We the people tattoo ar-15 protest
(AP Photo/David Goldman)
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The sight of protesters carrying firearms as the post-election count drags on is sparking new levels of pearl-clutching and concern trolling among members of the media. They express shock and disgust that so many people are choosing to exercise their legal right to bear arms.

Their real fear, though, isn’t so much that this will result in actual violence. They’re far more afraid that the sight of firearms, carried openly and lawfully, is becoming normalized. As even the Associated Press’s writers acknowledge in the article below, more protesters on both the left and the right are carrying openly these days.

And given the amount of politically-driven violence that’s been allowed to go on in cities across the country in the last five months — with police officers being ordered to stand by and watch — is it really surprising that law-abiding citizens are choosing to bear arms as the Constitution guarantees?

By Tim Sullivan and Adam Geller, AP

The most turbulent and norm-breaking presidential election of a lifetime has led to an extraordinary spectacle in the United States over the past three days: armed protesters gathering nightly outside offices where workers are counting the votes that will decide who wins the White House.

Some carry shotguns. Some have handguns. Often, they carry black, military-style semiautomatic rifles.

The protesters with weapons are a small minority of the demonstrators. There have been no reports of anyone getting shot, and the laws in Arizona, Nevada and Michigan — where guns have been seen outside vote-tabulation centers in recent days — allow people to openly carry firearms in public.

But in a nation increasingly inured to weapons at rallies — most often carried by right-wing demonstrators, though also sometimes by left-wing protesters — experts warn that the guns create a dangerous situation that could be seen as intimidation or tip easily into violence.

“The more we see, the more people see it as a normal reaction — even though it’s not. There’s nothing normal about it,” said Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a professor at American University who studies extremism. “The potential for violence becomes normalized.”

The armed protesters have shown up at the vote-counting centers in response to groundless accusations from President Donald Trump that the Democrats are trying to steal the election. No serious irregularities have been reported.

Elections officials in several states where Democrat Joe Biden was ahead said the anger outside their doors made them fear for the safety of their employees.

Those carrying weapons insist they are keeping the peace.

“I’m here to protect a peaceful protest,” said Keith Owen, who carried a black, semiautomatic assault rifle and wore a handgun in a holster strapped to his leg. His vest held extra ammunition. He described himself as a veteran who served in Afghanistan and now lives in Arizona.

He was among roughly 100 Trump supporters gathered for a third straight day Friday in front of the Phoenix elections center, where hundreds of workers were processing and counting ballots.

“We just want them to know we won’t let them get away with anything. We want to make sure all the legal ballots are counted, and fairly,” said another rifle-bearing protester, Travis Fillmore, 34, a military veteran from Tempe, Arizona.

“Arrest the poll workers!” the crowd chanted, demanding four more years in office for Trump. Sheriff’s deputies kept protesters in a “free speech” zone away from the entrance to the building.

In Detroit, dozens of Trump supporters returned to the streets Friday outside the city’s convention center, where election workers counted ballots.

“Stop the steal!” the protesters chanted. Some carried signs that read, “Make Elections Fair Again” and “We Love Trump.” Police cordoned off streets leading to the building and maintained a close watch on the protest.

The county treasurer in Detroit, Eric Sabree, said he had closed his office because of threats. In a statement, Sabree said the decision was made “in the interest of the safety of taxpayers and our staff” and because of “credible information” from the sheriff’s office.

In October, Michigan’s secretary of state tried to ban the open carrying of weapons near polling stations and vote-tallying centers, but the order is tied up in court.

“Michigan voters have the right to vote in person on Election Day free from threat and intimidation,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement when the order was announced. “An armed presence at the polls is inconsistent with our notion of a free democracy.”

About 100 people gathered Friday at a vote-tabulation center in Las Vegas for a pro-Trump demonstration, with at least two men in fatigues seen carrying rifles that hung from shoulder straps. At least 20 uniformed officers standing nearby watched the demonstrators.

In Philadelphia, two men with handguns were arrested Thursday night near the convention center where the vote-counting was going on.

The men, ages 42 and 61, had driven up in a Hummer from Virginia and did not have permits to carry the weapons in Pennsylvania, police said. A military-style rifle and ammunition were found inside their vehicle, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. The car had a window sticker for the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon.

