August 17th, 2009
09:03 PM ET
13 years ago

Men tote assault rifles at Obama event

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="At least two men were spotted carrying assault rifles outside Obama's speech."](CNN) - At least two Arizona men brought assault rifles to President Obama’s speech Monday to the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Phoenix.

CNN’s Ed Henry reported that one of the men was carrying an AR-15 assault rifle and shouted anti-Obama slogans. The men remained outside the convention center where the president was speaking. Henry said U.S. Secret Service and local police were "very much aware" of the situation and were paying close attention to the men.

However, Arizona is an open-carry state, meaning it's legal to carry firearms in public as long as they are visible.

Filed under: Arizona • Extra • President Obama
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Fordy

    Here goes another ediot trying to make it on TV. 15 minutes of fame starts now...Go!!!

    August 18, 2009 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  2. Jon

    Paranoid gun nuts!

    August 18, 2009 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  3. jean nolan

    This is way beyond reasonable. There were more than two armed people in the crowd. How is it that I'm being intimidated from attending informational town halls to ask thoughtful questions by these rehearsed, coached screamers and gun toting freaks. The shame of it is that you'll probably invite the 2 automatic weapons guys on the nightly wolf blitzer to spew their nonsense about their right to bear arms to a public gathering and treat them as a reasonable voice. They're not. I don't understand why they weren't tackles and arrested by Secret Service.

    August 18, 2009 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  4. B&R

    That guy's with the rifle is a RACIST,UnAmerican, Mobster

    August 18, 2009 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  5. B&R


    August 18, 2009 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  6. Ken

    Is there a grassie knoll in Phoenix?

    August 18, 2009 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  7. Joe in Vegas

    The republican party really has lost its collective mind.

    August 18, 2009 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  8. eddie

    The Right Wing of this country just gets scarier and scarier. Could you imagine if someone on the Left showed up at a Bush rally like this? These people are dangerous, and someone is going to get hurt.

    August 18, 2009 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  9. Glen in Los Angeles

    I don't really get it. What's the message this man wished to convey? Is it a freedom thing? A crime thing? An anti-socialist thing?
    I can think of a lot of health care issues that could be created and quickly solved by automatic weapons.

    August 18, 2009 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  10. Will

    This man's name is "Chris." He's member of Faithful Word Baptist Church, and his pastor is Steven Anderson. This is a very radical, fundamentalist, right-wing group. Pastor Steven Anderson has been working to create a militia group known as the True Born Sons of Liberty. Steven Anderson has publicly stated that he is praying for President Obama's death, and encourages his members to do likewise. Steven Anderson's videos can be seen on YouTube. Steven Anderson preached a message yesterday, and posted it on YouTube, on why he hates Barak Obama. See also his message on his website from Jan 18, 2009.

    August 18, 2009 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  11. Dan

    The liberals are probably convulsing right now over this story!

    August 18, 2009 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  12. nea

    And i wonder why? People just dont believe that there are people out there that dont want this President in the white house! And its becusee he is an African American even though he is biracial.

    August 18, 2009 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  13. Matt

    Good grief. I live in Arizona, but sometimes this state is an embarrassment. Legal to carry assault rifles down the street, even with a sitting President in the vicinity. Awesome.

    August 18, 2009 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  14. TULE

    I think these people carring rifles and guns, are phony as they come. do not miunderstand me, the guns may be real. but the fact is, these idiots, would not have dare to do this with GWB in office, since they would have been locked up, perhaps taken to secret prisons, tortured, if not worse... and now that i think about that, they are likely 'bush supporters' so in that sense, its still not too late – find out 'who' they are, or 'were' and then do as you please with them obama administration....

    cause it is so obvious these 'home grown terrorists' are playing 'chicken' in the sense: "who is more afraid of who" – and well, obama administration SHOW THEM WHO IS BOSS!



    August 18, 2009 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  15. Reggie

    Why would anyone think this is a good idea? Just because you can, does it mean you need to? Why would you carry and assault weapon to a presidential event? I believe in the right to carry arms, but come on . . . .your just trying to instigate the situation . . . .for the last time, nobody is trying to steal your guns. Maybe Obama was right, when scared people cling to their guns and religion.

    August 18, 2009 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  16. Christine N.M

    I am absolutely sick to my stomach that someone would bring a gun to an event with President Obama in attendance. The gun slinger–I don't see this as an sign of freedom, I see it as a sign of disrespect and intimidation to our president and the citizens who support him.

    We are becoming no better than the war torn countries that use guns as a way to scare and intimidate people. I ask what event in our society calls for a gun? Health care reform has nothing to do with gun rights.

    What makes me more sick is I will mostly like hear the health care reform opponents support these individuals who brought guns to these town hall meetings.

    I am ready for change. I am ready for our country and government to work for all people and not just for the people who want to keep their money.

    August 18, 2009 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  17. Ash

    A ridiculous country in which we live. For what would anyone need an AR-15?

    August 18, 2009 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  18. Stephee

    You think these guys would get away with this if Bush was still President? I'd think not. To see these crazy people now showing up with weapons where the President makes his speech makes me believe no one is safe.

    August 18, 2009 01:16 am at 1:16 am |

    In the 2nd Amendment-the word "arms" has never been defined, even by the Supreme Court in terms relevant to the modern world.Historically in Anglo Saxon times the word applied to long bows and cross-bows, in Thomas Madison's time to pistols, muskets (rifles) and shotguns. Today some states have outlawed automatic assault weapons if carried by regular citizens. More importantly many states have made it illegal to carry arms in public places such as schools, sport arenas and other public gatherings. Arizona unfortunately is not one of them.
    The safety of the President of the United States should trump any argument about the sanctity of the 2nd amendment, and allow temporary confiscation of any weapons within range of the president.

    August 18, 2009 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  20. Dealt, Lisbon

    I suppose they feel more manly carrying assault rifles. And possibly have no idea how tragically rificulous that looks to the rest of the world as an example of "american democracy". If their "arguments" need assault rifles (even if for show) then they're not much to start with.

    August 18, 2009 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  21. kyle Burton


    August 18, 2009 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  22. Steve

    Obama and the Democratically controlled Congress have made no attempts to ban, firearms or ammo, or to take away anyones 2nd Amendment rights. So why are these Wacko's wandering around near a town hall meeting with the President. Why didn't they do the same when the Republican controlled Congress gave us the Patriot Act and illegally wiretapping these pro-gun fools along with the rest of the country. Do they realize how many of our rights were eroded during the 8 years of Bush/Cheney? As I said earlier, what a bunch of FOOLS!

    August 18, 2009 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  23. kuriya

    Those gun right wig nut are really out of touch all they want to do is intimidate people. I'm happy Obama is not giving in to them. What else what do you expect from this right wig nut.

    August 18, 2009 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  24. Jewel

    I wonder if they did that when Bush or any of the other presidents were in power?

    August 18, 2009 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  25. jason

    Disturbing . . .

    August 18, 2009 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6