footage of the crowd gathering at the Obama town hall meeting on health care that’s supposed to start later today in New Hampshire and pointed out one man in a group holding protest signs with a gun in a holster on his hip. Apparently not a law officer, but a civilian.
Whatever the concealed carry laws in New Hampshire, you have to figure guns not allowed at a presidential event. Right?
Late Update: Also important to note, the gun-toting protestor was holding a sign referencing the Jefferson quote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” It’s a well known quote from one of the archetypal founding fathers. And in itself it’s part of the American heritage, something that echoes with Jefferson’s always ambivalent and frequently dilettantish attitude toward political violence. But in the context of these townhall excesses and while carrying a firearm at a presidential event, it’s quite a menacing statement, in as much as it is about the need to kill tyrants. — jmm
Later Update: The local police tell MSNBC that the man is legally carrying the gun, is nowhere near where the President will be, and is “under constant surveillance.”—dk
Packing Heat Update: The gun-wielding protester was interviewed by Chris Matthews late today: “I’m not advocating violence,” William Kostric said. “I’m advocating an informed society, an armed society, a polite society.”
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.