District Attorney Larry Krasner did not say why the men had come to Philadelphia but said there were no indications they were part of an extremist group.

Weapons have become an increasingly common sight over the past year across the U.S., amid widespread protests for racial justice and anger over coronavirus restrictions. Armed demonstrators have protested COVID-19 lockdowns at the state capitols of Wisconsin and Minnesota and outside small businesses in Texas. Groups of armed men walked repeatedly through downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, insisting they were just out for exercise. A few days ago in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a man carrying a semi-automatic rifle was among a group of demonstrators at an anti-Trump rally.

In Michigan, armed demonstrators angry about COVID-19 restrictions went into the state Capitol building earlier this year, standing in the Senate gallery and looking down on lawmakers.

Miller-Idriss said the protesters often see themselves as heroes “called to action in a moral way, to react against tyranny, against traitors.”

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  1. LMAO, yeah, these guys are out here ‘making sure’ the vote gets counted correctly.

    Man, for Trump supporters, these folks sure are a bunch of snowflakes unwilling to accept the results as they are. Kind of like Trump, they’re living in a self-delusion.

    • Ya maybe they should act like leftists protesters and shoot each other or start trying to burn down goverment buildings. I’m sure you approve of that.

    • The right accepts legitimate elections. The problem is that this election has so much malfeasance that is PATENTLY OBVIOUS to any unbiased bystander. When “human error” and “computer glitches” are all going in one direction, when you eject Republican Poll monitors while still counting, accept ballots past deadlines and count them in secret, and when ALL those ballots “counted” overnight are for Biden with no exceptions [statistically impossible] you have thrown away whatever trust in “free and fair elections” your opposition had.

    • Typical troll. The election was stolen. 138,000 ballots all for Biden delivered after the elcetion? GMAFB. Not like the right burned and looted after Obozo won twice.

  2. Maybe it would assuage their fears if they tossed a couple of molitov’s or looted a few pairs of sneakers?
    Demonstrate the sort of peace the media is more accustomed to.

  3. Meanwhile, I just picked up a new to me caliber handgun. Terrible timing, I know. The only local store that even has FMJ is selling it for $35 per 50 round box.

      • .40 S&W.
        Ordered some hollow points and hardcast which were readily available online. FMJ has been cleaned out about everywhere. Winter and woods carry gun. I feel like it’s more practical than 10mm (plus 10mm is mostly just Glock or 1911), and there aren’t any brown bears around here.

        • I still have one in .40 S&W, which I use for drills every time I go shooting. I go through a box, then I switch over to the 9mm gun(s) for target training. I loaded up on ammo back in the “good times” of 2017-2019, so I’m still at about 2000 rounds for it, or about two years’ worth. Once the FMJ is eventually depleted, I’ll cache the gun with the +P JHP plus a box of 100 FMJ, to be an extra SHTF piece.

          …or an excellent barter set if the balloon goes up during a Kamala administration, the poop gets real, and a desperate friend or family member “finds Jesus” and realizes he needs to protect his family and join POTG. Just an option.

  4. Lol, yep…
    Trump and his supporters should bow and accept the illegal activity from the left while we all condemn things that are perfectly legal.


  5. “The more we see, the more people see it as a normal reaction — even though it’s not. There’s nothing normal about it,” said Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a professor at American University
    This could easily be said about corruption in our government and the MSM.

    • Meanwhile, even as they clutch those pearls and gnash their teeth over the horrid dangers, millions more gunowners have been added to the previous tens of millions, yet there are still only “grave warnings” of those dangers, absolutely nothing has actually happened. It’s almost as if they were lying, or at least seriously, stupidly wrong. I wonder when they might acknowledge that?

  6. Propaganda 101: Always portray your opposition as violent or threatening, even if they aren’t. Randomly strewn adjectives are good for this, as are anonymous “concerned” experts. The corollary to this is, always portray anyone violent as being part of your opposition, even if they’re you’re supporters. Claim they’re “agitators” or something like that. Provide no evidence: that would undermine the central message that people should believe you and not their own lying eyes.

