From the Phoenix Business Journal:
There were men carrying guns outside the Phoenix Convention Center Monday morning during President Barack Obama’s visit, but no arrests were made, according to Phoenix Police.
The Phoenix Police originally said three persons were spotted with guns in downtown Phoenix near Obama's appearance and later upped that count to 12. Police officials, who were expecting some armed demonstrators, said one man was carrying an assault rifle.
It is not illegal to carry guns openly in Arizona, but police kept close tabs on the men, said spokesman Andy Hill.
Where did these guys think there were? In a Tennessee bar? That's a joke, folks. But seriously, WTF would anyone think it appropriate or necessary to carry a gun while standing outside a venue where the president was speaking? I would truly welcome an explanation from someone who knows the answer.
I have a theory, but it's just conjecture: Gun permit-carriers are visibly carrying in hopes that someone in authority will try to disarm them. That way, they can promulgate the fantasy that "Obama is going to take our guns away." Just a guess. Either that, or it's meant as a statement of bad-assedness, as in, "I am so tough, I ain't skeered to carry a gun anywhere, even to a presidential appearance."
I dunno. I actually can't conceive of any real reason to pack heat near a presidential appearance. During Bush presidential appearances, some protesters were hustled off for wearing "offensive" T-shirts. Or they were herded into "protest zones", usually some distance from where the president actually spoke. In Memphis, for instance, demonstrators were even kept off the streets the presidential limousine used and forced to "demonstrate" several blocks away from the route. Ah, the heady days of "freedom" we enjoyed under the open and sensitive Bushies. Now Obama's peeps are letting armed — and no doubt antagonistic — protesters hang out without apparent weapons restrictions. Either Obama's braver than Bush, or he's being very foolhardy. Or both. How did we get to a place where people feel the need to bring an assault rifle into a crowd, any crowd? How sick are we that we even allow it to happen — anywhere? Don't tell me it's for "protection." A rifle? In a crowd? For protection? Give me a break. I fear for this country. I truly do. The nuts are in charge of the asylum.