Floyd and Mary Beth Brown: These liberal media elites outraged by gun-bearing citizens showing up at Obama events have probably never used a gun in real life. Most Americans don't see firearms as a symbol of violence. Like our founding fathers, they see them as a tool for personal protection.
Editor's note: A quote related to gun rights that originally was included in this column has been widely attributed to George Washington, but that appears to be a fabrication. The quote has been removed.
Leftist elites are up in arms about Americans up in arms. At two recent Obama town hall meetings, men exercising their Second Amendment rights were spotted carrying firearms. While we do not condone threatening the president or anyone else for that matter, these citizens are well within their rights. It is legal to carry a firearm while demonstrating to protect your liberties.
In New Hampshire, William Kostric showed up near a town hall meeting carrying a pistol, and a placard proclaiming, "It is time to water the tree of liberty!" in reference to the famous Thomas Jefferson quotation, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots."
Kostric had no intention of hurting the president; he was exercising his rights and making a political statement using the pistol as a visual reminder. When interviewed by Chris Matthews of MSNBC, Kostric said he went to the town hall because he "wanted people to remember the rights that we have, and how quickly we are losing them." After making this statement, Chris Matthews verbally accosted him and compared him to John Wilkes Booth and other fanatics. Kostric clearly explained he was not advocating violence, but was practicing his constitutional right to bear arms.
The second incident prompted the media to erroneously pronounce the opponents of Obamacare as racist rednecks. A young man named Chris wore an AR-15 slung over his shoulder with a 9 mm pistol strapped on his hip. Roughly a dozen others were also carrying firearms with Chris outside an Obama appearance in Arizona. Earlier, these individuals coordinated their right to openly carry firearms with the Phoenix Police Department. They deliberately did this to show the country that the Phoenix police are supportive of their rights to keep and bear arms. The elitist media missed the whole point and went ballistic.
Chris Matthews fretted about assassination attempts, while Contessa Brewer stammered, "there are questions about whether this has racial overtones... I mean here you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns." MSNBC's pop culture analyst Touré anxiously said, "I'm not going to be surprised if we see somebody get a chance and take a chance and really try to hurt him." However, these talking heads glossed over a crucial detail: the man carrying the AR-15 was black. They were dishonestly trying to portray the group of gun toting citizens in Arizona as racists. MSNBC cleverly edited the video footage to show only the semi-automatic rifle, hiding the face of its bearer, Chris, an African American.
The liberal media conveniently ignore that in 2000 at one of George W. Bush's events, Black Panthers demonstrated while carrying firearms. The Black Panthers actually have a history of murder and violence in contrast to the Phoenix demonstrators. The Panthers, just as newsworthy, generated no buzz at the time. They should have been referenced in light of recent events by these talking heads.
These liberal media elites outraged by gun-bearing citizens showing up at Obama events have probably never used a gun in real life. Chris Matthews, Rick Sanchez, Contessa Brewer and the rest who assume guns represent violence don't likely own a firearm. Most Americans don't see firearms as a symbol of violence. Like our founding fathers, they see them as a tool for personal protection.
William Kostric and Chris have it right, if we don't stand and demonstrate peacefully for all of our freedoms, they will quickly slip away and vanish. Remember, it's much easier to hold onto something, than try and get it back after you've lost it.
Floyd and Mary Beth Brown are bestselling authors and speakers. Together they write a national weekly column distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. To contact them, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.