  7. Peaceful Molotov Cocktails = a good way to Peacefully burn down a car dealership or a police station, fortunately Antifa is the Party of Peace.

    Simple Open Carry = violent Right Wing Militia Terrorists.

    The above definitions are compliant with the Associated Press writing stylebook.

    • The media, of course, are so mendacious that they omit the little fact that a Molotov Cocktail is a Destructive Device, per ATF regulations, and a federal crime.

  8. OMG a Left leaning reporter said,Often, “military-style semiautomatic rifles” and not Assault Rifles?

    DUMB BITCH Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a professor at American University who studies extremism. Says –
    “The potential for violence becomes normalized.” No, actually the potential for violence is LESS LIKELY to happen because we know each person is armed and nobody wants to get shot unless it’s to protect a life.

    Did you see any of those gun toting people looting, burning or destroying property? You know, the mean law abiding citizens.

    NEWS FLASH: Biden won so now COVID and RACISM has been cured. NEWS at 11

    • Not just semiautomatic rifles but, “Often, they carry black, military-style semiautomatic rifles.” The dreaded black rifle! Everybody needs to paint their AR a non-threatening color, and this problem will go away.

    • “NEWS FLASH: Biden won so now COVID and RACISM has been cured. NEWS at 11”

      LOL. Nah. Both will be weaponized to the Nth degree now. UK style lockdown inbound. They don’t have any other arrows in their quiver. No government in the West does.

      They’re incapable of admitting the truth. You can’t stop CoV-2.

      Lockdowns serve only one purpose; to isolate people in the very places that have the highest rates of transmission to others, the home. 75%-80% of transmission occurs there. And, maybe the conspiracy nuts are right given the way no one talks about anything except “cases”, that lockdowns are FOREVA because that’s the entire point of this and they talk science but ignore it because the combination makes for great propaganda.

      Note that the media never asks any questions of substance on the topic.

  9. Good. I want them to have a normalized fear of violence. Normalized is “don’t start nuthin’, won’t be nuthin’.” The fact is, the only reason someone wants to deprive you of your guns is they harbor a desire to do something to you that you’d otherwise shoot them for. It really is as simple as that.

    • +100
      Only when you start to name names, now they will call you crazy.
      Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, senator Tammy Baldwin, California state Senator Tom ammiano, the fake Hispanic Beto O’Rourke. Most of them have dedicated armed security details.

      Yes all these Democrats and others support people being murdered. They just want others to do the killing. Antifa??? They don’t want to get their hands dirty. And as far as the riots go.

      They have been, not very strangely, silent.

  10. Well its going to get MUCH MUCH Worse for them & the sight of ROPE should worry them more

  11. I has an idea or two.

    How about some folks hold “peaceful protests,” complete with matches, lighters and what-not, outside of media companies’ offices and properties?

    After all, who is scared of ‘peaceful protests?’

    • That one guy nearly shit his pants live on TV when CNN’s building was broken into and the cops got that big firework thrown at them. When the cops backed up like five feet that dude sure they were breaking and was ready to run for the hills.

      I thought that having their HQ attacked like that might wake a few of them up. Nope.

  12. no mention of BLM/ANTIFA protesters carrying handguns, shotguns, AK’s and AR’s? or the people who have been shot so far? or even without guns, they still drag people out of their cars and beat them up, that isn’t violence to worry about? or how about NAGR, who are all about guns?

  13. “Fiery, but mostly peaceful protestors” committing assault, looting, and arson, does not bother the “press” but well behaved, armed, citizens exercising their rights makes them wet themselves? It reminds me of the “reporter” who supported the peaceful protestors until they burned his favorite Starbucks.

    I have said it many times and I will say it again – Leftists, BLM, Democrats, etc. should be required to wear a sign – “Biden – Commander in Thief”, “Biden/Harris” or just “Stupid”. That way when armed citizens come across them being robbed (or whatever) we know to walk away. Ammunition and legal fees are too expensive to waste on people who would spit in our faces otherwise.

    Could I walk away from a crime involving those people? HELL YES! Especially when you consider the people committing the crime are probably Democrats themselves and I do not feel compelled to intervene in internal party disagreements of the Left.


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