24 August 2009

Arma virumque: undercurrents of violence

A dozen protesters carrying arms were observed in Phoenix, AZ where President Obama was addressing the national convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars. One was carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle (illustrated above), and all were legal under Arizona law. Some days earlier weapons were observed near a presidential event in New Hampshire, another open-carry state. The Secret Service stated that armed demonstrators had "little impact on security plans for the president". The White House has been silent.
[AP, 17 August 2009]

Nothing could contrast more sharply the difference in political culture between Canada and the United States. Personally I am aghast.

Frank Rich wrote an insightful piece about the current menace of "provocateurs with guns" in yesterday's New York Times: "The guns of August". Threats against the American president have increased 400% over those against the previous incumbent.