What must residents of other advanced nations think when they see a band of armed, self-appointed vigilantes openly carrying assault rifles, wearing crisscrossed ammunition belts, and scaring the hell out of fellow citizens? Has America turned into a banana republic? How could this happen to the world’s oldest democracy, a once-proud model for other nations? Only the pitifully deranged find flashing an AK-47 at a rally acceptable.
Most Americans are ashamed of this childish, dangerous, life-threatening behavior and there is no legitimate reason to tolerate it. Bullying through fear and intimidation is not free speech. In any group of militia members, there will be some with short tempers, and others with mental problems that make either one a potential threat when armed. This dangerous practice needs to be stopped. No guns of any kind should be openly carried at public events, and particularly those where tempers flare.
The Second Amendment was never meant to generate life-threatening social instability. Gun manufacturers, NRA lobbyists and GOP legislators created this festering sore by promoting permissive gun laws and uncontrolled gun availability. A majority recognizes rot when they see it. We need new gun regulations based on decency and common sense. Civilization cannot exist where guns are carried openly in public. And those who encourage this travesty should be treated like any other enemy of the people.
Ron Molen, Salt Lake City