Talking to the Man Who Brought a Gun to an Obama Event — Update: Two Men with Assault Weapons Seen at an Obama Rally
Update, August 17th, 3:05 pm — The following video and links were sent to me by… William Kostric (of all people). Two men were seen carrying AR-15 assault rifles (as well as a single pistol) outside an Obama event in Phoenix, Arizona. Here’s the first video that we have available—
A young man identified only as “Chris” was seen walking around the Phoenix Convention Center at the time that President Obama arrived there to give a speech. “Chris” was carrying an assault rifle and a pistol. When asked why he was carrying weapons, he replied: “Because I can do it. In Arizona, I still have some freedoms.”
CNN has reported that there was a second man carrying an assault rifle, but there is no other information about him at this time.
There seems to be no connection between this and prior gun-related incidents at town-hall meetings, which began last week when William Kostric brought a gun to a rally in New Hampshire — continued with a second man at the same event who had a firearm concealed in his car — and then continued after that with two different gun-related incidents at events featuring Democratic Senators…
There is no direct link between any of these events. However, two weeks ago, a New Mexico man Twittered that reform opponents should bring guns to town-halls, so that they could “badly hurt” Democratic counter-protesters.
Anyway. …Sorry about all of this. Weird, semi-horrifying things keep on happening. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled column...
On August 11, 2009, William Kostric brought a loaded gun to a town-hall meeting featuring President Barack Obama. Live coverage of the event was immediately broadcast on MSNBC: showing a man, standing outside a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with a loaded pistol strapped to his leg. What happened next was an explosion… of media coverage; of heated debates on MSNBC and CBS and Fox News; and of debates between average Americans — between Democrats and Republicans, Tea-Partiers and East-Coast Liberals, Obamabots and Birthers.
…What did it all mean? Mr. Kostric quickly stated that he had no intention of shooting the President, and that he had only been protesting in defense of his Constitutional rights. …Still, the debate continued.
Just recently, William Kostric sat down with “The Faster Times” (as represented by, um, me) for a free-ranging discussion about… everything that’s happened so far. I gave him wide latitude in picking the topics of conversation, which seems only fair, since I mocked him relentlessly in a previous article. I also gave Mr. Kostric the opportunity to refute many of his critics’ claims; you can read his various replies to those critics right… here.
All in all, it was an interview that was so awesome (and so lengthy) that we had to split it up into two parts. Today’s section discusses the town-hall incident itself, and gun rights in general. Part Two (coming at the end of this week) will discuss Barack Obama, politics in general, what it’s like to be on Fox News, and plenty of other fun stuff as well…
The Faster Times: Hey there, Mr. Kostric. So what’s going on? Are you at home? Has your phone been ringing off the hook?
William Kostric: Well, my only phone is my cell and it gets spotty reception where I live so I’ve actually been staying with friends in order to conduct phone interviews. So far there’s been Alan Colmes, Alex Jones, Ernie Hancock and Richard Hunter. I have a few more scheduled next week. When the on-site interviews were happening, I was asked by a few reporters for a phone number which I declined to give out so the contacts are coming via email. I guess maybe I could have gotten on a few more programs if I had circulated it but I do value privacy. Still, the phone has been ringing quite a bit just from family and friends wondering if I’m okay, offering advice or just congratulations.
TFT: Is this the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you in your life?
WK: My whole journey has been pretty interesting. I’m always astounded at the surprises life throws our way. It’s like a game of chess, you try to plan ahead and think you’re in control but out of nowhere, your opponent makes a move you never saw coming and everything changes. Of course I’m no grandmaster but if everything went our way, think how boring life would be.
TFT: So you’ve said that you brought the gun along with you to the town-hall in defense of your 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Was that your sole motivation?
WK: Not at all! It certainly is true that rights are like muscles, if not exercised, they wither and die. As proof I offer the fact that open carry is legal in over 40 states but in many of them, I wouldn’t dare. Currently, open carry is not a big deal here and we’d like to keep it that way. The only way to do that is to carry.
Part was self-defense. There have been incidents of fights and intimidation at other town-halls. A firearm serves to diffuse, not escalate, aggression. But most of it was simply the fact that I’m generally armed and saw no compelling reason to disarm.
TFT: Okay. You’re saying that firearms diffuse aggression. But that wasn’t necessarily the case there at the town-hall, was it?
WK: Indeed it was. Had I not been armed, the odds of a physical violence would have been greater. Instead there was only a heated verbal exchange.
TFT: But that seems… a tad disingenuous. The gun was the thing that started a fight with a rival protester. I’m not saying that the guy who attacked you was right. But your argument here seems to be that having a gun ended a fight that having a gun started.
WK: I don’t know where you got that impression. He was foaming at the mouth (not quite, but he was certainly amped up as his face muscles were twitching and his hands were shaking) about Obamacare when someone behind me made a reference to “the Messiah” which seemed to really get him riled up. At any rate, he never made verbal reference to my firearm.
Your assertion that he saw a gun, and then went over and tried to pick a fight with the owner is kind of insulting to him, isn’t it? I mean, would you say that’s something a smart person would do?
