Debate on Armed Protesters at Townhall Meetings

Wednesday, September 2, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this article]

Though long (my solution was to download the MP3 and listen to it in the background throughout the day) this BloggingHeads discussion between Megan McArdle of the The Atlantic (libertarian) and author Michelle Goldberg (left-ish) about protesters carrying guns at townhall meetings was very interesting. Michelle takes the position (which I imagine we’ve all heard somewhere) that these open carry protesters are trying to exert political intimidation through threat of violence and are indeed likely to commit violence. Megan explains why she thinks it much more likely that they’re simply gun nuts trying to make a point about 2nd Amendment rights. (In a way, incidentally, which neither McArdle nor I support, but still almost certainly not in fact a violent threat to the nation with whose brush the entire right side of the political spectrum can be tarred by association.)

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7 Responses to Debate on Armed Protesters at Townhall Meetings

  • Leave the guns at home folks! People who bring guns to these meetings, and they have been very few judging from media accounts, are playing right in to the hands of their adversaries.

  • I thought the fact Michelle said she would take the bet at 10 to 1 odds, then backed off when Megan said she’d give her those odds was interesting.

  • Agreed, Don. I hope I haven’t given the impression that it’s anything other than idiotic to bring a gun to a political protest, no matter how calmly you behave after you get there.

    I just think the claim that the right wing of the country is on the verge of breaking out into some sort of political violence is not only idiotic and irresponsible, but also probably by people who don’t really believe it.


    Yeah, that was pretty impressive.

  • Agreed Darwin. I have been impressed at how orderly most of the townhalls have been, in spite of high passions.

  • I am a believer in the 2nd amendment, but it is idiotic and counterproductive for people to bring guns to townhall meetings.

    The townhalls are not about gun control, they’re about healthcare. Stay on topic, folks, or you look like confused scatterbrains! It reminds me of leftists who would turn up at anti-war protests with pro-abort signs, pro-gay marriage signs, pro-PETA signs, whatever their favorite pet cause was. The message I got was “Yeah, the war’s bad, but what I really, really want you to know is that I’m against fur coats!”

  • As an avid gun owner and shooter who is adamant about the 2nd amendment…. it is absolutely ridiculous to openly carry at a political event, or frankly, anywhere else that you are likely to cause alarm, and embarrassment to gun owners… This hurts our cause.

  • As a retired LEO, firearms instructor, and shooter for half a century now–I am a strong 2nd Amendment supporter for good reasons. But “open carry”, and particularly “in your face” open carry is just dumb. It’s about on the same level as shouting obscenities just because you can.

    Sometimes I think half the population suffered arrested development at about the third grade level. Probably some residual impressions left over from my old job.