“Scores of Atlanta police officers moved in overnight — some clad in riot gear, some on horseback, all under orders to clear the park of protesters,” NBC 11Alive.com reports. “The order came from Mayor Kasim Reed, who says the last straw was a man walking around Woodruff Park Tuesday afternoon carrying an assault rifle.”
[T]he man…declined to identify himself. “(The gun is) a symbol of the last line of resistance against a government that’s going to try to push people out because of their ideals,” he said. The man told [11Alive’s Jaye] Watson the weapon was a semi-automatic version of the AK-47. Such weapons are legal in Georgia.
As is peaceable open carry.
And as is freedom of speech, and to assemble. As strongly as some may disagree with the methods and message of the protestors, a government with the power to prohibit them is much more to be feared. The issues of legality as far as OA went appeared to center on turning a public space into a squatter’s camp in violation of access and use rules and the ensuing problems that caused. But to be clear, the over-reaction of Mayor Reed’s government to a man lawfully exercising his rights is what shut things down, not the man.
A man who posts on the Georgia Packing forum as “Sine Nomen,” by the way, and who disclosed his intentions in a post Tuesday morning:
I’m about to shave, put on dress clothes with a (non brooks-brothers) tie and head down there with a sign: “I disagree with their message, but these people have a right to be here.”
If anyone would like to join me, I’ll be the guy with a rifle.
True to his word, he gave an afternoon update:
Guys, I’m down at the ‘protest’ now, with a sign and a slung AK. I can tell you the police presence is a bit more than necessary, but they aren’t being the least bit intrusive.
The movement here has the feel of being a dud and the best strategy for the mayor would be to just ignore it and let it fade away on its own.
Also, almost all of the people down here have been friendly and willing to have reasonable discussions. If you don’t like what they have to say, I suggest you come down here and respectfully try to change their minds, and let them know you don’t support the city forcing them out.
WSBTV.com2 gives a bit more:
The man told [Channel 2’s Linda] Stouffer his name was Porch and it was completely legal to walk around with his gun.
Porch told Stouffer he was there, “to support the people that deserve to be in the park. They shouldn’t be thrown out for peacefully protesting. They’ve got a right to be here just like anybody else.”
One protester said, “That’s sabotaging the message, we’re nonviolent.”
As was Porch/Sine Nomen, nonviolent that is, and who, along with nerve and resolve, also showed a heap more tolerance than those who would allow their ignorance, prejudice and fear to limit which rights are to be tolerated. Like Mayor Reed, who, per CBS Atlanta declared:
They escalated the events to the point where they were no longer consistent with our city’s values related to civil disobedience…
The irony here is this is an example of the regressive collectivist left eating its own. It’s also an example of how their fear of even a militia of one is enough for them to forgo whatever “political capital” they perceive the protestors give them. They are the only ones (pun intended) “sabotaging the message.” And, unsurprisingly, Reed has no problem allowing those he does not trust with weapons to pay for his bodyguard.
The Georgia Packing forum thread begins here. At this writing, there are 13 pages of posted comments. It’s an interesting read and offers way more insights than you’ll get from the “Authorized Journalists.”
Trigger Sports Recorded!
For those who missed yesterday’s Trigger Sports Live!, you can still view it at the American Trigger Sports Network, where it will be headlined until next Wednesday’s show. Here’s the program summary:
Special Guests: Rachel Parsons-NRA-ILA Spokesperson – Are cops smuggling guns? Do Canadians want their long guns?, Mark Walters-Armed American Radio asks…are you prepared for the worst, Barbara Crown discusses Mexican Hunting…with Civil Police, and Dan, award-winning journalist, reports on CA state and Federal leaders meet with Mexico, and Central American consulate.
Click here to watch the show, here for program archives, and here to shop at the ATSN online store.
Help wanted–inquire within
Regular readers: If you agree that mainstream press coverage of the gun rights issue demands a counter-balance, please help me spread the word by sharing Gun Rights Examiner links with your friends via emails, and in online discussion boards, blogs, social media sites, etc. Then get more commentary at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.