I Have To Agree on Armed Protests

SayUncle comments on the Second Amendment Foundation’s position on armed protests.

“We are not a fan of armed protests and highly discourage that,” said Alan Gottlieb, the founder and executive vice president of the SAF. “Firearms serve a purpose, and the purpose is not a mouthpiece. It’s to defend yourself. If you are carrying it to make a political point, we are not going to support that.”

I wouldn’t go to one of these protests unarmed, but it would be concealed. But I agree with Uncle: I wouldn’t go to one of these protests where both sides are idiots.

What you’re going to end up seeing are states passing laws against protesting while armed or starting to use laws on the books against parading while armed.

20 thoughts on “I Have To Agree on Armed Protests”

  1. I have always felt that, claims to the contrary notwithstanding, displaying arms while protesting was a form of “gunboat diplomacy”; intended to make a veiled threat while presenting a pretense of seeking to persuade, “diplomatically.”

    The historical problem with gunboat diplomacy has always been, that its targets tend to react by making preparations to match your gunboats and sink them if and when that becomes possible.

    Admiral Perry forced the opening of Japan in 1852. In 1905 Japan sank the Russian Fleet. In 1941 Japan sank our Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

  2. NC already has a law that you can’t open carry while participating in a protest or picket line.

  3. The problem here isn’t a lack of sufficient laws to keep in check armed demonstrators. Riots and armed protestors has been an issue the U.S. has over a century of experience with.

    The problem right now, is the tacit alliance between Left wing mayors/governors and the masked commie Antifa street thugs. Antifa are merely the witless tools being used by Left wing politicians, a tool of illegal violence used to suppress free speech rights and assembly rights.

    All the mayors have to do is hold back the police, and let the Antifa do the dirty work. That pattern has been repeated too many times in too many places over the last 15 months to escape notice.

    1. Yes, and most places have laws against masked protests, yet these rules have not been enforced during these latest riots.
      Laws against armed protests would only be enforced against one side.

      1. “Yes, and most places have laws against masked protests, yet these rules have not been enforced during these latest riots.”

        My guess is that the police do not want to escalate situations over a petty issue; given that protesters “unarresting” people the cops have taken into custody has become a common practice.

        But now to play at jailhouse lawyer, I would argue that wearing a mask is a legitimate form of “self-defense” and also “pooitical expression.”

        Self-defense because, both sides now use “doxxing” as a weapon; i.e., identifying people and then publishing as much about their identities as can be learned (name, address, phone number, employer, etc.) on the internet; and leaving it to the crazies to do with the information what they will. That could of course include violence. (I am reminded of the newspapers, et al, who have from time to time doxxed the holders of firearms permits.)

        A solid face shield can also be protection from expected flying objects or pepper spray, both capable of inflicting serious bodily harm.

        As a form of “free expression,” a mask may be stating that the government or our neighbors are something to fear. In the current protests, the police clearly have been tacitly supporting the alt-right, so expressing a need to be anonymous from the very people you are protesting against is a legitimate political expression. The alt-right of course would say the opposite, that they are the ones being discriminated against.

        1. You are out of your mind if you actually believe “the police clearly have been tacitly supporting the alt-right.”

          1. ““the police clearly have been tacitly supporting the alt-right.”

            OK, if you say so.

            I won’t take the time to itemize all the examples, but, for just one, at Trump’s Phoenix rally the cops waited for all the Trumpkins to clear the area, and then began firing gas and plastic/rubber bullets at the protesters who remained, without provocation according to many in the MSM.

            I believe that was the rally where a protester who kicked a gas grenade that was thrown near him by the cops, back along the pavement toward the police, was shot in the groin at close range by a cop shooting “non-lethal” rounds.

  4. A bunch of “armed protesters” parading with rifles…. is called an army. To many people, it borders on armed insurrection. Now, “pistol” says “self defense.” If you think you are making a statement protesting with a rifle, its probably not the statement that you think you are making.

  5. Maryland has a law that says you cannot carry within 1000 feet of a protest or demonstration. Been on the books a long time now.

    Not sure if dates back to the Panther marches, or whether it was part of the 1994 gun control spree kicked off by Clinton. No time to look right now.

  6. I talked to my wife about why I was against going into town the day of the Charlottesville protests: the high odds of violence getting sparked by one impulsive act on either side. I told her I wasn’t going near any of those groups unarmed, and anyplace I don’t want to go to unarmed is not a wise place to be. It didn’t take long for the news to confirm my fears. Whether they open-carried or not would not have changed my calculations; “unarmed” mobs can kill with ease, and have done so throughout history.

    1. Good rule of thumb is to avoid stupid people, stupid places, stupid things.

      Parents and teachers rarely accept the “well he started it” defense from Kindergartners because they have been around long enough to know it takes two to melee. If we don’t accept if from kids, why would we accept it from adults?

      1. “Good rule of thumb is to avoid stupid people, stupid places, stupid things.”

        It’s reported someone’s wife (or mother?) in Massachusetts said that to them, the morning of April 19, 1775.

        They didn’t listen, and good on’em!

    2. A couple days ago I commented that it was a testament to gun owners in general that people were armed no both sides, but not a shot had been fired.

      It appears I was wrong, as I have now seen it reported that one of the white supremacists fired a shot into the ground “in the direction of” a black counter-protester. The police did nothing, and according to some sources provided a path for the shooter to escape.

      1. “I have now seen it reported that one of the white supremacists fired a shot into the ground…”

        There is a video of it here.

        As the camera pans to follow the man, police officers in high-visibility vests — including Virginia State Police troopers in their distinctive hats — can be seen manning barricades some 50 feet away. They appear not to react to the shot.

        Read the story to get the cops’ excuses for doing nothing at the time.

        1. Only upon documentation, publicity, and insistence by the ACLU. The cops on the spot did nothing, claiming that they couldn’t distinguish gunfire from drum beats.

          To the best of my knowledge, no one was even throwing fireworks like M80s or anything.

  7. Don’t do stupid things with stupid people in stupid places.

    IMO going to these protests violates that. Going to them while OC’ing is just flat out nuts.

  8. I don’t see the point of open carry in most places when conceal carry is an option. To me, open carry is when you need a big weapon you can’t conceal or don’t have time to draw from concealment – people aren’t that much of a threat unless you are doing stupid things in stupid places, so to me open carry is primarily useful for predator defense: bears, mountain lions, etc, i.e. in wilderness areas when there is no other defense.

  9. “I don’t see the point of open carry in most places…”

    I always think of that old phrase, “that’s what makes markets.” Some people see a point and I won’t badmouth them for their choice (despite my observations about “gunboat diplomacy”.)

    Personally, with almost everything I fall back on my mom’s wisdom, that “what people don’t know won’t worry them.”

  10. Alabama passed such a law in the 1950s, along with another prohibiting transport of pistols in vehicles w/o a permit. This was in response to the nacent civil rights movement and the effectiveness of the “Deacons for Defense” as an adjunct to the nonviolent protests of the Civil Rights era.

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