Monday, August 17, 2009
At least two carried assault weapons to an Obama event in Arizona today. Nothing illegal in that, as AZ is an "open carry" state. Police were monitoring a dozen who were carrying firearms of one kind or another. No "incidents", no arrests. Everything perfectly civil.... so far.
Our rep. Brian Baird who had previously received death threats over Health Care reform is having a town hall meeting tomorow night at the Clark County Amphitheatre (fairgrounds). I was sitting here thinking I need to go, even though:
a) it will be near 100 degrees
b) I'd need to be there two hours early to get in (at least) and would need to leave work early
d) I am phobic of crowds and crushes of people.
e) I have a bad back
I was at the Democratic primary caucus last year sitting on hard bleacher seats for over 8 hours in a hot, overcrowded, impossible to hear anybody say anything even with a microphone, high school gym. My Republican co-worker reported similar frustrations at his caucus.
Only those who could shout the loudest were heard. In our case this was the guy who felt he'd been slighted in the selection of state convention delegates and kept shouting "Mr. Speaker I've Been Disenfranchised!!!" In my Republican co-worker's caucus, it was the Ron Paul supporters. In both our cases, due to time being wasted appeasing the hotheads there was no time to discuss anything substantive.
Which brings us back to the But....
For the first time in my life I am *personally* scared of exercising my 1st Amendment rights, of exercising my privilege and responsibilities as a citizen.
Somehow I don't think this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they crafted the 2nd Amendment.
So who is the greater coward? The person who isn't willing to face a firing squad to speak their mind or the thug person who would rather let "his little friend" do his talking for him?
Once upon a time I climbed up a wobbly 30 ft. ladder to paint the trim around the roofline of my two story house. When MickeyD asked "Why??" I told him it was because it scared me. Since then, every year I make a point to climb up that same ladder and clean the gutters. I will not let fear rule my life, and I will not let insecure, cowardly thugs sabotage my Democracy.