And apparently it's not just liberal kooks like me who find gun-toting to be disruptive to discourse in the public square.
From Bernard Kerik, 40th police commissioner of the City of New York and Iraq’s interim minister of interior following the fall of Saddam Hussein:
Allowing armed protesters to show up where the president is speaking is irresponsible and could cause a catastrophic security nightmare for those charged with protecting him.
It endangers the protective agents, the protesters, the public, and the president. It creates an immediate distraction as each armed protester then becomes a focus of observation for the agents.
Although Arizona and other states may allow the possession of these weapons, who can tell that the person carrying them at the time is not a threat to the president or others? An unidentified man who had a rifle slung over his shoulder told a reporter for the Arizona Republic, that “I still have some freedoms,” and he may be right. But freedom to create alarm and a possible threat to the president is not one of them.
Use some common sense.
That man may have no ill intent and possess his weapon legally, but what if someone not so nice takes it away? Why create scenarios where the protective agents focus is instinctually aimed at the weapon’s carriers? What if there is an accidental discharge by someone who is not that proficient with his or her weapon that creates a stampede or serious distraction?
No responsible gun owner, law enforcement executive, or public official should endorse or allow these armed protests anywhere near the president.
The president and his staff should let the Secret Service do its job, regardless of political correctness, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano should ensure that the president is protected at all cost . . . and if that includes stepping on some protester’s toes, so be it.
I’m all for the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms, but not at the cost of endangering the president. This is a dangerous practice and it must be stopped.