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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/18/09

When 1st and 2nd Amendment Conflict: Protests, Guns and Double Standards

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Should someone at some point make an assassination attempt against the country's 44th president, I can see all the conspiracy theories already, looking at how the Secret Service did nothing to keep guns away from the president's appearances, and how local cops stood idly by while armed gunmen milled around motorcades and outside the venues where the president was speaking. Sure it would probably be someone who came with a concealed weapon, not someone publicly carrying one, but when you have people carrying them openly, it is bound to divert police and Secret Service attention from the person or people in the crowd who are up to something more sinister.

Am I crazy, or is this all just nuts? Does the Secret Service really want another dead president on its hands? Do local police really want to have people killed, or a president shot, on their watch?

We've established that this is the United States of Gun Owners, so if you want a gun, go out and buy yourself one. Heck, buy a hundred if you like. But nobody should be allowed to carry a gun at a political event.

If we are going to keep our First Amendment, or what's left of it, we have to make sure that freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are not intimidated by wackos with weapons. If we can keep rallies free of sticks and bats, we can and must keep them free of guns too.

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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