TFT: Even if you acted totally calmly — and I think that you did — you must have had some sense that having a gun near the President would cause other people to get upset, right?
WK: No, I don’t think the firearm being there caused anyone to be distressed. Certainly no one from New Hampshire. Perhaps some of the people bussed in from Massachusetts or New York were (and I have no knowledge that even that’s true) but that would only be caused by brainwashing that only criminals and cops wear firearms.
TFT: But… c’mon. You know what this reminds me of? And maybe this is a terrible metaphor, and if it is, I apologize. But this reminds me of, say, when Britney Spears was a 16 year-old virgin, but she would appear almost naked on magazine covers. Or Miley Cyrus. Same deal. Virgin. Naked. Magazine. And then people predictably freak out about that. …And then Britney/Miley says, “What? I just don’t see what the big deal is!”
C’mon. Weren’t people obviously going to get upset? It’s the President. People are afraid he’s gonna get shot. And people did get freaked out. People at the event freaked out. People watching on TV freaked out. I freaked out.
WK: Look, I don’t want to be condescending or dismissive but… gimme a break. Assassins don’t open carry. It’s just common sense. They don’t announce that they are armed. Further, 9mm’s don’t go through armored cars. And no, I don’t see what the big deal is. The assertion that people at the event freaked out is flat out wrong. I was there. A few people watching on TV may have but most of that leads back to irresponsible reporting on the part of MSNBC along with rampant hoplophobia.
The left is always talking about cultural sensitivity, well here’s a culture that maybe it’s time for them to understand.
TFT: I was actually going to ask you about this anyway. But you said a second ago that you’re “generally armed.” As in, generally carrying a gun around with you. And you’ve said that in other interviews too. That you carry a gun with you to the store, for instance. Now, I’ve never been to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. But I have been to Durham, New Hampshire, which is only twelve miles away. And it was a sleepy little New England town. Ivy-covered. Brick buildings. Not very dangerous-seeming. …But whatever the town — wherein is the need to carry a gun with you to, say, the local store in the middle of the day? It can’t be for protection, can it? I mean, you don’t think that someone’s going to attack you in the local store, right? …So are you just trying to make a general political statement?
WK: Aside from the aforementioned need to exercise the right, I would ask “Why do cops carry guns in those sleepy little towns?” I mean, it can’t be for protection, right? Who’s going to attack them? They must be gun nuts or something.
TFT: I’ve lived in a lot of places. In the North, in the South. Apart from cops, I have never in my life seen someone walking around with a loaded weapon in plain view.
WK: I agree with you that in most places it’s an unusual sight, that’s one of the things that needs to be corrected. I’d like to ask though, why the differentiation between citizens and the cops? There are a few basic philosophical points here begging to be recognized. If we’re all created equal, when did we become unequal? What is the nature and source of power or authority?
Our society is based on the idea that the people are sovereign. All power resides with the people individually. Just government derives its authority from the consent of the governed. What does that mean? Think of it like power of attorney. Anything that I (or any other individual) am legally and morally able to do, I can designate someone else to do on my behalf. This grant of power can of course be revoked at any time. Why? Because it’s our power to delegate, or not. Here’s an example of how things came to be—
One guy had kids. He had a right, indeed a responsibility to teach his own children. So did a few other families in the area. They got together and said “Hey, instead of me teaching mine, you teaching yours and him teaching his, why don’t we pool our money and hire someone to do it for us?” This turned out to be more efficient and effective (then). What changed? The general population lost sight of their history. They started to think that somehow I (or society) had a responsibility to teach their children or that they have a “right” to free education. Both are completely false. Why? Because as an individual, I have no power to force my neighbor to educate my children and since you can’t delegate power you don’t have, and all government power is a delegation of individual power, well, you get the point. This is the beginning of illegitimate government.
As a side note, the system has now become totally bloated and inefficient, which happens whenever government becomes involved (hello, health care objection), which is why we are seeing a revival of home and private schooling.
Back to the issue at hand. If you want to designate your right and your responsibility to protect your life, liberty and property to others, fine. You and others can hire cops to do that job for you. I choose not to burden society with the responsibility of my upkeep and protection. That means I provide my own food (no thanks, Welfare), I pay for my own health care (no thanks, Obama/Medicare), I provide value for others (no thanks, Unemployment), I plan for my own retirement (no thanks, Social Insecurity), I provide for my own defense (no thanks, cops). This would be the end of the story except that I’m forced to pay for services that I neither want nor need. Can you say protection racket?
TFT: It seems to me that 2nd Amendment rights are pretty solid in this country, even if wussy liberals like me might wish it to be otherwise. You can buy assault weapons, if you want. President Obama has so far proposed nothing in the way of any infringement on gun rights. So why is it necessary to carry a gun around all the time? What makes you feel that your way of life is being so threatened?
WK: The right is to “bear arms” which in this context means to carry them which is exactly what I’m being criticized for. Once the right to bear them goes, the right to keep them won’t be far behind…
Coming next in Part Two: Obama. Politics, politics, politics. “Tyranny vs. Losing.” “Sh-t That’s Never Gonna Happen.” And lots of other stuff, too.
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