Oh, I am so positive this is going to end well. Via TPM:
About 12 people were carrying guns, including at least one semi-automatic assault rifle, outside a building where President Obama was speaking today.
The man spotted carrying the assault rifle and a pistol, who gave his name only as "Chris", was asked why he was armed. "Because I can do it," he said. "In Arizona, I still have some freedoms." . . . .
Two police officers kept close by. Carrying guns, including the AR-15 assault rifle, is legal under Arizona law.
"If we need to intervene, we will intervene at that time," said Detective J. Oliver.
Once again we see how irony deficiency maims the conservative’s ability to reason: those most terrified of The Negro Socialist Non-Citizen Grandmother-Killing President taking away their assault weaponry [roll eyes here] are free who to openly carry them at Obama events without fear of reprisal.
Could you even begin to imagine that sort of apparently lackadaisical approach during Bush’s Orwellian tenure? Contemplate what would have happened to audience members had they shown up at one of Bush’s "socha scurty" town halls packing heat. People wearing even vaguely anti-Bush t-shirts were summarily ejected from his little Potemkin village affairs and those whose cars brandished "liberal" bumper stickers were no doubt assigned to some DHS anti-American no-fly list. Anyone with a firearm at a Bush event would have found himself wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles faster than you could say "Dick Cheney’s man-sized safe."
And does anyone remember the $40 million inaugural celebration four years ago? Because I certainly do:
Then everybody will get back on the buses for a trip to the National Mall, where they will spend most of the day in heavily guarded warming tents. Participants have been warned that they will not be allowed to leave the tents except to go to portable toilets accompanied by a security escort.
Other instructions given performers include a warning not to look directly at Bush while passing the presidential reviewing stand, not to look to either side and not to make any sudden movements.
And then there were Bush’s little motorcade junkets around the country and abroad, which involved security plans so costly, detailed and outlandish that even the Pope would be embarrassed:
Residents in the city center are forbidden to go out onto their balconies during Bush’s visit and some 1,200 Mainz residents who live near the palace where Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder are to meet will only be allowed to enter their apartments after having undergone security checks. Strategically important balconies, roofs and windows will be manned by American snipers.
So yes, while Obama has adopted certain of Bush’s unappealing traits, the small "d" democratic manner in which his town halls are run is refreshing, if not a little worrisome. Let us fervently hope that these martial displays by the Teabaggers and their kooky parasites end in a whimper, not a bang.